SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Cherry Hill’

How Often Is Duct Cleaning Necessary?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Sadly, if you asked most homeowners this question they’d likely respond “never.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Ducts are very vulnerable to a number of different problems that can and will occur without proper cleaning at least once every two or three years. Let’s examine those problems that can affect your ducts, and how duct cleaning can solve for them.

Airborne Pollutants

The air inside your home is actually full of microscopic particles. Not all of these particulates are harmful, but there are more than a few varieties that can be. Dust and pollen, along with insect dander, are lung irritants that can set off allergy attacks in people. Also common are several forms of viruses and bacteria, which can infect and sicken people who are exposed to them. Mold spores are also present fairly often, which can cause illness. These pollutants have an ideal habitat inside your ducts, as they are dark and often undisturbed by the occupants of the house. They build up over time until your heater or air conditioning system is turned on, at which point all those pollutants are blown out of the vents and circulated throughout your house.

Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is conducted to remove these airborne pollutants from your home, to increase your indoor air quality. Depending on the type of ducts, the HVAC technician can either suck the debris out of them with a special vacuum or brush them out with a set of brushes. Once the ducts are sufficiently cleaned, a chemical solution is occasionally applied to kill off any remaining germs or other biological contaminants.

Duct cleaning is often paired with duct sealing, to make sure that the ducts are both clear and properly insulated. The average forced air heating system loses about 30% of its heat to leaks in the ductwork, so it’s quite important to seal any leaks that are found during the cleaning process.

If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a few years, schedule an appointment today with SPS Mechanical Inc. and let us take care of it. We provide professional duct cleaning services throughout the Cherry Hill area.

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How Geothermal Heating Helps You Save Money

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Geothermal systems have been around since the 1940s, but with advances in technology and products, geothermal systems have become a solid heating and cooling system option for homeowners. Geothermal systems are one of the environmentally-friendly heating systems around, and they can offer your home a number of long-term benefits – but you may not gain the benefits the system has to offer if you don’t use trained professionals for installation. Geothermal systems have a very specific layout and design, and it takes knowledge and expertise to install them correctly. The NATE-certified technicians at SPS Mechanical, Inc. have the training and expertise to perform a geothermal heating installation properly, so call us today!

How A Geothermal System Heats

Geothermal systems use the steady temperature of the ground just beneath the frost line to heat your home. The temperature of the ground below the frost line stays between 55-61 degrees all year long. A geothermal system harnesses this heat energy via the ground loop, transfers it to the ground-source heat pump where the heat is concentrated, and then disperses it into your home. The heat is delivered in a continuous, low-volume way, so it is gradual and comfortable.

How Can a Geothermal System Save Money?

There are a few ways in which geothermal systems can help save you money:

  • No fossil fuels – if you’ve had a heating system that uses fossil fuels to generate heat, you know how much money winters can cost you. The heat pump for a geothermal system uses electricity, eliminating the need for fossil fuels.
  • Long lifespan – according to Energy.gov, geothermal systems have very long lifespans: the ground loop lasts up to 50 years and the heat pump last up to 25 years. With lifespans this long, you won’t have to worry about the cost of a replacement for a long time.
  • Very energy efficient – the amount of energy a ground-source heat pump uses is about a quarter of that of a whole-home air conditioning system. This makes them very energy efficient which will be reflected in your monthly energy bills.

Geothermal systems are sustainable, comfortable and energy efficient. To see if geothermal heating in Cherry Hill is a good fit for your home, call SPS Mechanical, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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How Heat Pumps Provide Warmth for the Winter

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Heat pumps are great devices, providing both heating and cooling for your home. However, understanding how they work can be a bit confusing. These systems can offer your home several benefits, including the ability to both heat and cool your home. Professional heat pump installation is a must when it comes to heat pumps as they are complex devices and require expert knowledge and experience. SPS Mechanical Inc., has been installing heating systems since 1987, and our technicians have the expertise needed for any heating system you may have. If you are ready for a new heating system, call us today.

How a Heat Pump Works

Heat pumps, with the help of refrigerant, transfer heat from one location to another. In the summer months, the refrigerant in the heat pump absorbs the heat from the inside of your home and transfers it outside; during the winter, the refrigerant in the heat pump absorbs the heat surrounding it, concentrates it in the heat exchanger, and distributes it into your home. Heat pumps use a small amount of electricity to do this and no fossil fuels at all.

