Not Getting What You Need from Your AC This Summer? You Might Need a Repair.

Ah… cool, comfortable air conditioning. Nothing feels better than coming inside out of the sweltering heat and relaxing in an air-conditioned home. But, if your air conditioning system doesn’t seem to be working properly this summer, it can provide more aggravation than relaxation for you and your family. Sometimes, people put off calling their HVAC contractor because they’re not sure if it’s just too hot for their AC to work properly. We can assure you that if you’re not comfortable, you should go with your gut and give us a call.

There are a few ways that you can tell if your air conditioning system is getting ready for a breakdown. Fortunately, these often happen before it completely stops working – allowing you time to get in touch with us here at T.F. O’Brien and get an appointment scheduled as soon as possible. It’s important that you call us if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your system, so you won’t be stuck without AC during a heatwave!

Five Signs that Your Air Conditioning Needs Attention

If you’re feeling like your AC system just isn’t keeping you and your family as cool as you’d like this summer, these five indicators could be your air conditioner’s way of letting you know it needs some TLC from T.F. O’Brien:

  1. The dust is flying. If you’re seeing a lot more dust in your home than usual this summer, your system’s filter likely needs some attention. Fortunately, changing the filter is a pretty simple task that you can do yourself, and one that helps your AC run much more effectively and efficiently. Of course, if you’re not sure how to clean or change your filter, we’re always happy to help.
  2. Your system is noisy. Air conditioning systems usually make some noise when they operate. This is normal. But, if your system is making any noises out of the ordinary, or if you hear squeaks, pings, or grinding sounds, there’s likely a problem that needs a technician’s attention.
  3. Your home has hot and cold spots. If you have central air conditioning, consistent cooling throughout your home should be expected. However, if you’re noticing different temperatures throughout your home, there could be an issue with your home’s ductwork or your AC’s sizing. This is especially true if you’ve added living space to your home, such as additions or converted areas.
  4. Your energy bills are on the rise. Of course, your AC uses energy to operate, so some increase in your utility bills is normal. If your bills are unusually high, or if you’ve noted an unexplained increase, your system might be using more energy than it needs to – which indicates it could need a repair.
  5. Your home feels humid. One of the benefits of air conditioning is reducing the humidity in your home. If you’re still feeling sticky, even with the AC running, something probably isn’t working properly and you should give us a call to check your system out.

Getting ahead of a breakdown is as simple as noticing these signs and giving us a call.

Once your air conditioning breaks down completely, it can be a lot more difficult – and expensive – to repair than an underperforming system. So, it’s important to take heed of the signs that your system isn’t working quite as well as it should, and giving us a call in advance of a complete system failure. We’re always ready to help – your comfort is our top priority! If you think your AC needs repair, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll gladly schedule an appointment with you.

Phase 1 Reopening on Long Island: What It Means for You

Phase_One_ReopeningAs an essential business, T.F. O’Brien has remained open for our customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken every necessary precaution to keep both our valued clients and employees safe during this time, and we appreciate your cooperation in our efforts. It isn’t an easy time for any of us, and we are very glad we have been able to continue to meet your needs throughout this crisis.

Long Island has entered Phase 1 of the reopening process, and that means some other businesses that were deemed non-essential may now open up with guidelines in place. Below is a listing of businesses that are included in the Phase 1 reopening process:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Retail Stores (Curbside Pickup Only)

Like our industry, HVAC, each of these industries will have specific guidelines based on their unique operational procedures that need to be strictly adhered to. There are both mandatory and suggested guidelines for each of these sectors, which can be found by clicking here, if you wish to learn more about them.

How T.F. O’Brien Can Help

Of course, we will continue to follow the mandated guidelines set forth, allowing us to safely continue to provide you with the home comfort services and products you need. Additionally, we can help businesses who wish to ensure as they reopen that their HVAC systems are operating properly, and that they have the best indoor air quality control available. We urge our commercial clients entering Phase 1 to call us with any comfort or air quality concerns they may have at 516.488.1800. We’ll be glad to schedule an appointment with you to discuss your commercial HVAC needs.

