Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Brentwood’

Why Consider Installing a Heat Pump?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

If you’re in the market for a new cooling system, there is an unprecedented variety of system types and brands. The selection process is critical to the future of your comfort, however, and should not be taken lightly. You should consider not only the energy efficiency of your new system, but also its performance. Many of today’s models boast high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, which is a good barometer for how your system will perform in the future. The higher the SEER rating, the better the efficiency. And this is precisely why the heat pump makes such a good cooling option. But that’s not the only reason. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should consider installing a heat pump in your Pittsburgh, PA home. For more info, call Boehmer Heating & Air Conditioning today!

  • Year-round comfort: Part of the attraction of heat pumps is that they offer both cooling and heating. They operate in the same way as an air conditioner does during the summer. They remove the warm indoor air and replace it with cool air by means of a circulating refrigerant. During the cooler months, they use the thermal energy of the outdoor air to warm the indoors. This works because of a component called the reversing valve, which allows the refrigerant cycle to reverse direction. If it gets too cold for your heat pump to heat your house, you can supplement it with another system, such as a furnace.
  • Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is a critical factor if you’re considering installing a new system. Whether you’re looking to replace your existing AC or need a comprehensive comfort system for a new home, you need to make sure that you’re getting the most for your dollar. Heat pumps are widely known for the small amount of electricity they consume during operation.
  • Geothermal: The heat pumps we have been referring to above are known as air-source heat pumps, but there is an alternative type that is quickly gaining popularity. Geothermal technology uses a ground-source heat pump to offer heating and cooling throughout your home. This tends to be far more energy efficient than other conventional systems. Check with your local technician to see if geothermal is right for your property.

If you need a heat pump, call Boehmer Heating & Air Conditioning today!

 

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Pittsburgh Air Conditioning Tip: Why Hire a NATE-Certified Professional

Monday, April 29th, 2013

As the summer approaches in Pittsburgh, you may be thinking about upgrading your AC, or perhaps simply calling for some minor repairs or maintenance. It’s important that you hire a NATE-certified professional for any work done on your home cooling system. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. Founded in 1997, and headquartered in Arlington, VA, NATE is the largest and most widely recognized certification organization for the HVAC industry, including air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance. NATE certification gives you confidence that the work to be done on your home is of superior quality, and that your tech has the latest skills and knowledge. For more information, or to schedule Pittsburgh air conditioning services, call Boehmer Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Let’s take a look at why you should hire a NATE-certified professional:

  • Training: NATE-certified technicians have to pass a rigorous examination, which, in combination with conscientious on-the-job training and practical application, gives them the fundamentals of safety, tools, construction, science, mathematics, measurements, and basic electrics. The AC specialization exam gives the NATE-certified tech a comprehensive test about AC plumbing (brazing, flare fittings, soldering), ductwork, electrical systems, leak detection, and measuring airflow, among other subjects.
  • Confidence: The NATE logo is a standard of excellence and consumer confidence. It helps you sift through the many AC contractors available in your area so that you can receive the best possible AC service for your home. This gives you peace of mind, so that you know your home is in good hands.
  • Up-to-date know-how: A standard NATE certification lasts 5 years. One of the reasons why NATE certification is highly prized is due to its recertification policy, which ensures that NATE AC techs are up to date on the latest technology and industry equipment. This is important. It allows you to take advantage of the latest developments in energy efficiency and cooling performance so that you can make an informed decision.

Still unconvinced? Talk to a NATE-certified professional at Boehmer Heating & Cooling for excellent Pittsburgh air conditioning services! 

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Pittsburgh Air Conditioning Maintenance Tip: Benefits of AC Maintenance

Monday, April 8th, 2013

While it’s not yet hot enough to begin using our air conditioning in Pittsburgh, spring is an excellent time to think about air conditioning maintenance and its potential benefits. While installing an appropriately sized system and making sure it has an excellent SEER rating are both important factors in energy efficiency and cooling performance, maintenance is the key to long-term reliability. It’s estimated that neglected air conditioners lose about 5% of their efficiency every year of use. You need professional care on a regular basis to ensure you get the most for your money. For Pittsburgh air conditioning maintenance, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

Here are a few benefits of air conditioning maintenance:

