Friday, June 20, 2014

Seems SUMMER IS HERE!...if not a lttle late to the Party.

Image by"hin255" at
AHHH SUMMER! Here it is June 18th and it seems to finally be showing signs that it has arrived.
It might be a short heat wave(predictions say it is going to cool down to the 70's this weekend) but it is hot and we haven't seen much of that this year.

With that being said you're probably not thinking too much about air conditioning. But now is the best time to consider servicing or replacing your air conditioning system.While it is going to be a spectacular weekend - weather wise - in the mid seventies, dry and not a cloud in the sky you should still consider calling Simmons to make sure your air conditioning system is ready to go.

Now that you can relax and know that your A/C is being taken care of, not to mention your plumbing and, dare we say, heating go out there and enjoy the weather we are having now. Lord knows we deserve it after the winter we had. Lots going on this weekend from Hampton Beach to the Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm.

Enjoy and remember - SUMMER IS HERE! and the HEAT IS COMING:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 2014 and the Heat is Still Kicking In!?!?

Here it is a day in late May and I just saw a person ride by on a bike wearing a winter jacket. With the exception of a few days teasing us with eighty degrees, and thankfully a Memorial Day Weekend with fairly warm and sunny weather, it feels more like a cold wet autumn than spring. It does not seem like it now but the hot weather will be here before you know it. According to the Farmer's Almanac it is going to be a hot,humid and oppressive summer.

Even as you may be contemplating turning your heat back on you have to ask yourself  is your air conditioning system is up to the task of the coming summer months? Now is the time to get it up and running, not when you, your family or your employees are sweltering in the unrelenting heat that can be a New England summer in July and August. Our friends at the Farmer's Almanac are also predicting a warmer than normal early fall.

Also, as has been mentioned before, this spring is seeing a brutal allergy season and maintaining and improving the air quality in your home or office can go a long way in alleviating the suffering brought on by spring allergies. So have your whole HVAC system looked at now because let's face it before you know it winter will be here again and the heating system will be running 24/7.
Image by Simon Howden
So no matter what your plumbing, cooling, ventilation, air conditioning or, dear we say, heating needs give Simmons a call and you'll be breathing easier in no time!!

Friday, May 2, 2014


It's been a crazy Spring. We have had a little bit of everything, weather wise!

And we at Simmons Plumbing can help with any issue you may have.


Yes unfortunately it has still been cold enough to find the need to use your heat.
Don't freak out though.

We're still here if you require any repair on maintenance on your boiler or furnace.


With all the wet and humid(if not altogether warm) days we have been having allergy season is hitting with a vengeance. There is not much we can do to help you when you are out doors, but we can when it comes to your indoors. Give us a call.
Healthy Climate® Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

A.........C.........Air Conditioning.

Believe it or not it WILL GET WARMER and it WILL BE HOT!
So make sure that air conditioner is ready. To help you along with that we are now offering(for a limited time) an "Early Bird" Special on Air Conditioner Tune Ups. So "Dont Wait For The Heat!"

Early Bird $99 AC Tune Up Simmons Plumbing

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring and our thoughts turn to...Air Conditioning

Yes it is Spring in New England! 


Winter is over and our Boys of Summer are back. Everything is right with the world... well not quite.
Yes that was snow we saw on the ground the second week of April and our returning World Series Champs haven't even made it to 500 ball.

But we at Simmons Plumbing know that both of these situations are temporary. While there is not much we can do for the Red Sox other than root for the home team with the rest of you, we can offer solutions for your comfort in the heat we know is coming.

Air Conditioners are an integral part of the way we live today. They offer comfortable spaces where we live, where we work and in the vehicles we use to go back and forth between both. From portable wall units to massive industrial systems, air conditioning not only makes modern life comfortable but in some cases possible where it was not before. Environments from air planes to hospitals and many spaces in between would not be possible without modern air conditioning systems. 

