The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by Michael Henderson

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at Wm Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

Video Camera Technology and Drain Repair in Wynnewood

August 27th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

The equipment that plumbers use to clear drains and other repair jobs has come a long way. Professionals still use tried-and-true tools like plungers and wrenches, but technological advances have put power into their hands that allows them to perform jobs faster and better than ever before. One of the greatest advances now in regular use is the video camera inspection equipment, which has made drain repair work much easier and more effective.

Remember that equipment, no matter how advanced, is still only as good as the person who uses it. When you need drain repair in Wynnewood, PA, call up the most experienced team of plumbers you can find. You will be in skilled hands with Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., where we have almost four decades of work with plumbing, heating, and cooling. We have top-level equipment and the people who know how to put it to work for you.

Video camera technology: how it benefits work on drains

The standard video inspection kit consists of a long, flexible fiber optic cable on which a miniaturized video camera and powerful LED light are mounted. Plumbers feed the camera end down into a drain (or other plumbing access point) and send it down into the pipes. The other end of the cable attaches to a monitoring system that allows the plumbers to see in real-time what the camera is observing. The cable is usually long enough to reach all the way from a drain through the full sewer line out to the street: there’s almost no area of the drainage system the plumbers cannot access using the video camera.

The plumbers use the information sent from the video camera for a variety of purposes. If they are seeking for a hidden leak, the camera will show them not only the exact location of the leak, but also its size and what may have caused it. This makes it simple for the plumbers to access the leak with the least amount of disruption to your home’s building material or landscaping possible, and then to fix the leak quickly.

Another way the plumbers can use the video camera’s information is to diagnose drain clogging issues and problems from deposits along the inside of the pipes. Plumbers can see if the pipes are suffering from a build-up of organic material, developing corrosion, or if hard water deposits are interfering with flow. The plumbers will then have a definite idea of the problems they need to address and how to go about fixing them.

Whatever trouble you are experiencing with your plumbing, you can count on the skill of the employees at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to handle it.

Call us, and we will bring the video camera equipment necessary to provide you with the best drain repair in Wynnewood, PA possible.

The Steps of Air Conditioning Maintenance

August 20th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

It’s never too late in the summer season to arrange for regular annual maintenance for your air conditioner. If you didn’t schedule  regular maintenance in the spring or earlier in the summer, you can’t neglect it for a full year: the potential for repair problems and wasteful energy performance is too high. Call for air conditioning maintenance in Havertown, PA right away from a dependable HVAC company.

When you receive AC maintenance from Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., you’ll have NATE-certified technicians with experience and the best training available working to see that your cooling system works at peak proficiency. Contact us today and schedule your end of summer maintenance visit. (It’s also an ideal time to arrange for heating maintenance before the cold weather arrives.)

What happens during air conditioning maintenance

Although no two maintenance sessions will go exactly the same, depending on what the technician discovers, there are a few basic steps that you can expect:

  • Thermostat check and calibration: Technicians often look over the thermostat first, to see if it is working correctly. They will recalibrate it if necessary.
  • Check refrigerant level: The refrigerant inside an AC should remain at the same level (“charge”). If technicians see the charge has dropped, they will know to look for leaks. They will also recharge the refrigerant to its proper level.
  • Check airflow: The technicians will measure the airflow from the vents to see if the air conditioner is producing the right level.
  • Inspect and adjust electrical connections: The most common type of repairs that ACs need are for electrical problems. Technicians will look over the electrical components and do any necessary tightening to see that the system is running its best.
  • Check motors: The motors should be dirt-free and have the proper level of lubrication so there’s no extra stress on them.
  • Clean the coils: To make sure that the evaporator and condenser coils can properly absorb and release heat, technicians will remove both coils and clean them.
  • Clean the outdoor unit: This will help prevent interference with the inside the condenser due to dust, dirt, and debris.
  • Check and clean condensate pan: The technicians will remove the condensate pan and clean it, and look to see that the condensate drain is clear.
  • Advice: Before leaving, the technician will give you any advice that will help you get the most from the air conditioner based on the maintenance session. You’ll know if you need any repairs and if the system still has a long lifespan ahead of it, as well as what you can do to receive the most efficient operation.

Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. has 37 years of experience with air conditioning maintenance in Havertown, PA. Call our staff today to arrange for that all-important maintenance session.

How Does Ductless Air Conditioning Cool a Home?

August 18th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Ductless air conditioning has become a popular choice among homeowners, as it offers some benefits you may not get with a traditional split system. Ductless ACs can seem somewhat mysterious, as most air conditioning has traditionally been delivered via ductwork. The truth is that cooling your home with ductless air conditioning in Broomall is quite straightforward; in fact, the only major difference is how the cool air gets into your home. Here’s an explanation courtesy, of our Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., technicians about how a ductless AC system cools a home.

