Why Choose a Digital Thermostat?

March 20th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that choices for a thermostat were pretty limited. Thanks to advancements in technology, thermostats have become a primary tool in helping homeowners control comfort levels and energy efficiency, something needed throughout the year. One of the best advancements has been the introduction of digital thermostats. These thermostats can range from simple to smart, accommodating a multitude of needs. They also bring a number of benefits to your home that a slide or dial thermostat simply can’t offer. But as with any kind of electronic device, correct installation is necessary to gain the benefits, and the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating are here to help. If you are ready to upgrade your thermostat to a digital one, call us today and schedule an appointment for installation.

Types of Digital Thermostats

As mentioned above, there are a few types of digital thermostats from which to choose:

  • Simple digital – this type of digital thermostat is a single thermostat that connects to your HVAC system. The digital face is easily read and can be set precisely, which can go a long way toward saving energy for many households.
  • Programmable – digital thermostats that can be programmed offer convenience and even better ways to help conserve energy. A programmable thermostat allows you to set heating and cooling programs for your home for up to 7 days. Most programmable thermostats allow up to 4 temperature changes per day, and you can loop your 7 day program to run continuously. With a programmable thermostat, you can program for times when your home will be unoccupied, such as during the work day, and take care of vacation times. You can even program the system to power up before you arrive home from work. With a programmable thermostat, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to change the setting on your thermostat.
  • Smart – smart digital thermostats are the crème-de-la-crème of the thermostat world. These types of digital thermostats offer all that programmable thermostats do, but also have remote access via smart devices, remote programming, monitoring, tracking and some even learn your patterns.

If you are ready to upgrade your thermostat, call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment for digital thermostat installation in North Chelmsford.

How Does Aeroseal Duct Sealing Help with Energy Efficiency?

March 19th, 2015

Leaky ductwork can create air loss of up to 30% – an amount that you have to pay for in energy usage as your HVAC system works harder to compensate for this significant air loss. Professional duct sealing can be highly effective in reducing or even eliminating this substantial air loss, and when you hire a Basnett Plumbing & Heating expert for Aeroseal duct sealing for your North Andover home, the results can be simply outstanding. Aeroseal is a patented sealing process whose development was funded by the US Department of Energy and the EPA. Aeroseal has won major awards, including the “Best of What’s New” award from Popular Science magazine and the “Energy 100” award from the DoE. So what is so great about Aeroseal? Let’s take a look.

The Process

The Aeroseal product is a sealant that works from the inside of your ductwork to the outside, but the process of application is very different from that of regular duct sealing. The way Aeroseal works is that a specialized injection machine injects the patented formula into your ductwork, which causes the polymers in the formula to stick to the edges of all leaks and then gradually close the leak. In order to do this, the following is done:

  • All wall registers are sealed – this is to ensure that air can only escape only through any present leaks
  • Aeroseal sealant is injected into your ductwork – the sealant is injected into your entire ductwork system, which takes about 1 hour
  • The small Aeroseal aerosol particles are kept suspended – the continuous airflow that happens during the process keeps the particles suspended so that all leaks are found by the sealant
  • The sealant particles collide with, and adhere to, all leak edges – as the pumped-in air tries to exit through leaks the particles in the sealant collide with the air and attach to the leaks
  • You are given a computer-generated analysis – once the sealing process is complete, you will be given a computer-generated report that summarizes what the leakage problems were and the success of the sealing process

Faulty ductwork can lead to high energy bills, lack of comfort and excessive stress on your HVAC system.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today and schedule an Aeroseal duct sealing appointment for your North Andover home.

Ways to Keep Your Home’s Plumbing Healthy

March 13th, 2015

Day in and day out, your home’s plumbing system carries in gallon after gallon of potable water for use, then disposes of it through the removal of gray water. Plumbing is made to be durable, but it won’t last forever and at some point will likely need repair. But there are some plumbing tips we can offer you to help you keep your Leominster plumbing healthy and operational:

Schedule Annual Plumbing Maintenance

You schedule your HVAC system for annual maintenance and schedule your car for tune-ups, so why wouldn’t you schedule your plumbing system for maintenance as well? During a plumbing maintenance appointment, your entire plumbing system is thoroughly inspected for any problems. Our plumbing experts will check under sinks, inspect valves and even go into crawl spaces. Drains will also be checked, as well as faucets, shower heads and toilets. Should anything be found, you’ll be alerted. An annual plumbing maintenance appointment can help get you ahead of repairs, so if you haven’t scheduled your plumbing for maintenance in the last 12 months, call us today.