  • Improved energy efficiency: Efficiency measures the cooling output against the electrical energy input. Due to the ever-rising energy costs, homeowners and business’ alike are looking for ways to maximize the energy efficiency of their cooling systems. Routine inspection, cleaning and tune-ups of your AC go a long way to ensuring that you get the most cooling on the dollar.
  • Extended system life: No matter whether your air conditioning system is 3 or 13 years old, it’s never too early or too late to enroll in a routine maintenance program. As dust and debris accumulate inside the components and mechanisms of your cooling system, they will begin to interfere with performance and may eventually cause premature system replacement. When you invest in a cooling system, you want to be sure that it’s going to last. Maintenance is the best way to make that happen.
  • Reduced need for major repairs: While some repairs are inevitable, routine air conditioning maintenance significantly reduces the risk of major repairs, those that are most costly. Often, during the thorough inspection and cleaning of your system, your technician may discover minor problems that need to be repaired. Always make sure to take care of any minor repairs because they can lead to major problems in the future.

We hope you found this list of maintenance benefits useful. If you’re still unconvinced as to the merits of our Pittsburgh air conditioning maintenance service, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today! 

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How Does Geothermal Heating Work? A Pittsburgh Geothermal Installation Question

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Are you interested in a home heating and cooling option that will allow you to keep your home comfortable while drastically reducing the amount of energy that you use in doing so? Contact the home heating experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling today to learn more about how a professionally installed geothermal heating and cooling system can help you do just that. By utilizing a heat pump and the energy stored right beneath your feet, you too can heat and cool your home in a more efficient, environmentally friendly way. Make your Pittsburgh home a little greener with the installation of a geothermal heating system.

Like other heat pump systems, geothermal heating and cooling systems make use of ambient energy for use in your home. Unlike air-source heat pumps, though, geothermal heat pumps draw this heat from beneath the ground or under the water on your property. A loop system is buried or submerged in your property, and an antifreeze solution is circulated throughout this system. When heat has been gathered the liquid goes through the heat exchanger in the heat pump, and the process is repeated. The conditioned air is then distributed through a ductwork system throughout your home.

Because the temperatures at the depths that these loop systems are either buried or submerged are more constant than that of the air, geothermal systems are actually more dependable than other heat pumps. A number of factors and geological considerations of your property will decide if a geothermal system is right for your home. Only a qualified professional is able to determine this.

If you would like to learn more about the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home, contact the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling today. A member of staff will be happy to answer all of your questions. We can help you to decide if a geothermal system is the right choice for your Pittsburgh home.

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Why Use a Humidifier This Winter? Pittsburgh Heating Question

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The winter is typically a very dry time in Pittsburgh. You can tell when it gets dry because your throat will get scratchy or your skin might start to dry out. While you obviously can’t control the humidity outside, you can definitely do something about it inside your home. Whole house humidity systems are a great way monitor how much moisture is inside the air in your home. These systems have a number of benefits that we will explore here.

Your Health

When the air gets dry, it lowers your body’s ability to fight off infection. Dry air can irritate your sinuses and your throat. Your skin can also be affected by dry air. Using a whole house humidity control system can help improve your comfort level and could potentially keep you healthier through the winter.

Your Property

Dry air can also wreak havoc on your property. In particular, wood floor and wood furniture can start to dry out and crack in excessively dry climates. Also, if you have any paintings, dry air may cause them to deteriorate prematurely. You may start to notice that your wallpaper has dried out and started to peel in some places.

Allergies

The dust in your home is primarily made up of dead skin cells. If you have pets in the home, dry air can allow more skin to fall off and increase the amount of dust in your home. Dry air can also cause dust mite droppings to become airborne which can aggravate allergies as well.

Efficiency

Having a properly humidified home can potentially increase the efficiency of your home. Humans generally feel warmer when the air has proper humidity. Also, when you start to invest in the air quality of your home

If you have any questions about the humidity levels in your home in Pittsburgh, call the experts at Boehmer Heating and Air Conditioning. We have years of experience offering humidity control services and other indoor air quality control services in Pittsburgh. We would be more than happy to talk with you about the options for your home and how you can stay comfortable all year long.

