Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for April, 2014

3 Advantages of Energy Audits

Friday, April 25th, 2014

What is an energy audit? It’s a professional service that determines where your house is losing energy and wasting money, and suggests solutions to decrease this energy loss. During an energy audit, a trained technician—an energy auditor—comes to your home and performs tests that take into account your HVAC system, appliances, insulation, ventilation, and more. Through blower door tests and infrared cameras, an auditor can pinpoint the many hidden places where your home leaks energy.

An energy audit can benefit you in many ways, and we strongly suggest you have one done. Scheduling a session with an auditor is easy: call Boehmer Heating & Cooling and speak to our specialists in energy audits in Pittsburgh, PA.

3 Advantages You Can Receive From An Energy Audit

  1. Lower utility bills: One of the main reasons to schedule a home energy assessment is to find out how your house makes you waste money on your energy bills. Losing heat means you must spend more time running your heating system to replace what is lost; during a Pittsburgh winter, this can be significant. The problem occurs in summer as well, when heat enters through air and insulation leaks and raises the humidity, which puts pressure on the air conditioner. An audit will show you where you can create better heat sealing against the outside and lower the amount of your HVAC system usage.
  2. Better comfort: Leaking air can make your home miserable during summer and especially winter. If you suffer from drafts in your house, you should have an energy audit done to find out where you can seal the leaks to improve your comfort.
  3. Improved indoor air quality: A home with good ventilation and a supply of fresh air will have better indoor air quality. However, leaks in a home do not lead to better indoor air, but usually make it worse since they will draw in excess outside air that contains pollutants like pollen, dirt, and dust mites. Higher humidity levels will also damage indoor air quality. An energy audit will show you how to seal off your home from unwanted outside contamination.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends homes have an energy audit. The DOE’s studies show that homeowners who follow through on the recommendations of an audit save 5%-30% off their annual energy bills. Homeowners may also qualify for state, local, or utility incentives to assist you with an audit.

At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, we are pleased to offer energy audits and indoor air quality services in Pittsburgh, PA to help people have healthier, more comfortable, and more economical lives. Contact us today to get started making your house more energy-friendly.

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Air Conditioning Repair FAQ: Can I Just Scrape the Ice off the Coils?

Friday, April 18th, 2014

We use our air conditioners a lot during the summertime, when our temperatures are warm and a little cool air is a welcome relief. Unfortunately, most repairs come at a time when you need your air conditioner the most, and rather than waiting for a repairman, some homeowners might think of trying to fix the problem themselves. Take the matter of ice building up on the coils. “Can’t I just scrape the ice off the coils?” you ask (a pretty frequent air conditioning repair FAQ). In point of fact, you really shouldn’t it won’t solve the problem, and can actually make things much worse.

The problem with the ice lies in where it forms: the evaporator coils, which serve to cool the air. When ice forms, it serves to insulate the coils from the air it’s supposed to cool, making it harder for the air conditioner to do its job. It also indicates something is wrong with the refrigerant pressure in your system.

So why not just scrape the ice off? Because while the ice creates problems, it’s not the source of the issue. It forms when refrigerant levels are lower than they should be in your air conditioner, usually because of a leak. You can scrape the ice off, but it will just reform again until you seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels. Even worse, your efforts to scrape the ice off could damage the coils, and turn a relatively inexpensive repair into an extremely costly one.

If you know you can’t just scrape the ice off the coils, the next step is to call in the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have the answers to many air conditioning repair FAQs you may have, and always perform repairs with professionalism and pride. If you spot ice on your coils, give us a call. There’s no one better to handle air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh!

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Are You Ready to Turn on Your AC for the Cooling Season?

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Although we haven’t hit a powerful warm spell in Pittsburgh yet, it won’t be long before the air conditioners in our homes start up their familiar hum and cool air blows from the vents for another summer season. Right now, when we still have cooler weather, you should ask yourself if you’re ready to turn on your AC for the upcoming season… or if you should take a few steps to make certain that it’s ready.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling is here to help you with your air conditioning preparations during the spring. You can call us to handle any necessary repairs, provide advice, or take care of the all-important air conditioning maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA that will give you the best assurance of quality cooling throughout the summer.

Here are some steps to take to ready your AC for cooling season

  • First, make sure you replace your current air filter. This filter stops dust and debris in the return vents from entering the air conditioner’s cabinet. If the filter becomes clogged (which it likely is if your heating system uses the same vents), it will choke off airflow into the AC and your AC will lose efficiency and effectiveness. A clogged filter could also allow damaging particles to get inside. Change the filter for a new one, and make sure you change it regularly for the rest of the summer.
  • Second, call a reputable HVAC company and arrange for a preventive maintenance visit. A skilled technician will come to your home and inspect your air conditioner, take care of the necessary cleaning, make adjustments, and test its operation so that you know the system is working at its best. You’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that your air conditioner has no major troubles brewing as it heads into summer.
  • Third, jump on any necessary repairs. The technician may discover that not all is right with your air conditioner and recommend repairs to take care of before you turn your AC on for the season. The technician can help you arrange for the repairs and schedule them. Never delay on having this work done, as neglect could threaten to develop into a worse problem or even a full breakdown.

Look to Boehmer Heating & Cooling for your AC needs

At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, we offer different tiers of maintenance programs to fit your needs. The Plus and Signature agreements provide you with a precision tune-up for your AC and a 15% discount on repairs, plus a reduced diagnostic charge. To find out more about the two plans, contact our specialists in air conditioning maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA today.

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The Importance of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Friday, April 4th, 2014

All air conditioning systems develop problems slowly over time as they operate. Without the intervention of a professional HVAC contractor, those problems will continue to get worse and will eventually turn into costly repairs. However, there is something that homeowners can do to potentially prevent those issues from causing the need for repairs: regular AC maintenance services. We wanted to raise awareness of the benefits of getting regular maintenance for your AC so we put together this quick explanation. Give us a call if you’re ready to schedule service and one of our friendly techs will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

There are a few very important benefits to getting regular air conditioning maintenance for your Pittsburgh home. Here are a few of them.

  • Reduced repair – The small problems that your AC develops will eventually become full-blown repairs. But when you have an expert regularly inspecting, cleaning and repair your air conditioner they will be able to find those problems early and fix them before they cause any further damage.
  • Extended equipment life – We often get called to replace AC systems that were effectively destroyed by small problems slowly over time. By regularly fixing those problems you could be able to keep your air conditioning system working for longer.
  • Increased efficiency – It makes sense that it your AC has a lot of little things wrong with it that those will cause it to have to work harder to cool your home. By taking care of those problems regularly and making sure your system is clean, you could be able to return some of the efficiency to your AC system.
  • Increased comfort – Finally, when your air conditioning system is operating a peak efficiency it will likely be able to keep your home and your family more comfortable.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to schedule your AC maintenance visit today!

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