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

What Happens During a Professional Heating Tune Up?

Monday, November 10th, 2014

It’s getting chilly here in Pennsylvania, and many of you may have already turned on your heating system for the winter. Before you turned your system on, did you schedule maintenance? Maintenance is a tune-up for your heating system in Yardley, and if you haven’t had your system maintained in over 12 months, it’s time to give your Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling technician a call and schedule an appointment.

What Happens?

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling performs maintenance for all combustion heating systems, heat pumps and geothermal systems. Here is a general overview of what to expect from a routine maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of system
  • Check for corrosion, holes and/or cracks on components
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Adjustments made where needed
  • Small repair (corroded wiring fixed, fan belts replaced)
  • Safety tests
  • Check and changing of filter (if applicable)
  • Check of refrigerant (for heat pumps)
  • Check of system pressures (boilers)
  • Check and cleaning of burner assembly (combustion systems)
  • Performance tests

Why Schedule a Tune-Up?

Here are the benefits you and your heating system can gain from scheduling a fall tune-up:

  • Increased energy efficiency – your heating system was made to operate at a certain level of energy efficiency. When it is worn and dirty, it is very hard for the system to achieve this.
  • Helps prevents repair – your technician conducts a thorough inspection of your system during a maintenance appointment to detect any existing or developing problems. This, coupled with the cleaning, adjusting and lubrication the components receive, helps prevent repair needs.
  • Extends life of your system – maintenance keeps your system and its components in good working order; this helps reduce the level of wear and tear on your system, which can help extend the life of your equipment.

It is strongly recommended that you schedule a tune-up for your heating system in Yardley every 12 months.

Winter is just about here, so take some time to call Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling and schedule an appointment with your technician today!

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Meet One of Our Best: Matt Spinelli

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

There is no question that Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is a family business. Founded in 1976 by Kevin J. Carney and Diane Carney, the operations are now in the hands of sons Kevin and Ryan. We would like to introduce and congratulate a member of the extended Carney family. Matt Spinelli has been with us for over 5 years. Employees like Matt are the reason that we have been able to provide over three decades of excellence in service and commitment to customer service.

Matt, currently one of our dedicated HVAC service technicians, will be transitioning to a new role in sales. As a Carney Comfort Advisor Matt will be designing and selling the systems that we install. Matt’s knowledge of all aspects of plumbing and his history in the industry will serve him well in this new role. Matt continues to grow in the field and continue his education whenever possible. He attends many HVAC and plumbing related classes every year, and especially enjoys learning about the green products available and the new advances in technology that improve system efficiency and home comfort.

Fresh out of high school Matt planned on going to college, then he got a job through a family friend working as a helper / driver for an HVAC company. He ended up loving the field so much that he chose to pursue this as his career. Matt continues to find it rewarding to restore comfort in the homes of the clients we serve by repairing their heating and cooling systems. Here at Carney we call Matt “The Scientist”; whenever we encounter a strange or unusual problem we send Matt to get to the bottom of things. In his free time Matt enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife and two young daughters.

Congratulations and thank you to Matt Spinelli from the whole Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling family!

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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!

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Things You Can Do to Make Your Heating and Cooling System More Effective

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Have you ever wondered why it is too hot or too cold in your Yardley home? You can always blame it on the thermostat or an open or closed window. Those are easy targets. But maybe the real culprit is your heating and cooling system, namely your furnace or air conditioner. Maybe these pieces of equipment have to work extra hard because of something as simple as a dirty filter that you should have cleaned or replaced.

Learning how to make your heating and cooling system more “effective” does not require a physics degree or an extensive knowledge of the refrigeration cycle. In most cases, it just takes common sense – and a little creativity.

For example, did you know that how your home is insulated can have a direct impact on how well your heating and cooling equipment functions? It sure can. If your walls, crawl spaces, or attic is poorly insulated or not insulated at all, your furnace and air conditioner will have to work harder to keep up – and keep you warm or cool. In some cases, your heating and cooling equipment might never be able to give you the desired temperature on your thermostat setting because the equipment has to work too hard to make up for lost heat or cooling due to poor insulation.