The reason heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling is due to a component called a reversing valve. This valve allows the heat pump to change the direction of the refrigerant flow, which allows the device to both heat and cool your home.

Benefits of a Heat Pump System

  • High energy efficiency – as stated above, a heat pump only needs a small amount of electricity to operate – approximately 25% of what a whole-home air conditioner uses.
  • Comfortable heating and cooling – a heat pump provides air on in a low volume, continuous flow, which can feel very comfortable to some people.
  • Long lifespan of equipment – the average lifespan for a heat pump averages 20-25 years. When compared to the lifespans of an air conditioner, which is 10-12 years, and a gas furnace, which is 15-20 years, you can see a fairly significant difference.

If you’ve wanted the convenience of a 2-in-1 device, a heat pump in Cherry Hill, NJ may be just what you’ve been looking for. Call SPS Mechanical Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our heat pump installation experts.

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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 Professionals Perform Duct Cleaning

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

In order for your air conditioning and forced-air heating system to work their best, they need to have clean “lungs,” i.e. air ducts. Even a thin layer of dust along the inside of ductwork can create friction against the movement of air that will cause your comfort system to start to work harder. This increased strain will lead to higher utility bills and greater wear and tear. Your ducts will probably need cleaning every other year, although sometimes more frequently depending on how much contamination enters the ductwork.

To clean ducts requires the work of specialists with professional-grade equipment. You cannot do the work on your own using a vacuum with a long hose. Call a company like SPS Mechanical Inc. to handle this job. We will not only take care of your duct cleaning in Cherry Hill, NJ, we can perform duct testing and inspections to see that your ducts aren’t suffering from leaks or defects that will increase the contamination inside them.

The Professional Method of Duct Cleaning

The way that trained duct cleaners do their job is through the use of power vacuums and agitation equipment. Sometimes, they will also use non-toxic sanitizers and deodorizers.

The main part of duct cleaning involves changing the pressure throughout the ventilation system. The technicians seal off all the vents in the house, then attach a large power vacuum to the duct that exits from the indoor air conditioner/heater cabinet. The vacuum places the ventilation under “negative pressure” that causes the pollutants like dust, dander, dirt, and other debris to loosen from the ductwork walls, making them easier for the vacuum to suction up.

To attack dirt in specific areas, the duct cleaners will open up the registers and insert long vacuum hoses with rotary brushes attached. The action of these brushes dislodges particles from the duct walls without damaging the ductwork material and allows for easy removal.

Once the technicians have finished a thorough cleaning (which should take only a few hours and offer minimal disruption to your daily activities), they will reconnect the heater and air conditioner and reactivate the HVAC system.

Duct Cleaning is Beneficial for Household Health As Well

The cleaning job described above will not only help you maintain an efficient air conditioner and heater, but it will improve the indoor air quality of your home. Duct cleaning eliminates many particles that will trigger asthma and allergy attacks. If you live in a home with people who suffer from asthma and allergies, you need to make duct cleaning an important regular (probably annual) service. Significant contamination build-up will also begin to affect people without health conditions, and lead to a generally unpleasant environment.

SPS Mechanical Inc. offers top-quality duct cleaning service in Cherry Hill, NJ to see that you have a healthy HVAC system and healthy indoor air. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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3 Most Common Plumbing Problems in Cherry Hill

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Considering the extent of the plumbing systems in modern homes and the number of precision appliances attached to them, it’s surprising that they don’t malfunction more often. It’s a great credit to modern engineering that plumbing is so durable.

But durable is not the same thing as invulnerable: eventually, you will require repairs for your plumbing in Cherry Hill, NJ that will need experienced plumbers on the job. When you run into any of the 3 common troubles below, or anything else wrong with your home’s plumbing, call on SPS Mechanical Inc. We have expert plumbers ready 24 hours a day to bring you comfort at your service.

