Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for the ‘Heat Pumps’ Category

Why a Heat Pump May Be the Best Replacement for Your Old AC

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Many conventional homes, at least those with air ducts and vents, have this setup: an air conditioner and furnace to move air and heat through the home. However, this isn’t the only way to set up a home comfort system. In fact, it may not even be the best option for your home.

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Why Isn’t My Heat Pump Switching to Heat Mode?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

If you have a heat pump, you know how easy it is to switch between modes. All you have to do is press a button on your thermostat. But what if your heat pump won’t switch modes? At this time of year it isn’t unusual to want your heat pump to be in heating mode in the morning and then cooling mode in the afternoon. There can be a couple of reasons why your heat pump isn’t switching modes, as we’ll explain below. However, it’s critical to the safe repair and operation of your heat pump that you allow a trained expert to handle the repair work, and that’s where the pros from Basnett Plumbing & Heating come in. We have been helping customers in Harvard, MA repair their heat pump systems for years, and we can do the same for you. Here are some of the more common reasons why your heat pump won’t switch to heating mode:

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How Does a Heat Pump Switch into Heating Mode?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

We have that classic fall New England weather going on: cold in the morning, warm in the afternoons and chilly in the evening. The great news is that your heat pump is perfect for this kind of weather because switching between heating and cooling is very easy thanks to a small component known as the reversing valve.

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What Is the Reversing Valve?

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Many homeowners in the Littleton, MA, area enjoy the benefits a heat pump system has to offer. However, not a lot of homeowners understand how a heat pump can offer both heating and cooling. The key component is a device called the reversing valve. However, this isn’t a simple valve like you’d find on a water heater. A reversing valve is more complicated, and as such, always requires the help of a trained expert, like the ones at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

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How Can a Heat Pump Cool My House?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

It is natural to have some suspicion that a system with the first word of “heat” can also cool your home, but a heat pump system can indeed cool your home in Littleton, MA, and do it well. As with any major home system, the key to good performance is to start with correct installation, and then make sure your system is serviced by specialists with the training and experience to handle it. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, our cooling experts handle a wide range of cooling systems, including heat pumps, so call us for assistance.

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Types of American Standard Heat Pumps

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Heat pumps can offer your home both heating and cooling as well as high energy efficiency, no matter the season. This is one of the reasons why Basnett Plumbing & Heating carries heat pumps as a heating and cooling option for our customers. One of the brands we carry is American Standard, a company that has been a staple in the heating and cooling industry for over 130 years. There are 3 levels of heat pumps that American Standard offers for your home in Lancaster, and we’ll outline them below.


The Platinum series, as the name indicates, is the top of the American Standard heat pump line of products. These units have a SEER of 18-20, which can save you up to 50% in annual energy costs. The Platinum line heat pumps are also multi-stage systems that operate at variable speeds, ensuring you have the exact comfort level you need without increasing your energy usage. There are several Platinum models to choose from, and your Basnett Plumbing & Heating specialist can help you determine which model will best fit your home.


The American Standard Gold heat pump offers homeowners 2-stage operation, with the unit operating the vast majority of the time at 70 percent capacity, which can save a great deal of energy. The SEER rating for the Gold models is 17.25; the minimum requires SEER is 13, so this model is also very energy efficient.


The Silver series is the most cost-effective of the American Standard heat pumps, having the lowest initial costs of all the American Standard heat pump products available. With SEER ratings ranging from 14-17, these units are very energy efficient but operate more simply at a single stage.


American Standard heat pumps come with the following warranties, as long as the unit is registered:

  • Platinum and Gold – 12-year limited warranty on compressor
  • Silver – 10-year limited warranty on compressor
  • All – 10-year limited warranty on outdoor coil
  • All – 10-year limited warranty on internal functional parts

In addition, many models carry the Energy Star rating.

If you have been considering the installation of a heat pump for your home in Lancaster, you may want to review the American Standard line of heat pump products.

Need help? Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating and schedule an appointment with one of our experts!

