SPS Mechanical Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Woodbury’

Why Radiant Floor Heating May Be Your Best Choice for Winter Comfort

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Imagine not having to wear slippers, socks or shoes on your floor during the winter because they are nice and warmed up from your home’s radiant heating system.

This is just one of the benefits a radiant floor heating system can offer you. As with other heating systems, there are some choices to be made in regard to radiant heating in Woodbury, and one of the best ways to determine what options are best for you and your home is to work with a trained professional. The experts at SPS Mechanical, Inc., have been installing multiple types of heating systems since 1987, and we bring our expertise and experience to every job we do. If you are ready for a new heating system, call us today!

Two Types

When it comes to radiant floor heating, you have two choices: electric or hydronic. Each can heat your home effectively, but each delivers heating differently.


Electric radiant floor heating uses electric cables to generate heat. The cables can be embedded in wet cement to create a radiant slab (known as a “wet installation”), laid out in a serpentine pattern directly onto sub-flooring, or be part of a mat which has electrically-conductive plastic. Heat is generated when the cables are electrified, and the floor acts as a radiant slab that heats your home.


A hydronic radiant floor system uses hot water or steam to heat your home, so with this type of system it is necessary to have a boiler. Hydronic radiant heating systems use flexible, durable PEX tubing to distribute the hot water or steam that is generated by the boiler. These tubes can be installed directly onto subflooring or installed via a wet installation. The hot water or steam flows through the tubing and when the water cools, it returns to the boiler for the next heating cycle.

Why Is Radiant Floor Heating a Good Choice?

  • Good for allergy sufferers – with a radiant heating system, there is no swirling dust from forced hot air, which is great for allergy sufferers.
  • Gentle, comfortable heat – the heat from a radiant system heats objects, not the air, so the quality of the heat is comfortable.
  • Quiet system – other than the short time the boiler operates (if you have a hydronic system), a radiant heating system is very quiet.

If a radiant heating system seems like a good fit for your home, call SPS Mechanical, Inc., today!

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Things to Consider for New Furnace Installation

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Installing a new furnace is a great opportunity to increase your comfort, as well as the energy efficiency and reliability of your hating system. With so many types of systems and fuels to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to deciding upon a new heating installation in Woodbury. There are some initial steps to take before choosing a new heating system, and we’ll outline a couple of these below. It’s important to remember that trained professionals aren’t just available for help with your installation; they also have expertise that can help you choose an excellent heating system for your home. For over 20 years, SPS Mechanical Inc., has helped multiple customers with new heating installations, so if you are ready for a new heating system, call us today.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s furnaces are very energy efficient, but to best understand how energy efficient a particular furnace will be is to check its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency and is the measure of a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 85% means that 85% of the fuel the furnace consumes is used to heat your home; the other 15% turns into exhaust that is vented out the flue. The AFUE rating can help you determine just how energy efficient a unit you need and want for your home, so it’s important to review the AFUE rating of any new furnace before purchasing.


Having a system that isn’t correctly sized, whether it’s too big or small, can cause problems and compromise your comfort. To avoid this, it’s important to properly calculate the correct heating load of your home. The following factors should be included:

  • Floor plan
  • Number of occupants
  • Number of rooms
  • Types and number of windows and doors
  • Square footage
  • Orientation of your home
  • Insulation levels

Installing a new heating system for your home in Woodbury can help improve your comfort and energy efficiency, but only when you have the right help. Call SPS Mechanical Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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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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Plumbing Upgrades to Consider

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Professional plumbers aren’t just available to assist you when something goes wrong with your pipes or drains. They are also ready to help you upgrade your plumbing to a new level of convenience and efficiency. A skilled and experienced plumbing service will offer many different upgrades for your home’s plumbing that will heighten your quality of life.

Make a phone call to SPS Mechanical Inc. today and ask our knowledgeable staff about how you can improve your plumbing in Woodbury, NJ.

