Carney All Seasons Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Quakertown’

Looking for a “Green” AC System? Consider Geothermal

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Air conditioners have not been known for their environmental friendliness, and this has led to the development and improvement of a variety of AC systems. One system that especially worth noting for being green is the geothermal system. This system has a great number of benefits, as we’ll explain below, but the one of the benefits that is simply outstanding for the environment is this: the system gives back 3-4 units of energy for every 1 unit it expends to heat or cool your home. Wondering how this happens? Let’s take a look at how the system works.

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Reasons to Install a Natural Gas Generator

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Your home needs electricity to power the many appliances that help you to get through the day. Some of these electronics include those used solely for entertainment purposes, like the television or stereo, but others are vital parts of your daily life. You need electricity to power your home heating and air conditioning system, as well as the water heater in some cases. Electricity powers sump pumps that prevent flooding in some homes, and the lights that protect household members from injury. For those who work from home, electricity keeps their computers running as needed, and, for others, a lack of electricity would pose a health threat if family members who rely on medical equipment suddenly had to go without.

People in Quakertown are no strangers to power outages, which can happen at any time, not just in severe weather. Gas generator installation ensures a reliable fuel source to power all of the appliances, electrical equipment, and fixtures in your home. When the gas generator senses that there is no electrical current running through the home, it kicks in within seconds. Portable generators can only power select appliances, whereas a whole-home option can power everything at once.

Natural gas is a reliable source of fuel since most homes have access to a gas line. If you’ve been considering a whole-house generator, buying a model that runs on gas is generally a better option than one that runs on propane. Propane generators are best for those who cannot hook a generator up to the gas line. Natural gas is available even during a power outage and is actually a bit more cost effective than using electricity.

The cost of a power outage is too high to avoid generator installation for very long. In the event of a power outage, you can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars replacing spoiled groceries, staying in hotels or alternative accommodations, replacing burst pipes, repairing damage from flooding, and removing mold or mildew. Although the upfront cost is high, a generator pays for itself when you put this into perspective.

At Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling, we’ve been in the business for over 30 years, so we can make sure new gas generator installation in Quakertown is a success. Call us today!

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Some of Your Options for Better Indoor Air Quality in Quakertown, PA

Monday, August 18th, 2014

The quality of the air you breathe is intrinsic to your health and comfort. While you may not have a lot of control over the air outside, you certainly have control over your indoor air quality in Quakertown, particularly when you install a whole-home air cleaning solution. There can be multiple reasons for needing to improve the quality of your indoor air, from allergies to asthma to generally better health, and Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has a variety of products that can assist you with your needs.

Options Available for Better Indoor Air

Choosing the right whole-home product for your indoor air quality depends in large part on your needs. It’s best to work with a professional to determine what the best choice will be, but here are a few products to give you a preliminary overview of what is available:

Mechanical Air Filters

Mechanical air filters are square-framed filters that fit into the space in which your standard filter fits. Mechanical filters are made to improve your indoor air quality, whereas the standard mechanical filter is made to reduce the dirt and dust in your system. Mechanical air filters can include HEPA filters, and come in a range of MERV ratings that can help you determine what particles a particular filter will help remove. Mechanical filters typically need to be replaced (some can be cleaned) every 3 months.

Electronic Air Cleaners

There are two types of electronic air cleaners:

  • Electronic precipitators
  • Ion generators

Electronic precipitators create a space known as an ionization section; they do this by charging the air around them, creating a charged section of air. As particles move into this space, they become electronically charged. Electronic precipitators have oppositely-charged, metal plates that collect these charged particles.

Ion generators work in a similar way, but with two distinct differences: one, they do not create an ion section; instead, they send ions into the air, and particles that come into contact with the ions become charged. Two, they do not have collection plates; the charged particles collect on the surfaces of your home instead.

UV Germicidal Lights

UV germicidal lights are air purifiers that kill biological contaminants with over 99% efficiency. UV lights achieve this by killing the DNA of biological cells with the radiation from UV-C light rays. UV lights can be installed over coils and in vent work. One thing to note about UV germicidal lights is that they do not filter anything, so to achieve the best level of indoor quality, it’s advisable to pair UV lights with an air filter.

Wondering How to Improve Your Indoor Air? Call Us!

