Indoor Air Quality During the Winter – What You Should Know

woman and child sit in front of window making snowflakes in winterAs the winter months roll in here on Long Island, many people are spending more time indoors. Keeping cozy in a warm, comfortable home is always welcome. Sometimes, however, the air in our homes can become less hospitable during the colder months. There are many factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality, or IAQ, during the winter.

You may be concerned about the indoor air quality in your home this winter. You might be wondering how you can identify whether or not you have IAQ issues, and what you can do if your home’s air quality is a problem. In this article, we’ll discuss winter indoor air quality concerns, and ways you can ensure that the air you and your family breathe is healthy, no matter what the season.

What IAQ concerns can occur during the winter months?

Many people notice an uptick in physical complaints during the winter months. Allergies, respiratory concerns, and dry skin are often problems for many people in the winter. Some of this can be contributed to poor indoor air quality. Today’s homes are built to be more energy-efficient, and while that’s a good thing, it can also mean that the home is more closed off to fresh outdoor air, especially when it’s cold outside and windows can’t be opened to allow fresh air inside. Learn more below about some specific IAQ concerns that can lead to physical discomfort.

  • Airborne Particles: While there are likely some particles, such as dust and dander, in the air you breathe in your home all year long, during the winter months they can become overly abundant. This is especially true for homeowners who use a forced air system, like a furnace, to heat their homes. The reason for this is that the air circulates through your home’s heating ducts time and time again, and without the proper filtration, those particles continue to circulate throughout the home as well.
  • Viruses and Bacteria: During the winter months, people often experience illnesses that are related to certain viruses and bacteria. Many times, everyone in the family can end up with a particular ailment, like the common cold or strep throat. Unfortunately, it’s easy for viruses and bacteria to circulate through the home’s HVAC system, much like dust and dander.
  • Dry Indoor Air: Unlike warm summer air, the colder air of winter holds very little moisture. Couple that with the dry heat often produced by heating equipment, and the air in your home can become overly dry during the winter months. When the air is too dry, you might experience itchy, flaky skin, irritated mucous membranes, and sore throats. As far as your home itself is concerned, wood flooring and fixtures can become warped or cracked, and paint can crack and peel as well.

How can I improve my indoor air quality during the winter?

Fortunately, there are some highly effective products available on the market today that can help dramatically improve your indoor air quality, during the winter and all year long. Some of these products include:

  • High-efficiency air cleaners. These are a much more effective solution than standard filters.
  • Photocatalytic oxidizing air purifier. This chemically treats the air to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the byproducts of common household materials like paint, carpet, vinyl flooring, air fresheners, cleaning products, and more, as well as other pollutants.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal lights. UV lights can kill up to 99% of airborne contaminants like mold, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Whole-home humidifiers. A whole-house humidifier can cut down on dry eyes, itchy skin, and scratchy throats, reduce static electricity in the home and protect woodwork and furniture.

I’d like to learn more about improving my home’s indoor air quality. Can T.F. O’Brien help me get the products I need?

We sure can! If you’re ready for a whole-house air quality solution that will ensure a safe, healthy environment your family and guests can truly enjoy, call us. No two homes are the same, and we’ll be happy to send one of our Home Comfort Advisors to meet with you at your convenience to evaluate your unique situation, make recommendations, and provide you with the products you need to start seeing improvements in your home’s IAQ right away. Simply contact us online or give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

Give Your Family the Gift of Better Indoor Air Quality

mother and child try on winter wear in cozy homeFor most homeowners, a healthy home environment is essential. Having a home heating and cooling system that operates properly is one of the primary ways homeowners can keep their homes comfortable and safe, but some homes need a little help regarding indoor air quality or IAQ. This can be especially true during the winter months when heating systems are running frequently and there is little fresh air being introduced into the home.

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Fortunately, there are many IAQ products available on the market today that can help homeowners keep their indoor air fresher, cleaner, and free of contaminants like dust, dander, bacteria, and viruses. If you’ve been thinking about improving the air quality in your home, this article will help you learn more about IAQ – how both older and newer homes can benefit from it, and the types of products available. Keep reading to learn more!

What types of homes usually need indoor air quality products?

