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

How Does a Submersible Well Pump Compare to Other Options?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Many homeowners get their water from their municipality, as water flows from a water main and into the supply lines that lead to the home. But according to the EPA, about 15% of people in the United States rely on private water wells instead. A lot of these homeowners are proud of their wells, as they don’t have to pay for an extra utility and they can control the water quality, never worrying about any chemicals added to the water without the homeowner’s consent.

When you choose a new pump for your water well, you generally have two major options, a submersible pump or a jet pump. Let’s take a look at why about 60% of homeowners rely on a submersible pump to deliver water to the home and provide adequate water pressure.

Submersible and Jet Pumps: How They Work

The majority of well users in the United States have a submersible pump. With this type of unit, the pump and the motor are installed several feet below the well to ensure water is always available. The motor operates a set of impellers, which push water out of the well and into the pipes. A jet pump, however, is not submerged in the well, though the equipment is located nearby, usually in a basement. These instead use pressure to create a vacuum that brings well water to the surface.

Advantages to Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps are the most common types used for residential wells today, likely because they offer a key advantage. Submersible pumps tend to need fewer repairs because there is a low risk of pump cavitation, which occurs when sudden pressure changes (caused by the jet pump which pulls water in instead of pushing it to the surface) create a void in the pipes. Submersible pumps are also popular because they use less electricity than jet pumps.

The type of pump installed for your well will depend on your climate, elevation, and the size of your well, so it may be the case that a jet pump is actually better for your home.

Call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling to learn more about how professionals install both jet pumps and submersible well pumps in Warrington.

Continue Reading

Upgrades to Think About When Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Monday, July 7th, 2014

When your AC in Warrington starts to fail, it’s probably time to consider air conditioning replacement. While selecting a new system may seem like an overwhelming task, you may be able to upgrade your new system for increased efficiency and comfort. New AC installation can be a positive experience when you upgrade to a high-efficiency system or invest in zone control.

High-Efficiency Systems

If you’ve had your AC for a long time, you have probably seen your seasonal energy bills increase over time. Luckily, new AC systems are generally far more efficient than they once were. When you purchase your new AC system, consider upgrading to a high-efficiency system that will save you more every month.

Look for a system with a high SEER rating or with the ENERGY STAR label. The SEER rating, which is given to all air conditioners, is a measure of an air conditioner’s Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. All air conditioners sold in the U.S. are required to have a SEER rating of at least 13. A system with a higher SEER may cost more initially but will probably save you more every month on your energy bills. Systems with the ENERGY STAR label must have a SEER of 14 or higher.

Zone Control

Another upgrade to consider when replacing your AC unit is zone control. Zone control can be added to any existing system, but replacing your air conditioner gives you the opportunity to consider whether it will be useful in your home. Zone control allows you to adjust the temperature in specific rooms or areas of your home with separate thermostats in each zone. An AC technician will install dampers in the ductwork of your home that open and close to control the temperature in each room. You should consider this upgrade if you have a large home and often experience varied temperatures throughout the house, or if your family members each have different temperature needs.

Replacing your air conditioner can be a positive experience when you upgrade to a system with higher efficiency or add zone control.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling offers these upgrades and more for your Warrington air conditioning replacement. Contact us today to set up an appointment. 

Continue Reading

Using Your Air Conditioning System Efficiently

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

One of the most frequently asked questions we get during the hot summer months concerns how to use your air conditioning in Lansdale, PA more efficiently. While we cannot control the seemingly ever-rising costs of energy, we can control how we use that energy to keep our homes cool, crisp, and refreshing. And that’s what today’s post will be about. There is a great variety of ways you can use your AC efficiently, and we’ll only be able to touch on the topic only briefly today. If you’re in need of professional air conditioning services in Lansdale, PA, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the friendly technicians at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

  • Clean and replace your air filter on a regular basis: We can’t emphasize this simple task enough. Too many perfectly good ACs are ruined every year because of homeowner neglect. While you rely on the professional skills of your technician for the majority of maintenance duties, cleaning and replacing your air filter is one of the few things you can do, and it’s critical to the longevity of your AC as well as to the energy efficiency with which it operates. A dirty or clogged air filter can neither prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on sensitive mechanical components nor allow cool air to pass uninhibited.
  • Enroll in a preventive maintenance program: Prevention is incredibly important as a way to stave off unnecessary repairs and premature replacement. Routine professional maintenance includes comprehensive inspection to recognize problems before they start, cleaning to ensure that your system operates well, and adjustments to ensure that it’s operating efficiently and safely.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: If you have a manual thermostat, you’re missing out on the benefits of a digital programmable model. It allows you to boost energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort when you create a schedule of cooling that works around your lifestyle. Automatic, gradual cooling also cuts down on drastic manual changes that can cause wasteful energy consumption.

