Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for September, 2013

Why Uneven Heating May Signal a Need for Heating Repair in Littleton

Monday, September 30th, 2013

When the weather turns cooler, heating systems in homes throughout Massachusetts will be turned on. We need effective heating to make life cozy here through the late fall and into deep winter. And although modern heaters can provide a level of heating throughout a home that the old fashioned wood fireplace could never have achieved, there are times when you might experience uneven heating in your home.

If you notice this issue in your home, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating for heating repair in Littleton, MA.

A heating system can appear to function normally—making the same sounds, blowing heated air from the vents, circulating hot water from the boiler—but fail to get all the rooms as warm as it should. Resolving uneven heating is sometimes a simple fix. The vents in some rooms may be shut, or shifted furniture has blocked a vent. A single window open just a crack can suck the warmth from a large space without you noticing it at first. A more serious issue, but one that doesn’t stem from your heating system, is poor home insulation. A house that doesn’t receive proper winterizing to seal up heat loss through the walls, attic, and around doors and windows, will have a difficult time keeping warm.

But your heating system can be at fault, and when you are attempting to find the cause for the uneven heat in your house, you should consider having professional HVAC technicians check your heater to see if it needs repairs. There may be a problem with your ductwork, such as breaks and gaps that allow the hot air to dissipate before it reaches the vents. If you have baseboard radiators, damaged baseboard fins can cause a loss of heat in specific places. For homes with zone heating, the thermostat might be faulty and not activating the heat in some regions. All of these troubles require expert attention and repair.

A trained technician can diagnose problems with your heater, and can also point you in the right direction if your home has poor insulation that is causing heat loss. Call in the experts today at Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you experiencing issues with uneven heating and think your system may need maintenance in order to get it running properly again. Heating repair in Littleton, MA is only a phone call away with Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

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Faulty Pilots and Furnace Repairs

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Most people understand the importance of the pilot light, and why it needs to burn steadily during the cold months to keep their furnace or boiler working. Today’s pilot lights are usually gas powered and should stay lit during the heating season. But sometimes pilot lights can develop problems, which will lead to a loss of heat or no heat at all.

In this post, we’ll examine what causes a faulty pilot in your gas-powered furnace and what repairs can fix it. To help keep your pilot light burning through fall and winter, look to Basnett Plumbing & Heating in Littleton, MA for furnace repair and service on other heating systems.

A pilot light can go out for simple reasons, such as a sudden draft. You can easily relight it using a long match or a grill lighter. But if the pilot light won’t come back on or it continues to fail, the problem may be more serious and require a technician to look at it.

A pilot light, just like any flame, needs a steady oxygen supply in order to burn. Dirt can clog the oxygen flow in the air intake, making it difficult for the pilot light to remain on. This can be a much trickier fix then it sounds, and venting may not be the only issue.

If there is an interruption in gas flow, the pilot will also shut off. This can happen because of an obstruction in the gas line or a faulty gas regulator. There is also the possibility of a gas leak, which you cannot determine yourself with a visual inspection. Professionals use special equipment to determine leak locations and how to fix them, and they can also safely repair any trouble in other places with gas flow problems.

Remember that working with natural gas systems poses hazards from carbon monoxide. You should leave anything beyond the simplest repairs to the professionals—you don’t want to create a gas leak in your home! A heating repair expert can get the task done speedily and safely. The technicians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating perform hundreds of fixes and installations every year. When it comes to Littleton, MA furnace repair, they are a great team to have working for you. Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

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Heating Maintenance in Concord, MA: The Sooner, the Better

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Winter in Massachusetts brings many joys: lovely snowfalls, beautiful pristine landscapes, and cozy nights curled up on the couch with a book. But if your heating system starts to fail or shuts down entirely, winter’s disadvantages will become all too obvious. Proper heating in Concord, MA is a necessity, and the time to get to it is sooner rather than later. In this post, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t procrastinate about getting maintenance done. Call the professionals at Basnett Plumbing & Heating for exemplary service for your heating needs.

Winter is a hectic time for most people, and HVAC repair experts are no exception. With the large volume of emergency calls they need to attend to, it becomes harder to schedule a timely service visit. If you want to prepare yourself for winter, don’t wait for winter to arrive! Use the slower time of the autumn months to get a maintenance visit from an expert so you can avoid the winter work backlog.

It’s especially important to get maintenance check-ups if you’ve gone a long time without one. If over a year has passed since a technician inspected your boiler or furnace, then don’t wait for the first day you need to turn your heating system on to discover the problems it may have developed without regular attention.

Even if your heater is in no danger of a breakdown, it might be running inefficiently and costing you more money than it should. One of the jobs a technician does during a maintenance visit is to run tests on how well you heater is working at providing warmth for your home. If you wait to fix performance issues, you’ll end up with high heating bills for the first few months of winter. You want to go into the cold season already fixed up to save money.