Generally speaking, most types of homes can benefit from improved air quality. Sometimes, people with newer homes don’t think they need IAQ products, but this can be far from the truth. Conversely, people with older homes might not realize there are products that can help keep the air cleaner and free of dust. Here’s why both older and newer homes often need advanced indoor air quality solutions:

Older Homes

Many older homes were built with centralized heating systems, such as furnaces. Most of the time, homes with furnaces have what’s called forced air heat. Often, homeowners with these types of systems notice that there is a lot of dust in the air in their homes. The air ducts that deliver heated air to rooms throughout the house can often become dirty, and if the furnace filter isn’t changed regularly, those particles have nowhere to go but into the air in the home. While most people aren’t necessarily allergic to dust, they’re often allergic to dust mites, microscopic bugs that live in house dust. This causes sneezing, runny nose, and even wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Newer Homes

While it may seem counterintuitive, the indoor air quality in newer homes can be poor, too. That’s because modern homes are built to be more efficient. And that’s great when it comes to saving money on utility bills, it also means that newer homes are built to be “tight”, allowing for very little outside air to enter the home. This means that the air that flows through the HVAC system is circulated time and time again, and along with it, any particles or contaminants. It can also leave the home more susceptible to mold and mildew growth, which contributes to poor air quality and can make the people living in the home sick, especially those with allergies.

What types of products are available that can help improve my home’s IAQ?

At T.F. O’Brien, we take a comprehensive approach to indoor air quality. While the process we use and the equipment we recommend depend on your heating and cooling system and can vary from one home to another, we generally take a three-step approach.

  • We filter the air by installing a highly efficient air cleaner. This is a much more effective solution than standard filters.
  • We install a photocatalytic oxidizing air purifier to chemically treat the air to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the byproducts of common household materials like paint, carpet, vinyl flooring, air fresheners, cleaning products, and more, as well as other pollutants.
  • We install ultraviolet germicidal lights that kill up to 99% of airborne contaminants like mold, bacteria, and viruses.
  • We may also recommend equipment to regulate your humidity levels.

I’d like to learn more about improving my home’s indoor air quality.

That’s great! We’d like to help. If you’re ready for a whole-house air quality solution that will ensure a safe, healthy environment your family and guests can truly enjoy, call us. No two homes are the same, and we’ll be happy to send one of our Home Comfort Advisors to meet with you at your convenience to evaluate your unique situation, make recommendations, and provide you with the products you need to start seeing improvements in your home’s IAQ right away. Simply contact us online or give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

Need Better Home Heating? You Have Options.

woman sits on sofa and adjusts temperature of ductless heating unitNow that the cooler weather has returned, you’re probably gearing up for this year’s heating season in your home. Whether you have a gas furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless system, you rely on it to keep your family warm and comfortable during the cooler months here on Long Island. If you’re not satisfied with your home comfort, it may be time to consider replacing your heating system.

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Of course, nobody wants to think about the costs associated with a brand-new system replacement for their home. While there can be some sticker shock when it comes to pricing out a new heating system, the truth is, your old system could be costing you much more in both utility bills and home comfort. Today’s heating systems are manufactured with optimal energy efficiency in mind. Replacing an old, inefficient system can actually save you money in the long run.

What choices do I have when considering a heating system replacement?

When it comes time to replace your heating system, you might choose to replace it with the same type of equipment you currently own, such as a furnace or boiler. These aren’t bad choices, as you’ll simply need to swap out the old machinery with new. And, today’s furnaces and boilers provide a much greater level of energy efficiency than their predecessors. For instance, there are systems available that are ENERGY STAR-rated and offer up to 98 percent efficiency. Additionally, many homeowners are choosing ductless heat pump systems as an option.

What makes ductless heating different than traditional heating?

In general, ductless heating relies on a heat pump rather than fossil fuel to heat your home. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the outside air, even in cold conditions, and pumping that heat into your home. There are some heat pump systems that use the heat from the ground, called geothermal systems. With either kind of heat pump system, you will save money on energy bills because you’ll no longer need to rely on fuel to heat your home. And, because heat pump systems are highly energy-efficient, they often pay for themselves in a short amount of time.

Many people opt for ductless heat pump systems because they do not need ductwork to operate. This makes them a great choice for replacing old, inefficient electric baseboard heat. And, if you have a space in your home outside of your duct system, such as an addition, converted garage, or finished basement, ductless heating can offer targeted comfort to those areas without the need for messy and expensive ductwork.