If you’re looking for more ways to make your air conditioning in Lansdale, PA more energy efficient, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

 

Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Furnace Keeps Turning On and Off: Warrington Heating Tip

Monday, November 12th, 2012

If the Warrington home’s furnace turns on and then a short time later shuts off, this is known as short cycling. Not only is short cycling hard on your equipment, but it also greatly reduces the efficiency of your furnace. Below, we describe what you should do if your furnace is short cycling.

Causes of Short Cycling

There are a number of reasons that your furnace might be short cycling. Here are just a few of them:

  • Furnace is too big – In this case, your furnace will heat your home very quickly and then shut off. As your home cools again, the furnace will turn on and heat up your home once again. Having a properly sized furnace is critical to your home’s comfort and efficiency.
  • Clogged air filter – This is by far the most common cause of short cycling. When your air filter clogs, it restricts air from getting into your furnace. As your furnace heats up the heat exchanger, air is supposed to blow over the exchanger to carry the heat into your home. Without that air flow, your furnace will overheat and shut off.
  • Thermostat – Sometimes, the cause of short cycling is a malfunctioning thermostat. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, it could be turning the furnace on and off mistakenly.

Why Short Cycling is a Problem

  • More wear on your furnace – With all the constant turning on and off, it puts extra strain on your furnace. This increases the rate of wear and can also potentially increase repair costs.
  • Reduced efficiency – With the furnace turning on and off, it doesn’t get the chance to realize any kind of efficiency that comes from running for an extended period of time.

What To Do If Your Furnace Is Short Cycling

The first thing you should do is check your air filter. If it’s dirty, you should change it out immediately. Not only can a clogged air filter cause short cycling, but it can also be the cause of other serious issues with your furnace.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, then you will most likely have to call a heating contractor. Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers complete furnaces services in Warrington. If your furnace is short cycling we can come to your home, diagnose the problem and offer a solution.

Continue Reading

How and Why to Recaulk Plumbing Fixtures

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

You probably don’t pay much attention to the caulking around your New Hope plumbing. It is one of those things that is always there, working kind of behind the scenes, that you never seem to notice until something goes wrong.

The think about caulking, though, is that something can go wrong with it rather quickly. Because of the high frequency of use of tubs and sinks, the caulk that seals the space between the fixture and the wall can deteriorate and crack over time. This can cause gaps in the caulk or cause the fixture to come loose from the wall.

When this cracking and erosion happens, water from your bath, shower head or faucet can seep in between the fixture and the wall, potentially causing water damage and fostering colonies of mildew and mold.

Cracked caulk is inevitable with daily use, so you don’t need to worry about preventing it. Instead, learn how to properly fix the situation with a fresh caulk job:

  1. Scrape away all the old caulk from around the fixture using a utility knife or putty knife. Take care to remove all the old caulk while also avoiding scratching porcelain fixtures.
  1. With all the caulk gone, clean out the joint thoroughly. This will remove any last traces of caulk, as well as any other dirt or buildup. If you notice mildew or mold, use a chlorine bleach solution to clean the joint before recaulking.
  1. Once the joint is dry, recaulk it using a bead of caulk that is just slightly wider than the joint. This ensures an adequate seal. Wipe any excess away with a rag.
  1. Allow the caulk to dry thoroughly before using the sink or tub. Read the instructions on the caulk for an estimated drying time.

Take note that it is very important to thoroughly remove all the old caulk and clean everywhere along the fixture joint before applying the new caulk. Otherwise, the new caulk will not adhere properly and potentially damaging dirt may get sealed into the joint.

