Is It Time for AC Replacement?

April 20th, 2015

Spring is a great time to assess your home’s needs, and if it’s time to replace an outdated air conditioner, now is the perfect time to do it. It isn’t always obvious when it’s time to replace an air conditioner, especially when your system is still running, so our experts have listed a few factors to consider. One thing that never changes is that it’s imperative to hire an expert for your AC work, especially for a system replacement. Our specialists can help you size and install a new replacement for your Pittsburgh, PA, home, so just give us a call today! Continue Reading

Ways to Avoid Air Conditioning Repair This Summer

April 13th, 2015

If we could offer you an air conditioning system that was guaranteed never to break, we’d do it in a Pittsburgh minute. We can’t do that because such an air conditioning system doesn’t exist, but what our experts can offer you are some great tips on how to avoid air conditioning repair and reduce your incidence of repair. Continue Reading

Make Air Conditioning Maintenance Part of Your Spring Cleaning This Year

April 6th, 2015

As our temperatures edge a little higher each day, our attention starts to turn towards the warmer weather. We may not be fully ready for spring cleaning yet, but this time of year is perfect for scheduling maintenance for your air conditioning system in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. Hiring a professional to perform a full tune-up on your AC system brings benefits that will last all season long, and scheduling your maintenance appointment now gets you ahead of the crowd. So what kind of benefits can you and your AC gain from a spring maintenance appointment with your Boehmer Heating & Cooling expert? Let’s take a look:

Benefit #1: Better energy efficiency.

During a maintenance appointment, your air conditioning system is thoroughly inspected, cleaned, lubricated and adjusted to optimize performance. Your AC was made to operate at a certain level of efficiency, and without regular maintenance, your system can lose up to 5% of its original efficiency each year it isn’t maintained. Annual maintenance helps your system regain its energy efficiency levels.

Benefit #2: Helps prevent future repairs.

The thorough inspection your AC system undergoes during a maintenance appointment allows the technician to spot both existing and developing problems. If the issues are small, such as frayed wiring or a stretched fan belt, these items can be repaired during the appointment. Should a bigger issue be discovered, such as a refrigerant leak, you’ll be advised of the problem so that you can make additional plans for having the problem repaired by an expert. The steps of maintenance help get you ahead of potential repairs and also help you control existing ones before they can become bigger.

Benefit #3: Extends the life of your system.

Maintenance keeps your air conditioner in good working order, which means the system won’t operate under unnecessary stress. Stress is the number one reason that air conditioners can prematurely age, which can lead to frequent malfunction, breakdown and a need for early replacement.

When you start to clean this winter’s dirt and grime from your home and yard, don’t forget to include your air conditioning system in the spring cleaning. The experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling are ready to help, so schedule an appointment today!

Where Your Home May Be Losing Energy

April 2nd, 2015

Do your monthly energy bills seem out of your control? Are your family members uncomfortable even when the air conditioning and heating system is running? Does it seem like you have to run the AC or heater for hours before the house finally cools down or heats up? If so, your HVAC system, your family members, and your wallet can benefit from a home energy audit in Pittsburgh from Boehmer Heating & Cooling. A comprehensive energy audit involves tests and inspections which help you to learn where your home is losing the most energy.

  • Leaks around windows and doors – A blower door test can help technicians to learn whether there are areas of your home through which air can leak in or out. Even a few minor cracks can really add up, and a technician may recommend replacing the doors or windows.
  • Duct leaks – The ducts are a common source of energy loss. Since most ducts are hidden from your view, you have no way of knowing when there are cracks and holes that allow air to leak out into unoccupied spaces like attics or crawlspaces. This forces your AC to work harder and may increase your cooling and heating costs by 30%.
  • Inadequate insulation – Insulation is a barrier of sorts, involving layers of material which keep heat from moving in or out, to an extent. This is important in both the winter and the summertime, and even if you already have insulation in parts of your home, this may not be enough. A technician will inspect your attic and perform tests that help to determine where insulation is lacking, where it needs replacement, and how much insulation is necessary to keep you comfortable and limit your air conditioning and heating usage.
  • Faulty HVAC equipment – During an energy audit, technicians look over your furnace, boiler, air conditioner, heat pump, and/or water heater, inspecting each component to look for any areas that could use a tune up or a repair, since worn down parts contribute greatly to excessive energy use.

A home energy audit can bring these items to your attention, as well as any filtration issues that may affect the quality of the air in your home. Call the professional HVAC and energy-efficiency experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling to schedule a thorough energy audit in Pittsburgh today.

3 Tips to Avoid Heating Repair

March 25th, 2015

At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, our technicians are committed to a positive customer experience. But that doesn’t mean that you want to see our experts all the time. Scheduling heating repair is never an ideal situation, no matter how friendly, knowledgeable and clean the technicians are. If you’d like to avoid heating repair in the future, follow these tips for a heater that works as well as you need it to.

