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.

Preparing Your Home for the Fall Season Ahead

Person removes leaves collected in gutter during fallWhile the weather on Long Island stays milder a bit longer than it does for our neighbors to the north, once the fall season arrives, many of us start to think about the cooler temperatures ahead. Often, we take advantage of the sunny days we have left before winter arrives to get our home ready for the chilly weather. Making sure that your home is comfortable year-round is an important part of homeownership.

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Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to get your home ready for the changing seasons, most of which you can DIY. Below, we’re sharing a few tips that can help you prepare your home this autumn – both inside and out! Keep reading to learn more!

5 Tips to Help You Get Ready for Autumn

  1. Check your home for drafts. Drafty windows and doors mean that conditioned indoor air is escaping outside, and the outdoor air is coming in. That can defeat the purpose when it comes to heating or cooling your home and can cause you to use much more energy than you normally would. Weatherstripping is inexpensive and easy to apply.
  2. Clean out your gutters. During the summer and fall months, your home’s gutters can collect lots of organic material, like leaves, twigs, and other vegetation. Free-flowing gutters are important for helping to keep your roof safe and sound once the snow starts to fly. That’s because when it melts, clear gutters will direct it away from your home. But if they’re clogged, that melted snow won’t have anywhere to go – and that can lead to icy buildup.
  3. Take care of the lawn and other outdoor needs. Clean your summer patio furniture and put it into storage for the cooler months to come. Fix any cracks in your driveway or pathways, and make sure your garden hose is drained and disconnected. And, fertilize your lawn to help prevent the winter cold from taking its toll on it.
  4. Change batteries in your smoke alarms and CO detectors. During the month of October, the National Fire Prevention Association, or NFPA, focuses its efforts on fire safety. They encourage homeowners to thoroughly check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms during this time and to make sure fire safety equipment has fresh batteries. It’s a simple step that can make an incredible difference.
  5. Change your HVAC system’s filter. A clean filter can help ensure that your home comfort system is operating at its best and most efficient. It’s also a great time to call your HVAC contractor and get your annual heating maintenance scheduled. That way, you can rest assured that your heating system is clean and running properly, so once the snow flies you’ll have the home heating you and your family need.

Let T.F. O’Brien help you get the annual heating maintenance you need.

If you’re ready to add heating maintenance to your fall routine, T.F. O’Brien will be more than happy to help you! Our experienced technicians are able to provide comprehensive maintenance on virtually any make or model of heating system. So, even if you didn’t install your furnace, boiler, or heat pump with us, we can still help make sure it receives the maintenance it needs. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be glad to schedule an appointment with you.

Heating Maintenance is for All Types of Systems

technician shows man the inside of hvac systemMost people with furnaces installed in their homes know how important regular heating maintenance is. Usually, furnaces show tell-tale signs of poor maintenance earlier on than other types of heating equipment. Furnace owners know that dusty, dirty air, unpleasant odors, noisy operation, and higher than usual energy bills are pretty good indicators that maintenance is needed.

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But, other heating systems might not show you the signs that they need to be maintained as readily. Below, we’ll give you a breakdown of why various types of heating systems need maintenance, so you can be better prepared for the cooler weather ahead, regardless of the type of heating system you own.

Types of Heating Systems & Why You Should Maintain Them

  • Furnaces: As we mentioned above, furnaces give some pretty good indicators when they need to be maintained. The components inside your furnace can get dirty, and that gunk can make operation harder for your furnace. Add a dirty filter to the mix, and your furnace is working overtime to deliver heated air throughout your home. Maintaining your furnace helps it operate more effectively and efficiently, and enjoy a longer lifespan.
  • Heat Pumps: Your heat pump system uses the heat from the outdoor air or ground to warm your home, unlike a furnace, which relies on fuel to operate. Because a heat pump has a compressor, it’s very important to get maintenance regularly to keep the compressor in good working order. A heat pump that’s well-maintained will also use less energy – anywhere from 10 to 25 percent less.
  • Boilers: Often, during everyday operation, rust and other debris build up in your home’s boiler system. It can also be subject to leaks, dirty burners, and corrosion. This can cause diminished efficiency, and can even clog your system in some instances. Getting regular boiler maintenance can help prevent this from happening – helping your boiler work efficiently and last longer.
  • Ductless Heating: Most ductless heating systems rely on a heat pump to operate. As we mentioned above, heat pumps need regular maintenance in order to keep the compressor and other components in good working order. Usually, each ductless unit throughout your home has its own filter, so it’s a good idea to make sure that gets the proper maintenance as well. This will help your system maintain good airflow, allowing better efficiency and comfort.