And they are not only for cooling the air but for keeping the air in these facilities at a constant temperature year round. They are responsible for the Heating and Ventilation as well as Air Conditioning. In fact that is what HVAC stands for - Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

Here is a list of some of the different types of Air Conditioner units you may be interested in.

The air conditioners that most people are familiar with are the portable window units we see in homes and sometimes the larger units recessed in walls. But there are many others.

Central Air Conditioners are the next type that people are also familiar with since they are becoming more and more common in new home construction.  Central air conditioners come in two basic set ups: Split System and Packaged.

Split Systems are what homeowners are more accustomed to seeing. They are called split systems because the compressor/condenser part of the a/c is housed in a unit outside the home and the evaporator is inside and sends the cool air through the home via ductwork(most likely the same as heats the home). Since the compressor/condenser makes the most noise and is outside these systems have the benefit of being quiet.

Packaged central air conditioners are used on larger buildings and if you have seen units on the roof this is most likely a packaged variety.

Ductless or Mini Split Aair Conditioning Systems - These ac units are kind of a cross between a Split System unit and a portable air conditioner, if you will. If your home does not have duct work and you are looking for something more than a window unit this may be what you are looking for. It consists of an outdoor unit similiar to a split system central air conditioner that is attached to many smaller wall units through out the home.

Bag of Ice and a Fan, just kidding ;) but it can work if you have no other choice - we recommend the above units however!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Happy Spring from Simmons Cooling, Plumbing & HVAC

Winter is finally over and spring is on the way. With the change in seasons, we move away from worrying about the cold and keeping our heating systems  running, to allergy season and how to survive the day to day dilemma of  itchy eyes and runny noses.

Image by Stuart Miles at

We here at Simmons can only sympathize with your plight with dealing with allergies while outdoors and leave what ever help you may find to your doctor. When it comes to helping you find relief and comfort indoors we are more than qualified to offer both advice and solutions to this seasonal issue.

It may not at first seem obvious but it is a fact that the indoor air quality in your home or office can be worse than the air outside. This is because the allergens that are present outside this time of year are also inside. Add to this the indoor particles caused by mold, pet dander, dust mites and fumes from appliances such as water heaters or ovens and you can see why the air inside can potentially be worse. Also it is worth mentioning that these irritants, unlike the seasonal variety outside, can be present year round.

Unlike the outdoor air quality, however, there is plenty that can be done to control the quality of air inside. There are many appliances and systems around your home or office that we at Simmons are qualified to maintain and repair. There are some steps, however, that you can take yourself to improve the air quality in your home        
  • Add houseplants  -  One Houseplant for every 100 square feet of indoor living space will greatly increase the quality of the air in your home.
  • Do not smoke indoors  -  This one should go without saying but still good advice.
  • Fight against dust-mites  -  Clean bedding frequently(at least weekly), keep pets off of furniture.
  • Check your Radon Level  -  The EPA can provide you with a do-it-yourself testing kit. For more information you can find the kit here.

For anything that requires professional assistance give us a call. We can help with everything. Cleaning out the gas jets of your gas oven, will cut down on the fumes that may cause poor air quality. Or we can install a complete ventilation or indoor air quality system. Give us a call or contact us and we will be happy to help you enjoy the bright warm weather ahead.

Happy Spring from Simmons Cooling, Plumbing and HVAC!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Is Going Out Like A...?

With it now officially spring(according to the calender anyway) and March almost over you have to wonder about the old adage:

"March Comes In Like A Lion

  But Goes Out Like ..
A Lamb"????
 ... Maybe.

This year it seems it is going to go out as tough as it came in. Although those of us north of Boston missed this latest storm the cold remains. And after some warm weather this weekend, albeit with more storms bringing rain it seems that it may be turning cold again next week.

With all that being said this is a year to especially make sure your heating system is running at it's optimum so remember we at Simmons are still here for any issues you may have.

