Why Is There a Burning Smell When I Turn on the Heat? 

Why Is There a Burning Smell When I Turn on the Heat? 

When winter approaches and the temperatures start dropping, you’ll likely fire up your heating system for the first time in many months. While the feeling of warm air is enjoyable, it’s sometimes accompanied by a burning smell that can be strange or unpleasant. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to call the fire department, but you shouldn’t ignore the smell, either. Some odors are normal, and others are signs of potential danger.

Keep reading to learn about the various smells that can occur, what they mean and whether they require any action.

Read more

Why Are My Electric Bills So High in the Winter

If you rely on a heat Pump or electric to heat your home, you could be in for a surprise.

Utility costs can soar when the temperature dips, especially for homes whose primary heat source is electric. A typical home’s biggest energy consumer is the HVAC system then followed by the water heater. Compound that with a high cost for electric, heating a home and water can result in a shocking (pun intended) bill during the winter.

Read more

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

Plus steps for making sure the new filter has been installed properly. 

It’s a question we receive all the time, ‘How often should I change my air filter?’, and every homeowner with a forced air system should have a rough idea of when their air filter should be changed. Unfortunately, it’s not so cut and dry because every home and HVAC system is different. Once you know how to change your air filter, it should be a simple but important task to keep your system running smoothly while providing you with cleaner air. Read more

Why Is Your Upstairs so Hot in the Summer While the Downstairs Stays Cool?

Reasons for a Hot Second Floor and How to Cool It Down

Temperature differences from the first floor to a second floor can cause significant discomfort in your home. The most common rationale for a warmer second floor is that “heat rises”. Although true, this is far from the main culprit of an uncomfortable upstairs and there is plenty that can be done to even the temperatures in your 2-story home. Don’t wait until summer to correct this issue.

Read more

Common Causes of Poor Household Air Quality

When most of us think about air pollution, we usually consider outdoor pollutants like exhaust fumes from combustion engines and smoke from factory smokestacks. Yet it may surprise you to learn that indoor air can be up to 700% dirtier than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Read more

Everything You Ever Wanted or Needed to Know About Hard Water

Maybe your water is looking a little cloudier than usual. Perhaps you’ve started to see a ring around your bathtub at the waterline or a white buildup on your bathroom fixtures. You might be finding it hard to get your dishes clean. Or, your skin and hair have lost their luster.

All these issues are consequences of having hard water in your home. They can be annoying, as with water-spotted dishes, or they can make you feel uncomfortable, as with itchy, irritated skin. Left untreated, hard water can also cause costly damage to your pipes and appliances.

Fortunately, you can remove hardness from your home’s water, and we’re here to tell you how. Read on to learn more about what hard water is, how it affects your body, clothes, housewares and appliances, and how to get rid of hard water in your home.

Read more

What can a fresh snow tell you about your home’s comfort?

One improvement that can make a big impact on your energy use all year round.

It’s a beautiful scene after a Central PA snowfall. The trees are glistening and there’s a calmness outside. Of course, you have to get outside to shovel the sidewalk or driveway, and don’t forget to throw some snowballs at the neighborhood kids. But be sure to take a closer look at your house, the snow might give you a clue to your homes comfort.

Read more

What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat to in Winter?

Winter weather is not far away. As you anticipate seasonal changes and the adjustments made to accommodate them, you might start thinking about putting flannel sheets on your bed, swapping your short-sleeved shirts for sweaters and perhaps treating yourself to a thick robe and a new pair of slippers before the coldest days arrive.

Those changes are all common and valid, but it’s also a good idea to think about setting your thermostat to a different temperature in the winter. Here is some helpful information to guide you through the specifics of taking that step. Read more

How to Use Your Senses to Diagnose HVAC Problems

Unless you’re an HVAC/Central Air professional or an engineer, the idea of confronting problems with your heating and cooling may sound daunting. You may have received advice in the past that says that unless you have these advanced qualifications, you can’t possibly know how to identify problems with your HVAC system. And that if you want to try, you’ll first need to wade through pages of dense technical books and web content to find the answers you’re looking for.

We don’t believe these assertions are always true, because there will always be the occasional problem that crops up that only a true professional can diagnose, many everyday hiccups in your system do not require this level of prior knowledge. With nothing more than the information we’ll share here and your five senses, you can easily diagnose and fix many HVAC problems, all without needing a background in the subject.

Today, we want to walk you through some of the problems you may encounter in your heating and cooling systems. Some of them you can fix yourself while others require a more professional touch, but all of them are issues you can diagnose on your own. Read more

How To Choose The Right Air Conditioning System For Your Home

Is the SEER rating of an A/C system important?

At Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we often get asked, ‘what SEER air conditioner do I need for my home?’. This is a valid question for homeowners since with any research you do, you will find manufacturers and articles touting SEER ratings as the end-all be-all of determining the right air conditioner for your home.

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is the measurement of an air conditioner’s electrical output over an average cooling season. This is most similar to the Miles Per Gallon or MPG for the automobile industry. This is a good way to determine how efficient an air conditioner will be, but it should not be the defining factor for selecting an air conditioning system for your home. Read more