How a Ductless System Works

With a traditional split-system air conditioner, there are two main units: an outdoor one that holds the compressor, condenser and condenser coils, and an indoor one that houses the evaporator unit. With a ductless system, there is an outdoor condenser unit very similar to a traditional system, but instead of an indoor evaporator unit and ductwork, there are individual indoor blowers.

A ductless system uses refrigerant just like a ducted system does, and a conduit between an indoor blower and the outdoor unit holds the refrigerant line, in addition to a power line and a drainage line. Refrigerant works the same in a ductless system as a ducted one, except that it is delivered directly to the blower. Coils inside the blowers are chilled by the refrigerant, and a small fan inside the blower pulls the warm air from your room over the coils. The coils absorb the heat from the indoor air, which results in cool air rising from them; this cool air is then blown into your room.

An outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers, and blowers can be mounted flush against walls and hung from ceilings; they just need to be connected to the outdoor unit via an exterior wall.

Is a Ductless Air Conditioner for You?

At Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. we have helped customers with air conditioner installation since 1997, call us and schedule an appointment today.

What Does SEER Mean?

August 11th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

One of the key specifications you need to know to understand how an air conditioning system or heat pump works is SEER. This acronym is prominently displayed on the cabinet of ACs and heat pumps, and is connected to whether a particular unit qualifies for the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Although it is helpful to know what SEER means and why it’s important for a cooling system’s performance, it is only one of a number of important specs. Whether you need installation, repairs, or maintenance for your air conditioning in Wayne, PA, only rely on professionals for the work… don’t attempt it yourself. For fast and thorough service, call on the company with 37 years of experience delivering comfort to homes: Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

The meaning of SEER

The letters of SEER stand for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio.” It is a measure of how efficiently an air conditioning unit (or a heat pump in cooling mode) converts electrical power into cooling power. The higher the SEER number, the less electricity the system will use to provide cooling.

The ratio is determined by dividing the amount of cooling power a unit provides (measured in BTUs, British Thermal Units) divided by the energy consumed in watt-hours. This is not measured over a single test, but over a whole season, so a homeowner has a good idea of how much energy a system will use during a summer.

Air conditioners tend to fall in a range of 12–22 SEER. In order for a system to receive the ENERGY STAR label, it must have a SEER of at least 14.5. Special high-velocity systems can have SEER in the low 20s.

Heat pumps have a second efficiency rating to go along with SEER: “heating seasonal performance factor” or HSPF. This measures how efficienct the system is at heating, and is determined in the same way as SEER. In general, HSPF is lower than SEER for a given system.

The importance of SEER

The more efficient a system is at converting electrical power into cooling, the less the system will cost to run per year. However, this does not mean that you should choose the highest SEER system possible; higher SEER usually costs more upfront for installation, and SEER is not a guarantee of cooling quality, only efficiency. You need to balance SEER with other considerations to get the best all-around performance.

Also keep in mind that an AC that does not receive regular maintenance will begin to lose efficiency. A 20 SEER air conditioner will become a 15 SEER unit after only four years without maintenance. Make sure you take the best care of your air conditioner so that it lives up to its SEER.

For all the assistance you need for top performance from your air conditioning in Wayne, PA, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Some Important Commercial Plumbing Services

August 4th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

If your business uses water in any capacity, whether for a restroom or as part of a food service company, the quality of the plumbing is crucial for safe and effective daily operations. It is especially important for you to keep up with professional plumbing services if you operate a kitchen or restaurant, since you can face problems with health codes because of water line and drainage issues.

Keeping up to code is one of many reasons that you need to rely on professionals familiar with commercial plumbing in Ardmore, PA whenever you require plumbing work. For a contractor with experience you can trust, look to Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. We are now in our 37th year of service to the community with high quality comfort, convenience, and savings.

The three important commercial plumbing services

  • Installation: If you are constructing a new company building, or if you have moved into a new building with insufficient plumbing for your needs, you will have to contact plumbers with commercial backgrounds to install new plumbing. You can also call for installation service during remodeling, or for important business upgrades. One of the best ideas for upgrading a building’s plumbing is with low-flow fixtures, or replacing older steel pipes with copper and plastic ones. You will also need to rely on plumbing installation to replace old water and sewer lines, which are essential for keeping your business up to code.
  • Repairs: The daily routines at your work will place a great deal of stress on the plumbing system, and sooner or later you will need to call for repairs to fix a pipe leak, a clogged sink, or a sudden drop in water pressure. Commercial plumbing is complicated, and it requires experts to deduce the cause of problems and fix them. Highly skilled plumbers will not only make the correct repairs, but they will assist with helping to prevent them from re-occurring.
  • Maintenance: The best way to avoid requiring repair service in the first place is to schedule regular maintenance for your commercial plumbing. These visits can consist of thorough drain cleaning to prevent clogs, checks on the integrity of piping to see if there is hidden leaking, and a water heater tune-up. Call a commercial plumbing service to schedule a maintenance session and to learn how frequently your business should have maintenance in the future.