  1. Pipes leaking: Pipes can start leaking for a number of reasons, ranging from corrosion due to age (common in many homes built pre-1970) to spikes in water pressure from hard water deposits or build-up of organic material along the pipe interior. Regardless of what causes pipes to begin leaking, the leaks need to be fixed as soon as possible before the water loss causes extensive damage to building material a triggers further leaks. For leak repair, you will need professional plumbers trained in leak detection methods and armed with special leak locating equipment.
  2. Drains clogging: This is perhaps the most common and annoying of all plumbing issues. Drain clogs are sometimes reparable using the power of a basic sink plunger, but if this doesn’t work, you shouldn’t reach for the chemical drain cleaners on the grocery store shelf. The toxic and acidic nature of these chemicals makes them terrible for your pipes, your family, and you. Instead, call on plumbers to use drain snakes and hydro-jetters to remove the bothersome clogs in your plumbing safely and effectively.
  3. Water heaters failing: You depend on the hot water from your water heater much more than you realize. Water heaters aren’t invincible devices, and you might one day face a plunge in your hot water supply due to a malfunctioning water heater. Whether it’s an influx of rust, a broken dip tube, a faulty circulator pump, or failing burner, a plumber will get to the bottom of the issue in your water heater and get it working again.

These are only three of the more common repair issues that we at SPS Mechanical Inc. take care of on a regular basis. No matter the size of the repair you need done for your plumbing in Cherry Hill, NJ, you can count on our experienced team to perform it fast and right the first time. You can also give us a call for preventive maintenance on your plumbing that will help you avoid repair calls in the future.

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Reasons Your Water Heater Isn’t Giving You Hot Water

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

It is difficult to imagine a time in the U.S. before running hot water. We only think about it when we see movies or television shows where people need to heat up large tubs of water with coal stoves or wood fires in order to take a bath. Hot water coming through our taps with only a turn of a handle is a luxury that we’d have a hard time living without.

But this daily necessity could disappear if your hot water heater malfunctions. One morning, you turn on the shower and find that no matter how long you wait, the water never warms up. When this happens, you’ll need trained water heater specialists to find out the trouble and fix it. With SPS Mechanical Inc., you can call for help with your water heater in Cherry Hill, NJ any time of the day or night thanks to our 24-hour emergency service.

Possible causes for loss of hot water from your water heater

  • Failed heating elements: If you have an electric water heater, failure of the heating elements inside the tank will lead to a loss of warm water. If you notice a drop in heating, don’t ignore it: it probably means one of the elements has burned out, and if the second also fails, you’ll only have cold water left. The heating elements can also lose their power because of a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse, so check the fuse box.
  • Burner or pilot failure: For a gas-powered heater, a burner unit below the tank contains the gas jets that ignite to transfer heat to the water in the tank. If the burner becomes dirty or corroded, it will struggle to draw oxygen to ignite, and eventually the jets won’t come on at all and the water in the tank won’t heat up. Failure of the standing pilot light or the electric ignition system will also mean the burner cannot ignite.
  • Faulty gas control valve: If the gas control valve malfunctions, it will cut off the gas supply to the burner, and no heat will be created.

Watch out for lowered heat as well

Your water heater can continue to provide you with warm water even when it’s malfunctioning, but the water will not be as hot. Pay attention to lukewarm water and don’t let it go, hoping that it will get better. It probably won’t and you may end up losing the water heater altogether.

Professionals experienced in heating and plumbing will need to assist you when you have trouble with your water heater in Cherry Hill, NJ. When you call on SPS Mechanical Inc., our technicians will arrive with a van filled with replacement parts so they can provide the fastest possible repairs to restore your hot water.

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Pipe Material Options for Repiping

Monday, February 17th, 2014

For many decades, the most popular material for plumbing in both residential and commercial buildings was galvanized steel. Steel is durable and effective, and it was crucial for the revolution in indoor plumbing for homes. But it is now considered a less than ideal material because of its tendency to corrode over time. Modern plumbing has moved on to different materials for pipes, and in this post we will look over the most common types.

Whether you live in an older home that still has steel pipes, or if you have more modern materials, at some point you will need repiping services to keep your plumbing system working. For quality repiping and plumbing repair in Cherry Hill, NJ, look to SPS Mechanical Inc. You can consult with us regarding your best options for new pipe material.

Modern Pipe Replacement Materials:

  • Copper: This was the first material to take the place of galvanized steel, and it is still very common. Copper is rigid and durable, won’t sag when stretched over a long space without supports, and is lightweight. Most important, copper is resistant to corrosion and lasts much longer than steel.
  • CPVC: This is an abbreviation for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. CPVC is a common type of plastic pipe that has become a popular option to replace copper. Like other plastic piping, it is flexible and easy to fit into any area of a house. Its main advantage over earlier PVC pipes is its increased heat resistance
  • PEX: The most recent innovation in plastic piping, PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is rapidly becoming the top choice for many plumbers. It costs less than copper, doesn’t require glue for connections like CPVC does, comes in colors to assist in clarifying plumbing systems for repairs, and has a life expectancy of 50 years.