Use Home Remedies on a Monthly Basis

There are some home remedies you can perform on your own that can help keep your drains in good shape. It’s important to note that we are not including over-the-counter chemical drain cleaners as a “home remedy.” What were are talking about are a few simple methods that can help your drains stay healthy. The first is using white vinegar and baking soda. When mixed together, these two ingredients have tremendous scouring power. Simply pour them down your drain and let them work. A second method, which can be used after the first method, is pouring boiling water down your drains. Lastly, if you have a slow drain, you may want to try and loosen the clog with a plunger.

Schedule Drain Cleaning

Like annual maintenance, scheduling annual drain cleaning for your plumbing system can help keep your drains in good working order. Drain cleaning is great for loosening and flushing out clinging build-up and reaching deep clogs that are causing problems. It’s important to allow a trained expert to clean your drains as the equipment used for drain cleaning can break or damage your plumbing if handled incorrectly.

We hope you find these plumbing tips helpful. If you are experiencing plumbing issues in your Leominster, MA, home call us today and schedule an appointment.

Why Consider the Installation of a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

March 12th, 2015

We’ve had a heck of winter this year, and you may be wondering how to best ventilate your home during hard winters without compromising your energy efficiency. A great tool that has helped many customers is the heat recovery ventilator. This device works with your existing heating system to allow pre-treated, fresh air into your home while boosting your energy efficiency. You may be asking, how does that work? We’ll explain more below about how a heat recovery ventilator can benefit your Newton, MA home.

What Is It?

A heat recover ventilator, also known as a HRV, is a specialized ventilation system that uses the thermal energy from your outgoing, stale, warm air to pre-treat the incoming fresh, cool air.

How Does It Work?

A HRV is small device that seamlessly integrates with your heating system. At the core of the device is a heat exchanger. As the warm, used air from your indoors is expelled to the outside, a small fan pulls fresh air from the outside into the core of the heat recovery ventilator. In the heat exchanger, the thermal heat from the indoor air is applied the incoming fresh air, adding warmth and humidity to it; this pre-treated air then passes into your heating system and becomes part of the air in your heating cycle.

What Are the Benefits of a Heat Recover Ventilator?

There are a number of benefits to a heat recovery ventilator worth considering:

  • Improves indoor air quality – a HRV provides a continuous stream of fresh air for your home, which greatly improves ventilation and your overall indoor air quality.
  • Improves energy efficiency – the pre-treated air that enters your heating system from the heat recovery ventilator is already warmed; this means your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home and as a result, uses less energy.
  • Takes stress off your heating system – when your heating system doesn’t have to generate as much heat, it doesn’t have to work as hard. This helps reduce premature aging and wear and tear levels.

If you are interested in what a heat recovery ventilator installation can do for your Newton, MA, home, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment.

Why Consider Towel Warmer Installation?

March 6th, 2015

It may seem like an extravagance, but installing a towel warmer into your home in Billerica, MA, is a lot more feasible than you may think – especially when you hire an expert from Basnett Plumbing & Heating to do the work. There are two types of towel warmers available to homeowners – hydronic (hot water) and electric, but here at Basnett Plumbing & Heating we work with electric towel warmers. Why consider a towel warmer? For starters, a towel warmer doesn’t have to be just in your bathroom, it can also go in places like a mudroom or even a bedroom. Let’s first review how an electric towel warmer works.

How They Heat

Electric towel warmers heat from the inside using either electric cable, known as a dry heating element, or by a liquid that is heated via electricity, known as a wet heating element. Many towel warmers can be programmed so they turn on and off automatically, but all come with one major on/off switch. Towel warmer devices are connected to your home’s electrical system, which is why it’s important to hire a professional electrician for installation.

Why Use a Towel Warmer?

Aside from having toasty towels for when you exit the shower or tub, there are some other reasons to consider a towel warmer in your home:

  • They reduce mildew on towels
  • Reduce dampness and act as a supplemental heater
  • Gently dry clothing like underwear and bathing suits
  • Can dry other items like gloves and other small outerwear

They Aren’t Just for the Bathroom

Towel warmers can be great additions in laundry rooms, mud rooms and even your bedroom. You can use a towel warmer in the laundry area to gently dry delicates and hang pressed clothing; in mud rooms, you can dry socks, gloves and hats and other outdoor items that become wet; and in the bedroom, you can warm robes and pajamas.

Interested to see if a towel warmer would be a good addition to your home?

Call the expert electricians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment for towel warmer installation in Billerica, MA, today!

What Is an Energy Efficient Boiler Control System?

