Furnace Maintenance

Bi-County Inc – Your Furnace Repair & Maintenance Professionals

So many homeowners do not schedule maintenance for their furnace on a regular basis. If you feel warm and comfortable in your home, it is natural to conclude that everything is working fine, right?  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  But you don’t have to panic – annual furnace maintenance with Bi-County Inc is the way to identify subtle issues, small inefficiencies, and other problems before they cause damage or breakdown your furnace.

Here are a few reasons why it is recommended to hire Bi-County Inc’s trained professionals to maintain your furnace and your entire home comfort system:

If you do one thing to conserve energy, do this – SCHEDULE A HEATING SYSTEM TUNE-UP!

Your annual pre-season tune-up will guard against unexpected disruptions in service and extend the life of your heating system. Plus, a tune-up will ensure maximum comfort system efficiency, saving you as much as 5% off your annual heating bill, according to the National Oilheat Research Alliance.

Conservation Tips for Cold Weather:

  • Sunshine! Windows on the south side get the most sunlight. Eastern windows get sunlight in the morning. West facing windows receive sunlight in the afternoon. Open shades & drapes during the day to let the sun’s warmth enter your home and close when the sun goes down.
  • Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
  • Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
  • Keep radiators free of dust for top efficiency.
  • Turn the thermostat back by 10°-15°. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much as 10% a year on their heating and cooling bills.
  • Wrap your pipes, to guard against heat loss and prevent them from freezing.
  • Avoid using space heaters – they’re expensive to operate, and can be dangerous, too.
  • Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door — it should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold. It virtually stops drafts.
  • Get a heating system tune-up – it’ll ensure you get maximum performance from every drop of heating oil burned.
  • Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
  • Change the windows – consider new low-emissivity glass, which will decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.
  • Upgrade your oil burner – a modern burner can cut costs by 15%.

Year-Round Conservation Tips:

  • Use compact fluorescent lights – they last up to 10 – 13 times longer than standard bulbs and use 75% less energy.
  • Install dimmer switches – in addition to enhancing mood, they’ll extend the life of bulbs and help you save up to 60% on lighting costs.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater from 140° to 120° – you’ll save 3%-5% in water heating costs for each 10° reduction. Or consider a timer to turn your water heater off when not in use.
  • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold – recommended temperatures are 37°-40°F for the fridge and 5°F for the freezer.
  • Don’t leave the fridge door open! Every time you do, up to 30% of the air inside can escape. The same can be said for your oven.
  • Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water – it’s faster and it uses less energy.
  • Air-dry dishes. Also, avoid using the heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse features.
  • Choose a high-efficiency clothes washer and dryer. High-efficiency washers use half the water of standard models. High-efficiency dryers can save up to 30% in energy over standard models.
  • Defrost food before cooking – you could save 30% to 50% on cooking costs. And pre-heat your oven only for baking.
  • Install water-conserving fixtures – such as showerheads, faucets and toilets.
  • Fix leaky faucets – especially hot water faucets. 1 drop/second can add up to 165 gallons/month – more than a person uses in 2 weeks.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. When properly used, it could save as much as $100 or more off your annual heating bills.

Skilled, Experienced Installation Ensures Lasting Performance and Better Output
Looking around at the residential communities in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, we see many beautiful, ranch style homes, charming spilt-level residences and even some stately colonial homes. This eclectic mix of structures adds to the charm of our unique Pennsylvania landscape. For over 40 years, Bi-County Air Conditioning has served homeowners across the Bux-Mont area and we take pride in helping customers maintain their traditional homes.

While you may love your older home’s existing structure on the outside, you have likely made several improvements over the years to make the indoor environment more comfortable, convenient and in tune with the times. Part of getting your home updated is also an effort to become more energy-efficient and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Perhaps you have changed some appliances for new ones, replaced older lighting with LED and CFL light bulbs, invested in low-flow toilets, installed energy-saving doors and windows, and so on. One of the biggest expenses on your home utilities budget, however, is your home comfort system, i.e. your heating and air conditioning units.