But let's start looking forward. We are all longing for some warm weather but does anyone even remember what warm weather feels like? Ya, short sleeves, sun on your face, tickle in your nose, eyes running and red. Wait, WHAT?? Yup, spring around here also means allergy season and while it may not be as extreme, temperature-wise like this winter or the height of summer, it can be extremely uncomfortable. This season promises to be especially bad since all that snow along with the rain that is forecast causes wet and soggy conditions which creates a perfect breeding ground for pollen according to the experts

Images by tiverylucky @
While we here at Simmons can't help with the outdoor conditions we certainly can with your indoor conditions so do not hesitate to contact us about more information on making your home clear of allergy creating conditions.

So enjoy our New England weather, keep an eye out for the wild life and have plenty of tissues and allergy pills handy.

(did we mention we provide service on air conditioning systems??)

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I know, I know I just posted on the coming of spring.
But with the official start of spring in 9 days(this being March 13th as I write this), still taking emergency calls for no heat when people should start thinking about their A/C 
and then loo
king at this out the window:

Image by Simon Howden @

I  figured we needed all the psychological relief we could find. 

So without further ado some further reminders that the color green(or any color other than white) is on it's way beyond the fact that St. Patrick's Day is Monday.

Wednesday saw the start of the Annual Boston Flower Show
It runs until Sunday March 16th and it is worth the trip(especially this year). So if you are sick of the cold, and with a little respit Saturday it looks like the cold is coming back, take in the show while it's here. May be a while before it shows up for real.
 With only three weeks until opening day for our - 

World Champion Red Sox 

It's gotta mean that the end is near for this relentless winter right? RIGHT??

At least we can watch the pre season from the warmth of our living rooms.

Wait is .. that ... the .... sun?? - Nope more snow. 

Ok back to this - it helps - stay warm!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spring IS Coming

 Image by Serge Bertasius Photography @

Snow, snow and more snow. And when it isn’t snowing it’s so cold that when we had a day in the forties it felt like beach weather. What a winter, it might not be a record breaker for snowfall and freezing temperatures but for sheer relentlessness the winter of 2014 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be remembered. And it isn’t over yet. It can wear you down. It can also wear down your heating and plumbing system.

You know Simmons will always be here 24/7 to help you out. Any issue or emergency you may encounter this season, whether it is a furnace that breaks down or pipes that freeze from these sub-artic nights, just give us a call and we’ll be on your doorstep to keep your heat rising and your water flowing.

But like we said it isn’t only your boilers and water heaters that are taking a beating this winter it’s you as well. So with that in mind we would like to offer some thoughts and ideas that, hopefully, will warm you up and help you look forward to the spring and the warmer weather that comes with it.

Add a little color to this bleak winter by taking in Haverhill’s Soles of Haverhill Shoe-labration

To celebrate the important role of shoe manufacturing & design in Haverhill’s history, you can find a  public display of painted shoe sculptures throughout downtown Haverhill MA. For more information call (978) 697-1648 or visit their facebook page.

Nothing says Spring in New England like Flower Shows and St. Patrick's Day

Looking for a little color check out this link for a complete list of flower shows across New England in the coming weeks

Flower Shows

Image by Arvind Balaraman @

  And if one color says spring it's green and nothing says green like:


Image by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee @


Spring IS Coming

Snow, snow and more snow. And when it isn’t snowing it’s so cold that when we had a day in the forties it felt like beach weather. What a winter, it might not be a record breaker for snowfall and freezing temperatures but for sheer relentlessness the winter of 2014 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire will be remembered. And it isn’t over yet. It can wear you down. It can also wear down your heating and plumbing system.

You know Simmons will always be here 24/7 to help you out. Any issue or emergency you may encounter this season, whether it is a furnace that breaks down or pipes that freeze from these sub-artic nights, just give us a call and we’ll be on your doorstep to keep your heat rising and your water flowing.

