Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for November, 2012

Boehmer Heating and Cooling’s Happy Pittsburgh Customers!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

At Boehmer Heating and Cooling customer service is our top priority. Our expert team and wonderful staff help ensure that our Pittsburgh area customer are thoroughly satisfied with our service. Whether installing a new furnace, explaining the benefits of a geothermal system, or providing air conditioning repair service, we Customer Service | Pittsburgh | Boehmer Heating and Coolingdo everything we can to give you the best service possible.

 

“I was impressed and grateful for the prompt service.  Everyone was polite and courteous.”

-Susan D.

“I am very pleased with your company and staff.  I will always use you for any work I need.  Your staff is very professional and courteous. Thank you.”
-Josie G.

“It was perfect from the first phone call through to completion. I was away from home during installation and was thrilled when I returned home.  Loved the sales guy… good man.”

-Gloria A.

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What to Consider Before a Boiler Installation in Pittsburgh

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Boilers are a terrific heating system for your home in Pittsburgh and are one of the most popular heating systems in the United States. They offer reliable and comfortable heat for your home. When you start to think about getting a boiler installed there are a number of important considerations to take into account. At Boehmer Heating & Cooling we’ve installed countless boiler systems. We thought that it would be helpful if we put together a list of some of the most common considerations before you have a new boiler installed in your home.

Boiler Efficiency Rating

One of the most important considerations is the efficiency of your new boiler. Difference heating systems receive different efficiency ratings. Boilers are given an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This rating describes the percentage of fuel that is actually converted into usable heat. For example, some older boilers and furnaces have an AFUE rating of 60%. This means that 60% of the fuel consumed is turned into heat while the other 40% is wasted. Newer systems can have an AFUE rating of 95% and higher. Obviously, you want to get the most efficient system possible. Normally, the efficiency rating is noted on the side of the unit.

Fuel Type

Depending on your home and where you live, you may want to think about the type of fuel that your boiler will use. If you have a natural gas line coming into your, perhaps for a water heater, you can have it piped to your boiler as well. But if you don’t have a gas line, it would probably make more sense to install one that uses oil.

Size of the Boiler

The physical size of the boiler is another thing you should think about before you have it installed. You want to make sure that you have the physical space for the new unit.

Installation

The final thing to think about is who you want to install your new boiler. You should always have a professional heating contractor come to your home to finish the installation. Improper installation is one of the most common sources of problems for our customers in the Pittsburgh area. You want your heating system to start off on the right foot.

If you have any questions about our boiler installation services in Pittsburgh, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call. We have experience working with all types and brands of boilers. Contact us today!

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Pittsburgh Boiler Tip: 5 Common Boiler Problems You Don’t Know You Have

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Heating homes in Pittsburgh with boilers is common, especially in older homes. While boiler systems are relatively simple, there can be many hidden issues with them.  Here are 5 common boiler problems that you may not be aware of. Call the heating experts at Boehmer Heating & Air Conditioning any time for more tips and advice.

1. Sediment Buildup and Pressure Gauge Problems

If you notice that your boiler is not producing enough heat or not working at all, there are a few reasons that this can happen. Something could have gone wrong inside the boiler that has decreased the hot water levels, which can be caused by sediment buildup or the pressure valve. If you aren’t sure how to check the pressure gauge, call your heating contractor. You may be able to adjust the water levels if the water is low, but if there’s mineral buildup, your boiler will need to be drained and flushed out by a professional.

2. Boiler Expansion Tank Issues

There are a few reasons your boiler expansion tank is causing problems. The air pressure could be low, which an issue that can be detected by inconsistent temperatures within the tank. The hot water should be at the bottom and cold at the top. If this is reversed, you could have problem with the air pressure or a water level problem. Call your Pittsburgh heating contractor if you suspect an issue with the expansion tank.

3. Broken Radiator in Boiler Systems

Usually if you are having trouble with the radiator, excess air in the lines or inside the actual radiator could be causing the problem. Hissing noises and lack of heat could be indicators of this. Problems with air in the lines will require a repair service.

