Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Furnace Installation’

Is It Time to Get a New Furnace?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The cold winter weather has arrived in Pittsburgh, and we hope that you’re cozy inside your home with your furnace keeping you warm. But if you’re not, or if your furnace is acting strangely, then maybe you need to consider a new furnace installation.

Furnaces can last for a long time with the proper care, sometimes past 20 years. But eventually they will start to run down, develop corrosion, and begin to work inefficiently, leading to a complete breakdown. If your furnace is nearing the end of its service life, you should have a new furnace put in before your current one shuts down at the worst possible time. With professional installers on the job, the switch from the old furnace to the new one will go fast and you won’t find yourself stuck in the cold.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling has years of experience with furnace installation; we’ve been in business since 1933! For your new furnace in Pittsburgh, PA, trust to us.

Here are a few of the signs to look out for that will warn you it’s time to get a new furnace:

  • Inexplicably elevated heating bills: As a furnace wears down with age, it will start to work harder to do its job. You may feel the same level of heating, but your furnace must drain more power to achieve it. Take a look at your heating bills each month: if they start to climb and stay that way, it might be the fault of a furnace past its prime and moving into decrepitude.
  • Extensive rusting: If you discover extensive rust along the bottom of the cabinet of your furnace, then it is likely time to get a new unit.
  • Constant noisy operation: One of the best warning signs a furnace can send that it requires repairs is a strange, loud noise. However, if a furnace begins to make rumbling, clanging, and grating noises on a regular basis, it usually means that it has become too worn down for regular repairs to restore it.

It’s a big step to decide on installing a new furnace, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one if you hire a contractor with the experience necessary to make the installation go fast and smoothly. All of the installers at Boehmer Heating & Cooling are highly trained, so you’ll know that you are getting quality work when you hire them to install your new furnace in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact us today so you’ll have the best heating for the rest of the winter.

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Heating Options: Should I Consider a Furnace in Pittsburgh?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

If you’re considering installing a new heating system, whether for your new home or as a replacement for your old heater, a furnace is one of the most attractive options available today. A Pennsylvania winter can be an ordeal without the proper heating system keeping you warm, so keep a few of these pointers in mind when it comes to deciding if a furnace in Pittsburgh is your best choice.

No matter what heater you choose, contact Boehmer Heating & Cooling for knowledgeable consultation and professional installation. We have over seven decades of experience with the heating needs of Pittsburgh residents.

Furnaces can be powered either by gas or electricity. A gas furnace usually costs less to run than an electric furnace. They also generally have longer lifespans than other options like heat pumps or boilers. A properly installed furnace should also pose no health risks or dangers to air quality because of leaks.

One of the great advantages of an electric furnace is its efficiency. The modern electric furnace often has a high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating and are one of the best ways to heat your home. In a tough winter, an electric furnace is one of the best ways to keep your home evenly heated at the comfort level you want.

A furnace requires ductwork to distribute heat through your home. If you already have a central air conditioning system, the furnace can use the same set of ducts and won’t pose any installation headaches. If you don’t have ducts in your home, there is obviously going to be a few added steps in the installation process.

Boehmer Heating & Cooling can help you choose the right furnace for you and take care of its installation. We’ve handled heating needs since 1933, so we should be your first choice when you want to install a furnace in Pittsburgh.

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Upgrading to a More Efficient Furnace in Pittsburgh

Monday, March 25th, 2013

The spring off-season is a great time to make any upgrades to your heating system. If your furnace is getting older or requires frequent repairs, then it’s probably time to think about a high-efficiency replacement. Efficiency measures the amount of fuel or electrical input to the amount of heating output. Upgrading is a great way to improve your long-term savings, and allows you to take control of the future of your home comfort. Today’s energy-efficient models are powerful systems that make very little waste. Are you ready for a new furnace in Pittsburgh? Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

One of the most important ratings in the heating industry is known as AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It estimates the yearly average of heating output per energy input. It’s a percentage that indicates how much of the furnace’s energy is converted into heat, and how much is waste product exhausted outside the home. Some of today’s furnaces have AFUE ratings of up to 97%, which means that only 3% of the furnace’s energy is wasted—an incredible ratio. Most modern furnaces are AFUE rated at 90% and above, which is a drastic improvement from those produced just 15 years ago.

