Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Archive for October, 2014

How Do Humidifiers Improve the Air Quality?

Monday, October 27th, 2014

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.

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How a Water Softener Protects Your Plumbing

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

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!

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3 Common Ductless Heating Repairs

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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.

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What Equipment is Used During Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

Monday, October 13th, 2014

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!

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Finding an Energy Efficient Unit for Heating System Replacement

Monday, October 6th, 2014

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.

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