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

3 Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier in Andover, MA

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Just because we live in the northeast doesn’t mean we don’t get hot and humid during the summer. In fact, our summer months can get very uncomfortable, particularly when it comes to humidity levels. And when it’s excessively humid outside, your air conditioner has to work that much harder to achieve the comfort you want inside your home.

One of the best ways to help beat the summer humidity is by installing a whole-home dehumidifier to your air conditioning system. Adding a dehumidifier to your Andover, MA property can offer several benefits, which we’ll outline below.

Benefits of Adding a Whole-Home Dehumidifier

Your air conditioner dehumidifies your home as it cools, but in times of excessive humidity, your air conditioner may not be able to dehumidify as needed. Here are some benefits to adding a dehumidifier to your home:

  • Decrease allergic reactions – dust mites thrive in humid environments. By adding a dehumidifier to your system, you can remove the extra moisture that dust mites love, helping to greatly decrease their presence in your home. This can be especially helpful to the allergy sufferers in your home, including anyone who suffers from asthma that is triggered by allergic reactions.
  • Prevention of mold growth – mold can be a serious problem in homes, particularly to those who are allergic. Mold needs moisture in order to grow, so removing extra moisture via a dehumidifier can go a long way toward hampering its growth in your home. Mold can also damage property, like furniture, photos, books, bedding and linens. Mold damage can be costly, but it can be prevented with the installation of a dehumidifier.
  • Less strain on your air conditioner –periods of excessive humidity mean your AC works even harder to achieve the set temperature in your home. A dehumidifier gives your air conditioner that extra help, putting less strain and wear-and-tear on your system.

If you have been looking for a way to improve your indoor air quality, as well as put less strain on your air conditioner during the summer months, a whole-home dehumidifier may be just the item you need.

Call Basnett’s Plumbing & Heating today and speak to one of our specialists about installing a dehumidifier in your Andover, MA home.

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What Are Energy Recovery Ventilators?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Low indoor air quality has turned into a major health concern in the United States. Because contemporary buildings and homes are designed with energy-efficiency in mind, they have heavy heat sealing that prevents heat from escaping during cold weather and entering during hot weather. This sealing, however, makes it difficult for fresh air to circulate through the building, resulting in stale air that continuously cycles through the ventilation system, collecting dust, debris, and other contaminants.

In your home, you can open up doors and windows to help bring in fresh air. However, this also ruins the heat sealing, forcing your air conditioning and heating systems to work harder. (It’s also not practical to have open windows and doors during many days of the year.) There are a number of options available to overcome this dilemma, among them are energy recovery ventilators.

To find out more about the installation of energy recovery ventilators in Lexington, MA, call our indoor air quality specialists at Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

How energy recovery ventilators work

Energy recover ventilators (ERVs) are a way to bring outdoor air into your home and transfer heat between the indoor and outdoor air. This way you remove the stale air from your house without losing or gaining heat.

The way an ERV achieves this is by drawing outdoor air though a vent into the ducts of your HVAC system. It then runs the fresh air past the stale air drawn from the home. Through a process called counter-flow heat exchange, the heat from one transfers to the other. During hot weather, the warm outdoor air loses its heat to the outgoing indoor air. During cold weather, the process reverses: the warm indoor air transfers its heat to the incoming cold outdoor air. Filters inside the ERV help to filter out any particles that might infiltrate from the outside.

So not only does an ERV bring in fresh outside air, it recovers energy and re-uses it, making your HVAC system more efficient. A well-installed ERV can recover 85% of the energy from outgoing air. You will end up with savings on your utility bills and increased comfort and health from improved air quality.

Professional ERV installation

For an energy recovery ventilator to work correctly, it needs to have installation from skilled professionals. It also needs the work of professionals to repair and maintain it so that it will continue to work properly for many years.

Our experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating will help you choose an ERV model to match your home and budget requirements. They will then handle the installation work that will ensure you’ll receive the highest energy efficiency and air quality possible. Contact us today.

When energy recovery ventilators in Lexington, MA sound like the solution to your issues with indoor air quality, contact the experts at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. 

