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.

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.

Limited Duct Space? Consider High Velocity Heating.

Do you live in an older, multi-story home but need better heating? Then it’s time to get your “ducts” in a row and consider the benefits of high velocity heating. Developed to provide optimal heating in homes where space for ductwork is limited, high velocity heating systems can provide you with the heat and comfort you need – without the headache of having to install ductwork throughout your home.

High velocity heating circulates the heat throughout your home with small diameter ductwork – which is especially beneficial in homes where larger diameter ductwork may be space-prohibitive. High velocity heating systems use 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 a small-diameter duct system that transfers heated air throughout your home. All you need to control the system is a standard thermostat.

Besides smaller ductwork, what are some of the other benefits of high velocity heating?

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Smaller ductwork and improved home comfort are the obvious benefits of installing a high velocity heating system in your home. But there are several other benefits you’ll enjoy when you choose to install high velocity heating in your home. Check out these additional perks:

  • Quiet Performance
  • Space Utilization
  • Limited Remodeling
  • Draft-Free
  • Consistent Temperature
  • Humidity Reduction
  • Attractive Design

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the high velocity heating you need.

When you’re considering a high velocity heating system for your home, look no further than T.F. O’Brien. We’re pleased to offer our customers high quality solutions that will help you and your family enjoy better home comfort – without the hassle of adding a large ductwork system to your home.

To find out more, simply call us at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be glad to help you.

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

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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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Happy Thanksgiving from T.F. O’Brien!

Male, female, and baby turkey on white background.Welcome to our November e-newsletter! Who can believe we’re already mid-fall here on Long Island? Mild temperatures have made for a pretty nice autumn, but you never know when that might come to an end. As a result, T.F. O’Brien makes it our priority to have your heating system prepared for the winter months ahead.
And, this month we can help you get a high-efficiency heating system, which will keep you warmer and save you money on your utility bills. What’s more, through the end of this month you can save up to $2000 on a new heating system for your home.
  • Up to $1,200 in Manufacturer Rebates
  • Up to $600 in Utility Rebates
  • $200 T.F. O’Brien Instant Rebate

This offer ends 11/30/17, though, so give us a call or click here to learn more. 

November is the time to think about heating your home this winter.

Also this month, learn about alternate heating systems, which are perfect for people who lack ductwork and/or space for a traditional heating system in their homes. Click here to find out more. Additionally, read all about programmable thermostats, and how they can help you enjoy better comfort and energy efficiency. Not to mention, the simplest furnace maintenance you can do at home can save you money and wear and tear on your system. Find out what it is!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at T.F. O’Brien. Thanks for reading!

Need Heating Services for Your Nassau County Home? We Can Help.

Even though nobody wants to think about it, cooler weather is coming. Once it hits, you’ll be relying on your the heating system in your Nassau County home. And, if you have an older system, you may need repairs or other services. That’s why you need a heating contractor who’s reliable and can offer all the services you might need. When you put your trust in T.F. O’Brien, we can help you stay warm and toasty all winter long.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re a full-service contractor providing heating services all throughout Nassau County. We have credentials you can trust, and provide a complete range of heating services for your home. We want to make staying comfortable easy for you, whether you have a furnace, a boiler, a heat pump or ductless. As a result, we offer installation, maintenance and repair services for all types of heating systems.

Here’s how T.F. O’Brien helps you get the heating services you need for your Nassau County home:

Heating System Maintenance: One way you can ensure that, once the long, cold winter months arrive, your family will be safe and warm is by choosing heating system maintenance. At T.F. O’Brien, we know that heating system maintenance is vital to the life of your equipment, which is why we offer comprehensive heating system maintenance plans for our customers. Keeping your heating system properly maintained is a priority for us because it helps your system operate at peak performance, while helping you save on utility bills.

Heating System Repair: It’s Murphy’s Law – if it’s going to break down, your heating system likely will do so on the coldest night of the year. You need a heating contractor can help in a hurry – which is why you should count on T. F. O’Brien. Our technicians are highly trained and use the most advanced diagnostic equipment, instruments and tools available so they can evaluate your heating system repair needs quickly and thoroughly, which will help you save time and money – and get back to being warm and comfortable!

New Heating System Installation: Do you need a new heating system installation for your home this winter? Then you should call the experts at T.F. O’Brien. We make it our priority to always look out for your best interests and provide high quality new heating system installations to ensure the comfort and safety you expect. We offer systems that will keep your home at the perfect comfort level, all while helping you save on your home’s energy consumption – as well as on your heating bills. And, your satisfaction is guaranteed!

And, we offer a wide range of heating products, so no matter what you need, we can help.

Don’t let another cold winter leave you feeling the chill – count on us to help you stay warm no matter how frightful the weather outside may get. When you need a heating contractor, T.F. O’Brien is ready to assist you. T.F. O’Brien proudly provides heating services to all of Nassau County. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800.