When you need repiping in your home, it isn’t an all-or-nothing situation. Plumbers can use a variety of different pipe materials, depending on your specific needs. If you hire a plumbing contractor with skill and experience, you can feel secure that you will end up with the right pipe material to make your plumbing as trouble-free as possible.

Call SPS Mechanical Inc. today to talk about the repiping possibilities for your home. We take pride in our plumbing repair services in Cherry Hill, NJ.

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Are You Still Using Oil to Heat Your Home?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Oil has served many homes for decades as a source of heating during the cold months. However, with the prices of fuel today, oil is increasingly a less desirable option. If you still have an oil-burning boiler or furnace, you should consider freeing yourself from the grind of getting the tank filled up and paying unnecessarily high bills for fuel and instead switch over to natural gas. It’s not so arduous a process as you might think; if you hire experts with oil-to-gas conversion process, the job will go quickly and without mishaps. In no time you’ll enjoy the many benefits of natural gas.

At SPS Mechanical, we specialize in performing oil-to-gas conversions. Contact us for excellence in Cherry Hill, NJ heating services.

Here are a few reasons you should consider ending you oil dependence switch to natural gas:

No more running out of oil

If you’ve ever experienced a time when your oil tank runs dry on a frigid day when need it the most, then you know how inconvenient having a limited fuel supply is. Natural gas comes right to your home through pipes; you won’t run out, and you won’t have to wait for delivery.

Improved efficiency

Here’s a fact that should open your eyes: In 2011, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that the average U.S. homeowner paid $732 to heat their homes with gas during the winter. Homeowners using oil paid $2,535. The reason for this difference is that oil does not burn as completely as natural gas, leading to larger waste. You can expect high savings on your yearly energy bill with gas power.

It’s domestically produced

If you’re interested in reducing the U.S. reliance on foreign oil, then you should consider natural gas because it is a domestic product.

Tax rebate

To encourage homeowners to shift from oil to natural gas, some utility companies offer rebates to people who make the change. These rebates can be as high as $400, which adds onto the savings you’ll receive from natural gas’ higher efficiency.

The benefits of using natural gas over oil will more than offset the price you pay for the conversion. The energy savings will start appearing immediately, on your very next power bill. Don’t hesitate: there’s no reason to stay with oil when you only have to make a phone call to SPS Mechanical to start the conversion process. We can bring you better, more efficient heating in Cherry Hill, NJ. Schedule an appointment today so we can assess how best to bring natural gas power to your home.

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Ask a Plumber in Cherry Hill: Why is the Water in My Toilet Bowl Low?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Indoor toilets operate on a refill system, which first flushes the water away and then replaces it with new water. When you pull the flush lever, a flush valve in the toilet lets water back into the bowl, which pushes the water level over the trap way. This starts the suction process, which pulls the waste water out of your home through the pipe connected to your toilet. The water then refills thanks to a trio of components in your toilet:  a refill tube connecting the fill valve to the overflow tube. The overflow tube refills the water in your tank, sent through the refill tube and elevating your water levels to their accustomed spot. If one of those component is damaged or misaligned, it will create low levels of water in your toilet.  If the refill tube shifts or is disconnected, the water won’t flow into the overflow tube and the water in the bowl won’t get refilled.

The same thing can happen if the sewer line itself gets clogged. In that case, the water keeps flowing out, even after the overflow pipe has filled the bowl with water.

In either case, you’ll need to make adjustments in order to restore normal water levels to your toilet. The easiest case is if the refill tube has been knocked loose. You can check your toilet bowl to see; it should be a fairly simple task to replace it. Beyond, that, however, you will probably need to call in a professional, who can either replace the overflow mechanism in your toilet or unclog the pipe that’s leading to the back-up.

If you’re looking for a plumber in Cherry Hill, the professionals at SPS Mechanical Inc. are ready to help. We can answer the question “what is the water in my toilet bowl low?” then conduct repairs in a thorough and efficient manner. We’re standing by to help, so pick up the phone and give us a call today.

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