Spring Allergies: How Indoor Air Quality Products Can Help

Do you or someone in your household suffer from springtime allergies? If so, you know how awful they can make you feel, from itchy, stuffy noses, to watery, red eyes. While enjoying the great outdoors when pollen counts are high is usually not on the books for spring allergy sufferers, unfortunately, it can be just as uncomfortable indoors. That’s because those allergens can enter your home on shoes, clothing, and through windows, and then get circulated through your home over and over again through your HVAC system.

Fortunately, there is some good news for those who traditionally experience sniffly, sneezy springs. Today, there are many products available that can help you enjoy improved indoor air quality (IAQ), and some practical measures you can take that can help you get through allergy season a bit easier. In this article, we will give you some suggestions on how to improve your IAQ, and how we can help.

Improve Your IAQ with These Easy Steps

Filtration

This is the easiest step you can take to ensure that your indoor air is cleaner and healthier, and one you can do yourself. Making sure that your HVAC system’s air filter is clean and free of dirt, pollen, and other contaminants is a simple way to improve your air quality. Changing the filter often helps your system run more efficiently, too, so it’s a win-win!

Depending on the severity of your allergies, you may want to think about the type of filter you use. Most people use basic filters in their systems, which is fine, but if you’re having a lot of problems with allergens in your home’s air, you might want to consider filters that can pull out the most microscopic particles.

Air Cleaning

Products like whole-home air cleaners do a great job of significantly reducing the number of allergens in your home. They help get rid of contaminants like mold, bacteria, dust, dander, and pollen – all of which can wreak havoc for allergy sufferers. And, these systems clean the air at the source of circulation, because they work with your home’s HVAC system.

Humidity

While having moisture in your home’s air during the winter months is helpful, once the weather starts to warm up it can become unpleasant. Not only does it make you feel hotter and stickier, but it can also encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Whole-house dehumidification can help mitigate that problem, and help your air conditioning system run more effectively and efficiently, too!

Air Conditioning System Maintenance

Of course, you know that AC maintenance helps your system run better and that there are many reasons why it’s important. But, it can also help your indoor air quality, too. Regular cleaning of your system helps remove any dirt or mold growth from your system, allowing it to circulate fresher, cleaner air.

T.F. O’Brien can help you improve your IAQ this spring, and all year long.

Getting the indoor air quality products you need for improved home comfort is simple – just give T.F. O’Brien a call. We can talk to you about your indoor air quality concerns, and help you find just the right products for your home. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you!

T.F. O’Brien Featured in ACHR News Article

Recently, T.F. O’Brien was featured in an article in the ACHR News, a publication dedicated to promoting heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration news and information. Written by Ted Craig, the article, “Long-Time HVAC Contractor Still Works to Prove Value Every Day,” illustrates the T.F. O’Brien story from the company’s inception in 1934, through the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the intro below:

T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating is a product of hard times. In 1934, Thomas Francis O’Brien, like many people, struggled to find work. So, as his grandson Kerry O’Brien puts it, he grabbed his toolbox and headed out. This turned into a commercial refrigeration repair company. In the 1950s, Thomas Francis O’Brien Jr. added appliance repair and then HVAC.

You can read the article in full by clicking here.

Keep Your HVAC System Effective & Efficient with ESP

livingroom sales discussion copyYou might not think of it very often, but your home’s heating and cooling system does some of the most crucial work in your home. When your HVAC system operates smoothly, it’s easy to forget about how hard it works to keep your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If your system breaks down, however, its necessity usually becomes readily apparent.

Unfortunately, in many homes, the HVAC system is neglected. Without the proper care, your heating and cooling systems can’t perform as well as they could and may even break down more often or sooner than their properly-maintained counterparts. As you know, here at T.F. O’Brien, we’re huge proponents of getting your HVAC system the maintenance it needs. While we might seem overly enthusiastic about regular maintenance, we suggest it to our customers with good reason.