Additionally, just about all equipment manufacturers require maintenance in order to keep warranties intact. Failure to get the annual maintenance needed on your heating equipment may void the warranty – which can result in having to pay out of pocket should you need repairs or component replacements.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the maintenance you need for your home’s heating system.

Whether you rely on a furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless system for your home heating needs, T.F. O’Brien is ready to help you get the annual maintenance you need. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800 to schedule your heating maintenance appointment.

The Effect of COVID-19 on the HVAC Industry

tfobrien_supply-chain-shortages_hvacIn March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many industries across the nation to a grinding halt. Unfortunately, the HVAC industry was not an exception. As facilities shut down, so did the production of HVAC equipment. As a result, there is currently a shortage in the number of products readily available, versus the demand. And, as more people are entrusting the air they breathe to specialty products, such as advanced filtration and other indoor air quality devices, it becomes more difficult for contractors to meet customer needs in as timely a fashion as pre-pandemic.

As HVAC contractors face shortages of supplies, as well as a decreased workforce, it is important for consumers to understand some fundamentals regarding the effect COVID-19 has had on the HVAC industry, and what it means for them. In this article, we will discuss the disruption in the supply chain, how this has impacted our company, and ultimately, how it may affect you as a valued customer.

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What’s causing a disruption in the supply chain?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that the production of HVAC equipment was halted for a significant period of time when the pandemic caused shut-downs at most of the manufacturing facilities that build HVAC equipment, including furnaces, air conditioners, and ductless products. By the time the manufacturing facilities could reopen, there was an unequal balance between supply and demand for HVAC equipment.

Another problem is that there are components (such as computer chips) that are used in the production of HVAC equipment, that are also in short supply. The chip shortage is on a global scale and affects many different industries aside from HVAC, including the automobile and electronics industry. As a result, the price of these products has had to increase, of course placing the burden on the contractor and the end consumer.

Finally, while most manufacturing facilities have reopened, like many other industries they are facing a shortage of workers, which has slowed the production of HVAC equipment down. Additionally, the trucking industry is also dealing with a lack of workers, causing backlogged shipping ports, and an increase in shipping times. It is, however, important to note that many HVAC distributors are doing all that they can to keep up with the demand. An article in ACHR News indicated that most distributors are “carrying well over normal levels [of product], just to make sure that they’ll have products as demand continues to rise.”

How is T.F. O’Brien handling the lack of supply?

Obviously, T.F. O’Brien has not been immune to the lack of equipment, or the reality of a decreased workforce. However, we have worked diligently to maintain great relationships with our suppliers. Because of the mutual trust and consideration we hold with them, we have been able to keep inventory on equipment and materials and minimize price increases for our customers. While there is no possible way to avoid some of the associated costs incurred, we are doing all that we can to keep these increases manageable.

Additionally, we have been working diligently to maintain, and increase, the team at T.F. O’Brien. As we mentioned above, in addition to a shortage in products across the board, there has also been a shortage in manpower. It’s been a priority for us to hire and maintain a qualified workforce so that there will be minimal downtime for our customers, and their needs will be met as promptly as possible.

Can I still rely on T.F. O’Brien to meet my needs?

