It can be a major challenge trying to reduce energy costs during the winter months. For many, winter can be the most expensive time of year, mainly due to heating expenses. But there are some recommended ways you can save energy and thereby money, on your heating bills this winter without taking major steps to do so:
Carney All Seasons Blog: Archive for the ‘Energy Savings’ Category
Have you been getting frustrated with your oil or electrically-based heating system? Do you wish to have other appliances on natural gas? Then it may be time to consider a natural gas conversion in Doylestown. Converting to natural gas is a process that involves several steps, the handling of heavy, complex equipment and managing the correct piping for the natural gas to flow safely into your home. What does this mean? You need an expert to handle your natural gas conversion, and the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling are here to help.
The process of converting from oil to natural gas involves a number of steps, including:
- Site evaluation – this typically includes evaluating the current heater and how much gas piping will be needed to reach your home.
- Estimate for scope of work – your technician will provide you with a scope of work and an estimate for the work to be done.
- Coordination with the gas company – a lot of paperwork has to be processed in order to move forward with the conversion, and this is something the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling will handle. The paperwork will involve issues such as who owns the property, where the property is located and other administrative issues that pertain to the conversion, including permits.
- Installation of the gas piping – once all the paperwork and permits have been completed, the technicians will move forward with installing your gas piping from the street to inside your home.
- Inspection – once all of the piping has been installed, the gas company will need to inspect the work and approve it before any appliances can be connected to the gas.
- Installation of gas heater – as soon as the piping clears inspection, your new gas heater can be installed.
While the process may seem a bit cumbersome, there are some important benefits to converting your heating system from oil to natural gas:
- Convenience of a fuel – with natural gas, there is no more need to manage fuel deliveries
- You can fuel a number of appliances with the new gas line – you can add a water heater, a dryer, etc., to use your new gas fuel line
- Clean-burning fuel – if you’ve had concerns about using oil, natural gas is the cleanest-burning of all the fossil fuels
If you have been thinking of converting from gas to oil, call the people you can trust: Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling.
We often take our thermostats for granted, and can easily underestimate how valuable they are. They essentially act as a control system for your entire heating and air conditioning unit, allowing you to set the temperature you like and even turn the heat or air on and off at specified times of the day. You can replace your thermostat very easily with help from a trained professional, and when it comes to new thermostat installation, Doylestown has numerous qualified companies standing by. The reasons to install a new thermostat are varied, but usually boil down to one of the two following variations.
The most obvious reason is that your old thermostat is experiencing trouble. Problems with thermostats will cause your heat or air conditioner to turn on at inappropriate times, to run longer or shorter than they should, or to keep you from turning them on at all. It can end up costing you quite a bit of money when your air conditioner runs on and on, or alternately leave you bereft of cool air just when you need it the most. A new thermostat can correct those problems and restore full control of your system to you.
Beyond that, you may want a new thermostat just for the added upgrades that newer models can provide. Most models these days are programmable, but you can install thermostats with even more features, such as the ability to turn it on and off remotely with an app on your phone, or a “smart” system that analyzes your cooling patterns and makes adjustments to help save you money. Such features may be worth the cost of an installation, and since only the thermostat itself is affected, the operation can be completed comparatively easily.
You may have plenty of your own reasons to install a new thermostat, and if you do, then Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is here to help.
When it comes to thermostat installation, Doylestown residents can count on us to do the job right the first time, every time. Contact us today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!
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“We purchased a Trane from Carney’s also, had it for 6 years now, not only did we get a great system but the service was excellent. The installation was a neat clean finish and they explained everything they were doing. I highly recommend the system and Carney’s Plumbing and Heating!”
There are two fundamental ways to make your Fort Washington house warmer. One is to generate heat, which is the job of your furnace or boiler. The second is to keep the warm air in — and thereby keep cold air out — which is the job of your system of insulation.
The idea that the physical structure of a home can be a component of the HVAC system is one that is often overlooked, but when you think about it, it makes sense. The insulation, windows, doors and building materials that comprise your home are designed to keep the place warm against the cold and vice versa.
So, when bolstering your HVAC system to promote efficient heating, it is important to also consider heat loss and how to prevent it. This is a process that can get out of hand if you go overboard, so it is important to prioritize. Let’s look at the top 3 places to start when trying to prevent heat loss.
- Doors and Windows: If you have older doors and windows, they could be a source of heat loss in your house, even if they are always closed. Replacing your windows and door with Energy Star rated ones will make sure that you are not losing heat to the outside AND still getting all the heat energy from the sun. Installing storm windows or putting up heavy curtains in winter can also help cut down on your heat loss.
- Seal off drafts. If any opening to your house, such as windows and doors, is improperly sealed, improperly installed or if the surrounding construction is deteriorating, you can lose a lot of heat. Check any drafts that you notice that might indicate a problem, and also if your vents and air ducts are leaky.
