Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Pennsburg’

Spring Maintenance Tips For Inside the House

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Spring has sprung, and for homeowners that means more than just spring cleaning; it’s also the opportunity to take care of some home maintenance tasks. It may not be a ton of fun, but proper home maintenance is essential to keeping your home attractive and in good repair, as well as retaining its resale value.

Some simple maintenance once a year can also help avoid costly repair bills down the road. Below are a few tips on keeping the inside of your home maintained. Most of these are quick projects that can be done in your spare time over the weekend.

Ventilation, Heating And Cooling Tips:

  • Clean out your stove’s exhaust hood and change the filter. This will help the system to keep running efficiently and prevent damage to the motor, so that your kitchen is always well ventilated. A properly functioning kitchen exhaust system can also help prevent fires.
  • Change the furnace filter. The heating season may be behind you, but it will get chilly again before you know it. Changing your filter now as part of your spring maintenance will ensure that you don’t forget to do it in the interim, so your house will be properly heated when the chill of winter returns.
  • On the flip side, have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional. They can perform routine maintenance on the A/C system and make any necessary repairs. Taking care of this early in the spring will help make the hot summer months much more comfortable in your home.

Electrical Tips:

  • Hire an electrician to inspect the wiring and other components of your home’s electrical system. You can also do this yourself if you’re savvy, but unless you have experience, professional assistance is strongly recommended in order to avoid injury.
  • Have a look at your extension cords and power strips around the house. Replace any that are damaged or worn.
  • Check light fixtures to ensure installed bulbs are of the correct wattage. Using the wrong wattage bulb can cause electrical shorts, or draw more power than you need, making for an unnecessary expense. Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs.

Safety Tips:

  • Clean all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace the batteries.
  • Have your fire extinguisher inspected to ensure it works properly. Replace as needed.

By making time to perform these relatively simple tasks in the spring, you can help keep your home safe and comfortable, while also decreasing ownership costs in the long run.

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Propane, Oil or Natural Gas: Which One Should I Choose?

Friday, March 4th, 2011

In most cases, you’ll have a choice concerning what type of fuel you’d like your furnace to burn. For most people, this choice comes down to propane, oil or natural gas. The one you choose could significantly impact the cost of heating your home for many years to come, but it’s usually a pretty clear cut decision.

One thing to remember is that most furnaces that burn natural gas can also burn propane. If you don’t yet have a propane tank but are considering getting one, you might not have to make a final decision just yet. Although it’s generally better to set up your furnace for one type of fuel and then leave it that way, you will likely still have the option of converting later on if you should choose to.

If you do have access to natural gas, though, that’s probably going to be your best option. Furnaces that burn natural gas or propane are generally much more efficient than any other type of furnace on the market. You can get them with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings as low as 80% and as high as 97+%, so that ensures that you’ll be able to find the one to fit your specific situation.

If you’re facing particularly harsh and frigid winters, you’ll want to choose the most energy efficient option available to you and that’s pretty much always going to be a natural gas furnace. Of course, when you’re looking to decide between natural gas and propane as a fuel source, you’ll just want to compare the relative cost for each in your area. For some people natural gas is cheaper, while it’s propane for others. And since your furnace will operate at the same efficiency no matter which of these fuels you choose, you just need to choose the cheapest.

Oil is certainly an option as well, but if you’re looking for a very high efficiency furnace, you’re not going to find one that burns oil. That doesn’t mean that an oil burning furnace might not be a good investment for you. If you don’t have access to natural gas in your area and your heating load isn’t that high, oil might be a perfectly economical choice for you.

If you do opt for a super high efficiency furnace, but don’t have access to natural gas lines, propane is probably the way to go as opposed to oil.

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