Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Archive for March, 2013

Upgrading to a More Efficient Furnace in Pittsburgh

Monday, March 25th, 2013

The spring off-season is a great time to make any upgrades to your heating system. If your furnace is getting older or requires frequent repairs, then it’s probably time to think about a high-efficiency replacement. Efficiency measures the amount of fuel or electrical input to the amount of heating output. Upgrading is a great way to improve your long-term savings, and allows you to take control of the future of your home comfort. Today’s energy-efficient models are powerful systems that make very little waste. Are you ready for a new furnace in Pittsburgh? Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

One of the most important ratings in the heating industry is known as AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It estimates the yearly average of heating output per energy input. It’s a percentage that indicates how much of the furnace’s energy is converted into heat, and how much is waste product exhausted outside the home. Some of today’s furnaces have AFUE ratings of up to 97%, which means that only 3% of the furnace’s energy is wasted—an incredible ratio. Most modern furnaces are AFUE rated at 90% and above, which is a drastic improvement from those produced just 15 years ago.

If you’re considering upgrading to a more efficient furnace, perhaps one with a much higher AFUE than your current system, you’ll also need to consider whether to choose gas or electric. You should take into consideration several factors: what type of energy source your current system runs on, the respective costs of gas and electric in your area, as well as your budget. If you’re already set up for a gas furnace, then perhaps it makes sense to stick with your setup and simply swap out the unit itself. If you previously had electric and you want natural gas, then you’ll need to make sure that you have a gas hook-up nearby that is available. While both types are efficient, electric furnaces tend to be more so, because they don’t need to convert a fuel, such as gas or oil, and they can theoretically operate at 100% AFUE.

Upgrading your furnace is a great way to maximize your savings over the long term and your comfort in the short term. For furnace installation in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today! 

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Will Your Pittsburgh AC Be Prepared for Summer?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The question on many minds of homeowners as the temperature begins to rise is whether their AC systems are ready for summer. It’s an important question. The cool, crisp air of the home AC is a reprieve from the hot and humid days from June through September. But this doesn’t happen automatically—as with any system, your AC requires maintenance to ensure that it works all summer long. That’s why it’s crucial for homeowners to begin to prepare their systems for the summer months. That way, you can be prepared for even scorching heat, and feel confident that your system is up to the task. Don’t put your comfort at risk. For AC maintenance in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

Here are some ways to prepare your AC for clean cool comfort all summer:

  • Enroll in a maintenance plan. Routine inspection, cleaning and precision tune-ups is the best way to ensure that your system works effectively and efficiently. Certain plans may also include discounts on repairs and diagnostics, as well as equipment. Not only does regular maintenance lower your energy bills, it also extends the life of your AC.
  • Clean your air filter. Your air filter is designed to prevent the passage of airborne allergens like dust and pollen into our indoor air. When it becomes dirty or clogged, however, it can also reduce energy-efficiency and cause damages in other parts of the system. This is an easy way to prepare your AC for the summer.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. The thermostat is your interface between you and your AC. Programmable thermostats give you the option of customizing your indoor climate. You can program certain days of the week or times of the day to adjust automatically to certain temperatures. This helps your system make gradual instead of sudden changes, and it allows you to control your cooling when you’re not there.

These are just a few of the ways to make sure your AC is prepared for summer. For more information, or to schedule AC maintenance in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today! 

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Is Geothermal a Good Cooling Option in Pittsburgh?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Every year, thousands of homeowners are turning to geothermal heating and cooling for its highly-efficient, cost-reducing, and eco-friendly energy. It is very similar to how a heat pump works, and shares most of the same components. But it differs from the air source heat pump in its capacity to harness the energy of the earth. When looking at cooling options in your area, you’ll have to take into consideration your cooling needs, the size and location of your home, as well as your budget. A geothermal system can be an innovative and reliable way to make your home comfortable this cooling season. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with a Pittsburgh geothermal expert, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

The two major components of your geothermal cooling system are underground piping, also known as the “earth loop,” and the geothermal heat pump. Depending on your location and the topography of your land, your geothermal piping will be arranged either in a shallow horizontal bed, or in deep vertical wells. The pipes are typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and they circulate the water-refrigerant mixture in a closed or open loop. The geothermal heat pump is just like a regular heat pump, but instead of transferring heat indoors and outdoors by drawing it in and out of the air, it draws the heat from the earth loop during the winter, and disperses it into the earth loop during summer.

Geothermal Benefits:

  • Efficiency: Geothermal cooling can often cut your bills in half. The heat pump uses very little energy when compared to a standard air conditioner.
  • Durability: As an alternative to other systems, geothermal cooling systems are made with durable materials that are intended to survive the elements and last many years.
  • Eco-friendly: In a world of every-increasing energy demands, it can be comforting to know that you rely on the temperature of the earth under your feet to cool your home. You’ll not only save money, but you can also reduce the production of ozone-depleting substances.

All in all, geothermal cooling is a great option. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with a Pittsburgh geothermal cooling expert, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

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Pittsburgh Heating Guide: 5 Easy Ways to Save Energy

Monday, March 4th, 2013

As a homeowner, you’re always looking for ways to save energy. As one of the leading energy efficiency experts in the area, Boehmer Heating & Cooling is committed to informing you about some easy ways to save energy. Remember that there is no substitute for professional consultation. We’re happy to sit down with our customers and find ways they can make their homes more energy-efficient. For more information, or to schedule heating and air conditioning maintenance in Pittsburgh, call us today!

  • Enroll in a maintenance program. Prevention is the best medicine, as they say and we agree. Enrolling in an annual or bi-annual maintenance program is one of the best ways to prevent major repairs before they happen. It may also be able to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Let the Pittsburgh heating and air conditioning repair experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling come take a look at your equipment.
  • Replace your attic insulation. Attic insulation has a major impact on the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems in your home. In the winter, thin, old or rotting insulation is one of the greatest factors contributing to heat loss. In the summer, poor insulation can allow hot air into your home from your attic.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great way not only to customize your home living environment, but also to ensure that any temperature changes occur gradually and not drastically. This will allow your system to “anticipate” changes in temperature. Programmable thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and air conditioning systems much more conveniently.
  • Change your air filters. You have air filters throughout your heating and cooling systems. They are there in order to prevent dust, pollen, and debris from entering into your indoor air. They need to be changed and replaced on a regular basis so they don’t get in the way of your cool or hot air.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescents, or CFLs, are highly-efficient bulbs. Not only do they use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, they also last up to 10 times as long.

There you have it: 5 easy ways every homeowner can save energy. When you need your heating and air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh or any installation or maintenance, call on Boehmer Heating & Cooling. No job is too big or small. Call us today. 

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