Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Furnaces’

How to Prevent Furnace Repair

Monday, November 6th, 2017

furnace-open-basement-unitThe furnace is a durable heating system that works well for nearly any home, as long as there is a ventilation system in place. That does not mean, of course, that your home heating system will never require repairs. A furnace is strong and efficient, but it can be finicky if you do not get your system the service it needs.

In many cases, furnace repair is entirely preventable. Other times, we show up to find a heating system broken down, when sooner repairs could have helped make the problem a lot less severe. Learn how to prevent major and minor heating repairs from our guide, and call our team when you need routine service for your gas or electric furnace.

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Boiler or Furnace: Which is Right for Your Pittsburgh Home?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Boilers and furnaces are two of the most common heating systems in the United States. There are pros and cons to each heating system but when it comes down to it, the best system for your home is the one that you like the most. But which one is right for your home? This can be a hard question to answer without knowing the specifics of your home, your budget and your personal preferences. Boehmer Heating & Cooling has been providing complete boiler and furnace installation in Pittsburgh for many years. We’ve help countless customers figure out which system is right for their home and then installed it for them so that it works when they need. Here are some of the things to think about as you move forward with this process.

Radiant Heat vs. Forced Convection

Boiler systems generally heat your home using radiant heat. This means that the heat from the under floor or wall pipes radiates out into the room and heats up the objects in the room. You can also have baseboard radiators which heat the air. A forced-air convection system, like a furnace, heats up the air and moves it through your home.

The Pros and Cons of Boilers in Pittsburgh

As is the case with everything, boilers do offer some great advantages to your homes but they also have some disadvantages. To begin with, many people report that radiant is more comfortable than forced-air heating. If you have radiators in each room, you can turn some of them off if you’re not using the room which offers energy savings. However, boilers are typically much more to install and to replace. They also don’t offer any humidity control for your home because they don’t circulate air.

Pros and Cons of Furnaces in Pittsburgh

Furnaces offer certain benefits over boilers. They allow you to incorporate an air filtration and humidity control system directly into your heating system. They also cost much less to replace and to install. However, because they move air around, they pick up dust and other allergens and move them into the air.

If you need any kind of help picking out a new heating system for your home, just call Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience providing complete furnace installation and boiler installation in Pittsburgh. Call us today!

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Boehmer Heating and Cooling Welcomes Jim to the Team!

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Boehmer Heating & Cooling would like to welcome Jim to the team! Jim comes to us as a veteran of the lumber and building materials industry for 38 years.  He brings his experience in sales and management to help our customers plan the replacement of their heating and cooling systems.  Jim calls Jefferson Hills home with his wife Paula. He enjoys spending time with his grandkids and volunteering at church.

“I enjoy working for Boehmer Heating & Cooling because of their reputation, honesty, and commitment to their customers. It is a great pleasure to work with a third-generation family business that has been around for 80 years!”

Boehmer Heating & Cooling offer heating installation, maintenance and repair services in the greater Pittsburgh area. If you need boiler, heat pump or furnace services give us a call today!

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Boehmer Heating and Cooling’s Happy Pittsburgh Customers!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

At Boehmer Heating and Cooling customer service is our top priority. Our expert team and wonderful staff help ensure that our Pittsburgh area customer are thoroughly satisfied with our service. Whether installing a new furnace, explaining the benefits of a geothermal system, or providing air conditioning repair service, we Customer Service | Pittsburgh | Boehmer Heating and Coolingdo everything we can to give you the best service possible.

 

“I was impressed and grateful for the prompt service.  Everyone was polite and courteous.”

-Susan D.

“I am very pleased with your company and staff.  I will always use you for any work I need.  Your staff is very professional and courteous. Thank you.”
-Josie G.

“It was perfect from the first phone call through to completion. I was away from home during installation and was thrilled when I returned home.  Loved the sales guy… good man.”

-Gloria A.

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McKeesport Heating Question: What Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat My Home?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

When it comes to heating, efficiency is one of the main factors most people take into consideration in McKeesport. There are quite a few different options in terms of home heating, including oil, gas and electric furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers, and each of these have their own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your own particular situation.

For better or worse, there is no one system that is universally more energy efficient and effective than the others. The one that will turn out to be the best choice for you is the one that fits best with your specific heating needs, the climate you live in and the relative price of the fuel sources available to you.

For instance, if you live in a relatively moderate climate, a heat pump may very well be a good option for you. These systems are able to operate much more efficiently than furnaces because they extract heat from the air rather than generating it themselves. That means that in the winter, a heat pump can take heat from the outdoor air and pump it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, the heat pump can actually do the opposite, taking the excess heat from indoors and transferring it out to provide you with a yearlong temperature control solution.

