replacement air conditioner

This larger outdoor unit is a 16 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) and the smaller one is a 10 SEER. The 10 SEER was straight cooling and used R-22 refrigerant, which has been phased out. The new 16 SEER uses an alternative R-410a refrigerant. The new one is an air source heat pump. This will heat the house until the temperature gets too cold outside and then it will shut off and the oil fired furnace will cycle on. Its cooling capacity is the same as the older one however it is larger because it requires more surface area of coil to obtain that higher efficiency rating. It also has a multi-speed compressor. The compressor runs at one speed on hot days, and faster on hot humid days.

Slow drain pipe

Some older cast iron drainage stacks used galvanized pipe for vent and drain piping branches. Later on plumbers used copper for the drain branches and the galvanized for just venting. The galvanized drain piping became problematic over time because rust builds up inside, debris gets caught on it and the pipe becomes clogged. During construction projects it is always advisable to replace the galvanized pipe with PVC, ABS, or cast iron.

Steam boiler options

 We replaced an oil fired boiler with this gas fired model. The old one used a domestic tankless coil in the boiler block as a heating zone for the finished basement. We installed a gas boiler without a tankless coil. Our installation had to be piped with two check valves, a by-pass for blending supply & return water, and either a stainless or bronze pump. This is a very unique way for a steam boiler to heat a hydronic (hot water) loop.

Geothermal Options

 This is a Myson brand “I-Vector”. It is a fan coil unit which provides heating and air conditioning. This is one of two installed in a home with a geothermal system. We also put a staple up radiant floor heating system in that home. The geothermal contractor installed a hydro-air system on the second floor of this home. These I-Vectors are very versatile in that they are available with one or two coils. They have the capability to  communicate with energy management system in commercial applications. A video can be found at when searching for either “Dwight DeBow” or “geothermal options”.

Cross Section of Water Pipe


When a domestic water system is drained of its water, air fills that void. The turbulence of re-filling the pipes and displacement of the air loosens the debris that has accumulated around the inside of the pipes over time. The loosened debris can easily clog up the grid strainer at your faucets. Sometimes the kitchen pull down or pull out head can be so clogged that the head has to be replaced.

A useful tip: Remove the spray head on your kitchen pull down or pull out head or on a standard faucet unscrew the aerator. Then purge all of the air and water out of the hose until a steady stream of water comes out. During this process there may be water and air spraying out causing a bit of a mess that will need to be wiped up. So, especially when purging air out of a fixture in a small sink, cup your hands around the water/air being purged out so it doesn’t spray all over the place and make a mess.

The above photo is of a 3/4″ water main from a house I worked in. This section of pipe I replaced with new.

Oil to Gas Conversions

In the last three to five years, the demand for oil to gas conversions for heating systems has sky rocketed.  This has occurred because of the increasing cost of heating with oil, as well as the cost savings that can be achieved heating with new high efficiency equipment.  The current rebates, incentives, and financing programs that are available also have impacted consumer demand.

Check out our “Financing and Information” Page for some useful links.