When you invest in the ESP program for your home, you’re safeguarding your HVAC equipment – and your family.

At T.F. O’Brien, we believe in providing our customers with a comprehensive plan that can help them preserve their comfort and stay more comfortable, no matter what the weather. When you invest in our Energy Savers Plan, or ESP, you’ll find that there is no stone left unturned when it comes to caring for your HVAC equipment. Learn more below about the incredible benefits you’ll enjoy when you choose to enroll in the ESP program:

  • Your system will last longer. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps your equipment enjoy a longer life for many reasons. First of all, your system will be inspected, cleaned, and tuned up yearly. That in and of itself will promote longer system life. What’s more, these regular inspections will help our technicians find any minor issues before they become larger ones that could render your system irreparable. Not to mention, regular maintenance helps to ensure your warranty stays intact – keeping you from having to pay out-of-pocket should the need for a repair arise.
  • Regular maintenance can help keep you and your family safer and healthier. Like any mechanical equipment, your system may rely on electricity and fuel to perform. That’s why it’s so important to make sure everything is operating effectively within your system, as faulty electrical connections or gas valves can be dangerous if left unchecked. Additionally, getting the necessary maintenance will help ensure that it’s clean – meaning less dirty air circulating throughout your home.
  • Enrolling in ESP ensures personal, 24/7 service. At T.F. O’Brien, we know our customers have a lot to think about – and their HVAC maintenance is probably not the number one item on that list! That’s okay – we take a proactive approach to HVAC maintenance. When enrolled in ESP, we’ll call you when it’s time to schedule your appointment. And, you’ll always get a live person – not a recording – when you contact us with your needs. Aside from making sure your heating and cooling system get the maintenance they need, membership in ESP has additional privileges as well – our enrollees get priority service after-hours, nights, weekends, and holidays. Plus, they receive 50 percent off on future diagnostic calls and 15 percent off on repairs.

Enrolling in the Energy Savers Plan is as easy as calling T.F. O’Brien.

As you can see, numerous benefits await you when you enroll in the ESP program with T.F. O’Brien. Whether you’re in the process of purchasing a brand-new system, or you’d like to make sure your current system lasts longer and stays effective and efficient, getting the preventive maintenance it needs can help. Give us a call at 516.488.1800 to find out more about the ESP program and how you can enroll right away!

Maximize Your Home’s Space with Ductless Heating & Cooling

TFO WEB HomeDuctlessThe pandemic has meant that more and more people are using their homes for work, education, and communicating with friends and family. “Zooming” is now a part of our vocabulary, and many people spend a good part of their day in Zoom meetings with either coworkers or classmates. That means that for many of us, our homes are now both offices and classrooms – and space in the home can be at a premium.

Maybe you have an area of your home that would be great to convert into an office, like a finished basement area or converted attic, but you’re hesitant because that area is just not comfortable. Many times, these areas only get used when the weather is temperate, but can be uncomfortable spaces when it becomes chilly (or conversely muggy) outside. You should know, there is a way to make those areas of your home much more comfortable – and much more usable.

Ductless heating &cooling can help make occasional areas full-time parts of your home.

Now more than ever, people need to be able to access all the spaces in their homes. Oftentimes, additions, garages, basements, and attics don’t have the ductwork needed to connect to the home’s HVAC system. So, those areas don’t get used as often as they could. By adding a ductless system, you and your family will be able to maximize that space, no matter what the weather is like outside.

A ductless system does not require ductwork (as the name would imply) to operate. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by a small-diameter tube, and the installation of a ductless unit requires minimal construction. And that means minimal disruption and mess, too. Ductless systems can provide both heating and cooling, are easy to operate via remote control, and are quiet as well – making it easy to convert your space into an area for online classroom and work meetings.

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the ductless system you need.