B’Gosh & Begorrah! It’s Almost St. Patrick’s Day!

At T.F. O’Brien, you know we’re all about Irish pride. Our name says it all, as well as our annual Shamrock Savings event. We love St. Patrick’s Day, and sharing the love with you! Have you ever wondered where some of the traditions of the holiday come from?

For adults, much of the St. Patrick’s Day festivity includes a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, and possibly imbibing in some green beer. For kids, enjoying a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and trying to capture the elusive leprechaun are part of St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Learn more about these St. Pat’s standbys below.

Five St. Patrick’s Day Traditions and Legends Explained

  1. Leprechauns: Leprechauns go all the way back to the 8th Century, and their beginnings are rooted in tales of water spirits known as luchorpán. These wee people were known for their love of imbibing, as well as shoe making. Legend has it that if you capture a leprechaun, they’ll grant you three wishes if you set them free.
  2. Corned Beef & Cabbage: Enjoying corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day is actually an entirely Irish-American tradition, Delishably In Ireland, the dish is primarily bacon and cabbage, but Irish immigrants found that corned beef was easier to find and cheaper in America. And there is no corn in corned beef – “corned” refers to the size of the salt used in the curing process.
  3. Pot of Gold: Directly related to leprechaun mythology, the tale of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. This legendary pot of gold is where the leprechauns store their coins, and humans often try to catch a leprechaun to gain access to it. However, leprechauns are pretty tricky, so that pot of gold tends to be rather elusive!
  4. Green Beer: According to Food & Wine, green beer comes from an Irish tradition of adding shamrocks to beverages on St. Patrick’s Day. Green beer was created by Dr. Thomas Curtin in 1914, for a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Schnerer Club in the Bronx. While nobody knows what was in that original recipe, blue food coloring is what gives modern green beer its verdant hue.
  5. Lucky Charms: Lucky Charms cereal came about in 1964, and was the first cereal to include marshmallows. Lucky the Leprechaun, the cereal’s mascot, has been there from the get-go, although he’s also been known as Sir Charms and L.C. Leprechaun over the years. The original marshmallow charms were pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers.

Getting the right home comfort solutions isn’t the luck of the Irish, though.

You don’t need a leprechaun’s wish in order to get the home comfort solutions you need – you just need to give T.F. O’Brien a call. We can help you get the necessary heating and cooling services to keep your home and your family comfortable all year round. And, we’re happy to share with you a little pot of gold if you need a new system – ask us about our Shamrock Savings event, and how we can help you save up to $4,245 on a new high-efficiency HVAC system. Call us at 516.488.1800 to learn more. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and yours!

Five Reasons You Should Take Advantage of Shamrock Savings

As you know, the arrival of March also means Shamrock Savings at T.F. O’Brien. We make our best offer of the year on quality heating and cooling equipment, helping you save money and get into a better, more efficient system. Of course, the savings are one of the main benefits of our Shamrock sales event, but there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider replacing your equipment.

First, tell me more about the Shamrock sales event. How will I save?

When you purchase a new, high-efficiency system, you’ll be eligible for an amazing $4,245 savings. We’re bundling together an incredible offer* that makes saving some green easy! Here’s how we do it:

  • FREE Humidifier with Complete Heating & AC System – $895 Value
  • Manufacturer and Utility Company Rebates – $3,000 Value (on select systems)
  • 12-Year Warranty
  • FREE Wi-Fi Thermostat – $350 Value

Okay, it looks like I’ll save the green! But why should I get new equipment?