The Complexity of Installing a Central Air Conditioner in Your Older Home
Retrofitting older homes with central air conditioning can be a challenge due to the ceiling height and limited space to install traditional ductwork for an HVAC system. Even if your home does have adequate space, you will need to tear out old plaster ceilings and walls in order to install the ductwork. DIY installs may not be up to code and can turn messy. What if you damage your original hardwood floors? What if you end up having to replace your gorgeous wainscoting features? A general handyman may also struggle in the absence of existing ductwork. Not to forget, you may need to update your home’s electrical wiring before installing the new central AC. Older houses typically have 110-volt, 60 amp systems, while a central air conditioner may require as much as 230-volt circuits and 20 to 50 amps of power to run. And we can use as little as 1 sq. ft. of space within a closet, thus minimizing loss of room space for the installation!

The team at Bi-County Inc has years of experience and knowledge of all makes and models of ACs. Retrofitting your older home with a central AC unit is easy for our trained, certified and efficient HVAC technicians. The team assigned to your project will personally visit your home for a survey to identify the best natural pathways for the unit to be installed.
  • If you live in a single-family home, usually a single-zone system from the attic is sufficient to cool your entire home.
  • If you live in a ranch-style home, the option above will typically work for you too.
  • For homes that are split-level or colonial style, you have 2 options:
    1. A single-zone system in the attic with natural pathways to cool your home
    2. A two-zone system: one from the attic for the upper level and another from the basement for the main floor.
Air conditioners consume a lot of energy in the summer. However, more energy-efficient models offer a higher EER rating (energy-efficiency ratio). Newer units feature an EER of 10 while older units have 7 and lower. If your air conditioner is 20 years or older, you may want to opt for a timely upgrade.

If you want to retrofit your older home with central air conditioning, call the team at Bi-County today at 215-822-0515 or contact us online. We can help your old home upgrade to a new, energy-efficient air conditioning system for the whole home

In most households, you will not spend 24 hours a day in a single room. So, why would you only purify the air in one room? With portable air purification systems, you are providing temporary purification for the room where the unit is located, but the moment you leave that room, you are breathing in poor quality air. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, having to cart around a portable unit can be tiring and unnecessary.

Instead, you should compare the pros and cons of a portable air purifier versus a whole-home unit to see which is right for your health needs, household concerns and of course, your budget.

Comparing Portable to Whole-Home Air Purifiers
Portable air cleaners, also referred to as tabletop air purification systems, can be taken from one room to the other. Whole-home systems are installed as part of your home’s heating and cooling system and work within the HVAC and vents. Important factors to consider when comparing the two types of purifiers include:
  • Cost – When considering the initial investment, portable units are relatively inexpensive. They do not require professional installation, so you do not have the purchase and installation costs associated with whole-home air purifiers. Keep in mind, however, that they also do not have the same shelf life. If you purchase one for every room, you might as well opt for the whole-home unit to save on long-term costs.
  • Whole Home Purification – Portable units only purify the air in a single room. They are noisy and cumbersome to move. With a whole home unit, each room is automatically purified as air is pushed in through the HVAC system.
  • Effectiveness – Portable units do not effectively remove larger particles of dust, dander, mold, pollen or even dust mites and cockroach allergens. Whole-home units use state-of-the-art filtration and on-demand purification to remove all impurities; even bacteria.
  • Living Space – Portable units take up valuable living space and can become an eyesore on your home’s décor. Whole home units are not visible and instead are tucked away with your HVAC system.
  • Maintenance – A whole home unit requires less maintenance than a portable unit. They can often be maintained once a year with your HVAC system and the filters changed monthly to quarterly (depending on how often they are used).

When you compare the costs and overall effectiveness, you will realize it is not worth wasting your money on a portable unit. Instead, consider the long-term savings and benefits of whole-home air purification systems. Bi-County Fuels carries a full range of air purifiers from the leading manufacturers in indoor air quality control systems.

Schedule a consultation or get your free estimate today by calling 215-822-0515. You can also contact us online with your questions. 

Air purification is not something most homeowners pay much attention to, but if you or your loved ones suffer from allergies or asthma, you need to consider one. Whole-home air purifiers offer numerous benefits aside from cleaner, fresher air. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you already know how polluted air outside affects you and when that air comes indoors, it can only make you feel worse. Aprilaire is the leading manufacturer of whole home air purifiers and they can help you control pollutants, dust, dander, and more. To enhance the indoor air quality in your home, there is no better solution than an air purifier.