If you think you have a space in your home that could benefit from a ductless system, you should know T.F. O’Brien can help you. We’re pleased to offer our customers the ductless heating and cooling they need to make the most of every inch of their homes! Not only will we provide you with quality ductless system installation, but we can also ensure you get annual maintenance for your system, as well as any repairs you may need down the road. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you,

Choose T.F. O’Brien for Your Home or Office HVAC Needs

TFO WEB CommercialHVACT.F. O’Brien residential customers know that we strive for complete customer satisfaction when it comes to keeping their home comfort systems in great shape. But, did you know we can offer the same level of service for your business? When you choose us for your commercial heating and cooling needs, we’ll work hard to make sure your staff and your customers are as comfortable as possible.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re able to help businesses not only with their heating and cooling needs, but with the air filtration requirements companies have been faced with since the COVID-19 pandemic. We can help ensure that your space meets state regulations, helping you, your employees and your customers stay safer.

T.F. O’Brien offers a full suite of commercial services.

Just like we provide a complete range of HVAC services to our residential customers, we offer full-service HVAC to our commercial clients as well. We can provide you with heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair services, as well as indoor air quality products. We’ll work with you from the start to the finish of your project, making sure that you’re completely satisfied with our services.

We take great pride in helping businesses just like yours every day – see what Louis Basso, founder of Alcott HR, had to say:

“We required a complete HVAC update on our 37-year old building. Not only did we want to replace our old equipment, but we also wanted to add equipment that could scrub the air for the staff working here during COVID-19. We called upon T.F. O’Brien to assist us, and they replaced our system, including indoor air quality products, in stages starting at the beginning of fall. Our system is fully operational now, and working very well,” Basso said.

“The staff at T.F. O’Brien is great to work with. There is always a real person answering the phone, and the customer service experience is an excellent one. We like that they’re a family business while having the expertise and experienced staff to get the work done professionally and effectively. And, many of the people working there have been with T.F. O’Brien for many years, which is a testament to a good organization. I have no hesitation in recommending them to other businesses.”

Let us help you with your commercial HVAC project.

Contact us today to learn more about these commercial HVAC services:

When you need commercial HVAC services for your business or organization, Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 or fill out our convenient contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

How Whole-House Humidification Can Keep You More Comfortable

Winter weather means that homeowners are running their heating equipment a lot more frequently. In homes that have forced air heating systems, the indoor air very often becomes drier. While in the summer, we want less humidity in our homes, in the winter months it’s better to have humidified air.

Humid air makes people feel warmer, which is why in the summer people often opt for air conditioning and dehumidification for their homes. For the same reason, people may want to humidify their homes in the winter – to help them feel warmer and for a number of other positive benefits.

What are some symptoms of overly dry air?

The telltale signs of overly dry home air are generally pretty easy to spot. If the air in your home is too dry, you probably are noticing a lot of concerns that may be related to it. These include:

  • Creaky wooden fixtures, like floors and stairs
  • Cracking and warping in furniture or wood
  • Excessive static cling
  • Itchy, flaky skin
  • Dry mucous membranes (nasal passages/eyes)
  • Houseplants need to be watered more often

Fortunately, humidifying the air in your home is an easy fix for most of these concerns. Depending on your needs, you may also find that a whole-house humidifier provides the greatest benefit to you and your family.

How is a whole-house humidifier different than a room humidifier?

The principle of a whole-house humidifier and a room humidifier is the same – to deliver humidity into the air of your home. However, both of these humidifiers do exactly what they say – one delivers moisture to an individual space in your home; the other, all throughout your home.

How does a whole-house humidifier work?

Whole-house humidifiers actually are installed in conjunction with your furnace and your ductwork, so they send a mist into your home’s airflow, sending it throughout the house whenever your furnace runs. They require very little maintenance – because they use water from your plumbing system, you don’t have to worry about filling them. And, they’re efficient to operate, so you won’t have a huge added expense to your electric bill.

Whole-house units do require installation by a qualified HVAC technician and a small amount of annual maintenance if your home tends to have hard water. Otherwise, these humidification systems are pretty much set it and forget it – the only thing you’ll notice is improved indoor air and greater comfort.