At T.F. O’Brien, we are truly committed to providing our customers with the products and services they need, in as timely a fashion as possible. While the increased cost of HVAC equipment is, unfortunately, an unavoidable truth, we will, as always, continue to work to ensure that our customers are offered any rebate and incentive opportunities available. And, we will continue to employ highly skilled HVAC technicians in order to provide you with the best possible experience.

We are here to serve you and provide you with the excellent products and services you deserve, and we appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this shortage. If you have any questions regarding the equipment shortage, and how this might impact you, please feel free to contact T.F. O’Brien at (516) 488-1800. We will be happy to discuss this with you.

Not Convinced You Need Heating Maintenance? Here Are 7 Benefits.

For some people, getting annual heating maintenance is an expense they think is unnecessary. We can understand that. Often, homeowners are unaware of the benefits of getting annual maintenance, so they don’t make it a priority.

At T.F. O’Brien, our goal is always to first inform our customers of the benefits of any services we provide, so they can make their own decisions. While we encourage you to get the annual maintenance you need, we also want to explain to you why it’s important. That’s why we’re sharing this list of benefits with you.

7 Benefits of Annual Heating Maintenance

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  1. Better Efficiency: Heating systems get dirty. As the air flows through them, so do any particles that might be floating around in that air. When you get annual maintenance, your technician will clean your system thoroughly and replace the filter. And that makes your system run more smoothly and efficiently.
  2. Lower Energy Bills: When your system is cleaned on an annual basis, it runs better, as we said above. Systems that are bogged down with dirt and gunk have to work much harder than they did when they were new. Annual maintenance eliminates the gunk and dirt, so your system can operate much more easily – and that saves on energy bills.
  3. Improved Air Quality: A neglected heating system usually means a neglected air filter as well. If you’ve ever changed your filter, you know how much dirt, dust, and other particulates can collect there. By getting your system cleaned and your filter changed, those particles will be trapped – and kept from infiltrating the air in your home.
  4. Warranty Maintenance: Many homeowners are unaware, but most equipment brands require maintenance regularly to maintain the warranty on the system. If you don’t get the required service, your warranty becomes invalid – and that can result in having to pay for costly repairs you otherwise wouldn’t have to.
  5. Fewer Costly Repairs: Another benefit of having your system checked out yearly is the ability of your technician to catch small issues before they become larger ones. Some issues can be fixed without having to install new parts – but left unattended can lead to very costly repairs down the road, or worst-case scenario, needing a heating system replacement.
  6. Longer Equipment Life: Think about it this way – if you didn’t get your car inspected annually, change the oil, and get new tires when needed, you probably wouldn’t expect it to last long. The same thing goes for your heating equipment. By getting regular maintenance, you can help it last longer, which will save you on the unexpected expense of a premature replacement.
  7. Improved Equipment History: When you have your system maintenance done by a professional on an annual basis, they’ll keep a record of both the inspections and anything that might have needed extra attention on your system. That way, should you need a repair, your technician will have a record of system performance to help with troubleshooting.

Getting the annual heating maintenance you need is as easy as calling T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, we know the real benefits of getting annual maintenance, and our skilled technicians can help ensure your equipment runs effectively and efficiently this winter, and for years to come.

All you need to do is give us a call at 518.488.1800, and we’ll schedule an appointment for you.

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:

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  • 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.

What Type of Heating System Is Best for My Home this Winter?

If you’ve decided that it’s time to replace the heating system in your home, you might have found yourself in a bit of a quandary. There are so many different types of heating systems on the market today, it can be confusing to know which is the best for your home and lifestyle. You want to make sure you get a heating system that not only keeps you and your family comfortable, but is also energy-efficient and durable. So, what should you do when it comes time for a new heating installation? Research!

Yes, it’s always a good idea to look into the different types of systems before calling your HVAC dealer in for help. Understanding the various kinds of heating systems that are available can facilitate the conversation with your HVAC installer, and help ensure that you get just the right product for your home. At T.F. O’Brien, we think our customers should make the best decision possible when it comes to home heating, which is why we provide you with the information you need.

