Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Archive for October, 2013

Geothermal System Guide

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Geothermal systems serve as a viable alternative to traditional gas furnaces, using the ambient temperature in the ground itself to heat your home. They usually cost more to install than gas furnaces, and may require certain types of property to function as they should, but they make up for that with lower month-to-month costs and a reliability that can’t be beat.

The system basically works like this: a trained technician installs pipes under your yard, which circulates a water or a mixture of water and anti-freeze. This liquid absorbs heat from the ambient temperature of the ground, and then goes to a heat pump. The heat pump heats the air and circulates it throughout your home. In the summer, this process is reversed to cool your home.

Some geothermal systems are planted horizontally,  with the pipes at least 4 feet beneath the surface.  This usually needs a large property lot for it to work, but makes it easier for the technician to reach it if there’s a leak or some other repair is needed. For houses that don’t have a lot of spare space, there are vertical installations in which pipes are installed running down from 100 to 400 feet deep. While this takes less space for installation, the pipes  may be trickier to reach in the event of a problem.

Whatever the particulars of the system, they’re extremely easy to use once they’re in place. They’re also extremely efficient, which will lower your monthly heating bills as well as raising the resale value of your home. Call the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for a consultation. Our trained professionals can discuss your options with you, then set up an installation schedule that works for your circumstances.

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Pittsburgh, PA Boiler Guide: What’s Involved in Boiler Maintenance?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The number of repairs a boiler requires is smaller than most other home comfort systems: this is one of the reasons boilers have remained popular for heating homes even as many options have emerged. A boiler that receives proper care, with regular maintenance check-ups and tune-ups, will last a very long time.

But that regular maintenance is key for making certain a boiler lasts as long as it should. Although boilers contain few moving parts that wear down over time, they circulate and hold water, which can create corrosion that will eat away at the boiler’s interior and exterior. Any machine that doesn’t receive proper attention can develop operational trouble; if left without repair, the trouble will increase.

Schedule preventive maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA, for your boiler today: contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling and enroll in our maintenance plan.

This is what you can expect from one of our extensive maintenance check-ups on your boiler:

  • System flushing: This removes silt and sand that may have settled at the bottom of the tank.
  • Pressure check: You don’t want high water pressure that may cause leaks; the ideal level for most boilers is between 12-15 lbs psi.
  • Fuel consumption check: Whether gas, electricity, or oil, your boiler shouldn’t waste fuel or draw too little of it.
  • Looking for leaks along connections and lines: Water leaks can be an insidious problem if not found and stopped early.
  • Temperature check in and around the boiler: This makes certain that your boiler isn’t losing heat, or gaining too much.
  • Thermostat recalibration: The thermostat is a vital part of making your boiler work for you, so the technician will see that it’s gauging the temperature correctly.
  • Adjust pilot and gas pressure and check for carbon monoxide leaks: Important for a gas-powered boiler, and this maintenance will also keep you safe.
  • Lubrication for all moving parts: Your boiler has few moving parts, but they still need to operate with as little stress as possible.

More goes into a maintenance visit than we can list here: an excellent technician takes the time necessary to see that you have a boiler at the peak of its heating power.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling recommends annual maintenance checks on your boiler to ensure its longevity. But even if you have skipped a few years, it’s never too late to get started. Call us today to arrange for that all-important check on your boiler in Pittsburgh, PA that will get you through the winter.

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Pittsburgh Heating Repair Guide: Faulty Fans

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

When it comes to heating repair, Pittsburgh residents benefit from knowing what to look for. Our chilly winters make heating a top priority, and problems should be addressed quickly lest they leave you without heat in the middle of a cold front. Homeowners should know the signs of a fan problem, which can cause a great deal of mischief when it comes to providing heat for your home.

Fans blow the warmed air to move it throughout your home, making them a vital part of the heater’s distribution system. If they’re shut off completely, either because the blower motor has overloaded or the entire system has lost electricity, then the air won’t move at all.

A less dire but still problematic issue occurs if the fan becomes loose in its housing, or if the fan blades become bent or broken. Besides impacting its overall efficiency, the misaligned blades can grind up against its housing in the heater, possibly causing damage and increasing the cost of anticipated repairs. Something similar can happen if something slips past the filter and gets caught in the fan. At the least, it will cause damage to the fan itself and other components. At the most, it could trigger an overloaded fan motor, shutting down the entire heating system.

There are several signs that a faulty fan is the source of the problem. If it’s grinding against something, you’re likely to hear it. In that case, you should shut off the heater immediately and contact a repair technician in order to prevent further damage to the system. A faulty fan may also signal itself with a reduced air flow, or air flow which has stopped entirely.

For issues with faulty fans and other forms of heating repair, Pittsburgh has a company ready to help. The experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling understand how to fix faulty fans, and are ready to get yours back to functioning effectively. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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Heating Repair in Pittsburgh, PA: Thermostat Issues

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The heating system in your home is called a “system” for a reason: it is more than a single machine that produces heat, like the tank of the boiler or the cabinet of a furnace. A heating system also includes access to a fuel source, a distribution network, and an interface for the homeowner. That last item is the thermostat, and although it is usually distant from the heating unit itself and a physically small component, it is essential for getting you the warmth you need for a Pennsylvania winter.

Thermostats can require repair (or replacement) just like any part of your heating system. In this post, we’ll look at some thermostat troubles you might encounter and repairs they may require. For high-quality Pittsburgh, PA heating repair—from thermostats to whole system replacement—turn to Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have NATE-certified technicians ready to help you.

  • User error: Modern digital thermostats offer homeowners a variety of features, presented on large, easy-to-read displays with user-friendly interfaces. But it’s still possible to set them incorrectly so they turn heaters on and off at inappropriate times, or lower the temperatures when it should be raised. For zone controlled heating systems, you’ll probably have multiple thermostats, increasing the chance of one getting set incorrectly. Before you look for more serious technical issues with your thermostat, double check that you have it set correctly, and consult the user manual.
  • Miscalibration: A thermostat that misreads a home’s temperature will reduce the quality of your heating performance. Even if off by only a few degrees, a programmable thermostat can refuse to turn on when you most need it; or it will heat up your house to uncomfortable levels when you don’t need much heat at all. If multiple attempts to set the thermostat correctly do not work, you’ll need HVAC professionals to take a look at it.
  • Improper placement: If your thermostat was initially installed in the wrong location—near drafts or where it receives direct sunlight for long periods—it will record “ghost readings” of the temperature and turn on and off at the wrong times. You will probably need to re-locate it.
  • Failure: If the thermostat does not seem to affect the heating system at all, then there may be a wiring issue at fault that will require electrical work to resolve. There are other possibilities for why a heater won’t turn on, so get a professional to look over your system to decide on the proper repairs.

Getting fast and skilled heating repair in Pittsburgh, PA is essential during our long winters. If you have thermostat trouble, or any heating trouble whatsoever, contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling right away.

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