How can T.F. O’Brien help me with whole-house humidification?

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to offer quality whole-house humidification systems to our customers. We’ll provide you with the installation of your system, and any additional maintenance you might need. To learn more about our whole-house humidifiers, simply give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to help you!

COVID 19: An Update

GettyImagesThe cooler weather has arrived, and along with it, an uptick in COVID-19 cases. In some areas throughout the Long Island region, businesses are once again having to shut down, and people are being encouraged to stay at home whenever possible. As a T.F. O’Brien customer, you may be concerned about getting the heating services you need as a result of these closures. We want to assure you that we are still operating, and still available to assist you.

Home heating is a necessity when the temperatures dip down, and with families staying at home more often, your comfort is very important to us. The HVAC industry has been deemed an essential business, and as such, we will be there for you when you need us. We know there is a lot of uncertainty during times like these, but you can rest assured that all of us at T.F. O’Brien will be here for you and your family.

Of course, as we have been doing throughout the pandemic, we will have certain procedures in place to help ensure the safety of you and your family as well as our employees. We want you to be comfortable, not just with your home heating, but with the way we help you with your needs. Please review the following procedures we have in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19:

  • We require all service technicians to be equipped with the following personal protective equipment when entering homes or businesses:
    • Gloves
    • Shoe Covers
    • Portable UV Lights
    • Masks
  • All service technicians are following best practices for prevention of viral transmission:
    • No personal contact, including handshakes
    • No passing of any object without it being sanitized or handled with
      gloves
    • We’re practicing social distancing on the job
  • If an employee is experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and fever, we are mandating they stay home for 14 days, or seek medical attention consistent with CDC and WHO guidelines. Should there be concerns about any employee, please contact us.
  • For the safety of our employees and customers, our Customer Relations team check with you beforehand to confirm that no occupants at a customer’s residence or business is experiencing any symptoms and to re-confirm we have the authorization to enter and service the property.
  • We will postpone service if we encounter any situations where symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, and fever are present.

It is always our aim to ensure the health, safety, and comfort of you and your family. We understand that you may have questions regarding our safety procedures, and we want you to feel free to talk to us about any concerns you may have. Please contact us during normal business hours and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for trusting T.F. O’Brien to help you with your heating needs during this time. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you and your family.

Five Reasons to Choose a Smart Thermostat

With people working and learning from home more and more, having the best possible home comfort is important. Along with being home more often comes increased energy use in your home – you and your family are spending more time on electronics and devices, are likely using kitchen appliances more frequently, and certainly relying on your heating and cooling system more than ever.

Fortunately, installing a smart thermostat is one way to help your home’s HVAC system operate more effectively and efficiently, and keep you and your family more comfortable. Not sure what the benefits of a smart thermostat are, or if it’s a good choice for you and your family? Below are just a few of the benefits of installing one in your home.

5 Ways a Smart Thermostat Can Help You Enjoy Better Comfort

  1. Smart thermostats can help your home become more energy-efficient. That’s because this technology is easily adjustable, from virtually anywhere. Some types can even “learn” your family’s habits and adjust temperatures accordingly!
  2. Worry-Free. No more worries about heating and cooling systems when you’re away from home. With a smart thermostat, you can easily check into your system from your smartphone or laptop. Some systems even send you an alert if something happens out of the ordinary with your HVAC system.
  3. Better Home Comfort, On Demand. Warm up (or cool down your home) before you arrive home. You can turn your thermostat down during the day or whenever you’re away, and then turn up the heating or cooling from your phone or computer, so you’ll arrive to a comfortable home.
  4. Compatibility with Smart Home Systems: Some can hook into other smart devices. There are thermostat systems that are compatible with smart lighting and air quality equipment like humidifiers and air purifiers. There are smart thermostats that can be voice-activated, too.
  5. Tracking Energy Usage: Many smart thermostat brands keep a record of your energy usage on their online platform – making it simple for you to assess the times of day when you use the most energy, or if there is an unusual amount of energy being used (which could indicate a system issue).