What is in the Air You Breathe?

While you cannot see these particles floating around, you may be surprised at what lingers in the air you breathe inside your home. Just some toxins and contaminants you could be inhaling right now include:

  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Bacteria
  • Dust
  • Viruses
  • Pollen
  • Household chemicals

The Benefits of Installing an Aprilaire Whole Home Air Purification System

Whole home air purification systems are installed as a component of your HVAC system. So, you do not have to worry about bulky units taking up space in each room of your house. These units force air to run through a state-of-the-art filter before the air expels through the vents; delivering only clean, purified air. You can have your air purification system maintained as part of your HVAC maintenance too.
The biggest benefits of an Aprilaire whole home air purification system include:

  1. Cleaning air on your terms. With a whole home air purification system, you can control when and how your system works. Aprilaire has a unique feature that allows the homeowner to manage how often you clean your home’s air. So if you just finished cleaning and kicking up dust, you can turn on the purification system to remove these impurities and ensure superior indoor air quality.
  2. Quick and affordable maintenance. With the whole home system, you just have to clean the filter every one to three months and do a complete maintenance once a year; typically at the same time you schedule your HVAC maintenance appointment.
  3. Warranties. Most importantly, Aprilaire systems come with a warranty as well as their clean coil guarantee. That means the system ensures that your air conditioner’s coil does not need professional cleaning within the 10 years of the Aprilaire being installed. If it does, the company will pay toward the cost of having that coil cleaned by a professional technician.

If you are ready to enhance the quality of air inside your home, look into the options for Aprilaire whole home purification from Bi-County Fuels. Schedule a consult today at 215-822-0515 or contact us online with your questions.

In the market for a new HVAC system? Now is a great time to buy!
The federal government has introduced new tax credits to encourage people to choose more efficient HVAC units and make their homes more environmentally friendly. If you have or would like to purchase an ENERGY STAR product, read on to learn more about how you can take advantage of these new tax credits.

Trust the experts at Bi-County Fuels, Inc. to get the most out of your new investment. We offer professional installationmaintenance and repairs so that your machine works its best from day-1 and for years to come.

What You Need to Know:  Energy Efficient Tax Credits for Your New HVAC System

  • SAVINGS – Enjoy savings of $300 on your new unit. You’ll enjoy this tax credit in addition to feeling good about having a more efficient home and saving on your monthly heating and cooling bills.
  • DEADLINE – This credit expires December 31, 2016. Keep your receipts for the unit, installation and other relevant documents for proof of purchase.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY – Your new unit must be recognized as an ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2016 product in order to be eligible. Products that have earned this designation have been tested and their efficiency verified. Some products use up to 30% less energy than other available options. You will be doing a favor for your wallet and the environment by choosing an ENERGY STAR air conditioner.
  • FINE PRINT – There are a few other details required to ensure your new HVAC unit is eligible for a credit. Your split system must have a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) greater than 16, and an EER (energy efficiency ratio) greater than 13. If you have a package system, the SEER must be greater than 14, and EER greater than 12. The higher these ratings are, the better the machine is for the environment and your savings!

Need HVAC installation for your new, energy efficient unit?
The team at Bi-County Fuels, Inc. offers professional, fast and friendly services. We can install, maintain and repair your HVAC system and help guide you through your tax credit application. Our technicians have years of experience and can properly install your unit and provide the necessary paperwork. We offer a host of services to keep your home comfortable, from home heating services to great air quality products. Turn to our professionals for your heating and cooling needs.

Call Bi-County Fuels, Inc. for your HVAC installation today at 215-822-0515 or contact us online. We will ensure you have everything you need to be eligible for your tax credit and that your new energy efficient unit is properly installed.

Get a Spring Tune-Up for Your Air Conditioner
Spring means we are one step closer to summer. Warmer temperatures also mean your furnace can finally take a break! After months without use, however, turning on your air conditioner may bring unexpected surprises. Spring is the perfect time to get your HVAC unit inspected. Schedule your maintenance appointment to beat the rush that comes once temperatures really heat up.

