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.

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.

What Is Ductless Cooling, Anyway?

ductless_acChances are, you’ve heard of ductless cooling. After all, it’s become a very popular choice for home cooling over the past few years. But you may have a few questions. You might wonder if it would work in your home, if it works with your existing systems, or maybe even how it works in the first place. At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve been offering ductless cooling for several years, and are experts in ductless application and installation. We can answer your questions, and can help you get the cooling you need to stay comfortable all summer long.

First, let’s talk about what, exactly, ductless cooling is. The explanation is pretty much in the name itself. Ductless cooling is just that – a cooling system that doesn’t require air ducts to operate. Unlike a central air conditioning system, ductless units operate independently of each other. So you can have a singular ductless unit installed in your home, or units installed throughout, creating cooling zones.

How are ductless systems installed?

Ductless systems are mounted on the ceiling or on a wall, and require nothing more than a small hole drilled in the ceiling or wall to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. That’s it – no need to install additional ductwork, which saves on construction mess and costs. Ductless systems provide a more effective, and much more efficient, alternative to window air conditioning, and are extremely quiet. And, you can count on quality – brands like Daikin, for instance, offer durability combined with attractive styling.

Here’s a step-by-step description of how ductless cooling is installed in your home:

  • A hole is drilled in the ceiling or wall to connect indoor and outdoor units
  • The condensing unit is installed outside, with unit connection facing the house
  • Refrigerant lines, electrical wiring, and defrost wiring are run through the hole, connecting the indoor an and outdoor units
  • The indoor unit is installed either high on an interior wall or in the ceiling
  • All electrical connections are completed
  • The system is charged with refrigerant and tested to ensure it’s operating according to manufacturer specifications

How do I know if ductless is right for my home?

If you need air conditioning for a single space, and currently rely on window AC to stay cool in that area, then ductless is a great option for you. This includes spaces that you’ve added or renovated that don’t have access to your home’s current duct system, like new additions, finished basements, or converted garages or attics.

If you currently have baseboard heat, or another type of electric heating system, in your home, it’s also probably a good candidate for ductless cooling. It can be very costly to add a duct system to a home that doesn’t already have one. Not to mention, there are ductless configurations available that can cool your space in the summer, and heat it in the winter. So if it’s time to replace your baseboard or radiant heating system, ductless cooling and heating could be the perfect option for you.

Additionally, ductless cooling can help balance out spaces in your home, so your current system can operate more efficiently. Ductless can supplement your existing cooling system by providing support for problem areas, especially if you have a larger home. The best thing to do if you’d like to learn more about ductless and whether or not it’s right for your home is to contact T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re ready to help you with your home cooling needs.

You can count on the professionals at T.F. O’Brien to help you get the best system for your home. We have extensive experience with the installation, maintenance and repair of all types of air conditioning systems, including ductless cooling. 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.

AC Then & Now: How Air Conditioning Has Changed

GettyImagesInstalling home air conditioning is nothing new. In fact, the first private home to have air conditioning installed was built in 1914. At first, it was a luxury only easily afforded by the wealthy. It wasn’t until 1945, when a less expensive, compact window air conditioner was developed, that more people had access to home cooling. But in the years that followed this invention, leaps and bounds in air conditioning technology were made, and soon, central air became more accessible to the general public.

Air conditioning installation in new home builds became much more common, and by the late 1960s, most of the new homes built had central air conditioning. According to the Department of Energy, today, nearly 100 million homes in America, or 87 percent of households, have air conditioning. With so many Americans relying on cooling – and the detrimental effects that refrigerants in the past could have on the environment – many manufacturers took the responsibility to create better, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly AC.

Changes in refrigerants and efficiency make modern systems better for consumers and for the planet.

For many years, the effect of early refrigerants on the environment was not known. But as time passed, it became more and more clear that refrigerants were causing depletion of the ozone layer and were contributing to the greenhouse effect. Manufacturers sought a safer type of refrigerant, and in 1996, air conditioning systems using the refrigerant R-410A, came out on the market. This refrigerant differed from its precursor, R-22, in that it doesn’t contribute to ozone depletion, and functions at a much higher efficiency. That means air conditioning systems that use this type of refrigerant are more efficient, saving energy.

The Department of Energy explains that with new standards in place, modern air conditioning systems use about 50 percent less energy than they did in 1990. Because of this, homeowners can enjoy better comfort, all while saving energy – and, ultimately, money on their utility bills. And, many manufacturers and utility companies recognize the benefits of installing a new, more efficient system. As a result, they offer homeowners rebates and incentives for installing new, efficient, environmentally sound air conditioning.

Modern technology has helped make air conditioning more sustainable than ever.