If you’re considering upgrading to a more efficient furnace, perhaps one with a much higher AFUE than your current system, you’ll also need to consider whether to choose gas or electric. You should take into consideration several factors: what type of energy source your current system runs on, the respective costs of gas and electric in your area, as well as your budget. If you’re already set up for a gas furnace, then perhaps it makes sense to stick with your setup and simply swap out the unit itself. If you previously had electric and you want natural gas, then you’ll need to make sure that you have a gas hook-up nearby that is available. While both types are efficient, electric furnaces tend to be more so, because they don’t need to convert a fuel, such as gas or oil, and they can theoretically operate at 100% AFUE.

Upgrading your furnace is a great way to maximize your savings over the long term and your comfort in the short term. For furnace installation in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today! 

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Pittsburgh Heating Tip: Decisions to Make Prior to Your Furnace Installation

Monday, December 10th, 2012

While summer and fall are excellent times to start planning a new furnace installation for your Pittsburgh area home, it’s never too early to start comparing the different models if you know that you will need to replace your furnace.

There are some decisions you will need to make prior to the furnace installation, such as what type of furnace you want to install and what features are most important to you. You can always call Boehmer Heating & Cooling for advice. Meanwhile, we’ve put together some things to think about as you start making these decisions.

You can begin making your decisions by monitoring your heating bills and paying attention to how well your current furnace is performing. Are you paying outrageously high heating bills? How did your furnace test during the annual tune-up?  If you decide that you want a high-efficiency system, you’ll need to know how to read and compare the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) percentages and what they mean for you.

It’s a good idea to begin speaking with your heating contractor about the different models on the market, and they should be able to help you select the most cost-efficient furnace for your home. You’ll also need to decide what type of fuel you want to use. For instance, if your home has access to natural gas, heating with a gas furnace is much easier than getting oil delivered, and if you switch over, you will also save space since there’s no tank involved.

Don’t hesitate to call Boehmer Heating & Cooling if you having any questions about installing a heating system in Pittsburgh!

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Pittsburgh Heating Tip: How to Check if Your HVAC System Is the Right Size

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Do you ever feel that your Pittsburgh home just doesn’t get cool enough during the warm months or warm enough during the cold months? You have tried to adjust your thermostat to the right comfort level but it just never seems right. And on top of that, you notice that your utility bills keep going up and up. Even when you dial up the thermostat in the summer and dial it down in the winter to saving on energy usage, your bills are still about the same.

You could try adding fans and shedding clothes during the warm months or wearing sweaters and crawling under a pile of blankets in the cold months. But do you really enjoy living that way? There must be another solution as to why your Pittsburgh heating and cooling (HVAC) system is just not keeping you comfortable – and affordable.

That air conditioning condensing unit sitting in your backyard and the furnace in your basement should be making your home as comfortable as possible. But in many cases, they are not.  That’s because whoever installed those HVAC system components didn’t do their homework on your home. The components were sized incorrectly. If a furnace or air conditioner is sized incorrectly, it usually cannot keep up with the demand for heat or cold and often puts such a burden on the equipment. As a result, regular failures and repair bills are commonplace.

And it may not be the fault of the installing Pittsburgh HVAC contractor. Over the years your home may have undergone renovations including additions and new windows, which have increased the square footage or demand for more heating or cooling. Those renovations may not have included upgrades to your home’s HVAC system.

So how do you check for the right size? Call a professional HVAC contractor and ask for evaluation of your home. The audit will include several key checks including a load calculation, which adds in the size of your home’s living space, number of door and windows where heat loss or gain could occur, and a check of heat loss or gain through leakage in cracks, roofs, crawlspaces, etc. An audit will determine what size of furnace or air conditioner is needed to meet the heating or cooling needs of your home and its own individual characteristics. Your HVAC contractor may also factor in the number of building occupants and normal usage patterns, i.e. having a home office or stay-at-home parent versus a working family where your home is occupied mostly at nights or on weekends.