But like we said it isn’t only your boilers and water heaters that are taking a beating this winter it’s you as well. So with that in mind we would like to offer some thoughts and ideas that, hopefully, will warm you up and help you look forward to the spring and the warmer weather that comes with it.

Add a little color to this bleak winter by taking in Haverhill’s

(Portsmouth events, Haverhill events, any spring events in the area(flower show, boat show), Spring training, baseball, ice cream stand openings, weeks until spring, St paddy’s dat(lots o green)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Standard Tank Water Heaters vs On Demand Tankless Water Heaters

One of the most common questions I hear today when replacing a water heater is - should I replace my Standard Tank Water Heater with an On Demand Tankless Water Heater?

Let me first say that water heaters account for 18% of annual energy consumption in American homes. It takes a lot of energy to heat water as anyone waiting to boil a gallon of water on a stove can attest.

Now let’s look at some of the differences between the types of water heaters so you can make an informed decision on what best fits your situation.

Standard water heaters with a tank that vents into a chimney and electric water heaters represent our least efficient heaters. But they have been, by far, the work horses of the industry.

Typically, after Simmons Plumbing and Heating installs a water heater, you may not need to call us again for any hot water related issue until the useful life of your water heater is over. Initially, it is less expensive to install a standard water heater and most tanks come with a six year warranty and you can purchase an option for up to ten years.

So why would you want replace your dependable Standard Water Heater it with an On Demand Tankless Water Heater?

It typically does cost more to change out a tank with an On Demand Water Heater. Gas piping will almost certainly need to be changed to accommodate the input demands of the newer equipment. Typical gas inputs of a 40 or 50 gallon tank on a Standard Water Heater would be 40,000 BTU’s per hour. The up fit gas change for and On Demand Water Heater would require a need for piping to supply 180,000 to 195,000 BTU’s per hour. The reason for this is because to have a continuous flow (3 gallons a minute through the heat exchanger) of hot water more gas is needed to change incoming the water temperatures of 45 degrees to 130 degrees. In the end, however, switching to a Tankless Water Heater will save you money.

I know this just doesn’t sound right, how can putting more gas in be cheaper to run?

Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency, heat is not lost during down time to the chimney with an On Demand Water Heater. With a Standard Water Heater heat loss through the chimney ultimately makes a big sucking sound on your wallet. Heat is also lost through other outward forces like the walls of the tank itself, the  pilots. Let's not forget about that mass of water in the tank that continuously needs to be monitored and heated, so it remains at 125-130 degrees 24/7 for when you need it. An On Demand Tankless Water Heater does none of these things. If you’re not using hot water it simply does not come on.

So the good news is your can cut your current energy use of your home’s hot water by 25 to 30% .  That is a substantial overall savings on your utility bill.

In addition you now have a water heater that the family shares that will provide hot water to the last user as well as the first. Wow what a concept.

However, there are some things to consider when using an On Demand Water Heater.

For one, they tend to extend the pre-run time needed to get the hot water to the appliance, so there will be some wasted water down the drain, so to speak.

With most installs the Exhaust and supply air piping will exit/enter the home on one of your side walls of the home and some of this will be seen. It can be painted to match the home, helping blend in.

The exhaust from your Tankless Water Heater is mostly water vapor, a byproduct of burnt natural or LP gas, in winter months you will see a fog like haze.

Warranties vary but Simmons Plumbing and Heating uses a brand that provides a manufacture’s warranty to our customers. It includes coverage on parts for two years and a 15 year heat exchanger warranty (against leaks) with a full water heater replacement should a leak occur within those first fifteen years.

Water conditions should be considered when deciding on an On Demand Water Heater. And as with any major home appliance some maintenance is required. Mineral deposits, in particular should be addressed. 

Financial incentives are also available for most customers that have natural gas. New Hampshire customers have monies available for both natural and LP gases.

One final  note concerning tank type water heaters, both electric and gas.  Starting in 2015, they are slated for big changes in required efficiency standards. This will narrow the gap between them and On Demand Water Heaters, but there will still be a wide margin for cleaner exhaust, better operational costs and endless hot water, with the advantage going to the On Demand Water Heaters.