Learn more about the types of heating systems available from T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, we proudly offer a wide range of heating equipment from quality, reputable manufacturers. And, our technicians are expert craftspeople who have received the proper training to install your equipment. As a full-service heating contractor, we can provide you with service after the sale, too – you can count on us to maintain and repair your equipment professionally as well. We’re pleased to provide our customers with the following types of heating systems:

  • Furnaces – Generally, there are two types of furnaces available to heat your home. Oil furnaces use fuel oil, and gas furnaces use natural gas. Gas furnaces tend to be more efficient that oil furnaces. Most people in the Northeast heat their homes with either a furnace or boiler, although other systems are becoming more prevalent as technologies improve.
  • Boilers – Like furnaces, boilers generally use gas or oil to operate. If you rely on radiant heat for your home, then you use a boiler. Today’s boilers are built to be much more energy efficient than their predecessors, often reaching rates of 95% efficiency or more.
  • Heat Pumps – Heat pump technology has improved greatly, making it a viable option for heating even in colder climates. Not to mention, heat pumps are one of the most energy-efficient heating options available, and they don’t use fossil fuels to operate. Instead, they work by extracting the heat from the ground or outside air, and pumping it into your home.
  • Ductless Heating – Ductless heating uses heat pump technology to operate, so again, it’s a very efficient choice for heating your home. Another benefit to ductless is that it provides targeted comfort, so you can create heating zones in your home – and that helps increase efficiency even more. Ductless is a great option if your home doesn’t have ductwork and you wish to upgrade your baseboard or radiant heating system.
  • High Velocity Heating – High velocity heating uses small diameter ductwork to bring heat and comfort in older, multi-story homes where larger diameter ductwork may be space-prohibitive. It uses a type of indoor equipment known as an air handler, outdoor equipment, a line set of pipes that connect the indoor and outdoor units, and small-diameter ductwork which transfers the heated air throughout your home. A standard thermostat controls the system.

When you need help with your home heating, call T.F. O’Brien.

Getting the heating products you need to stay warm and toasty all winter long is as easy as giving us a call. We can help meet any heating need you may have, from installation of new equipment to maintenance and repair. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Preparing Your Home for a Long Island Winter

home_maintenance_longislandWhether we like it or not, winter is on its way here on Long Island. That means the days have grown shorter, the temperatures chillier, and everyone’s thoughts have turned to the holiday season. Is your home ready for the cooler weather ahead? It will be, if you check out these great tips to help you get ready for Old Man Winter’s inevitable arrival.

According to an article in Newsday, there are five important measures you can take in preparation for those icy days ahead. The best thing? By following these tips, you and your family will not only enjoy greater comfort, but you’ll also likely save some money in the long run – and who couldn’t use a bit more cash during the holidays? Below, learn more about getting your home ready – inside and out.

Five Ways to Get Your Long Island Home Winter-Ready

  1. Get service for your heating system. No matter what type you have – furnace, boiler or heat pump – making sure it’s been properly serviced before the winter months hit is important. Your HVAC technician will know the correct measures that need to be taken to ensure your system runs smoothly no matter how cold it gets outside. One thing you can easily do throughout the winter, though, is make sure the filter is changed regularly on your forced-air system. A dirty filter not only makes your home dusty and dirty, but it can also decrease the effectiveness and efficiency of your equipment.
  2. Insulate your plumbing. Do you have an unheated attic or basement? Your pipes in those areas will need to be insulated to ensure they don’t freeze. Wind chill also plays a role in pipes freezing, and as we well know, the wind chill can dip quite a ways down here on Long Island. One way to help prevent freezing pipes in extreme temperatures is by allowing a faucet to drip a bit. Never try to thaw out popes on your own using a flame or torch, or even a blow dryer. This can cause a fire hazard. If you suspect your pipes have frozen, call a plumbing specialist.
  3. Add weatherstripping to doors and windows. Often, cold air leaks into your house via small gaps in doors and windows. Unfortunately, those small leaks can add up when it comes time for your utility bills. Adding some weatherstripping or caulk to these areas can help you keep cold air out, warm air in, and money in your pocket.
  4. Call in your chimney sweep. If you have a fireplace in your home, it’s imperative that you get it cleaned and inspected before the first fire of the season. The residue from fires past can build up in the flue, becoming more flammable over time. And that can be very dangerous – resulting in a chimney fire in your home. So you definitely don’t want to neglect this very important pre-winter maintenance task.
  5. Take measures to keep the pests at bay. All sorts of outdoor creatures want to move on in when the weather outside takes a dip into the lower digits. Of course, mice and squirrels are fairly common house-crashers, but raccoons, possums, rats, bats and birds can take up residence in your home too. Make sure all the doors in your home have been secured, and seal up small openings into your home (those where lines for AC, plumbing, gas, etc. run) using caulk. And, if you have food for outdoor birds, store it in an airtight, metal container.

