Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for May, 2014

What Are the Benefits of a Whole-House Humidifier?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

When people think of discomfort, “humidity” is one of the words that often springs to mind. A humid climate means your body feels hotter because sweat cannot evaporate rapidly enough to cool you off. However, low humidity is also a problem. Although a dry heat feels more comfortable, it can also cause serious troubles in your home and the health of everyone in it. If these dry conditions remain until winter, they will make the cold feel worse since the aridity will draw heat right from your body along with the moisture.

Although there are some basic ways to raise the humidity of your home if it is too dry, such as hanging wet towels over open windows and boiling water in the kitchen, the best way to achieve continued balanced humidity is with a whole-house humidifier installed into your HVAC system. A small, portable humidifier may work for one room (such as a baby’s bedroom), but isn’t an effective solution for a house that is suffering from low moisture throughout. To have installation of a humidifier in Whitehall, PA, contact the indoor air quality professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling today. We can find the ideal size and type of humidifier to protect you and your home all year.

Advantages of a Whole-House Humidifier

  • Comfort: Air that becomes too dry will make you feel colder than the temperature around you because it will absorb the heat from your body. Although you may welcome this during hot weather, once the temperature drops, the chill of the dry air will make life feel unpleasant, and you’ll consequently need to run the heater to compensate. A humidifier can solve this discomfort and save you money on your heating bills. Balanced humidity will also remove much of the annoyance of static electricity.
  • Better health: High moisture aids the growth of toxic molds and spores, but low moisture brings its own set of issues. Dry conditions are ideal for the survival of disease-causing bacteria, and flus and the common cold spread easier in regions of low humidity. This dryness is also terrible for skin and lips, leading to flaking, peeling, and even cracking, and also promotes sinus troubles and sleeping difficulty (this is one of the reasons humidifiers are popular for helping babies sleep). Installing a whole-house humidifier will combat these health problems.
  • Protect your belongings: Dry conditions lead to damage to furnishings. Low humidity will cause wood to start to split, and this can wreck valuable furniture and lead to wood warping. Precision devices, such as musical instruments like woodwinds, guitars, and pianos, are especially susceptible to damage from low humidity. Other items in your home in danger are caulking and glue that help keep the heat seals around your windows and doors. With a humidifier, you’ll have a home safe from the damages of aridity.

Let our professionals at Boehmer Heating & Cooling analyze your home’s humidity levels to determine what sort of indoor air quality option in Whitehall, PA will best help you. Once they’ve determined the system and size necessary, they’ll install it so you can enjoy many years of improved health, higher comfort, and a well-maintained home. Give us a call today.

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What You Need to Know about the Freon Phase Out

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Freon is a form of refrigerant gas, used in air conditioners for many years to help cool the air of your home. This can have an impact on your existing system, especially if you have an older system that still uses Freon as its primary form of coolant. Repair services that handle air conditioning in Brentwood can fill you in on most of the details, but with the Freon phase out well underway, we thought it would be a good idea to fill our customers in on the basics. Here’s what you need to know about the Freon phase out.

The phase out was actually kicked off in 1987, when the Montreal Protocol established a timetable for the gradual elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which damage the planet’s ozone layer. A big part of that was the Freon-based refrigerant gas R-22, which had been in regular use almost since the invention of air conditioning systems over 40 years ago. But R-22 is damaging to the environment, which means that it has gradually been eliminated in new types of air conditioner in favor of several acceptable substitutes (including Puron, Forane, and GENETRON AZ-20.) However, units that were running on R-22 when the protocol was initiated could continue to do so until they finally broke down and could be replaced by more recent versions.

We’re currently in the midst of the timetable by which we are supposed to lower the use of R-22. By January 1, 2015, the U.S. needs to have reduced its use of CFC by 90%, and by 2020, that number needs to be at 99.5%. What does that mean for you? Well, if you’re using an older system that still relies on R-22, now is the best time to consider replacing it with a new one. By definition, it must be very old and with the looming deadlines, air conditioning companies are motivated to install a brand new unit in your home. The experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling can tell you what you need to know about the Freon phase out, and install an updated air conditioning system in Brentwood.

Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

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How to Determine if an Air Cleaner is Right for Your Home

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Most air conditioners and heaters contain air filters, designed to screen out dust, hair and other contaminants that might otherwise spread throughout your home. Air filters need to be replaced and/or cleaned periodically or else the build-up could damage your system, but generally speaking, they do a good job in keeping your indoor air quality high. Sometimes, however, that may not be enough. In those cases, you can install a formal air cleaner that helps further filter out dust and contaminants. They come in many forms, from mechanical models to electronic models, and here in Baldwin, air cleaners can be installed by any reputable air conditioning repair services. Here’s how to determine if an air cleaner is right for your home.

