Heat Pumps vs. Furnaces: Which Is Right for Your Pennsylvania Home?

When it comes to heating a home, there are a few options. Furnaces have been popular for a long time, but heat pumps are having their moment. These systems move heat from one space to another to provide warmth, working very efficiently in the process.

It can be tough to tell which type of heating system is right for you. If you’re in the market for a new heating system, consider the benefits of heat pumps before purchasing another furnace.

Heat Pumps: What Are the Pros?

Heat pumps offer a variety of benefits compared to furnaces. The first advantage of these systems is their ability to both heat and cool.

A furnace will only provide heat, while a heat pump moves heat from inside the house to the outside for cooling and vice versa for heating.

Another major perk of heat pumps is their energy efficiency. They use far less energy to heat and cool your home. Gas and electric furnaces will use more energy, costing you more in the long run.

In general, heat pumps are also less expensive to install compared to other HVAC options. Installing a new furnace and air conditioner is usually more costly than installing a single heat pump to do both.

Finally, heat pumps don’t rely on burning any fuel except for a bit of electricity. This greatly reduces the amount of potential air pollutants in your home. Gas furnaces and wood stoves can put a lot of debris into your air, while a heat pump won’t add anything to the air.

Is a Heat Pump Right for My Home?

Several factors need to be considered when choosing to install a heat pump in your home. The size of your home will be important. Large homes may struggle to stay warm with a heat pump, but smaller homes may be perfectly fine to stay heated all winter.

Another factor is the cold temperatures in certain areas around Pennsylvania. Some areas are much colder than others, and a heat pump may not be as effective. In other areas, however, temperatures barely go below freezing, and a heat pump can be more than sufficient.

It’s best to talk with a professional HVAC technician like the pros at BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning before deciding. We can discuss your needs and help you determine if a heat pump or furnace is best for you.

You Can’t Go Wrong With BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning

For nearly 70 years, BVSM has been making homes more comfortable. Our NATE-certified technicians are experts in their work and use the best tools to install the best HVAC systems.

We also provide furnace and air conditioner repairs, replacements, and maintenance. Look to our team to get your HVAC system working right.

Schedule a heating system installation today — call BVSM at 724-417-9550 to get started.

Indoor Air Quality Tips for Dry Winter Air

The air inside your home can become terrible during the winter months. When your heater runs constantly, it can deliver pollutants into the air. With the windows closed all season, bad air doesn’t have much chance to escape. It’s important to do what you can to keep your air as clean as possible in the winter.

With the right techniques and systems, you can experience high-quality air in every room during winter. Look at our tips for keeping your air quality high during the year’s coldest days.

Indoor Air Quality in the Winter

The quality of indoor air is commonly lower than that of outdoor air. A lot of dust and debris can enter your home and cause allergic reactions or serious respiratory issues. Just a few causes of low air quality in the winter include:

  • Recirculated air: During the winter, your doors and windows are closed more often, leading to the same air being circulated all day. If there are pollutants in your air, they don’t have much chance to escape.
  • Pet dander circulation: If you own a pet, their dander enters the air all the time. During the winter, this dander can circulate throughout the home easier than at any other time of year.
  • Pollen and mold: If you have flowering plants in your home, pollen can enter your air and spread around whenever the HVAC system runs. If mold is present anywhere, the same can happen.
  • Pollutants from heating units: Certain heating units, like wood stoves, emit pollutants into the air. These systems can cause issues for the air in your home during the winter months.
  • Drier air: In the winter, you run your heating system more often, drying out the air throughout your home. This dry air allows for pollutants to fly more easily throughout the rooms.

Tips for Combatting Bad Indoor Air Quality

While air quality may suffer during the cold months, there are remedies to improve things. A few actions you can take to clean up your home’s air include:

  • Installing air purifiers: An air purifier can pull in air and clean it up before returning it to the room. Single-room and whole-home units can provide clean air for a single or whole-house, respectively.
  • Cleaning air ducts: The air duct system in your home can get clogged up with dust and debris after years of use without cleaning. A professional HVAC technician can clear the line, reducing the number of pollutants delivered into your home.
  • Upgrading air filters: There are many different grades of air filters on the market. Installing new air filters more often during the winter and using a higher-grade filter can help clean your air.
  • Adding a humidifier: Humidity levels are much lower inside a home during the winter. A whole-home humidifier can add moisture to the air, helping grab dust and other pollutants and making them easier to filter.

Tips for Combatting Dry Air in Your Home

A humidifier can be the best option if your air seems dry. BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning offers humidifier services throughout the Monaca area. These units add moisture to the air and help dampen pollutants so they can be filtered more easily.

Improving ventilation by opening all vents and occasionally opening windows can improve air quality. Ensure that any heating units are properly ventilating out of the house. Consider removing plants for the season to avoid pollen development.

These tips and systems can greatly improve the quality of your home’s air during the dry and cold winter months. For indoor air quality services in Monaca, turn to the team at BVSM. Call 724-417-9550 today to learn more.

What Causes an AC To Freeze Up? Common Causes & Troubleshooting Tips

When the scorching summer heat arrives, properly functioning air conditioning becomes crucial for your comfort. However, one issue that can disrupt the cool airflow fast is when your AC freezes up.

Here’s what causes an AC to freeze up and some troubleshooting tips you can try. We’ll cover:

  • What does it mean when an AC freezes up?
  • Common causes of an AC freezing up.
  • Troubleshooting tips and potential fixes.
  • Where to find an expert AC technician in Beaver Valley.
Close up view of an HVAC unit

What Does It Mean When an AC Freezes Up?