Take your company’s plumbing seriously

Don’t expect the running water and plumbing fixtures in your business will always work when you need them to, and keep in mind how important it is that plumbing remains in good shape.

Call for professionals who handle commercial plumbing in Ardmore, PA, like those at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., to take care of your plumbing: installations, repairs, maintenance.

3 Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning Maintenance

July 28th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Maintenance on air conditioning systems is important and has benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. When it comes to your ductless air conditioning in Havertown, scheduling maintenance is just as important as with any other type of air conditioning system. WM Henderson Plumbing & Heating has been serving the Havertown community since 1977, offering many air conditioning services, including maintenance. Here are a few benefits of scheduling air conditioning maintenance on your ductless AC:

  • Lower repair costs – during a regular maintenance appointment, your air conditioner and its components are thoroughly inspected, cleaned and adjusted. Maintenance provides the opportunity to tune-up your air conditioner and detect small problems before they can become big – and possibly costly – ones.
  • Better energy efficiency – dirt, dust and debris can create several problems in your air conditioner, but they all lead to one result: poor performance. Anything that stresses your air conditioner forces it to work harder, resulting in more power usage. During maintenance, dirty components such as filters and coils are cleaned, parts are lubricated and fan belts are checked for wear, all things that help make your AC run optimally.
  • Extended equipment life – when your air conditioner’s parts and components are regularly serviced, cleaned, adjusted and/or replaced as needed, your air conditioner suffers less wear-and-tear. This helps to extend its life and operating ability because your air conditioner isn’t running under stressful conditions, which can lead to premature aging.

Maintenance Steps

Following is a general overview of what your technician will do during a routine maintenance appointment on your ductless air conditioner:

  • Check all operating pressures and refrigerant
  • Test safety controls
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Check voltages and amperages
  • Test thermostats
  • Cleaning of condenser unit
  • Inspect coils, blowers & filters
  • Lubricate all necessary parts
  • Replace customer supply filter
  • Check fan operating control

Maintenance is important for energy efficiency, reducing the incidence of repairs and for the life of your air conditioner.

Call WM Henderson Plumbing & Heating, Inc., today and schedule a maintenance session for your ductless air conditioning in Havertown.

Tools Professionals Use to Clean Drains

July 21st, 2014 by Michael Henderson

When it comes to the arsenal of tools that licensed plumbers use to clean drains, there is one tool you won’t find: liquid chemical drain cleaner. The bottles of chemicals advertised as “drain cleaners” on the shelves of grocery and drug stores are almost the worst thing you could pour down a drain aside from liquid fat, grease, and oil. The acidic action of these cleaners can damage pipes and cause corrosion, ruin fixtures and porcelain, and harm you if any of it gets on your skin or in your eyes.

Here are some the tools that you are more likely to find your plumber using when he or she comes to your home in Broomall, PA for drain cleaning.

This is the drain cleaning equipment that we favor at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.; we have learned from 37 years in the plumbing business what works best.

Drain augers (drain snakes)

The standard tool plumbers use to clean a drain when the trouble is a major clog blocking the pipe is the motorized drain auger, also known by the more colorful moniker of “drain snake.” An auger consists of a long, flexible coil of metal that works similar to a corkscrew. The end of the auger goes down the drain until it reaches the clog; then the plumber activates the motor, which forces the ends of the coil to drill down into the clog. The plumber can then either pull the clog out or break it apart. There are manual hand-cranked drain augers as well, but they are much less effective at cleaning out drains than the motorized versions.

Hydro-jetters

Hydro-jetting equipment will not only break through almost any clog, they also provide comprehensive cleaning of the inside of drains to eliminate grease, soap scum, and mineral deposits so the drain works more effectively. A hydro-jetter blasts out high-pressure, high-temperature streams of water along the interior of drainpipes. This job requires special training and protective gear because of the potential danger from the powerful water streams, so you must leave this to professionals to perform.

Video inspection equipment

Miniaturized video cameras mounted on long fiber-optic cable will not clean your drains or smash through clogs… but they can be essential part of finding out not only where drains need cleaning, but how best to take care of that cleaning. Thanks to the images that the cameras send back to video monitors from inside the pipes, plumbers will have much better ideas for how to attack dirty and blocked drains, saving time and doing a more effective job. That is why video pipe inspection is a worth while endeavor when it comes to drain cleaning.

