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Simple Water Heater Fixes

February 28th, 2015

Water heater maintenanceYou wake up groggy in the morning and go to shower. You turn on the water, disrobe and get in. Suddenly, you’re much more awake because, instead of the hot water you were expecting, you’ve stepped into a frigid rain. With a short sharp exclamation you shut the water off, grab a towel, and scamper down the stairs to check on your water heater.

The First Thing You Do Check the Thermostat

The first thing you do, still dripping wet and berobed in only a towel, is check the thermostat. It would be silly to panic about the state of the water heater when it could simply be that the thermostat setting for your water heater is low, or can be fixed by being reset (as in an electric water heater). Read the rest of this entry »

Common Sources of Heating System Problems

February 23rd, 2015

heating system problemsIs your home or business positively frigid, heating unevenly or intermittently? With Baltimore experiencing a bitter and frigid winter it’s no time to be dealing with heating system problems. That’s why Farnen and Dermer has prepared a list of common sources of heating system problems, so that you can keep your home or business warm this winter.

Thermostat Trouble

When trying to solve a problem, it’s always best to look at the simple solutions first. With heating problems, the first thing you should check is your thermostat. Make sure it’s set to heat, at least three degrees above the current room temperature, and check to see if it’s reporting the temperature accurately. If you have a programmable thermostat, check with its directions to make sure you have the settings right. If you have a forced air furnace make sure the fan is switched on, and if it is listen to make sure you can hear the fan. If none of this helps, it’s time to check the furnace itself.

Pilot Light or Igniter Problems

The first thing to check on a furnace is the pilot light, electric igniter, or surface igniter. If you have an older gas furnace and have an always on pilot light check to make sure the pilot light is on and producing a strong bright blue flame. If it is off, follow the instructions to relight it. If it will not relight, of if the flame is a weak yellow or red flame you should call professional HVAC technician, as a weak pilot alight could be producing carbon monoxide. Electric igniters and surface igniters should be serviced by HVAC professional.

Clogged Filter

The ignition is what we recommend checking first, but regardless of whether it is the cause of your problem or not, you should take the chance to look at your filter. You filter should be replaced, or cleaned it it’s reusable, monthly. Depending on whether you have children, pets, or are doing a lot of home improvement projects, you might want to replace it more often. A clogged filter can reduce the efficiency of your furnace, and reduce the amount of heat you get in your home.

Mechanical

If it’s not your thermostat, pilot light, or filter then it’s possible you’re looking at a more serious mechanical or electrical problem with your heating system. You may have a problem with a fan belt, the blower or bound gas inducer motors may be broken or stuck.

Need Heating System Maintenance or Replacement?

Can’t fix or diagnose the problem yourself? Call Farnen & Dermer. We can provide give your heating system a check up and get you a heating system maintenance plan, as well as provide any additional plumbing, heating, or HVAC information and service. In the event that your heating system is broken beyond the point of being affordable to repair, if you replace it with Farnen and Dermer you have a chance to qualify for special financing, 60 months 0% APR, that’s five years of no interest on your new heating and cooling system! Read more here.

Farnen & Dermer is located in Central Maryland, and we provide service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state.  The services we provide will not only ensure your heating unit operates at peak efficiency; they will also keep your family warm during the winter, and your electric bill manageable.  If you have any questions about Heating System Maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Importance of Heating System Maintenance

February 13th, 2015

Home heating system maintenance is importantGetting a new heating system and not maintaining it is like buying a new car and not ever changing the oil. You will ruin it quickly. Heating system maintenance is important for keeping your system under warranty, safe, energy efficient, and operating as long as possible.

Maintenance Keeps it Under Warranty

Many heating system manufacturers require regular maintenance from licensed HVAC professionals for the warranty to remain valid. If something happens and you haven’t had regular maintenance from a licensed professional your manufacturer could deny coverage of the equipment leaving you with the entire bill. Farnen and Dermer’s protection plan similarly requires that normal maintenance be performed.

Maintenance Keeps your Family and home Safe

Though heating units have gotten more efficient and safe as technology has improved they still can pose dangers if improperly maintained. Most heating units produce heat from the burning of fossil fuels, which, on top of being dangerous in and of itself, omits gasses that can be toxic or corrosive. The gasses are normally exhausted safely; however, damage to your heating unit can cause these to be emitted into your home. That’s why regular maintenance and inspections are needed to prevent small problems from becoming real hazards.

