Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Posts Tagged ‘MetroWest’

Why Consider a Thermostat Installation with a New HVAC System Installation?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Thermostats are one of the most important parts of any HVAC system. The thermostat is the control center of your heater and air conditioner, responsible for determining when they activate and for how long. Despite being so vital, however, thermostats are among the most neglected when it comes to maintenance and replacement. Many homeowners have thermostats that are significantly older than the heating systems they operate, and for no other reason than they aren’t considered a problem as long as they’re working properly. Actually, there are a number of very good reasons to have a new thermostat installed along with a new HVAC installation. Let’s examine some of those reasons now.


If you opened up a thermostat from 30 or 40 years ago, you’d find that it was more or less entirely mechanical. Most thermostats in those days used temperature sensors that were extremely inaccurate, despite being the best available at the time. Ampules filled with mercury and heat-sensitive coils did the job decently, but they had huge dead zones where they were not sensitive enough to activate the heater or air conditioner when needed. Later electronic thermostats had a huge advantage in terms of sensitivity and energy efficiency, which is why you’ll find them in most homes today. However, a lot of homeowners seem content to use a thermostat that’s over a decade old, despite much more accurate models being available.

Modern thermostats are leaps and bounds better than older electronic thermostats, just as those thermostats were better than the previous generation of mechanical thermostats. New sensor technology gives more modern thermostats even greater control over a home’s climate, making your living space more comfortable.

Some thermostats are even becoming adaptive, able to learn and anticipate your heating and cooling needs. With these systems, you barely have to touch the thermostat to achieve a comfortable home climate. The options that these new thermostats present make them worth using, both because they’ll save you money and make your home more comfortable.

So, if you’re installing a new HVAC system and you have an older thermostat, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We provide thermostat installation throughout the MetroWest area.

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Why Install a Condensate Pump for HVAC Equipment?

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Air conditioners and condensing boilers and furnaces create excess water during operation; this excess water is known as condensate. Condensate needs to be removed from any of these systems, and is typically done so by the condensate array in each unit. Standard condensate arrays work with the laws of gravity and allow the condensate to flow down into your home’s exit plumbing to either your sewer or septic system. But close proximity to the exit plumbing isn’t always a given, and in these cases, it is necessary to use a condensate pump for your MetroWest property to ensure proper drainage of the condensate.

How Does a Condensate Pump Work?

A condensate pump is a small plastic box, about the size of half a shoe box. Its main components are a float switch, a small reservoir and the small electric pump mechanism. As condensate drips into the box, the reservoir fills. The float switch has a pre-set that determines how high the float can go before it activates the pump. Once the amount of condensate reaches this pre-set limit, the float switch activates the condensate pump and pumps the water up to the exit plumbing.

Why Install a Condensate Pump?

The condensate from any whole-home system has to be properly disposed of; allowing the condensate to simply drip into your foundation or into a bucket is not acceptable. As such, you will need to install a condensate pump. A couple of side benefits you can gain from a condensate pump are a cleaner, more aesthetic look around your condensate array area and less risk of bacterial growth since the pump ensures that the condensate water will be removed.

Can I Install It Myself?

The condensate array is an important part of your HVAC system, so unless you are an expert, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to perform the installation.

Condensate problems can result in mold and mildew infestation, problems with your system and potential water damage to your property.

If your heating or cooling system in the MetroWest area, is in need of a condensate pump, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating today.

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Are Steam Boilers Appropriate for Installation in a Home?

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The term “boiler” makes it sound as if this heating system works by boiling water, but this isn’t necessarily true. Steam boilers must boil water in order to create steam, while the fluid in a regular hot water boiler doesn’t necessarily have to boil. So how do you know if your home system is a steam boiler or a hot water boiler? Well, generally a residential boiler is not a steam boiler. Steam boilers are mainly used in industrial applications because of the high levels of heat they produce. Let’s take a look at how these units work.

