Repair Needs Caused by a Clogged Furnace Filter

November 10th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Your furnace keeps you comfortable all winter long. And since your furnace takes such good care of you, take care of your furnace by following a few simple maintenance steps. First, make sure that no vents are blocked by furniture. Second, call a technician every year for a heating tune up. And finally, make sure to change your furnace filter every month.

The furnace filter keeps some dust and allergens from entering your home. As a fan sucks in air, pollutants become trapped in the filter instead of blowing through the ducts and back into your home. The furnace’s filter also keeps debris from interfering with the fan, causing potential damages and possibly stopping the fan motor.

Problems with a Clogged Filter

A clogged filter, on the other hand, does more than do a poor job of managing the indoor air quality. It also makes your unit run far less efficiently, and could lead to sudden repairs. Here are some of the problems that may go along with a clogged furnace filter.

  • Blower Motor Problems: If you don’t change the furnace filter regularly, it could cause problems for the motor that controls the fan. The fan has to work harder to produce the perfect amount of airflow to heat your home when a filter is clogged. This means the motor may become overworked to the point of failure.
  • Short-Cycling: Another problem that can occur is short cycling. If your furnace cannot effectively get your home to the proper temperature, it may keep turning on and off in order to attempt to heat the house completely. This uses up a lot of energy and causes wear and tear on the motor.
  • Overheating: Finally, as parts begin to wear down from excessive use due to a clogged filter, your unit may eventually overheat and require repair or replacement somewhat prematurely.

Replacing or cleaning a clogged furnace filter is one of the best ways to keep problems from occurring, as well as scheduling maintenance every year.

When you find your furnace in need of heating repair in Wynnewood, contact the HVAC professionals at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

How Can I Prevent Sewer Line Repair or Replacement?

November 3rd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The sewer line is the pipe that leads from the drains in your home and into the sewer main. Sewer line issues are a major concern for many homeowners, as a sewer leak can cause waste to seep into your yard or even into your home. This can ruin your belongings and the structure of your home, and it creates a health hazard, not to mention the foul odor. At some point, you will need to replace your sewer line to avoid such leaks, but this shouldn’t happen for several decades after installation. Prevent premature replacement and repairs by following some of these steps.

  • Keep Certain Substances Out of the Drain: Major clogs are one of the most common reasons for sewer line repair. While this is not as serious as sewer replacement, repairs can take a large chunk of time away from your day. Keep non-food items out of the drains as well as fats, oils, and grease which may solidify and build up in the pipes.
  • Watch for Signs of Leaks: If you catch leaks early on, a plumber may be able to prevent the problem in other areas of the pipes as well. Pay attention to any strange smells or puddles of water in the yard.
  • Schedule Regular Plumbing Maintenance: Finally, you should schedule plumbing maintenance every year to keep the sewer line in top shape and discover any minor repair needs early on. A plumber will clean and adjust various components of your system and let you know if any areas of pipe need repairs.

Unfortunately, when it does become time for your sewer line to be replaced, there is not much else you can do. If your plumbing system corrodes, you may have a major leak on your hands. And if one portion of your pipes begins to corrode, the other parts are sure to follow sooner or later. Scheduling the entire job at once saves you a lot of money and trouble later on.

Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to learn more about protecting your plumbing or if you are in need of professional repairs or sewer replacement in Broomall.

How Do Humidifiers Improve the Air Quality?

October 27th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Many people are familiar with the effects of high humidity, but low humidity can be a problem, too. One of the best ways to increase your humidity to healthy levels is by adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system. Fall offers the perfect window of opportunity to make an upgrade to your system, as the cold weather hasn’t yet arrived, and you can add a humidifier to your Drexel Hill home before heating season starts full-time. As with any upgrade, it’s important to hire professionals to complete the installation, so call the people you can count on: Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Comfortable humidity levels are typically between 30-50%; when the level of humidity in your home goes above or below this range, you can start to feel uncomfortable. Problems that can develop from a lack of humidity are:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Dry skin
  • Shrinking and splintering of wood products, including flooring, walls and furniture
  • Increase in illnesses such as colds and viruses
  • Feeling cold all the time

Humidity holds heat, which is why it’s important to have enough humidity in your home during the winter; otherwise, you could be raising your thermostat settings to feel warmer. It’s estimated that for every degree you can turn down your thermostat during the colder months, you can save up to 3% in energy costs; this can’t happen without the correct amount of humidity in the air.