Here Are 4 Possible Upgrades for Your Plumbing

  1. Whole-house repiping: This is the most extensive and drastic upgrade you can have for your plumbing… because it upgrades all your plumbing. If you have a home built during the last few decades, you probably won’t require such an extensive service. But for homes built pre-1970 and especially pre-World War II, repiping is something you shoudl give serious consideration. Aging, outdated pipe materials will lead to increasing repair needs and generally inefficient plumbing; the older standards for plumbing may not meet your current water use. Although whole-house repiping is a large job, with the right plumbers the work will go fast and smoothly.
  2. Tankless water heater: You don’t have to settle for the standard storage tank water heater any more; there’s an option that will save on your energy bills and assure that you will never run out of hot water—the tankless water heater. These systems do not need to run constantly to maintain a tank of hot water; they only turn on when a tap demands hot water. You’ll spend less on energy to heat the water, and you will never need to worry about depleting the supply of hot water in a tank. Tankless systems also have longer lifespans.
  3. Water treatment systems: If you have concerns about the quality of the water coming into your home from the municipal system, then a whole-house water treatment system attached to the water main will help solve the problem. There is a large variety of systems to address different problems, from hard water to removing chemicals and bacteria. A professional plumber will help you find out what issues in your water need remedy, and then recommend the treatment system to do the job.
  4. Garbage disposal: If you live in an older home that doesn’t have a garbage disposal… it’s time to stop delaying and have one put in! It will not only make your kitchen more efficient, it will protect your plumbing from food particles and clogs.

This is only a sample of the upgrades that SPS Mechanical Inc. can offer for your plumbing in Woodbury, NJ. We are a full-service company that can handle installation, repairs, and maintenance to keep your home’s plumbing in the best shape possible. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment.

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Signs You Need Water Heater Repair

Friday, June 27th, 2014

A broken water heater is a major inconvenience, and should it happen to you, it will force you realize just how much you depend daily on a supply of hot water. If possible, you want to get a head start on water heater malfunctions and call in repair professionals to solve the problems before they lead to full system failure.

Here are a few warning signs that you should call for professional water heater repair service in Woodbury, NJ. For fast and effective service for all your plumbing issues, call SPS Mechanical Inc. We are ready 24 hours a day to help you with your malfunctioning water heater.

Common Indications You Need Water Heater Repair Services

  • Discolored water: When you turn on a hot water tap and the water that comes out has a brownish-red discoloration—similar to what you expect to see when you turn on the taps after you have been away from home for a week or more—you may have a problem from either excess sediment in the tank or the development of corrosion because of a rusted-through anode rod. Although you may have heard that rust in a water heater is an instant death-sentence for the system, it isn’t necessarily a reason to replace the unit­—provided the water heater isn’t too old and you catch the problem soon enough. If the issue is sediment, repair technicians can flush out the tank to solve the trouble.
  • Loss of hot water supply: If you’ve lived with the same water heater for long enough, you will know how much hot water to expect from it before it runs out and needs to heat up more. If you notice a drop in this supply (i.e. people in your household start to complain about going with lukewarm or cold showers in the morning) it means there is a malfunction in the water heater. A common reason for this problem is a broken dip tube depositing cold water near the top of the tank. Repair technicians will get to the bottom of the problem and fix whatever is necessary.
  • Rumbling tank: In general, any strange sound from a water heater indicates it needs repairs. The rumbling tank is the most common warning sign, and it either means too much mixing of hot and cold water or water that is overheating. These issues need remedy as soon as possible.
  • Leaks: Should you spot water pooling around the water heater’s tank, you have leaking issues that could threaten the operation of the system. Leaking can also point to high water pressure or corrosion problems, so have the leaks looked into immediately.

Don’t attempt to troubleshoot problems with a water heater on your own: this requires trained technicians. The SPS Mechanical Inc. repair specialists will take care of the necessary water heater repair in Woodbury, NJ that will restore your vital hot water supply. Give us a call today and schedule your next appointment with us.

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Air Conditioning Installation Preparations for Summer

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Getting ready for the summer with a new air conditioning installation can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve lived with your previous AC for many years and this is the first time you’ve had to schedule a replacement job. Even though installation is a large task, most of the responsibility won’t fall on you if you make sure you have the right HVAC contractor handling the work.

When you’re looking for the right team to handle your air conditioning installation in Woodbury, NJ, come to SPS Mechanical Inc. We have a staff of NATE-certified technicians who can deliver the quality, speed, and professionalism that will make the job smooth from the first step to last.

