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

Why Replace Your Heating System in the Spring

Monday, March 18th, 2013

While most homeowners are considering cleaning out the garage or arranging their patio furniture when spring comes around, many are quick to forget about their heating system. That’s too bad, because the off-season is an opportune time for replacing your heating system, without incurring any unpleasant downtime without heating. There is a host of heating options on the market today, and if your heating system is over 10 years old, or requires frequent repairs, it’s probably an ideal time to invest in the future of the home, rather than its past. When you’re ready to replace your Blue Bell, PA heating system, count on  Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for exceptional heating installation. Call us today!

Here are some things to consider for heating replacement this spring:

  • Energy-efficiency. Technological advances have made the heating efficiency of heaters over 10 years old obsolete. Today’s gas furnaces can reach AFUE ratings of up to 97%. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency measures the amount of heating output against the energy input. This means less waste and increased energy savings. Often, upgrading to a new system will pay for itself in a few years, depending on your heating needs.
  • Prevent heating downtime. If your heater is on its last legs and you’re weighing your options, consider this: do you really want to keep paying to keep that old furnace alive, when you could save money in the long-term by investing in a new heater? Moreover, delaying the inevitable may catch up to you during the coldest months. Spring is a great time to upgrade because you can avoid heating downtime when you really need it.
  • Switch to natural gas. Not only can upgrading save you energy and hassle, making the switch to natural gas from oil also has its benefits. Natural gas is eco-friendly, highly efficient, and available without the associated costs of foreign importation. Gas is known to burn cleaner than oil, with less energy going to waste.

As you tidy up your attic or perform various spring cleaning duties, think about upgrading that old heater in the basement. Doing so can help you save money. For heater replacement in Blue Bell, PA, call Carney Plumbing Heating Cooling today! 

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Geothermal Guide: Geothermal Environmental Benefits

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Whatever your reasoning for wanting to heat and cool your home more efficiently, Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help. We know that rising fuel costs can make keeping your home comfortable throughout the year a burden on your budget. We also understand that many homeowners are concerned with the environmental impact that doing so has. Whether you are looking to lower your carbon footprint or simply scale back your energy bills, a geothermal heating and cooling system installation in New Hope, PA can help. Contact us today to learn more about the many benefits you can enjoy with a geothermal installation.

While traditional heating and air conditioning systems must consume a fuel in order to create the energy needed to heat and cool your home, a geothermal heating and cooling system does not. Geothermal systems utilize a heat pump in order to keep you comfortable throughout your year. Their great efficiency levels are a result of the heat transfer process that they employ.

Rather than burning fuel to condition air, heat pumps and geothermal systems transfer existing heat into or out of your home. This process requires just a small amount of electricity to heat and cool your home. By transferring heat into your home in the winter and back out in the summer you can keep comfortable in a more environmentally friendly way.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are often even more efficient than other heat pump options, such as air-source heat pumps. Whereas these heat pumps draw energy from the air around them, geothermal systems take it from beneath the ground or under water on your property. The temperature at these depths is much more constant than in the air, meaning that even less energy is required to make use of it. Save money and make your home a little greener with a geothermal installation in New Hope, PA.

There are many factors that will affect the success of your geothermal heating and cooling system. Make sure that you call the geothermal experts at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to handle your service. We can help you scale back your energy costs while making your New Hope, PA home more efficient and eco-friendly than ever before. Contact us today for more information.

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What Are Energy Recovery Ventilators?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

When the heating and cooling months are upon us, many homeowners find themselves in a conundrum. They want to seal up their home to keep the heated and cooled air inside, but this lack of ventilation can cause serious issues with the indoor air quality in their homes. Thankfully, technology has provided a way for homeowners to make the most efficient use of the energy while also enjoying the fresh, pure air that is only possible with proper ventilation. If you live in the Harleysville area and are interested in learning more about how you too can get the best of both worlds, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today. We have all the information and services you need to take advantage of an energy recovery ventilator in your home.

Energy recovery ventilators are installed directly into your heating and air conditioning systems. The innovative devices make it possible for you to adequately ventilate your home without losing the energy efficiency you get with a well-sealed home envelope. A heat exchanger within the ventilator makes it possible to transfer energy from the air being vented out into the air coming in, and vice versa depending on the weather. When it is hot outside the heat is vented out and cool air is kept inside, while in the winter the heat is retained even when air is being ventilated outside.