How It Works

A whole-home humidifier is added directly to you HVAC system and you can program the humidity level you want along with your indoor temperature right on your thermostat. Water from your home’s piping adds a controlled amount of moisture to the air in your HVAC, and this air circulates evenly throughout your home.

If extreme dryness has been a problem in your home, it may be time to consider adding a humidifier to your HVAC system in Drexel Hill.

Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality experts.

How a Water Softener Protects Your Plumbing

October 22nd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Your plumbing is central to many of the daily tasks in your home. So when there’s a problem that stops you from receiving any water at all, you know to call a plumber right away. Similarly, leaks and clogs are a mess in your home and lead you to call a plumbing professional as soon as possible. But what if there is a hidden problem that could damage your pipes and cause problems with the major appliances and fixtures you use daily? This guide explains the use of water softeners to prevent plumbing damages and treat hard water, a common affliction for many home plumbing systems.

What Is “Hard Water?”

More than 80% of homes in the United States are affected by hard water. Hard water is a problem with the water supply marked by high levels of minerals, most commonly magnesium and calcium. These minerals are harmless for most people, besides some with compromised immune systems. However, hard water can have consequences for many of the most important components of your home.

Some people recognize the signs of hard water because of the markings left behind around faucets. White or greenish-yellow deposits may form an unsightly ring around the faucets and fixtures in your home, but the larger issue is that this same buildup can also gather in the pipes until the water pressure is severely reduced. Furthermore, these minerals may stop the flow of water to some of the appliances in your home, such as the washing machine or dishwasher, leading to a costly premature replacement. Hard water also keeps soap from lathering, which leads to scum in the pipes and could perpetuate drain clogs.

How Does a Water Softener Help?

A water softener is installed at the water supply of your home in order to soften all of the water that enters your home. To soften water, water softeners replace the problematic minerals with another type of substance, usually with sodium ions. Although these use a very small amount of sodium, you may be able to find a system that employs potassium instead if you or a family member are sensitive to salt.

To speak with a professional trained in installing and testing water softeners in Wayne, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

3 Common Ductless Heating Repairs

October 20th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

A ductless mini split is one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems out there. Ducted systems encounter a lot of issues due to air leaks in the ducts that force air conditioning and heating systems to work too hard and become overworked. Luckily, ductless systems have indoor units with individual blower fans, so air does not need to travel through any ducts that may eventually tear or collapse.

While ductless heating units are fairly durable and may need fewer repairs over time than other forced air systems, there are still some problems they may eventually come across. For ductless heating repair in Media, be sure to call the folks at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

  • Replacing the Reversing Valve: Ductless heating systems are heat pumps, meaning they move heat from one place to another. Just like central air conditioners, ductless systems use refrigerant to move heat from the indoor unit to the outside unit in the summer in order to blow air over the evaporator coil and keep your home cool. In the winter, a ductless heat pump can also move heat from the outdoors to the inside, even in cooler temperatures. The reversing valve is the component that allows refrigerant to reverse directions. But if you notice that your system won’t switch to heating mode, it may be because of a faulty reversing valve, which could just need replacement.
  • Reinstalling of the Indoor Air Handler: Another repair unique to ductless heating systems is if the indoor air handler begins to move away from the wall. This could be a result of faulty installation, and a contractor can securely reaffix the blower unit.
  • Sealing Refrigerant Leaks: While ductless systems will never fall victim to duct leaks, they are just as prone to refrigerant leaks as ducted heat pumps and air conditioners. A refrigerant line connects the indoor units to the outside compressor, and may leak anywhere along the line, at the compressor, or from the reversing valve. This requires immediate repairs, as it could cause parts to break down prematurely.

Be sure to call technicians with the proper skills and equipment to repair any ductless heating issue. For ductless heating repairs in Media, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

What Equipment is Used During Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

October 13th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

When you need to replace your plumbing, it’s never an ideal situation, but with trenchless pipe replacement, the process may go more smoothly than you expect. Trenchless pipe replacement involves very little digging, so you won’t have to get rid of important components of your landscaping, sidewalks, or driveways, or deal with the eyesore of trenches in the yard.

Using a contractor for trenchless pipe replacement is simply the best option for many homes. If you’re worried about the process, the expert plumbers at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. are here to help. Here is a quick guide to the process of trenchless pipe replacement as well as what types of equipment is used for trenchless pipe replacement in Wynnewood.

