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

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at WM Henderson Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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How to Find an Efficient Gas Furnace for New Installation

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Today’s furnaces are very energy efficient, but how can you know how energy efficient a system really is? With the help of specific rating and the assistance of a trained professional, you can be assured of installing a gas furnace in Havertown that will have the energy efficiency you want for your home. The trained technicians at Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., bring almost 40 years of heating experience to every job they perform, so if you are ready for a new gas furnace installation, call us today!

AFUE and Why It’s Important

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it is a measure of a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. A gas furnace’s AFUE rating will appear on the outside packaging in the “Energyguide” sticker. For example, a specific furnace’s AFUE may be 89%. This means that for every 100 units of natural gas, 89% of that gas goes into heating your home; the other 11% will turn into exhaust fumes that exit your home via the flue. Gas furnaces can have energy efficiency ratings as high as 98%, but keep in mind that the more energy efficient a unit is, the more it will cost to purchase.

ENERGY STAR

The ENERGY STAR rating is a blue label that specifically designates a product as being energy efficient. To earn ENERGY STAR rating, a product must be at least 10% more energy efficient than the current required minimum federal standards.

Understanding What Energy Efficiency Means

Sometimes there can be some confusion as to what energy efficiency means. To clarify, a new gas furnace that is more energy efficient than another new unit doesn’t mean the more efficient unit heats  your home better; both units will heat equally (given they are the same size). What energy efficiency means is that the more energy efficient unit will heat your home the same as the less efficient one, but will do it using less energy. As such, the more energy efficient unit will heat your home for less money.

If you need assistance with your gas furnace installation in Havertown, call Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Is a Ductless Mini-Split Sufficient for Heating?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Heat pumps are very versatile devices. Not only do they offer both heating and cooling, they can operate with several types of systems, including ductless systems. However, there can be some question as to whether or not a heat pump can sufficiently heat your home during the winter months. We’ll explain more about this below, but for any heating needs you may have, including the installation of a ductless mini-split heating system in Springfield, call the people with over 37 years of experience: Wm. Henderson Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Heating with a Heat Pump

Heat pumps work by transferring heat from one location to another. During the winter months, the heat pump absorbs the heat in the surrounding air, concentrates it, and distributes it to your living spaces. The issue that can develop when the air temperature drops below freezing is this: the amount of available heat in the air starts to diminish, which can force the heat pump to work harder and cause a challenge to properly heat your home. However, a heat pump system can be supplemented by another type of heating system. As such, if you are concerned about a heat pump’s ability to adequately heat your home during the winter months, you can arrange to have a back-up system for those very cold days.

Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Here are few of the benefits a mini-split system can offer you:

  • Energy efficiency – there are two way a ductless system is very energy efficient: first, heat pumps use only a small amount of electricity to operate and no fossil fuels; second, the individual indoor blowers allow for customized heating, which can help reduce the amount of heating you use.
  • Long lifespan – the average lifespan for a heat pump is 20-25 years as compared to that of a combustion heating system, which is 15-20 years.
  • Easily installed – a ductless system has an outdoor unit that holds the compressor and condenser and indoor blowers. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers. The blowers are connected to the outdoor unit via a small conduit drilled into an exterior wall. Blowers can be mounted flush against walls or hand from ceilings; all they need is to be connected to the outdoor unit.

So is a heat pump sufficient for heating? It most certainly is!

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

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Repair Needs Caused by a Clogged Furnace Filter

Monday, November 10th, 2014

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.

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How Can I Prevent Sewer Line Repair or Replacement?

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

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.

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