So what should you do? Find out if your home is properly insulated by having a load calculation or energy audit on your home. Any licensed and qualified Yardley heating and cooling contractor will be able to perform one of these tasks for you and show you where you might be losing too much of your indoor air to poor insulation. This same test can also detect any leakage through cracks in the foundation or joints or connections in ductwork. Windows and skylights are also an area of heat loss or gain. Installing awnings or trees can cut down on this loss or gain, too.

One way to make a heating and cooling system operate more effectively is to combine insulation and leak sealing. Here’s how that works. Uninsulated metal ductwork can make a heating and cooling system work harder, especially when it is located in poorly insulated areas like crawlspaces and attics. Warm air moving through a cold space slows the heating process and makes a furnace work harder to achieved desired temperature settings. Similarly, cool air passing through hot metal ductwork makes the air conditioner work harder. By wrapping insulation around the metal ductwork, you can stop heating or cooling your attic and crawlspace and send that conditioned air to the rooms that need it.

Of course, the most effective heating and cooling system is one that is serviced and properly maintained on a regular basis. If you have any questions on system maintenance, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling and schedule a tune-up today.

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Energy Efficiency Tips Everyone Should Know

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Before you decide which upgrades will make your Willow Grove home more efficient, it would be best to get a home energy audit. You can do this yourself with a few simple tests, or you can hire a professional auditor. The auditor will use advanced equipment and techniques, such as blower doors and infrared cameras, to detect air leaks and places that need more insulation.

When your home is properly insulated and sealed, here are some upgrades you’ll want to think about to make your home more efficient.

High-Efficiency Furnaces & Heat Pumps

If you have an old single-stage furnace, it is time to upgrade. These furnaces were designed to run on two settings—either off or on, and when they are on, they run at full speed. Not only do they lose heat this way, but they also take longer to warm up your home. The new two-speed and multispeed models run at lower speeds to maintain a constant temperature. You can also buy ones with variable-speed blowers that operate on various speeds, which are the most efficient. Heat pumps are a good option if you need both heat and A/C in your home. While most heat pumps are manufactured to be efficient by design, the newer models are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. If you have a heat pump older than 15 years, talk to an HVAC technician about a heat pump replacement.

Solar & Tankless Water Heaters

When you’ve upgraded your heating system, it may be time to install a more efficient water heater. Solar water heaters are gaining popularity, and they are the most efficient way to save hot water if certain factors are in place, such as sunlight exposure and high fuel costs. Tankless water heaters heat your water with individual units located near hot water applications. You also have the option of installing a single, whole-home tankless water heater, or for appliances that use more hot water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, you can install tankless models just for their use.

Water-Saving Toilets & Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures

Duel flush, or water-saving toilets are an excellent choice for an upgrade if you want to save water. These toilets use less water overall, and you have the option of using more or less water each time you flush. Installing low flow faucets and fixtures can also provide up to 60% in utility savings. Low flow plumbing fixtures reduce the flow rate for each fixture or application, which reduces the overall amount water used in the home. These are a good option if you’ve installed a tankless water heating system. Your tankless water heaters will be more efficient if the sum of the flow rate total for every fixture in the home is lower.

Don’t hesitate to call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling if you have any questions about upgrading your Willow Grove home.

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What Size Heat Pump Is Right for My Home?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

One of the most important questions to answer when purchasing and installing any new heating or cooling system, no matter what type, is what size is best for your Doylestown home. You need something that has enough capacity to heat or cool your whole home comfortably; otherwise your house will consistently be at an undesirable temperature.

Some people might think that the quickest solution to this problem is to just buy a system that they are sure has a capacity larger than the size of their Doylestown home. You may even be tempted to get the biggest model out there, under the logic that the biggest is the best and it will be sure to be able to cover your whole house.