Heat pumps generally run on electricity which can be expensive, but since they use so much less energy than something like an electric furnace, they can still be a very energy efficient home heating option. However, these systems are not as effective in areas with harsh, long winters, and so would likely require a supplemental heating system as well. Also, the lower the outside temperature, the less efficient a heat pump is going to be.

Furnaces, on the other hand, are quite effective at heating homes no matter how harsh or cold the climate. Gas furnaces are generally the most popular of the models available now, mostly because the cost of natural gas is lower in most areas compared to the cost of other potential fuels.

However, it may be worth considering an oil or electric furnace if these types of energy sources are relatively inexpensive in your area. No matter what type of furnace you get, you’ll be able to choose how energy efficient you want it to be as well, with lower efficiency 80% AFUE furnaces costing substantially less than those with an AFUE of 90% or more.

If you are interested in installation a new heating system in McKeesport or the surrounding area, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call today!

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Pittsburgh HVAC Contractor Tip: Furnace Air Temperature

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

When your furnace turns on every day and warms your Pittsburgh home, just how hot is the air being blown through your vents? It’s a common question and while it varies depending on the type of furnace you have and the length of your ductwork, normally, the air is about the same temperature in most homes.

The Heating Process

When you turn on your furnace, it ignites fuel (gas or oil) or heats elements (electricity). A blower fan blows air through the heat exchanger and then into ductwork that distributes the heated air to vents around your home. When the combustion occurs and air is first heated, the temperature is between 140 degrees F and 170 degrees F.

This is extremely warm and could be dangerous to anyone if they got too close to it or it was blown directly into your home. However, as the heated air is distributed into your home it starts to cool. In some cases, it loses a significant amount of its energy in the ductwork.

This is intended, of course, because the temperature would be much too high if it was distributed directly to your rooms. That’s why high velocity ductwork often requires regulation to avoid overheating of the air. Cooling like this is normal and results in a better, more evenly distributed airflow.

When Something’s Wrong

To know something is wrong with your heating system, you must first understand what temperature air normally is when distributed through the vents. This will vary depending on which room you are in and how big your home (and furnace) are. However, if you notice a sharp drop off in comfort level in your home, it takes longer to heat rooms when cold or if that heating is suddenly uneven, it may be time for someone to inspect your furnace and check for potential problems.

A technician will then check to see if the air is being heated to the target 140-170 degrees F or if heat is being lost in the air handler or ductwork. There are a number of issues that can contribute to lost heat in your heating system – the easiest way to be sure the problem is solved properly is to call a Pittsburgh professional when you notice the problem.

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A Question from Carnegie: What Makes a Furnace High Efficiency?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

You’ve probably heard in Carnegie about the new lines of high efficiency furnaces being released by popular home heating companies, but what exactly is different about these high efficiency devices from your current furnace? Let’s take a closer look at what a high efficiency furnace offers and why it can save you money.

Added Features

A high efficiency furnace uses familiar technology in a new way to reduce the amount of energy lost when combustion takes place. This means:

  • Sealed Combustion – Instead of open combustion which allows heat to escape during and after the combustion process, a high efficiency furnace uses a sealed chamber with carefully measured and fed airflow to burn fuel and produce heat. Exhaust heat can then be recaptured and used to heat air transferred to your air vents.
  • Two Stage Gas Valves – With a two stage gas valve, your furnace can respond to the temperature outside. There isn’t just one “on” switch. The furnace will regulate gas flow based on how much energy is needed to produce heat for your home. So, if there is a sudden burst of cold outside, the furnace will respond accordingly, but for most days when heating needs are low, it will use only the minimum amount of needed gas.
  • Programmable – High efficiency furnaces are now programmable, meaning you can set specific time limits for operation, change thermostat settings digitally and inspect the device through an electronic read out. The level of control given to you by a programmable high efficiency furnace can greatly reduce gas or electricity consumption.

Cost Benefit

The real reason many people are interested in high efficiency furnaces is that they are so much less expensive to operate. Instead of costing hundreds of dollars to run through the winter, they operate the bare minimum needed to heat your home. Using up to 95% of the fuel they consume to produce heat and regulating gas to cut how much is consumed during milder days, these furnaces are built to save you money.

If you have an old furnace that chews through energy like nobody’s business, now might be the time to consider the benefits of a brand new, high efficiency model.

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Pros and Cons of Various Heating Systems in South Fayette

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

When it comes time to install a new heating system in your South Fayette home, there are a lot of options to consider. Many people get overwhelmed when confronted with all of the furnaces, boilers and heat pumps on the market these days. So, to help you get a handle on what each has to offer and which will offer you the best benefits, here is an overview of the modern heating system market.