Tools of the Trade

Although trenchless technology is sometimes referred to as “no dig” technology, it does involve some digging. However, this is quite minimal compared to any other method used today. First, experts locate the area where the water or sewer line underneath your property connects to the water or sewer main, and they dig a hole at this point in addition to where the pipe ends at your home. Plumbers detach a portion of the pipe on either end and use special equipment to send a new deflated pipe through the old one.

First, they attach a hydraulic pulling device to one end of the pipe. Then, the new pipe is inserted in the old pipe, but this new pipe is in a deflated state so that it can easily fit into the old one. The hydraulic device pulls the new pipe through to the other end. From here, there are two basic methods a plumber may employ. A “pipe burster” with an expander head may be used so that the new pipe expands and the old pipe bursts in the ground. Alternatively, some pipes used during trenchless replacement are covered with adhesive. This method is known as pipe lining, in which a bladder is fed through the new pipe, causing it to expand and adhere to the old one. Which method is used for your home will likely depend on the state of your pipes.

If you need trenchless pipe replacement in Wynnewood, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!

Finding an Energy Efficient Unit for Heating System Replacement

October 6th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Energy efficiency is always a top priority when it comes to a home heating system. There are many choices available for homeowners, both in type of heating system and fuel that can be used. While today’s heating systems are highly energy efficient, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a replacement heating system in Ardmore. Hiring experts, like the ones at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., can help to ensure that you choose and install a heating system that fits all your needs, including the need for energy efficiency. If you are ready to take the next steps toward heating installation, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today.

Factors to Consider

As we mentioned above, there are a number of factors to consider when replacing your heating system. One of the first factors to consider is fuel type. There are four main types of fuel for a heating system:

  • Natural gas
  • Liquid propane (LP)
  • Oil
  • Electricity

The next consideration is type of system:

  • Furnace
  • Boiler
  • Heat pump (ductless)

Let’s first take a look at the combustion heating systems.

Combustion Systems

Combustion systems are heating systems that burn a fossil fuel in order to provide heating. Both furnaces and boilers are combustion systems, but each system works differently. Boilers are part of a hydronic system. This means they use hot water, or the steam from hot water, to heat your home. Boilers are not ducted systems, and a boiler can be fueled by either gas (including propane) or oil. Boilers have an average energy efficiency of 89%; the main difference between boilers is in the fuel costs. Gas is typically lower, but may not be available everywhere.

Furnaces generate heat by heating air and then blowing the heated air into your home through ductwork. The majority of furnaces use gas for fuel, but there are oil furnaces available as well. Furnaces have a slightly higher average energy efficiency rating, usually between 90-98%. As with boilers, fuel type is a factor to consider.

Electric

Two types of heating systems that operate using electricity are heat pumps and electric furnaces. Heat pumps transfer heat from one location to another. They provide both heating and cooling by using a component called a reversing valve. Heat pumps use very little electricity, about 25% of a whole-home air conditioner, and no fossil fuels, making them very energy efficient.

Electric furnaces use electrified coils to heat your home. Electricity flows through tightly-wound coils, turning them red-hot. Once the coils reach the correct temperature, the blower fan blows the warm air into your living spaces. Electric furnaces have a very high efficiency rating – many times as high as 100% – because they don’t lose any energy in exhaust fumes.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to heating system replacement in Ardmore; this is why it’s important to work with an expert.

If you are ready for a new heating system, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

The Steps of Heating Maintenance

September 29th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

“Maintenance” can be a very general term. When it comes to performing heating maintenance in Havertown, you may envision a technician with a flashlight completing a quick once-over of your system. The truth is, a number of tasks are performed during a maintenance visit, which is part of the reason it is so worthwhile to schedule maintenance for your heating system. Let the professionals at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., get your heating system in great shape for this winter – call us today!

Steps of Heating Maintenance

Here is a general overview of what to expect when your technician arrives to perform routine maintenance:

Thorough Inspection

The first step your technician will take is to thoroughly inspect your system. This allows the technician to check for dirt and dust build-up, debris, and any other visible problems.

Cleaning and Adjusting

A number of components will need cleaning and adjusting, such as the burner assembly, ignition/pilot assembly, fan assembly, blower motor and drive mechanism. The firebox will be vacuumed along with any soot buildup. The air filter will be changed if needed.

Testing

Electrical components will be checked and tested for amperage, and safety controls and gas pressure will be tested and adjusted if needed. The flue gas drafting will be inspected and tested, too.

Lubrication

All fan motors and moving parts will be lubricated.