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Why Does the Outdoor Unit of My Heat Pump Run in the Winter?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Heat pumps offer a great two-in-one comfort system for homes. During the summer, a heat pump works as an air conditioner capable of matching any comparably sized standalone cooling system. Then, when winter weather arrives, a heat pump easily shifts into heating mode, working efficiently and safely compared to many other types of heating systems.

If you are interested in installing a heat pump for your home, or if you need heat pump repair in Groton, MA or other parts of MetroWest, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating right away. We have offered excellent services for heating and air conditioning systems since 1987.

Because heat pumps operate differently than other models of heaters when they are warming a house, homeowners often find themselves a bit confused about what’s happening with their heat pump the first time it begins to work during cold weather. For example, people often call for heating repair technicians in the winter when they notice that the outdoor unit of the system is still running. Usually, this doesn’t indicate a problem; it is a normal part of how a heat pump works.

The reason that homeowners sometimes worry about the outdoor unit of a heat pump running during winter is that they are used to air conditioning systems. During the summer, the outdoor unit of an AC must run in order to deposit heat to the outside. After cold weather starts, the air conditioner shuts off for the season. When a heat pump continues to generate noise from its outdoor cabinet after the winter starts, people often think that something must be wrong.

However, this is standard operation for a heat pump. Like air conditioners, they absorb heat from one place and remove it to another. But air conditioners can only remove heat from the indoors and place it in the outdoors; a heat pump can move it in both directions. When a heat pump switches over to heating mode, it absorbs heat from the outdoor unit and moves it to the indoor unit. The sounds coming from the outside cabinet are therefore normal and are not a cause for alarm.

You still need to watch for indications that the outdoor unit is experiencing problems. If you hear unusual noises from the cabinet, such as loud clanging or grinding, you should call for repairs right away. If the outdoor unit is running, but you are not receiving heat indoors, then you should also have technicians investigate right away to see if the unit is losing refrigerant or has experienced some other malfunction that is keeping it from carrying out heat exchange.

Basnett Plumbing & Heating has worked on heat pump repair in Groton, MA for almost three decades. Never hesitate to call us if you think your heat pump is in danger of failing or if you are suspicious of strange sounds from either cabinet. It is better to be cautious than to end up trapped with a cold house.

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How Do Ductless Heat Pumps Heat a Home?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The technology of home comfort advances each year. Although the older methods of home heating, furnaces and boilers, are still around and still delivering cozy indoor environments through the winter, the more recent heat pumps have become common choices for many homeowners. Going one step further from the advances of the heat pump is the ductless mini split heat pump, which permits a home to receive central heating (and cooling) through forced air, but without requiring a single foot of ductwork anywhere in the house.

Our team at Basnett Plumbing & Heating installs ductless heat pumps in Southborough, MA and throughout the MetroWest area. If you are interested in having a ductless heating system for your home, call our technicians today and they can give you all the information you need to help make a decision about the best option for your family’s comfort.

How ductless heat pumps work

The way that heat pumps operate without using a network of ducts installed in the walls and ceilings is to combine some of the functions of window air conditioning units with central heating and air. Window ACs provide spot cooling for rooms by blowing air directly from their cabinet: the blower is installed in the unit along with the evaporator coil. What a ductless heat pump does is use multiple smaller blower units containing fans and coils placed throughout the house to send conditioned air directly into rooms: no ducts necessary.

But how is this a “centralized” heating and cooling system? Each of the blowers connects to an outdoor unit through refrigerant, condensate, and power lines. The outdoor unit works as a condenser when the heat pump is in cooling mode, and as an evaporator when the heat pump is in heating mode.

Otherwise, a ductless mini split heat pump works in the same fashion as a standard heat pump: the system moves refrigerant in a cycle that transports heat from one location and deposits it in another. When you need to warm up your house, the heat pump moves refrigerant from the compressor in the outdoor unit to each of the indoor blowers, where they release heat along the coils and fans sends the warm air into the rooms. The refrigerant from each blower then returns to the outdoor unit where it absorbs heat from the outside. (Yes, even in cold weather, there is heat available in the air for the heat pump to absorb.)