1. Keep the Thermostat at an Efficient Setting

When your heating system runs at full capacity day and night, it can begin to take its toll on the unit. Parts can start to wear down until your entire system eventually struggles. While maintenance can delay this effect, keeping your heating system running at an efficient temperature is a good way to make sure it does not wear out too soon. When you’re away, program your thermostat to keep the heat turned off or to lower the temperature below what you’re used to, and then to heat back up after you arrive.

2. Schedule an Energy Audit

Have a professional visit your home for an energy audit to find out which parts of your home allow heat to escape and use up energy. A more efficient home can lead to reduced heating times, or you may feel that you can shut off your heat altogether at times. After an energy audit, you may learn that you need to seal air leaks or add some insulation. These steps keep your heater running smoothly and efficiently so that it does not become overworked.

3. Get Professional Maintenance Each Year

A professional maintenance visit can extend the life of your system and prevent repairs. A technician may make a few adjustments to your system and clean up some of the dirtiest components. Afterwards, the tech will let you know what still needs repair, if anything, so you can schedule it at a later date rather than waiting for a heating breakdown.

Call on the help of the friendly people at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for our quality heating repair service in Pittsburgh, PA. We provide energy audits, maintenance, repair, and more, so call us first for all of your HVAC needs.

What Are These Noises from My Boiler?

March 20th, 2015

Boilers are known for their quiet operation. Unlike forced-air heating systems, which may have loud fans and motors running at all times, boilers have far fewer moving parts, and these are usually out of the way of your living space. You might not notice that your boiler is in trouble until you move closer to the unit itself, but when you hear loud rumbling, rattling, or other noises, it can seem quite alarming.

When you notice odd sounds from your boiler unit or anywhere in your home heating system when you run the boiler, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

Common Noises and What They Mean

If you hear a rumbling or rattling noise from the tank of your boiler, it could mean trouble. Most likely, the source of the rumbling is sediment in the tank. Sediment builds up as hard water moves into the pipes with your water supply. Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. These can leave deposits in the tank, which can then rattle around and cause a bit of noise.

More important than the noise, however, is the effect that these minerals have on the performance of your boiler. When sediment builds up too much, the volume in the tank decreases, which means that pressure increases. Long ago, a boiler in this position could be at risk of exploding, but this is not a concern today. Safety features on the boiler should shut down the unit if the pressure becomes too high or water may leak out from a relief valve. Either way, this is not an ideal situation to be in, and you should have a technician look at the system as soon as you can.

Noises from your boiler, from the baseboard heater or radiator, or from the pipes underneath your floorboard can all indicate trouble. Often, noises from locations besides the boiler tank itself could indicate circulator pump trouble. This can lead to uneven heating or none at all.

Call us today at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We can drain sediment from your boiler or find a suitable solution with our boiler repair service in Bethel Park. In some cases, a replacement is necessary, but we can help you to find the best system for your replacement needs quickly.

Common Furnace Problems

March 11th, 2015

During the cooler months in Whitehall, it may seem as though the winter weather will never end. Your furnace works hard to keep you comfortable during the chilliest days, which means each one of the parts of your system gets quite a bit of use. Eventually, excessive use can really take its toll on the parts of your furnace, which means that you may need repairs. Here are some of the most common furnace repairs that our technicians deal with at Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

  • Blower Fan Motor Replacement: Warm air moves into your home through the ventilation system in your home after a blower fan pushes it past a heat exchanger and into the ductwork. If this blower fan is not operating properly, then you won’t get the level of heating you need in your home. What’s more problematic is that the furnace plenum could overheat—were in not for the safety switch in place meant to prevent this. The furnace limit switch shuts off the unit when it’s at risk of overheating, so you won’t get any heat at all. Often, this just means that you need replacement.
  • Cleaning the Flame Sensor: The flame sensor is another safety feature which helps to protect your home and family. This component keeps gas from leaking into your home if the pilot won’t light. When there is no flame, the probe senses the trouble and shuts down the unit. However, this sensor may malfunction and assume there is no flame if it is too dirty, shutting down the unit unnecessarily.
  • Repairing or Replacing the Thermostat: Sometimes, a problem with the furnace is a result of a faulty thermostat. Poor wiring can cause the furnace to short cycle, or it may not turn on at all. You may decide to replace your existing thermostat with a more efficient model, like a smart thermostat that allows you to change the temperature from your smart phone even when you’re far away.

Call the people at Boehmer Heating & Cooling to repair your furnace in Whitehall. We have years of experience repairing and maintaining heating equipment, and we will work hard to get your furnace back to normal operation as quickly as possible or help you to find a replacement unit and install it for you. Call a member of our team of heating technicians today and ask about our comprehensive furnace services.