There are many benefits to installing new home comfort equipment that go well beyond the money you’ll save. Here are five reasons why taking advantage of this offer is a great choice for you and your family:

  1. Your home will be more energy efficient. This is especially true if you currently have old equipment installed in your home. Changes in technology over the past few years have made today’s heating and cooling equipment much more efficient that its predecessors. For instance, according to the of Energy, a new furnace could potentially be up to 42% more efficient than an older system.
  2. You’ll be more comfortable. Many times, homeowners purchase their homes with the HVAC system already in place. Unfortunately, they may not know the system was not properly sized for the home. If this is the case, you and your family won’t get the maximum in home comfort from your system. Installing new equipment with T.F. O’Brien will ensure that your system is sized properly – so you enjoy the best comfort.
  3. Your Wi-Fi thermostat will help your system operate more effectively and efficiently. We’ve included a Wi-Fi thermostat in our offer not just because we wanted to add on a flashy, fun product. Wi-Fi thermostats provide you with the ultimate control over your system, and allow you to monitor it, even when you’re not home. No more running out the door and forgetting to set the thermostat back. If you forget, you can easily access it from your phone or computer, and make those changes wherever you are. Because you have greater control over your system, it will provide you with better efficiency – and ultimately savings on your utility bills.
  4. Your humidifier will help keep your home much more comfortable. Running the heat in the winter can dry out your home – and you. Keeping a proper moisture level will keep your skin from getting too dry, as well as your nose and throat, because the moisture levels will stay at the right level for optimal home comfort. And, you won’t have to worry about creaking floorboards and furniture.
  5. You’ll avoid costly breakdowns. If your system is getting on in years, the chances that it will need repair services in the (potentially near) future increase. Depending on the type of repairs needed, it could become very expensive to keep your system working properly. Not to mention, old heating and cooling systems are likely very inefficient as well, so between repair needs and spending more than you have to on energy, costs can add up.

Alright, let me know how I can take advantage of Shamrock Savings.

That’s the easy part! All you have to do is give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you. But you have to act quickly – our Shamrock sales event ends on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2020. Give us a call today and let us help you get into better comfort and better efficiency this March!

* Ask us for details about the different financing options available with credit approval. Restrictions may apply. Total savings shown: $895 Humidification System, 12-year warranty, $350 Wi-Fi Thermostat, and $3,000 manufacturer and utility rebate available on select systems. Ask dealer for details. Offer Expires 3/17/20.

Resolve to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient in 2020

tfobrien energy efficiencyIt’s that time of year again – when everyone starts thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. Many times, they revolve around weight loss and fitness, and sometimes achieving personal and professional goals. One resolution that can help both you and the planet in 2020 is to conserve energy. And it’s a resolution you can keep pretty much effortlessly, especially when you start at home.

There are many ways you can make your home a den of energy efficiency, and they’re a lot simpler than you might think. We’re sharing a list below of seven ways you can very easily start making you home more efficient today. The best part (aside from the money you can save on your utility bills)? Most of these solutions are set it and forget it! Just make a couple of simple changes and you’ll start saving energy right away and all year long.