In addition, new types of air conditioning systems were being developed with a focus on overall improved efficiency. One type of system, ductless air conditioning, was created for homes where ductwork wasn’t available. Replacing less-efficient window air conditioning, ductless systems are highly efficient and easily controlled. For homeowners, that means greater efficiency. With ductless, it’s much simpler to create a zoned system that keeps spaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter – all while increasing efficiency and comfort levels.

And, heat pumps are becoming more and more of an option for homeowners, as new technology has created heat pumps that operate in much colder temperatures than their predecessors. Because heat pumps cool (or heat) spaces by moving heated air rather than generating it, these systems are extremely efficient. The Department of Energy offers that heat pump systems can reduce energy use by 30-60 percent, in addition to controlling humidity and providing durability and reliability. And, today’s cold climate heat pumps can operate even when outdoor temperatures dip to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it time to replace your old, inefficient air conditioning? T. F. O’Brien can help.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve made it our priority to stay on top of modern trends and better, more sustainable technology when it comes to comfort equipment. We provide our customers with the very best, most efficient systems available on the market today. We’ll work with you to ensure that the system installed in your home not only keeps you comfortable, but helps you enjoy maximum energy efficiency as well. To schedule an appointment with us, simply call us at 516.488.1800, and one of our comfort specialists will be glad to talk with you about today’s many efficient, effective home-cooling options.

Keep Your Home Comfortable And Efficient With Ductless

More and more people are choosing ductless cooling and heating for their homes. People are finding that ductless systems are a great choice for spaces where ductwork is either impossible or impractical. Homes with radiant or baseboard heating, or converted spaces like attics, garages, finished basements and additions, can all benefit from a ductless system. Not to mention, many homeowners are seeing the real benefit of ductless cooling and heating – improved energy efficiency coupled with better comfort.

That’s because ductless systems use a heat pump system – they don’t typically burn fuel, but transfer hot air instead. By doing this, some ductless configurations are able to keep your home cool as a cucumber in the summer, while providing cozy warmth in the winter months. Even if you have a furnace and air conditioning system throughout most of your home, choosing ductless for areas that don’t have access to ductwork – like a finished basement, converted garage, or new addition – helps balance out the temperature of your home, leading to better efficiency.

How can a ductless system help lead to better overall efficiency?

People who have rooms that aren’t a part of their ductwork system usually have three choices – either close those rooms off during part of the year, rely on window AC and space heaters, or open the room up and hope their heating and AC system spreads conditioned air to those spaces. While closing the room off doesn’t necessarily cause issues with energy usage, it kind of defeats the purpose of adding that additional space to begin with.

Window AC and space heaters are both notorious for using a lot of energy, and they aren’t necessarily going to give you the greatest level of comfort for the additional energy cost. And, keeping the room open is going to either lower or raise the overall temperature of your home – making your comfort system work harder and causing energy costs to rise. The beauty of a ductless system is that it helps to balance out those cold or hot spots – leaving you with a more efficient, more comfortable home.

And, ductless cooling and heating provides a whole host of additional benefits as well.

  • No need for additional ductwork. This means you can avoid inconvenient home remodeling and the costs associated with it.
  • Comfort all year long. Depending on the configuration you choose, you can get ductless systems that provide both cooling and heating in one convenient unit.
  • Design that works with your décor. You won’t have to worry about your windows being blocked by a bulky AC unit or tripping over a space heater, because ductless systems mount on your wall or ceiling. 
  • Whisper-quiet operation. Again, window units can be very noisy and space heaters often make a buzzing noise that’s super annoying. You’ll love the peace and quiet ductless offers.
  • Remote control comfort. Generally speaking, a hand-held remote easily controls your ductless system. This means better comfort is literally at your fingertips.

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

If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of choosing a ductless to help cool your home this summer – and warm it once winter arrives – all you need to do is contact us at 516-488-1800. One of our comfort specialists will be happy to explain the benefits of a ductless system to you, and help you discover if it’s the right choice for your home.

How A Heat Pump System Can Help You Keep Your Cool This Summer

Many people are exploring ways that they can keep their homes comfortable year-round, all while reducing their carbon footprint. Your home comfort systems account for a good percentage of your home’s overall energy usage. It only makes sense that when it comes time to replace your equipment, you choose a system that not only provides excellent home comfort, but also minimizes energy use. For that reason, more and more people are turning to heat pump systems for home comfort.

You may wonder what a heat pump system is. Or, you may have heard about them, but learned that they don’t work well in cooler climates. You should know, today’s heat pump systems are manufactured to operate in colder temperatures. As a result, even Long Islanders can benefit from one. To understand how a heat pump system keeps your home comfortable in all temperatures, you first need to know how they work.