What are some additional benefits of ductless heating?

As we mentioned above, ductless heating does not use fossil fuel to operate, is highly efficient, and is a perfect solution for homes or spaces where adding ductwork is impossible or impractical. There are some additional benefits to choosing ductless heating as well, including:

  • Heat Balancing: Even if you don’t want to add ductless to your entire home, adding a unit to a space that doesn’t warm up as well as the rest of the house can help your current heating system operate more efficiently while keeping your family more comfortable.
  • No Need for Space Heaters: While today’s space heaters are safer than their predecessors, whenever you use space heating that relies on fuel to operate, you run the risk of introducing carbon monoxide to your home. Since ductless heating does not use fuel, CO is not produced.
  • Quiet & Unobtrusive: Many people who own ductless systems remark that they are “whisper quiet” when operating, making them a great choice for bedrooms or home theater rooms. They are generally mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling, so unlike a clunky space heater, you never have to worry about stubbing your toe on them. (At least we hope not!)
  • Targeted Comfort: Ductless units are generally installed in rooms or zones, so you’re able to take greater control of your home comfort. They operate via remote control, with some systems available that even can be controlled when you’re away from home from your smartphone or laptop!
  • Cooling Capability: While ductless heating can help you stay comfortable in the cold winter months, many models also have the capability of cooling your home once the outdoor temperatures heat up. They reverse the process of heat extraction and pump the hot indoor air outside. This makes them a highly efficient, year-round home comfort system.

I want to learn more about my heating options. Can T.F. O’Brien help me?

When you’re ready to replace your home heating system, T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating can help. T.F. O’Brien proudly serves Long Island, NY. Simply call us at 516.488.1800, and we’ll tell you about the different options for heating, including high-efficiency ductless heating, and help you find the solution most suited to your needs.

5 Scary Things that Can Happen if You Don’t Get Heating Maintenance

spooky house with bats and full moonIt’s that spooky time of year again, and pretty soon our neighborhoods will be full of pumpkins, fall decorations, and trick-or-treaters. While the autumn season is definitely fun-filled, it’s also a time to think about the cooler weather ahead. That might include getting your lawn and garden prepared for chillier weather, making sure your home is draft-free and maintaining your home’s heating system.

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For some, annual heating maintenance might not seem important. They might think of it as an unnecessary expense, or they might figure that since their heating system is working fine, they don’t need to worry about it. But the truth is, not getting your heating system annual maintenance can have some unfortunate consequences.

What can happen if I don’t get fall heating maintenance?

Not sure that annual maintenance is necessary for your heating system? Here are just a few of the “gremlins” that might pop up when equipment hasn’t been properly maintained:

  1. Small issues may become larger, more expensive ones. When a qualified technician cleans and checks your heating system on an annual basis, they’ll be far more likely to discover any small problems with your system that can be easily remedied. If these problems go unnoticed, however, they can get worse over time, leading to system breakdown.
  2. Your heating system may fail prematurely. As we mentioned above, an annual checkup helps to determine the health of your heating system. When you don’t get your system regularly maintained, it may not last as long. And that means an expensive system replacement you may not have planned for.
  3. Your indoor air quality may suffer. When heating systems aren’t properly maintained, they can become very dirty, as dust and other particles tend to accumulate in heating systems and ductwork. That means that the air circulating around your home through the air ducts will be full of these particles, causing your air quality to be less than optimal.
  4. The warranty on your system may be voided. Most heating equipment manufacturers require regular maintenance in order to keep the warranty on the system intact. Failure to get your system maintained may void the warranty – causing you to have to pay out of pocket for expensive repairs or replacement.
  5. Energy usage may increase. When your system isn’t properly maintained, the inner components tend not to work as efficiently. And, if your system’s filter is clogged, that can add to system inefficiency. Because your system has to work harder to heat your home properly, it will have to use more energy – and lead to an increase in your utility bills.

Getting heating maintenance isn’t tricky, though – it’s as easy as calling T.F. O’Brien.

When you call on T.F. O’Brien for your heating system maintenance, we’ll walk you through the details of our maintenance programs. We service nearly every make and model of gas heating equipment ever made. And what’s more, heating system maintenance will help your system achieve peak performance, and help you save on future energy bills and repair costs.

When you need heating system maintenance for your Long Island home, T.F. O’Brien is ready to help. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800 – and we’ll make sure your heating system is gremlin-free.