Lastly let me say that both types of water heaters will be with us for a long time to come. So it comes down to whether you want to save  money now or later.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Difference Between A Furnace And A Boiler

The difference between a furnace and a boiler:

This is a question I have to sort out on many emergency calls that come into the office. 

These are the questions I have to return back to a customer in order to give them an answer:

  • While the heat is running does air come out of floor or ceiling grills?
  • Does Air blow around the house in normal use?
  • Do you have air conditioning? If yes, does it come out of these same registers?
  • Is there a sheet metal ducted system in the basement?

If you answer yes to all or most of these above questions you most likely have a Furnace.

If you answer no then:

  • Does your heat come from baseboard type heating along the base of the walls?
  • Does your home have cast iron radiators?
  • Does the heating unit would have several types of piping and fittings attached to it, like copper and steel.

All these above question would be an indication that the heating unit is a Boiler.

Now there are a couple types of  boilers, Steam and Hot Water but none the less both are boilers.

Furnaces and boilers can be purchased so as to run on different fuels, the most common would be Natural gas and Oil though LP Gas has become a popular replacement to Oil.

In some cases there is a third unit called an Air Handler. This is a ducted system that also blows air.

In rural areas of the country Oil is still popular but Oil has limitations.
One of which, is it cannot be installed in upper levels of the home.
Larger type homes many use two or more ducted systems that are located in upper and lower levels including the attic.
For these type homes an Oil Boiler could be used in the basement or lower level.
Piping would be directed to an attic air handler providing 180 degree water to a car like radiator attached to the blower box.
As the air passes over the coil it is sent through the ducting to the desired areas for heating. The beauty of this system is that the ducting is used for both AC and heating.

In some cases an Air Handler may be used exclusively for Air Conditioning.
Retro fitting AC to an older home may be added after the fact, many times in the attic area. A central heating system would mostly have been already in place. Usually a Boiler type system.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Space Heaters and Safety


Space Heaters and Safety 


We at SIMMONS PLUMBING and HEATING know that severe winter weather can put a strain on your furnace and heating system. We are here for all your maintenance and service needs. And while we offer twenty-four hour emergency service, seven days a week 365 days a year we cannot guarantee that we will be at your door instantly. So with that in mind we would like to offer you some safety tips for alternative sources of heat you may require until we arrive to get your heating system back up and running. 


Electric Space Heaters


  •  Buy only heaters guaranteed by a certified laboratory,for example, Underwriters Laboratories. 
  • Make sure the heater will switch off automatically if it falls over, and it has  thermostat control.
  • Do not use a space heater to dry clothes or store objects on top of it.
  • Like the name implies space heaters need space. Keep objects, especially combustibles, at least three feet away from each heater.
  •  Make sure that your space heater is always unplugged when not in use and turn it off at night  or whenever you sleep. 
  •  Always plug your space heater directly into a wall socket, never use an extension cord.


Kerosene heaters


  • Always refuel your kerosene heater outdoors. 
  • Turn it off and wait for it to cool down before refueling and only use the correct type of fuel.


    General Heating Tips


  • Alternative sources of heating such as fireplaces and chimneys should be checked and cleaned  by a professional each year prior to using. Your furnace and heating system should also be checked and cleaned. Give SIMMONS a call, we are more than happy to help.
  • As with space heaters keep three feet around clear of clutter and combustibles.
  • Never use ignitable liquids to start a fire.
  • Only use seasoned wood in  your fireplace.
  • Place all fireplace ash into a metal container and dispose outdoors away from your home. 
  • Fireplace ash has the potential to ignite days after it has been discarded.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly by pushing the test button on the front cover.
  • Remember to practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.
For additional information from the USFA on Winter Fire Safety; 
click here.

Image courtesy of "Salvatore Vuono" at