Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for March, 2015

Signs You Need Pipe Replacement

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The good operation of your pipes is critical to your property’s daily operation, and if there are pipes that have corroded, developed a leak or have poor connections, you could have some serious plumbing and water-related problems to deal with. Because the vast majority of your plumbing is hidden behind walls and ceilings, and underneath flooring, it’s important to be aware of certain kinds of signs that can indicate plumbing problems. The experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help with pipe replacement in Carlisle, MA, and all your other plumbing needs, so call us today!

Signs to Watch For

Here are some signs to be aware of regarding your plumbing system and potential issues with your piping:

Discoloration

Is the water from your home’s faucets a brown or yellowish color? This can be an indication that rust or dirt is in the water. If rust has developed on the inside of your piping, corrosion has set in and the pipe will need to be replaced. Dirt can only enter a pipe from a leak or crack, and this will also need to be repaired.

Low Water Pressure

If you have noticed that the water pressure throughout your home has decreased significantly, there is likely to be a leak somewhere in your system. Sometimes leaks can be fixed without removing the old pipe, but replacement is a possibility if the leak is severe enough.

Aging

Various types of metal have been used for plumbing pipes, and while all were chosen with an eye toward longevity, no plumbing pipe will last forever. If your home is over 40 years old and the piping has never been updated, there’s a good chance that the metal is reaching an age at which it may need to be replaced. Aging pipes are more liable to burst, break, corrode, leak and crack, so it’s better to get ahead of these kinds of problems with proactive pipe replacement rather than waiting for a serious problem to develop.

Are you seeing the signs that it may be time for pipe replacement in your Carlisle, MA, home? Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today and schedule an appointment with one of our plumbing experts!

Continue Reading

What Is a High Efficiency Water Heater?

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

If you are in the market for a new hot water heater, you may want to consider the installation of a high efficiency water heater. A high efficiency water heater is anywhere from 10-50% more energy efficient than those produced with the minimum mandated standards, so installing one in your Lunenburg, MA home can help you save money for years to come. How can you tell if a hot water heater is rated for high efficiency? The best way is to refer to the Energy Star standards.

EF Rating

The EF rating on hot water heaters stands for “energy factor” and the EF is highly dependent on the fuel type used to power the water heater. Here is a quick overview of the Energy Star EF ratings that classify a hot water heater as “high efficiency”:

  • All electric water heaters – must have an EF greater than 2.0
  • Gas tank water heaters – must have an EF greater than 0.67
  • Gas tankless – must have an EF greater than 0.82

First hour ratings (FHR) and warranties also factor into the Energy Star ratings, and you can find that information on the Energy Star website. However, if you are specifically looking for a high efficiency water heater, these are the basic guidelines to use.

Types

There are two main types of high efficiency water heaters that we sell here at Basnett Plumbing & Heating:

  • Condensing
  • Tankless

Condensing water heaters use the latent heat from the combustion process to heat more efficiently; this is because vapor is produced during combustion, and a condensing water heater harnesses the latent heat in the vapor to help heat your home’s water. Condensing water heaters can be up to 98% efficient.

Tankless water heaters are highly efficient because they don’t have any standby heat to lose. They also provide hot water on demand, so energy is used only when water is needed, not on a continual cycle.

Are you looking to get better energy efficiency from your home’s hot water heater?

Call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment to see what a high efficiency water heater can do for your Lunenburg, MA, home.

Continue Reading

Why Choose a Digital Thermostat?

Friday, 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.

Continue Reading

How Does Aeroseal Duct Sealing Help with Energy Efficiency?

Thursday, 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.

Continue Reading

Ways to Keep Your Home’s Plumbing Healthy

Friday, 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.

Continue Reading

Why Consider the Installation of a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

Thursday, 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.

Continue Reading

What Is an Energy Efficient Boiler Control System?

Thursday, 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!

Continue Reading