Can Indoor Air Quality Products Really Curb Seasonal Allergies?

woman sneezing as a result of fall allergiesAs the summer months end and the fall season arrives, many people start to think about everything autumn has to offer. Changing leaves, pumpkin patches, hayrides… and fall allergy season. While the fall season is definitely a beautiful time of year, it can also be a (literal) headache for people with allergies.

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While it may be difficult to avoid those pesky allergens that can cause sniffling and sneezing in the great outdoors, there are a few things you can do to help keep the air in your home as clean as possible. In this article, we’ll talk about the most common allergens of the fall season, and give you some suggestions on how you can make your home more comfortable for you or other members of your family who suffer from seasonal allergies. Keep reading to learn more!

3 Common Late Summer/Early Fall Allergens

While there are many different things people can be allergic to, in the late summer and early fall months, some allergens are at their worst. Below, learn more about the three most common fall allergens, and how they might find their way into the air you breathe in your home:

  1. Mold: Late summer and early fall often provide ideal conditions for mold growth. Trees start to shed their leaves, but the weather remains warm and often damp during this time of year. The fallen leaves are a great place for mold to grow, and it’s easy to track mold spores inside. It’s a good idea to take off your shoes before entering the house, especially if you’ve been raking the leaves (or jumping into piles of them!) Because of the warm, damp conditions present in late summer and early fall, mold growth in your home can be abundant this time of year as well. Mold likes to grow anywhere where there is excess moisture and warmer temperatures, so bathrooms and basements are especially susceptible to mold and mildew.
  2. Ragweed: Ragweed pollen is actually the biggest culprit when it comes to late summer/early fall allergies. Ragweed pollen is abundant this time of year, and it can go the distance – it has been found 400 miles out to sea, and one ragweed plant can produce billions of pollen grains. As you can see, ragweed pollen is largely unavoidable, but there are a few measures you can take to keep it out of your home as much as possible. First, check the weather reports daily. On high-pollen days, keep the windows of your home shut. Make sure to remove any footwear and outerwear before entering your home. If you’ve spent a lot of time outdoors, consider showering before bed so you remove any pollen that might have settled into your hair.
  3. Weed Pollens: Ragweed isn’t the only weed out there rearing its head during this time of year. Pollen from sheep’s sorrel, pigweed, mugwort, and Russian thistle (commonly known as tumbleweed) can all cause problems for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. The best way to keep this pollen at bay is to follow the same protocol you would for ragweed pollen.

How do indoor air quality products help with these types of allergens?

Fortunately, there are many indoor air quality, or IAQ, products available that can help remove allergens from the air inside your home. They work in different ways to clean your home’s air and can work separately or in tandem depending on your particular IAQ concerns.

  • Air Purifiers: Whole-home, in-duct air purification systems are highly effective at removing a number of particulates from your indoor air. Using ionization, purifiers reduce airborne particles, like dust, dander, pollen, and mold spores – making them an ideal solution for allergy sufferers. Because they function within the ductwork of an existing central cooling and heating system, they can effectively clean the air throughout your entire home. Additionally, these types of air purifiers also kill up to 99 percent of bacteria, viruses, and mold, and that can help you and your family enjoy much healthier indoor air.
  • Air Sterilization: If mold is the primary concern in your home, then you may want to consider air sterilization. Mold can reproduce very quickly in the ductwork of your home. When air circulates through the ducts, the mold is dispersed throughout your home – which creates a very uncomfortable scenario for those with mold allergies. Using ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light, air sterilization can effectively kill mold and bacteria in your home’s air.
  • High-Efficiency Filters: While all HVAC systems have some type of filter, the basic filters in most systems only remove a small percentage of particulates from the air that passes through them. Nowadays, there are many different types of filters available that can effectively reduce the particles that trigger allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems. There are even filters available for home use that provide hospital-level air filtration.

Can T.F. O’Brien help me with my indoor air quality concerns?

At T.F. O’Brien, your comfort is always our top priority, and that goes beyond making sure your home is at a comfortable temperature. We want to help you get the products you need to enjoy fresher, healthier indoor air. If you’re interested in learning more about ways indoor air products can help to improve the comfort and health of your home, just call T.F. O’Brien at 516.488.1800. We can’t wait to tell you about the many ways you can breathe easier!