- Start at the top. If you want to go farther in sealing your house up against the cold, it is time to work on the insulation. When installing new insulation, remember that heat rises, so you get the most bang for your buck by starting at the top. If you only have the budget or time to insulate one space, make it the attic. You can work down from there.
These areas should be your top three priorities on your mission to prevent heat loss in your Fort Washington home. If you start here, you will get the best gains with the least effort. If you have any questions about how to keep your house warm this winter, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call today!
Most people in Hatfield ignore their meters and only think about gas and electric use when the bill shows up every month. But, by ignoring those meters, you miss possible warning signs that something is wrong with an appliance. Imagine getting a huge gas bill because of a faulty boiler or furnace. Had you checked the meter in advance, you would have been able to fix it before the usage increased so much.
Here are some tips for reading different types of meters in your home.
The electric meter measures usage in kilowatt-hours. A watt is the basic unit of electricity you use and a kilowatt is one thousand watts. A kilowatt hour is the usage of 1,000 watts in one hour. As electricity moves through your meter, it causes a motor to turn and your meter increases, matching your total usage.
The more current you draw at any given time, the faster the gears turn and the more your meter goes up. To read an electric meter, write down numbers from right to left and make sure you go to the smaller number if the hand falls between two numbers.
Gas is measured in cubic feet. For every cubic foot of gas you use, you are billed accordingly. Of course, your bill isn’t as simple as that. Instead of simply billing for a cubic foot, the gas company often bills in “therms” which represent 100 cubic feet or (CCF). The meter installed in your home measures the gas pressure as it flows through the meter. To read your gas meter, go from left to right, recording the numbers across the meter.
Using Your Meter Readings
It is a good idea to keep an accurate count of your meter readings, especially if your gas meter is only read once every two or three months and the rest of your bills are estimated. This allows you to know what you owe and make adjustments to your consumption throughout the month to keep your bills down. If you think that your heating and cooling system is using too much fuel, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call to schedule an inspection.
Finding new ways to lower the heating bills for your New Britain home is always a challenge. Maybe you’ve already insulated and sealed every crawlspace and crack, or you might have recently upgraded that old furnace, but there are always other ways to reduce heat loss in the winter.
Here are five ways to conserve heat that you might not have considered.
1. Insulate Recessed Light Fixtures
While recessed light fixtures save space and give you more control over lighting and design, such as task lighting in kitchens, they can be a hidden source of heat loss. Feel around your recessed lighting fixtures to see if there’s cool air or a draft. If you do, they could need more insulation. However, you have to be extremely cautious about what type of insulation you use around electrical wiring and fixtures. Check with the manufacturer, or call an electrician if you aren’t sure what type of insulation to use.
2. Insulate Water Heater Tanks
Part of your heating bill each month goes to heating the water in your home. Whether you have a gas, electric, solar, or hybrid hot water heater, every water heater tank has an R-value that determines how much heat it loses. If you have a low R-value, your tank may need more insulation. Call a professional plumber or check your owner’s manual for the R-value of the model you own, but the general rule is that if the tank is warm when you touch it, you may need to buy a “jacket” for your water heater. These are fairly inexpensive, easy to install, and can be found relatively anywhere you buy insulation.
3. Open Curtains on South End
The southern end of your home will get the most sunlight in the winter. If you have curtains or blinds on your windows or doors, leave them open during the day, and make sure you close them at night. Opening them will help warm up the home naturally during the day, and closing them will help keep the cold air out and warm air in at night.
4. Storm Windows and Doors
Many homeowners know they have the option of upgrading old doors and windows that leak air, but not everyone can afford to upgrade all the doors and windows at once. You can also install storm windows and doors to help reserve heat. Before you start comparing prices, remember to measure, since measurements will affect the cost.
5. Close Fireplace Flue
Whenever your flue is open, you are losing large amounts of heat. Close the damper if the fireplace or chimney is not being used. You can also consider upgrading to a more air tight damper.
You can always call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling whenever you have questions about lowering your heating costs for your New Britain home.
Before you decide which upgrades will make your Willow Grove home more efficient, it would be best to get a home energy audit. You can do this yourself with a few simple tests, or you can hire a professional auditor. The auditor will use advanced equipment and techniques, such as blower doors and infrared cameras, to detect air leaks and places that need more insulation.
When your home is properly insulated and sealed, here are some upgrades you’ll want to think about to make your home more efficient.