Better air quality helps keep you, your family and your air conditioner healthy.

Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help you choose and install the right product to improve your indoor air quality in Quakertown. Call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.


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Why Is a Faulty Compressor Motor a Problem?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

The core of an air conditioning system is the compressor, which is located in the outdoor condenser cabinet. When an AC switches into cooling, the compressor makes a noticeable humming noise that you probably associate with all air conditioners: that’s the indication the process that creates the heat exchange cycle to remove warmth from your home has started. The compressor increases the pressure of refrigerant by decreasing its volume; the refrigerant changes into a hot, high pressure gas and starts on its path through the air conditioning system until it returns to the compressor.

A compressor resembles a motor in the way it operates, but it needs its own motor to run. Compressor motor faults are serious because they threaten to stop the heat exchange cycle. If you suspect a failing compressor motor, contact Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling right away for air conditioning repair in Quakertown, PA. We offer same day service, your satisfaction guaranteed.

Why motor faults are bad news for the compressor

The compressor motor is similar to most motors: it can suffer from excess stress due to overwork, loss of lubrication, and dirty components. Other problems a motor can encounter include loose wires and a bad start relay. When the motor starts to suffer from extra strain, the air conditioner will begin to “hard start”—i.e. the compressor will struggle to turn on, and it may only work for a short period before it shuts off again. This puts stress on the compressor as well, and it drains large amounts of energy that will lead to an increase on your bills.

The biggest threat from a malfunctioning compressor motor is not that the motor will burn out and stop moving the compressor; that’s a serious issue that will require a technician change out the motor. The biggest danger is that the hard starting will cause the compressor to overheat and burn-out. A burn-out compressor can rarely be fixed. Replacing the compressor is costly, and often it means that the whole air conditioner must be replaced.

When you hear a grinding or screeching sound from the condenser cabinet, it probably means a motor is malfunctioning. Call for repairs immediately before the problem spreads to the compressor. Also call for technicians if the air conditioner begins to hard start.

If you act soon enough, skilled repair technicians can often fix the problem quickly and thoroughly so it will not start up again. However, in cases of aged ACs, sometimes a new installation is the best solution when the compressor and its motor have worn down too far.

Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling has served Quakertown, PA with air conditioning repair for over 30 years. Trust us with your AC’s motor trouble.

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Plumber’s Tip: Types of Water Treatment Systems

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Are you considering a water treatment system for your Quakertown, PA area home? At Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, we offer water softeners, acid neutralizers, ultraviolet (UV) lights, and water testing and analysis to help you get the cleanest possible water for your home.  If you are not sure which type of water treatment system is right for your home, call one of our water treatment experts to review the different types of systems with you.

Before we can help you decide which water treatment system is best for your home, we will need to test your water to see what contaminants are affecting your water system. With a whole-home water filtration system, you get more purification than installing a faucet filter or with a filtered water pitcher. Whole home systems also protect your pipes from being damaged by minerals in homes with hard water. Whole-house systems are designed to provide your entire home with clean water, and they require basic maintenance that is easy to do.

Acid neutralizers are also called chemical feed pumps, and like water softeners, they use salts and minerals to remove contaminants that may be in your water system, such as arsenic or sulfur. Acid neutralizers are quite safe and can be a cost-effective way to improve the quality of your water.

While you may have heard of using UV germicidal lights for your HVAC system, they can also be used to treat water. Poor water quality can lead to illness, and UV lights kill harmful microorganisms that cause certain illnesses.

We put your safety and comfort first at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. That’s why we offer water testing, water analysis, and a variety of water treatment systems for your Quakertown, PA area home. Call today to set up a consultation.

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Why Use a Whole House Humidifier This Winter?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Winter is a great time of year, provided that you have prepared your home to ensure your comfort throughout the season. Obviously an effective heating system is a great benefit to your home during the winter season, but heating your home can also lead to excessively dry air. If the air in your home is too dry comfort levels can plummet quickly. A whole-house humidifier allows you to heat your home while retaining moisture in the air for total comfort. Here is some more information about the operation of whole-house humidifiers, as well as some indicators that you may need one in your home. If you have any further questions about whole-house humidifiers call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

A lack of humidity in the air in your home can cause a lot of problems, ranging from minor annoyances to actual physical damage. Static electricity thrives in environments lacking humidity. Static shocks are a minor problem for people, but they can actually damage expensive electronic equipment. Excessively dry air can also cause your sinuses to dry out, leading to sore throats and bloody noses. Allergy and asthma symptoms can be aggravated. Because many viruses thrive in environments with low humidity colds and sickness can increase. All of these problems can be alleviated with a whole-house humidifier.