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3 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Friday, June 13th, 2014

In Reading, MA, we have it all: dry cold in winter, sticky humidity in summer and allergies from spring to fall. All of these things can be a problem indoors, too. Since 1987, Basnett Plumbing & Heating has been helping customers in the Metro West area achieve the level of indoor air quality they need to be comfortable and healthy. Does your indoor air quality in Reading need improvement? Let us demonstrate 3 ways you can use your cooling system to improve your Reading indoor air quality:

#1: Dehumidifier

It’s no secret that eastern Massachusetts can get very hot and humid in the summer, particularly in July and August. When it gets excessively humid outside, your air conditioner has to work extra hard to keep things cool inside. One way to help both yourself and your air conditioner work better during humid stretches of weather is to install a whole-home dehumidifier.

A whole-home dehumidifier removes excess humidity from the air, helping lift the load from your air conditioner. A whole-home dehumidifier can also help reduce mold growth, the proliferation of dust mites, and increase your indoor comfort level.

#2: Air Filter

Your air conditioning system comes with a built-in air filter, but the job of this filter is to help stop dirt and dust from entering your air conditioning system – not improve the air quality. So, if you suffer from allergies or sensitivities to air pollution, this air filter will not assist you very much. By adding a more efficient air filter to your air conditioner, you will be able to screen out allergens like pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other microbes that can be a problem for the allergy sufferers in your home.

#3: UV Germicidal Lights

Do you have concerns about bacteria and mold coming through your air conditioning system? Then you may want to consider the installation of UV germicidal lights to your air conditioner. UV germicidal lights are installed in your indoor unit, above the coils. The UV light effectively kills 99.9% of all viruses, bacteria and mold, making it a very healthy addition to your air conditioning system.

Breathe Better, Live Healthier

You spend a lot of time in your home, so it makes sense that your indoor air quality should be where you need and want it to be.

Let Basnett Plumbing & Heating help you improve your indoor air quality in Reading with one of our many tried and true techniques – call us for an appointment today!

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When Is It Time to Replace My Heat Pump?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Having a heat pump working in your home is a great way to achieve year-round comfort, whether you needs crisp summer cooling or cozy winter heating. You can expect a well-maintained system to last you over 15 years in most cases… but a time will come when you will need to take into serious consideration scheduling a heat pump replacement in Concord, MA.

It’s important that you anticipate a heat pump’s failure so you can arrange for a convenient time to have it replaced that will cause as little disruption as possible for your family. Waiting for a heat pump to fail will mean a period of discomfort for your household while waiting for new installation.

Here are some of the common warning signs of a heat pump near its last go-round. When you notice these, call on Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We’ll help you decide if it’s best to have the system replaced, and we will help you with the necessary next step, whether its repair or new installation.

The heat pump can no longer effectively heat or cool the house

As a heat pump ages, it will start to lose effectiveness when its parts wear down, particularly the compressor. This will affect it in both heating and cooling modes. When this occurs and basic repairs don’t seem to affect it, look into replacement. Keep the age of the system in mind; if it is older than 15 years, a drop in conditioning power almost always means you should retire the system.

Utility bills are rising without stop

Along with losing heating and cooling power with age, a heat pump will also need to strain harder to work. No amount of repairs or maintenance can stop a heat pump from eventually wearing down to the point where it drains excess power to run. When your utility bills start to rise for no discernable reason, you should investigate the possibility that the heat pump is the cause of it.

Noisy operation

A few strange noises here and there in a heat pump are usually indicative of a repair need that a technician can apply. But if loud and disruptive noises are becoming the norm during regular operation, then the heat pump is coming close to a final breakdown due to aging components. Check with a technician to see if there are any repairs that might fix the problem… and if not, schedule a replacement.

Never hesitate in seeking a professional opinion about whether you should repair or replace a heat pump. Skilled technicians can give you an honest, straightforward answer. If the best choice is to replace, then rely on those same technicians to guide the process.

Basnett Plumbing & Heating has worked on heat pump replacement in Concord, MA since 1987. Trust in our experience for the best in year-round comfort.

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