Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Archive for June, 2014

How Air Purifiers Give You Better Indoor Air Quality

Friday, June 27th, 2014

When it comes to improving the quality of a home’s indoor air, you have numerous options available: filters, cleaners, UV lights, humidifiers, and repair and cleaning services for your ductwork. One of the most effective ways to cleanse your air and eliminate the majority of pollutants that can lead to health issues is through an electronic air purifier. Working in conjunction with a HEPA filter, an air purifier can reduce the contamination in your indoor air to almost nothing.

Installing an air purifier in Baldwin, PA requires professionals to find the right model and size for you and fit it into your HVAC system correctly. You’ll find this kind of qualified work at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. Call us today to learn more about the choices you have for improving your indoor air quality.

How Air Purifiers Work

The standard HEPA mechanical filter removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and many ones smaller than that. However, they are not effective against odor molecules or gases—and this is where and electronic air purifier comes in.

An air purifier is not a filter at all. It instead sits in a section of an HVAC system where all outgoing air must pass and creates what is known as a corona discharge in the air. This electric discharge ionizes the air particles: it changes molecules with a positive charge to a negative charge, and those with a negative charge to a positive charge. Large particles—most types of contamination—attract electrons easier, and are therefore more likely to ionize.

The purifier then attracts the ionized particles toward two sets of plates. The negatively charged plate attracts positive ions, and the positively charged plate attracts negative ions. As the contaminants draw toward the plates, they collect together and grow heavier, dropping out of the air.

This method of ionization affects the same particles that a HEPA filter traps, but it also affects gases and odors. Air purifiers will eliminate chemicals, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and most odors from the air, all of which would escape even the best mechanical filters. Purifiers need an electrical connection to work, but only require a minimal amount of energy; you’ll save money in so many other ways that the cost to run the purifier will seem completely unimportant.

Air purifiers come in different sizes and types, and not all will work well for your home or HVAC system. Contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling and speak to our air quality experts, and they will help you locate the right air purifier in Baldwin, PA to give you the cleanest, pollution-free air possible. You can also count on us for the maintenance necessary to keep your purifier working year after year.

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3 Reasons to Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance Now

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Our Pittsburgh temperatures are starting to climb, so we know a lot of our customers are beginning to use their air conditioners more and more. Generally, doing maintenance on your AC before summer is optimal, but the truth is, if you haven’t had your AC inspected for a while, any time is a good time for maintenance. Why schedule your air conditioning maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA with Boehmer Heating & Cooling now? We’ll give you 3 reasons why now is a good time for your AC to get a tune-up:

Reason #1: Prevent Repairs

During a routine maintenance appointment, your technician will thoroughly inspect your air conditioner, clean parts like the coils and air filters, and adjust and/or repair things as needed. Items like worn fan belts, loose screws, potential electrical issues and possible refrigerant leaks are checked and fixed, if found to be faulty, helping to stave off larger repairs that can come about as a result of smaller items being left unattended. Simply put, routine maintenance helps put you ahead of the curve of potential repairs, which can save you both money and time.

Reason #2: Energy Efficiency

As the summer heats up, so does the use of your AC, and an air conditioner that hasn’t been maintained will most likely cost you more money than one that has. Why? An air conditioner that has been adjusted, lubricated and repaired as needed will run optimally; one that hasn’t won’t. Regular maintenance is a great way to help keep those summer utility bills from climbing up with the rising temperatures.

Reason #3: Indoor Air Quality

Your air conditioner takes in a lot of dirt, dust, and other airborne particles; these particles enter your system and infiltrate the air that is blown back in, compromising your indoor air quality. Cleaning is one of the main aspects of routine maintenance, including parts and filters; in addition, an AC that runs well means your comfort won’t be compromised due to a stressed or malfunctioning system.

Have a Great Summer by Scheduling AC Maintenance Now

Our temperatures are only starting to climb – is your air conditioner ready for real summer heat? The best way to find out is by scheduling a maintenance appointment.

