Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for March, 2014

Why Your Heat Pump Is Stuck in Cooling Mode

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Answer as fast as you can: What is the great advantage of having a heat pump?

Did you respond “It works as both a heater and an air conditioner?” You most likely did, since the reason most people opt to have a heat pump installed in their home is that is takes care of two installations at once and simplifies their lives.

So if the heat pump in your home loses one of its two modes and starts blowing out cold air when you want warm air, you need to have professionals come to your home and find out what needs repair.

There are a few reasons that a heat pump might become stuck in cooling mode (or heating mode, as is sometimes the case). Most of them will need repairs from trained technicians. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling when you need heating repair in Pittsburgh, PA for your malfunctioning heat pump. We have live operators standing by 24/7 for emergency service.

Reasons a Heat Pump Won’t Switch Modes

The most common cause for a heat pump to remain fixed in cooling mode is a broken reversing valve. This component sits along the refrigerant line and is responsible for changing the direction that refrigerant moves through the pump. Essentially, the reversing valve is what makes a heat pump different from an air conditioner, and if it breaks down, it will leave you with an air conditioner. (As mentioned above, it could also leave you with it heater. It depends on how the manufacturer set the reversing valve’s “relaxed” state, the one where it doesn’t receive an electric charge.)

Fortunately, a broken reversing valve is a simple fix for a technician. He or she will swap out the old valve for a new one. New reversing valves are a basic part of most technician’s vans when attending to heat pump problems.

Another reason for a heat pump staying in one mode is a thermostat issue. A faulty wiring connection can cause thermostat to lose its connection to the system that signals for it to begin heating. This is a simple wiring fix for a technician, but don’t attempt to pull the unit off the wall and fiddle with the wires yourself; you will probably only cause the problem to get worse.

If the air that comes from the vents isn’t cold but instead feels room temperature, the trouble may be a loss of refrigerant. Check to see if icing has started over the outdoor coils, then call for repairs.

Heat pumps are among the more complex comfort devices available for homes today, and they require a precise balance of components to work properly. Do not trust any repairs to amateurs, and do not go the “do-it-yourself” route. Look to the Pittsburgh, PA heating repair professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

Continue Reading

Top 3 Reasons to Install a Furnace

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Furnaces are one of the oldest of all ways to heat a home; only the fireplace pre-dates them, and the furnace arose from the same principles as a fireplace. However, furnaces have kept up technologically with other heating systems and remain the most popular way to provide warmth for houses to this day.

So even though you have a number of options for home heating, such as a boiler or a heat pump, a furnace may still be the best choice of all. We’ll look at some of the reasons you might want to install a furnace in Pittsburgh, PA for the next bout of freezing weather. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to talk to our heating specialists about scheduling a new installation for your home.

3 reasons to consider furnace installation

  1. Heating effectiveness: Pittsburgh winters can be tough. You want a heater that can bring you sufficient warmth to keep the cold back. Furnaces, in particular gas-powered furnaces, are among the most effective heating systems when it comes to the basic job of heating. They outperform heat pumps, which can struggle with extreme low temperatures, and are often a good choice for older homes that have insulation problems.
  2. Flexibility: When it comes to matching heating systems with homes, furnaces have the most flexible options. Regardless of your heating requirements, there is almost always a furnace that can take care of it. They come in many different sizes, efficiencies, and fuel types. With electric, gas, propane, and oil options available, you can find the furnace that fits your budget and home comfort needs.
  3. Fuel efficiency: Gas furnaces are the most popular furnace model, and they are among the most fuel-efficient heating systems available. Modern high-efficiency gas furnaces can score AFUE ratings of 95% and above, which means only 5% of the heat is wasted. This will help reduce your heating bills while still giving you the same superior heating performance.

You’ll only get the most from your furnace with professional installation

If you think a furnace is your optimal choice for heating your home, call up professional installers to help you choose a unit and size it to fit your home. Without the work of skilled installers, you could end up with a furnace that’s wrong for your home and works incorrectly, possibly even dangerously.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling will make sure you end up with the right unit for you. Our trained technicians will deliver a fast and effective installation that will leave you with many years of trouble-free warmth. Call us today for Pittsburgh, PA furnace services.

Continue Reading

At What Point Should I Be Concerned About Rust on My Boiler?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Rust is a natural chemical reaction that occurs between metal and water in the presence of oxygen: it’s something we expect to happen whenever iron-based metal is exposed to water. However, the boiler in your home that keeps you warm during chilly Pennsylvania winters does not usually rust, even though water is a basic part of its operation.

The reason you don’t often see rust or corrosion on your boiler is that manufacturers design them to work as air-tight as possible. There is little oxygen available to allow for the oxidation that leads to rust. As long as your boiler receives regular, annual maintenance and proper repairs, it shouldn’t show signs of rust until near the end of its lifetime. If you have a professional service like Boehmer Heating & Cooling taking care of the needs for your boiler in Pittsburgh, PA, you can expect a long and rust-free performance life.

But is a bit of rust necessarily a need for repairs? At what point should you be concerned about the appearance of corrosion on your boiler?

The answer: Any rust on a boiler is a negative sign and a reason to call for repairs.

If rust develops on a relatively young boiler, it could point to a number of serious issues. Sediment and dirt might be infiltrating the tank through breaks in underground pipes. The expansion valve on top of the tank could have broken and permitted oxygen into the tank. The pH balance of the water is too acidic. Any of these problems needs to be addressed, not only to stop the development of corrosion, but to prevent other issues in the system.

The most damaging consequence of rust along a boiler is that it weakens metal and will lead to leaks. If it spreads across the tank, it could lead to the tank bursting. Rust developing along the connections will cause them to start leaking extensively. Rust is also a natural insulator, and this will upset the temperature balance inside the tank, leading to overheating and an increase in pressure.

If too much rust develops along your boiler’s tank, your only option is usually to have the tank replaced. If caught earlier enough on the heat exchangers and other replaceable parts, technicians can usually stop it. But you have to move fast: the moment you find rust on your boiler, call up a dependable repair service to look into the problem and find a solution.

Since 1933, Boehmer Heating & Cooling has provided people in Pittsburgh, PA with boiler installation, maintenance, and repair that has kept them warm. You can trust us to help you with any trouble you encounter with your boiler.

Continue Reading