Benefits of Performing Maintenance

There are several benefits you can gain from heating maintenance:

  • Prevents repairs – the thorough inspection conducted by your technician allows he/she to detect any existing or developing problems and to repair them before they can become large and possibly expensive.
  • Increases energy efficiency – a heating system that is dirty and worn will not run well, and as a result, will need more energy to achieve the set temperature. Maintenance helps your system to run optimally, so it doesn’t need extra energy to operate.
  • Extends life of the system – a system that runs for a long period of time under stress can prematurely age; maintenance keeps your system in good working order so that it doesn’t operate under stressful conditions.

It’s recommended that you schedule heating maintenance at least once a year. Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., and schedule heating maintenance in Havertown today!

When Is It Time to Replace Your Chimney Liner?

September 24th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Without an effective liner in the flue of your chimney, your home could face serious fire hazards. The liner protects the chimney itself from the combustion fumes that vent out through it from the gas furnace, gas boiler, or fireplace, and also stops those gases from escaping into the living spaces of the house. The liner also prevents heat from the combustion gas radiating through the chimney and reaching flammable material surrounding it.

We install and replace stainless steel and aluminum chimney liners to help homeowners receive safe and effective venting with their heating system. Contact us today.

Times when you should replace your chimney liner

  • When you change the heating system: When you replace your heating system for an upgrade to a high-efficiency model, or to a type of heater that you haven’t used before, it is a good idea to replace the chimney liner as well. The older chimney liner is likely inadequate for proper ventilation for the new system. This also applies to installing a new water heater if it vents through the same chimney.
  • You haven’t had a chimney inspection in years: If you can’t remember the last time you had qualified technicians inspect your chimney, then it has been too long. You should arrange for a safety inspection, and don’t be surprised if the technician discovers that your chimney is overdue for having its liner taken out and replaced.
  • The chimney liner is broken or poorly installed: Older chimney liners made of clay will start to crack apart after time, and should be replaced as soon as possible. If you have always experienced problems with venting through the chimney, you may perhaps have a liner that received bad installation. Call for inspections to see if the liner should be replaced.

Stainless steel and aluminum liners

Our chimney experts replace old chimney liners with stainless steel or aluminum ones. Steel is the preferred metal, and can be made of more flexible material for unusually-shaped chimneys. However, the local codes in some areas prohibit using stainless steel for certain applications. In these cases, you can have an aluminum liner installed instead.

You can trust the more than three and a half decades of experience at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We can inspect your home’s chimney if you think you need a new liner in Newtown Square, PA, and then handle the installation work.

If it is time to replace your chimney liner in Newtown Square, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Some Benefits of Installing a New Furnace

September 22nd, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The fall is the best time of the year to arrange for new heating installation for your home. During the lull between the summer heat and the winter cold, you can take the time to research the best new heating system for your household, work with technicians to size the unit properly, and allow the installers the time to place the system in your house so that it works at its best—and will keep working that way for many years.

Do you have an old furnace in your home? Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive from choosing to install a new one for the winter. Call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to arrange your new heating installation in Broomhall, PA and the surrounding areas, no matter what kind of heater you need.

The benefits of new furnace installation

  • Higher fuel efficiency: The technology behind gas and electric furnaces has advanced significantly during the last 10 years—probably a shorter time than you’ve had your current furnace. Even if your furnace still works near to its original efficiency, a new furnace will have an improved AFUE rating that was almost impossible back when you had the current furnace installed. You can pay about the same for a new furnace as you did for the old (with inflation adjusted) and receive better energy efficiency than before.
  • Increased safety: Older gas-powered furnaces can start to develop corrosion that may lead to carbon monoxide leaks, and eventually repairs will not do much good. New furnaces will not only lack these safety problems from age, but they are manufactured with a larger number of safety features than ever before.
  • More powerful heating: Along with higher efficiency and safer operation, newer furnaces have more heating power than older ones. If your current furnace has encountered trouble beating back the coldest winter weather, then a new furnace is exactly what you need.
  • Fewer breakdown concerns: The last thing you want to happen during an icy winter night is for an aging furnace to finally decide to “give up the ghost.” Regular maintenance and targeted repairs can help stave this off, but if your furnace is at or beyond its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, the chance of it failing when you need it the most will start to rise—and that’s not good for your peace of mind. Starting over with a new furnace will keep you warm and without worry through the winter.

We offer quality heating installation in Broomhall, PA. If you still wish to continue with repairs, we can handle those as well. We are here when you need us!

For furnace professionals who can help you find the right type and size of system to replace your old furnace, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. today.