5 Tips for Decluttering Your Home After the Holidays

The holidays have come and gone, and it’s a brand new year. Many people start off the new year by making resolutions, some for themselves, and some for their homes. If you’d like to make some home improvements in 2019, one of the best ways you can get started is by eliminating some of the clutter. It’s easy for our homes to accumulate lots of junk over the years. Sometimes we buy more than what we need. Sometimes, it’s tough to get rid of the things that are taking up space. And sometimes, we hold onto things thinking we’ll eventually use it, but that day never comes.

As a result, our homes become stuffed with “stuff” and become uncomfortable for us and our families. That’s why decluttering is so important. It not only allows us to weed out items that are no longer useful to us (and give them to those who may be able to use them), but it opens up space in our homes so that we can enjoy a better quality of life. For instance, a room that once contained storage boxes and “junk” can be repurposed into a home theater room. Or, a garage can be cleaned out so you can actually park your car in there! Getting started on decluttering your home can be tough, though.

We’re offering five easy tips that can help you get started:

  1. Take it one room at a time. Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to declutter your whole house in a day. Take it easy and pace yourself, and you’ll do a much more thorough job and feel more accomplished as you see each space transform.
  2. Make sure you have storage containers. Nothing is worse than organizing your space, only to find you don’t have adequate storage. And, only store those things you know you’ll use again. For instance, say you’re organizing ornaments. Throw away the broken ones, give away those you don’t use, and store the ones that you’re sure will adorn your tree.
  3. Make it a feel-good venture. Sometimes kids especially don’t want to part with books, toys and clothing. If you encourage them to do so, and explain that giving these items to charitable organizations will help kids just like them in need, you’ll be creating a lifelong habit of giving. Lead by example, and show them the things you’re willing to give up, too.
  4. Follow the 12-month rule. When assessing what you need to get rid of in your home, the first thing to do is to evaluate when the last time was you used an item. If it was a year or more ago, probably you don’t need it, and should part with it.
  5. Go paperless. Many times, our homes get cluttered with mail. While we can’t keep junk mail and flyers from arriving, you can reduce the amount of mail entering your home by going paperless. Utility, credit card and insurance companies often provide a paperless choice for billing and paying, so if you can, choose that option – and keep a lot of unnecessary mail from invading your space.

Speaking of getting rid of debris in your home, have you checked your furnace filter in a while? A dirty furnace filter not only sends all sorts of dirt into the air, it also forces your equipment to run harder. And while we can’t help you with your decluttering, we can help ensure your furnace filter is fresh and clean! Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help meet your furnace maintenance needs.

Getting Your Home Holiday-Ready

Ready or not, here they come. That’s right, folks – the holidays are upon us. While you may be riding the struggle bus to get yourself in the mindset for the holidays and everything they entail, getting your home holiday ready is a much simpler undertaking.

Let’s start with those holiday lights. Do those endless strands of twinkling lights make you cringe as you think about what they’re going to do to your energy bill? We recommend switching over to LED lights. Of course there is an initial investment to be made but it won’t take long before they’ve already paid for themselves. Additionally, they’re more durable, don’t burn out and are much safer to use, both indoors and out, because they don’t get hot.

Speaking of safety, we would be remiss to not mention some tips to keep you and yours safe from dangers within your home this holiday season (and no, we’re not talking about the in-laws here!). On average, U.S. fire departments respond to about 50 house fires each year caused by Christmas trees. To prevent your family from becoming a negative holiday statistic we recommend keeping your tree at least three feet from all heat sources and avoid placing it in a corner at all costs. Fires that start in corners are found to spread more quickly and get hot faster than those that start in other parts of the home. You also want to be sure to keep all exits and pathways clear in the event of an emergency (a tip you can use to rationalize purchasing fewer gifts too!)

Will that jolly old elf be struggling to get down your chimney this year? He won’t if you’ve recently had it cleaned and inspected. Chimney fires account for more than 25,000 fires annually and often spread to the main structure of the home. The good, and bad, news about chimney fires is that they can be prevented with regular inspection and cleaning.

We hope that you’ve had your furnace serviced for the season but if you haven’t we recommend making an appointment to do so as soon as possible. Not only will a clean furnace run more smoothly and efficiently, but also a thorough inspection by a certified technician will allow you to identify any potential problems that you may be likely to encounter during this holiday and heating season. The last thing anyone wants this time of the year are unexpected guests and unexpected home repairs so when it comes to your heating system it is certainly better to be proactive rather than reactive. Additionally, check those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are current and that their power supply is fresh.

Surviving the holidays is a team effort and when it comes to prepping your house, T.F. O’Brien is on your side. Give us a call today at 516.488.1800 and let us give you the gift of peace of mind this year.

Three Gifts of Home Comfort for the Person Who Has Everything

Some people are just difficult to buy for when it comes to holiday gift-giving. If you’re out of ideas, here at T.F. O’Brien has a suggestion you may not have considered – the gift of home comfort. While it may not seem like the most glamorous present you could give, it’s definitely one of the most thoughtful. Nothing says, “I love you” like a comfortable home, so when you give one of these gifts, you’re not just spending money on something that will only be enjoyed for a short time. Home comfort can be enjoyed all year long, and for years to come.

