Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for the ‘Home Maintenance’ Category

One Refrigerant Myth You Should Never Believe

Monday, July 29th, 2019

refrigerant-line-behind-ac-unitOne of the most commonly asked questions from homeowners is, “how often does my refrigerant need to be refilled?”

The answer might surprise you—hopefully, never!

Your air conditioner’s refrigerant should never need to be refilled—what we refer to as recharged in the HVAC industry. This is a common misconception though, that refrigerant is something that depletes over time, similar to gasoline from a car or oil from an appliance in your household.

How does refrigerant work, and what would cause a refrigerant loss? Read on!

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How to Decrease Your Utility Bills, Increase Your Comfort, and Ensure Your Safety: A Guide to Home Performance Contracting

Monday, April 18th, 2016

If you have the opportunity to schedule a home performance assessment for your home, don’t miss out! Home performance contracting describes the process of assessing major home efficiency, air quality, comfort, and safety issues. Learn more about how scheduling service with a qualified contractor can transform your home below!

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Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Boehmer Heating & Cooling hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

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Call Boehmer Heating and Cooling for Emergency Heating Repairs

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Boehmer Heating and Cooling provides emergency heating repairs in the Pittsburgh area. Boehmer was there to help Pittsburgh resident Robert Hemke when he woke during the night to find his furnace wasn’t working. Boehmer has the following tips for home owners during these cold winter days:

  • Don’t crank the thermostats
  • Maintain temperatures at 68-70 degrees
  • Check for carbon monoxide

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Professional HVAC Service from Boehmer Heating and Cooling of Pittsburgh

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Air Conditioning Service Review | Pittsburgh | Boehmer Heating and Cooling

“Thank you so much for the professional work done at my home.  I am quite pleased and will most certainly contact Boehmer for any additional work that I might need.”
-Diana D.

Boehmer Heating and Cooling offers professional expertise and excellent customer service for all of your Pittsburgh area air conditioning, heating, air filtration, and geothermal needs. Check out our current offers on our promotions page, and give us a call to schedule a checkup for your furnace or boiler for the upcoming heating season.

 

$30 discount on our Plus Agreement Precision Tune-up

$30 discount on Plus Agreement Precision Tune-up

 

$50 in Boehmer Bucks on Signature Service Renewal

Renew a Signature Service Agreement and add $50 in Boehmer Bucks ($500 Maximum) to be used for replacements.

 

Ductless AC- Instant Rebate of $500

Instant Rebate of $500 (On New Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Split AC Units)

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Energy Performance Ratings for Windows, Doors, Skylights

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

When you are picking out windows, doors or skylights for your home, you will have a lot of factors to take into consideration. Not the least of these is how well or poorly the product in question will transfer heat into your home or help to block it out. Luckily, there are actually energy performance ratings listed on most windows, doors and skylights so that you can make the most informed decision possible about which product is best for you.

But what do these ratings actually measure? There are actually several categories that are reflected on the energy performance label, and understanding what these various statistics mean will help you pick out the best product for you.

For instance, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is something that reflects how well the window transfers heat from the sun into your home. A low SHGC means that the window lets in very little heat, while a high SHGC indicates a product that allows a great deal of heat to pass through into your home. The right one for you, however, depends on your own particular needs.

If you live in an area with a mild summer but a harsh winter, you may be interested in allowing the sunlight to help heating your home in the winter. And if the summers are not that extreme, you might not mind the heat coming in at that time of year.

The opposite would be true if you live somewhere that has very hot summers, though. In that case you might want to keep out as much heat from the sun as possible and be content to heat the house all on your own in the winter. So the ideal SHGC for you can vary depending on your own particular circumstances.

Other elements taken into account when the energy performance of windows, doors and skylights is measured are the amount of visible light the product lets in, how well it insulates your house, how much air is allowed to leak out through joints in the structure of the product and how resistant it is to allowing condensation to develop.

All of these elements will impact how well you are able to maintain a comfortable indoor environment all year round and how much it costs you to do so. Because of this, it can be worth paying a bit more for a door, window or skylight if it means that you will save on your heating or cooling bills every month because of that product.

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Save by Caulking Crevices and Penetrations

Monday, July 11th, 2011

They are nothing to be ashamed of. Really, everyone has them. You know – those little cracks and crevices that you always mean to get around to caulking but just have not found the time for yet. But they are so small, they cannot possibly be causing that many problems, right?

Well, not exactly. In fact, any small space that can let air in or out of your house could be costing you money – and a considerable amount too. The truth is that, next to inadequate insulation, leaks and drafts are some of the biggest drains on your home heating and cooling system.

After all, you are paying to heat or cool the air inside your house in order to keep the indoor environment comfortable all year round. But you do not want to be paying more than you need to be. That is why you bought the high efficiency HVAC system in the first place. If you have lots of drafts and cracks in various places throughout your house, however, you are almost certainly spending more than necessary to keep your house comfortable.

And the solution is so simple. You do not need to go out and spend a ton of money on an even more expensive heating and cooling system. All you really need to do is make sure that your home is sealed up as well as possible. And that means sealing up all of the cracks.

Caulking is an extremely effective way of doing this, and it costs very little, particularly if you take on the job yourself. But even if you hire a professional, the amount that you have to pay out will be returned to you many times over in savings on your monthly heating and cooling bills. There simply is no substitute for sealing up your house tight when you are trying to save money on heating and cooling costs.