High-Efficiency Furnaces & Heat Pumps
If you have an old single-stage furnace, it is time to upgrade. These furnaces were designed to run on two settings—either off or on, and when they are on, they run at full speed. Not only do they lose heat this way, but they also take longer to warm up your home. The new two-speed and multispeed models run at lower speeds to maintain a constant temperature. You can also buy ones with variable-speed blowers that operate on various speeds, which are the most efficient. Heat pumps are a good option if you need both heat and A/C in your home. While most heat pumps are manufactured to be efficient by design, the newer models are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home. If you have a heat pump older than 15 years, talk to an HVAC technician about a heat pump replacement.
Solar & Tankless Water Heaters
When you’ve upgraded your heating system, it may be time to install a more efficient water heater. Solar water heaters are gaining popularity, and they are the most efficient way to save hot water if certain factors are in place, such as sunlight exposure and high fuel costs. Tankless water heaters heat your water with individual units located near hot water applications. You also have the option of installing a single, whole-home tankless water heater, or for appliances that use more hot water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, you can install tankless models just for their use.
Water-Saving Toilets & Low-flow Plumbing Fixtures
Duel flush, or water-saving toilets are an excellent choice for an upgrade if you want to save water. These toilets use less water overall, and you have the option of using more or less water each time you flush. Installing low flow faucets and fixtures can also provide up to 60% in utility savings. Low flow plumbing fixtures reduce the flow rate for each fixture or application, which reduces the overall amount water used in the home. These are a good option if you’ve installed a tankless water heating system. Your tankless water heaters will be more efficient if the sum of the flow rate total for every fixture in the home is lower.
Don’t hesitate to call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling if you have any questions about upgrading your Willow Grove home.
The cost of the heat, air conditioning and water supply to your Solebury home continues to rise – it’s no wonder you want to cut your bills so much. But, how can you do that without cutting into the creature comforts and conveniences you’ve gotten used to over the course of the last few decades? Here are a few simple energy and water saving tips to make your life easier.
- Patching Leaks – Two of the biggest wasters of water are dripping faucets and leaky pipes. The amount of water wasted by a single drip every second could provide for multiple baths per year – it adds up fast. Not only are leaky faucets and pipes easy to fix; they tend to develop into bigger problems as time passes.
- Drains and Flushing – If you put a piece of toilet paper in the toilet used to clean an eye or wipe the counter, don’t flush. It’s a waste of water. If you notice some extra toothpaste in the sink, don’t rinse yet. You can always use the water from brushing your teeth or washing your face to clean it out. Multi-task and minimize how much water goes down the drain to save water.
- Fully Loaded – A partially filled washing machine or dish washer is a huge waster of water. Fill it up and wait to run the device until it’s at the brim – the same amount of water is used no matter how much is in the device.
- Compost vs. Disposal – A garbage disposal wastes a tremendous amount of water (if you want it to run properly). So, instead of churning the disposal up, create a compost pile and save a great deal of water/energy. If you have a septic tank, a garbage disposal is especially bad for your home as it can fill the tank up quickly with solids.
- Lower Water Flow – Don’t crank your faucets up to the max just to get a glass of water or to check for hot water. It’s a waste of energy and it’s often unnecessary, especially when waiting for water to hit the right temperature.
If you’re interested in getting the most out of your home’s water supply, there are hundreds of little ways to save water that will add up over time. These are just some of the easiest ways to get started. If you need more tips, contact your plumber.
Any time you go out and buy any type of appliance in Norristown, you probably notice that some have a distinct mark that signifies them as Energy Star appliances. That sounds like a good thing, of course, but what does it actually mean? Should you always buy an Energy Star model over another type?
The Energy Star label was originally developed to help consumers more easily recognize appliances that are more energy efficient than the average. In order to obtain an Energy Star seal of approval, any device must meet very strict guidelines when it comes to energy efficiency.
What that translates into for you as a consumer is a lower monthly energy bill when you buy Energy Star appliances. Of course, once they have obtained an Energy Star labels, manufacturers can charge whatever they want for their product, and it is not unusual to pay more for a model that is certified an Energy Star.
However, as long as the potential savings over time that you will get by using the Energy Star model as opposed to one that is not as energy efficient outweigh the difference in initial purchase price, it is worth it to spend a bit more on the Energy Star model.
Keep in mind, though, that just because a produce meets the Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency does not necessarily mean that it is a superior product in terms of quality or overall effectiveness. Plus, not all Energy Star appliances are created equal. You should still do your research and pick out the product that will both save you the most money and has the best chance of getting the job done right.
Another benefit to Energy Star products is that, because they use less energy when they run, they also have a smaller impact on the environment than a model that uses a greater amount of energy to perform the same tasks.
Overall, it is definitely worth taking a closer look at all of the Energy Star options out there when you are purchasing an air conditioning system or any other type of appliance. Using less energy is always a good thing both for your bank account and for the planet. But you also want to make sure you are actually getting the best product for your money. Ask your local professional about other energy saving options.