Urgent April Message from T.F. O’Brien

Usually when we share our monthly message with  you, we open it with a friendly greeting. But this month, we need to share an urgent message regarding a recall notice on dehumidifiers. Millions of retail dehumidifiers have been recalled due to fire hazard. These dehumidifiers are foreign-made brands sold at retail outlets across the United States. Hundreds of these have already caught fire and we want you to know about the danger.

If you purchased a dehumidifier manufactured by Gree or Midea between January 2005 and August 2013, we urge you to take these precautionary steps:

1. Locate the model number on your unit. This is usually found on the back, side or front.

2. Check the manufacturer’s websites. 

  • Gree (various retail brands)
  • Midea (various retail brands)
  • Midea (GE and Professional Series brands)
 3. If your unit is on the recall list unplug it immediately and call the contact number on the website.
You should know, you may be eligible for a refund if your dehumidifier is on the recall list. The Gree and Midea websites will give you further instructions on how to proceed.
You can also check the Consumer Overseas Dehumidifier Recall Notice by clicking here. We want to help you if you’re concerned about your dehumidifier and are unsure how to proceed. Call us, and we can help you determine if your dehumidifier poses a danger to you, your family and your home. We can help you find a safer alternative as well, which includes our Aprilaire line of dehumidifiers. Please call us at 516-488-1800 and we will be more than happy to assist you. 
Your comfort and safety is always our top priority. 

5 Reasons NOT to Get AC for Your Suffolk Home

The summer heat will be here before we know it, and that means many people will be turning up the AC in their Suffolk homes. But for some, hearing about all the great benefits that air conditioning has to offer gets to be too much year after year. For those people, they’d like to learn more about why they shouldn’t think about installing AC in their home. So, we’ve decided to share with you why you might not want to consider new air conditioning any time soon.

Here are five reasons NOT to get AC for your Suffolk home.

  • You’re a big fan of humidity. Mildew, schmildew. Damp walls, sticky furniture, and feeling like you’re living in a tropical rainforest… these are a few of your favorite things. The dehumidifying properties of air conditioning, on the other hand, cramp your style.
  • You enjoy being hot and sticky. While most people would prefer mild, dry indoor temperatures, you’re all about sweating it out. Why visit a sauna when your own home can be one? An air conditioner is only going to make the indoor temperatures bearable and welcoming to friends and family – and nobody wants that.
  • You sneeze at the thought of keeping allergens at bay. Yeah, yeah… we all know that air conditioning is recommended if you’re an allergy sufferer. But even though you realize AC can keep airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds from entering your Suffolk home, you prefer an itchy, sneezy, runny nose.
  • You like hearing your family complain. While most people enjoy a peaceful haven, you like it when everyone is whining about the heat. If you’re at your happiest when the kids are grumpy, your spouse is petulant and the even the cat hisses at you, AC in your Suffolk home is definitely not the right choice for you.

Of course, at T.F. O’Brien we know most people don’t really want to experience any of the above. If you’re in that category, then you might want to give us a call if the heat has become a little more than you can bear. We can install a variety of different types of air conditioning systems that suit the AC needs of your Suffolk home. You can count on us to provide you with professional, quality AC installation, as well as any other air conditioning service you may need. Just give us a call at 516-488-1800 and we’ll help you get the right AC for your Suffolk home.

Five Reasons You Should Get AC for Your Nassau Home

Summer. Everyone looks forward to its arrival after a long, cold winter (and mucky, rainy spring). Warm days and fun outdoor activities make everyone look forward to the season. Until, of course, the weather starts to heat up to an unbearable point and the humidity starts to set in. Then you and your family probably start to look for ways you can beat the heat in your Nassau home.

Air conditioning is one of the best ways you can stay cool during the summer, but you might not know if you want to make the investment. There are several ways a new AC installation can make a big difference when it comes to your family’s quality of life and comfort.

Here are a few of the main reasons it can help:

You and your family will be more comfortable. Nothing is worse than dealing with a hot, sticky home all summer long. Your home should be a retreat from the outdoor heat, but without air conditioning, it can sometimes feel hotter inside than out. When you install AC in your Nassau home, your family will thank you for it once those temperatures hit the sweltering mark.

You’ll reduce your risk of heat-related illness. For infants and toddlers, the elderly and those suffering with certain illnesses, summer heat can be more than just uncomfortable – it can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses are responsible for hundreds of deaths in the U.S. each year. They also agree that air conditioning, along with proper hydration, can protect people.

Allergy and asthma sufferers may see some relief. The Mayo Clinic advocates the use of air conditioning for allergy and asthma sufferers, largely because of its air cleaning capabilities. They state, “air conditioning reduces the amount of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds that finds its way indoors.” They also point to air conditioning’s ability to help reduce exposure to dust mites, which are a major allergy and asthma trigger for many.