Maintenance Keep yours System Energy Efficient

Regular maintenance keeps your heating system running at its optimum capacity and as efficiently as possible. Without regular maintenance your system can lag in efficiency and cost you money when it comes to your home heating bill.

Maintenance Keeps Your System Operating Better For Longer

Finally regular routine maintenance is key to getting the best value out of your home heating system and keeping it running longer. The expense of installing a new home heating system is not one you want to pay regularly.

Get a Maintenance Plan from Farnen and Dermer

At Farnen & Dermer we can provide you with a heating system maintenance plan, as well as provide any additional plumbing, heating, or HVAC information and service. Farnen & Dermer is located in Central Maryland, and we provide service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. The services we provide will not only ensure your heating unit operates at peak efficiency; they will also keep your family warm during the winter, and your electric bill manageable.  If you have any questions about Heating System Maintenance or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Signs you need a Heating System Replacement

February 9th, 2015

heating system replacement neededLast week we made a note that in the interest of saving money on your energy bills during the winter, you might want to replace your heating system. But how do you know your heating system needs to be replaced? To help you figure out if your need heating system replacement, Farnen and Dermer has made a list of signs you need to watch out for.

Your Heating System Needs to be Repaired Often

If your heating system needs to be repaired once, that isn’t an indicator that it needs to be immediately replaced. However, if it has gotten to the point that it needs to be repaired every year, you should definitely consider it. The added up cost of repeated repairs can get costly quickly, in that case, investing a new system will save you in the long run.

Your Heating System Produces Odors

There are several different kinds of smells you can get from your heating system, and they’re each important in their own way and should be paid attention to.

A musty or moldy odor is normal when a heating system is turned on for the first time of the year, but it should not persist. If it does, replace the filters. If that doesn’t help call a professional for help and consider replacement.

If you smell oil, smoke, burning plastic or electrical parts it should be investigated by a professional immediately. It may be that your heating system needs to be replaced.

The Heating of your Heating System Is Inconsistent

If your heating system has trouble maintaining a set temperature, or has some rooms consistently at the wrong temperature, it may be time to consider replacing it. Inconsistent heating of the house can quickly lead to higher heating bills and uncomfortable living.

Your Home Is Unusually Dry or Humid

Humidity and temperature are linked. If rooms in your home are inconsistent in humidity, or consistently at the wrong humidity, then it might be time to consider heating system replacement.

Your Heating System was Installed more then 10 Years Ago.

With improvements in heating technology, and energy efficiency made in the last decade, it could be that keeping your current heating system will lose you more money in the long run then updating it.

Replace your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning with Farnen and Dermer

At Farnen & Dermer you can qualify for a special offer of 0% APR financing for sixty months (That’s Five Years!) on select new heating and cooling systems.  At Farnen & Dermer we’re more then happy to talk to you about home or business’ heating and cooling needs. Farnen & Dermer is located in Baltimore, and we provide installation, service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. The services we provide will not only ensure your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or water heater operate at peak efficiency; they will also keep your family warm during the winter, and your utility bills manageable.  If you have any questions about saving on your winter heating bill or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Guide to Save on your Winter Heating Bills

February 1st, 2015

thermostatThe cost of heating your home or business during the winter can get to be pretty steep. By taking some of these simple measures you can help save on your winter heating bills for years to come. Even if it costs a little upfront the investment will pay for itself and save you money in the long run.

Make Sure Your Home or Business is Weatherproofed

The first thing you should do to save on your winter heating bills is make sure you’re not wasting the heat your property is already producing.  Check the weatherproofing around your windows, the seals on your doors and garages, your chimney if you have one, and the insulation in your roof or attic. Crumbling caulking around windows can be easily replaced, as can the seals around doors. If you feel a draft around the chimney you can get the damping system replaced, or install fitted glass doors in the fireplace to keep excess hot air from escaping. Finally, by filling the roof and attic with insulation you can save as much as 30 percent off your winter heating bill.