Your plumber won’t show up with chemical drain cleaners, so you shouldn’t try to use chemical drain cleaners either. If you call up a reliable and experienced company in Broomall, PA for drain cleaning services—a company like Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.—you will have the finest equipment put to work to unblock and cleanse your drains.

Does Trenchless Technology Really Involve No Digging?

July 21st, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Trenchless technology originally developed in civil engineering as a way do to “lateral” digging to place pipes without needing to use large digging equipment to tear down through the ground to create trenches.

Trenchless technology is now available in the private sector for homeowners who wish to avoid the expense, time, and general unappealing look of ripping open lawns and gardens to replace sewer lines and water lines.

Trenchless pipe replacement and repairs are often called “No Dig” technology, which some people find hard to believe: “How can you replace pipes buried in the ground without digging?” The truth is that there is some digging involved… but that still shouldn’t stop you from choosing trenchless technology, PA over standard digging work, as we will explain.

We will keep your home looking beautiful while we rapidly replace your old sewer or water line.

Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. is proud to offer the fast and clean work of trenchless pipe replacement in Ardmore, PA. Call us today to learn more. 

The “digging” part of trenchless technology

If you’ve ever seen the standard method of sewer and water line replacement in action, you know what a mess it can be: heavy digging equipment rips out long stretches of lawn from the sidewalk all the way to the edge of the house.

By comparison, the amount of digging necessary for trenchless pipe replacement is miniscule: it usually only requires a single small hole, located near the sidewalk. The technicians dig down to reach the end of the old pipe at the point where it connects to the municipal system. They disconnect the pipe and attach a hydraulic machine to it, which then pulls into place an interior pipe liner inserted through the other end of the pipe from inside the house. Once this liner is in position, a “pipe burster” drills from one end of the liner to the other, expanding the liner outward so that it shatters the old pipe. The liner now becomes the new pipe, and the technicians connect it to municipal system. They then need to fill in only this one hole and re-landscape it to restore the yard to what it was before.

The process is not only tidy, but fast. Standard digging technology can require a few days to complete. Trenchless replacement needs only a few hours. And this means also means it costs less.

Not every plumbing company carries the machinery needed to perform trenchless pipe replacement in Ardmore, PA. Make sure you call one that can, like Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., whenever you need extensive work done for your sewer line or water main.

Benefits to Installing UV Germicidal Lights

July 14th, 2014 by Michael Henderson

Numerous pollutants can enter the ventilation system in your house and blow through your indoor air: dust, dirt, pollen, dander from pets, dust mites, and various types of chemicals like carbon monoxide and pesticides. One of the most worrying contaminants when it comes to your health is the toxic spores that can come from mold and fungi that often take root inside ductwork. These biological pollutants do not respond to many standard duct cleaning methods, and using chemical fungicides against them will place those toxic chemicals into your air… hardly much of a solution.

However, there is an effective method of remedying the growth of bacterial contaminants inside your ventilation system: UV germicidal lights. Here are reasons we think you should look into installing UV germicidal lights in Wynnewood, PA for your home’s ventilation system when you have trouble with bacterial growths.

Contact our indoor air quality specialists at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to find out more about how we can help you keep your vents clean of contamination.

Here is how installing UV germicidal lights benefits you

Professionals fit UV lights into your existing HVAC forced-air system to bathe all the air that passes through the ductwork with short wavelength ultraviolet radiation. This radiation affects cellular organisms by stripping away their nuclei, killing bacteria and preventing it from reproducing. The advantage of this system is that the radiation isn’t dependent on a filter to take care of preventing the spread of bacteria and spores, which are too small for regular mechanical filters to catch. The spread of UV radiation works on all the bacteria that tries to pass through it and eliminates it, no matter the size.

Another advantage of UV lights is that they are safe for your air and household. The use of lights means there are no chemicals placed inside the ducts that will end up entering your home. UV lights leave your air clean of bacterial infections without adding anything to the air. The lights are also positioned so the UV wavelengths will not endanger anyone inside the living spaces.

UV lights are simple for technicians to install and to maintain, and do not require any extensive re-working or re-design of your current ductwork. They will need occasional maintenance and bulb replacement, so make this a part of the routine inspections done on your ventilation system and air conditioner and heater.

Keep in mind that UV lights kill off living organisms inside your ductwork, and will not filter out dust and dirt contamination. You will also need to have a filtration system involved in conjunction with the UV lights to receive a thorough cleaning of your ventilation system.

Contact Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc. to talk to our indoor air quality technicians to find out the best way to combine a filtration system and UV germicidal lights in Wynnewood, PA.