While this line of thinking might make sense to you, it’s actually not a good idea. The problem with this “solution” is that you can wind up with a heat pump that is considerably too large for your needs, which means your home will consistently be either too cool or too hot, and your energy bills will be unnecessarily high.

The best way to choose a new heat pump is to have a professional do a load calculation in your home. This can be a highly technical process, so it is best to leave it to the pros. However, here are some quick tips and other things to consider on the subject:

  • There are a lot of variable to consider in doing a calculation like this. A Doylestown contractor doing a load calculation will consider the type of construction, what kind of insulation you have installed, what kind of windows you have, whether there is an attic, how many people live there and many more factors.
  • It never hurts to shop around. Get a few estimates from different area contractors, rather than just going with the first opinion.
  • Also, since heat pumps are used for both heating and cooling, different contractors may opt to do the calculation in different ways. Some will estimate capacity based on heating, while others will base it on cooling. Ask to see which is the case for each estimate you receive.
  • If you are getting a new heat pump as a replacement for an existing one, or even a different heating/cooling system, check the capacity of the unit you are replacing. That can be a good place to start. You will at least be in the right ballpark.

All of this means doing some extra leg work up front, but getting the proper sized heat pump is well worth the effort.

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Why is My Furnace Turning On and Off?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

One of the most annoying things your furnace can do is to constantly keep turning on and off. This on-off cycling keeps your Yardley home from heating up properly. This action – called short cycling – also requires more electricity and drives up utility bills.

Short cycling is caused by an overheated furnace, which triggers safety mechanisms and shuts down the furnace. After a brief interval and cooling down, the furnace starts up again the cycle keeps repeating itself. Not only is it an annoyance, it can also signal more serious problems. A leaking heat exchanger can cause a furnace to overheat – and produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.

If a furnace is working too hard and overheating, it is usually because of airflow in and out. Your home’s ventilation system needs to be clear of dirt, dust, and debris. The more blockage in your ductwork and vents, the more friction is created, slowing down airflow and ultimately ending with an overworked furnace that continues to cycle on and off. And a blocked exhaust vent, such as a chimney or dedicated exhaust vent, can also cause a furnace to work harder. Check for things like leaves or bird’s nests.

The blockage may also be coming from a clogged furnace filter. You should clean or replace your furnace filter after a visual inspection reveals any type of build-up of dust or dirt. Do this at least every three-six months.

If you have a two-speed fan on your furnace, it is recommended that you run the fan in low speed during the cold months and high speed in the warm months. The reason? Warm air is lighter and takes less force to move.

There are other measures to take to prevent short cycling but these usually require a professional heating and cooling service technician to correct the problem. If in doubt, call your local qualified heating and cooling contractor and schedule a furnace inspection. Don’t make your furnace work any harder than it was designed for – and keep your home’s occupants comfortable and safe.

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What Is a Downflow vs. an Upflow Furnace?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

When you go looking to buy a furnace in Yardley, you may well be surprised by how many different elements go into making a good purchasing decision. There are simply so many different kinds of furnaces available now and they each are more appropriate for certain situations. That means that finding the one that’s right for you is less about finding the one best unit than it is about finding the one that is the best match for your particular circumstances.

This applies to the type of fuel the furnace uses, its energy efficiency, and whether it’s an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace. Energy efficiency and fuel types are probably things that you’re more or less familiar with. But what are we talking about when we classify a furnace as an upflow or downflow model?

Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. These terms refer to the direction the air flows as it is taken in and heated by the furnace. So in an upflow furnace, the cool air is taken in at the bottom, warmed, and then expelled at the top. A downflow furnace, on the other hand, takes in cool air at the top and expels heated air at the bottom.

While this is all very exciting, it may still not be obvious what impact this will have on your decision about what type of furnace to buy. The main thing you’ll have to think about when you’re deciding between an upflow and a downflow furnace is where the furnace will be placed in your house.