If you followed all the steps carefully, you should have a fresh seal of caulk that will last you another several years! If you need any help with your plumbing fixtures, give Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

HVAC Guide: Seasonal Air Quality Control

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

For people who suffer from seasonal allergies in Lansdale, air quality is a key concern. Allergens in the air cause brutal bouts of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and even sinus headaches. Even taking refuge indoors will often not assuage these symptoms, as indoor air is often comparable to outdoor air in terms of allergens and overall quality.

That is, unless you take care to control the seasonal air quality in your home, which can not only help ease the suffering of allergies, but also soothe asthmatics, keep out pollutants and generally promote better overall health.

How do you go about controlling the air quality in your home? To start, try these simple tips:

  1. Vacuum carpets regularly. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and invest in some allergen suppressing bags.
  2. Keep your vents clean. This is also a good maintenance practice to lengthen the life of your ventilation equipment.
  3. Dust hard surfaces and wash bed linens weekly.
  4. Install HEPA filters in your ventilation system, such as in air conditioners or other air handler units. Use a higher rated filter to keep out more allergens and pollutants.
  5. Invest in and use an air purifier. Again, make sure to get one with a HEPA filter.
  6. Have your home tested for radon and carbon monoxide. Have smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors working properly at all times.
  7. Use a humidifier to keep overly dry air from irritating sinus passages.
  8. Keep doors and windows closed tight, especially during allergy season(s).

By taking charge of the air quality in your home, you also take control of a measure of your family’s health. Some of these measures require at least a bit of an investment – for example, higher rated HEPA air filters are often more expensive and need to be changed more frequently – but the benefits to your well being and that of your family are clearly well worth it. For more information about having an indoor air quality system installed in your Lansdale home, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

Newtown Furnace Repair Service: Flame Sensor

Monday, February 6th, 2012

A flame sensor is a very small and specific component of a furnace, but when it is malfunctioning, it can completely shut down the operation of your Newtown home’s furnace. To start with, let’s summarize how a flame sensor works.

The flame sensor is a rod that sits directly in the path of one of the burners in your furnace. When the burner is on, the flame passes by the tip of the flame sensor, heating it up. If the furnace is on but the flame sensor is not hot, the furnace automatically switches off to avoid a continuous gas leak. So, the flame sensor is a safety measure.

Sometimes, though, the furnace can be operating just fine, and the burners are firing perfectly, the flame sensor still sends the signal that there is no flame and shuts down the furnace. This is obviously a problem.

Often, this is just a symptom of build-up on the flame sensor that is insulating it and preventing it from heating properly. We strongly recommend that you call a professional to repair it; here are the steps that they will follow:

  • Locate the flame sensor on the furnace. It is a thin metal rod that extends through a bracket and into the path of the flame as it is expelled from one of the burners.
  • Turn off the power to the furnace.
  • Loosen the bracket holding the flame sensor in place and gently withdraw it.
  • Using fine grit sandpaper or emery cloth, gently rub away any combustion build-up that has accumulated on the end of the flame sensor.
  • Making sure all the build-up has been removed, replace the flame sensor in the bracket. Turn the furnace back on to test it.

If all went well, the furnace should remain on now, until the desired heating temperature is reached.  Most often, the problem is as simple as giving the flame sensor a good cleaning up. Since you are dealing with quite delicate equipment, you can understand why it is so important to call in a professional if suspect a problem with your flame sensor.

Continue Reading

How Tightly Should You Seal Your Home?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

More and more products and solutions are available to us these days to help seal our Warrington homes off from the outside world. The idea is that by keeping outside air out, our homes are more energy efficient and healthier, because all pollutants and pathogens are barred from entry.

This is a good idea in theory, but it can have its drawbacks. Most notably, sealing your home up too much can be bad for your family’s health. If your home is sealed too tightly such that there is not enough air flow from within the home to the outside and vice versa, then the indoor air just…stays indoors.

That means that all the sneezes, coughs, dust, dander, smoke and carbon dioxide stay inside with it. All that stuff can make you sick, completely flying in the face of your efforts to stay healthy by sealing your home.

Now, that’s not to say that sealing your home is a bad thing. Using LEED glass in your windows does keep heat in and increase heating efficiency. Air filters do help eliminate pollutants and pathogens from the outside than can make you sick. Good insulation and intact ductwork do help keep your home comfortable and efficient in both the cold and hot months.