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Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Furnace in Your Pittsburgh Home

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new furnace for your Pittsburgh home, there are several reasons you should pay attention to the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. All newer model furnaces get an AFUE percentage, which measures how much fuel a particular model converts into heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, but the size and type of furnace will also factor into how much you’ll save on energy costs.

Understanding the AFUE Ratio

The minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 78%. This means that seventy-eight percent of the fuel is turned into heat, and the remaining percentage is lost either through poor insulation, air leaks, or the ventilation system in the home. Because there’s no heat loss through a chimney flue, some all-electric furnaces can have an AFUE rating as high as 98%. However, if the cost of electricity used to meet your normal heating needs is higher than the efficiency savings, you may want to consider other options. Talk to a qualified HVAC contractor for advice about the most cost-efficient heater for your home.

Furnace Efficiency Features

Furnaces manufactured 15-20 years ago have significantly lower AFUE ratings (between 55%-70% for most older models) because they are typically single-stage, or single-speed systems. Single-stage furnaces are less efficient because they are designed to cycle on at full capacity and shut off when the desired temperature is met.  Newer, two-speed models have a second setting that runs consistently at a lower speed, which saves energy by burning less fuel. Multispeed furnaces that have variable-speed blowers are the most efficient because they operate at various levels and automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.

If you look at the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces, the ratios should be above 80%. Keep in mind that this only determines the efficiency levels for the furnace itself. You’ll need to factor in whether or not your home has proper insulation and other upgrades, such as double-paned windows and doors.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to speak with one of our qualified HVAC technicians about a furnace upgrade for your Pittsburgh home.

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McKeesport Heating Question: Why Is My Furnace Making Noise?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

At the beginning of each season, it makes sense to make sure your heating system is in good working condition.   Scheduling an annual inspection and filter change with Boehmer Heating & Cooling ensures a longer life for your McKeesport heating equipment.

At the first sound of trouble, checking the filter can often be a quick fix.  As air passes through the furnace, a filter picks out much of the dust and some heavier particles that have come along, gotten snagged and accumulated over time to create a solid blockage.

This filter can become clogged and force the furnace to work much harder to push the air through the blocked passage. Located just inside the front panel of the furnace, the filter is very accessible and easily exchanged for a clean one.  This should be the very minimum of regular maintenance and is simple enough to do that it can make anyone feel handy.

Heated air and cold air returning to and from the furnace travel through ductwork which is often metal.  The vibration of footsteps across the floor overhead or even of just the air movement through the ducts can loosen the fasteners and rattle the metal.

Internally, there are fans and lots of moving parts in the motor.  A noise coming from this area portends a repair of a more complicated nature and should have the inspection of a certified technician, a service easily provided by Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

With proper care and maintenance, your McKeesport furnace can last for quite a while, providing heat and comfort to your home.

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Why Fall Maintenance Is Important for Your McKeesport Heating System

Monday, September 17th, 2012

When it comes to heating equipment maintenance and repairs in McKeesport, it does not pay to procrastinate. The longer you put off the maintenance, the higher the probability that your heating system will break down or your heating and cooling contractor will be unable to make an emergency repair when you need it. That’s why fall is the best time of the year to have maintenance and repair procedures performed.

Consider this: when do most people call a heating and cooling contractor? The answer: when they need a repair. The call could come in the middle of the night when a furnace stops working or during a family party on a weekend – both times when it is hard to find someone to do the repair work. Has this happened to you?

You can avoid this aggravation and extra expense by scheduling fall maintenance for your heating system. Fall is often the “slow season” for heating and cooling professionals and many schedule their routine service and maintenance appointments during this time. Contractors expect to be busy during the peak winter months and prefer to spread out the workload as evenly as possible.

Most McKeesport heating and cooling contractors offer service or maintenance agreements, which lock in at least one or two visits a year for furnace or air conditioner inspection. It is rare to find a contractor who will schedule a furnace inspection during the cold winter months. They know that time is usually saved for people with real emergencies. If you don’t have a service agreement with a contractor, you may want to consider signing up for one and avoid the risk of waiting in line for a furnace repair in the dead of winter.