An AC unit freezing up refers to the formation of ice or frost on the evaporator coils, obstructing the airflow and impeding the cooling process.

Several factors can contribute to this problem, and understanding its underlying causes is essential to prevent or address it effectively.

Common Causes of AC Freezing

Many different culprits might be behind your air conditioner freezing up. Here are a few of the most common causes of this problem:

  • Insufficient airflow: Inadequate airflow is a leading cause of AC freezing. It can result from clogged or dirty air filters, closed vents, blocked return registers, or obstructed ductwork. Restricted airflow prevents the warm air from circulating properly, forming ice on the evaporator coils.
  • Low refrigerant: Refrigerant is crucial in cooling, absorbing heat from indoor air. When refrigerant levels are low, the system can become imbalanced, causing the evaporator coils to become excessively cold and freeze.
  • Faulty thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the AC to run continuously, resulting in the evaporator coils becoming too cold and freezing up. It’s essential to ensure the thermostat is functioning correctly and accurately reading the temperature in your home.
  • Dirty coils: Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the evaporator coils, hindering their ability to absorb heat. As a result, the coils may become excessively cold, leading to ice formation.
  • Blower fan: Problems with the blower fan, such as a malfunctioning motor, worn-out belt, or damaged blades, can disrupt the airflow and cause the evaporator coils to freeze.

Troubleshooting Tips & Potential Fixes

If you notice your air conditioner has started to form ice on the evaporator coils, there are several steps you can take to resolve the problem:

  • Check and replace air filters regularly to maintain proper airflow.
  • Ensure vents and return registers are unobstructed.
  • Clean the evaporator coils to remove dirt and debris buildup.
  • Have a professional inspect and recharge refrigerant levels if necessary.
  • Verify thermostat functionality and accuracy.
  • Schedule regular maintenance to identify and address potential issues before they lead to freezing.

Trust BVSM With All Your AC Repair & Maintenance Needs

Understanding the causes of AC unit freezing is vital for maintaining a comfortable and functional cooling system. Insufficient airflow, low refrigerant levels, and faulty thermostats can all contribute to this problem.

You can address AC freezing effectively by following the troubleshooting tips above and seeking professional help when necessary.

At BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning, our team can troubleshoot and resolve your AC system malfunctions. Whether your unit has started to freeze or you have other air conditioner failures, our experienced team of NATE-certified technicians is here to help.

Request air conditioning repairs or maintenance for your Beaver Valley home by calling 724-417-9550.

Do I Need Heat Pump Replacement or Repair?

Newly installed air conditioner

It’s understandable that when your heat pump begins to struggle or can no longer meet your comfort needs, you’ll become torn—should you call for heat pump repair right away, or has the time come to replace your heat pump system?

If this is a stressor you’re currently experiencing, you can rest easy. The certified HVAC contractors at BVSM Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help you select the appropriate heat pump services for meeting your comfort needs!

Signs You Need Heat Pump Repair

An important thing to understand about heat pumps and other HVAC systems is that when you need repairs you should schedule them as soon as possible. Failing to get service in time means your system continues to struggle, which often leads to further damage that may force you into seeking a new heat pump installation before it’s strictly necessary.

If your heat pump is exhibiting any of these signs, call for repair right away:

  • Poor heating or cooling quality – A professionally installed and properly maintained heat pump system should have absolutely no trouble keeping up with your comfort needs. If you notice cold or hot spots in your home, or the system struggles to maintain temperatures stably, call for service.
  • Increased energy costs – One of the primary advantages of a heat pump system is the sheer cost-efficiency and energy conservation that the system offers. Keep a close eye on your energy costs, because if they spike you likely need a repair.
  • Loud or strange heat pump noises – Loud, scary noises are almost always traced to a component in the system that has become loose or damaged. This is a particularly hazardous problem, because damaged parts often do considerable harm to the system if left for too long.
  • Inability to switch between “heat” and “cool” modes – This problem is commonly caused by a damaged reversing valve. The issue is fairly easy to repair, but will prevent swapping until it is handled.

When to Consider Heat Pump Replacement

Scheduling repair is the default choice for the majority of homeowners. It’s usually faster and more cost-effective, so that makes sense. However, there are many situations where heat pump replacement is smarter, and more cost-efficient as well.

In most cases the choice will come down to a cost-benefit analysis, which most professional HVAC contractors are glad to provide. If repairs can get your system operating effectively, that’s great. But if the repair will only serve as a stopgap, it’s usually more worthwhile to seek replacement because multiple repair bills can get prohibitively expensive very quickly.

It’s wise to discuss heat pump replacement in these scenarios:

  • Your heat pump is more than 10 years old
  • Your heat pump is beginning to lose efficiency and energy costs are consistently too high in your home
  • You need heat pump repair too frequently, such as yearly or even every two years
  • Your current heat pump repair costs exceed 1/3 of the full value of the heat pump

Schedule Heat Pump Service in Beaver County, PA

Whether you need heat pump repair or heat pump replacement, or you require the aid of a professional that can help you make the right choice, you can always count on BVSM. Our licensed and certified heat pump contractors focus on providing you with the services you need, and our top objective is always to provide you with the solutions that best fit your situation.

Contact us online to schedule heat pump services in Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Dormont, or Moon, PA! Need to speak with a professional directly? Just dial 724-417-9550!