Is a Hot Water Recirculation System Difficult to Install?

December 18th, 2014

Whether your home has a standard storage tank water heater or a tankless water heater, you will still run into a similar problem each time you turn on a hot water tap: the water that first flows out of the tap will be cold, and you’ll have to spend a few seconds (or longer in the case of a tankless system) before the water starts to warm up and reaches the desired temperature. The reason this occurs is that the water sitting in the pipes loses heat over time and cools down. The lag time before the water turns warm means not only time wasted, but plenty of water wasted.

Basnett Plumbing & Heating has a solution to this problem, giving you convenience and water savings in one package: a hot water recirculation system. Call us today and speak to our plumbing professionals to learn more about whether hot water recirculation systems in Weston, MA are something you should consider for your house.

Are these systems difficult to install?

What a hot water recirculation system does is use a water heater, such as a boiler, to keep hot water running in a continuous circle through a loop of pipes in a home. The water remains constantly hot, ready at a moment’s notice to rush to the water taps. No storage tank is required, making the system a variety of tankless water heater.

However, a hot water circulation system is best installed as part of new home construction: the installation work requires extensive new plumbing, and should be planned to work as part of a boiler system that will also operate as the heating system for the house. Because new homes must have a completely new plumbing system, it is fairly simple to install hot water recirculation as part of it.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot have your current home switched over to have one of these useful systems installed—but it does take more work. We recommend that you give hot water recirculation serious consideration if your home suffers from enormous heat loss from the pipes during cold weather. If you are planning to replace an aging storage tank water heater, you should also call specialists and ask if a hot water recirculation system makes sense for the house. In some cases, you may be better off installing a tankless water heater instead if you are replacing a storage water heater.

We install numerous plumbing and heating systems, including a variety of different water heaters, and we can help you find the right way to have convenient and energy-saving hot water for your home.

The best way to know for certain if you should invest in one of the hot water recirculation systems in Weston, MA is to talk to specialists at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

How Do I Know It’s Time for a New Boiler in MetroWest?

December 12th, 2014

If you have a boiler providing comfort for your home, you want to make sure that it will work all through the winter months. But if you have reason to believe that your boiler is too old to do its job properly, or worse, you have concerns that it may break down at some point in the coming cold months, you should investigate having a replacement put in as soon as possible. With the assistance of the MetroWest heating services at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, you can have a new boiler installed in your house in only a short time, leaving you with many years of cozy household comfort with only minor worries about malfunctions or interruptions in heating.

How to tell that you should schedule new boiler installation

Regular maintenance from heating technicians is the best way to tell if you should have a new boiler installed. During the annual visit—which you should arrange every fall before the winter starts—the technician will examine your boiler to check that it is running efficiently and not suffering from issues such as corrosion or trouble with its heating elements and/or burner. The technician will inform you if the boiler is losing heating power and energy efficiency due to its age, and whether repairs are still worth the time and effort or if replacement is the best option. Trust to the technician to help you make the optimal choice, and then to arrange for the right unit to replace the old boiler if a new installation is the best way to proceed.

Increasing heating bills over the years that show no indication of going down, regardless of what repairs or maintenance you have, are a major warning sign of a boiler in a decline. It is more cost-effective to replace a slowly failing boiler rather than to continue to pay a high price for home comfort every year. Consult with a technician about new installation to see if it is the most budget-friendly way to proceed.

Look out for your repair bills for your boiler: if the total cost to keep a boiler running with repairs exceeds $500 during year, then the repair is probably not worth the cost and the boiler should be replaced. If any single repair for an older boiler would cost more than half the price to replace the unit, you should also opt for replacement.

Call us for professional boiler installation and replacement

Basnett Plumbing & Heating has a long history providing quality heating services in the MetroWest area. We have helped numerous households with new boiler installation.

Contact us for a trained eye on whether you should have a new boiler placed in your home—we can handle the work necessary, whether repairs or a replacement.

How Do Ductless Heat Pumps Heat a Home?

December 11th, 2014

The technology of home comfort advances each year. Although the older methods of home heating, furnaces and boilers, are still around and still delivering cozy indoor environments through the winter, the more recent heat pumps have become common choices for many homeowners. Going one step further from the advances of the heat pump is the ductless mini split heat pump, which permits a home to receive central heating (and cooling) through forced air, but without requiring a single foot of ductwork anywhere in the house.