During fall maintenance, your heating equipment will be switched on and inspected. That may sound routine but by running your heating system early, you may be spared the expense of repairing your system when it fails to operate or run smoothly during the cold months. If there is a problem, it is better to fix it ahead of time.

There is no guarantee that a furnace that is tuned up in the fall will last throughout the winter without needing service. But a little preventive maintenance ahead of time will save a lot of heartache – and dollars – when a real emergency comes up. To schedule a heating maintenance visit in the McKeesport area, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling Company a call!

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No Heat in Your Washington House? Things to Check and Do

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

In general, when your heating system stops working, you’ll need to call a Washington heating contractor to come out and take a look. However, before you do that, there are likely a couple of things you can check on your own to ensure that there really is a problem with the system itself.

For instance, if it’s cold in your house and your heat isn’t coming on, check to make sure that the thermostat is set to a high enough temperature that the heating system would be triggered. Particularly if this is the first really cold day of the season, it’s entirely possible that your thermostat was turned down at some point and left there. And if the thermostat isn’t turned up high enough, the heat will never come on.

Also, it’s worth just taking a second to check and make sure that the power switch on the heating system itself is actually in the proper on position. For the most part, there would be no reason for you to turn this off, but it’s always possible it could have happened in any number of ways and it only takes a second to check.

Depending on the type of fuel source your heating system uses, it’s probably a good idea to check to make sure the supply is still available as well. If you use natural gas, check to make sure that the gas line is open, but don’t try to repair it yourself if it seems to be compromised. If you find something like that, be sure to call your gas company right away.

However, if you use oil as a heat source, take a quick peek at the levels in your tank. There’s always the possibility that you used more than you thought you did or that a delivery was missed for some reason and so your heating system simply has no fuel to run on. Similarly, if your heating system runs on electricity, make sure that the fuse wasn’t blown or that it’s not just too loose to provide an adequate power supply.

If you’ve covered all of these basic troubleshooting bases, it may be time to take a closer look at the heating system itself. On just about every type of system there should be some type of reset switch or button. Follow the instructions to press this button and engage the reset process, but be sure to only try this once. If that resetting doesn’t work, it’s time to back off and call in some professional help.

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Possible Causes of Poor Boiler Heating Performance: Some Pointers from Brentwood

Friday, November 11th, 2011

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a mechanical engineer to troubleshoot – and possibly diagnose – the problems with your boiler when its heating performance is erratic or non-existent in your Brentwood home.

The good thing about boilers is that they are typically reliable and long-lasting. There aren’t a lot of working parts that can break down and cause problems, compared to other home heating equipment. When problems do arise, they are usually related to the expansion tank or circulating pumps. But a problem can be much simpler – like a tripped circuit breaker.

The most common problems can be noise, no heat, or poor/erratic heating. Before calling a qualified heating and cooling professional, take a moment to see if you can figure out the what’s wrong.

If you have a noisy boiler it might be because of two things – a faulty circulating pump or water trapped in the return lines. If the pump breaks it will make a loud noise when its motor runs. Water can be trapped in the return lines, which may require “re-pitching” the lines to allow for a flow back to the boiler. You may be able to adjust the flow by positioning hangers on the piping but replacing a pump is better left to a professional.

If your boiler is producing no heat, it could be because of something as simple as a circuit breaker being tripped or a fuse being blown. Check your circuit breakers and fuse and reset or replace if necessary. Is your boiler thermostat in the heat mode? It should be but if it isn’t, make the switch. If your boiler has a standing pilot you should check to see if it is lit and if not, re-light it.

Other problems would take a professional to fix. For example, no heat can be traced to low water levels in the boiler. The boiler should always be half-full of water and if it isn’t, it is likely because of leaks or a faulty pressure reducing valve. Don’t try and fix the problem by yourself.

Low water levels may not cause the boiler to lose its heating capabilities, but may cause fluctuations in its heating capacity. Again, it is advisable to call a professional to diagnose and fix the problem. Poor heating can also be traced to mineral deposits in the boiler. Consult your owner’s manual on instructions how to flush out the boiler.

As always, read the owner guide or operating manual for your boiler. You should get some good tips on proper maintenance and troubleshooting. And have the phone number of a qualified professional taped to your boiler – just in case.

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