It starts with your particular family members and their needs. The very old and very young tend to be more sensitive to dust in the air than adults in their prime, and excessive contaminants may pose a hazard for them. If you have a baby on the way or there’s an elderly relative living in your home, you should consider installing a whole-house air cleaner for them. You might also do so if someone in the household suffers from allergies or has a history of delicate health in general.  It promotes healthier living and may even save you a trip to the doctor’s somewhere down the line.

Another reason to consider an air cleaner concerns the air around your home. If your area suffers from excessive dust, pollen, ragweed or the like, you may find your household becoming dustier more quickly. Pet dander, too can create an excessive build-up of dust and a home with multiple furry friends will likely benefit from the addition of a more formal filtration system.

If you’ve determined that an air cleaner is right for your home, the next step is to call the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for help. We work in Baldwin, air cleaner installation falls under our realm of expertise and we’ll be happy to break the installation down for you before we start work. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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Air Conditioning in Pittsburgh: Ways to Improve Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Your air conditioner’s efficiency can translate directly into savings for you. How? The more efficient your air conditioning system is, the less energy it uses to do its job. Many systems are quite energy efficient on their own, but there are a few things Pittsburgh property owners can do to help boost the efficiency even more.

Tips on Making Your Air Conditioning in Pittsburgh More Efficient

Following are some tips our experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling have put together to help you achieve greater efficiency with your air conditioner this summer:

Change your air filters regularly – air filters can become clogged with dirt, dust and debris. By changing your air filter regularly, you can help your system’s air flow to stay consistent and healthy.

Bi-annual maintenance – having professional bi-annual inspection done on your system by an AC maintenance expert means your system will be checked for any potential problems and cleaned as needed. Cleaning and regular maintenance can go a long way toward maximizing your system’s efficiency and increasing its longevity.

Use a programmable thermostat – a programmable thermostat enables you to run your AC as needed. For instance, if your property is empty during the day, you can program your thermostat to accommodate this, as well as to start up right before you get home.

Shade indoors against daytime heat gain – throughout the day, the sun changes positions; as such, there will be one side of your home that will have the sun shining on it for the afternoon. Use drapes, shades or solar screens to help reduce the heat gain from daytime sun.

Don’t block air registers – blocking registers can interfere with the system’s air flow. Clear register areas of any curtains or furniture that may be blocking.

Keep fan setting to “auto” – the fan setting on your thermostat has 3 choices: on, off and auto. While the “off” setting is clear, there can be some confusion when it comes to “on” and “auto”. The auto setting means your system is running as it is programmed; the on setting will keep your fans running all the time. For efficiency purposes and for the better of your system, it is strongly recommended you keep the setting to auto.

Still Not Running Efficiently? Call an Expert

If, after utilizing some of these tips, your air conditioning in Pittsburgh is not running as efficiently as it should, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment.

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When Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Many homeowners with air conditioning systems have to face replacing or upgrading their air conditioner at some point. This can be a good thing for your air conditioner, as technological advancements have made air conditioning systems very effective and energy efficient, and they add great value to your home. So when should you take a good look at possibly replacing your system? Here are some tips from Boehmer Heating & Cooling to help you determine if this is the right time for an air conditioning replacement in Pittsburgh.

Assess the Overall Picture

There are multiple factors that need to be considered when looking to either replace or upgrade your air conditioning system. The first three are:

  • How old is the system?
  • How much does it cost to repair it?
  • What is the life expectancy of the system?

Age of Your System

When looking at an air conditioning replacement or upgrade, the first item to consider is the age of your current system. With the latest HVAC technological advancements, combined with new federal regulations, recommended that if your system should be upgraded or replaced if it is 10+ years old.. While there may be a significant cost to the initial replacement, the efficiency of a new system will show itself immediately in your electrical bills.

Cost of Repairs

If you spend a lot of money on repairs, or are looking at expensive repairs in the not-too-distant-future, you may want to start pricing out better options with an expert at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. At some point, paying for repairs simply isn’t as economically feasible as moving ahead with a new air conditioning system. In fact, it may cost you less money to replace a system rather than continue to repair it.

Life Expectancy of Your System

How much time does your current system realistically have left? This will depend in large part on its age; it’s safe to say that if your system is 8 years or older, you are looking at a replacement sooner rather than later.

Other Questions to Consider

In addition to the main 3 questions above, you may also want to ask the following:

  • Are my energy bills going up?
  • Do I have hot and cold spots inside my property?
  • Am I experiencing humidity problems?
  • Is my system excessively noisy?

Consult a Boehmer Heating and Cooling Expert

Replacing or upgrading and entire air conditioning system is a very important purchase for your property. Let a Boehmer Heating and Cooling specialist help you with any and all questions you may have about upgrading or replacing your air conditioning system. For great air conditioning services in Pittsburgh, ours is the number to dial. Give us a call today!

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