Low humidity levels can also negatively affect your home. Wallpaper can loosen and peel away from the walls, drywall may crack and wood paneling can develop gaps between the seams and even crack. Dry air can also damage wooden furniture and fixtures in your home, loosening joints and compromising the wood.

A whole-house humidifier is the best way to avoid these problems in your home. Portable humidifiers are fine for one room, but a whole-house humidifier is preferable as it restores proper humidity levels throughout your entire house. They are installed directly into your central heating and cooling system, and the humidity is dispersed throughout your existing ductwork along with conditioned air. A distribution tray of water adds just the right amount of humidity to the air being circulated throughout your home. Of course, too much humidity is also a problem that can reduce indoor air quality and overall comfort. This is another reason to opt for a whole-house humidifier. A portable unit is simply turned on and left alone. A whole-house humidifier offers you much more control over the amount of humidity that is introduced to the air in your home, removing the danger of excess moisture in the air.

If you have any more questions about how a whole-house humidifier can benefit your home, call the humidity experts at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for answers. We have the expertise and training necessary to provide you with all the information necessary to decide if a whole-house humidifier is right for you. Call today to schedule a whole-house humidifier installation from our professional team. 

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How is Geothermal Heating Different than a Boiler or Furnace?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

If you need a new heating system in Quakertown, there are quite a few options to choose from. But before we can talk about the differences between boilers, furnaces and geothermal systems we need to understand how they work.

How a Boiler Works

Boilers, like most traditional heating systems, require a fuel source, normally oil or gas, which is combusted in exchange for heat. In the case of a boiler, that heat is transferred to water that is circulated to radiators in each room where the heat from the water is expelled into the air.

How Furnaces Work

With furnaces, the heat generated by the burning of fuel is transferred to a piece of metal called a heat exchanger. The furnace blows cool air from the house over the heat exchanger which warms the air and it is then delivered to the rest of the house using a series of ducts.

How Geothermal Systems Work

A geothermal system uses a pump to circulate liquid, sometimes water or a mixture of anti-freeze and water, into the ground where it is either heated or cooled—depending upon the needs of the people in the house.

The Differences between Boilers, Furnaces and Geothermal Systems

The main difference between a geothermal system and a boiler or a furnace is that it doesn’t require any kind of fuel source. The energy for the geothermal system is actually in the ground. If you dig about 10 feet into the ground, the temperature of the soil stays at an almost constant 55° F no matter what the temperature of the air is above it. When the air in the home needs to be cooled, a geothermal system absorbs the heat from the air and transfers it into the ground. When the home needs to be warmed, the process is reversed: heat from the ground is absorbed by the liquid in the pipes and transferred to the air in the home.

The only energy being used is the electricity to run the heat pump that circulates the liquid in the pipes and the air handler to distribute the conditioned air.

If you’d like to learn more about installing a geothermal system or to see if your property in Quakertown can support one, call Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.

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Problems Caused by Low Refrigerant in an Air Conditioning System

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Having the proper refrigerant level of an air conditioning system is one of the key components to having properly cooled indoor air.   The AC specialists at Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can easily diagnosis the AC problems which could be a result of low refrigerant levels get your system back up and running in no time.

Low Refrigerant Levels Mean AC Problems

One of the most common signs of low refrigerant levels is having an air conditioner that only blows warm air or one that does not sufficiently cool an entire indoor space, leaving some rooms which are warmer than others.  This is because refrigerant is what creates the cold air, and without enough of it, you can never have enough cold air.

Frost build-up or icing around the condenser coils in the outdoor unit can mean a refrigerant leak has caused low refrigerant levels.  Because ice build-up restricts air-flow, this can mean less cool air flowing into various rooms.  Low levels of refrigerant can cause coils to drop in temperature which then creates frost or ice on the coils.

