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How Residential HVAC Systems Differ from Commercial Systems

The single lamp you use in your home couldn’t be used to light a football stadium, right? To light such a huge space, you need thousands of bulbs working together. Even if they serve the same purpose, those systems are created differently in order to properly serve their purpose. The same is true when it comes to heating and cooling. That’s why residential HVAC systems differ from commercial systems. residential-hvac-systems-differ-from-commercial-systems-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

How Residential HVAC Systems Differ from Commercial Systems

The Structure

  • Residential Spaces: Most residential spaces use a split system that has the evaporator coils and blower inside and the condenser coils and compressor outside.
  • Commercial Spaces: Commercial HVAC systems have all the necessary components packaged together in large, self-contained cabinets.

The Location

  • Residential Spaces: Personal HVAC systems can be located outside and inside on the ground floor and first floor of a home.
  • Commercial Spaces: These units are usually on rooftops in order to keep noise pollution out of the building.

The Capacity

  • Residential Spaces: These units are made to cover specific areas and cannot be altered. Once they’re made, their capacities are set.
  • Commercial Spaces: These systems are designed to allow extra heating and cooling power to be added to them if need be.

The Moisture Control

  • Residential Spaces: Residential systems simply use a small pan to collect the condensation produced during its cycles.
  • Commercial Spaces: Since they cover such a large area, commercial HVAC systems produce a ton of condensation and need their own intense drainage systems to get rid of the moisture.


For all of your commercial HVAC needs, call Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. Every installation comes with an all inclusive 1-year installation warranty, and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed in writing! We offer a variety of personal and professional financing and leasing options, and our estimates are always free with no obligation to buy. For more information call 1-855-GET-WAHL.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your HVAC System

Happy 2018, everyone! We hope you’ve been settling nicely into the new year, and we’re sure you’ve started making your list of resolutions for the next 12 months. While you’re thinking of what to add, why not put a few resolutions for your HVAC system on that list? hvac-resolutions-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Change Your Filters

Unless you want to start the year off by damaging your HVAC system and breathing dirty air, change your air filters. Not only do dirty filters clog the air flow in your HVAC system, but they also can’t do their job and catch contaminants from your air. It’s important to change your air filters every month, so make it a resolution to do so!

Breathe Easier

While there are certain things you can do to keep the air in your indoor clean, outside pollutants and allergens can still enter your home. You can combat this by using HEPA air filters and by installing whole-home air purifiers. These systems work with your HVAC system to remove dust, mold, allergens, and other particles from your home, improving your its air quality.

Upgrade Your HVAC System

If your HVAC system has seen its fair share of years, or if it’s costing you more in repairs than it should be, it may be time to upgrade your system. Older systems are not nearly as efficient as newer ones and can end up raising your utility costs from how much energy they use. Upgrading your system to a newer, more efficient model can save you money and keep you more comfortable.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we are dedicated to keeping your family comfortable all year-round. From HVAC installation, repairs, and maintenance to emergency services, we have you covered in the Pittsburgh area. For more information or to schedule a service, give us a call at 412-276-9245.


Tankless Water Heaters Help Meet Holiday Demands

Tankless water heaterAs you get your home ready for holiday guests, your plumbing system can get pushed to the wayside.  However, holiday guests can also put extra strain on your plumbing – especially if they’re spending the night (or the weekend). Just imagine how quickly you may run out of hot water if every cousin from out of town needs to shower before you all sit down for dinner!

Will you have enough hot water to handle all of your family and friends?  A tankless water heater can help you meet holiday demands!

How Can Tankless Water Heaters Help?

Tankless water heaters differ from standard water heaters in that they heat your water as it is needed.  While standards tanks heat and store a set amount of hot water, tankless water heaters offer an unlimited supply of hot water.

Not sure if your water heater can handle the holiday demand?  Give us a call and learn more about the benefits of upgrading to a tankless water heater!

If you run into any problems with your heating system in the meantime, we also offer emergency repairs, even during the holidays.  We offer 24/7 service to Pittsburgh, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry Township, Ross Township, and the surrounding areas – so you will always have access to heating service and care all through the holiday season.

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What To Do When There’s No Hot Water

After a long day out in the cold, you probably want nothing more than to come home, take a hot shower, and go to bed. But what happens when there’s no hot water and you end up with a cold shower? If your water heater isn’t doing its job properly, there are a few things you might want to check

For Electric Water Heaters

  • Grounded Element: If your heat element is not working, you’ll need to have it replaced.
  • Accidental Grounding: If there are stray objects running across the electric wires, your water heater may not power properly.
  • Tripped Reset Button: If your reset button keeps tripping, you may have a faulty part. Replacing it should fix the problem.
  • Leaks: If water is leaking out of a component, you may be able to tighten the part to fix the problem. However, if water is leaking from the tank itself, you’ll need to replace the tank entirely.
  • Frayed Wires: If the electrical wires on your unit are frayed or damaged, they could cause a direct shortage. You’ll want to replace those wires right away to prevent starting an electrical fire.