Energy recovery ventilators are a great way to improve comfort and air quality in your home. They are also an inventive way to cut down on energy costs. By using the energy you pay for more completely less of that energy will have to be used, and less will have to be replaced due to energy loss. For more information about energy recovery ventilators or to schedule an installation in Harleysville, contact Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today. We have everything you need to start living more comfortably and efficiently.

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Why Use a Whole House Humidifier This Winter?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Winter is a great time of year, provided that you have prepared your home to ensure your comfort throughout the season. Obviously an effective heating system is a great benefit to your home during the winter season, but heating your home can also lead to excessively dry air. If the air in your home is too dry comfort levels can plummet quickly. A whole-house humidifier allows you to heat your home while retaining moisture in the air for total comfort. Here is some more information about the operation of whole-house humidifiers, as well as some indicators that you may need one in your home. If you have any further questions about whole-house humidifiers call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

A lack of humidity in the air in your home can cause a lot of problems, ranging from minor annoyances to actual physical damage. Static electricity thrives in environments lacking humidity. Static shocks are a minor problem for people, but they can actually damage expensive electronic equipment. Excessively dry air can also cause your sinuses to dry out, leading to sore throats and bloody noses. Allergy and asthma symptoms can be aggravated. Because many viruses thrive in environments with low humidity colds and sickness can increase. All of these problems can be alleviated with a whole-house humidifier.

Low humidity levels can also negatively affect your home. Wallpaper can loosen and peel away from the walls, drywall may crack and wood paneling can develop gaps between the seams and even crack. Dry air can also damage wooden furniture and fixtures in your home, loosening joints and compromising the wood.

A whole-house humidifier is the best way to avoid these problems in your home. Portable humidifiers are fine for one room, but a whole-house humidifier is preferable as it restores proper humidity levels throughout your entire house. They are installed directly into your central heating and cooling system, and the humidity is dispersed throughout your existing ductwork along with conditioned air. A distribution tray of water adds just the right amount of humidity to the air being circulated throughout your home. Of course, too much humidity is also a problem that can reduce indoor air quality and overall comfort. This is another reason to opt for a whole-house humidifier. A portable unit is simply turned on and left alone. A whole-house humidifier offers you much more control over the amount of humidity that is introduced to the air in your home, removing the danger of excess moisture in the air.

If you have any more questions about how a whole-house humidifier can benefit your home, call the humidity experts at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for answers. We have the expertise and training necessary to provide you with all the information necessary to decide if a whole-house humidifier is right for you. Call today to schedule a whole-house humidifier installation from our professional team. 

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Indoor Air Quality Tip: Air Filters and Mold

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Among the potential problems that can plague Souderton homeowners, mold is particularly frustrating. It is persistent, the spores are tiny and easily spread and it can be hazardous to your health.

Preventing a mold problem involves properly ventilating moist areas, such as bathrooms, to prevent mold from thriving in the moisture. It also means spotting and eradicating any patches of mold that do manage to take hold. Perhaps most importantly, it also means keeping mold out of the air in your home.

Mold particles and spores can readily break off from a mold colony can get into the air. Eventually, they can be drawn up into your HVAC system and redistributed throughout your house. Once airborne, they can settle elsewhere to start new mold growth or wind up in your lungs, potentially causing respiratory problems.

Simply put, having mold in your home is a health risk, so you want to keep it under control as much as possible. The best way to keep out of the air is with an air filter.

The good news is that most mold spores are rather large (relatively speaking), so a HEPA air filter installed in your air handler can remove them from the air pretty easily. They are often 3 microns in size or smaller, so a filter with a MERV rating of 8 should do fine, although some spores can reportedly be as small as 1.5 microns. If you want to be very vigilant, or if anyone is your home has a particularly sensitive respiratory system, you can get a filter with a higher MERV rating of 12 or so.

Also, UV germicidal lights can be a good addition to your HVAC system. These lights emit UV radiation that is safe for humans to be around, but kills many microorganisms, including mold spores. They also kill bacteria and other pathogens that can cause disease.

In addition to proper ventilation, a quality filtration system can effectively eliminate the health risks to your family caused by mold. For information of the benefits of an indoor air quality system in your Souderton home, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call!

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The Hardest HVAC Maintenance: Some Pointers from Sellersville

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Do you hate to work on your own mechanical equipment in your Sellersville home, like furnaces and plumbing fixtures? You aren’t alone. Many people are not cut out to be do-it-yourselfers (DIYers). They prefer to hand off their maintenance and repair chores to qualified professional. That’s not a bad thing. But there are lots of DIYers who prefer to work on their own home repairs – and those are the people who aren’t afraid to take on the most challenging jobs.