4. Thermocouple Failure in Gas Boilers

If you have a gas boiler, it is equipped with a thermocouple sensor that monitors the gas flow to the burners. It helps to regulate the amount of heat that is produced. If your pilot light has gone out and you cannot get it lit again, it may an issue with the thermocouple. This a fairly easy part to replace, so call a service technician if you are having problems getting the pilot light on your gas boiler to stay lit.

5. Boiler Leaks

Water leaking from your boiler is something that should be taken care of by a technician. Leaks can reduce the pressure inside your expansion tank, and this will affect proper temperature control. If you notice water leaking from your boiler or any corrosion on the equipment, call a heating technician.

If you suspect any of these problems with the boiler in your Pittsburgh home, call Boehmer Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Why Use a Humidifier This Winter? Pittsburgh Heating Question

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The winter is typically a very dry time in Pittsburgh. You can tell when it gets dry because your throat will get scratchy or your skin might start to dry out. While you obviously can’t control the humidity outside, you can definitely do something about it inside your home. Whole house humidity systems are a great way monitor how much moisture is inside the air in your home. These systems have a number of benefits that we will explore here.

Your Health

When the air gets dry, it lowers your body’s ability to fight off infection. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and your throat. Your skin can also be affected by dry air. Using a whole house humidity control system can help improve your comfort level and could potentially keep you healthier through the winter.

Your Property

Dry air can also wreak havoc on your property. In particular, wood floor and wood furniture can start to dry out and crack in excessively dry climates. Also, if you have any paintings, dry air may cause them to deteriorate prematurely. You may start to notice that your wallpaper has dried out and started to peel in some places.

Allergies

The dust in your home is primarily made up of dead skin cells. If you have pets in the home, dry air can allow more skin to fall off and increase the amount of dust in your home. Dry air can also cause dust mite droppings to become airborne which can aggravate allergies as well.

Efficiency

Having a properly humidified home can potentially increase the efficiency of your home. Humans generally feel warmer when the air has proper humidity. Also, when you start to invest in the air quality of your home

If you have any questions about the humidity levels in your home in Pittsburgh, call the experts at Boehmer Heating and Air Conditioning. We have years of experience offering humidity control services and other indoor air quality control services in Pittsburgh. We would be more than happy to talk with you about the options for your home and how you can stay comfortable all year long.

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Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Furnace in Your Pittsburgh Home

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new furnace for your Pittsburgh home, there are several reasons you should pay attention to the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. All newer model furnaces get an AFUE percentage, which measures how much fuel a particular model converts into heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, but the size and type of furnace will also factor into how much you’ll save on energy costs.

Understanding the AFUE Ratio

The minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 78%. This means that seventy-eight percent of the fuel is turned into heat, and the remaining percentage is lost either through poor insulation, air leaks, or the ventilation system in the home. Because there’s no heat loss through a chimney flue, some all-electric furnaces can have an AFUE rating as high as 98%. However, if the cost of electricity used to meet your normal heating needs is higher than the efficiency savings, you may want to consider other options. Talk to a qualified HVAC contractor for advice about the most cost-efficient heater for your home.

Furnace Efficiency Features

Furnaces manufactured 15-20 years ago have significantly lower AFUE ratings (between 55%-70% for most older models) because they are typically single-stage, or single-speed systems. Single-stage furnaces are less efficient because they are designed to cycle on at full capacity and shut off when the desired temperature is met.  Newer, two-speed models have a second setting that runs consistently at a lower speed, which saves energy by burning less fuel. Multispeed furnaces that have variable-speed blowers are the most efficient because they operate at various levels and automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.

If you look at the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces, the ratios should be above 80%. Keep in mind that this only determines the efficiency levels for the furnace itself. You’ll need to factor in whether or not your home has proper insulation and other upgrades, such as double-paned windows and doors.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to speak with one of our qualified HVAC technicians about a furnace upgrade for your Pittsburgh home.

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