When you need heating maintenance for the winter ahead, call T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re ready to help you with your home heating maintenance needs. We’re always more than happy to get our customers’ heating systems ready for the winter ahead. All you need to do is give us a call at 516.488.1800 to schedule an appointment with us today.

Talking Turkey About HVAC Repair – What You Need to Know

heating_repair_toolsIf your heating system isn’t doing its job the way it used to, you might be thinking about repairs and the costs associated with them. Depending on how extensive the need, repairs can be simple and fairly inexpensive – or extensive and quite costly. Many times, though, people aren’t sure whether fixing the system is a better choice than replacing. There are a few factors that can help you make the decision. In an article on Money.com, repair versus replacement is discussed.

There are a few questions you might want to ask yourself when considering repair versus replacement.

Nobody really wants to think about the costs of repairing or replacing a heating system, especially around holiday time. But if you’re faced with deciding about this expense, it’s important to take a few different factors into consideration.

  • Has your system broken down frequently and needed costly repairs? If yes, then you’re probably in a place where you really need to consider a new installation. This is especially true if you have an older furnace that’s no longer under warranty. The good news is, today’s furnaces are far more energy efficient than their predecessors, so chances are in the long run, you’ll actually be saving money.
  • Have you regularly had your heating system serviced? If the answer to that is no, then there’s no better time than the present to call a reputable HVAC dealer and get maintenance scheduled. Sometimes, a system can operate less effectively and efficiently simply because it’s dirty. And, annual maintenance helps ensure your system gets any minor repairs it may need – before they become larger, and much more expensive, problems.
  • Have you considered any ductwork issues? If you have a forced-air heating system – one that relies on ductwork to deliver warmed air throughout your home – then it’s always a good idea to have your ducts checked before determining that your heating system is the problem. Dirty, blocked ductwork can cause major problems with system efficiency – and indoor air quality.
  • How’s your home insulation? If you don’t have proper insulation in your home, no heating system, high-efficiency or not, is going to be as effective as it can be. Sometimes getting better insulation for your home can result in much better efficiency – up to 25 percent if you currently have poor insulation in your home. Another benefit to ensuring your home is properly insulated is that, when the time comes to replace your heating system, you can often choose a smaller sized (and therefore less expensive) system.

Let T.F. O’Brien help you with your heating repair or replacement needs.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re experts when it comes to your home comfort, and our goal is to always keep you and your family comfortable as efficiently as possible. We’re always more than happy to get our customers’ heating systems ready for the winter ahead, whether you need maintenance, repair or replacement. All you need to do is give us a call at 516.488.1800 to schedule an appointment with us today.

Getting the Home Heating You Need – A Buying Guide

TFO WEB HeatBuyersGuideBlogHeader

Is it time to replace the heating system in your home? It can be a daunting task. You’re making an expensive purchase, but a necessary one. It’s important that you choose the right system for your home, lifestyle, and of course, budget. With many options available, as well as several different brands, it can be difficult to know if you’re choosing the best system for your needs.

The first step in purchasing home heating equipment? Do your research.

The internet provides you with a wealth of information on different types of equipment and brands. But sometimes, that much information can get overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re choosing the right sources of information on heating equipment.

Here are a few credible, helpful sources to get you started:

The Department of Energy

If anybody knows their stuff, it’s the most official research in the U.S.! The Department of Energy has great stats and data to help you make the most out of your heating system this year.

Energy Star

According to their own words, “Energy Star is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions.”

Angie’s List

Angie’s List, an online review-collecting service, has an extremely detailed breakdown of different systems that will help you narrow down what’s best for your home.

Smarter House

Smarter House is a resource for home energy efficiency, and they provide a useful overview of home heating systems.

The Spruce

A reliable source for home tips, The Spruce has an awesome guide to all different kinds of home heating systems that is ideal for someone who needs an easily digestible snapshot of each.

Some things to consider while you’re looking…

Sizing is important.

This is where your HVAC professional comes in. They know how to analyze your home’s space and energy needs in order to install the properly sized equipment. Too small a furnace, and your home won’t get adequately heated, especially during an extreme cold snap. Conversely, if your furnace is too large, it cycles on and off too often, wasting energy and putting wear and tear on components. A qualified HVAC technician can help you get the right size for your home.

Look at energy efficiency.

If your heating system is more than 10 years old, it’s likely that it isn’t as energy efficient as you’d like. Advances have been made in recent years on heating equipment, and today’s furnaces and boilers offer much higher efficiency than their predecessors. Not to mention, heat pumps and ductless systems are becoming more popular. Both of these systems offer incredible energy efficiency and effective heating as well.

Choose a reputable installer.

One of the most important things you can do when looking into home heating replacement is to find an installer with a reputation for excellence. You’ll want to see what organizations they’re involved with, such as North American Technician Excellence, or NATE. Research them to ensure they provide ongoing training to their technicians, and keep them up-to-date on the latest technologies. And, you’ll want to check out their Better Business Bureau profiles, as well as online reviews. The greater your comfort level with your installer, the more likely the project will go smoothly and you’ll get just the right system for your home.

Learn more about the types of heating systems available.

    • Furnaces – Generally, there are two types of furnaces available to heat your home. Oil furnaces use fuel oil, and gas furnaces use natural gas. Gas furnaces tend to be more efficient that oil furnaces. Most people in the Northeast heat their homes with either a furnace or boiler, although other systems are becoming more prevalent as technologies improve.
    • Boilers – Like furnaces, boilers generally use gas or oil to operate. If you rely on radiant heat for your home, then you use a boiler. Today’s boilers are built to be much more energy efficient than their predecessors, often reaching rates of 95% efficiency or more.
    • Heat Pumps – Heat pump technology has improved greatly, making it a viable option for heating even in colder climates. Not to mention, heat pumps are one of the most energy-efficient heating options available, and they don’t use fossil fuels to operate. Instead, they work by extracting the heat from the ground or outside air, and pumping it into your home.
    • Ductless Heating – Ductless heating uses heat pump technology to operate, so again, it’s a very efficient choice for heating your home. Another benefit to ductless is that it provides targeted comfort, so you can create heating zones in your home – and that helps increase efficiency even more. Ductless is a great option if your home doesn’t have ductwork and you wish to upgrade your baseboard or radiant heating system.
    • High Velocity Heating – High velocity heating uses small diameter ductwork to bring heat and comfort in older, multi-story homes where larger diameter ductwork may be space-prohibitive. It uses a type of indoor equipment known as an air handler, outdoor equipment, a line set of pipes that connect the indoor and outdoor units, and small-diameter ductwork which transfers the heated air throughout your home. A standard thermostat controls the system.

Take the next step in getting the heating system you need for your home this winter.

T.F. O’Brien works with you, your home and your budget to provide you with the best, most efficient heating system possible. Click below to contact us today!

 

And, you can download a copy of our buyer’s guide below

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