If you are looking for good ideas on how to maintain your home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) system beyond the normal filter changeouts, here are some good things to check – things that will help with the overall performance of your HVAC system.

  1. Check the ventilation system. The ventilation carries conditioned air from a main source throughout your home.  It takes a little time and effort to check your ventilation system for things like cracks or leaks around joints, but it is an important maintenance task. You may even find separations between joints or holes caused by nails. A leaky ventilation system could be sending conditioned air into attics, walls, or crawlspaces and making your furnace work extra hard just to keep your living areas warm and comfortable. Take time to visually inspect as much of your ventilation system as possible – usually metal or flex duct – and repair using joint glue, metal filler, or duct tape.
  2. Inspect the insulation. Your heating system works in conjunction with the insulation in your home to provide comfort and warmth while saving you on high utility bills. A home that is poorly insulated or not insulated at all will cause a furnace to work harder and not only send utility bills higher, but increase the possibility of mechanical failure. Replacing or adding insulation in walls and crawlspaces is a relatively easy, yet time-consuming task. You can roll down or tack up fiber insulation or blow in insulation into walls. You can also seal up cracks on your home’s walls, roof, or foundation with a number of different products. Once again, your goal is to make your heating system work less and save you money.
  3. Check the visible components of the furnace. A build-up of dust and dirt can make the moving components of your furnace work even harder, such as the motors, fan belts, contactors, etc. If you live in an area where there is lots of dust and humidity or if your home has several occupants and/or animals, it is particularly important to check your system on a regular basis. This can be done by removing the access panels and taking a vacuum cleaner hose into as many areas as possible. A good, thorough vacuuming should produce immediate results and make your furnace run much more efficiently.

Try these three steps and you may not have to repeat them for another year or so – possibly not ever again while you live in your home.

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Poor Heating Performance with Your Boiler: Possible Causes and Solutions

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a mechanical engineer to troubleshoot – and possibly diagnose – the problems with your boiler when its heating performance is erratic or non-existent in your Doylestown home.

The good thing about boilers is that they are typically reliable and long-lasting. There aren’t a lot of working parts that can break down and cause problems, compared to other home heating equipment. When problems do arise, they are usually related to the expansion tank or circulating pumps. But a problem can be much simpler – like a tripped circuit breaker.

The most common problems can be noise, no heat, or poor/erratic heating. Before calling a qualified heating and cooling professional, take a moment to see if you can figure out the what’s wrong.

If you have a noisy boiler it might be because of two things – a faulty circulating pump or water trapped in the return lines. If the pump breaks it will make a loud noise when its motor runs. Water can be trapped in the return lines, which may require “re-pitching” the lines to allow for a flow back to the boiler. You may be able to adjust the flow by positioning hangers on the piping but replacing a pump is better left to a professional.

If your boiler is producing no heat, it could be because of something as simple as a circuit breaker being tripped or a fuse being blown. Check your circuit breakers and fuse and reset or replace if necessary. Is your boiler thermostat in the heat mode? It should be but if it isn’t, make the switch. If your boiler has a standing pilot you should check to see if it is lit and if not, re-light it.

Other problems would take a professional to fix. For example, no heat can be traced to low water levels in the boiler. The boiler should always be half-full of water and if it isn’t, it is likely because of leaks or a faulty pressure reducing valve. Don’t try and fix the problem by yourself.

Low water levels may not cause the boiler to lose its heating capabilities, but may cause fluctuations in its heating capacity. Again, it is advisable to call a professional to diagnose and fix the problem. Poor heating can also be traced to mineral deposits in the boiler. Consult your owner’s manual on instructions how to flush out the boiler.

As always, read the owner guide or operating manual for your boiler. You should get some good tips on proper maintenance and troubleshooting. And have the phone number of a qualified professional taped to your boiler – just in case.

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How to Fix a Slow Drain: A Tip From Warminster

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Ever fill up a bathroom bowl or kitchen sink in your Warminster home with water and then wait forever for the water to drain? A clogged drain can take forever to free up and is often the source of frustration and a loss of precious time as you get ready for work or play.

The solutions to fixing a slow drain can be very simple or complex, requiring a little patience or expertise to a major service or repair bill. Let’s hope the solution is the former and not the latter. And here are some suggestions.

If your bathroom sink is draining slowly, remove the stopper and inspect it for any “cling-ons” – namely hair. One of the most common clogs can be hair wrapped around the shaft of the stopper. Remove the hair, replace the stopper, run some hot water and check to see how quickly the water drains down. If that simple fix doesn’t work, dig a little deeper.