Our team at Basnett Plumbing & Heating installs ductless heat pumps in Southborough, MA and throughout the MetroWest area. If you are interested in having a ductless heating system for your home, call our technicians today and they can give you all the information you need to help make a decision about the best option for your family’s comfort.

How ductless heat pumps work

The way that heat pumps operate without using a network of ducts installed in the walls and ceilings is to combine some of the functions of window air conditioning units with central heating and air. Window ACs provide spot cooling for rooms by blowing air directly from their cabinet: the blower is installed in the unit along with the evaporator coil. What a ductless heat pump does is use multiple smaller blower units containing fans and coils placed throughout the house to send conditioned air directly into rooms: no ducts necessary.

But how is this a “centralized” heating and cooling system? Each of the blowers connects to an outdoor unit through refrigerant, condensate, and power lines. The outdoor unit works as a condenser when the heat pump is in cooling mode, and as an evaporator when the heat pump is in heating mode.

Otherwise, a ductless mini split heat pump works in the same fashion as a standard heat pump: the system moves refrigerant in a cycle that transports heat from one location and deposits it in another. When you need to warm up your house, the heat pump moves refrigerant from the compressor in the outdoor unit to each of the indoor blowers, where they release heat along the coils and fans sends the warm air into the rooms. The refrigerant from each blower then returns to the outdoor unit where it absorbs heat from the outside. (Yes, even in cold weather, there is heat available in the air for the heat pump to absorb.)

Is a ductless heat pump right for my home?

To answer this question, you should call our specialists at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. They can look over your home and determine if it will benefit from a ductless mini split heat pump or not. For Southborough, MA, ductless heat pumps are especially helpful for older and historic homes that do not have space for ductwork. But they are also excellent if you planning remodeling or a new home construction.

Let us help you make the best choice for your family’s comfort.

What are HEPA Air Filters?

December 5th, 2014

These days, we tend to keep our homes tightly sealed, shutting the windows and retrofitting the home with insulation so that we can save a lot of energy every month. This can do wonders for our energy bills, but it may severely affect the indoor air quality. Any loose particles or microorganisms just continue to cycle throughout your ducts and blow out into your home. This is particularly problematic for those of us with allergies, asthma, or immune disorders.

Your HVAC system most likely contains an air filter already, but this may only be able to remove a certain amount of particles from the air. Hospitals and other commercial properties sometimes rely on HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which may also be available for use in your home. HEPA filters are unlike any type of air filter available out there today. These filters must meet Department of Energy standards that they filter out 99.97% of particles over 0.3 micrometers in size. In fact, HEPA filters were first developed to remove radioactive contaminants from the air when the atomic bomb was invented.

You may also be able to add an additional carbon filter, which can help filter out odors from pets or cooking as well. Unfortunately, a HEPA filter may not actually work with every type of heating and air conditioning system. This is because the thickness of a HEPA filter may inhibit airflow in some types of HVAC systems. Your system needs a certain amount of airflow in order for it to function properly. Without the right amount of airflow, your heating and air conditioning system could have a struggling motor or it could cause a coil to freeze over. For this reason, sometimes it is recommended that you pick a filter with a high MERV rating over a HEPA filter.

You may choose a HEPA filter for your home, or you may decide that an energy recovery ventilator or UV germicidal light is better suited for your needs.

Learn more about your options for air filtration in Sudbury Air by calling the indoor air quality experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

Benefits of the Different Kind of Boilers

December 4th, 2014

If you’re looking for a heating installation for your new home in Marlborough, you may have overlooked boilers, particularly if you’ve owned one in the past. Older boilers can make a lot of noise, need frequent repairs, and run fairly inefficiently. However, most boilers today require very little energy to run, many operating far more efficiently than those built decades ago and better than many new furnaces. Furthermore, advancements in technology make today’s boilers quieter and offer better performance than ever before. Let’s look at a few of the different types you can choose between for your home.

Gas Boilers

The most common boilers found in homes are gas boilers, which rely on natural gas, usually supplied through a gas line from your municipality, to operate. Today’s gas boilers are not what they used to be, and that’s a good thing. Many gas boilers have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of well over 90%, meaning that a vast majority of the energy they use goes into heating your home. Besides, the comfort of the radiant heat given off by a boiler simply cannot be beat.

