Deck Your Rooms with Ductless Heating

Mother and daughter read book on couch near Christmas treeNow that December has arrived, we’ve officially entered the season to be jolly. Unfortunately, we’ve also begun the season to be chilly! This time of year, we all want our homes to be a warm, comfortable haven – and that means we need reliable heating systems. If you have an older heating system that doesn’t keep your family as comfortable as you’d like, you may want to consider ductless heating for your home.

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Ductless heating isn’t a new thing, but it’s becoming much more popular in the Northeast than it used to be. That’s because modern ductless heating systems are much better at providing heat in colder climates than they used to be. Ductless heating uses heat pump technology, and advances allow today’s cold-climate heat pumps to operate effectively even in sub-zero temperatures.

Who can benefit from ductless heating?

While virtually any home is a candidate for ductless heating, those who can particularly benefit are homeowners without ductwork. Homes that use radiant or baseboard heat typically don’t have ductwork in the walls of their homes, and installing it is usually impractical or even impossible. With a ductless heating system, however, there is no need for ductwork at all!

Ductless heating is also ideal for people who have added a converted space or addition to their homes. Often, these areas don’t have access to the home’s ductwork. It can be taxing on the current heating system to deliver heat to a whole new space, especially one that isn’t a part of the HVAC system. The heating system has to work much harder, making it less efficient and effective overall. Installing ductless heating in these areas can help balance out the temperature in the home and save energy.

What are some of the other advantages of ductless heating?

One of the main advantages of ductless heating is that it also serves as air conditioning in the summer months. Most ductless systems provide both heating and AC because they use heat pump technology. Heat pumps work by transferring heat from the air using a heat exchanger, a compressor, and pipes filled with refrigerant. In the winter months, they extract heat from the outdoor air and pump it inside. In the summer, heat pumps reverse the operation, and that keeps your home cool and comfortable.

Ductless heating systems are also highly energy-efficient. They can help you save a lot of money on your energy bills, too – the Department of Energy estimates that heat pump systems, when compared to fuel-burning systems, can reduce your energy consumption by up to 40 percent.

Will it be difficult for the technician to install ductless in my home?

Another advantage of ductless heating is that these systems are usually easily installed. Generally speaking, ductless heating systems only require a small-diameter hole to connect the indoor and outdoor units. That means a lot less muss and fuss for the homeowner. Usually, your technician can install your ductless heating system within a day.

Is a ductless system intrusive to my home environment, though?

Not at all! Most homeowners agree that ductless systems are very quiet. They are usually mounted high on the wall or ceiling, so they blend well with the decor. Additionally, ductless heating systems are easy to control via remote. All most people notice is better home comfort!

Okay, ductless heating sounds good! How can I get it?

That’s the easy part! All you need to do is give T.F. O’Brien a call. We’re experts in ductless installation, maintenance, and repair. You can count on us to help you find the right ductless heating system for your home. Call us at 516.488.1800, and we will be happy to assist you.

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.

Need to Update Your AC? Find Out About 3 Common Types.

Now that the summer weather has arrived, most homeowners are turning on their air conditioning systems to escape the outdoor heat. If you have an older system, though, you might be thinking that you’re not as comfortable as you’d like to be. As air conditioning systems age, they can become less efficient and less effective, so you end up paying more to cool your home while experiencing diminished comfort. And, if you have to make frequent repairs to your system, the costs may seem to outweigh the benefits.

If your older system is showing more frequent symptoms of needing to be replaced, you may find yourself wondering what the best system might be for your home. It can certainly be confusing – there are many different types of air conditioning systems available today, as well as different ratings and efficiencies. In this article, we’ll focus on the three main types of AC.

Three Types of Air Conditioning Systems

When you’re considering what type of air conditioning system might be best for your home, you’ll find that there is a lot of information out there about AC systems. And that can get super-confusing! Below, we’ve broken down the three main types of air conditioning systems to give you some quick information about how they work and their benefits.

Central Air Conditioning

If you’ve had a central air conditioning system, or if your home has ductwork, central air is likely a good choice for you. Central AC systems provide cooling throughout your entire home via your system of ductwork and vary in size and configuration based on your home’s unique needs.

With a central air conditioner, there is an outdoor unit that connects to an indoor air handler, usually a blower located in the furnace. The outdoor unit sends chilled air into the home, which is then distributed through your duct system by the air handler.

Having properly sized central air conditioning is crucial because if the system is too small or too large, it won’t perform as well and may even not last as long as it should. That’s why it’s very important to choose an HVAC contractor who understands building science and knows how to accurately size the system for your home.

Heat Pump Systems

Heat pump systems are one of the most highly efficient means of cooling your home available. That’s because they absorb the heat from the indoor air and release it into the outdoor air or into the ground. Much like traditional central air conditioning, the system is comprised of an indoor and outdoor unit and uses your home’s ductwork to move the cooled air throughout your home.

Heat pumps are available in two different configurations – air source and ground source (or geothermal). Air source heat pumps transfer heat between indoor and outdoor air, whereas ground source heat pumps move the heat between the indoor air and the ground outside.

With a heat pump system, however, there is the added bonus of being able to heat your home during the cooler months as well. That’s because you can reverse the process, and the heat pump will absorb the heat from the outdoor air (even in cold temperatures) or ground and pump it into your house.

Ductless Cooling Systems

Ductless Air ConditioningDuctless systems generally rely on heat pump technology, which makes them a highly efficient way to cool your home. So, you may be wondering, why get a ductless system when you can just get a heat pump? There are many benefits to ductless that make it a great choice for any home.

First of all, ductless systems do not require ductwork to operate. This is especially beneficial for homes where adding ductwork is either impossible or impractical. They can be used to cool your entire home, or in a space in your home that may not have access to ductwork, such as an addition or converted space. And, they’re far more efficient than other types of room air conditioning, so you’ll likely save on your utility bills.

Like heat pumps, many ductless systems are able to provide heat during cooler weather as well, providing you with a flexible solution for year-round comfort for your home.

How do I know what type of system is best for my home?

At T.F. O’Brien, we believe that knowledge is important, which is why we strive to provide our customers with all the information they need to make the best decision. We’re always happy to work with you and help you choose the best and most efficient system for your home, lifestyle, and budget. If you’d like to learn more about any of these systems, feel free to contact us at 516.488.1800. We’ll be happy to make an appointment with you and help you find the perfect air conditioning system for your home.

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.

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

Carrier Infinity series heat pump.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.

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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.

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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