All of these factors are considered when determining the equipment size. In air conditioning jargon, you will hear about tonnage of cooling capacity. An example may be a 2.5 ton air conditioning unit for a 2,000 square foot home. In furnace jargon, you will learn about Btu ratings, which are British thermal units. Most furnaces are sized in 20-25,000 Btu increments. Each is matched to the cooling or heating needs of your home.

Make sure you don’t hire someone who “guesstimates” how much cooling or heating capacity you need for your home. Find a qualified Pittsburgh heating and cooling professional who will make the correct calculations and who will qualify their recommendations.

For any questions about your home’s heating system, please give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call today!

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O’Hara Heating Installation Advice: High Efficiency Furnaces and Chimney Concerns

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

When upgrading to a high efficiency gas furnace in your O’Hara home, you may need to make some upgrades to your chimney. Older chimneys built for standard furnaces with normal exhaust needs are not built to the specifications needed by today’s high efficiency models. Not only is it unsafe to leave it as is, but the cost of repairs if you don’t have it upgraded can be substantial.


A common concern when upgrading to a high efficiency gas furnace is the issue of condensation and draft. Because the amount of exhaust being vented is reduced by a high efficiency furnace, your current setup is not sufficient for the new model. So, it needs to be reduced in size by a professional to avoid backup of exhaust. Proper chimney sizing is a complex process that requires professional guidelines and careful measurements of all appliances in your home.

Because the chimney often isn’t used at all for a high efficiency furnace (often PVC pipe used instead), the extra airflow in the chimney can become a major issue.

Chimney Condensation

The biggest concern for the chimney when changing the furnace efficiency is condensation. Specifically, acidic condensation droplets can build up in the chimney if not properly stopped. A new chimney liner must be placed in the chimney to avoid excessive corrosion due to the acid droplets. Keep in mind that the efficiency of your new furnace will determine whether you will use the traditional chimney for exhaust or if a new line will be installed to vent your furnace.

When to Take Action

If you have your furnace replaced, your O’Hara technician will likely discuss the chimney situation in your home with you. Keep in mind that this might be necessary and that there might be an added cost involved because of it. Modern furnaces are not designed to accommodate aging chimneys and your safety and the integrity of your house are at risk if you don’t retrofit the chimney if necessary.

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South Fayette Heating Installation Guide:Comparing High-Efficiency and Mid-Efficiency Furnaces

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Whenever you are in the market for a new furnace for your South Fayette home, there are many models to choose from.  Many of the furnaces manufactured within the last few years are high-efficiency furnaces with a high AFUE rating (AFUE measures the amount of fuel the furnace converts into heat). When people refer to a mid-efficiency furnace, they are usually talking about older furnaces.

Single-stage furnaces were considered to be an efficient heating system when they were manufactured, but compared to newer furnaces, they use up a lot more energy than they need to. Single-speed furnaces are designed to run at full capacity until the temperature inside the home reaches the thermostat setting. After they shut off, the home not only loses heat, but the furnace will also take longer and burn more fuel when it cycles on again.

Newer, two-speed and multispeed models run consistently at lower speeds, and the ones with variable-speed blowers are even more efficient because they can operate at various levels. These models will also automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature, which saves energy by keeping the home at a consistent temperature so that there’s little heat loss.

When shopping for a new furnace, keep in mind that the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces only determine the efficiency of the actual furnace. If you are upgrading your old, mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace, you should make sure that your South Fayette home is properly insulated and sealed.  You could also consider upgrading any older doors and windows to more efficient double-paned ones, or you can also install storm doors and windows.

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Gibsonia Heating Tip: Signs of an Undersized Furnace

Friday, January 6th, 2012

If you’re purchasing a new furnace for your Gibsonia home, you want to avoid buying one that is undersized for your particular space. To do that, here are some common signs that the furnace isn’t powerful enough for the heating needs of your home. These signs might appear for an older furnace as well, especially as it ages and loses its ability to provide adequate heat for your home.

