Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Benefits of Using a Heat Pump in Pittsburgh

Monday, April 1st, 2013

At Boehmer Heating & Cooling, we do everything we can to ensure that our clients are able to keep their homes comfortable throughout the entire year. That is why we offer such a great selection of home heating and air conditioning systems to choose from, as well as a wide array of outstanding HVAC services. We also like to help our customers keep comfortable in the most efficient way possible. We know how expensive it can be to heat and cool a home. If you are interested in an efficient alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems, give us a call to learn more about the benefits of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh.

One great benefit of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh is the fact that it acts as both a heating and air conditioning system. This means that you only need to invest in one system in order to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. When you schedule your heat pump installation with a qualified professional you can count on a great, reliable performance, no matter what season it is.

Of course, many home comfort system options double as both heating and cooling systems. What truly sets a heat pump apart is the great benefit of its outstanding efficiency. Heat pumps are among the most efficient heating and cooling systems available. The more efficient a heating and cooling system is, the less it costs to keep your home comfortable.

The key to the great efficiency with which heat pumps operate is their dependence on the heat transfer principle to heat and cool your home, as opposed to the consumption of fuel. A heat pump uses just a small amount of electricity to transfer heat into or out of your home, unlike a traditional system. By transferring existing heat, a heat pump is able to keep you comfortable while using very little energy. This is not only a great benefit to your budget but also to the environment.

To learn more about the benefits of using a heat pump in Pittsburgh, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We have the answers to all your questions. Let us keep you comfortable with greater efficiency than ever before.

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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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What You Should Consider Before Upgrading the Heating System in Your Pittsburgh Home

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Many Pittsburgh homeowners who heat their homes with an older heating system—whether it’s a furnace or a boiler—may want to consider upgrading to a more efficient system. Older furnaces with an AFUE rating of less than 80%, for instance, could be costing you a lot more than you realize in heating bills.

While it is a significant initial investment, upgrading to a more efficient furnace or boiler will pay for itself in energy savings. Before you decide on whether or not an upgrade is right for your home, here are some things to keep in mind.

Fuel Costs

Some types of fuel, such as electricity, are more expensive in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may want to compare the cost of fuel before choosing a heating upgrade. In fact, natural gas may or may not be available to your home. Check with your utility company to find out what types of fuel are available and which ones would be more cost-efficient for heating your home. You can always call a qualified HVAC technician if you have any questions about a heating system upgrade.

Insulation

Whenever you are thinking about upgrading your heating system, you’ll want to make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. If you purchase and install a highly efficient furnace, it won’t save as much in energy bills if your house is poorly insulated. Get a home energy audit with a local energy resource organization if you aren’t sure. You might want to also consider upgrading your old windows and doors, or installing storm doors and windows to improve air tightness.

Property Value

A lot of homeowners forget that any upgrade or remodeling project will increase the value of their home. Not only will a heating system upgrade lower your heating bills; it will also add value to your home and property. Always make sure you choose the right system for your home so that it lasts as long as possible.

If you are considering upgrading the heating system in your Pittsburgh home, call Boehmer Heating & Cooling Company to speak with one of our HVAC experts to ask about our quality products and installation services.

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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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How to Replace a Thermostat: A Guide from Washington

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

There are a lot of common household tasks that do-it-yourselfers in Washington can handle beyond changing light bulbs or replacing a fuse. One of those is changing out a thermostat. The reasons for replacing a thermostat can vary from making an upgrade to changing out a thermostat that is not working right – or at all. Whatever the reason, the task is pretty simple and require s very little time and very few tools.

Let’s set the stage.

The materials you will need are the replacement thermostat, wire connectors, electrical tape (optional), needle nose pliers, and a screwdriver.