Seven Easy Ways You Can Resolve to Save Energy This Year

  1. Change over to energy efficient lightbulbs. Change out your old, incandescent bulbs with halogen, compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. They offer much better energy efficiency AND they last much longer than their incandescent ancestors. (Most homes have 40 or more fixtures that require bulbs, so choosing energy efficient ones is sort of a big deal.)
  2. Lower your thermostat. We’re not saying you have to run around the house in long johns and a parka all winter long, but if you remember to lower your thermostat just 3-5 degrees before you leave the house, you can save energy. Want to save even more? Drop your thermostat 10 degrees or so during the workday and save up to 15% every year. If you have a programmable or smart thermostat, it’s even easier, because you can set it to change when you leave for work – or change it yourself right from your phone!
  3. Make sure windows and doors are sealed. Drafty windows and doors let the warm air out and the cold air in, which makes your heating system have to work even harder. And the reverse is true in the summer, letting your conditioned air out and the hot, sticky air in. So making sure any gaps or cracks around windows and doors are sealed is an inexpensive way to reduce energy usage, and ultimately costs.
  4. Not using it? Unplug it. Cell phone chargers, battery chargers and, small appliances like toasters and electric can openers can all be energy vampires when they’re not in use, sucking the energy right out of your outlets and costing you more money when it comes time to pay your utility bills. If it doesn’t need to stay plugged in to operate properly – unplug it, and potentially save 10% annually on your energy bills in the process.
  5. Wash with cold water whenever possible. Not yourself, unless you want to. We’re talking about your washing machine. Most detergents are available in cold water formulas that do a great job of getting your clothes fresh and clean. And did you know – 90 percent of the energy used by your washer is for heating water. So, washing in cold can save YOU cold, hard cash.
  6. Get an HVAC tune-up for your heating and air conditioning equipment. By getting your equipment tuned up on a yearly basis, you’ll also be helping it stay energy efficient. A qualified technician, like the ones right here at T.F. O’Brien, will make sure your heating and cooling equipment is running at top efficiency. Not to mention, a tune-up can help keep your system from breaking down prematurely, and as a result needing expensive repairs or replacement.
  7. When getting a new computer, switch to a laptop. Thinking about replacing your old desktop computer? When it comes time for new technology, consider getting a laptop. Why? They’re up to 80% more efficient than desktop models, and you can take them anywhere with you!

Want to learn more about making your home energy efficient? Call T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, helping you enjoy the most energy efficient home comfort is important to us. We work hard to help you get the services and equipment you need to save energy, save money and save the planet! To learn more about energy-saving equipment and products, just give us a call at 516.488.1800 – and we’ll resolve to help you make your home more efficient in 2020 and beyond!

Check out our energy efficiency infographic below, and feel free to share it with your friends!

TFO WEB HomeEfficiency

 

Fuel-Free Heating Alternatives for 2020 – What Are My Options?

When it comes time to replace your home’s heating system, you should know you have options that are cleaner, more efficient, and don’t use gas or oil. These innovative systems actually extract the heat from the air or the ground, and bring it into your home. That way, you won’t need to worry about gas being piped in, or fuel oil deliveries. You and your family will just be able to enjoy year-round comfort.

Wait, year-round comfort? But I don’t need heating in the summer.

That’s just another benefit of installing a heat pump system. The beauty is, in the summer months your heat pump will actually cool your home. Just like they extract heat from the ambient air in the winter and pump it into your home, in the summer months, they can extract heat from your indoor air and pump it outside. So, heat pumps really are the complete package deal – one that can keep you comfortable and provide you with maximum energy efficiency.

But I’ve heard heat pumps don’t work well in cooler climates.

People in the south have been using heat pumps for their home comfort needs for years, but for us northerners, heat pump technology hasn’t been as accessible. That’s because up until a few years ago, heat pumps weren’t made to operate in the cooler weather like we get here on Long Island. But in recent years, advancements have been made that allow for cold climate heat pump technology, so now even those of us who experience all four seasons can enjoy the benefits that come with owning a heat pump system.

Okay, let’s talk more about the benefits.

Most people who own a heat pump system will tell you that the top benefit is energy savings, because that translates into savings on their utility bills. Heat pump systems are extremely efficient; in fact, they’re one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat and cool your home on the market today.

Additionally, they’re much better for the environment, because they don’t rely on any type of fossil fuel to work. While they do use refrigerant, it is an environmentally sound formula that does not harm the ozone layer. And, as we mentioned above, heat pump systems can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, eliminating the need for separate heating and air conditioning systems.

I have baseboard heating in my home and no ductwork. How can a heat pump help me?

For homeowners that want to replace their heating and cooling, but don’t have ductwork, ductless systems are available. Using heat pump technology, a ductless system is comprised of single units installed in zones throughout your home, or in spaces that may not have access to existing ductwork. Because each zone can be controlled based on the heating and cooling needs of that specific space, most people find that ductless systems provide exemplary comfort and efficiency. While some are available for cooling only, there are systems that also provide heating, making them the perfect choice for year-round comfort.

Who can help me learn more about heat pump heating and cooling?