For Gas Water Heaters

  • No Gas: It may sound silly, but make sure you have enough gas to power your water heater and that the valve is open.
  • Thermocouple: The tip of the thermocouple should be in the flame of the pilot light, so if it’s not, you may need to replace this component.
  • Defective Supply Line: If your gas line is clogged, bent, or has any holes, your heater may not be able to do its job, so replace any damaged lines as necessary.
  • Dirty Burner: Over time, soot can build up on your burner and prevent your unit from working properly. Cleaning the burner regularly can prevent this.
  • Bad Ventilation: Strong winds or even pests can block your flue from properly ventilating or extinguish the pilot light. Clean the flue to prevent the pilot from going out.

If you’re in need of water heater repair in Pittsburgh, contact the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We’re here to help guide you towards the best water heating system for your home needs and your wallet. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.


Ways To Prevent A Christmas Plumbing Disaster

While Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, the cold winter conditions and the extra guests at your home can also set you up for a possible plumbing disaster.  Ensure there will be no plumbing issues to interfere with your holiday fun, by taking these preventative measures. plumbing pittsburgh

Prevent Sink Clogs

Family and friends may be eager to help with your Christmas dinner clean-up duties. While the extra help can be nice, make sure that they’re not haphazardly tossing food down the kitchen drain. Ask your guests to scrape excess food off of their plates into the garbage to avoid burning out your garbage disposal or clogging the drain. You might even want to set up a separate trash bin for all of the food waste.

Prevent Hot Water Depletion

Since the holiday time often brings extra visitors, you may be offering up a room or two in your house for friends or family. Be mindful of the additional showers and water usage that will be had during this time. Spacing out your showers, or turning your water off when it is not needed is a good way to ensure you have enough hot water to go around.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a sure-fire way to kill the holiday spirit. Homes that do not have sufficient insulation are at risk for frozen pipes. Ensure you have fully turned off all the outside taps which can be prone to dripping. You can also cover any exposed water pipes with basic pipe insulation to keep prevent them from freezing and causing big problems.

Wahl wishes you and your family a happy and healthy, flood-free, clogless Christmas! To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services offered, visit our website or give us a call at 412-276-9245.

How Snow Can Affect Your Furnace

By now, you’re probably well aware that the cold weather has arrived and snow is going to call Pittsburgh its home for the next few months. While all that snow may seem pretty right now, it can actually be the cause of some ugly situations. In fact, snow can affect your furnace and cause some major damage to your home, even putting your family’s lives in danger. snow-can-affect-furnace-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Snow can block your furnace’s air intake.

In order to properly treat and cycle air throughout your home, your furnace is constantly taking in air from outside to replace air it has used. If snow gets up against the side of your home, it can block your furnace’s air intake and cause it to work harder and potentially break down.

Snow can block your furnace’s exhaust.

Just as your furnace takes in air, it also pushes air out of your home after it has used it. If piled-up or packed-in snow blocks your furnace’s exhaust, pressure and heat can build up and potentially cause a fire in your home.

Snow can cause corrosion.

Your furnace and its relative parts are typically made of metal — and metal corrodes when it gets too much moisture. The snow sitting against or on top of your outdoor heat pump or other HVAC unit can cause water damage that can corrode your system.

Snow can bend fans or fins.

Snow can be heavy, especially if/when it turns to ice. That kind of weight can easily bend the fans in your outdoor HVAC unit, leading to repairs that would probably be otherwise unnecessary if the snow had been cleared.

When you go to shovel your driveway and walkways, take a few extra minutes to clear the snow from any exhaust areas your furnace uses as well as off any outdoor units. You’ll be glad you did.

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing can help. We’ve been serving the Pittsburgh metro area since 1989, so you know you can trust us to help you and your family. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.


Winterizing Your Home Plumbing

Winter is coming, so that means it’s time to stock up on hot cocoa mix, break out your heavy coats, and start getting your home ready to handle the cold weather. One of the biggest areas of your home that can take a hit from the low temperatures of this season is your pipes and plumbing. In order to protect your home, you need to start winterizing your home plumbing. winterizing-your-home-plumbing-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Insulate your Pipes

A huge problem we see in winter is frozen pipes. To protect against this, insulate your pipes using polyethylene or fiberglass tubes. If you’re making this a DIY project, make sure to be extra careful working on any pipes that have been repaired in the last year or so, as these are more susceptible to damage.

Let Outside Faucets Drip

Normally we argue any kind of faucet drip, but winter calls for exceptions. To prevent outside faucets and pipes from freezing, allow there to be a small, steady drip. This prevents any pressure buildup between the faucet and a freeze and can save a pipe from bursting.

