Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for September, 2013

When Is Boiler Repair Necessary?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Boilers that circulate hot water through a home to warm it are one of the oldest kinds of heating systems. They are still popular today because of their efficiency, low maintenance, and quiet operation. Most likely, you haven’t paid much attention to the boiler in your own home, and it has gone about its job of keeping the cold Pennsylvania weather away. But if your boiler starts to exhibit problems, it may need repair. Here are some signs that your boiler will need professional fixes to keep it working at its best.

For Pittsburgh boiler repair, people have turned to Boehmer Heating & Cooling since 1933. Contact us if you think your boiler needs attention from a trained technician.

Loss of heat: The major sign of a boiler problem is that it is no longer bringing you the heat you need. First check that the thermostat is set correctly and no circuit breakers have been tripped. If the problem persists, the boiler will probably need repair. Since different boilers use different power sources (such as electricity, gas, or oil), there are a variety of reasons for the boiler to stop producing heat. Since trying to fix these troubles involves exposure to electricity or toxic gases, do not try to make major repairs on your own.

Extreme corrosion: Any place where water comes in contact with metal can potentially lead to corrosion. If the corrosion on your boiler is too extensive, the metal will weaken. Corrosion is one of the principle causes for your boiler to leak water, and you should attend to it as soon as possible. The repair work needed varies: a superficial layer of rust is easy to deal with, while enormous corrosion may require replacing the whole tank.

Consistent, unpleasant noises: Boilers usually make little sound as they work, so if you hear a loud rumbling or shrieking noise it may indicate a problem. Rumbling can point toward too much cold water mixing in the tank, or a burner clogged with dirt. Shrieking needs prompt attention, since there could be a loose bearing in the electric motor or oil pump.

It’s important to get an informed opinion on anything that seems to be amiss with your boiler. Because of the variety of models, it is difficult to pin down exactly what might be causing a heat loss or a strange noise. The experts in Pittsburgh boiler repair at Boehmer Heating & Cooling can get to the root of the problem and offer you a solution, fast. Contact us today!

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Why Schedule Routine Heating Maintenance in Pittsburgh?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Cold weather demands adequate household heating in order to maintain your family’s comfort during the winter months. Pittsburgh is as cold as they come, and a good furnace or boiler is an essential part of your home. You may ask yourself “why schedule routine heating maintenance in Pittsburgh?” especially if your furnace or boiler isn’t breaking down. In point of fact, routine maintenance is the best way to save money on heating.

With machines that see a lot of use, such as your furnace, refrigerator or air conditioning unit, trouble doesn’t arrive all at once. Problems build up over time, exacerbated by normal wear and tear and fed by an “out of sight out of mind” approach to upkeep. Components can become dusty. Clogs can build up in flow lines. Old components can become worn out, leading to leaks, loose fittings and overheating motors. Every little issue like that forces your heater to struggle a little more get your home to a cozy temperature. Every little problem means additional cost to your monthly heating bill. And as the months and years go on, those problems can build up, adding more stress to the system until it suffers a serious breakdown. Since the heater does the most work in the winter, that may mean it stops functioning right at the point where you need it the most.

A routine heating maintenance plan can avoid all of that. A service technician can clean the heater’s components, tighten any loose cogs, replace minor components and identify potential problem areas before they get out of hand. That allows you to address upcoming issues in a timely fashion – preventing more expensive repairs down the line – as well as improving your heater’s overall efficiency (which saves money on those monthly energy bills). If you wish to schedule routine heating maintenance in Pittsburgh, contact the pros at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience installing and maintaining all manner of heating systems, and can set up a maintenance schedule that fits your specific needs. Call us today and let us show you what we can do for you.

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Heating Options: Should I Consider a Furnace in Pittsburgh?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

If you’re considering installing a new heating system, whether for your new home or as a replacement for your old heater, a furnace is one of the most attractive options available today. A Pennsylvania winter can be an ordeal without the proper heating system keeping you warm, so keep a few of these pointers in mind when it comes to deciding if a furnace in Pittsburgh is your best choice.

No matter what heater you choose, contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling for knowledgeable consultation and professional installation. We have over seven decades of experience with the heating needs of Pittsburgh residents.

Furnaces can be powered either by gas or electricity. A gas furnace usually costs less to run than an electric furnace. They also generally have longer lifespans than other options like heat pumps or boilers. A properly installed furnace should also pose no health risks or dangers to air quality because of leaks.

One of the great advantages of an electric furnace is its efficiency. The modern electric furnace often has a high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating and are one of the best ways to heat your home. In a tough winter, an electric furnace is one of the best ways to keep your home evenly heated at the comfort level you want.

A furnace requires ductwork to distribute heat through your home. If you already have a central air conditioning system, the furnace can use the same set of ducts and won’t pose any installation headaches. If you don’t have ducts in your home, there is obviously going to be a few added steps in the installation process.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling can help you choose the right furnace for you and take care of its installation. We’ve handled heating needs since 1933, so we should be your first choice when you want to install a furnace in Pittsburgh.

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What’s More Beneficial for My Home: Air Conditioning Repair or Replacement?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Any time your air conditioning unit requires repairs, it raises the question of whether you’d be better off with wholesale replacement. Air conditioning repair can address certain lingering issues, and a regular maintenance program can extend the life of your unit, but eventually, full-bore replacement may be in order. But when exactly?

The decision to repair or replace ultimately rests with individual circumstances. If the repairs are sufficiently minor and the air conditioning unit looks to keep running for the foreseeable future, it’s probably best to conduct the repair and leave the unit in place. If repairs grow too frequent or cost too much, however, then it may make more sense to install a newer and more efficient unit. It all comes down to money: how much you’re spending on repairs and upkeep versus how much the initial cost of a new unit might be.

A general rule of thumb is to evaluate your AC’s performance after ten years to see if you would benefit from a new unit. Proper maintenance can keep your AC system running for longer than that, but if you’ve passed that 10-year mark and you’re investing in significant repairs, you may want to think about a new unit. Another sure sign is the size of your electric bills every month. If your bills seem inordinately large in the summer months when you run your air conditioner – even after you’ve paid a bill to have it repairs – then the benefits of replacement may outweigh the initial cost.

A good litmus test for efficiency is the unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. If you’re going to replace your air conditioner, you should look for a unit with a higher SEER rating than your old one. Units with the EnergyStar sticker have a SEER rating of at least 14.

Whether you need to install a new unit or simply need to repair your old one, it pays to consult with an expert. The professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling handle air conditioning repairs and installation throughout the Pittsburgh area. Call us today and let us show you what we can do for you!

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Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate Labor Day in honor of workers everywhere who strive to make our local community and country great. We enjoy the holiday like any other business as a time for BBQ, hanging out with friends and family, and celebrating the end of summer. It also means the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

The origins of Labor Day are disputed, as is the case with many other holidays. Some cite Matthew Maguire, the machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, while others cite Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor. Whomever the original founder, by 1894, the holiday had become widely recognized and was designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland immediately following the Pullman Strike. This strike pitted US Marshals and US Military against employees of Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago, as workers sought to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. At the time, the holiday was a way of repairing ties with workers and recognizing the importance of their contributions.

Today, we see Labor Day as an opportunity to recognize all the people who work hard to contribute to our county. Thank you, and Happy Labor Day from all of us! 

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