Why Spring is the Perfect Time for HVAC Maintenance
Getting HVAC maintenance completed will keep your system running efficiently. Here are a few reasons to schedule your maintenance appointment this spring:

  • Save money today. You will save money each month on your cooling bill if your air conditioner is working its best. If it can cool your home efficiently, your home will be more environmentally friendly and will save on your monthly bills.
  • Save money later. A trained technician will be able to catch small issues and inefficiencies before they are left to grow into bigger issues. Having HVAC maintenance done by a professional this spring will increase the longevity of your air conditioner. It will also save you more expensive repair costs down the road by catching small problems in time. Replacement parts and major repairs are a lot more costly than routine maintenance appointments.
  • Get your AC ready for the heat. There is nothing worse than your AC breaking down during a heatwave. Getting a maintenance appointment scheduled during the spring will ensure your air conditioner is ready to go for the hot and humid summer months.
  • More availability. Spring is not the peak busy season for technicians since it isn’t too hot yet. Most people can get away with keeping the air conditioner off for the season. That means our technicians have more availability for appointments.

Schedule your HVAC appointment and get your air conditioner working its best today. Add HVAC maintenance to your spring cleaning to-do list and rest assured that your air conditioner will be ready for the summer heat. Bi-County Fuels, Inc. can provide HVAC maintenance. Enjoy lower monthly bills and a cool, comfortable house. Our fast and friendly technicians are available for your HVAC maintenance, repairs and installations. We also offer a range of related services to keep your home comfortable.

Schedule your air conditioner maintenance this spring and enjoy savings year-round. Call us today at 215-822-0515 to get your air conditioner in top form. You can also contact us online.

The air inside your home needs not only to be purified, but it must also have the right concentration of moisture. Humidification, which is the process of adding moisture into the air, is one of the more important, but often ignored aspects of achieving whole-home comfort. In fact, balancing the right amount of moisture could reduce the number of sick days you experience each year, especially in the winter and flu season.

Common Misconceptions about Humidity

Most people confuse humidity with heat. After all, that is when most humidity levels rise and temperatures too. However, while humidity is not the most enjoyable in the summer, you need a certain level of humidity all year; especially in the indoor environment of your home. With air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, indoor air is constantly being exposed to circulating air in an enclosed space, passing through your ducts and ventilation system. Of course, too much humidity can make your home uncomfortable, but on the other hand, properly controlled humidity offers proven benefits to your family’s health and comfort.

How Humidity Impacts Your Health and Safety

You may not think twice about the moisture in the air, but a reduction in humidity can lead to several health problems, including:
  • Increasing the likelihood of catching a cold, flu or upper respiratory infection. Certain viruses, especially those that cause the cold and flu, thrive in low humidity environments. If your home has a lowered humidity level, you can actually be more susceptible to infection.
  • Aggravated allergies. If you already suffer from allergies or asthma, you may notice they are easily aggravated in the winter – a time when your home’s comfort system removes the most moisture.
  • Increased damage to your home. Low humidity can also cause your home’s walls, hardwood floors and other wooden items to crack and wear down. Electronics also become a risk for static electricity, which can result in expensive replacements.
  • Increased energy costs – Lowered humidity can make your home feel colder than it really is, which makes you continually turn up the thermostat and costs you more in energy bills each month.
  • Susceptible to other ailments. In addition to the illnesses and home damage, you may notice that you are more susceptible to bloody noses, dry mouth, itchy eyes, sore throats, cracked skin and dry itchy skin.

whole home humidifier can resolve most of these issues. With the right balance of moisture, you can minimize the ill-effects of decreased humidity and increase your home’s overall comfort. Also, you can lower your home’s thermostat, which in turn, saves you money. Once you consider how much you will save each year after installing a humidifier, you will find it practically pays for itself.

If dry air is causing discomfort and resulting in too many sick days from work this winter, talk to us about a whole house humidifier for your home. Give us a call at 215-822-0515 today or contact us online.