An upflow furnace is generally installed in the basement so that the heated air is directed towards the parts of the house you want cooled and so that the furnace can be appropriately vented outside of the house. On the other hand, a downflow furnace would be installed in your attic for the same reasons.

So where you want to have the furnace installed is probably the biggest thing to take into account as you’re comparing these two types of equipment. Of course, whether you pick an upflow or a downflow furnace, you’ll still have to select the appropriate AFUE, size and fuel source to best meet your needs. But making the choice between upflow and downflow can at least make it easier to narrow down your options. If you need help choosing the best furnace for your home, contact your local contractor.

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Top 4 Upgrades For Your HVAC System: A Guide From Ambler

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Your HVAC system is a trusted part of your Ambler home’s comfort system. Without it you would be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and breathing in contaminant laden air year round. So, it’s important that you install the best systems and subsystems available for your HVAC system. Here are some options to keep in mind when looking for ways to get the most from your heating and cooling.

  • Humidity Control – Don’t rely on your air conditioner to remove humidity in the summer. A dehumidifier is more energy efficient and reduces stress on your air conditioning system when the humidity gets high. In the winter, humidification allows your home to hold more heat, effectively increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Air Filtration – Every air conditioning system and furnace comes with some form of air filtration, but is it enough? Standard filters are effective, but they are not always comprehensive. A good HEPA quality filter for your air handler and duct system will severely reduce the number of contaminants in your air supply and ensure that you and your family feel much better year round.
  • Ductwork Upgrades – If your ductwork is old, battered or starting to show its years, an upgrade may be in order. If nothing else, having your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis removes excess mold, dusty, pollen, debris and other pollutants that can affect your health and the quality of the air you breathe. Schedule annual cleanings of your ductwork and a biannual inspection to check for cracks and leaks.
  • Air Quality Controls – Beyond air filtration, you can upgrade your air handler’s ability to remove pollutants with a dedicated air cleaner and UV lights. These systems are installed in your air handler and/or ductwork to remove advanced pollutants like bacteria and mold and remove smaller particles including smoke, gas, and exhaust. Which system you need will depend on the level of contaminants in your home, so make sure you check with a contractor before choosing anything.

These upgrades are a great way to get more out of your HVAC system – in terms of both comfort and safety. Discuss your options with a contractor today to learn more.

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What Does the EPA Do for Indoor Air Quality?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

There are a number of agencies in the United States dedicated to protecting the health and wellbeing of citizens. What does that mean for you in Gwynedd? It means many of the rules and regulations related to indoor air quality are directly overseen by the EPA and the US government. For a better idea of how this impacts your currently lifestyle, here’s a quick look at what the EPA does.

Formation

The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 by Richard Nixon and the US Congress to oversee the regulation and oversight of air, water, land and hazardous waste. In short, the EPA works to keep our environment clean and safe.

The EPA and Homeowners

While much of what the EPA does relates to corporate pollution, regulations for manufacturing and consumer products, and development of safe methods of production for things like oil, food and water, the EPA has a big hand in ensuring your home stays safe.

Specifically, the EPA started and oversees the Energy Star program to help consumers purchase appliances and HVAC systems that use the least possible energy. Additionally, the EPA oversees the measurements and minimum requirements for home insulation and ventilation. This has as direct impact on indoor air quality.

Current EPA regulations are based on the ASHRAE Standards for low rise buildings and has been revised in the last two decades to ensure proper ventilation and insulation to reduce energy waste and maintain clean, fresh air.

The clean air act has a big impact on how homes are ventilated and maintained and the EPA does a lot of public service work to educate the public on ways to stay safe, including a recent campaign to get your home tested for radon – a potentially life threatening gas that can exist in any home, regardless of age.

Getting to Know the EPA

If you have an indoor air quality or suspect there may be issues in your home, one of the best resources on the Internet is the EPA’s indoor air quality website. It contains laws and regulations that impact your home (if you plan on remodeling or adding on to your home) and dozens of resources for testing and understanding the levels of pollutants in your home.

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