T.F. O’Brien can help you decide if a smart thermostat is right for your home.

Keeping your home comfortable – at a cost that’s comfortable, too – is easy when you install a smart thermostat from T.F. O’Brien. Simply call us at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you find the right smart thermostat for your home.

Indoor Air Quality Products: A Gift that Keeps on Giving

GettyImagesAs we enter the holiday season, our thoughts start to turn to gift-giving. While everyone likes fun, whimsical gifts, sometimes the best ones you can give are practical ones. With people spending more time indoors, and the holiday season being much different this year than it has been in some time, you may be thinking of how you can truly show someone you care about them. A gift that can help those you love to enjoy a better home environment is one way you can accomplish this.

Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is more important than ever. People want to know the air their family is breathing is healthy, clean, and free of contaminants. Fortunately, there are many products available today that can help people get better air quality in their homes, from very basic products like HVAC filters to highly advanced air cleaners and purification systems. At T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to provide the products and services that can help people enjoy better air quality, no matter what the season.

Learn about air purification that can kill up to 99 percent of viruses, bacteria, and mold.

Today’s air purification offerings include systems that are effective against all three categories of indoor air pollution – particulates, microbial agents, and gases. These systems are installed directly into a home’s existing ductwork, providing whole-house air cleaning. Because of this, they help reduce common allergy triggers, such as pollen, mold spores, dander, and dust. And, they’re thoroughly tested on airborne and surface bacteria and viruses, so you can count on every cubic inch of the air in your home reached by your central system being purified.

You can learn more about our advanced air purification system here.

And, there are other air quality products that can help available.

  • Air Sterilization: Mold can cause major issues when it comes to indoor air quality. Ductwork offers a great place for mold to grow quickly. You might be noticing some mold problems in your home because of health issues your family is experiencing, or unpleasant odors in your indoor air. We can perform a UVC air sterilization, which uses ultraviolet germicidal lights to kill mold and bacteria.
  • High-Efficiency Filters: When you have a loved one who suffers from allergies, asthma, or hay fever, getting a high-efficiency filter for your system can help greatly. At T.F. O’Brien, we can provide you with the same type of filtration used in operating rooms.

Giving the gift of better indoor air quality is easy – just call T.F. O’Brien.

We’re ready to help you provide your loved ones with better indoor air this holiday season! Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to help you!

Do You Have ESP? If Not, T.F. O’Brien Can Help You Get It!

You don’t have to have special intuition to know that the heating system in your home works hard every day during cooler weather – that’s a given. And as such, it’s important for you to maintain your heating system on a regular basis. Your heating system is a complex machine, and making sure that all the moving parts are operating correctly is crucial in helping it last longer and work more effectively and efficiently.

How can you ensure your system works great, year after year? By getting ESP – that is, our Energy Saver Plan. While our technicians are not exactly psychics, they are able to properly maintain your system and troubleshoot it promptly and professionally if there seems to be anything not working quite right. They’ll make sure your heating system is running effectively and efficiently, and help you save if you need repairs.

When you participate in the ESP program, there are many benefits you’ll enjoy.

Our Energy Saver Program is designed to help homeowners keep their home’s HVAC system running smoothly. It provides vital maintenance that can help your home stay more comfortable, and your system last longer. When you sign up for ESP, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

Tune-Up & Safety Check

  • Preventive maintenance tune-up inspections
  • Priority tune-up scheduling
  • Venting & CO safety testing
  • Extended system life
  • Maintenance of warranty
  • Maintenance of optimal system efficiency

Repairs

  • 15% parts and labor discount
  • 50% off all diagnostic charges
  • 50% overtime discount
  • Evening/weekend priority service
  • 1-year warranty on all work

Getting ESP is as easy as giving T.F. O’Brien a call today.

We see better comfort and efficiency in your future – and all you need to do to get it is to sign up for ESP! Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to help.