Hiring the Right Heating Service Contractor for Your Nassau County Home

When you need heating services, you want to know that the contractor you’re inviting into your home is qualified to perform the HVAC services you need, whether it’s maintenance, repair or installation. In an article on the Angie’s List website, author Paul F. P. Pogue discusses what you should look for in an HVAC contractor, and the homework you really should do before hiring someone for the heating service needs of your Nassau County home.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Licensure: When you hire a heating service contractor for your Nassau County home, you’ll want to make sure they hold the appropriate licenses. You’re taking your heating system into your own hands if you choose to hire a contractor without the proper licensure. It can mean that your contractor doesn’t have the right education and experience for the job, and there’s a good chance their company isn’t properly bonded or insured.
  • Insurance: It should go without saying – anybody who does any work in your home should be insured. Why? Without the right insurance, you as a homeowner can be held liable in the case of accidental damage or injury. So before you hire someone to perform heating service in your Nassau County home, make sure they’re properly insured.
  • Quality Brands: Does the contractor install brands with a proven track record? If you’ve never heard of what they’re selling, or can’t easily find information on the brand on the Internet, then maybe they don’t. Just like you should be cautious about who is providing heating service in your Nassau County home, you should also be aware of what equipment manufacturers are considered to be the cream of the crop.
  • Testimonials: What do other customers have to say about the contractor you’re considering? Check places like Angie’s List for unbiased customer testimonials. Ask your neighbors and friends if they’ve had experience working with them. Check out the contractor’s website and see if they offer customer reviews anywhere on their website. Word-of-mouth is often a great way to connect with a contractor who will have your best interests at heart.
  • Maintenance Contracts: A great contractor knows that there’s much more to HVAC than installation of new systems. They care about their customers and want to help them keep their equipment running and in good shape for as long as possible. Check to see if the contractor you’re considering offers maintenance contracts along with their other heating services for your Nassau County home. Maintenance contracts provide you with the annual attention your system needs to run its best now and for years to come.

How can T.F. O’Brien help?

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for all of the above. At T.F. O’Brien, we take great pride in providing the residents of Nassau County with the heating service they need in order to stay comfortable all winter long. We’re fully licensed and insured, and we only install brands that we’d use in our own homes. Our customers will tell you, we strive to provide expert service, whether you need heating repair, maintenance or a new installation. And, we offer maintenance contracts so you can rest assured that your equipment will last and will perform effectively and efficiently. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 to find out how we can help.

You’ll Love High Velocity Heating this February

If you’re tired of giving the same old chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day, you might want to consider giving something a little bit more practical this year. Yes, we know, home heating probably doesn’t seem very romantic, but – at T.F. O’Brien, we think nothing says “I love you” more than the gift of comfort! If you’d like to give your Valentine something a little unique this year, why not new heating?

A new heating system for your home is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. And, because modern systems are much more efficient than their counterparts from even just 10 years ago, your sweetie will save on utility bills, too!

Below, we’ll explain to you about a type of heating you may not be familiar with – high velocity heating. This is perfect for older homes that have limited space for ductwork, but there are numerous additional benefits that high velocity provides.

What is high velocity heating?

High velocity heating is a type of heating system that uses small diameter ductwork to bring heat and comfort in older, multi-story homes where larger diameter ductwork might be a problem. A high velocity heating system 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.

Will it require a lot of remodeling to install?

One of the main benefits of high velocity heating is that it requires minimal construction. Because it uses small-diameter ductwork, the installation is ideal for older, multi-story homes that don’t already have ductwork installed, or where larger diameter ductwork may be space-prohibitive.

Besides better comfort, are there other benefits?

When you choose a high velocity heating system from T.F. O’Brien, you’ll love the improved home comfort, as well as the many additional benefits a high velocity heating system provides:

  • Quiet Performance
  • Space Utilization
  • Limited Remodeling
  • Draft-Free, Constant Temperature
  • Humidity Reduction
  • Good Looks

Do I have any other options?

Modern living room with L-couch and fireplace.If ductwork concerns are the main reason you’re considering high velocity heating, but you really only need heating in one or two rooms, you might want to talk to us about our ductless heating options.

To find out how T.F. O’Brien can help you give the gift of greater comfort this Valentine’s Day, give us a call at 516.488.1800. We’ll be more than happy to help you explore your options and come up with a solution for your home.

High Velocity Heating May Be Right for Your Home

Do you have an outdated radiator heating system in your home? If so, you’ve probably been thinking about installing a new heating system – but chances are, you have limited options when it comes to ductwork. Owners of older, multi-story homes that have relied on a radiator system often find that larger diameter ductwork is space prohibitive. So what options do you have when it comes to a new heating system? High velocity heating can be a valid choice for homes with limited space for a duct system.

High velocity heating uses smaller diameter ductwork to bring heat and comfort to older homes where larger ductwork isn’t an option. 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 the home. A standard thermostat controls a high velocity system.

Besides improved home comfort, high-velocity systems offer numerous additional benefits, which include:

  • Quiet Performance
  • Space Utilization
  • Limited Remodeling
  • Draft-Free
  • Constant Temperature
  • Humidity Reduction
  • Good Looks

When you need high-velocity heating for your home, T.F. O’Brien can help. We’ll work with you to determine whether or not high-velocity heating is the right choice for your home, and provide you with professional installation and service. To learn more, call us at 516-488-1800 and we will be more than happy to assist you.