Your home will be less humid. Everyone knows that AC in your home helps you stay cool. Part of the reason it does that is because aside from cooling the air, it also helps to remove excess humidity. And, with reduced humidity comes a reduced change for mold and mildew growth, which can occur if your home is too damp.

You’ll sleep better. The National Sleep Foundation indicates that for most people, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can imagine, that temperature might be difficult to achieve during the summer in the absence of air conditioning. When you have AC in your Nassau home, you and your family will rest easier – making for much more enjoyable days in the sun!

T.F. O’Brien is a full-service air conditioning contractor, serving people all throughout Nassau. When you decide it’s time for AC installation in your home, you can count on us to provide you with professional, quality air conditioner installation, as well as any other air conditioning service you may need. Just give us a call at 516-488-1800 and we’ll help you get the right AC for your Nassau home.

Getting the AC Services You Need for Your Long Island Home

Spring is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for AC service for your Long Island home from T.F. O’Brien. We take great pride in offering our customers the best AC maintenance available, so your system is at its most effective and efficient now and into the future. We realize we talk a lot about the importance of annual service for your air conditioning system. We want you to know we’re not just trying to sell you something you don’t need – we firmly believe that in order for your system to run its best, annual maintenance is important.

The Department of Energy agrees – their website states, “An air conditioner’s filters, coils and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service.” They go on to say that without regular checkups and maintenance, air conditioning systems will steadily decline in both performance and efficiency. But when you rely on us for the AC services you need for your Long Island home, you can count on better comfort and efficiency from your air conditioning system.

What happens during AC service for your Long Island home?

During routine AC service, your technician will check your filters, coils, fins and condensate drains, and replace filters and clean coils, fins and drains if dirty. Additionally, your technician will perform more comprehensive diagnostic checks, and fix any problems, including:

  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Test for refrigerant leaks
  • Capture any leaking refrigerant
  • Check for, and seal, any duct leakages
  • Measure airflow through evaporator coil
  • Verify the electric control sequence
  • Inspect electric terminals
  • Clean and tighten electric connections
  • Oil motors
  • Check belts for tightness/wear
  • Check thermostat accuracy

How does T.F. O’Brien help?

When you choose T.F. O’Brien for the AC services you need for your Long Island home, you can count on smooth, efficient operation from your system. In addition to annual maintenance, we’re pleased to provide a wide range of air conditioning services to meet all of your needs, including repair and new system installation. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 to schedule maintenance or to find out how we can help with any other AC services you may need.

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.

March Message from Kerry: Shamrock Savings & Preventive Maintenance

Happy March from T.F. O’Brien! We love this time of year, because it means St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and spring is right around the corner. It also means we’re gearing up for our annual Shamrock Savings event. What’s so special about this sale? We pull out all the stops to get our valued customers into a great new high-efficiency home comfort system, by giving them our best offer of the year!
When you choose to take advantage of our Shamrock Savings event, you won’t just be installing a top-performing system in your home. We’re also including some terrific add-ons that will make your home more comfortable and your life easier. Couple that with incredible rebates, and you’ll be enjoying the best in home comfort in no time – for less!
Click here to learn more about how you can save, and be sure to check out our 2017 Shamrock Savings commercial!
Also, it’s never too early to get on board with your spring maintenance needs. Give us a call at (516) 488-1800 to schedule your spring preventive maintenance appointment today!
Thanks for reading. Best wishes for a magical March!
Kerry

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?

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.

Make Your Home More Efficient & Comfortable this Year

kerry_obrien_maintenanceWhen your home isn’t as comfortable as you’d like, and your heating bills are still on the rise, it can get frustrating as a homeowner. You probably hate the idea of turning up the thermostat, because you know that’s going to mean higher utility bills in the long run, but you might be at a point where you don’t know what else to do. If you’ve made it your New Year resolution to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient in 2017, T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating can help.

We are pleased to offer you a few solutions that can help you enjoy improved home comfort this year – and savings on your energy bills. From simple maintenance that many homeowners can take care of themselves, to installing a new, high-efficiency heating system, these solutions can help you keep your resolution of better home comfort – and lower utility bills!

What can I do myself?

You might be surprised to hear it, but one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the effectiveness and efficiency of your home heating system is a dirty filter. When your filter is clogged with dust, dirt and debris, it makes it much harder for the air to pass through – and that makes your heating system work much harder than it needs to. When your filter becomes dirty and clogged, it can limit the airflow into your furnace, which causes a heat, and pressure buildup. This can cause your furnace to either run with reduced heat output and poor efficiency, or shut down entirely.

You should plan to change the filter in your heating system on a monthly basis during months of heavy use. Of course, if you’re nervous about changing your filter yourself, T.F. O’Brien will be more than happy to help.

Annual preventive maintenance can help.

If you want to keep your heating system operating at top efficiency, an annual maintenance plan is a must. There is nothing better for your equipment, and no better way to achieve peak system performance. And, spending a little on an annual maintenance plan will save you money on your utility bills and repair costs because your system will almost never break down. Sometimes annual utility savings are high enough to offset the cost of the maintenance plan!

