Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Posts Tagged ‘McKees Rocks’

Signs of Wear and Tear on your Pittsburgh Air Conditioning System

Monday, April 15th, 2013

As we slowly make our way towards the heat and humidity of another cooling season, homeowners in the Pittsburgh area are starting up their air conditioners to make sure that they are ready when those hot days hit. When you take a look at your own AC this spring, keep an eye and an ear out for signs of wear and tear. If your system is over 10 years old, or seems to require frequent repairs, then it may be a sign your air conditioning system is in need of professional maintenance or repair. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling for details.

  • AC short-cycles:  If your AC turns on and off frequently, then it is not completing entire cycles of circulating refrigerant through the coils and the compressor. This may lead to inadequate cooling, or it may lead to uneven cooling.  It’s a highly inefficient way for your AC to operate, and tends only to increase the general wear and tear on your system.
  • Inadequate cooling: If your AC no longer cools as it did last year, or if the air emerging from the ducts does not seem to match your desired temperature, there could be a range of problems. First, make sure your thermostat is properly calling for cooling, and also check the air filter in the air handler to make sure it’s not clogged or excessively dirty. If neither of those aspects are the problem, then it may be a result of a low level of refrigerant in your AC or an airflow problem. 
  • Strange or unusual noise: Listen to your AC. If you hear a hissing, banging, buzzing, grinding, or any sound that seems unusual, then take heed. For instance, buzzing can often indicate a serious electrical problem, while grinding can indicate dry bearings in your blower motor.

These are just a few of the signs of wear and tear on your air conditioning system. Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling for exceptional AC repair and maintenance in the Pittsburgh area. 

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Will Your Pittsburgh AC Be Prepared for Summer?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The question on many minds of homeowners as the temperature begins to rise is whether their AC systems are ready for summer. It’s an important question. The cool, crisp air of the home AC is a reprieve from the hot and humid days from June through September. But this doesn’t happen automatically—as with any system, your AC requires maintenance to ensure that it works all summer long. That’s why it’s crucial for homeowners to begin to prepare their systems for the summer months. That way, you can be prepared for even scorching heat, and feel confident that your system is up to the task. Don’t put your comfort at risk. For AC maintenance in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

Here are some ways to prepare your AC for clean cool comfort all summer:

  • Enroll in a maintenance plan. Routine inspection, cleaning and precision tune-ups is the best way to ensure that your system works effectively and efficiently. Certain plans may also include discounts on repairs and diagnostics, as well as equipment. Not only does regular maintenance lower your energy bills, it also extends the life of your AC.
  • Clean your air filter. Your air filter is designed to prevent the passage of airborne allergens like dust and pollen into our indoor air. When it becomes dirty or clogged, however, it can also reduce energy-efficiency and cause damages in other parts of the system. This is an easy way to prepare your AC for the summer.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. The thermostat is your interface between you and your AC. Programmable thermostats give you the option of customizing your indoor climate. You can program certain days of the week or times of the day to adjust automatically to certain temperatures. This helps your system make gradual instead of sudden changes, and it allows you to control your cooling when you’re not there.

These are just a few of the ways to make sure your AC is prepared for summer. For more information, or to schedule AC maintenance in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today! 

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Is Geothermal a Good Cooling Option in Pittsburgh?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Every year, thousands of homeowners are turning to geothermal heating and cooling for its highly-efficient, cost-reducing, and eco-friendly energy. It is very similar to how a heat pump works, and shares most of the same components. But it differs from the air source heat pump in its capacity to harness the energy of the earth. When looking at cooling options in your area, you’ll have to take into consideration your cooling needs, the size and location of your home, as well as your budget. A geothermal system can be an innovative and reliable way to make your home comfortable this cooling season. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with a Pittsburgh geothermal expert, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

The two major components of your geothermal cooling system are underground piping, also known as the “earth loop,” and the geothermal heat pump. Depending on your location and the topography of your land, your geothermal piping will be arranged either in a shallow horizontal bed, or in deep vertical wells. The pipes are typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and they circulate the water-refrigerant mixture in a closed or open loop. The geothermal heat pump is just like a regular heat pump, but instead of transferring heat indoors and outdoors by drawing it in and out of the air, it draws the heat from the earth loop during the winter, and disperses it into the earth loop during summer.

Geothermal Benefits:

  • Efficiency: Geothermal cooling can often cut your bills in half. The heat pump uses very little energy when compared to a standard air conditioner.
  • Durability: As an alternative to other systems, geothermal cooling systems are made with durable materials that are intended to survive the elements and last many years.
  • Eco-friendly: In a world of every-increasing energy demands, it can be comforting to know that you rely on the temperature of the earth under your feet to cool your home. You’ll not only save money, but you can also reduce the production of ozone-depleting substances.

All in all, geothermal cooling is a great option. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with a Pittsburgh geothermal cooling expert, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today!

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How Can You Improve Your Home’s Air Quality? A Tip from Pittsburgh

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

One of the easiest ways to protect the health of your family is by maintaining high air quality in your Pittsburgh home. Without good air quality, you run the risk of contracting Sick Building Syndrome or making other problems like allergies or asthma worse. Depending on what type of air quality system you already have in place, there are many things you can do to improve your air quality.

Filter Changes

The easiest way to improve air quality is to maintain the equipment you already have. Specifically, change your filters regularly. Filters each have a specified period of time for which they will last. However, if your home has high levels of larger contaminants like pollen and dander, you may need to change your filter more often.