Hot water boilers and steam boilers work using fairly similar principles. Both types of systems burn fuel in order to heat water, which passes through a set of pipes and moves into the building to reach an endpoint. This endpoint may be a radiator, convector unit, or baseboard unit, or there may be a set of pipes underneath the floorboards. But steam boilers must boil water at a high temperature and pressure in order to produce steam. Because these systems can produce large amounts of heat at fast rates, they are used to heat spaces too large for a hot water boiler to handle.

A steam boiler can be quite powerful, which is why some homeowners would like for this technology to be made available in their homes. However, steam boilers are simply not appropriate for home installation. Your heating system must be sized for installation and steam boilers are simply too large for any size home. A steam boiler would become overworked in residential use, and most homeowners would have no clue as to how to operate it.

In fact, when a steam boiler is used in a large commercial or industrial application, the boiler operator sometimes has to obtain a license and stay on-site or on-call at all times. However, steam-heating boilers are usually more efficient for use on large commercial properties, since the steam generation calls for fewer circulatory pumps, and because the controls allow for steam to be used for multiple purposes. For example, a hospital may generate process steam for use in sterilizing equipment and use heating steam to heat the building.

The friendly technicians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help you to learn more about gas boilers and steam boilers in MetroWest. Contact us today!

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Heating Services to Consider before Winter Arrives

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Another winter season in Massachusetts is approaching and will be upon us before we realize it. Before the temperature drops too far, make sure that your home is properly winterized to keep your family comfortable and your heating bills under control.

Here is some advice for heating services that will help you prepare for the chilly season. We have helped homeowners stay comfortable with heating services in MetroWest since 1987

Consider these heating services for winter preparation

  • Heating system maintenance: This isn’t a suggestion, actually. Annual maintenance is essential for a home heater to work its best, conserve energy, avoid emergency breakdowns, and achieve the longest possible service lifetime. You can arrange with a professional heating contractor to provide your heater with a complete inspection and tune-up so that it’s ready to handle the winter cold. The process requires about an hour of work, but it will pay off with excellent performance from the system and increased peace of mind for you. No matter what type or model of heater you have—boiler, furnace, heat pump, radiant floor heating—you need to schedule professional maintenance for it.
  • Thermostat upgrade: A new thermostat can make a tremendous difference for your home’s winter heating, especially if you have an old manual dial-and-sliders system. With a digital programmable model, you will have more precision temperature settings. You can also control when the heater comes on and off, so it can prepare the house before you come home in the evening without it needing to remain on all day. Also investigate the convenience of wireless thermostats.
  • Heating system replacement: If a heating system is many years old, it might be time to replace it—and you definitely want to have this job finished before winter arrives. Look over your heating bills for the last few years to check if they have started to climb steeply, and also examine the amount of repairs needed to keep the system running. If repair costs are greater than $500 a year, you should consider a replacement. A maintenance technician will help you with this choice during a regular visit. Make sure you schedule any replacement service soon so you won’t get caught with a old heater that dies during a cold winter night.

You can contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating today to arrange for maintenance by signing one of our excellent service agreements. During maintenance, our technicians can give you advice on other heating services in MetroWest you may need to have a worry-free, comfortable, and economical winter.

Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating, and let our experienced technicians assist you with getting energy-saving performance that will prevent your bills from soaring.

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Consider Something New for Your Heating Installation This Fall

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

When the day comes to retire the aging and inefficient heating system in your home, your first instinct will be to replace it with a similar type of heater. This makes sense, as you can use the same power source and existing distribution system, such as ductwork, hot water pipes, etc.

But perhaps this fall is the right time to look into a different type of heater. You may be missing out on some tremendous benefits—both in comfort and energy savings—available from other heating systems. For your new heating installation in MetroWest, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating and talk to our experienced professionals. They can tell you about your options for new installation, and then help guide you toward the best choice for your home. You may end up with a similar system to what you had before, but you will at least know that it’s the best of your options.

Electric furnace

Switching from a gas furnace to an electric furnace is a choice to consider if you have worries about safety. Some homeowners decide to change over entirely to electrical power for the home to increase home safety. Electric furnaces are also a less expensive option than gas furnaces.