You’ve come to the right place! At T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating, we make it a priority to stay up-to-date on the latest in home comfort technology, so we can provide our customers with the very best and most efficient products. And, our expert technicians never stop learning, so they always provide you with highly skilled installation and service. To find out more, just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be happy to help.

Is a Heat Pump System Right for Your Home?

tfobrien heatpump energy efficiencyHave you been thinking about replacing the old heating system in your home? Maybe your current system hasn’t been keeping your home as warm as you’d like, or maybe you’ve noticed a steady increase in your utility bills over the past few years. Or, perhaps you’ve had to make a lot of expensive repairs to your system, and it still isn’t running as well as it should be.

No matter what your reason may be for deciding to replace your current heating system, you should know that there are options available that are highly efficient and can help you save on energy costs. If you choose a traditional furnace or boiler, modern systems offer superior energy efficiency when compared to their older counterparts. You should also know, heat pump systems are a viable option for many homeowners as well.

What is a heat pump system?

Just like the name implies, a heat pump system “pumps” heat – either into, or out of, your home. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), heat pump systems transfer heat between your home and the outside air. During the cooler months, heat pumps actually extract the existing heat from the outdoor air and move it into your home. Because these systems move heat rather than make heat, they are highly efficient, helping you save both energy and money.

Additionally, there is an added bonus to installing a heat pump system – because they move heat, they can also move it out of your home during the summer months. This enables your heat pump system to provide both heating and cooling to your home, making it a viable solution if you need to replace your entire home comfort system. Heat pump systems are available for homes both with and without ducts, too, so virtually any home can benefit from heat pump installation.

Will it work in cooler climates?

Many homeowners express concern over whether heat pump systems will operate properly in areas that tend to get colder winters. Much of this concern stems from the fact that for many years, heat pumps didn’t function well below a certain temperature. However, according to the DOE, heat pump technology has advanced significantly in recent years, now allowing it to offer “a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions.”

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to provide our clients with quality heat pump solutions for their home. When you make an appointment with us, we can evaluate your home to make sure a heat pump solution is the right choice. We’ll explain the benefits of heat pump systems, and help you choose the perfect system for your home. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Transition Through The Seasons With Ductless

Here on Long Island, we’re able to enjoy warm summer weather well into the fall months. Because we have a prolonged cooling season compared to most of New York, that means it’s important to have not only properly maintained cooling equipment, but also equipment that can transition easily from season to season. If you’ve been considering an all-in-one solution to your home comfort needs, you might want to consider ductless.

Ductless cooling and heating can provide you with effective, efficient cooling all summer long, helping you and your family enjoy precise comfort control. Perfect for converted or added spaces, as well as homes that lack ductwork, these systems provide the cooling you need in a compact, easy to install unit. Because they don’t require ductwork, you won’t have to deal with the mess of construction – often, your ductless system will be ready to enjoy in one day.

And, ductless can help you transition easily once the days get cooler.

While ductless systems that offer cooling only are an option, you should know you can get systems that offer both cooling and heating. This configuration is especially helpful once the weather starts to transition. People often find that during this time, some days call for cooling, while others might need a little home heating. That’s where ductless cooling and heating comes in. It’s simple to switch from cooling to heating with a ductless system – which ensures home comfort no matter what the weather outside is like.

At. T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to provide our customers with the very best ductless cooling and heating systems available. Our expert technicians can install them in your home both promptly and without a lot of mess or downtime, so you can enjoy the benefits of ductless quickly. What’s more, you’ll enjoy improved comfort that’s highly energy efficient, quiet, and easily controlled by a remote. And, ductless systems are made to blend seamlessly with virtually any décor.

To learn more about how you can stay comfortable, no matter what the season, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to tell you more about ductless cooling and heating for your home.