Furnaces

Furnaces are the core of a forced air heating system and use gas, oil or electricity to heat air which is then circulated through your home by a blower in your air handler. Furnaces are among the most fuel efficient heating systems on the market today with options available at up to 95% AFUE (meaning it uses up to 95% of the fuel consumed to produce heat). They are also inexpensive to install and while they don’t last quite as long as boilers, they are highly efficient when well cared for.

Boilers

Boilers use gas, oil or electricity to heat water or steam which is then circulated through your home into radiators or baseboard heaters. The heated water or steam releases heat into your home and heats it in turn. While not quite as energy efficient as a high efficiency furnace, boiler heat is perfect for homes with existing radiators and no room for vents and ductwork. It also has less of an impact on indoor air quality since there is no air movement and boilers tend to last a very long time when well maintained.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, especially in milder climates where it rarely gets below 40 degrees F. A heat pump uses the same technology as an air conditioner to extract heat from outside using a compressor, evaporator coils, and condenser coils with refrigerant.

It is most efficient in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild, but it uses much less energy than either a boiler or furnace and it can be used in the summer to cool your home. When properly maintained, a heat pump will last 10-20 years and save quite a bit of money, though it is recommended that you have an emergency heat source for days when the temperature outside gets below 40 degrees F.

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A Question from Allison Park-Hampton: How Do I Check a Gas Furnace Draft Pressure Switch?

Monday, December 5th, 2011

There are many reasons why a furnace stops working and in many cases, an Allison Park-Hampton homeowner can perform some simple diagnostics to pinpoint the problem. Finding the problem is one thing – fixing it is another. When in doubt, don’t try it yourself. Call a qualified heating contractor.

But let’s look at one possible problem and solution you may be able to perform yourself – testing the draft pressure switch. The draft pressure switch on a gas furnace allows an electrical current to pass through to ignite the furnace. The pressure switch monitors the draft conditions and won’t allow the furnace’s gas valve to open unless draft is correct.

If the switch is malfunctioning, so too will (or will not) the furnace.

The best way to locate the switch is by consulting with your owner’s manual or by going online and simply typing in the words “gas furnace draft switch.” It is identifiable by its round size and is bolted to the outside of the furnace. It should be nearby the draft inducer motor because the two are connected by a metal tube. The tube may sometimes be the culprit, too. A tube that is blocked with condensation may cause the switch to go bad.

To check for proper function, first turn off power to the furnace, either by shutting down the ‘on’ switch at the furnace or shutting off the circuit breaker.

Use a volt ohm meter to check if the switch is opening and closing properly. Start by zeroing out the meter’s probes by touching the tips together. Using the dial (could be analog or digital), set the meter to 24 volts. Ground the black probe by attaching it to any metal part of the furnace. Then place the end of the red probe on the metal tube connecting the draft pressure switch to the draft inducer motor.

If the switch is working properly the meter should read at least 24 volts, or very near that. If the reading is short of 24 volts, the switch is not working correctly. At that point you may decide to replace it or call a professional to do the task (recommended).

Always remember that there are many sources which will help you diagnose and repair a problem, especially those available through the Internet. If you search YouTube.com you will find many videos advising you on how to repair certain components. Use all of the resources available to you and keep the phone number of a qualified and professional heating and cooling contractor nearby.

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What Is Forced Air Heating? A Question from Bridgeville

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Chances are that you’ve heard the term forced air heating before in Bridgeville, particularly if you’re in the market for a new home heating system. But what does that actually mean? The truth is that if you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. There are so many types of home heating systems out there that it’s common to be a bit confused and overwhelmed by it all.

The truth is that a forced air heating system is simply a heating system that distributes heat throughout your house using air to carry it. In this type of system, heated air travels through a system of ducts and is expelled through vents into the different rooms and areas of your home in order to maintain a particular temperature. That temperature, of course, is whatever you set your thermostat to, and when the desired temperature is reached, the heat will shut off until the temperature drops down again.

The main difference between the different types of forced air heating systems is the type of equipment that heats the air. For instance, you could have a gas furnace, or a heat pump. All of these are capable of heating air, and when paired with a fan, blower or air handler, can distribute heated air throughout your home.

Many forced air heating systems are remarkably energy efficient and can effectively keep you home comfortable all winter long. Additionally, they are generally made to be incorporated with central air conditioning systems for year round temperature control. Heat pumps are especially convenient in this way, as they’re able to both heat and cool your home depending on the season and your home comfort needs.

Particularly if you already have ductwork in place or if you’re choosing a heating system for a new construction home, it can make a lot of sense to opt for some type of forced air heating. However, if you’re looking to replace an existing heating system in a house that doesn’t already have ductwork in place, the need to put it in can add a lot to the overall installation costs of the system.

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