The modern hot water boiler can achieve high levels of heat while lasting for many years. Boilers also promote better indoor air quality than forced air systems like furnaces and heat pumps because they use the clean power of radiant heating. You do not need a gas connection to enjoy a boiler’s benefits: they also come in electric and oil-burning models.

Heat pumps

A heat pump works excellently as a replacement for a furnace, since it can use the same set of existing ducts. With a heat pump, you will also have a replacement for your air conditioner, since the system works as both an AC and a heater.

Radiant floor heating

A more recent development in heating technology, radiant floor heating uses hydronic or electric power to heat up the floorboards of rooms and generate an even and cozy-feeling heat through a space. Radiant floor heating is best for new construction projects, although professionals can retro-fit a current home for this technology.

With the many possibilities for residential heating available today, you need to make sure that you have professional assistance to pick the right unit for you. Heating experts, such as those at Basnett Plumbing & Heating, will look over your home and analyze its heating needs (using a process called a heat load calculation) and determine what type of new heater will work best.

When it comes to new heating installation in MetroWest, rely on the team of professionally experienced heating technicians at Basnett Plumbing & Heating.

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Groton, MA Heating Efficiency Tips

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Sometimes it seems like winter just won’t end. With the costs of energy being so high this can be a real drain on your budget. That is why the Groton, MA heating professionals at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning have put together some helpful heating efficiency tips for you.  We may not be able to bring winter to an early end or lower the cost of energy, but we can help you heat your home in a more efficient way. Take these tips into consideration, incorporate them into your heating habits, and watch the saving start to build up.

One of the most effective ways to boost energy efficiency in your home is also one of the simplest. Take a trip to your local hardware store and pick up some shrink wrap and weather stripping material. It’s a lot easier to heat your home efficiently if the heat you pay for is not leaking out of your home. Install the weather stripping in your door frames and cover your windows with the shrink wrap to keep heat from naturally moving to the colder outdoors. You can even put a beading of caulk around stationary windows for extra protection from the cold.

Also, do not shut off your ceiling fans once summer ends. It may seem counterintuitive, but those ceiling fans can actually help you heat your home more evenly and efficiently. There is a switch on the fixture of a ceiling fan that, when flipped, allows you to reverse the direction in which the blades turn. In the winter this allows your fans to push heated air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the living space. This lets you heat your home more evenly, reducing the need to raise temperature settings at the thermostat.

Of course, the best way to keep your heater working efficiently is to schedule routine heating maintenance with a qualified professional. Contact the Groton, MA heating technicians at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more. We have the tools, skills and services you need to heat your home in a more efficient way this heating season.

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Lancaster, MA Plumbing Question: Why Is My Water Heater Rumbling?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

If your water heater rumbles or makes other strange and unusual sounds, it may be an indication that you need professional plumbing repair. Often, the sounds your appliances make are warning signs that something needs to be fixed and it’s important that you heed those symptoms. Not only will repair get your water heater working again, but it may also prevent future repairs and premature replacement.  If your water heater makes too much noise, call Basnett Plumbing & Heating plumbing repair in Lancaster, MA today.

There are several different reasons your water heater makes a rumbling noise:

  • Scale. About 85% of homes in America have hard water. Hard water refers to high levels of calcium and magnesium bicarbonate in your water supply. These deposits tend to build up on the inside of your water heater and on the heating elements. Those deposits are commonly called limescale and often cause problems in your water heater’s tank–including overheating. A professional repair service will likely delime your tank in order to get it working again.
  • Sediment. Silicate and sand can build up on the inside of your water heater. Whether drawn from the main water supply or introduced into the system by pipe leaks underground, sediment can also cause your tank to overheat. It can typically be removed by periodic system flushing. Check with a pro to see what the best course of action for your water heater is.
  • Cold water. If the amount of cold water entering your water heater is excessive, then this can also cause a rumbling sound. If there is a leak around the input valve, this can lower the total temperature of the tank and cause your heater to work more than it needs to. The rumbling noise occurs as a result of cold and hot water mixing together.