Keeping Your Cool While Your AC is Down

two girls drink waterDuring the summer months, your air conditioner works hard to keep your home cool and keep the humidity down. Because it has to work overtime, sometimes problems can spring up. Many times, it’s because the air filter on your system has become clogged and dirty. When your AC is running frequently, it’s important to check the filter regularly – and change it out or clean it if you notice it has become dirty. If this isn’t the problem, it could mean your system needs repair.

While most HVAC contractors work hard to help you get your air conditioning system up and running as quickly as possible, it may take longer in the midst of a summer heatwave. That’s because many people find themselves in need of an AC checkup when their systems are working overtime. We understand that waiting for a repair can mean your home may get a little too warm while you wait. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how you can keep cool while waiting for service.

5 Ways You Can Stay Cool While Waiting for Repairs

Of course, make sure to call your HVAC dealer as soon as you notice any issue with your air conditioning system. That way, you’ll not only get scheduled for a repair visit as soon as possible, but you may save yourself from a larger and more expensive repair need. While you wait for repairs, these tips may help you keep your home and family cooler:

  1. Make sure all windows are closed – and keep them closed. When you run your AC, you should keep windows closed anyway, as this helps keep the indoor air a more consistent temperature and keeps your system from having to work harder than necessary. If your system stops working, keep the windows closed, so the cooled air stays inside – and the hot outside air stays out!
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  3. Close window blinds or curtains. This is especially true for any windows that get direct sunlight. The heat of the sun can quickly warm up your home, so keeping curtains or blinds closed can help prevent that.
  4. Don’t use any heat-producing home appliances. Avoid using your stove or oven while your air conditioning is out of order, as these appliances can quickly heat up your home. Additionally, you might want to consider avoiding using the clothes dryer, especially if located near your immediate living space.
  5. Wear lightweight, natural fiber clothing. Choose fabrics like cotton and linen that are both breathable and help keep moisture at bay. Heavier fabrics like polyester can keep body heat and sweat in – making you feel hot, sticky, and uncomfortable.
  6. Drink plenty of water and keep your body cool with it, too. Water is one of the best choices when it comes to keeping your body cooler and hydrated. If you find yourself without AC during a heat wave, keep jugs or bottles of drinking water in the fridge. You can also take cool showers or mist yourself with cool water using a spray bottle.

By keeping these tips in mind, you and your family will be more comfortable while you wait for your technician.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the air conditioning repairs you need.

At T.F. O’Brien, we strive to get you the air conditioning repairs you need, promptly and professionally. At the first sign of trouble with your AC system, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll get an appointment scheduled with you.  And, as a full-service air conditioning contractor, you can trust us with any need you might have, including maintenance, repair, or ductless cooling. We’ll help you keep your cool this summer – and for years to come!!

Help Your AC Perform More Efficiently This Summer

Close Up Of Woman Holding Smart Energy Meter In Kitchen Measuring Energy EfficiencyOnce summer rolls around, people start to think of vacations, relaxation, and fun in the sun. Of course, during the summer people rely on their air conditioning systems to stay cool and comfortable, so their thoughts might also turn to those higher energy bills. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can make the most of your home’s air conditioning system, which can help you save energy as well.

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One way you can easily help your air conditioning system perform at optimal levels is by making sure it gets the maintenance it needs yearly. Regular maintenance will help ensure your system is clean, all moving parts are in good working order, refrigerant levels are where they should be, and there are no foreseeable issues with your system. And, there are a few ways you as a homeowner can help your AC operate as efficiently as possible. Keep reading to learn more!