Here are the steps:

  1. Turn off electrical power to the existing thermostat. You can do this by flipping a breaker switch or removing a fuse from your home’s electrical panel. This would be a good time to make a note of the circuit’s location, writing the circuit number on the panel door or using a sticker.
  2. Remove the cover from the existing unit. You should be able to locate the screws that hold it to the wall mounting plate. Remove the screws and pull the unit away from the wall and mounting plate. Be careful not to touch the electrical wires together on the thermostat.
  3. Disconnect the wiring. Carefully remove the electrical wiring from the unit and keep the wires apart. You might want to tape the bare ends and also ensure that the wires don’t fall back through the wall. If the wires are not color coded, mark each one and which terminal they were removed from. Remove the mounting plate.
  4. If you are using a new mounting plate, make sure it fits over the existing hole and then pull the wires through the opening of the plate. Make sure the mounting plate is secured to the wall with the proper screws.
  5. Now match the wires to the terminals on the new thermostat. The wires are usually color-coded but if not, make sure you attach the right wires to the corresponding numbered terminals on the next thermostat. A green wire, which operates the furnace fan blower, is connected to the “G” terminal. The white wire operates the heater and attaches to the “W” terminal. The yellow wire operates the air conditioner and connects to the “Y” terminal. Use a wire nut to secure the wires and keep them apart from other wires. Ignore any other wires coming out of the wall as they are not necessary and may have been added by the original builder for other purposes.
  6. Carefully move the wires back into the wall as you line up the new thermostat on the mounting bracket. Install the new bracket and secure the thermostat to the bracket.
  7. Turn your power back on and check your thermostat by setting the temperature high or low, to engage the furnace or air conditioner.

This simple procedure can be done in less than 10 minutes. But if you have any doubts and want greater peace of mind, call a professional heating and cooling contractor to perform the installation.

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Furnace Fan Doesn’t Run? Why Is That? What Should You Do? A Guide from Bridgeville

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

There are several reasons that a furnace fan might stop working at one point or another. While many of these do require a Bridgeville professional‘s attention, there are probably some things you can check on your own before you go and call in the pros. After all, if you can address the problem on your own, it will at least save you from having to pay a technician to come out.

The first thing to check when your furnace is running but the fan isn’t turning is whether or not the fan is actually switched on. Certain models of furnaces have a separate switch to turn the fan on and off. While there is probably no reason that you would want to turn off the fan by itself, it’s worth taking a look just in case. If that really is the problem, you’ll be up and running and back to dealing with better things in no time.

If that’s not the problem, you might try looking to see if any wires leading to the fan are loose or the fuse is blown. If the fan has no power, of course, it won’t be able to work but the rest of the furnace likely would work just fine as long as it doesn’t run on electricity as well.

Of course, the problem very well may be beyond your power to solve on your own. Don’t despair though. Even though you need to call in a professional, that doesn’t mean that the problem will be expensive to fix. In fact, it may be as simple as replacing your thermostat or the motor for the fan itself.

Just because a fan isn’t working doesn’t mean that you’re going to be paying an arm and a leg to have work done on your furnace. If you can’t easily discover the problem on your own, however, or if you’re not comfortable inspecting this type of equipment at all, you’re generally better off just calling in an expert and letting them do the dirty work for you. Paying for simple furnace fan repairs is definitely preferable to having to pay someone to fix the fan and the stuff you broke yourself while trying to fix the fan on your own.

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Is a Heat Pump Right for Your Home? A Guide from Carnegie

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Deciding which type of home comfort system to go with in Carnegie can be a difficult process to navigate. There are a ton of factors to take into account including how much you will be using the system, what type of fuel you mainly rely on and what the specific climate is like where you live.

Heat pumps are a great home comfort solution for many people but they aren’t always the appropriate choice. However, there are many benefits to going with a heat pump system, so this is certainly an option you should keep in mind as you evaluate your options.

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air in one place and then transferring that heat to another space. For instance, in the winter, heat pumps take heat from the outside air and pump it into your house. In the summer, on the other hand, your heat pump will be able to take heat from your indoor air and pump it back outside, thereby keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Heat pumps are also extremely energy efficient because they don’t actually have to generate the heat they pump. Unlike furnaces, which take in fuel and convert it into heat, heat pumps simply harness the heat that’s already there, making them by far the more energy efficient option.