A Guide to Different Indoor Air Quality Systems

March 4th, 2015

One of the best ways to take control of your health is by paying more attention to the air in your home. You may believe that the quality of your air is just fine. But if you’ve noticed sneezing, coughing, frequent illness, or other health symptoms from the members of your household, then you need an indoor air quality system that will eliminate the issues that are most prescient in your home.

Here are some of the different types of air quality systems you may choose between. Whether it’s a standard air conditioning filter or an electronic air cleaner or humidifier, the professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling can install or service it to keep everyone in your Baldwin home healthier.

  • Air Filters: Air filters are standard in any home air conditioning and heating system. But if people in your home have respiratory or immune system trouble, you may need more than your standard air filter. Most filters can only remove large particles from the air. But an air filter with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) is more effective at removing smaller particles that may induce allergies.
  • Air Cleaners and Purifiers: An electronic air cleaner can take even more particles out of the air. You may choose an electronic air cleaner with a HEPA filter, or an ionization air purifier, which charges particles so that they cling to surfaces in your home, may be best for your home.
  • UV Germicidal Light: UV rays can kill organic matter. Luckily, this doesn’t affect you much when you step out into the sun for short periods of time. However, UV lights can take care of the most common biological pollutants in your home such as bacteria and viruses when installed in the air ducts by a professional.
  • Humidifiers: A humidifier helps to keep the air in your home more comfortable for everyone inside. When there is moisture in the air, your chances of illness go down, and you may notice that your lips are no longer chapped nor is your skin as dry.

Call the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling to speak with a professional who understands the different types of air quality issues and knows the best type of system to use as treatment. Call us today to get a new air purifier in Baldwin.

How to Tell If Your Heat Pump Is Low on Refrigerant

February 25th, 2015

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of any heat pump system. A heat pump moves heat from one place to another by evaporating and condensing refrigerant to capture and release heat in different areas, depending on the mode it’s using. Without sufficient refrigerant, a heat pump would lose the ability to actually operate as a heating or cooling system. Refrigerant is not consumed during normal heat pump operation, which means if your heat pump is low on refrigerant it was either not charged properly on installation or it has a leak in the system. How can you tell if your heat pump is low on refrigerant? Read on to find out.

Low Output

Heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling functions, which they accomplish by simply reversing the flow of refrigerant through the system. Therefore, if your heat pump begins to experience a drop in heating or cooling output, you may have a problem with your refrigerant level. This is often the first sign of a refrigerant leak, so be sure not to ignore it if it happens.

Gurgling Sounds

You should always pay attention to any unusual noises that your heat pump is making, but gurgling sounds in particular are an indication that you have a refrigerant leak. As the refrigerant leaks out of the system, more and more air gets into the line. The air bubbles in the refrigerant line are what make the gurgling sounds, like the last few drops of a drink traveling through a straw. This is an almost certain indication that not only do you have a refrigerant leak, but that it has progressed pretty far already.

Pooling Liquid

You should conduct a visual inspection on your heat pump every once in a while, paying special attention to the area around the unit. If you notice any liquid dripping or pooling around the heat pump, you may well have a refrigerant leak.

If you suspect that your heat pump has a refrigerant leak, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We provide quality heat pumps and services throughout the Brentwood area.

Potential Problems with a Boiler’s Circulator Pumps

February 16th, 2015

Boilers can heat homes in two ways: with the steam created from the hot water or with the hot water itself. Steam flows on its own through your system’s piping because it is under significant pressure, but hot water systems need a little help pushing the hot water through the piping; this is where circulator pumps come in. As you can probably imagine, problems with a circulator pump or pumps means that the hot water needed to heat your home; should this happen, you’ll need to call for heating repair in Pittsburgh, and you’ll want to call professionals you can count on. Boehmer Heating & Cooling has been helping customers in the Pittsburgh area with heating since 1933, and we bring this experience to every job we do, so call us today!

Types of Circulator Pump Problems

There are a few kinds of problems that can develop with circulator pumps, such as:

  • Leaking – when leaks develop with a circulator pump, they typically develop at the joints where the pump meets the pipe into which it is soldered. The reason leaks are likely to occur here are that the pump has rubber phalanges that act as seals at these joints, but these seals can sometimes dry and crack, which causes leaking.
  • Electrical issues – circulator pumps need a small amount of electricity to turn the wheel inside the pump, known as an impeller. A relay switch is responsible for delivering this electricity, and if the switch becomes faulty, the electricity won’t be delivered as needed.
  • Broken impeller – as mentioned above, the small wheel inside the pump is the impeller, and its job is to push the water forward. Impellers look like miniature water wheels, complete with small blades that help push the water forward. Impellers can crack, which hamper their ability to push the water forward as needed, and the result is usually low heat.

Circulator pumps are critical to the proper operation of your heating system, and as such, should only be repaired by a trained professional. If you are in need of heating repair in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment.