Time to Replace an Old System? Choose High-Efficiency Home Comfort!

man looking at energy saving graphs on tabletIf you’ve been thinking about replacing your old heating and cooling equipment, you might be concerned about the cost. While it’s true that HVAC equipment can be an expense, it is a necessary component of your home. Not only does your HVAC system keep you and your family comfortable, but it also helps keep your home in good condition, too. An HVAC system helps keep a regular temperature throughout your home, year-round, and that’s good for structural integrity, plumbing, flooring, and more.

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What you may not know about today’s heating and cooling equipment is that it is far more energy-efficient than its older counterparts. And while better energy efficiency is good for the planet, it’s also good for your home energy budget. In this article, we’ll compare the costs of older systems with today’s high-efficiency solutions, and talk about some alternative types of HVAC equipment that can help you stay comfortable and save even more energy.

How efficient is a 20-year-old HVAC system?

While it seems hard to believe, the year 2000 was more than 20 years ago. Crazy, right? But, many people still have HVAC equipment from 20 years ago in their homes. Chances are, this equipment is not providing you with the best possible energy efficiency. While efficiency standards began to change around 2009, equipment installed before then did not have to meet those rigorous standards.

According to the Department of Energy, a furnace installed in 2002 wastes at least 22 percent of the energy it consumes, meaning it is performing at about 78 percent AFUE. Today’s high-efficiency furnaces often provide 95 percent efficiency, meaning it only wastes 5 percent of the energy used. That can translate into some decent savings on energy bills for you!

Air conditioning systems have also improved greatly over the past 20 years. For instance, an air conditioning system installed in 2002 is likely to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of around 9. The Dept. of Energy suggests that if you upgrade to an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 14, you can reduce your energy consumption by more than 35 percent.

Alternative technologies can help consumers save even more energy.

Because of advancements in heat pump systems, many consumers are choosing to switch over to these types of systems. In the southern states, heat pumps have been used for some time. Over the past few years, advances have been made that allow heat pumps to perform well, even in northern climates. Heat pumps are available that can replace both your central heating and cooling systems, all in one unit. A central heat pump system can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and provides excellent energy efficiency.

If you’ve had electric baseboard heat in your home, a ductless heat pump system can provide better efficiency and year-round comfort. By choosing to replace an old baseboard heating system with ductless, heating costs can be cut by 60 percent, and cooling costs by 30 percent. You’ll enjoy comfort all year long, and have better room-by-room control of your home climate as well. Not to mention, ductless can be installed in an area of your home that doesn’t have access to the home’s central ductwork system, helping to balance out heating and cooling and allowing your current system to operate more effectively and efficiently.

If you’re ready for an upgrade, T.F. O’Brien can help.

At T.F. O’Brien, we can help you get the high-efficiency equipment upgrade you need to enjoy better home comfort and save money on your heating and cooling bills. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with us.

“Going Green” Can Benefit the Environment – and You!

green_ductless_efficiencyMore and more, people are becoming concerned about how they impact the planet. From shopping with reusable bags and looking for products with environmentally-friendly packaging, to taking measures in their homes to minimize their carbon footprint, people are looking for ways they can protect the world around them.

The HVAC industry is no different – most manufacturers are looking for more environmentally sound solutions when it comes to the equipment they produce. Advances have been made to create equipment that not only does a better job of keeping people more comfortable but also does so efficiently. In this article, we’ll talk about four technologies that have been developed that can keep you comfortable – and help you create a greener home.

4 Technologies That Can Help You Go Green

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As we mentioned above, there are new developments in the HVAC industry every day that strive to minimize the impact of heating and cooling equipment on the environment. Beginning with creating refrigerants that have been proven not to harm the ozone layer, to developing technologies that use much less electricity and fuel than their predecessors, the home comfort industry is moving forward to create products that benefit both the planet and the homeowner.

  1. Ductless Cooling & Heating: To cool and heat areas in the home where there is little or no access to ductwork, many homeowners are turning to ductless cooling and heating These compact units provide better comfort than most window AC units and space heaters and are very energy-efficient. They can be used for climate control in a single space in the home, or multiple units can be installed to cool and heat the entire house. Today’s units use an environmentally sound refrigerant. As an added bonus, they can be used to help balance out cold and hot spots, allowing your central HVAC system to operate more efficiently. What’s more, most ductless systems use heat pump technology, which we’ll describe in more detail below.
  2. Heat Pump Systems: Heat pump systems can be used centrally in homes with ductwork, or in ductless units for homes without ductwork. What makes heat pumps better for the environment is the way in which they operate. Heat pumps provide higher efficiency heating and cooling because they transfer hot air as opposed to burning fuel inside your home. Most heat pumps are also extremely environmentally sound, having achieved an Energy Star rating because of their highly energy-efficient operation and because they use a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant.
  3. Smart Thermostats: There are many different types of thermostats available that can help your home stay comfortable while using less energy. Programmable thermostats, while an older technology, are effective in this way because you can program them to provide different levels of heating and cooling while at home, away, or asleep. Smart thermostats take that technology one step further by “learning” your family’s habits and adjusting the temperature of your home accordingly. In addition, most smart thermostats are Wi-Fi compatible, and can easily be controlled via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some will even let you know when it’s time to change your HVAC system’s filter – one of the best measures you can take to help your system remain energy efficient.
  4. Advanced Filters: Another facet of home comfort is the air your family breathes. Cleaner, fresher indoor air is important, and high-efficiency filters can help with that. They remove particulates and contaminants from the air, which keeps your home virtually free of airborne pollen, dust, and germs. And, because the air flowing through your HVAC system is cleaner, you’ll likely find that your system operates more efficiently – helping you save energy and potentially money on your utility bills.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the environmentally sound products you need.

At T.F. O’Brien, we want to provide our customers with products that not only help them stay as comfortable as possible but also use technologies that are better for the environment. If you’d like to learn more about energy efficiency and how we can help, simply give us a call at 516.488.1800. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your home’s efficiency, and how T.F. O’Brien can assist you.

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

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  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

 

Start Off Your New Year in Comfort, With a Replacement System

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to conserve energy? Then you should definitely take a look around your home. No doubt, there are ways you can save energy by making some home improvements. Choosing LED lighting, unplugging charging cords and reversing ceiling fans to push warm air down into your living space during the winter months are all easy ways to save energy in your home. If you have to crank up the thermostat to stay comfortable during the winter, though, you probably need to take a closer look at your home.

There are many factors that can cause your home to use more energy than it should. Drafty, old windows, inadequate insulation and old, inefficient heating equipment can all be likely suspects. You’ll want to take care of all the problems in your home in order to ensure maximum efficiency. That makes people nervous, because those repairs and replacements can be costly. However, many people find that once they make these changes, their energy savings is significant. What’s more, they save money in the long run on their utility bills.

Replacing your old system can help you save energy, save money and enjoy better comfort.

Today’s heating systems are built with efficiency in mind, many achieving 95 percent efficiency or better. That means more of the heat they generate stays in your home, keeping your home warmer while using less energy. And that savings is reflected in your monthly utility bills. You’ll be able to stay warm for less! Not to mention, when you trust the professionals at T.F. O’Brien to help, we’ll make sure your new system is sized right for your home.

Often, older systems in homes lose efficiency because of remodeling changes to the home or added space. So if your system was installed in your home, say, 20 years ago, your home today might be much different. Our experts are trained to analyze the current heating needs of your home, so the system they install will keep your whole house warm, efficiently. And, you can trust T.F. O’Brien to install the best quality products in your home. Not only will they provide you with energy efficiency and comfort, but they are built to last for years to come.

When you’re ready to take the next step toward a more energy-efficient home, T.F. O’Brien can help. We’ll provide you with a new heating system installation that offers high-quality energy efficiency, energy efficiency and durability. We proudly serve all of Long Island, including Nassau CountySuffolk County, and Brooklyn. Simply call us at 516.488.1800 for assistance.

Saving Energy During the Holidays

Girl holding a ball of christmas lights.
Choose LED holiday lights for energy savings.

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s face it – it can also be the most expensive. Not only are you buying gifts, traveling, entertaining and decorating, but you’re heating system is likely running steadily – and that can up your utility bills. Luckily, there are a few ways you can conserve energy in the winter that will help you save on your energy bills.

Check out these energy saving tips from the Dept. of Energy:

  • Open the drapes of your south-facing windows during the day to take advantage of the sun’s warming rays.
  • If you have window drafts, weatherize them. And, replace airy summer curtains with heavier drapes.
  • Layer up with warmer clothing, and turn the thermostat down as low as is comfortable. Set the thermostat back when you aren’t at home and during sleeping hours.
  • Seal up places around your home where cold air could be sneaking in, like around pipes and chimney gaps.
  • Turn down the temperature of your hot water heater to the warm setting, around 120ºF.
  • Stringing up lights this holiday season? Choose LED decorative lights to help reduce energy usage.
  • Keep your heating system in shape. Get your seasonal maintenance from us, and change your filter regularly.

Taking these measures can help your winter home become much more efficient and can help you reduce the cost of energy in your home. If you’d like to learn more about energy efficiency, T.F. O’Brien can assist you. From smart thermostats to high-efficiency heating equipment, we want to help you make your home its efficient best. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be happy to help.

Three Ways to Give the Gift of HVAC this Holiday Season

If you have a hard-to-shop-for loved one, you know how difficult finding the right gift for them can be. What do you give to the person who has everything? This holiday season; why not consider something you might not have thought of before – HVAC. We’d like to share with you some ideas that can help make the season bright – and more comfortable.

Here are three HVAC-related ideas that can help you finish off your holiday shopping list:

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats have changed the way people do home comfort over the last few years. This technology enables people to have control over their heating and cooling systems like never before. More than a programmable thermostat, smart thermostats can generally be controlled remotely, from a Smartphone, tablet or computer. That way, the homeowner can keep household temperatures regulated, even when away from home. Also, smart thermostats are usually fairly simple to use, which makes them ideal for almost anyone. There are even smart thermostats on the market that have “learning” capabilities, so they know when you’re home, when you’re away, and your preferred home temperatures during these times.

Ductless Heating & Cooling

It’s a modern trend that people convert areas of their homes like basements and garage spaces into personal enjoyment areas, such as crafting and hobby rooms, music rooms and the much-sought-after “man cave.” However, these rooms may not exactly be the paragon of comfort, as they are often not connected to the home’s duct system. Luckily, ductless heating and cooling is available for these spaces, making them as comfortable and usable as the rest of the house, no matter what the weather outside is like. Ductless systems require no additional ductwork, are efficient and non-obtrusive, and generally can be installed in a short period of time with minimal construction work.

Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There’s no better way to let someone know you love them than to show them you care about their safety. Giving a gift of new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors might not seem very glamorous, but it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give. There are devices on the market that can warn you of smoke or carbon monoxide, even when you’re not at home. When you count on T.F. O’Brien to help, we can provide you with advice and best placement of your smoke and CO detectors.

This year, give a memorable gift that keeps on giving – HVAC from T.F. O’Brien.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be happy to help you make someone’s holiday extra special this year.

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