Beyond filter changes, make sure your filtration device uses high quality HEPA filters, capable of stopping debris as small as 0.3 microns.

New Equipment

Finally, you can buy new equipment that does a better job of removing contaminants from your indoor air. If you have only a simple air filter, consider getting a purifier as well to remove other contaminants like smoke and gas. If you have a smaller piece of equipment that works well but longer keeps up with the entire house, there are larger purifiers on the market that can handle a bigger space. Additionally, proper ventilation can help with your indoor air quality if you don’t currently have enough fresh air circulating through your home.

No matter what your problem, there is a solution you can work toward to keep the indoor air quality of your home high.

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Staying Safe with Clean Indoor Air in Gibsonia

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Millions of homeowners are living in polluted air and don’t even know it, and some of them are even in Gibsonia. In fact, the quality of air inside homes is a significant factor influencing the health and wellbeing of millions annually. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.6 million people die every year as a result of poor indoor air quality. That makes it the 8th most common risk factor for death in the world and a huge contributor to cancers and other respiratory health problems.

So why is indoor air quality such an issue? Consider for a moment what a home does. At its core, a home is designed to keep you and your family protected from outside threats. It does that with solid walls, tightly sealed windows and a well-built roof over your heads. But the same technology that has made homes better sealed than ever also contributes to safety and health problems for residents of those homes by trapping air pollutants inside.

What’s at Stake?

The most common indoor air pollutants are mere irritants. Things like pollen, dust and dander are uncomfortable but don’t necessarily make anyone deathly ill. However, when a home is sealed up too tightly and the air isn’t filtered and cleaned regularly, the result can be downright dangerous to the occupants. Those seemingly innocuous pollutants suddenly make up a much larger percentage of the air inside.

In some cases, according to the WHO, the amount of smoke and other particles inside the home can be up to 100 times higher than what is considered safe outside. Now consider the other pollutants that can be inside the house. If pollen and dander cannot get out, what about exhaust from your stove, radon gas in your basement or mold spores in your ductwork.

You’re breathing all of it and the result is a significant increase in health risks for diseases like pneumonia, respiratory disease, and asthma – all of which are highly dangerous to anyone, but especially children and the elderly.

Solutions Abound

Luckily, this is not a problem you must deal with indefinitely. Modern HVAC systems integrate advanced ventilation technology, air filtration and air cleaning systems to remove the vast majority of these pollutants. But, first, you need to have them installed. It’s just a matter of finding the right contractor.

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Is Geothermal for Me? A Guide From Sewickley

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Geothermal heating is a great alternative to other types of home heating systems in Sewickley. It is safe and efficient, costs very little to operate and makes use of a great renewable resource right below our feet. But is it right for you? Well, geothermal heating may be the right choice for many people, but there are many things to take into account before you can determine whether or not it is the best choice for your home.

The first important thing to understand when you are trying to decide whether or not to go with geothermal heating is how one of these systems actually works. A geothermal system heats your home by extracting heat from the ground and then transferring that heat into your indoor air. This happens when liquid, usually water or antifreeze, passes through a loop of pipes installed several feet below the ground.

The liquid absorbs heat from the ground, which in the winter is always warmer than the air, and carries is back up to an air handler inside your home where that heat is allowed to disperse into the air. Once the air is heated, the air handler blows the air through a system of ducts throughout your house, providing a constant stream of heated air to all areas of your home. The liquid, on the other hand, simply cycles back through the ground loop to pick up more heat and repeat the same cycle over again.

Because a geothermal heating system does not actually generate heat, it requires very little energy to operate. This means that it is both very cheap for you to run and environmentally friendly. But since installing a geothermal heating system involves putting pipes in underground, it can be pretty expensive initially. However, as long as the amount you save every month on your heating costs is enough to offset the high initial price of installation, it is worth it to put down the money up front.

Another alternative, of course, is a more traditional air source heat pump. These are much cheaper to install and nearly as cheap to run. However, air source heat pumps are not as efficient when the air temperature gets below freezing as a geothermal system can be. If you live in an area with harsh winters, the geothermal heat pump is a better option than an air source unit.

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Is Geothermal Energy Renewable? A Question From Finleyville

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Geothermal heating systems take heat from the ground and transfer it to your Finleyville home. But how does this heat get into the ground in the first place? Conventional heating systems like furnaces use energy sources like oil or natural gas to generate heat. These energy sources are not renewable, and neither is electricity which is typically generated by burning coal or another non-renewable resource.

The renewable resources we usually think of first are solar and wind power. The sun, of course, will continue to shine and provide heat year in and year out whether we make use of it or not. Similarly, we cannot use up the wind. It will continue to blow no matter how many times it has blown before.

But what category does geothermal energy fit into exactly? Well, it is actually a renewable resource just like solar or wind energy. In fact, geothermal energy is a direct result of the sun’s heat relentlessly pounding the ground. The ground actually absorbs a considerable amount of the heat from the sun that reaches the earth every day, and that is the heat that your geothermal heating system is using to heat your home.

Of course, a geothermal heating system cannot run on geothermal energy alone. The indoor components of this heating system that keep the air flowing throughout your house must be powered by electricity. But the amount of energy needed to do this is much less than what you would need to use to run a furnace or other type of more conventional home heating system.

Over all, geothermal energy is an excellent and renewable source of energy. And once you have the heating system in place, you will need to spend very little to keep it up and running. It is an excellent option for many people, and can help to keep your home cool in the summer as well.

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