Oil Boilers

Oil boilers are designed for use in areas that natural gas is not as readily available. Although this scenario is somewhat rare, more and more homeowners have used oil boilers by choice recently because of the development of more environmentally-friendly oil-based fuels. The addition of these biodiesel fuels also makes these oil boilers very efficient and you could end up saving on monthly heating costs.

Steam Boilers

The term boiler is confusing to some because, usually, water is not actually boiled. Instead, water is heated to a very high temperature and then circulated through your home. However, a steam boiler heats water to a much higher temperature so that it can heat a space very quickly even in the harshest of winters. Steam boilers are more common in commercial application, though they may be used residentially in some cases.

The best person to help you choose which type of boiler works best in your home is a trained technician.

Call the friendly professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating and ask about heating installation in Marlborough today!

How Pipe Relining Can Repair Your Sewer Line

November 28th, 2014

Modern technology has improved our lives in ways many people aren’t even aware of. When you call a plumber for pipe repair, you may feel as though you have to prepare your property to be torn up in some major ways. In the past, plumbers were forced to take apart your walls or dig up an entire yard in order to diagnose the issue and replace pipes that were leaking or otherwise worn down. Your sewer line runs underneath your yard, and you may be afraid that plumbers will damage the landscaping while repairing yours.

These days, however, innovations in plumbing have brought us new ways to fix a sewer line. First, a plumber will inspect the pipes to determine the problem using video camera inspection technology, which will not require the plumber to dig up the yard. Then, any cracks can be fixed with a very efficient pipe relining process. This process works for most leaks and to replace worn down pipes as well.

Pipe Relining: A Safe and Convenient Repair or Replacement Process

So how does it work? The process is fairly simple. A plumber must find a point of entry and exit for the pipes, which usually involves digging two small holes only. Then, the plumber uses a machine to line the inside of the pipes with an adhesive and insert a deflated pipe lining. A machine then inflates the lining so that it becomes pressed to the adhesive, creating a new lining for the pipes. This process is entirely safe for your plumbing and should last for decades to come in most cases.

Know the Signs Your Sewer Line Is in Trouble

Be sure to contact a plumber for pipe relining or other repair and replacement services as soon as you notice your pipes are in trouble. You may sense a problem with the sewer line if there is slow or backed up drainage or strange smells from the drains or in the yard. Otherwise, look for wet spots in the yard or parts of the grass that seem to be greener or growing more quickly than the rest.

When you need drain & sewer repair in Lunenburg, trust in the plumbing experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Common Water Heater Repairs

November 18th, 2014

There are few more unpleasant daily inconveniences you may encounter in your home than to discover that you have insufficient hot water for your morning shower. Loss of hot water to your household will cause numerous problems, making normal tasks like cooking and cleaning difficult and sometimes impossible.

You need to call professional water heater technicians whenever your hot water supply appears to be in jeopardy. It is a simple task to find excellent water heater repair in Dunstable, MA and the surrounding areas: just call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and we will send one of our trained and experienced repair technicians to take care of your troubled water heater.

Some common water heater repairs you may need

Although water heater manufacturers build their products to last, they cannot make a water heater that is 100% malfunction-proof. Here are repairs that water heaters need the most often and that our technicians can handle for you.

  • Replacing a broken dip tube: The dip tube carries fresh water into the water heater tank and deposits it at the bottom of the tank near the heat exchanger or heating elements. If the dip tube breaks, it will begin to leave the cold water the top of the tank, where it mixes with the heated water and ends up pumped out of the tank. This is the most frequent cause for losing the normal volume of hot water people you from the water heater. Technicians will replace the dip tube to restore normal operation.
  • Repairing the pump: The main mechanical part in a water heater is the pump that moves the heated water out of the tank and into the hot water pipes. The pump can wear down and eventually cease working, which will mean no hot water at all to your home. Regular maintenance will help prevent emergency pump repair issues.
  • Flushing the tank: The tank of the water heater can pick up minerals and other deposits from the municipal water supply, which will start to gather at the bottom of the tank. If this accumulation continues, it can lead to the tank overheating and contamination of the water supply, or even corrosion. Technicians will flush out the tank to reduce these dangers. They will sometimes do this as part of regular maintenance.
  • Fixing leaks: Leaking pipes are one of the most common troubles for water heaters (as well as any part of a plumbing system). There are various causes for leaking to start—corrosion, high water pressure, poor soldering—and the repair technicians will track down the cause and provide the long-term solution.