You should also consider safety concerns for your household. If you have heating systems that burn fuel, there is a danger of toxic gas build-up if it has developed cracks. You never want to delay maintenance if there’s a possibility of harm to your family.

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today to learn more about our service and maintenance agreements. We can keep your heating in Concord running smoothly from first frost to first thaw—and any other time you need warmth to keep you cozy in your home.

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Fall Tips from Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Fall is fast approaching and we here at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC want to help people in our local Littleton, MA community by providing some handy tips for the upcoming season. If you have any questions about any of our tips feel free to reach out to us with any questions!

Change your furnace filter.  Changing the filter regularly increases operating efficiency, reduces the chance of a breakdown and improves air quality in the home.  If you have questions, please ask your technician while he performs your fall tune-up.

Consider a programmable thermostat.  It automatically increases or decreases temperatures during day and night to suit a family’s lifestyle and reduces energy costs.

Have your fireplace checked.  A professional check is essential once a year. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods in your fireplace.

Fall is a good time to start thinking about your heating system before the surprise of a cold weather “no heat” emergency is knocking at your door.  Consider having your heating system inspected and serviced by a qualified trained technician. Regular maintenance and care can save you from a larger expense later should a problem arise.

Open the shades and curtains. This helps produce radiant heat of the sun. Close them at night to keep out the cold.

Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.  Frozen hoses can cause pipes to burst. If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from outside lines.

Inspect and clean sump pump and pit. Pumps exposed to debris can clog the pump, preventing the pump from operating.

Check weather stripping and caulking.  Eliminating drafts can significantly improve efficiency and comfort.

Install ceiling fans with reversible motors. Save energy in the winter by having ceiling fans push warm air that collects at the ceiling level back down into the room.

Have winter supplies readily available.  Make sure you have salt, snow shovels and curved blades (to protect your back) and other supplies on hand.  Check the batteries in your flashlights.

Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed.  They should not be blocked by furniture, carpeting, drapes, etc.  Be sure that everything is ventilating correctly for the most efficient use of your HVAC system.

Have your sprinkler system blown out and shut down.  A professional with an air compressor can handle the job. You want to make sure there is no water in the lines. Also, turn off the water feeding the sprinkler system from the house (usually a valve in the basement or crawl space), and make sure to drain that water line (typically there is a valve near the shut-off valve that will do the trick).

Clear leaves and debris from outside downspouts. This ensures easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.  Cleaning gutters can prevent serious water damage due to ice backup on the roof.

Test your CO monitor to make sure it is working properly.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test whether the circuitry is operating correctly. Also, monitors have a recommended replacement age, which can be obtained from the product literature or from the manufacturer. We recommend replacing them every 5 years.

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3 Great Concord, MA Heating Options

Monday, September 9th, 2013

In Concord, MA, heating is far from a casual consideration. You need a warm home when the snows start falling, and a reliable heating system will give you considerable peace of mind during the cold winter months.  Here in New England, we have a wide variety of homes, from centuries-old colonials to modern condos and tract homes. That means an equally wide array of heating systems to warm your home. Which one is best for you depends on your specific home; as far as general heating options go, a trio of great choices are listed below.

  • Radiant Heating. Radiant heating systems work by heating panels in the walls of floor of your house. It has the advantage of being quite efficient, since it doesn’t depend on ducts to transfer hot air. The lack of circulation is also beneficial to anyone suffering from allergies because it doesn’t move the air (and the allergens therein).
  • Furnaces. Furnaces are by far the most common heating option in your home. They can run on gas, oil or electricity, and come in numerous shapes and sizes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all furnaces should have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of at least 75% or higher. If your furnace isn’t that efficient – especially if it’s an older model – you should upgrade it to one that is.
  • Boilers. Boilers operate using gas or oil-based fuel; they work by heating water in a boiler, then using the steam or hot water to distribute the heat throughout the house (either through a pipe system or with the use of radiators). They’re fairly common in New England, since they operate on older technology more prevalent in older houses.

If you’re exploring heating options and need some expert advice, give Basnett Plumbing & Heating a call. We handle heating in Concord, MA and throughout the surrounding area, and our trained staff is ready to answer any questions you might have. Call us for a consultation today. 

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Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate Labor Day in honor of workers everywhere who strive to make our local community and country great. We enjoy the holiday like any other business as a time for BBQ, hanging out with friends and family, and celebrating the end of summer. It also means the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

The origins of Labor Day are disputed, as is the case with many other holidays. Some cite Matthew Maguire, the machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, while others cite Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor. Whomever the original founder, by 1894, the holiday had become widely recognized and was designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland immediately following the Pullman Strike. This strike pitted US Marshals and US Military against employees of Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago, as workers sought to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. At the time, the holiday was a way of repairing ties with workers and recognizing the importance of their contributions.

Today, we see Labor Day as an opportunity to recognize all the people who work hard to contribute to our county. Thank you, and Happy Labor Day from all of us! 

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