An AC system that will not turn on could also be a result of low refrigerant levels.  Newer HVAC systems have built-in safety controls which detect certain changes in how internal systems function and as a safety precaution, shuts down the air conditioner in certain circumstances rather than continuing to run and further damaging other internal mechanical or electrical systems.

These are some of the main AC problems caused by low refrigerant levels.  It is important to have a professional Harleysville  air conditioning company such as Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling assist you with your air conditioning concerns.  Our AC technicians provide air conditioning services such as air conditioner maintenance and repair, including fixing refrigerant levels and charging refrigerant.

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Common Questions about Heat Pumps

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Even if you installed a heat pump in your Lansdale home years ago, you may still have questions about the normal operation of your indoor and outdoor units. Here are answers to a few of the more common questions we get about Lansdale heat pumps.

Do I need to schedule a heat pump maintenance visit before each season, or just once a year?

Scheduling a yearly maintenance visit is necessary to the proper upkeep and safe operation of your Lansdale heat pump. This also extends the life of the system and helps it run more efficiently. However, scheduling a visit before the heating and cooling seasons isn’t necessary, unless you’ve had any concerns or issues with your heat pump.

Should I be concerned about the steam coming from my outdoor unit?

All heat pumps have a defrost cycle that melts the frost off of the outdoor coils in the winter. The steam rising from the outdoor unit results from the defrost cycle. If you notice that the defrost cycle lasts longer than ten to fifteen minutes, or if it cycles on and off frequently, you should call an HVAC service technician to look at your heat pump. There could be an issue with airflow that is affecting the compressor.

I just installed a heat pump. Why is my furnace running?

Many heat pump systems use the furnace fan blower to help distribute the heat throughout the house. Unless you’ve installed a geothermal heat pump, your furnace is most likely your backup heater, so it will kick on when the outside temperature drops below 20° F.

Is it really that important to clean my outdoor unit? It’s impossible to keep it clean all the time.

Yes, cleaning the outdoor unit is an especially important maintenance task. Not only does a routine cleaning of all the outdoor components maintain your heat pump’s efficiency and performance levels, it also prevents safety hazards. When you schedule a yearly maintenance visit with one of our technicians, cleaning the coils and outdoor unit is part of the service; however, if you want to clean the coils yourself, have one of our technicians show you how to do this before you attempt it on your own. You could suffer from electric shock if you are not familiar with the proper cleaning procedure. You can also help by making sure that the debris is cleared from around the outdoor unit.

If you have any questions about the heat pump in your Lansdale home, or if you’d like to schedule a maintenance appointment, give Carney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling a call any time.


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What Size Heat Pump Is Right for My Home?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

One of the most important questions to answer when purchasing and installing any new heating or cooling system, no matter what type, is what size is best for your Doylestown home. You need something that has enough capacity to heat or cool your whole home comfortably; otherwise your house will consistently be at an undesirable temperature.

Some people might think that the quickest solution to this problem is to just buy a system that they are sure has a capacity larger than the size of their Doylestown home. You may even be tempted to get the biggest model out there, under the logic that the biggest is the best and it will be sure to be able to cover your whole house.

While this line of thinking might make sense to you, it’s actually not a good idea. The problem with this “solution” is that you can wind up with a heat pump that is considerably too large for your needs, which means your home will consistently be either too cool or too hot, and your energy bills will be unnecessarily high.

The best way to choose a new heat pump is to have a professional do a load calculation in your home. This can be a highly technical process, so it is best to leave it to the pros. However, here are some quick tips and other things to consider on the subject:

  • There are a lot of variable to consider in doing a calculation like this. A Doylestown contractor doing a load calculation will consider the type of construction, what kind of insulation you have installed, what kind of windows you have, whether there is an attic, how many people live there and many more factors.
  • It never hurts to shop around. Get a few estimates from different area contractors, rather than just going with the first opinion.
  • Also, since heat pumps are used for both heating and cooling, different contractors may opt to do the calculation in different ways. Some will estimate capacity based on heating, while others will base it on cooling. Ask to see which is the case for each estimate you receive.
  • If you are getting a new heat pump as a replacement for an existing one, or even a different heating/cooling system, check the capacity of the unit you are replacing. That can be a good place to start. You will at least be in the right ballpark.

All of this means doing some extra leg work up front, but getting the proper sized heat pump is well worth the effort.

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