March 5th, 2015

There are lots of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency in the winter: install more insulation, hang winter drapes, install a ceiling fan. But what if you could control your heating at the source, which for many homes is a boiler? You can, when an expert from Basnett Plumbing & Heating installs an energy efficient boiler control system in your Newton, MA home. Also known as a weather-responsive control system, this set of controls on your boiler allows your heating system to work in conjunction with the outside temperature, ensuring that you don’t overheat your home, which happens frequently. So how does the system work? Let’s take a look.

How Boiler Control Works

Even with proper sizing, a heating system is designed to work at its maximum all the time, whether it’s 35 degrees outside or minus 5 degrees. The problem is, you don’t need the same amount of heating at 35 degrees that you do at minus 5 degrees – yet you are paying for it because that’s how your heating system works. But when your boiler heats your home according to the outside temperature, as it does with a weather-responsive control system, your home will get the right amount of heating, no matter what the temperature may be.

The controls work by utilizing a small computer chip that balances the temperature of the water in your boiler system with the outside temperature. The controls constantly monitor and measure the outside temperature, and by doing this, the chip can then determine the exact temperature your boiler’s water has to be in order to heat your home without over- or under-heating it. There are two sensors in the system that monitor the temperatures: a temperature sensor placed at the north side of your home and a second temperature sensor placed on the boiler to measure the water temperature. These sensors are sensitive enough to detect wind chill and ambient heat from things like cooking, fireplaces, etc., so you can be assured that all heating elements are accounted for by the system when reading temperature.

Why Consider Energy Efficient Boiler Control?

  • Reduce energy usage between 15-30%
  • Better comfort
  • Less stress on your boiler system

If you’d like to know how an energy efficient boiler control system can help your home in Newton, MA, call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today!

How Tankless Water Heaters Provide Hot Water On-Demand

February 27th, 2015

There’s been a lot hub-bub about tankless water heaters, and they’ve been gaining in popularity for some good reasons. However, it’s not clear to many homeowners how these devices provide hot water for an entire home when they don’t have a holding tank for the water. If you’ve been thinking about the installation of a tankless water heater in your Chelmsford home, it behooves you to understand how the system works. It is also in your best interest to hire a trained professional to install your tankless water heater as they are somewhat more complex than tank water heaters. The plumbing professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help you with your tankless water heater installation from beginning to end, so if you are contemplating the installation of a tankless system, call us today!

Water On-Demand: How It Works

The key to tankless water heaters providing hot water to your home on-demand lay with the heat exchanger at the core of the device. When you open a hot water tap in your home, the heat exchanger turns on and at the same time, the cold water valve opens and flows water directly to the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger transfers heat to the cold water and once the water heats to the pre-set temperature, which takes a matter of seconds, the heated water flows into the open hot water tap.

Why Choose a Tankless Water Heater?

There are a few benefits tankless hot waters heaters can offer homeowners, and one of the biggest is the elimination of standby heat loss. Tank water heaters can lose up to 25% of their heat daily simply because the hot water sits in a tank; when you install and use a tankless hot water heater, this standby heat loss disappears. Tankless water heaters are also very energy efficient. Energy.gov estimates that tankless water heaters are anywhere from 24%-34% more energy efficient than tank water heaters, which can be a big savings for your home. Lastly, you never have to worry about running out of hot water with a tankless water heater.

A tankless water heater in your Tewksbury home can be a great addition, but professional installation is the key.

Call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule a consultation about tankless hot water heaters today!

The Benefits of Hydronic Baseboard Radiators

February 26th, 2015

Hydronic heating systems, those that use water to heat your home, have a choice of outlets by which to disperse heat. One of these choices is the baseboard radiator. Baseboard heating first appeared after World War II as a way to efficiently heat without having to deal with the bulk of a traditional iron radiator. A baseboard radiator installation can offer you a number of benefits, but the key to gaining these benefits is hiring professionals to install your new heating. As part of a hydronic system, correct piping is critical for baseboard radiators, and using amateurs for the installation can be risky. The heating experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating have been serving the MetroWest and surrounding areas since 1987, and they bring these years of experience to every job. If you are ready for a new radiator installation in Tewksbury, call us today!

How Does Hydronic Baseboard Heating Work?

There are two types of hydronic baseboard radiators homeowners can choose from: one is a self-contained baseboard radiator that does not have to be connected to your boiler, and the other is connected to your boiler. Both use hot water to warm your living spaces, but they work a little differently. A baseboard radiator that is connected to your boiler works very much the same as a larger room radiator: hot water is circulated to its inner pipe and heat is released through the baseboard. When the water cools, it exits the radiator and returns to the boiler for re-heating in the next cycle. A self-contained baseboard radiator also uses water (or a heat-transferring fluid), but the water isn’t circulated in and out; instead, the fluid is held inside the narrow metal tube in the radiator and heated via electricity when the baseboard’s thermostat calls for heat.