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Looking at Moving to a New House – What to Look for in HVAC and Plumbing

Friday, June 24th, 2011

What are the Minimum Efficiency and Maximum Age of a Furnace?

Most homeowners overlook simple things like the maintenance and age of their furnace. However, if you know exactly what your furnace should do and how long it should last, you’ll be better prepared to setup your maintenance visits and start looking for a new model. So, how do you tell what your furnace should provide? Here are some easy tips.

The AFUE Rating

Furnaces built in the last 20 years come with an AFUE rating that tells you how much of the fuel they consume is effectively converted into heat. If your home’s furnace has an AFUE of 80% that means it will effectively convert 80% of the fuel it consumes into heat. However, if your furnace has an AFUE of 98% it will convert 98% of the fuel it consumes into heat.

These ratings are designed to show you what to expect from your system from month to month. If the furnace suddenly starts using far more energy and produces the same amount of heat, you know that the AFUE is no longer accurate. It’s either a sign of a problem or that your furnace needs to be replaced.

Maximum Age

No manufacturer likes to give a maximum age for their furnaces because they can last for much longer than originally rated in many cases. However, most furnaces will come with at least a 10 year limited warranty for the heat exchanger and a 10 year limited warranty for the parts. So, if you take good care of your system, they expect it to last at least 10 years.

However, if you maintain your system annually, check the filters throughout the winter and don’t push it too hard when it gets cold out, your system could last even longer than the limited warranty, allowing you to enjoy an efficient furnace for years to come.

Moving In

While you’ll have your new home inspected, a working furnace doesn’t necessarily mean a good furnace. Make sure to learn just how old the furnace is, how much maintenance it needs, and the level of efficiency you can expect. It may be in your best interest to simply have it replaced now and start saving on your energy bill immediately instead of two or three years down the road as it continues to get worse.

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Label Your Panel Box for an Emergency

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

During an emergency, moving fast is a priority. You need to get your family out of the house fast, but there are certain things you should have done well before the emergency that can help to keep you and your family safe. Specifically, if there is an earthquake, flood, or other major natural disaster that can disrupt your appliances or cause a sudden power surge, you want to turn off your electricity immediately, before anything can go wrong. Emergency workers might also need to access your panel box if you’re not home or if the area is too unsafe to enter.

Specific Instances this Might Matter

Think of what can happen if there is a flood in your basement and you need to go down to save your prized possessions or to stop the flow of water. Walking into a flooded basement with live electricity is incredibly dangerous. So, it’s important to know where your panel box is and what each of the breakers in it is for. This gives you the control necessary to stop the flow of electricity and stay safe, even when knee deep in standing water.

This also makes it possible for someone else to flip those breakers if you’re not home or there is a more urgent disaster like a fire or an earthquake. In the case of an earthquake, you never know when electrical supplies might be tripped or when your appliances will become disconnected from exhaust hoods or vents. Your gas is usually tripped off immediately by an earthquake shutoff valve, but your electricity needs to be manually stopped.

The Risk of Live Electricity

The key to effectively keeping your home operational through an emergency is to take every possible precaution until you can be sure that the space is safe. That means turning off key breakers, checking your home for disconnected appliances or potentially dangerous situations, and if necessary calling in an electrician to take care of any specific problems. In the case of most emergencies, if you’re not totally sure that something is safe, take precautions first by calling a professional and then worry about saving possessions and cleaning up.

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Why It’s Important to Think about Plumbing

Monday, May 16th, 2011

If you’re like most people, your plumbing is usually the last thing on your mind. Until something goes wrong, that is. And it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a clogged drain or leaky pipe in your home sooner or later. But while some plumbing problems are certainly unavoidable, there are quite a few things you can do to help keep them to a minimum and avoid larger plumbing emergencies later on.

Professional Checkups

For one thing, it’s a good idea to have your plumbing system checked by a professional every year or two. They can make sure that no roots interfere with the pipes in your yard and that things are generally flowing smoothly throughout the system. A professional inspection will also uncover any leaks, cracks or partial blockages that you may not have realized were there but that could cause significant damage later on if not dealt with promptly.

Do It Yourself Maintenance

In addition to professional inspections, though, there are some things you can do on your own. For instance, every season brings new challenges for your home plumbing. Many people know that there are dangers associated with freezing pipes in the winter, but did you know that there are things you can do all year round to help your plumbing work better?

Fall is the best time of year to start disconnecting outdoor faucets and checking them for leaks. If you take these steps before the really cold weather sets in, you’ll be able to get necessary repairs done well before freezing outdoor temperatures become a problem.

This is also a good time of year to check for proper insulation around pipes and to make sure your water heater is tuned up and ready to go for the winter. Sure, you use it all year round, but the colder it is outside, the harder your water heater has to work all winter.

Once spring rolls around again, there are plenty of other tasks you can take on to ensure the continued healthy functioning of your plumbing. For instance, you should check all of your outdoor drains and gutters to see that they’re clear of debris that could have built up during the winter. You can also flush out your water heater again to clear whatever’s accumulated over the winter and check any pipes and faucets for problems that may have developed during the cold months.

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