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

Will a Heating Tune Up Really Save Me Money?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

It’s an oft-asked question: does maintenance really save me money? The answer is yes. We’ll explain more below about how and why a heating tune-up in Pipersville can save you money, but more importantly, if you haven’t scheduled maintenance yet this year, it’s time to do so. It’s recommended that you schedule your heating system for maintenance every 12 months; if it’s been longer than that since your last maintenance appointment, call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today and schedule a maintenance appointment with one of our experts.

What Happens During a Routine Maintenance Appointment?

A maintenance appointment doesn’t involve a simple once-over of your system. Instead, it is a full tune-up complete with inspection, cleaning and adjusting as needed. Small repairs are made, and if a large repair is discovered, you’ll be notified about the problem and given the opportunity to schedule repair to correct it. Here is a general overview of what to expect from a routine maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of entire system
  • Cleaning of components
  • Changing of air filter, if needed
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Safety testing
  • Electrical testing
  • Performance tests
  • Visual inspection of ductwork
  • Small repairs (frayed wires, belt changes)

How Does Maintenance Save Money?

Maintenance can save you money in the following ways:

  • Increases energy efficiency – your system was made to operate at a certain level of energy efficiency. When it is dirty, dusty and worn from last season, it can be very challenging for your heater to achieve its normal level of efficiency. The tune-up your system receives during a maintenance appointment allows the system to operate optimally, which helps it reduce its energy usage.
  • Helps prevent repair – the thorough inspection allows the technician to detect any existing or developing problems; additionally, the small repairs that can occur during a routine maintenance appointment help get you ahead of small problems that can become bigger ones. Reducing the level and incidence of repair of your heater can help you save money.
  • Extends life of equipment – stress causes your system to prematurely age; a system can easily come under stress when it is dirty and worn out. Maintenance keeps your heater in good working order season after season, which helps extend the life of the equipment.

It is almost officially winter – have you scheduled your heating system in Pipersville for a tune-up yet? If not, contact Carney Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today!

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What is a Hybrid Heating System?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

A hybrid heating system combines a gas furnace with an electric heat pump. It provides excellent comfort year round, and tends to be most energy-efficient during moderate heating conditions. While conventional heating solutions opt for one or the other, a hybrid heating system seeks to find a balance between comfort and efficiency, and passes the savings on to you. For more information about hybrid heating in Maple Glen, PA, get in touch with Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We offer an extensive selection of hybrid heating systems, and we have a team of highly experienced and certified technicians ready to help you install it.

As you probably know, a gas furnace works by drawing energy from natural gas and converting it to hot air to be distributed throughout your home by ducts. A heat pump does not heat air, so much as move heat indoors or outdoors, depending upon the season. It works similarly to an air conditioner, although it does not tend to cool as effectively as a stand-alone air conditioner. That said, an air conditioner only cools, while a heat pump can work throughout the year.

The purpose of the hybrid heating system is to react automatically to changing outside temperatures, and to adjust to the most energy-efficient heating method accordingly. The beauty of this system is in its versatility. On those extremely cold days, your system senses the necessary adjustment and fires up your gas furnace to provide extra heat. On moderate days, your heat pump moves the heat inside the home by the circulation of a refrigerant.

The great thing about this system is that a heat pump also provides cooling in the summer. As a comprehensive system, your hybrid heating system can actually work for you all year long, which means energy and cost savings throughout the year. Not only that, but putting your heat pump to work on moderate days, you are also reducing the amount of fossil fuels used, which make the hybrid heating system far more eco-friendly than conventional furnace-based systems.

For more information about hybrid heating systems in Maple Glen, PA, or to schedule a consultation, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today!

 

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Why Is it Essential to Have a Reliable Well Water Pump?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

If you rely on a well for your home water needs, it is absolutely essential that you can depend on your well water pump at all times. The simple fact is that without a reliable well water pump, you will not have any guaranteed access to running water in your home, and that is a situation that you will want to avoid at all costs.

For this reason, it is important to take certain factors into consideration when you are having a well water pump installed. To begin with, you want to make sure that the unit you choose is high quality and has a reputation for durability and reliability. There are many good well water pumps out there, but there are also some that may not quite measure up. Make sure you thoroughly examine your options and consult with a professional before you make your final decision.

Another important thing to remember is that you need a pump that is big enough to accommodate the water needs of your household. You could get a great, top of the line product, but if it is not big enough, you will have endless problems with your water supply. A smaller system will also have to work harder to keep water flowing into your home and is likely to wear out faster as a result.

The power that the well water pump you choose has needs to match up with the depth of your well. If you have a very deep well, you will need a more powerful pump to get the water up and into your home. Of course, both larger and more powerful pumps tend to be more expensive, but it is worth it to pay the extra up front than to have a chronically insufficient water supply to your home.

There simply is no substitute to having a well-sized, high-quality well water pump installed for your home. This is a purchase that will impact your quality of life for many years going forward, so it is worth taking some time to evaluate your options and collecting professional opinions so you can be sure you are going with the best product.

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How Hard Is Your Water?