Benefits of Hydronic Baseboard Heating

What are some of the benefits you can enjoy from a hydronic baseboard radiator? Here are some to consider:

  • Great for allergy sufferers – hydronic baseboard heating is a type of radiant system, so you don’t have to worry about swirling dust and pet dander with this type of system, as you do with a forced air system.
  • Quiet – a baseboard heating system is virtually soundless because they radiate heat, they don’t blow it.
  • Space-savers – baseboard heaters don’t have the bulk that larger radiators do, and baseboard heaters can be sized in varying lengths without sacrificing a lot of space.

Interested to see if your home in Tewksbury can benefit from the installation of baseboard radiator heating? Call the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today!

Types of American Standard Heat Pumps

February 21st, 2015

Heat pumps can offer your home both heating and cooling as well as high energy efficiency, no matter the season. This is one of the reasons why Basnett Plumbing & Heating carries heat pumps as a heating and cooling option for our customers. One of the brands we carry is American Standard, a company that has been a staple in the heating and cooling industry for over 130 years. There are 3 levels of heat pumps that American Standard offers for your home in Lancaster, and we’ll outline them below.

Platinum

The Platinum series, as the name indicates, is the top of the American Standard heat pump line of products. These units have a SEER of 18-20, which can save you up to 50% in annual energy costs. The Platinum line heat pumps are also multi-stage systems that operate at variable speeds, ensuring you have the exact comfort level you need without increasing your energy usage. There are several Platinum models to choose from, and your Basnett Plumbing & Heating specialist can help you determine which model will best fit your home.

Gold

The American Standard Gold heat pump offers homeowners 2-stage operation, with the unit operating the vast majority of the time at 70 percent capacity, which can save a great deal of energy. The SEER rating for the Gold models is 17.25; the minimum requires SEER is 13, so this model is also very energy efficient.

Silver

The Silver series is the most cost-effective of the American Standard heat pumps, having the lowest initial costs of all the American Standard heat pump products available. With SEER ratings ranging from 14-17, these units are very energy efficient but operate more simply at a single stage.

Warranties

American Standard heat pumps come with the following warranties, as long as the unit is registered:

  • Platinum and Gold – 12-year limited warranty on compressor
  • Silver – 10-year limited warranty on compressor
  • All – 10-year limited warranty on outdoor coil
  • All – 10-year limited warranty on internal functional parts

In addition, many models carry the Energy Star rating.

 

If you have been considering the installation of a heat pump for your home in Lancaster, you may want to review the American Standard line of heat pump products.

Need help? Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment with one of our experts!

What Is Aeroseal Duct Sealing?

February 20th, 2015

The ducts in your home are vital to your heating and air conditioning system, delivering conditioned air into every room in the home by forming a pathway from the air handler to the vents. When ducts are installed, technicians should take every precaution to protect them from leaks. Unfortunately, ducts are often improperly sealed, or they develop small leaks over time that can really add up. Most homes leak air from the ducts, often close to 30% of the conditioned air.

When air leaks out of the ducts instead of moving into your home, it takes longer to heat or cool the space. This leads to higher energy bills and overworked HVAC equipment which could break down prematurely. Professional duct sealing is the best way to combat this, but it can seem difficult since leaks may be in an area of ductwork that is difficult to reach. In severe cases, duct sealing can take days, but not if you choose professionals who use Aeroseal duct sealing.

For this process to take place, a thorough inspection is necessary to begin with. Technicians will measure the air pressure in your ducts and print out a report of their findings. Once it has been determined that Aeroseal sealing is the best approach, they’ll seal up any vents and other the indoor air handler. Then, they seal a tube onto the ducts which blows adhesive particles into the ducts.

This is where the process gets interesting. These adhesive particles essentially search for holes in the ducts and latch onto the edges of these holes. They attach only to the holes, not to the lining of the ducts, and this process goes on until every hole is taken care of. The entire process usually takes about 4-8 hours. After it is complete, they’ll take additional measurements and give you a report comparing the ducts before and after sealing, so you can see just how efficient they’ve become.

Not all technicians use this unique system, but we are certified to provide this service and we can also help you to find other ways to maximize your energy savings in Weston.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you’d like access to technicians who use Aeroseal duct sealing technology throughout the MetroWest area.