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

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.  

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Why Install a Hot Water Recirculation System?

Monday, November 18th, 2013

You may have heard about hot water recirculating systems as a way to provide hot water to your home without large water waste. These systems not only reduce water loss, they offer the convenience of instant hot water with no waiting.

If you are curious about hot water recirculation systems, contact the Harvard, MA plumbing experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

Here’s hows a hot water recirculation system can help you save water. In standard water heaters, once demand for hot water ceases as a faucet is turned off, the heated water remains in the pipes where it soon cools down. The next time a faucet is turned on, the first water out will be this cold water. However, with a hot water recirculation system, the heater constantly moves water through the hot water pipes from the heater to the farthest fixture in the plumbing. Whenever you turn on a hot water faucet, the first water you get will be at the temperature you want.

Here’s what this means for you:

  • Convenience: Because there is hot water always available in the pipes, you no longer have the inconvenience of waiting for the water to warm up. Instant warm shower! Instant pan of hot water!
  • Less water waste: One of the biggest drains on water is the waste that goes down the drain while you’re waiting for the flow to warm up. On average, 2 to 3 gallons of water goes down the drain each time you turn on the faucet. With a recirculating system, the instant hot water means you won’t have to waste around 20 to 30 gallons of water per week waiting for it to warm up.
  • No extra pipes: A hot water circulation system can use your already existing set of pipes, so the systems are not difficult to install and are usually reasonably priced.

Schedule professional installation

It’s important that you hire installers with experience to handle your new hot water recirculation system. An improperly installed system can drain too much energy to operate. Experts can recommend the type of hot water recirculation system that will give you the best energy use to fit your home.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating when you are thinking of upgrading how you get your hot water. We have a variety of options to suit your needs. For fine quality plumbing in Harvard, MA, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

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Improve Your Heating with Energy Efficient Boiler Controls

Monday, November 11th, 2013

One of the major advantages of using boilers for home heating in Acton, MA is their high energy efficiency. The AFUE rating of most boilers—that is, the percentage of fuel they convert to heat—is usually in the 90% range.

However, you may not realize that you can get even better energy efficiency from the boiler in your home. Technological advances in boiler controls can mean saving hundreds of dollars annually on your energy bills. Through using weather responsive controls (also called outdoor reset controls) you can move your boiler to the next level in performance—both for saving you money and for increasing your comfort.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating if you want to get started with energy efficient controls for your boiler. Our efficiency experts can install and calibrate the new system so you’ll start enjoying the benefits in no time.

What are weather responsive controls?

When your boiler was sized for your home, it was targeted to handle the coldest temperatures possible. However, during days where the temperature doesn’t reach extremes, the boiler may start to “short cycle,” turning off early because it raises the temperature in your home too fast. This leads to a waste of energy and more wear and tear, but since getting a smaller boiler that can’t handle low temperatures isn’t an attractive alternative, these downsides seem inevitable.

But weather response controls offer a solution: using a computer chip to measure outdoor temperatures, a boiler will automatically balance its operation so that it wastes as little fuel as possible by running at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Not only will this mean reduced fuel waste (with savings of 15-30% annually), it also means a more even heat throughout your home because the boiler will have time to distribute the warmth evenly, instead of shutting off before it can get the job done.

Some of these controls also have indoor sensors to detect the addition of heat from sources such as sun-facing windows, fireplaces, and additional people in your home. This further helps the boiler pinpoint the right temperature to run most efficiently.

You don’t have to keep suffering from a slow increase in your heating bills because your boiler isn’t running at its most efficient. If you contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating and get our energy-efficient boiler control installers on the job, you can get improved savings and comfort. Call us today to help with your heating in Acton, MA.

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Groton, MA Furnace Repair FAQ: My Furnace Trips My Breakers

Monday, November 4th, 2013

When it comes to furnace repair, Groton, MA residents learn to play it safe. New England winters are as harsh as they come, and a reliable furnace can be worth its weight in gold when the snows start to fall. Spotting early signs of trouble can be key to averting a serious problem before it gets out of hand. For instance, your furnace may be tripping your circuit breakers. Clearly, there’s a problem in need of professional aid to alleviate. But why does your furnace keep tripping the breakers like that?

A tripped circuit breaker means an overloaded circuit breaker, which means that you heater is using more power than the circuit itself can handle. That typically means a malfunctioning component working harder than it should. A bad fan motor, worn out circuit or clogged air filter can all contribute to an increase in the load, which will trigger the breaker if it gets too high. In some cases, the breaker can trip because it’s worn out, not because of anything the furnace is doing. A trained technician can ascertain if that is in fact the problem, and recommend a course of action that works.

In any case, if your furnace is repeatedly tripping the breakers, you need to turn it off and call in a technician. The breaker is tripping as a way of protecting your home and electrical system from further damage and you need to get the problem addressed. A professional can pinpoint the source of the problem and either replace the faulty component or make recommendations on replacing the heater itself.

In those cases, it pays to have someone you can rely on on your side. In matters of furnace repair, Groton MA homeowners can’t afford delay, especially with winter coming.  The experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help when your furnace is tripping your circuit breaker; hunting down the source of the problem and setting a plan to correct it with professionalism and care.

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