Here are a few ways we suggest you prepare for new AC installation for the summer.

Take the time to choose the best system

You shouldn’t simply settle for any air conditioner that’s in your price range, nor should you pick out the unit with the highest SEER (efficiency rating) and decide that’s all that matters. There are many factors involved in selecting the right unit: it needs to be the right size to cool down your whole house but not waste energy; it should have an efficiency that will deliver you savings without costing too much upfront to install; and it should have features that you need and will use. Your installation professionals will help you with this part of the job: listen to their advice and you will end up with the system that will do what you need it to do.

Consider a heat pump

You might decide to replace the AC with a heat pump, which works much like an air conditioner except it can switch the direction that it moves heat and work as a heater in the winter. Heat pumps have many advantages—but they don’t work for every home, so consult with your installers about whether a heat pump is a good investment or not.

Enroll in a maintenance program

This is a way to grant yourself peace of mind. A maintenance program delivers yearly inspections and tune-ups that will keep away repairs, maintain the system’s efficiency, and extend its lifespan. What better way to secure your initial investment than by joining a program that will help you get the most from it? Maintenance programs often have discounts for repairs as well other perks.

At SPS Mechanical Inc., we have an excellent installation team that will help you select the best system, size it, and then install it so you will have years of problem-free cooling. We also have a maintenance program that delivers two tune-ups a year (the second is for your heater), 15% discounts on our flat-rate services, and you’ll never pay for overtime.

Make your air conditioning service in Woodbury, NJ a pleasure and not a pain: call SPS Mechanical Inc. to get started.

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Why are Commercial HVAC Systems Modular?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Commercial HVAC systems usually appear on the roof of the buildings they cool, and differ in numerous ways from residential air conditioning systems. Here in Woodbury, commercial HVAC systems are a common sight, and you may have noticed that they’re modular in nature, with multiple commercial units in place on the roof of just a single building. Why are commercial HVAC systems modular? The answer says a lot about why they differ from residential systems.

Every air conditioning unit it built to handle a certain power load. If it ever exceeds that power load, it will labor to do its job and may damage key components in the process. In residential homes hat’s not usually much of a factor. You measure the square footage, account for things like insulation and sun exposure, and install a single unit capable of handling the entire building. But that’s just not practical with business spaces. Office space may not be filled all the time and old tenant leave and new ones take their place. A prudent office manage doesn’t want to cool space that no one’s using, but if you have just a single air conditioning unit, you won’t have a choice. In addition, some businesses may need more cooling power than others; for example, if they have a large number of computer hard drives that need to be kept cool at all times. That speaks to the same thing: businesses need flexibility in their power load if they intend to cool the air effectively.

Modular systems provide that. In cases when you need more power, you can simply add another unit without having to replace the entire system. And if you need less power, you can just shut one of or remove it just as easily. Modular units also make it easier to conduct repairs without cutting off air to the entire building; no small concern if you want your customers and employees to be comfortable.

For more on why Woodbury commercial HVAC systems are modular, or to install or repair such a system in your building, give SPS Mechanical a call. We have the skills and experience you need, so don’t hesitate to set up an appointment today! For commercial HVAC installation or other HVAC services in Woodbury, contact us today and speak with one of our specialists.

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Air Conditioning Question: What Is Refrigerant?

Friday, April 18th, 2014

In order for an air conditioner (as well as a heat pump and a refrigerator) to function, it requires a chemical mixture called refrigerant. Without refrigerant pumped through the AC, starting from the compressor and then moving to the outdoor and indoor coils, no heat exchange would take place, and the air conditioning system would act as nothing more than a large set of fans.

We’ll explain in more detail what refrigerant is and how it works. When you need more information about your air conditioning in Woodbury, NJ because of a repair need or if you are considering installing a replacement, look to SPS Mechanical Inc. and our skilled staff.

Refrigerant basics

Refrigerant refers to any chemical that carries out heat exchange: that is, movement of heat from one place to another. To work efficiently, refrigerant must go through a quick phase transition, the change between liquid and gas and back again. Refrigerant absorbs heat in the evaporation stage, and then releases it during the condensation stage. During normal operation, refrigerant does not dissipate as it changes phase.