5 Ways to Save Energy While Keeping Cool This Summer

  1. Make sure your ceiling fans are rotating counterclockwise. This will help push air down and create a cool breeze throughout your home. It will also help your room’s temperature stay more consistent, so your air conditioning system won’t need to work so hard.
  2. Keep curtains drawn when the sun is at its highest. If you have a window that gets direct sunlight, you’ll probably want to keep the blinds or curtains drawn during peak sunlight hours. That’s because the heat of the sun can quickly warm up your home, forcing your AC to put in overtime – and use more energy.
  3. Check your air filter frequently. When your air conditioning system operating regularly, it’s important to make sure the air filter is clean and free of dirt, dust, or other debris that may collect there. You should change out a dirty, clogged filter right away, as this can cause your AC system to work much less efficiently, and can even reduce the quality of your indoor air.
  4. If you’re using window air conditioners, consider making the move to ductless. If your home (or a specific area in your home) lacks ductwork and you rely on window AC for cooling, you may want to consider making a switch to ductless air conditioning. Ductless systems often use 40 percent less energy to operate than a standard window unit, provide more effective cooling, and are significantly quieter and less obtrusive.
  5. Have an old thermostat? A programmable one can help you save. If your thermostat is on the nostalgic side, it might be time to switch it out with a more modern model. Most of today’s thermostats are programmable, so you can set them to automatically change temperatures in your home depending on when you are home, away, or sleeping. Or, opt for a smart thermostat that can work with your home automation system (Echo or Nest Hub, for instance) and even “learn” your family’s habits, so the temperature is always at an optimal, energy-saving level.

T.F. O’Brien is ready to help your home’s AC system operate at its best and most efficient.

You can count on T.F. O’Brien to help you stay cool and comfortable this summer. We can help you with any air conditioning need you may have, from maintenance and repair to installation of high-efficiency AC systems, including ductless. To learn more about how we can help you keep your home cool – and help your system operate as efficiently as possible – simply give us a call at (516) 488-1800 and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

Does My Air Conditioning System Need Repairs?

woman sits on couch and uses fan during heatwaveOnce the summer weather returns to Long Island, most people rely on their air conditioning systems to stay cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, when the hot weather hits and your system is running frequently, you might notice that it’s not working as well as you’d like. It can be hard to know if your air conditioning system is operating as it should be. However, there are a few telltale signs that can help you determine if you need to call a professional.

How do I know if I may need AC repairs?

A lot of the time, people call for help with their air conditioning system if it stops working. If your system isn’t working at all, you could be in for extensive, costly repairs. That’s why we encourage our customers to call us as soon as they notice something not working quite right with their system. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and generally, repairs are simpler and less expensive when caught early enough.

If you’re noticing any of the following concerns, your air conditioning system probably should be checked out by one of our professional technicians:

  • Your air conditioning system is making unusual noises
  • You notice a foul or musty odor coming from your system.
  • Your AC system cycles on and off frequently
  • Your utility bills have increased without any other cause
  • Your home isn’t as cool as you’d like it to be
  • You notice your home is more humid than usual
  • The outdoor unit (condenser) is iced over
  • Your system is blowing warm air

If any of these situations occur, your unit likely needs repairs or at least maintenance. If your air conditioning system is at the end of its lifespan, (more than 10 years old, usually) you might want to consider a replacement.

What if I need to replace my air conditioning system?

Nobody wants to think about having to replace their air conditioning system, but if yours needs frequent repairs, it may be time. This is especially true if your system is older, repairs are getting more and more expensive, and if your system uses a type of refrigerant that’s no longer readily available. Not to mention, the older your system is, the less efficient it is. A new system may help you save significantly on your energy bills and come with rebates and incentives that can help you save on up-front costs as well.

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And, there are many new types of air conditioning systems available on the market today, such as ductless and heat pump systems. These types of systems are extremely energy-efficient, and may also offer the added benefit of providing your home with heating in the winter. Your HVAC professional can help you determine whether repair or replacement is necessary, and if you need a new system, they can help you choose the appropriate one for your home.

How can T.F. O’Brien help me get the repairs or replacement I need?

T.F. O’Brien offers complete air conditioning services, including maintenance, repair, and installation. We can help you determine the best AC option for your home, and our highly skilled technicians will provide you with the repair or replacement services you need. Give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

Spring Home Improvement Projects? Ductless is a Great Option!

woman lying on couch using remote to operate ductless acMany homeowners decide to embark on home improvement projects in the spring so that their homes will be ready for the summer season. Maybe you’re simply doing a few small repairs around the house. Or perhaps you’re taking on a larger project, such as renovating unused space or adding on to your home. No matter what improvements you’re making, spring is a great time to look at your home comfort system, too.

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Keeping your family comfortable is a top priority all year long, and one improvement you can easily make is by adding a ductless cooling and heating system to your home. Ductless systems are extremely flexible. You can add one unit to a space that doesn’t have access to your home’s duct system, or you can add multiple units throughout your home. If you’re renovating an existing space in your home, like an attic, basement, or garage, ductless is the perfect choice to keep that area comfortable, no matter what the weather outside.