How Heat Pumps Operate

While there are many different styles of heat pumps to choose from for your Long Island, NY home, most commonly people install a split system. This simply means some of the components of the heat pump are inside your home, and some are outside. Regardless of their configuration, heat pumps work by transferring hot air as opposed to burning fuel inside your home, leading to higher energy efficiency. They’re designed to provide your home with the appropriate levels of heating and cooling, at a price that works within your budget.

Here are a few of the benefits a heat pump system can provide:

  • High efficiency
  • Year round comfort (heat in the winter, cooling in the summer)
  • Dehumidification of indoor air
  • Can be used to complement a traditional furnace, improving home efficiency
  • Uses an environmentally friendly, non-ozone depleting refrigerant
  • Often, tax credits and incentives are available for heat pump systems

Choose T.F. O’Brien for your heat pump installation.

If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of choosing a heat pump to help cool your home this summer – and warm it once winter arrives – all you need to do is contact us at 516-488-1800. One of our comfort specialists will be happy to explain the benefits of a heat pump system to you, and help you discover if it’s the right choice for your home.

5 Reasons Why You Need AC Maintenance

Concerned about keeping your cooling system in the best possible condition? No worries – annual maintenance can help! According to the Department of Energy, not getting system maintenance can lead to inefficiency and a steady decline in equipment performance. Keeping your heating and cooling equipment well maintained is crucial; T.F. O’Brien’s professional trained HVAC service technicians can help.

Still not sure annual cooling system maintenance is what you need? Here are five benefits that your AC system will enjoy:

  1. Less worry about the safety of your AC system. Much like taking your vehicle for an annual tune-up, our technicians will inspect your cooling system and equipment. They’ll check for refrigerant leaks and make sure electrical components are in good working order, so you can count on your system’s safety.
  2. You’ll avoid an HVAC system breakdown at the worst possible time. Maintenance keeps your AC system clean, and takes care of minor problems and repairs. Lack of cleaning and tune-up can, unfortunately, lead to a breakdown at the most inopportune time. That’s when we’re at our busiest, too, so finding immediate service can be a frustrating challenge.
  3. You won’t void your system warranty. Many manufacturers require that your cooling system is regularly maintained in order to keep the warranty intact. Not getting the maintenance you need could mean you’ll be stuck with a major breakdown – and costly repairs that your warranty will no longer cover.
  4. You’ll save money on cooling. When you call for maintenance, part of the service includes cleaning of your system. That’s important, because when an AC system is dirty it works harder, and much less efficiently – taking more money from your wallet when it comes time to pay utility bills.
  5. Your whole family will breathe easier. Changing the air filter is an important part of AC 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.

To take advantage of all of these great benefits, and have a qualified HVAC service technician inspect your system – call T.F. O’Brien today. We look forward to helping you with your annual maintenance needs.

Spring Into Ductless

Spring is a great time for home improvements. If you’ve been considering adding to your space – but you’re not sure how to manage heating and cooling this new or converted area of your home – you might want to consider ductless. Ductless offers both heating and cooling, so you’ll get year-round comfort, without having to connect to your existing ductwork system or adding new ductwork. Additions, converted garages and attics, and finished basements can become spaces your family can enjoy all year long!

The beauty of ductless heating and cooling is that it can help keep those areas comfortable; winter, spring, summer and fall. It both effectively heats and cools your home, making it perfect for year-round use. Not to mention, by keeping a consistent climate throughout your home, your main heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard, and will operate more efficiently, too.

By choosing ductless this spring, you’ll enjoy many additional benefits.

Of course, a ductless system will make those areas of your home without ductwork more comfortable. That just goes without saying! But, you should know that there are other advantages to ductless as well:

  • Ductless heating and cooling is efficient. Because they use advanced heat pump technology, ductless systems offer high efficiency, making them an extremely cost-effective choice for your space.
  • Ductless systems are quiet. These systems are made to operate so that they don’t disturb homeowners with noisy operation. Unlike space heaters, which can emit a buzzing noise, or the loud sounds window AC units often make, ductless is whisper-quiet, so you’re able to better enjoy the comfort.
  • Heating and cooling with ductless can help with air quality. Ductless systems are made to filter the conditioned air they push out into your living space. They trap many of the particles that can get circulated through the air, helping create a cleaner environment with fewer allergens.
  • Ductless systems are non-obtrusive. Having your ductless system installed requires very little construction work, and you won’t have to worry about the cost and mess that comes with adding ductwork to your home. And, ductless systems are made to blend in seamlessly with virtually any home décor.

Make your converted space or addition one the whole family loves this spring – choose ductless heating and cooling to make it a welcoming area year round. At T.F. O’Brien, we’re happy to help you get the ductless system you need for your home.