Five Ways to Keep Your Cool During The Dog Days

GettyImagesAugust is here, and that means the dog days of summer have arrived on Long Island. This time of year, Mother Nature turns up the heat, and that can make for an uncomfortable situation for many. Extreme heat not only can make you feel miserable – it can also make you sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are a number of factors that can affect the body’s ability to cool down when the temperatures soar, with senior citizens, small children, and those with medical concerns being among those at highest risk.

It’s important to take the necessary measures to keep cool in high temperatures, so you’re able to prevent heat-related illness from happening to you. Of course, keep strenuous activity to a minimum, limit your time outdoors, and make sure to wear natural fabrics and sunscreen. All of these measures will help avoid a possible life-threatening situation. But there are a few other steps you can take that can help you stay healthy when the weather is at its hottest.

The CDC offers some suggestions to help you stay healthy during a heat event.

The good news is, there are many measures you can take to stay safe when it’s hot and humid outside. Here are five suggestions from the CDC that not only help you stay cool – but also stay safe.

  1. Drink more water than you usually would. Keep the fluids flowing – don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Conversely, avoid alcohol, as it can contribute to dehydration. Plain water is best.
  2. Don’t use your stove or oven. It will only add to the heat that’s already in your home. Besides, it gives you a great excuse to order a pizza!
  3. Check on friends or neighbors – especially those who are older or are in ill health. Heat events can be especially difficult for them.
  4. Don’t rely on a fan to stay cool. Fans are great to help keep air circulating throughout your home, but they won’t cool the air.
  5. Stay in air conditioning as much as possible. The CDC indicates, “air conditioning is the number one way to protect yourself against heat-related illness or death.” If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, consider staying with family or friends who do, or seek an air-conditioned shelter in your area.

If you need help with your air conditioning, T.F. O’Brien can assist you.

At T.F. O’Brien, we can help with any air conditioning need you might have. We have extensive experience with the installation, maintenance and repair of all types of air conditioning systems, including ductless cooling and central air conditioning. Call us today at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. Prefer to contact us online? Click here to complete our short form, and a representative will reach out to you.

Cooling Your Home’s Special Spaces

ductless_additions_renovationsNothing makes your home seem more exciting and new than a renovation, especially when that renovation provides you with your own, special space. More than ever, people are enjoying hanging out around the house, and creating perfect areas in their homes for just that purpose. Whether you’ve added a “she-shed” outside your home, converted a garage into the quintessential “man-cave,” or added a home theater room in your finished basement, you’ll want it to be the perfect place to unwind.

When you create a new space for relaxation and enjoyment, of course you’ll want to make sure everything reflects your personal style. From the flooring, to the furniture, to the décor, your space is about you. Your she-shed might be chock-full of art supplies and crafting materials. Or, your man-cave might have comfortable recliners and games. Home theater? Maybe you’ve spent time visiting local antique shops for the perfect vintage movie posters. But… if your space isn’t comfortable, it’s hard to enjoy it.

Controlling the comfort in your renovated spaces is important.

If you’ve converted an area of your home, built an addition, or installed an outbuilding on your property, you may not be able to give that space access to your home’s existing ductwork. You should know, though, that you don’t have to rely on noisy window AC or clunky space heaters in order to keep your special space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Ductless heating and cooling is a great option.

When you choose to have your home comfort company install a ductless unit in your man-cave, she-shed, home theater or any other renovated or added space, you’ll be able to enjoy the area year-round, in complete comfort. What’s more, ductless systems are extremely efficient, quiet, and mount on the wall or in the ceiling of your space – providing you non-obtrusive comfort. And, because ductless systems don’t require complicated construction or additional ductwork, it can be installed quickly, with little mess.

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

At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve been installing quality ductless systems for years – and we can help you get one, too. Our expert installers will have your ductless unit up and running promptly, so you can sit back and relax, or craft, or watch that box-office smash, in complete comfort. We know you worked hard to create your very own special space, and we want you to enjoy it – no matter what the weather outside might be.

Are you ready to get complete comfort control for your renovated or added space? Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. Prefer to contact us online? Click here to complete our short form, and a representative will reach out to you.