Is a ductless heat pump right for my home?

To answer this question, you should call our specialists at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. They can look over your home and determine if it will benefit from a ductless mini split heat pump or not. For Southborough, MA, ductless heat pumps are especially helpful for older and historic homes that do not have space for ductwork. But they are also excellent if you planning remodeling or a new home construction.

Let us help you make the best choice for your family’s comfort.

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How Ductless Heat Pumps Save Money

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Using ductwork to channel air from a heater, air conditioner, or heat pump has been the standard in homes for so many decades that the very concept of ductless heating and cooling often sounds odd to people. However, the installation of a ductless heat pump in a home has numerous benefits that include saving space for the purpose of new home construction and remodeling and helping to increase indoor air quality through the removal of the dust and dirt that often contaminate ducts.

There is another important advantage from going ductless: money savings. For a number of reasons, a ductless heat pump will help you save money on your heating budget. You can contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating to speak to our professionals in ductless heat pumps in Dunstable, MA for more information about installing one of these systems for your home. We will help you discover if ductless is a practical route for your home and how much you can save.

How ductless heat pumps mean energy savings for a home

The main reason that ductless heat pumps can reduce your heating and cooling costs is that they do not lose energy through ducts. As heated or cooled air travels through ducts in a home, it will lose energy—even if the ducts are in impeccable condition with no air leaks. Ductless systems blow air directly into rooms through wall mounted units, losing very little energy in the process.

Because ductless heat pumps are designed as zone systems (each individual blower can be controlled separately from the others), they will save money because you will no longer need to cool or heat your entire home every time the heat pump turns on. You can shut down the blowers in empty rooms, such as guest rooms, and only expend energy for locations that need it. This will add up to large savings, especially if you have a house with many rooms and zones.

Finally, lack of ductwork means no duct cleaning. In order to maintain an efficient HVAC system that uses ducts, the ductwork must receive regular professional cleaning to remove excess dust, dirt, and other contamination that can lead to a drop in efficiency and unhealthy indoor air quality. Without ducts, you won’t have to pay for duct cleaning or worry that dirty ductwork is interfering with airflow.

Ductless heat pumps are not ideal for all homes, so before you make any major decision about installing one, ask for help from professionals.

At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we have many years of experience installing ductless heat pumps in Dunstable, MA and the rest of the Metrowest Area.

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Some Common Heat Pump Repairs in Pepperell

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

We are getting ready to switch from cooling mode to heating mode as we head into fall weather here in Pepperell, MA. If you noticed toward the end of the summer that your heat pump wasn’t performing as well as it should be, it may be time to call for repair. It is normal for your heat pump to show signs of wear and tear considering the amount of work it has done over the last several months in keeping your home cool. Heat pump repair in Pepperell can be complex, which is why it should always be handled by trained and certified professionals, like the ones at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

Common Heat Pump Repairs

Here are some of the more common heat pump repairs our technicians see:

Problems with the Reversing Valve

The reversing valve is the component of your heat pump that allows you to switch from cooling mode to heating mode. One of the most common problems that develops with the reversing valve is that it gets stuck in a position and doesn’t allow the heat pump to work. The valve can become stuck in a specific mode (heating or cooling) as well as in between modes. Sometimes the valve can be repaired when it becomes stuck, but many times it needs to be replaced.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can develop within the heat pump, and will require the help of a professional for repair. Refrigerant must be handled by a person certified to do so, and leaks can be difficult to detect without the proper training. Refrigerant leaks do not improve over time, so it’s advisable to call for help as soon as you suspect a refrigerant leak.

Condensate Drain Clog

Heat pumps have condensate drains that remove the excess moisture from your home to the outside. This drain can become clogged with debris, mold, mildew, algae and other growths that thrive in moist, cool settings. Clogs need to be removed or the drain can back up and cause serious water damage.

Heat pumps can be great devices for your home, and because they work year-round, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing issues with your heat pump, contact the trained professionals that you can always count on: Basnett Plumbing & Heating.


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