Your Heat Pump Has a Balance Point in Winter: Why You Should Know What It Is

One of the most valuable pieces of equipment in your home, especially in the winter, is your heating system. Heat pumps in particular are a cost-efficient source of heating for your home. However, because they work by moving heat energy from one place to another, they provide less heating to your home the colder it gets outside. When temperatures dip to near freezing or below, the heat pump’s balance point has been breached and the backup heating source kicks on. Knowing how to work out the balance point of your heat pump will help to ensure that you can stay warmer for less. Continue reading “Your Heat Pump Has a Balance Point in Winter: Why You Should Know What It Is”

Your Heat Pump’s Thermostat: What You Need to Know for Winter Programming

There’s no question that you want to stay warm and comfortable in your home, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste electricity to do so. Many homeowners don’t realize that they’re not effectively using their heat pump’s thermostat. Let’s explore the simple ways you can reduce your energy consumption. Continue reading “Your Heat Pump’s Thermostat: What You Need to Know for Winter Programming”

Confused by Dual Fuel Heating? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re interested in having one of the more efficient heating systems for your home, you might consider a dual fuel system. Continue reading “Confused by Dual Fuel Heating? Here’s What You Need to Know”

5 Compelling Reasons to Give Geothermal Cooling and Heating Serious Thought

geothermal heating and cooling, Long Island, New YorkThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) agree that geothermal cooling and heating is the most cost effective, environmentally friendly way to keep your home comfortable. Continue reading “5 Compelling Reasons to Give Geothermal Cooling and Heating Serious Thought”

Optimizing Heat Pump Efficiency in That New Home You’re Building

heat pump maintenance, Long Island, New YorkWhen you’re building a new home, you want to install appliances that will help you save money while having the smallest ecological impact. For homeowners in Long Island, optimizing heat pump efficiency is an important factor if you want to stay comfortable throughout the year. Continue reading “Optimizing Heat Pump Efficiency in That New Home You’re Building”

Your Springtime Heat Pump Maintenance

heat pump maintenance, Long Island, New YorkWhen spring rolls around, it’s a good time for homeowners to take on necessary heat pump maintenance. If you haven’t done it before, or if you need a refresher, here are some step-by-step tips to get you on the right path.

DIY heat pump maintenance

  • Start by hosing off the outside of the unit. Washing the unit with water removes the grime, debris and dead leaves that can get caught in the unit. Make sure that you wait until the weather has warmed up completely and you’re certain you won’t have to use your heat again until the fall. This task helps ensure that the heat pump will continue to run efficiently without dirt buildup.
  • Check your filters and replace or clean them as necessary. You may have disposable glass fiber filters that you can simply discard, or you might have plastic fiber or aluminum mesh filters that require washing and can be reinserted. If you’re not sure, check with your HVAC technician, who can show you how to best take care of your heat pump’s filter needs.
  • Most of the time, your heat pump maintenance won’t include lubrication, but you do need to make sure that dust is periodically removed from the motor. You can use air pressure like a vacuum in reverse mode or an air compressor to clean the dust off of the motor.
  • Make sure that you have your unit inspected by a professional periodically. This is one of the steps  that many forget, and if your heat pump is warrantied, it’s one of the easiest tasks that if not done routinely, can void the manufacturer’s warranty. Professional preventive maintenance can catch issues before they turn into costlier problems.

For more information on heat pump maintenance, or to schedule an appointment, contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’re proud to serve homeowners throughout the Long Island area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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Take Advantage of Residential Energy Tax Credits for HVAC Purchases

residential energy tax credits, Long Island, New YorkThere is good news for consumers who have been hesitant to upgrade their heating and cooling systems. The federal government has reinstated the 25C residential energy tax credits for taxpayers for qualifying equipment. Continue reading “Take Advantage of Residential Energy Tax Credits for HVAC Purchases”

Peace Of Mind With An Automatic Standby Generator

standby generator Long IslandYou can do any number of things to help ensure the comfort of your home for yourself and your family — from properly maintaining your heat pump to installing a programmable thermostat. However, without power, these efforts are pointless. Hurricanes and winter storms are fairly common occurrences on Long Island, which is why many homeowners in the area are installing an automatic standby generator.

These generators offer many benefits for homeowners, particularly when power outages occur.

Benefits of an automatic standby generator

A severe storm near your home can easily knock out power for days at a time, as we know all too well. As a result, you might lose any food you have stored in your refrigerator, in addition to any medications that are affected by temperature extremes. Some home occupants rely on electrically powered medical equipment such as ventilators. The loss of power for these individuals is a serious issue. Even for those who have no serious health problems, having a standby generator is a great convenience when it comes to maintaining a comfortable home, particularly when temperatures are extreme.

Portable generators versus standby generators

Automatic standby generators offer many advantages over portable units. For instance, while portable units have to be refueled by hand with gasoline after a few hours of operation, automatic standby generators are commonly fueled by natural gas, and thus are directly connected to the home’s gas fuel line. This means the automatic standby generator is always ready to be used, and will automatically start up when it detects that the power has gone out. In addition, a large generator can produce enough power for your entire home, while a portable unit might only be able to power a few items.

Because it connects directly to your home’s utilities, you should employ a professional to install an automatic standby generator. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. With over 75 years of experience, we are proud to serve the people of Long Island, and our team of experienced professionals is more than happy to help you.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image via  Shutterstock.com

Your Forced-Air System: How It Keeps You Warm In The Winter

forced-air system keeps family comfortable, Long Island, New YorkWhen the forced-air system in your Long Island home is working well, it’s easy to think of it as just a basic appliance that distributes warm or cool air. Although that is what the system does, a number of components are involved in getting that seemingly simple job done. When you’re shopping around for a new HVAC system, it helps to be familiar with your system’s inner workings. Continue reading “Your Forced-Air System: How It Keeps You Warm In The Winter”