Five Ways a Ductless System Can Benefit Your Home

You might be wondering why ductless has become such a popular choice among homeowners in recent years. There are several reasons that go beyond simply offering better home comfort. Here are five of the top reasons you might choose to install a ductless system in your home:

  1. Ductless systems offer both AC and heating. Most ductless systems on the market today can provide both cooling and heating to your home. These all-in-one systems use heat pump technology to keep your home cool in the summer and warm during the winter months.
  2. You won’t have to rely on clunky window AC or space heaters. Window air conditioners obstruct your view and are often inefficient. Space heaters take up floor space and depending on the type, can pose a fire hazard when not used properly. A ductless system is unobtrusive, usually installed high on a wall or ceiling.
  3. Your renovated space will be usable year-round. Many times, spaces like basements, garages, or attics don’t have access to your home’s ductwork. When you install a ductless system in these areas, you can enjoy comfort all year through, no matter what the temperature outside. This can help you and your family make better use of your new living area.
  4. Ductless is a perfect replacement for old, electric baseboard systems. If you need to replace an old baseboard system, you might want to consider ductless. These systems are highly energy-efficient, don’t require the installation of ductwork, and unlike baseboard heat, offer the added benefit of air conditioning during the summer months.
  5. Ductless systems allow you to be in greater control of your comfort. Most ductless units are easily operated via remote control and can help you get targeted comfort from room to room. You’ll be able to adjust your ductless system to the precise temperature for maximum comfort.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the ductless system you need.

At T.F. O’Brien, we take great pride in our expert installation of ductless cooling and heating systems. We can help you find the right ductless system for your home, and our experienced technicians can install it for you quickly and professionally. And, we can provide you with additional services, like ductless maintenance and repair.

If you’re planning spring renovations for your home, and you think ductless might be a great choice for your home, T.F. O’Brien can help. We have ductless equipment on hand, and can likely install it in your home right away! Give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

Spring Allergies? Learn How Indoor Air Quality Products Can Help.

family works on potted plants in a light, airy spring homeSpring has sprung, and that means that the trees are budding, the flowers are blooming… and the noses of allergy sufferers are sniffling! While spring is a beautiful time of the year, those with seasonal allergies might not enjoy it as much.

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While you can’t control the allergens outside, you can make your home a comfortable haven. Keep reading to learn more about the top three causes of spring allergies, and the products that can help reduce them in your home.

Learn More About the Top 3 Spring Allergens

  1. Tree Pollen: With so many trees budding in the spring, the pollen they release is abundant. Trees like ash, cedar, and elm are common in most neighborhoods, and all of these trees release a lot of pollen. According to WebMD, pollen is seen as a threat by the allergy sufferer’s immune system, which then reacts and triggers nasal congestion and eye irritation.
  2. Plant Pollen: Plants, such as grasses, weeds, and flowers, are also in bloom and produce pollen during the spring season. Plant pollen triggers a similar response in the allergy sufferer as tree pollen.
  3. Mold: Because of the rainy weather that often occurs during the spring, and the increase in temperature, mold can easily grow both outdoors and inside the home. Mold allergies often cause sneezing and coughing, and some types of mold can cause skin irritation.

Fortunately, there are products that can help reduce allergens inside your home.

In the past, people often had to suffer from seasonal allergies, even indoors. But today, there are many products that can help people enjoy fresher, cleaner air, including:

  • Ultraviolet Air Sterilization: UV germicidal lights are very effective when it comes to eliminating mold in your home. It kills both mold and bacteria effectively and keeps them from reproducing. It can also help eliminate unpleasant odors in your home.
  • High-Efficiency Filters: Allergies, asthma, hay fever — no matter what kind of breathing difficulty you suffer from, there is a filter that can help you. You can even get the same type of air filters used in hospital operating rooms.
  • Air Purifiers: A whole-home, in-duct air purifier is the best solution for purifying the air in your entire home. It is able to reduce common allergy triggers from particulates such as pollen, mold spores, dander, and dust.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the indoor air quality products you need this spring.

Reducing the threat of allergens in your home this spring, and all year long is as easy as calling T.F. O’Brien. We’ll be happy to discuss our quality lineup of indoor air quality products, and help you choose the ones that are right for your home and lifestyle needs. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you.