Get to Know your Thermostat

If your house is well weatherproofed, the next best thing you can do to save money on your winter energy bills is to become familiar with your thermostat. Educating yourself in its operations and functions can help reduce your winter heating bill by up to 20 percent. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat now’s the time to invest in one.  With a programmable thermostat you can set your home or businesses temperature to be 10 or 15 degrees cooler while you’re away. By not heating your property while you’re not there you can save substantially on your energy bills. If you’re not using all the space on your property you can set the thermostat lower, and use space heaters to heat just the rooms you primarily use.  Finally, you can set the thermostat low, and just make sure you bundle up well with multiple layers.

Quick Tips

There are lots of smaller, inexpensive, things you can do to help save on your heating bills over the winter. By opening your window blinds during the day, you let in the winter sun and help heat your building’s interior, and by closing window blinds, shades, and drapes when the sun’s down you can help stop some of that heat from escaping. By closing the doors and vents to the rooms you’re not using helps channel the heat your furnace is producing to the rooms where you really want it. Most water heaters come from the factory set at 140°F, by setting it to 120°F you can still be warm in the shower, and save energy. However, if you follow this simple guide and still find your building cold and your heating bill expensive it may be time to…

Replace your Old Equipment

If your heating equipment like your furnace, boiler, or heat pump frequently break, or are more then ten years old, it might be time to consider replacing them.  The good news is, that Farnen & Dermer has a special offer of 0% APR financing for sixty months on select new heating and cooling systems.  At Farnen & Dermer we’re more then happy to talk to you about heating your home or small business. Farnen & Dermer is located in Baltimore, and we provide installation, service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. The services we provide will not only ensure your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or water heater operate at peak efficiency; they will also keep your family warm during the winter, and your utility bills manageable.  If you have any questions about saving on your winter heating bill or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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The Benefits of a Backup Generator

January 16th, 2015

With the threat of seasonal storms growing every year, interest in backup generators has never been higher. Home backup generators are an excellent solution for giving your home power during an electrical outage that lasts more than a few hours. If you electricity goes out, a backup generator will kick on automatically, ensuring that your home has plenty of power and that you won’t have to suffer through all trouble other solutions entail.  Farnen & Dermer is here with a summary of all the great reasons why backup generators are well worth the investment.backup generator

A backup generator can do a whole lot more than just provide you with the comfort of light during a power outage. It can also save you a lot of money during what could prove to be a costly experience. Between food going bad, hotel prices, and the potential damage caused by ruptured plumbing, a backup generator will practically pay for itself during just one outage.

Backup Generator Benefits

If your electricity goes out, there’s simply nothing more reassuring than knowing a backup generator is ready to help. It’s easy to take the comforts power provides us with for granted, but once your home is freezing cold, dark, and unable to provide power to entertainment devices, computers, cell phones and other necessities, you realize just how fortunate you are when they’re all working.

Investing in a standby generator can save you from these costly inconveniences:

  • Spoiled food: Power outages almost invariably to spoiled food. If you haven’t suffered through this before, trust us, it’s not worth it. Spoiled food can lead to mold growth inside your refrigerator and, obviously, wastes the hundreds of dollars you spent on it.
  • Staying in a Hotel: Staying in a hotel for a night is expensive. Even a single bed could run you upwards of $200, and that’s assuming you can comfortable fit your family into one room, and that hotels haven’t raised their prices during the storm, knowing desperate homeowners will come calling.
  • Plumbing Failure: If your basement houses a sump pump, which many do, utility power failure could lead to the pump bursting. The resulting damage, irreparable loss of possessions, and clean-up costs can run in the thousands of dollars. If the outage happens during winter, your pipes could freeze and explode, leading to even more repairs and making your house uninhabitable for a long stretch of time.

Interested in Purchasing a Backup Generator?

At Farnen & Dermer we’re more than happy to talk to you and help you with purchasing a backup generator, as well as provide any additional plumbing, heating, or HVAC information and service. Farnen & Dermer is located in Central Maryland, and we provide service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. If you have any questions about backup generators or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Your Maryland Plumber: Troubleshooting a Broken Garbage Disposal

January 6th, 2015

Garbage disposals can be appliances of both supreme convenience and frustration. While they can make cleaning up after a meal a snap, they can also be prone to a variety of problems. While it’s best to have these problems addressed by a garbage disposal repair professional in Maryland, there are a few things you can do to handle the matter yourself.

garbage disposal

The Garbage Disposal Will Not Run

If your garbage disposal fails to start, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to see if the disposal blades will turn freely. To do this, use the silver-colored service wrench, which should look like a small crank, to attempt to turn the disposal. You should never, under any circumstances, attempt to turn the blade using your fingers. If you cannot easily turn the disposal using the wrench, your garbage disposal may be jammed.

