Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for May, 2014

3 Advantages of Owning a Generator

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Generators act as a sort of ace in the hole for your household in the event of a disaster. When fueled and well-maintained, they can offer a number of advantages for your home. Here in Lexington, generators are a popular addition to numerous homes, and if you are a homeowner, you might seriously consider having one installed.

3 Advantages of Owning a Generator

  • Reliability. Storms have a way of wreaking havoc with even the most reliable civic system, and when the power goes out, you could be stuck in a very tough spot. A generator gives you the power to keep food refrigerated, run lights and heaters, and even stay in contact with the outside world. We all hope we never need such self-sufficiency, but when the time comes, a good generator can be worth its weight in gold.
  • Low operating costs. Assuming you have the right sort of fuel and keep it well maintained, generators are very easy on the pocketbook. They don’t cost an excessive amount to install and running them during an emergency can be surprisingly affordable. That enhances their attractiveness during the installation stage: the only time when you seriously have to watch the costs involved.
  • Resale value. When the time comes to sell your home, a functioning generator can be an attractive component: adding value to the home and increasing its attractiveness to potential buyers. In the long run, it might even cover the cost of installation, and at the very least will help make the initial costs more affordable.

For more advantages of owning a generator, or to schedule an installation session, contact the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We have the skills and experience to do the job right, and we can discuss your options with you before installing a generator perfectly suited to your needs. If you live in Lexington, generators can be a godsend whenever the weather gets dicey.

We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every turn and we won’t rest until you’re happy.  Give us a call today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

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3 Signs of Inefficiency in an Old Air Conditioner

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Getting the most out of your air conditioner can be a good thing, but there may come a point when trying to get the most can lead to costing more. It may not be completely evident when your aging air conditioner is costing you more than it should, so our experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating have put together a list of 3 signs that can indicate inefficiency with your AC, and some tips about whether or not you should consider an air conditioning replacement in Carlisle.

Your monthly energy bill is higher than before.

If you have noticed that your energy bill has risen, and there hasn’t been any real change in your personal usage or a price hike by your power company, the most likely culprit is your air conditioner. Aging air conditioners become inefficient due to natural wear-and-tear and lower-than-normal energy ratings. They also just don’t work as well as they did, particularly if the system is 10+ years old. If you’ve seen a jump in your electric bill, it may be time to sit down with a Basnett Plumbing & Heating specialist and see if your air conditioner is costing you more money that it should be.

You are paying for frequent repairs due to breakdown.

Are you calling for repairs to your air conditioner too frequently? Are some of these repairs quite costly? The simple truth is that at some point, it may be less expensive to purchase a new air conditioner versus paying for continual – and potentially costly – repairs.

No matter what, your home just isn’t comfortable.

Have you tried setting your thermostat up and down, only to find that nothing is making your indoor temperature feel comfortable? The older an air conditioner gets, the harder it can be for it to properly cool your home, even if it is the correct size. Pushing your AC to perform by lowering your thermostat can cause it to overwork, and raising the temperature to help your system catch up may contribute to your discomfort – something no one wants on a hot summer day.

Get the Right Size with More Efficiency

If you think it may be time to purchase a replacement for your air conditioner, speak with a Basnett Plumbing & Heating expert first. There are a number of factors to consider before purchasing any air conditioning system to ensure that the replacement will cool your property as needed, and at a level of energy efficiency that you want.

For almost 30 years, Basnett Plumbing & Heating has done air conditioning replacement in Carlisle. Let us help you be comfortable this summer, no matter what the temperature. 

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3 Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning

Friday, May 16th, 2014

There are many wonderful older homes in our part of Massachusetts, but cooling them during the summer months can be a challenge. Why? Many older homes were built before the use of ductwork to deliver heat, so keeping cool usually means investing in multiple window air conditioners. But with energy-efficient ductless air conditioning now available, you can access a central air-type of cooling without having to spend large amounts of money putting in ductwork to deliver the cool air. Basnett Plumbing & Heating is the company to call for ductless air conditioning in Acton.

What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?

A ductless air conditioner – also known as a mini split-system air conditioner – is an air conditioner that has an outdoor unit similar to a traditional split system air conditioner, but uses individual air blowers to distribute the air rather than using air ducts. This allows you to get cool air delivery throughout your property without the ductwork.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Ductless Air Conditioner?