Maintaining Temperature

The most common (and in many cases only) sign that your furnace is undersized is that the device simply doesn’t maintain the temperature in your home properly. This means that when turned on to full and left for a few hours, your furnace doesn’t heat your home to the thermostat setting.

This can be due to an improper load calculation or a load calculation that wasn’t taken at all. The perfectly sized furnace will heat your home evenly on the coldest day your area is likely to have. So, undersizing should be pretty evident – if it doesn’t heat your home evenly and it’s not exceptionally cold outside, you might not have enough BTUs under the hood.

How to Fix the Problem

The problem is one that varies depending on the severity of the undersizing. Modern furnaces are often available with two stages, meaning they can operate at both a low BTU rating (often around 40K or so) and a higher BTU rating (70K or higher). This is the perfect solution for homeowners worried about undersizing because it ensures that your home always has enough heat in reserve should the weather get exceptionally cold.

For example, most furnaces are sized for extremely low temperatures, but if the temperature jumps up to 50 degrees F outside, your furnace is now oversized for that weather. A two stage furnace offers solutions for both common conditions and extreme conditions and will resolve most of the concern you have about undersizing and not having enough heat to offset outdoor temperatures.

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Oakmont Heating Tip: Signs of an Oversized Furnace

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Most people in Oakmont, when they choose a new furnace, think that “bigger is better”. However, an oversized furnace can present just as many if not more problems than an undersized furnace. So, if you feel you may have overdone it in the past or you want to avoid making a mistake in the future, here are some signs that your furnace may be oversized.

Short Cycling

The most common sign of oversizing is short cycling. Short cycling occurs when your furnace turns on and off frequently because it reaches the thermostat setting so fast. Basically, your furnace is so powerful that it can produce what you need rapidly and then shuts off. But, because it does this, the temperature in your home is likely to cool much faster as well since the furnace isn’t on all the time.

Additionally, the on and off short cycling has a negative effect on your furnace, causing excess wear and tear on the system and eventually leading to extra repairs and in some cases early replacement.

High and Low Temperatures

When your furnace is turned on for a comfortable indoor temperature like 70 degrees F, the high and low temperature between cycles should be relatively close to that temperature. In an ideal situation, you shouldn’t even notice a fluctuation.

So, if the high temperature gets close to 75 degrees F and the low temperature is around 66 degrees F, you have a furnace much too large for the size of your home.

Furnace Room Issues

You might find that the space and exhaust given for the furnace are not sufficient either, especially if your previous furnace was replaced with this oversized unit. Backflow of a gas or oil smell or excess heat in and near your furnace room are both common signs that the furnace is much too large.

So, what should you do about your oversized furnace? If you have had that furnace for some time or just moved into a new home, it’s a good idea to have a new one installed. Have a proper load calculation done and then get a new furnace installed so you don’t have to worry about the system cycling on and off so often. If it’s a newer unit, call your Oakmont technician and discuss possible options to reduce the negative effects of the miscalculation of its size.

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Pittsburgh Furnace Installation – Testimonial from Bill B.

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Choosing a new furnace for your Pittsburgh home is a big decision. You need to pick a furnace that is the right size, the right energy efficiency, and the right price for your home. The furnace you choose will be in your house for many years to come, and it will make a big impact on how comfortable you feel in your home.

Since choosing a new heating system is a big decision, it is important to go with a contractor that you trust. A good contractor will answer any questions you might have and guide you through the installation process. At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, we always offer the very best service possible. Here is what Bill B. in Pittsburgh wrote to us about his furnace installation:

“The sales rep “Jim” was a great person to deal with. He was very informative. The two reps that installed our furnace did a great job. Thank you. We love our furnace. “

– Bill B. in Pittsburgh

Thanks Bill! Remember that even if you have a brand new system, maintenance is important to keep it running as efficiently as possible. If you have not had your annual furnace inspection yet, don’t hesitate to call us today!

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