Fix Exterior Cracks

If you notice that there are any holes or crack in the outside walls or foundation, fill them with caulk or foam insulation so cold air outside doesn’t get into your home as easily and affect your pipes.

When it comes to your home’s plumbing, the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing can help. We’ve been serving the Pittsburgh metro area since 1989, so you know you can trust us to help you and your family. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

What Happens When You Skip a Furnace Inspection

Think hard — when was the last time you had your furnace inspected? While we’re hoping it was within the last six months, there’s definitely a chance that it’s been a lot longer. Before you go brushing that off, you may want to know what happens when you skip a furnace inspection, especially this late in the game. skip-a-furnace-inspection

Inaccurate Temperatures

As time goes on and your furnace gets older, it may get out of sync with your thermostat and cause inaccurate temperature reading. This can cost you a lot of wasting money when it comes to your utility bills. Whether it’s because it needs to be reset or because there’s a computer error, a faulty thermostat can be a big pain in the neck. Regular furnace inspections can spot any problems with your thermostat early.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Every day, your furnace collects dust and other particles in its air filters and ductwork. If you skip a furnace inspection, you may also forget to change your filters and all that dust can end up traveling through your home when your furnace cycles on.

A Broken Furnace

If there’s a small problem with your furnace, regular inspections will give your HVAC technician a chance to spot those issues and correct them before they get worse. If you skip a furnace inspection, your furnace could end up breaking down completely because those issues weren’t found and got worse over time.

For comprehensive furnace inspections, trust the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We’ve been serving the Pittsburgh metro area since 1989, so you know you can trust us to help you and your family. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.


Overly Hot House on Thanksgiving? Here’s How to Fix It

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you know what that means — all the family is coming over, and there is going to be a lot of cooking going on. If your past holiday gatherings have ended with guests sweating at dinner or stepping outside every 10 minutes because of how hot it feels inside, you should definitely do yourself a favor and follow these tips for fixing an overly hot house on Thanksgiving. overly-hot-house-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Turn Down Your Thermostat

With the amount of heat your oven and stove will give off, not to mention the general body heat all your guests will give off, you don’t need to have your thermostat set to 75°. Turn it down to 68° or even 65° to balance out the temperature in your home.

Use Your Exhaust Fan

Not only will the fan get rid of any cooking odors lurking around your home, but it always will help pull excess heat out of your home. Once you start cooking, turn the exhaust fan on to avoid an overly hot house.

Keep Pots and Pans Covered

By keeping your pots and pans covered while they’re on your stove, you will contain the heat coming off that food rather than letting it spread into your home. Plus keeping food covered helps it cook faster.

Use Glass or Ceramic Cookware

These materials allow you to lower your oven’s temperature up to 25°and still cook your food the same way. If you can have your oven at 375° instead of 400°, that’s a decent amount of heat that won’t be spread into your home.

Turn on Ceiling Fans

While fans themselves don’t cool air, they do circulate it and prevent your home from feel stuffy and humid. If there isn’t a ceiling fan near your dining room, kitchen, or living room, consider getting an oscillating fan for those spaces.

Open Your Windows

Even though it’s cold outside, all your guests will appreciate your cracking a few windows to let fresh air flow through your home. You don’t have to open every window wide — just a few of them a couple of inches around the house for a bit of coolness.


If you really want to avoid having an overly hot house this Thanksgiving, it helps to have a solid HVAC system. From routine AC service and heating maintenance to emergency repairs, Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing is ready to help with all your HVAC needs in Pittsburgh. For more information or to schedule a service, please call us at 412-276-9245.


Easy Ways to Ventilate Your Home

Imagine being stuck in a large box with no windows, vents, or other openings. Sounds terrible, right? Well if you’re not allowing air to flow into and out of your home, that’s basically what you’re living in. The good news is that there are plenty of easy ways to ventilate your home and keep your air fresh and clean. ventilate-your-home-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Open Your Windows

This is may sound so simple, but a lot of homeowners don’t open their windows for fear that they’ll let conditioned air out. But air needs to be able to circulate your home; otherwise, it becomes stale and dry. Every day, open your windows for just 10 minutes — that’s enough time for inside air to be replaced by fresh outdoor air.

Use Your Fans

When you’re cooking, use your exhaust fan, and do the same when you shower. Those fans get rid of food odors and excess moisture that common household activities put into the air. If you don’t use your fans, your home could feel moist and smell like last week’s Salmon — and nobody wants that.

Clean Your Air Ducts

Your ducts are responsible for taking air to and from different locations in your home. If they’re full of dust and other debris, they won’t be able to help circulate or ventilate the air in your home. Plus, dirty air ducts can lead to pressure buildup, which can be very dangerous to your HVAC system and home.

When it comes to keeping your home comfortable and clean, Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing is ready to help with all your HVAC needs in Pittsburgh. For more information or to schedule a service, please call us at 412-276-9245.


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