Early refrigerants were made of toxic, acidic, or combustible material, such as ammonia. Not until the invention of Freon (a trademarked name for a number of refrigerant blends) did safe refrigerants allow ACs to enter regular home use.

For many years, the most common refrigerant blend found in air conditioners was R-22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon blend. Because of the negative effect that hydrochlorofluorocarbons have on the earth’s ozone layer, the U.S. started a phase out of R-22 during the 21st century, with complete disuse set for 2020. The current common blend for residential air conditioners is R-410A, a mixture of two earlier blends often trademarked as Puron. R-410A has no ozone-depleting properties. Its use has also increased the efficiency of air conditioners, causing a general reduction in power consumption that compensates for R-410A’s global warming potential.

Leave refrigerants to the professionals

Refrigerant in an air conditioner is set at a specific charge (level), and if that level drops because of leaks, it requires technicians to recharge it. You need to leave such repairs to trained HVAC specialists, who know how to seal leaks, and put in the right amount of new refrigerant. Over- or undercharging refrigerant will damage the system.

If you have troubles with your air conditioning in Woodbury, NJ because of leaking refrigerant, call SPS Mechanical Inc., any time of the day or night, for the service that will take care of the problem and restore the cool air to your home.

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Heating Tip: How to Prevent Energy Loss

Monday, November 18th, 2013

You need a good heating system to keep your home cozy home during our chilly winters, but often come with high energy bills to boot. We’ve come to expect that as the price of staying warm, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The key is to keep your heater as efficient as possible, while ensuring that your home has the ability to retain the heat generated. Here are a few tips on how to prevent energy loss.

Schedule a maintenance session with a trained professional to clean your heating system. Over the summer, dust and dirt can build up on the interior components, and fittings can become loose. This can result in a nasty surprise when you need the heater to function and it cuts out. A technician can clean the dirt away, tighten any loose connections, and spot any larger issues in need of addressing. This will help prevent larger repairs, as well as ensuring that your heater is functioning at maximum efficiency.

The next step is to look after your home.  If your home is leaky or poorly insulated, you’re going to lose energy just when you need it the most. You can prevent that by spotting and sealing any leaks around your doors and windows. If you can, see about adding more insulation as well. It will help keep the heat inside (and cold inside in the summertime, just for good measure).

For more ideas on how to prevent energy loss in your home, or to schedule a maintenance session with your furnace, contact the Woodbury, NJ heating pros at SPS Mechanical to help. We deal with heating systems of all varieties and can handle maintenance, repair and installation services with courtesy and professionalism. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today.

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Heating Guide: How Radiant Heating Works

Monday, October 14th, 2013

You may have heard the term “radiant heat” talked about in reference to a home heating system. It’s one of two basic types of home heating, the other being “forced air” systems which push warm air throughout your home to raise the temperature. Radiant heating tends to be a more effective and cost-friendly way to keep your house cozy on a cold day. In towns like Woodbury, NJ, heating systems need to be effective in order to keep winter at bay without breaking the bank, making radiant heating an attractive option for homeowners. Here’s how radiant heating works.

It starts with the floor. A radiant heating system places a series of tubes or coils beneath the floorboards. Which one? That depends on the type of radiant heating system. Hydronic systems pump water through tubes; a furnace or boiler then heats the water to warm the tubes. In the case of electric systems, the tubes are replaced by electric coils protected within a heat-conducting mat.

Regardless of the system, the results are the same. The coils/tubes warm up the floor, which in turn warms up other objects in the room (including people). The heat is mild enough to let you walk around barefoot without pain, and it’s safe on furniture and curtains as well. Because it starts at the floor, very little of the heat escapes through the ceiling, increasing overall efficiency and lowering your heating costs as a result. Radiant heating isn’t subjected to the vagaries of air flow, allowing the whole space to be heated evenly and preventing the circulation of dust and similar particles from blowing air. Zone controls allow you to tailor a radiant heating system to heat only those areas that you want, further saving you money.

The specifics of installing a radiant system depend on the particulars of your house, but you can consult a trained professional on how radiant heating works and what version works best for you. For Woodbury, NJ heating issues, talk to SPS Mechanical. We serve all of Southern New Jersey, and our qualified experts are available 24 hours day. Call us to set up an appointment today!

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