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

The hardness or softness of water varies considerably from one part of the country to another. What we really mean when we talk about hardness is how much calcium and magnesium carbonates are present in the water. The more of these minerals there are, the harder your water will be. While the fact that your water is harder does not mean that it is unsafe, it is good to know what you are dealing with.

There are several ways to find out how hard or soft your water is. You may simply be able to call your local municipality and get the results of the tests they perform. You can also purchase a water hardness test kit pretty easily and some water softener services even perform free hardness testing on mailed-in samples.

Water that is too hard can cause problems for washing machines because it interferes with the chemical functioning of many detergents. And water that is too hard will leave deposits behind on fixtures, sinks, tubs and anything else it comes into contact with. Over time, these deposits can clog up pipes or make their openings smaller, effectively reducing water pressure.

Deposits are also good at clogging up shower and faucet fixtures and they can even build up in your washing machine which will cause some real damage down the line. Using hard water for cooking can create some unwanted complications as well.

Fortunately it is relatively easy to eliminate hard water problems. There are many companies that offer a variety of water softening services. There are water softeners that can be attached to your home water source to treat the water as it comes in and remove any excess chemicals that the water has. These water softeners are an excellent option when you are struggling with very hard water.

Of course, these water softeners can also wear out and become clogged with buildup over time, so you will want to look for a water softening service company that provides full service replacement and repair programs as well.

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How Can I Get Better Flow from My Faucets?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Most of us realize that a drain can get clogged or that the pipes in our home might require extra repairs every now and then, but rarely do we realize that when the faucet is not providing a strong, steady flow of water, it is likely because of a clog in the actual faucet. If you are suffering from low flow in your faucets or worse, sputtering and clogging, here are some tips to help fix the problem.

Why it Happens

The reason that so many faucets now have problems related to clogging is that they have been changed and redesigned over the years to reduce water flow. Older faucets would pour ridiculous amounts of water through the drain – not at all good for the environment. Today, aerators and other technology advancements greatly reduce the amount of water used, but also tend to cause these types of clogs.

Checking Your Aerator

The easiest way to fix a slow flowing faucet is to check the aerator tip for unwanted sediment. Despite filtration of tap water, over time small bits of sand, dirt, and other sediment can and will build up in the aerator. That sediment should be cleaned out of the tip of the aerator at least once a month to keep it from slowing the flow of water.

If a water main breaks somewhere or a problem occurs in the water supply outside of your home, this type of sediment might start to build up more rapidly and cause immediate clogs in your faucet. Other things that might build up include pieces of pipe or flux from plumbing joints that break free and enter the water supply. None of it poses a health problem, but it can be frustrating when it gets into your faucets and blocks the water supply.

Valve Cartridge

If the aerator is not the problem it may be in the valve cartridge. To fix this, you will need to replace the part. Each faucet can be very different, so you should refer to your owner’s manual (many of which are online) for how to take this part out of the faucet assembly. When you go to the hardware store, be sure to take the valve cartridge with you so you can get the exact piece you need for replacement.

The easiest way to avoid a clog in your faucets is to be careful with any repairs you make. While a water main break is not something you can control, you can control how the water supply is affected when someone does repairs on your home’s plumbing. Leave faucets open outside, turn the main valve back on slowly and check your faucet immediately after the repair to ensure no sediment gets clogged in the assembly.

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How to Choose the Water Softener That Is Right for You

Friday, June 24th, 2011

If hard water is a problem in your home, the solution may be simpler than you think. There are many water softeners out there, and some of them can be quite effective at treating the water coming into your home in order to remove the minerals that make the water hard. However, there are plenty of distinct differences between the various products on the market as well, so you should take a closer look at your options before you commit to one system over another.

The first thing you need to know when you start looking at water softeners is how hard your water actually is. If your water is very hard, you will need a heavy duty water softener. But if there are only moderate amounts of calcium and magnesium in your water, you may be able to opt for a less powerful model.

You should also be aware of how much water you go through on a daily basis. You want to get a water softener big enough to handle the demands of your household, and you will not be able to do that if you do not know how much water you typically use.

Another difference between the various water softener models on the market today is the type of regeneration cycle they employ. You can opt for a timer regenerated water softener that will complete the regeneration cycle as often as you set it to. These models tend to be cheaper initially, but they can also cost more to operate and maintain in the long run because they will regenerate when the time comes whether it is actually necessary or not.

There are also meter regenerated water softeners that only go through a regeneration cycle once a certain volume of water has passed through them. These water softeners are specifically calibrated to the amount of calcium and magnesium you have in your water so they only go through a regeneration cycle when it is absolutely necessary.

One concern that many people have about using water softeners is that the most common types use sodium as a regeneration agent. That means that they exchange sodium for the calcium and magnesium in the water. If you need to limit your sodium intake, you may not want to be adding even this small amount to your water. In that case, you can purchase a water softener that uses potassium rather than sodium which can be just as effective at removing other minerals.

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Ice in Central Air Conditioning: Why Is This a Problem?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

If your air conditioner does not seem to be working as well as it should, your natural first reaction is to go out and take a look at the compressor to see if there is anything you can do quickly to correct the problem. Of course, you cannot assess the situation unless you know what you are looking for. For instance, if you see ice forming on the condenser coil or anywhere else on the air conditioning system, you will know you found the likely source of the problem.