Sounds are difficult to diagnose during plumbing repair. Let the Lancaster, MA plumbers at Basnett Plumbing & Heating figure it out for you. We offer exceptional plumbing services for all of your home’s needs. Call us today. 

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MetroWest Area Heating Question: What is a Hot Water Recirculation System?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

When you turn on your shower’s hot water faucet, you normally have to stand back and wait for the hot water from the water heater to arrive. This is just a normal part of life that most people expect to happen. However, that water you waste while you wait for the hot water to arrive can start to add up. With a hot water recirculation system, those days of waiting for the hot water to arrive are over. At Basnett, we provide comprehensive hot water recirculation system installation, repair and maintenance in the MetroWest area. We wanted to make our customers aware of this terrific product that can make their home more comfortable.

Types of Hot Water Recirculation Systems

There are two standard types of hot water recirculation systems. Here is a brief description of how each one works.

  • Demand system – This type of hot water recirculation system uses an electric pump to circulate hot water through your plumbing system. When you need hot water, a motion sensor near the faucet or a manual switch is activated to turn the pump on. While this system typically is the most efficient, it doesn’t always work as quickly as the other types of hot water recirculation systems.
  • Gravity system – Thermosiphoning is the process of heat moving. In a gravity hot water recirculation system, the water heater is installed below the plumbing. This way, hot water from it rises through the pipes and the cold, more dense water falls back to the water heater through a return line to be re-heated. This system offers simplicity when compared to the demand system. However, it is typically less efficient because it has to operate constantly.

If you’re tired of having to waste water while you wait for hot water in your home, call the plumbers at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We provide complete hot water recirculation system services in the MetroWest area.

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MetroWest Plumbing Question: What is a U-Bend?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

If, like many homeowners, you do not understand much about your indoor plumbing, you are far from alone. A lot of homeowners give very little thought to the very fact that their plumbing is there at all. Of course, this is only true when the plumbing is operating properly. When you experience problems with your plumbing it is much more difficult to ignore just how necessary the effective, efficient operation of this important system really is. At Basnett Plumbing & Heating, we understand that many homeowners are not very well-versed in plumbing terminology, but a basic idea of some essential plumbing components is a bit of knowledge any homeowner in the MetroWest area can benefit from.

One very important little piece of your plumbing system is the U-bend or drain trap underneath all of the sinks in your home. This innocuous bit of pipe serves a very important function. Thanks to its shape it dips below the drain pipe under your sinks. While water is running it forces water through this drain trap, up and out of the system for disposal. When the water is shut off, though, the last bit of water from the sink has no way to escape, and becomes trapped in the drain trap.

This may sound like a problem, but that is actually exactly what the U-bend is designed to do. By maintaining a small amount of water in the pipe system below your sinks foul sewer odors are prevented from coming up through the drains in your sink. If there is a clog in your sink drain due to hair or other debris it will often become lodged in the drain trap, making for easy clog removal that anyone can handle. Simple pull off the drain trap and clear it out before replacing it.

The expert plumbers at Basnett Plumbing & Heating know that only a certified plumber should handle any repair or maintenance service on your plumbing system in the MetroWest area. A little working knowledge of components such as your drain trap, though, will allow you to take care of a very minor issue on your own, though. Contact Basnett Plumbing & Heating for more tips on how your plumbing system works and what you can do to keep it operating efficiently.

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Air Conditioning Service Review

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Air Conditioning Review | Littleton | Basnett Plumbing & HeatingWe were having problems with our AC and had used another company to evaluate the problem. They said that we needed to replace the entire system at a cost of $7,000.00. That’s when we call Basnett for a second opinion. I spoke with Nancy who was very professional and knowledgeable and set up our appointment.

It took less than an hour for their technician Wayne to discover the problem and fix it without having to replace the entire unit for a fraction of what proposed by the other company. I was totally impressed and will recommend to anyone who is in need of services that they provide.

Basnett Plumbing & Heating provides plumbing, air conditioning, heating, air filtration and water heater services throughout Massachusetts and the MetroWest area.

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