Only call for professionals when you need water heater repair in Dunstable, MA or other parts of MetroWest.

You can depend on Basnett Plumbing & Heating for high quality service. We also offer regular maintenance that will help keep emergency repair calls out of your future.

Why Oil Boilers Are Becoming Popular Heating Options Once More

November 17th, 2014

The most common types of boilers found in homes in the U.S. today are gas-powered and electric models. The extension of natural gas lines to more and more areas has made these efficient systems available to a larger number of households, and this has caused a decline in oil boilers that use stored heating oil as their fuel source.

But oil boilers are starting to make a comeback. Homes that would normally use an electric-powered boiler when natural gas is unavailable have instead made the choice to have an oil boiler installed. Not all heating companies provide service for oil boilers in Wayland, MA, but you will find the installation, repair, and maintenance services you require at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We have worked on boilers since 1987 in the MetroWest Area.

The advantages of oil boilers

So why this upsurge in popularity for oil boilers, when for many years homeowners without natural gas connection were encouraged to use electrical boilers instead?

One of the main reasons for the return of oil boilers as excellent home heating choices is the development of blends of standard heating oil with renewable biodiesel fuels. This blend lowers two of the principal drawbacks of oil boilers: that they increase dependence on foreign oil and that they create higher levels of pollution. These biodiesel fuels are domestically produced, and they are far much more environmentally friendly than standard oil, making boilers that use them attractive alternatives to electric boilers, which are often expensive to run.

With the effects of these two main problems with oil boilers reduced, homeowners can enjoy many of their benefits. Oil boilers generate powerful heating levels that can overcome the most intense colds we experience in the Northeast. Heating oil is also a safer fuel than natural gas because it is not explosive and does not generate deadly carbon monoxide gas. Compared to electricity, oil is a much less expensive form of energy.

With an oil boiler, you do need to take a few precautions, specifically planning ahead to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of oil to run your heater when you need it. However, it is a simple job to arrange for convenient oil delivery so your home is always prepared for long stretches of cold.

If you live in an area that does not have access to natural gas lines, we recommend that you consider an oil boiler as your home’s heating system. We also handle quality repairs and regular maintenance that you will need to get the most from your new oil boiler.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and arrange an appointment to see if oil boilers in Wayland, MA are the ideal option for your home comfort.

What Is an Indirect Fired Water Heater?

November 11th, 2014

Water heater technology has continued to evolve over the years, moving away from the traditional storage tank models to newer innovations such as the tankless water heater, which delivers hot water on demand and will never run out of its supply. There are also options for high-efficiency condensing water heaters.

One excellent choice that we offer at Basnett Plumbing & Heating is the indirect fired water heater, which has superior energy efficiency compared to storage tank water heaters. To find out more about indirect fired water heaters in Boston, MA, call up our water heater specialists on staff and they will be happy to share with you what one of these home appliances can do for you.

How does an indirect fired water heater work?

What makes an indirect fired water heater stand out as a water heating option is that it is integrated into an already existing heating system instead of standing on its own. An indirect fired water heater is connected to the boiler that provides heat for a home. The water heater does not have its own energy supply; instead, it uses the heat supply from the boiler and applies it to the water that goes to your taps. Because this type of water heater consumes far less energy—you only use a single energy source where normally you would use two—it costs far less to run.

An indirect fired water heater is also more durable than a storage water heater and you can anticipate it to last as long as the boiler (and boilers are the most long-lived of all standard heating systems). You can expect excellent performance from the system for many years without it requiring major repairs.

You can choose to have an indirect fired water heater installed as either tank model, which applies the energy from the boiler directly to a tank of water, or as tankless model that heats the water you want as you want it. When you call for installation of a water heater, ask your technician about the options so you can find the unit that will provide you with the best combination of efficiency and effectiveness.

We can help you with all your water heater needs. We install and service indirect fired water heaters in Boston, MA as well as a variety of other kinds of models.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today and get started toward the best water heater possible for your home in the Metro West Area.