If it does turn but still won’t start, look and see if the reset button has been activated. If it has, follow your disposal’s manual to disable the overload reset. If your garbage disposal is hardwired into your Maryland home’s electrical system, make sure the breaker has not been turned off or blown a fuse. If none of these steps fixes the problem or you are unsure as to how to continue, consult a plumbing and garbage disposal repair professional today.

Strange Noises are Coming From The Disposal

If your garbage disposal has started to make metallic clanking, clicking, or rattling sounds, there’s a high chance that a foreign object, such as a fork, could be stuck in the disposal. If the object is visible you may try to retrieve it using the service wrench, but first make sure the disposal is turned off and do not insert your hand into the disposal. If you cannot see the obstructing object, or your garbage disposal is making a high-pitched squeal, contact a Maryland-based disposal repair professional immediately.

Need Professional Garbage Disposal Repair?

If the above hasn’t fixed your garbage disposal, or if you’re worried about damaging your plumbing system, call Farnen & Dermer. With years of experience in all manner of plumbing and HVAC repair across the state of Maryland, our experts can repair your garbage disposal or any other plumbing problem quickly, affordably, and correctly.

Call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Holiday Energy Saving Tips for Baltimore

December 22nd, 2014

At Farnen & Dermer we know that the holidays can be a pricey time for Baltimore homeowners when it comes to their energy bills. Between the costs of decking the halls in fully electric lighting and entertaining family members, the holiday season can often seem more costly than it’s worth. That’s why we’re here with some energy saving tips, so you can stop worrying about bills and start enjoying the most festive time of year.

energy saving

Use LED Christmas Lights and Fiber Optic Decorations

Standard Christmas lights can really chew through the watts over the course of the Christmas season, driving electrical bills through the roof. LED bulbs use 10% of the electricity required to power a standard filament bulb, and they last much, much longer. If you’re looking for even more energy savings than consider buying a fiber optic tree or set of decorations for your Baltimore home. These devices use a single LED bulb to light an entire object, saving quite a lot of energy and money.

Limit Light Time

To really reel in the energy savings wait until it’s dark out before turning on your Christmas lights, and be sure to always turn them off before you go to sleep. Try to aim for having them running less than six hours of the day. You can always set a timer to make sure you remember to shut them off. You can also save energy by using your Christmas lights, when they’re on, to light a room, rather than also turning on the normal lights.

Use Candles

You can also save on energy by adding a little old-fashioned flair to your Baltimore home. Put up some candles and lanterns where you can for a beautiful Christmas lighting arrangement. Just make sure to steer clear of any flammable objects and never leave a flame unobserved.

Limit Electronic Purchases

Around 40% of all batteries sold during the year are purchased right now, in the winter holiday season. That’s a ton of money spent on a non-ecologically friendly power source. Save money and make a difference by buying gifts that don’t require batteries or electricity. If you need to buy something with batteries, purchase reusable ones and a charger.

Want Even Greater Energy Savings?

Call Farnen & Dermer. At Farnen & Dermer we’re more than happy to talk to you and help with finding ways to save even more on your energy bills. Our state-of-the-art HVAC systems are virtually guaranteed to lower your monthly payments. Farnen & Dermer is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and we provide service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. If you have any questions about energy saving during the holidays or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Electrical Safety Tips for The Holidays

December 10th, 2014

With the holiday season upon us in Baltimore, heaters are pumping away, and lights are wrapped around the house. Right now, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of electrical safety precautions and what you can do to minimize the risks of encountering a serious electrical problem. Farnen & Dermer, your Baltimore electricians, are here with some electrical safety tips for the holidays.Electrical Safety

Inspect Electrical Decorations Before Plugging In

Make sure to take a good hard look at your possibly aging Christmas and holiday decorations this year before you use them. Damaged plugs and sockets, bare wires, and loose connections could give you or a loved one a nasty shock, or even start a fire. Before you decorate you Baltimore home, take a count of available outlets and adjust your plans accordingly. Make sure you follow manufacturer instructions on any decorations and that you have correctly rated electrical cords for them to ensure maximum electrical safety.