Since 1933, Boehmer Heating & Cooling has been helping customers in Pittsburgh with their air conditioning maintenance. Don’t run the risk of having your air conditioner stop working on the hottest day of the year – call Boehmer Heating & Cooling and schedule your maintenance today!

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Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Hissing Sounds

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Strange sounds coming from an air conditioner are usually warnings that the system needs to have professionals look into it to see if there are repair needs that must be taken care of soon. Some of the more prominent warning noises are grinding and groaning mechanical sounds, screeching, slapping and clanging, and rapid clicking.

A less obvious noise, but one that is still a cause for great concern, is a hissing that sounds like escaping steam or gas. When you hear this noise from your AC, do not wait: call for air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA right away. Boehmer Heating & Cooling is on call 24 hours a day to service your AC with the necessary help to get it working again and out of danger of a major breakdown.

What That Hissing Sound Means and Why It’s Serious

The hissing sound coming from an air conditioner is the high-pressure refrigerant escaping from a leak along the lines, in the coils, or from the compressor. The refrigerant inside your AC is at a set level, known as its “charge,” that must remain the same for the air conditioner to work correctly. Refrigerant does not dissipate during normal operation, so losing charge isn’t a problem…unless a leak occurs.

When the refrigerant charge in an air conditioning system starts to drop, the AC will have a harder time absorbing sufficient heat along the indoor coil, and this will result in a drop in cooling power. As the evaporator coil struggles to absorb enough heat, the refrigerant will remain too low a temperature, and this will cause ice to start to form across the coil, which will further drop the heat absorption. Eventually, a solid block of ice will cover the coil and no heat exchange—and therefore no cooling—will take place.

The loss of refrigerant also means a change in pressure throughout the AC, and that can cause damage to the system. Most troubling of all is the damage that the low refrigerant can cause the compressor, which may eventually overheat without sufficient refrigerant. A burnt-out compressor usually means the whole air conditioner must be replaced.

How to Solve the Problem

The safest and surest way to deal with leaking refrigerant is to call for professionals. You will have a hard time finding the leak on your own, and even if you could seal it, you would not know how much refrigerant to recharge or even the right blend to use.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling when you have a hissing system that needs air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve delivered comfort since 1933.

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How Do UV Germicidal Lights Work?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Indoor air quality is a significant concern for any prudent homeowner, and if you have a recurring problem with dust or dirt in your home, you may want to add a filtration system to your air conditioning to help. UV lights, in particular, can be used to kill germs and bacteria, helping to keep members of your household comfortable and safe. They’re especially helpful if someone in your household suffers from allergies, if you have a new baby, or if there are elderly family members living in your home. Here in Baldwin, UV germicidal lights can be installed by a number of air conditioning services, but how do they work? We’ve provided a quick breakdown below.

UV stands for “ultraviolet,” a wavelength of light that lies outside of the range of human vision. We can’t see UV light, but it definitely puts the whammy on germs and bacteria. The UV wavelength deactivates their DNA, denying them the ability to replicate and spread. (More specifically, it damages the organism’s nucleic acid by forming new bonds in the DNA. Those bonds thus can’t be “unzipped” when the time comes for the organism to replicate, and it dies.)

The light is simply a lamp, containing mercury vapor tubes that produce the right wavelength of UV light. When you connect the light to your heating or air conditioning system, it’s able to cycle through most of the air in your house. As air passes through the system, it also passes through the light, which kills the germs before the air blows back into your house via a fan. As a result, your indoor air quality goes up and the preponderance of disease-causing germs goes down.

It’s an elegantly simple system and if you have concerns about germs or bacteria in your home, it could be a life saver. For more on how UV germicidal lights work or to schedule an installation, talk to the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for help. Installing and servicing UV germicidal lights and other indoor air quality services in Baldwin are a regular part of our operations, and we can install an appropriate array in your HVAC system with little difficulty. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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