Hair can be tangled in the flange or the horizontal rod and clip, further down the pipe. You may need to dig out the hair or debris with a long object like a screwdriver or wire hanger. Don’t bring out the “big guns” like a snake or auger if something simpler will do the trick.

Once the debris is cleared, you may even want to use a small hand plunger to force air down the pipe and remove any other residual debris that may be slowing down the water flow. These steps should clear up the problem. A liquid or granulated drainer cleaner may also break up the clog. Running hot water can do the trick, too.

If these solutions don’t work, a slow drain could be the result of a more serious problem. At that point you may want to use a snake on the problem or call a professional plumber to fix it.

If your kitchen sink drains slowly, the problem could be a build-up of food or grease in the pipes. Once again, using a plunger or chemical drain cleaner may solve the problem. But don’t discount the fact that something may be blocking the pipes, like a piece of bone or a child’s small toy (if you have a mischievous toddler). A visual check of the problem might be the simple solution to the slow drain “mystery.”

If you are at your wit’s end and the water drainage continues to be a problem, call a professional plumber. They may even be able to walk you through a cleaning process over the phone.

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Steps to Take When Your HVAC System Breaks Down in Jamison

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Imagine this – it’s a sweltering summer day in Jamison. The humidity outside is obscene, hitting you like a wall when you open the door. So, the only place you want to be is on the couch with the cool air conditioned air being blown across your face. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Now, imagine what happens when that cool conditioned air stops flowing.

A breakdown in your HVAC system is the absolute last thing you want to experience on a day where the mercury dings 90+ but it can happen, and the only way to ensure things don’t get out of hand is to take the following steps.

  1. Check Common Problems –While the system itself could be broken, make sure there are no other issues involved. Frequently, the electricity supply can be interrupted by a power surge or a tripped breaker. In both cases, you can usually get the system back online by yourself. However, you should call an electrician to inspect it as soon as possible.
  2. Does it Turn On – If the air conditioning system turns on and simply doesn’t provide enough cooling for your home, it is likely a problem in the unit. In this case, check other common problems. Clogged filters can severely reduce efficiency and if the system freezes over, it may stop providing enough cooling.
  3. Still Not Working? – If the system refuses to turn on and there are not clear problems that you can fix yourself, it’s time to call a professional. A professional HVAC contractor should be available almost any day of the week for emergency calls like this. Of course, in the middle of a heat wave or cold snap, it’s very likely that they may be booked up for a couple days. To avoid this happening, have routine maintenance done as often as recommended to avoid the possibility of being without cooling or heating indefinitely.

A good HVAC system is the only thing standing between you and discomfort, or worse, danger to your health. Don’t let the system go into such disrepair that you can’t use it at all.

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Save Money in the Long Haul with AC Maintenance

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Every year, it’s recommended that you have an HVAC contractor visit your Blue Bell home and tune up your air conditioner. This visit will ensure the system is ready for the intense, regular use it will receive during the hottest months of the year. How much money can this visit save you, though? Let’s take a closer look.

Cost of Operating Your Air Conditioning

An air conditioning system on average costs a homeowner between $500 and $1500 per year to operate depending on the length of the cooling season and the efficiency of that air conditioner. That number represents top efficiency for the unit, however. When a system has dirty filters, hasn’t been cleaned properly or the thermostat is no longer calibrated accurately, the cost increases – sometimes dramatically.

Just how much more could you be spending on cooling each month when this happens? The EPA’s Energy Star website estimates an increase in cost of between 10-30% resulting from poorly maintained systems, and it can be even higher if your system is old and is severely affected by a drop in energy efficiency.

Annual Tune Up Necessities

So, what should be at the top of your tune up list? If you call a contractor, they will perform a variety of tasks including:

  • Inspect Coolant and Pressure Systems
  • Calibrate the Thermostat
  • Tighten Wiring, Capacitors, Relays and Contacts
  • Clean the Evaporator Coil
  • Clear and Clean the Condenser and Condensate Drain
  • Inspect the Condenser Fan and Motor
  • Check Compressor Efficiency

This is just a starter list for standard tune up of a central air conditioning unit. You can supplement this tune up by checking your filters once every 30 days and clearing away debris from around any outdoor units. You should also check your thermostat monthly to ensure it is working properly. If not, call for an inspection to avoid heavy increases in operating costs.

Major repairs to your air conditioning system generally take less than a day and when you’re on an annual maintenance plan, they cost significantly less than if you needed someone to fix the device in an emergency situation.

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