Not sure what gifts of home comfort you can give? Here are three suggestions we have for you that you can give this holiday season:

Ductless System: Maybe your loved one has a converted space that they enjoy using for hobbies or leisure, but it lacks the heating and cooling necessary to keep it comfortable all year long. When you choose to install ductless heating and cooling in that space for them, they can make use of areas like additions, converted attics or finished basements year-round.

Smart Thermostat: The gift of a smart thermostat has many benefits your loved one will enjoy. For starters, smart thermostats help equipment perform more efficiently; allowing people to save on energy bills and enjoy greater comfort. Smart thermostats also offer convenience, because often they can be monitored and changed from a Smartphone or computer. Some even learn your family’s habits and program themselves!

Maintenance Plan: Even though it sounds completely boring, a maintenance plan is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family and friends. Why? First of all, it will help them enjoy better comfort year-round. Secondly, it helps their equipment last longer and operate more efficiently. So, maintenance plans truly are gifts that keep on giving!

If you’d like to give the gift of home comfort to someone you love this holiday season, T.F. O’Brien can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be happy to help.

Thanks For Helping Us Keep Long Island Warm This Winter!

This year, from October 1 through November 16, T.F. O’Brien held our very first winter coat drive to benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. At T.F. O’Brien, we believe that everyone deserves to have a warm coat and other outerwear when the outdoor temperatures turn frigid. We are pleased to announce that we collected 250 coats, as well as various winter accessories. We are extremely grateful to all who donated, and look forward to making this an annual event.

Use All Your Spaces This Winter With Ductless Heating

When the warmer weather starts to change over to crisp days and colder nights, many homeowners close off areas of their home that don’t have the benefit of the home’s heating system. Spaces like converted attics, finished basements, additions and sunrooms often don’t have the needed ductwork to heat them during the winter months. The result? People usually close them off until warmer weather returns. But there’s an easy way to make your spaces without ducts usable, and perfectly climate-controlled, all winter long – ductless heating.

Ductless heating offers homeowners a way to keep areas of their home, where ductwork is impractical or impossible, comfortable – no matter what the weather is like outside. Unlike space heaters, which can be loud, obtrusive and even dangerous, ductless can mount on your wall or ceiling and offers complete comfort control of your space for you and your family. What’s more, ductless systems also offer cooling in the summer, so when you install one in a space in your home, you can comfortably use that area all year long.

Does ductless installation require a lot of time and construction?

Ductless systems are generally simple to install, and require minimal construction. In most cases, installation takes a day or two. All that’s required to connect the indoor and outdoor units is a small hole, usually no more than three inches in diameter. You can count on your T.F. O’Brien technician to have your ductless heating system up and running in no time. There’s very little mess, and no need for ductwork installation.

Besides being able to use your converted attic, finished basement, addition or sunroom year-round, you’ll also enjoy many additional benefits. Ductless systems are simple to use – you’ll be able to control room temperature at the touch of a button. Not to mention, ductless is highly energy efficient – much more than a space heater or window air conditioner. They blend seamlessly with your décor and offer quiet operation – all while delivering year-round comfort to your space.

Can T.F. O’Brien help me get the ductless system I need?

This winter, you don’t have to sacrifice space in your home just because it doesn’t have access to ductwork. You can enjoy year-round comfort by installing ductless heating and air conditioning from T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. You can trust our highly skilled technicians to provide you with courteous, professional services. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be glad to assist you.

5 Reasons to Get Heating Maintenance This Year

Fall is a time when most people take advantage of the last bit of milder weather to prepare their homes for the winter months ahead. General home maintenance, like making sure drafty doors and windows are sealed, the chimney (if you have a fireplace) is cleaned, and home protection systems like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, are all important tasks. But what about your home’s heating system? Is it in working order for the chillier weather ahead? The best way you can ensure that it’s ready for winter is by getting annual maintenance.

It should come as no surprise that systems that receive the proper seasonal maintenance work better than neglected equipment. And when your heating system works better, you can count on it to help your family stay more comfortable. Plus, it can save you money on your utility bills. If that’s not reason enough to get your heating system the maintenance it needs, there are plenty more!

Here are the top five reasons why annual maintenance is important:

  • Better Equipment Efficiency. When you call for heating maintenance, part of the service includes cleaning of your system. That’s important, because when a heating system is dirty it works harder, and much less efficiently – taking more money from your wallet when it comes time to pay utility bills.
  • Enhanced Equipment Safety. Much like taking your vehicle for an annual tune-up, heating system maintenance allows our technicians to inspect your equipment. They’ll make sure all electrical components and combustion parts are in good working order. If they aren’t, deadly carbon monoxide can be produced or there can be a fire hazard.
  • Improved Home Comfort. Your heating system needs to be at peak performance in order to keep your home toasty warm during the colder months. When you get heating maintenance, you can count on better airflow. Not to mention, repairs or replacements can be made to any components not in proper working order.
  • Longer Life for Equipment. When you make sure that your heating system is properly maintained, you’re helping to ensure that it runs better. Maintenance ensures a cleaned and lubricated system. It frees it of the gunk and buildup that can cause your system to run poorly. And, small issues are found and repaired easily before they cause premature system failure.
  • Better Indoor Air Quality. Changing the air filter is an important part of maintenance. When your system circulates air through a dirty filter, those particles make their way into the air you and your family breathe. Getting the seasonal maintenance your system needs keeps indoor air free of mold, pollen and dust.