Another benefit to heat pumps is that they maintain a more constant temperature than many other types of heating systems do. Rather than pumping in a big blast of hot air and then waiting until the temperature indoors falls below a preset level before doing it again, heat pumps provide a relatively constant stream of warm air.

The initial amount of heat is smaller than what you might be used to from a furnace, but the cumulative effect means that you’ll be able to enjoy a much more consistently comfortable indoor environment.

It is important to evaluate the climate in your area before you decide to purchase a heat pump, though. These systems are extremely effective at heating and cooling your home as long as temperatures stay above the mid-thirties.

Below that, you may need to install some type of supplemental heating in order to keep your home warm enough on those really cold days. So if you live in an area where temperatures routinely dip below freezing for large portions of the winter, a heat pump might not be the most sensible solution for you.

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IAQ – To Zone or Not to Zone my Home Comfort: Some Pointers From Elizabeth

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

There are a lot of decisions to make related to your Elizabeth home’s comfort system. You must decide what type of heating you want, how you’ll implement air conditioning, and then how to keep all of that heated and cooled air clean and healthy in your home.

On top of everything else, you have the option to implement zone control in your house to provide multiple comfort levels for each member of your family. Zone control systems are growing rapidly in popularity because they allow home owners to enjoy an enhanced level of comfort throughout the day, while not negatively impacting any one person.

For example, if it’s chilly outside and you need to turn your heater on, that doesn’t mean everyone in the house wants the thermostat set to 72°F. There are a few reasons for this. You may be in the kitchen, working over the stove or doing dishes where there is plenty of heat to keep you warm. More warm air coming through vents or radiators isn’t going to make you comfortable.

The second floor of a home traditionally needs less heat because warm air on the first floor rises and fills that space. The same is true in the summer when cool air settles in lower floors. Having a zone control system allows you to set specific temperatures in each room which are then controlled by your home heating system. You can even turn off the heating and cooling in a specific room like your office or the attic if it will be empty for long periods of time.

Other Considerations

A zone control system is good for comfort, but also for the overall air quality of your home. Too much conditioned air moving through your ducts carries more allergens and contaminants into your home and causes your air quality system to work harder. Your ventilation system will be asked to work harder as well.

Ideally, a good home air quality system is designed to use as little conditioned air as possible to keep everyone comfortable. A zone control system does this very effectively. When talking to a professional about a new installation, check to find out about programmable thermostats as well. These can make it easier to set and forget the temperature in rooms that are only used for a few hours each day.

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How to Judge the Quality of a Ceiling Fan? A Question From Murrysville

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Like just about anything else on the market these days, there are good ceiling fans and there are low quality ones, even in Murrysville. With such a seemingly simple piece of equipment, it can be tempting to just grab the cheapest one you can find. After all, how much of a difference can it really make? In fact, the quality of the ceiling fan you buy can have a significant impact on its performance level and how long it lasts.

Of course, you do not necessarily want to go out and buy the most expensive thing you can find either. There are many good quality ceiling fans that will not cost you an arm and a leg, but you need to know how to find them and separate them from the rest of the pack.

One of the first things to look for when you are evaluating your ceiling fan options is how much of an angle the blades have. This angle usually ranges from eight to 15 degrees and the bigger the angle, the more air the fan can move at once.

However, cheaper fans with a less powerful motor cannot handle the resistance that a higher volume of air generates. What that usually means is that the units with the smaller blade angle are less powerful and will be less effective at circulating air throughout your room. Even when they are running at the same speeds, the blades with the smaller angle will move less air, and so they will not keep you as cool.

You should also check the various ceiling fans you are considering to make sure they are the right size to fit your room. To be safe, a ceiling fan’s blades should be no less than seven feet above the floor. But if you have very high ceilings, you may want to add something that can extend the fan down closer to the floor so that you will still feel all of the cooling effects it produces.

The various ceiling fans on the market right now all have many different features that can influence your decision as well. For instance, you may want to opt for a fan that has programmable settings or that comes with a remote control for more convenient access. But if these are not features you care about, you can probably save quite a bit by going with a no-frills model. For more information about what is right for your home, contact your local air conditioning professional.

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