So, sealing your home is not a bad idea. The trick is to not go overboard and seal it up so tightly that you are crossing the threshold from having a healthy home to having a giant Petri dish. You want to have a home that is insulated, but not vacuum sealed. You want a home with filtered air, but still plenty of air exchange with the outside world.Thankfully, mechanical ventilation is a way to both keep your home energy efficient and keep your indoor air from getting stale.

To help you with this endeavor, there are guides available online, such as at the ENERGY STAR website. In addition, it is a good idea to consult with a professional and ask plenty of questions when building a new home or making improvements to your current one. A qualified technician will know how to insulate and ventilate your home properly to protect your family’s health.

Continue Reading

What Is the Best Temperature to Heat My Home?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Saving on energy costs is important for every Gwynedd Valley homeowner, but it’s not always clear what the average temperature would need to be in order to lower your heating bills. Generally, it’s best not to turn your thermostat above 68°F when you are at home, and to turn it down ten to fifteen degrees when you leave the house or while you’re sleeping. This can save up to 15% on your heating bills, but keep in mind that this percentage is greater in milder climates than colder climates.

Remembering to turn down the heat when you don’t need it is the biggest challenge when trying to save heat. One of the easiest ways to do this is to install a programmable thermostat that allows you to set the times you want the heat turned up or down. This will ensure that you are consistent with turning your heat down, and you can set it to turn on before you get up in the morning so that the house is already warm when you get out of bed. Depending on the brand and setting options, programmable thermostats are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

One common misunderstanding about thermostats is that it takes more energy for the heating system to warm up the house after the thermostat has been turned down for an extended period of time. The belief is that the energy saved by not producing heat is cancelled out by the work it takes to heat up the home again.  This is not the case, however, since the lower the temperature is inside your home, the longer it takes to lose heat. You will actually save more energy the longer the thermostat is set at a lower temperature. Conversely, the same theory applies to the cost of cooling your home in the summer, since higher interior temperatures slow down the flow of heat into the home.

Overall, if you want to save on heating costs, you should keep your home below 70°F as much as possible, and turn down the thermostat about fifteen degrees when you don’t need the heat. Closing off the doors and vents to unused rooms will also save energy, and you can put on extra clothing to help remind you to turn down the heat a few degrees while you are home. You don’t have to spend a fortune to heat your Gwynedd Valley home if you are consistent with your thermostat settings.

Continue Reading

A Tip from a HVAC Contractor: How Warm is Furnace Heated Air?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

When your furnace turns on every day and warms your Warrington home, just how hot is the air being blown through your vents? It’s a common question and while it varies depending on the type of furnace you have and the length of your ductwork, normally, the air is about the same temperature in most homes.

The Heating Process

When you turn on your furnace, it ignites fuel (gas or oil) or heats elements (electricity). A blower fan blows air through the heat exchanger and then into ductwork that distributes the heated air to vents around your home. When the combustion occurs and air is first heated, the temperature is between 140 degrees F and 170 degrees F.

This is extremely warm and could be dangerous to anyone if they got too close to it or it was blown directly into your home. However, as the heated air is distributed into your home it starts to cool. In some cases, it loses a significant amount of its energy in the ductwork.

This is intended, of course, because the temperature would be much too high if it was distributed directly to your rooms. That’s why high velocity ductwork often requires regulation to avoid overheating of the air. Cooling like this is normal and results in a better, more evenly distributed airflow.

When Something’s Wrong

To know something is wrong with your heating system, you must first understand what temperature air normally is when distributed through the vents. This will vary depending on which room you are in and how big your home (and furnace) are. However, if you notice a sharp drop off in comfort level in your home, it takes longer to heat rooms when cold or if that heating is suddenly uneven, it may be time for someone to inspect your furnace and check for potential problems.

A technician will then check to see if the air is being heated to the target 140-170 degrees F or if heat is being lost in the air handler or ductwork. There are a number of issues that can contribute to lost heat in your heating system – the easiest way to be sure the problem is solved properly is to call a Warrington heating contractor when you notice the problem.

Continue Reading