T.F. O’Brien provides you with the heating maintenance you need.

When you work with T.F. O’Brien for your maintenance needs, you can rest assured that your heating system will be running at its most effective, most efficient best this winter. Our technicians are highly skilled. They can help you make the most of your heating equipment – now and for years to come. Call us at 516.488.1800 to schedule your heating maintenance with us today – your system will be glad you did!

Happy October from T.F. O’Brien

October is here, and with it comes cooler breezes, more colorful leaves, and the scent of pumpkin spice in the air. The kids are thinking about the perfect Halloween costume, and you and your family might be taking weekend journeys to apple orchards and pumpkin farms.
Amidst all the fun fall has to offer, don’t forget to give us a call to schedule your heating maintenance! It’s the best way to ensure your heating system will run great, no matter how cool the weather outside gets!
With the cooler weather in mind, we at T.F. O’Brien are thinking ahead to those who are less fortunate. That’s why we’ve started a Winter Coat Drive. Click here for details on how you can help us keep people warmer this winter. And, storm season is coming, and that can mean power outages. Find out how a generator can help you weather the storm by clicking here.

Plus, check out these energy-saving tips from NYSERDA:

  • Choose the cold setting on your washer. Whenever possible, wash your laundry with cold water to save on the energy it takes to heat up water for warm and hot settings.
  • Compute with care. Choose to plug computers and other electronics into an advanced power strip. Also, consider choosing a laptop over a desk computer – laptops are more energy efficient.
  • Check your filters. Take a look at the air filters on your home’s HVAC equipment, especially during the high use months. Change out the filter if it’s dirty. That will help your system run more efficiently.
  • Consider a programmable thermostat. That way, you won’t have to worry about adjusting the thermostat to fit your schedule – it will automatically adjust for when you’re sleeping or away from home.
  • Change your light bulbs. By swapping out incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, you can save energy and on future bulb purchases – LEDs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Enjoy your October! Thank you for reading.
Kerry O’Brien

Coat Drive to Benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

IT’S COOL TO HELP PEOPLE STAY WARM THIS WINTER.

T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating is excited to begin their first Winter Coat Drive to benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. When the frigid weather arrives, we know how important these items will be to those we help!

We are asking for donations of new or laundered, gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves.

WHEN: October 1st through November 16th

WHERE:
T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating
100 Denton Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY 11040

Join Us In Giving Back! We’ll gladly pick up your donation during any scheduled service call.

Download our poster HERE and help us spread the word!

Welcome September from T.F. O’Brien

September has arrived, and with it, so has back-to-school for the kids, and back to routine for the adults. With summer fleeting, you might not be thinking about your home’s air conditioning system as much. You should! You’ll likely need to use it at least for a couple of months, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on your filter. Making sure your filter is clean can help your air conditioning system operate more efficiently and enjoy a longer life!

Need air conditioning? Believe it or not, now’s the perfect time to get it!

Now is a great time to get a new air conditioning system installed in your home! We’re offering a special end-of-season cooling sale that can help you save significantly on a new system for your home. Click here to learn more! Thinking about a ductless system for your home? Did you know they can offer both heating and cooling? Here’s some more info on keeping your home comfortable all year long with ductless.

Have a spectacular September! Thank you for reading.

Enjoy!

Kerry O’Brien

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

August is known for its hazy, hot and humid weather. Chances are, you’ll be running your air conditioning system much of the time. No matter how efficient your air conditioner is, it still uses energy, and that can get costly if it’s operating most of the time. The good news is, there are a few ways you can maximize your efficiency, making it so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.

Here are five tips that can help:

  1. Seal leaky doors and windows. That way, the cold air won’t escape inside – and the hot outdoor air won’t come in.
  2. Put your ceiling fans to work. Make sure your fans are set to counterclockwise – this helps create a cooler feel to the air.
  3. Make sure your filters are clean. When your air conditioning system runs frequently, its filters can get clogged with dirt and dust. Change it out often during high-use months for better effectiveness and efficiency from your air conditioning system.
  4. Consider a smart thermostat. You’ll have greater control over your AC system. Many smart thermostats “learn” your habits, so they’ll automatically set sleeping and away temperatures. And, most smart thermostats can be controlled even when you’re not there with a convenient phone app.
  5. Keep the heat in your kitchen to a minimum. On very hot days, consider grilling out, using the microwave, or using the Crock-Pot. Turning on your oven can add significantly to the heat of your home, making your AC work harder.

Of course, if you’re concerned about your air conditioning system’s efficiency or effectiveness, or if you’re paying way more on your utility bills than you should be, you should give T.F. O’Brien a call. We can check out your system to rule out any issues, and if there are problems, we can make the needed repairs. To learn more, call us at 516-488-1800, and we’ll be happy to help you.