Consider getting smart – stat!

Today’s thermostats offer so much more than the old, dial-style thermostat we likely grew up with in our homes. Even basic programmable thermostats can help you keep your home more comfortable and more energy efficient. But smart thermostats can take home comfort to a whole new level. That’s because they can be accessed easily, even when you’re away from home. By using a web app, you can control your smart thermostat at home, the office, or while away on vacation. Some smart thermostats are even able to learn your family’s comfort habits, helping you maintain the highest level of heating and cooling efficiency.

What if my heating system isn’t working properly?

Depending on the age of your system, it may be time to consider a replacement. We’re pleased to offer Long Island residents the best quality, most efficient heating systems on the market. Your new heating system installation will provide you with long-lasting durability and high-efficiency – and that will help you save both energy and money on your utility bills.

To find out how T.F. O’Brien can help you keep your resolution of greater home comfort and improved efficiency in 2017, 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.

‘Tis the Season for Environmentally Friendly Cooling

It used to be a fairly inexpensive fix to charge your air conditioning system with Freon®, or R-22, refrigerant. Just a few pounds of the refrigerant, and your unit would make it through yet another sweltering summer. R-22 was plentiful, and that made it easy for us to recharge your system and get you up and running again. But, the days of low-cost recharge repairs are going by the wayside. Most air conditioning systems more than five years old use R-22 refrigerant – and it’s being phased out.

The reason for this is because R-22 refrigerant contains chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. The Environmental Protection Agency has targeted products containing CFCs for phase-out, because they have been found to cause damage to the earth’s ozone layer. Each year, the availability of R-22 for air conditioning repair becomes more and more scarce, and by 2020, there will be no new R-22 on the market. Following the laws of supply and demand, it becomes pretty clear that R-22 is becoming a costly commodity.

What does this mean for T.F. O’Brien as an air conditioning contractor, and for me as a consumer?

The bottom line is, the government doesn’t want consumers or contractors to use R-22. Prices for the refrigerant have increased upwards of 200-300 percent since 2010, and they’re only expected to keep increasing. Part of the EPA’s strategy is to encourage homeowners to repair leaks or replace systems rather than continue to add more R-22 refrigerant. Making it costly to continue to pump R-22 into a leaky system – and into the environment – is one way the EPA is encouraging a conversion to newer equipment.

So, the EPA is just trying to make consumers purchase new systems?

In a nutshell – yes. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for you or for the environment. New air-conditioning systems use R-410A, which is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and doesn’t deplete the ozone layer. Not to mention, new air conditioning systems have improved by leaps and bounds when it comes to energy efficiency – even the lowest efficiency systems of today use significantly less energy than the best models used just a few years ago. Depending on the age and condition of your current system, you could be looking at a savings on your utility bills that nearly covers the cost of your payments on a new system.

Why not just recharge my system with R-410A then?

Simply put, you can’t. These two refrigerants are not compatible and should never be mixed. All the parts inside new systems have been engineered to function with R-410A refrigerant, and use different pressures, configurations, coil sizes and types of metal. Adding R-410A to an old system can be dangerous, and at the very least would completely ruin your air conditioner.

How can T.F. O’Brien help me?

We want you to know we’re professionals, and it’s a fine line for us to give our customers the best possible repair services and replacement options, given the changing government mandates and the expense of materials. The fact is, your air conditioning system, especially if it’s an older one, is going to break down eventually, no matter how well you maintain it. A new home comfort system is not something that’s necessarily exciting, like a new car or boat, but it is something you use daily and rely on. We just want to make sure you know you can trust us to provide you with the best system on the market today – and one that is compatible with government regulations and energy guidelines.

If you’d like to know more about the R-22 phase-out, visit the EPA online by clicking here.

Furnace Filter Filthy? Change is Good.

Did you know that one of the most common furnace problems is filter failure? And did you know it’s often a simple fix you can do yourself? Forgetting about the furnace filter is easy enough for a homeowner, but if you make an effort to keep track of your filter, check it frequently during the winter months when your furnace runs often, and change it when it’s dirty, you can expect enhanced furnace performance.

Furnaces need filtration so that the air brought into the equipment is cleaned before it’s heated and sent back out into the home. When your furnace becomes dirty and clogged, it can limit the airflow into your furnace, which causes a heat, and pressure buildup. This can cause your furnace to either run with reduced heat output and poor efficiency, or shut down entirely.

Changing your furnace filter can help avoid costly breakdowns.

But this scenario is easily avoidable – all you need to do is set a schedule for yourself to change your filter. Generally speaking, you should plan to check your furnace filter during the heating season on a monthly basis. Chances are, you will discover that your filter is pretty dirty, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to replace it. If you’re nervous about doing it yourself, you should know T.F. O’Brien can help you. Our friendly technicians will be glad to show you how to change your furnace filter, or do it for you. Just give us a call at 516-488-1800 to learn more.