Ice can form in your air conditioner for a number of reasons. The most common one is that your refrigerant levels are low. Since this refrigerant is contained in a closed system, a deficiency in refrigerant means that there must be a leak somewhere in that system. Only a certified professional can refill your refrigerant and determine where the leaks are in the system to make the necessary repairs.

Another reason that ice can develop in your air conditioner is because the air is not flowing fast enough through the system and across the coils. This can happen because of a problem with the fan or because there is an actual physical impediment to the air flow. Regardless of the reason, the ice will form because without adequate air flow the condenser coils will get too cold.

These coils are typically kept just above freezing by the constant flow of air across them. When the air passes by them at this temperature, the moisture from the air condenses on the surface of the coil. But because the coil is not quite freezing, the water then runs down into a collection pan. When the coil is too cold, however, the moisture from the air will freeze on the coil before it can run off.

This ice actually manages to insulate the coil and keeps it from properly cooling the air or removing any additional moisture. If left unattended, the ice in your central air conditioning system can cause real damage to the unit. Plus, it is not allowing the air conditioner to do its job and cool your house down. So if you notice any amount of ice at all beginning to form on any part of your air conditioner, be sure to call for professional service right away.

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How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Friday, April 1st, 2011

When we think of air pollution we often think of outdoor “smog”, but the air in your home or office may also be polluted, even if it looks clean. Sources of indoor pollution include

  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Household cleaners
  • Household décor and furnishings (like rugs and paint)
  • Household pesticides (like rodent or ant-killers, or plant sprays)
  • Radon
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Building materials (like asbestos and lead)

Indoor air quality is of particular concern in newer, better-insulated homes, or in older homes that have been recently weatherized. The “tightness” of modern houses means that any pollutants that get into the home stay there – and perhaps even increase in concentration over time if the source of the pollution is inside the house.

Indoor air quality problems can cause discomfort and even serious disease, especially in children. The good news, though, is that there are many effective ways to improve indoor air quality.

There are three basic strategies for improving indoor air quality:

  • Air purification. Air cleaners range from small tabletop models to full-house models that are part of the central heating and cooling system. Small air purifiers are typically not very useful, but central air filters can be very effective at removing airborne contaminants. If your heating and cooling system does not include central air filtration, you should consider an upgrade to a new system.

    It is important to note that air purification will not remove gases like carbon monoxide or radon from your home. Gas pollution must be remedied by professionals.

  • Ventilation. Many forced-air heating and cooling systems do not bring outdoor air into the home. Kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and attic ventilation fans (when weather permits) can be very important in promoting the circulation of air. Also, opening windows is very important, especially when doing short-term activities such as painting that increase the number of pollutants in the air.

    You should also consider upgrading to one of the newer central heating and cooling systems that bring outdoor air into the home.

  • Source control. This is the most important indoor air quality strategy, and in many cases, the simplest one. Source control is definitely the most cost-effective strategy for improving indoor air quality, because purification and ventilation both require a constant use of energy.

    Switch to all-natural household cleaners, buy household furnishings made of natural fibers (instead of synthetic fibers that can “off-gas” volatile organic compounds). When painting, use VOC-free paint. Quit smoking, if you haven’t already.

    In some cases, source control must be done by a certified contractor. Asbestos should be sealed or enclosed (asbestos is not a hazard unless it is disturbed, at which point it can release a dangerous dust). Radon gas should be mitigated whenever possible by sealing cracks in the foundation where the gas enters, or by filtering the water supply if water is the source. Gas stoves can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. Lead paint can be scraped off or covered with modern, lead-free paint (this is not a DIY job and requires EPA training).

    And, don’t forget to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home, ideally next to the sleeping areas.

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Is Geothermal Energy Renewable?

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Geothermal heating systems take heat from the ground and transfer it to your home. But how does this heat get into the ground in the first place? Conventional heating systems like furnaces use energy sources like oil or natural gas to generate heat. These energy sources are not renewable, and neither is electricity which is typically generated by burning coal or another non-renewable resource.

The renewable resources we usually think of first are solar and wind power. The sun, of course, will continue to shine and provide heat year in and year out whether we make use of it or not. Similarly, we cannot use up the wind. It will continue to blow no matter how many times it has blown before.

But what category does geothermal energy fit into exactly? Well, it is actually a renewable resource just like solar or wind energy. In fact, geothermal energy is a direct result of the sun’s heat relentlessly pounding the ground. The ground actually absorbs a considerable amount of the heat from the sun that reaches the earth every day, and that is the heat that your geothermal heating system is using to heat your home.

Of course, a geothermal heating system cannot run on geothermal energy alone. The indoor components of this heating system that keep the air flowing throughout your house must be powered by electricity. But the amount of energy needed to do this is much less than what you would need to use to run a furnace or other type of more conventional home heating system.

Over all, geothermal energy is an excellent and renewable source of energy. And once you have the heating system in place, you will need to spend very little to keep it up and running. It is an excellent option for many people, and can help to keep your home cool in the summer as well.

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