SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog: Archive for September, 2014

Why You Should Switch To a Natural Gas Boiler

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Boilers can be great heating systems for your home. They heat evenly and maintain good moisture control during the winter months, and have energy efficiency comparable to other systems. But you have a choice of fuel when it comes to your boiler in Cherry Hill: oil or natural gas. And if you have been using oil, you may want to consider converting your system to natural gas. Why? We’ll outline some reasons below, but remember that any boiler installation or replacement services should be handled only by trained technicians. The NATE-certified technicians at SPS Mechanical Inc., can help you convert to your boiler to natural gas – call us today.

Some Benefits of Switching to a Natural Gas Boiler

Here are some benefits of using natural gas instead of oil for your boiler:

  • Versatility – natural gas can be used for a number of appliances in addition to your heating system, such as hot water heaters, dryers and stoves. Oil can only be used for your heating and hot water.
  • Clean burning – with natural gas, there is no soot or odors as there can be with oil.
  • Easier maintenance – because oil heaters tend to get dirtier, they can require more extensive maintenance. As discussed above, gas burns cleanly, which makes maintenance easier and less costly.
  • Convenience – natural gas can be piped into your home, so you never have to worry about running out or managing delivery, as you do with oil.
  • May cost less – traditionally, natural gas costs less than oil, which can save you money each heating season.
  • Better energy efficiency – the AFUE rating of gas boilers averages 89% while the AFUE rating of oil boilers is about 80%. This can be a significant savings for some households.
  • Gas-powered boilers usually cost less – boilers that use gas to heat the water are typically less expensive systems to buy.

Items to Note About Conversion

There are costs associated with converting from oil to natural gas. These costs can involve the removal of an old oil tank and/or the removal of an old oil boiler if you are replacing it. There may be additional costs if your oil tank is buried, as excavation will be necessary to remove it.

If you have been thinking about converting your boiler in Cherry Hill to natural gas, call the experts who can help you with every step of the process: SPS Mechanical Inc.

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How Water Heater Maintenance Extends the Life of Your Unit

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

When your boiler is well cared-for, you may not need to call for repairs for many years. Boilers are known for needing very few repairs and requiring less maintenance than other heating systems, such as furnaces. As long as you schedule annual maintenance with a technician, your unit may last for many years without any problems at all. So when you have problems with your boiler, you may be caught off guard. However, as soon as you notice any problems with your boiler, it’s important to schedule heating repair for your Woodbury home as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common reasons people call for boiler repair and why it’s important to get problems fixed right away.

  • Water Leaks: One of the most common reasons to call for boiler repairs is water leaks. This may happen for any of several reasons, including corrosion, a broken pump valve, or problems with the pressure relief valve. Water loss not only causes reduced heating ability from your system, it also makes your boiler run inefficiently. Water can also damage the construction around the boiler, so it’s important to call for heating repair as soon as the problem is evident. A technician will find the source of the problem and seal the leaks.
  • Kettling: Kettling is a problem that develops in some boilers in homes that have hard water. Lime scale builds up in the tank and may cause a number of problems. If you hear a banging sound, it may mean that lime scale is affecting the heat exchanger. Or, lime scale buildup in the tank changes the pressure. You’ll need a professional technician to de-scale the tank if this is the case.
  • Not Enough Heat: If you don’t feel enough heat or if you feel no heat at all, it could be due to any number of reasons. It may be a thermostat problem, or it could indicate low water levels, mineral buildup, or a broken pump. As any of these problems could be serious, you’ll want the problem solved right away.

Some boiler repairs may be prevented if you schedule boiler maintenance once every year with a trained heating technician. If you need heating repair in Woodbury, call on the friendly, dependable team at SPS Mechanical Inc.

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How Do Professional Plumbers Detect Leaks?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

If you have a noticeable plumbing leak in your home, it’s bound to be an inconvenience. Low water pressure may be irritating when you need to take a quick shower, or you may hear water dripping or notice pools of water gather in your home. But not all water leaks are this obvious, and a bigger problem is that even a small leak may cause major problems for your home and for your plumbing.

Water leaks may drip into a home and damage the walls or floors. This can attract mold or mildew which affect the air quality in your home and threaten your family’s health. Otherwise, water or sewage may flood into your yard or basement or it may back up into the drains. To prevent such problems from occurring, it’s important to call for plumbing repair at the first sign of leaks.

You don’t have to know the exact source of a leak when you call for plumbing repair. Plumbers are equipped with specialized tools to find and repair leaks throughout your system. Here are the ways a plumber may detect leaks in your home.

  • Visual Detection: First, a plumber may simply check visually to find the general area of a leak. Water spots, drips, and moist areas outdoors may all give a plumber some clues, but plumbing equipment is still needed to locate the leak.
  • Video Pipe Inspection: Your plumber may be equipped with a fiber optic camera for leak detection. A small video camera is attached to the end of a cable that is fed through your pipes. A video feed allows the plumber to observe your pipes and spot the exact location of a leak.
  • Listening Equipment: Alternatively, a plumber may use high-quality listening equipment to hear areas where water flow slows down or stops completely.

You may need professional leak detection services even if you do not see any water pooling around your home. Keep an eye out for problems like reduced water pressure, and call a plumber whenever you need to know if leaks are threatening your home and costing you extra on your water bills. When you need professional plumbing repair in West Deptford, call the experts at SPS Mechanical Inc. today!

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The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

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 SPS Mechanical Inc. hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

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