Use Caution When Hanging Light Strings

You should never connect greater than three strings of incandescent lights together. This can cause a circuit breaker to trip and, potentially, an electrical fire. Think about buying some LED bulbs. They use less energy and operate at lower temperatures than incandescent lights. Take care to always unplug any electrical decorations before attempting to replace a bulb or fuse. Another important bit of electrical safety wisdom: Make sure you turn off any electrical decorations prior to going to sleep or leaving your Baltimore home.

Water Live Trees Daily

If you’re using a living Christmas tree this winter, make sure it stays hydrated. Dry trees are a major fire hazard. Electrical safety standards dictate that you should only hang lights and decorations that have been approved by a lab with national recognition. When you place your tree in its stand, cut two inches off the base and make sure to fill the stand each day. If you purchase an artificial Christmas tree, make sure it’s labeled as “fire resistant” and avoid using electrical ornaments/ lights if the tree has metallic coverings on its leaves or branches.

Need Help With Electrical Safety in Baltimore?

Call Farnen & Dermer. At Farnen & Dermer we’re more than happy to talk to you and help with any electrical safety issues and maintenance in your Baltimore home, as well as provide any additional plumbing, heating, or HVAC information and service. Farnen & Dermer is located in Central Maryland, and we provide service, repair, and maintenance to customers throughout the state. If you have any questions about electrical safety during the holidays or wish to schedule an appointment, call us at (410)-902-0020. You can also use our online contact form. You will be contacted by a member of our support staff within 24 business hours.

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Holiday Plumbing Tips for Maryland

December 4th, 2014

Holiday PlumbingThe days after Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season mark the busiest time of the year for plumbers and plumbing services everywhere. The prep work involved in cooking up that perfect holiday feast, and the massive undertaking that is the post-dinner cleanup, can generate an enormous amount of waste for kitchen drains and garbage disposals. That’s not even accounting for the added strain holiday house guests put on your washing machine, showers, toilets, and other pieces of household plumbing.

Many times, homes will have partially clogged drains that go unnoticed until they snap under the added pressure of holiday guests and festivities. It also doesn’t help that most traditional holiday dishes, with their hearty, filling composition, are notorious drain cloggers in their own right. When they band together, plumbing trembles in fear.

Holiday hosts and hostesses can avoid having to call a plumber in for the holidays if they follow a few, simple anti-clogging measures:

  1. Do not pour cooking oil, or fat cooked off meat, directly down a drain. This grease will solidify inside plumbing causing blockages quickly. Using a paper towel, wipe grease from your pans and throw it in the trash, or collect it in jars for disposal or future cooking use.
  2. Even garbage disposals have their limits. Stay away from putting starchy, stringy, or fibrous waste down the disposal. A disposal cannot process these types of waste effectively and will jam.
  3. When you do put waste in the disposal, make sure that it’s running at full speed. Putting garbage in before turning it on is a recipe for disaster.
  4. If you’re playing host to guests over the holidays, make it a general policy to wait at least 10 minutes between showers so slow drains can work their magic, and so you don’t run out of hot water.
  5. Never, ever flush cotton swabs, balls, hair, or wet wipes down the commode. These products won’t dissolve in water and instead build up over time, causing clogs. Make sure to dispose of these in a trash can.
  6. If you have any recurring plumbing problems that you’re already aware of, take the time to address them before your guests arrive for the holidays. Know your personal limits on DIY work and call in a plumber if you’re unsure if you can tackle something. Small plumbing problems, exacerbated under the added stress of the holidays can turn into disasters if they’re not fixed beforehand.

Need A Plumber This Holiday Season?

Call Farnen & Dermer! Our highly trained plumbers know how to quickly address any holiday plumbing issue, fixing it fast, and affordably. We know how to handle any plumbing problem you might run into this holiday season, and we’ll be there when you need us to be.


If you are looking for garden and landscaping supplies, or landscaping and hardscaping services, stop by our location in Glen Burnie, Maryland. We will be happy to provide you with insight and expert customer service!
10500 Reisterstown Rd
Owings Mills
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21117
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