Does Your Boiler Consider the Weather Outside?
To get accurate temperatures indoors, the heat supply to your home must be equal to the heat loss from your home. The outdoor temperature can greatly impact how well this happens. Even in a well-insulated, brand new home, heat loss will increase as the temperatures outside drop.

Your home’s boiler system is designed to operate at the highest temperature possible to match all potential heat loss, but you do not always require this high temperature; hence, maintaining it at a constant will cost excess fuel and money.

When the temperature outside becomes mild, your heating system should not deliver excess heat. Instead, you need outdoor reset controls on your home’s boiler that will adjust automatically.

What Are Outdoor Reset Controls?
An outdoor temperature reset is a control strategy that will continue to adjust the heating system’s supply by providing more heat when it is colder outside and less heat when the temperatures outside rise. This will help save energy, because your home’s boiler will operate at a lower temperature.

Key Benefits of Using Boiler Controls
Boiler controls are relatively inexpensive to purchase and once you consider the benefits, the cost of a control system typically pays for itself. Just some advantages of installing a reset control include:

  • They are easy to install. Bi-County Fuels, Inc. can install and setup your reset control in a short, one-day appointment.
  • Your boiler will operate at optimum temperature year-round, thus improving its overall efficiency.
  • Operator resets minimize ticking expansion noises in baseboards, because they prevent large temperature swings from happening.
  • Improved comfort in your home and a temperature inside that better suits what the temperature is outside.
  • Increased boiler life. When your boiler is not operating continually at maximum temperatures, you reduce the wear and tear on its components. This will save you money on repairs, maintenance and replacements in the future.

Next time your boiler kicks in, consider the temperature outside and if your boiler is recognizing that temperature. At Bi-County Fuels, Inc. we are proud to carry Honeywell outdoor reset controls that can reduce heating costs by up to 15 percent.

Keep your heating bills in check by ensuring your boiler considers outside temperatures and adjusts the indoor temperatures accordingly. Call Bi-County Fuels, Inc. today at 215-822-0515 to learn more about the Honeywell Outdoor Reset Controls for your home’s boiler. Book an appointment by phone or contact us online.  

With regular oil deliveries, you can keep your home warm even in the coldest winter, but if you want trouble-free heating, you may want to also consider a premium heating oil conditioner.

Why Use an Oil Conditioner?

Heating oil conditioners can improve your fuel in several ways, with the four most important being:
  1. Reducing Sediment – When you have untreated fuel, your fuel will produce unwanted sediment. Each time your tank is refilled, that sediment is then reincorporated back into the fuel, which can enter into your system’s components. An oil conditioner reduces sediment so that it can flow through a heating system and burn without interrupting integrity or efficiency.
  2. Cleaning Filters – As the tank’s filter builds up with sediment, it may stop the flow of fuel completely or allow more sediment particles into the system than it should. You can reduce the particle size of sediment which will then eliminate clogging.
  3. Cleaning Fuel Lines – Fuel without conditioner may react with metal components causing premature corrosion and oxidation. This decreases fuel flow and efficiency within the lines. An oil conditioner can stop this reaction and eliminate existing corrosion inside your fuel lines and metal parts.
  4. Cleaning Nozzles – Sediment will reach the burner nozzles, which can reduce efficiency or force the unit to shut down. Oil conditioners eliminate plugging, maintain max burn rate and improve your equipment’s efficiency.

Bi County Fuels Proudly Carries Heatdoc

At Bi County Fuels, we want you to not only have fuel efficiency, but not have to worry about replacing your fuel tank prematurely. That is why we use Heatdoc oil conditioners to reduce sediment and improve the functionality of your system. This unique balance of three stabilizers is the only product on the market that can keep fuel fresh while improving burn health as well. You will notice almost immediately after using premium heating oil conditioners, the improvement in your system – and you may even find that you go through fuel less often.
If you are ready to get maximum efficiency from your home’s oil, contact Bi-County Fuels, Inc. today regarding our premium heating oil conditioners. We can apply the conditioner today or with your next oil delivery appointment. Call us at 215-822-0515 or contact us online. 

Contact Info

Bi-County Inc
10 North Kerns Ave
Chalfont, PA 18914

Phone: 215-822-0515
Fax: 215-822-7403

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