As we stated above, ductless air conditioners are great options for properties that do not have a ductwork system. But there are a few other benefits that should be considered if you are looking for ductless air conditioning in Acton:

  • Zoned Cooling – each individual air blower installed has the ability to be programmed independently. This allows for zoned cooling, including not running air conditioning in spaces that aren’t being used.
  • Energy Efficiency – zone control helps to make ductless air conditioning very energy- and cost efficient. In addition, not having to use ductwork means there is no air loss due to faulty ductwork.
  • Limited Space/Expansion – whether your home has limited space or you are looking at expanding, a ductless air conditioning system has the flexibility to handle both scenarios. The air blower for a ductless air conditioner is quite small and is typically placed flush against a wall or mounted to a ceiling; if you are expanding your property, adding an additional air blower to the space is not a difficult task.

Is Ductless Air Conditioning the Right Choice for You?

Let Basnett Plumbing & Heating help you determine if ductless air conditioning in Acton is the right choice for you.

A ductless air conditioner can be a great fit for many different homes, but speaking with a professional will help you to decide if it’s great for yours.

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Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners: Which Is Better?

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When discussing the differences between a heat pump and an air conditioner, we are practically talking about the same system. Essentially, a heat pump ­is a type of air conditioning system: it consists of an indoor and outdoor cabinet, uses electrical power, and circulates refrigerant to move heat from one set of coils to another in order to condition the air inside a home. The components are the same as well: compressor, refrigerant coils, blower fans, motors, capacitors.

The only difference between the operation of a heat pump and an air conditioner is that the heat pump has a reversing valve that can circulate refrigerant the opposite direction, moving heat from outside to the inside. In other words, a heat pump can provide cooling as well as heating for a home.

Does this automatically make the heat pump the superior choice? Well… not necessarily.

Our Basnett Plumbing & Heating experts in air conditioning in Littleton, MA can shine some light on the “heat pump vs. AC” dilemma. Call us today. 

Why a heat pump is better

There’s no question that a heat pump provides a tremendous benefit by combining two functions into a single unit. With a heat pump, you don’t have to worry about installing a furnace or a boiler, which saves money and space. Heat pumps use less power in heating mode than other systems, as much as 30% less than a furnace, for example. A heat pump also provides air conditioning equal to any standalone AC of comparable size. If you’re concerned about safety problems from a natural gas heater, a heat pump is also a great choice as a substitute.

Why an air conditioner is better

Air conditioners and heat pumps are evenly matched when it comes to their cooling ability. But heat pumps are not the equal of furnaces or boilers when it comes to heating ability. When temperatures drop below freezing, heat pumps will start to lose their efficiency and will struggle to keep up. If you live in an area with heavy winters, or your home is older and more difficult to heat, you will have superior year-round comfort from the combination of an air conditioning system and a separate furnace or boiler.

How to find out which is better for you

To learn whether you should have a heat pump or an air conditioner for your household, talk to professional installers. They can survey your home and its heating and cooling needs to determine which system will provide the best comfort and energy-efficiency. For air conditioning in Littleton, MA, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We’ve helped homeowners with the “heat pump vs. AC” debate since 1987.

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Key Air Conditioning Components: The Compressor

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

After a chilly winter it’s hard to believe we are thinking about air conditioning, but hot days are just around the corner. This winter may have also been hard on your air conditioner in Carlisle, MA, so we want to give you an overview of the main parts of your AC systembefore you flick the switch to “cool.”

3 Key Parts

Every air conditioning system has 3 key parts:

  • Evaporator
  • Condenser
  • Compressor

Today we’re going to take a look at what the compressor in your air conditioning system does.

How the Compressor Works

Most assume that an air conditioner blows cool air, and that’s how it makes the air cooler. What actually happens is an exchange of heat in your home, not just the blowing of cooler air into the space.

The compressor is one of the components that stays outside, and is usually housed in a metal shell along with the condenser and fan; the evaporator is the component that stays inside the property.

The compressor’s job is to compress the refrigerant into a high-pressure gas. The reason for this is that the refrigerant is responsible for transferring the heat inside your property to the outside. Without this process, heat removal would not occur.

The cooling process begins when the compressor takes the cool, gaseous refrigerant and compresses it. When this happens, the molecules of the refrigerant are pressed together, causing their temperature to rise. When the temperature gets high enough, the refrigerant turns into a high-pressure gas, moving out of the compressor and into the condenser coil, where it releases its heat.

Types of Compressors

There are 4 general types of air conditioner compressors:

  • Rotary compressor – usually used in window units
  • Reciprocating compressor – very common in split air conditioners
  • Scroll compressor – used in high-efficiency units
  • Variable speed compressors – also known as Inverter Drives, these are top-of-the-line in efficiency but tend to be the most expensive

Care and Maintenance of Your Air Conditioner Compressor

Basic maintenance of your outdoor air conditioning unit can help to prevent repairs and breakage. However, the compressor  is a complex mechanical piece and should be handled by a professional technician.

When your air conditioning unit needs professional attention you can trust the experts at Basnett Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to help. Call us today to schedule a service appointment.







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