Want to Work In HVAC? Here Are 7 Reasons You Should.

Have you been considering a career in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry? If you have, you should know that there are many benefits to following this career path. Many times, you’ll be able to attend a trade school and receive your certification in a year’s time, and then receive additional training and education on the job.

What exactly do HVAC technicians do?

Very generally speaking, HVAC technicians repair, maintain and install comfort systems, such as air conditioning systems, furnaces, boilers, ductless systems and heat pump systems. Additionally, they provide services which include installation, maintenance and repair of ventilation and refrigeration systems.

Most HVAC technicians work in homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings or factories. Some typical duties of HVAC technicians include:

  • Installation and maintenance of HVAC and refrigeration systems
  • Installation of electrical components and wiring
  • Inspection and testing of HVAC systems and components
  • Explain HVAC concerns and problems to customers
  • Repair and replacement of parts and systems

Why should I consider a career in HVAC?

People who are interested in pursuing an HVAC career are in luck – it’s a growing industry in the United States, and job opportunities are expected to increase at a very steady rate over the next decade. Still not sure if a career in the HVAC industry is the right opportunity for you? Below are seven reasons you might want to consider it.

7 Reasons to Work In The HVAC /R Industry

  1. Job Stability: HVAC is something people need all year long. Residential customers need heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, and indoor air quality products all year long. Commercial clients need the same, and depending on the industry, may also require refrigeration installation and service.
  2. Positive Job Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for HVAC workers is excellent. In fact, employment in this field is expected to grow 13 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.
  3. Incentives For Advancement: Many companies, like T.F. O’Brien, encourage employees to continue with training and take on new roles and responsibilities over the course of employment. On-the-job experience, training and dedication can help technicians advance.
  4. On-The-Job Training: Most HVAC companies encourage their employees to continue with training, and some, such as T.F. O’Brien, provide career development training and advancement opportunities, so you can take your career to the next level.
  5. Career Mobility: People all throughout the country (and the world!) need HVAC. Being an HVAC worker essentially means that you can find employment, no matter where life takes you.
  6. Salary & Benefits: According to the BLS, the average annual wage for HVAC technicians was nearly $50,000 in 2018. Companies like T.F. O’Brien offer additional benefits and incentives to employees, such as paid training, health insurance, and more.
  7. Multiple Career Paths: The HVAC industry is extremely versatile and offers a vast array of career opportunities. Technicians, mechanics and installers can find work in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration both residentially and commercially. There is even a need for HVAC technicians in the automotive industry. (Yes, vehicles have HVAC systems!)

Interested in learning more? Contact T.F. O’Brien today.

At T.F. O’Brien, our focus in always on helping our employees succeed, as well as promoting the HVAC industry in the most positive light. We strive to stay up to date on all the latest comfort technology, from smart thermostats to high-efficiency cooling and heating systems, and everything else in between. Our technicians receive the training they need to be successful in their field, as well as comprehensive benefits and a friendly work environment.

To learn more about employment opportunities with us, click here or give us a call at 516.488.1800.

Getting Organized This School Year

The kids are back to school, and vacation time is over. While we’re still enjoying warm weather here on Long Island, we also are refocusing on getting back into the routine of things. It’s the perfect time of year to get organized – which will help you and your family avoid the chaos that inevitably strikes once earlier wake-ups, homework and after-school activities hit!

Here are seven ways to get organized – and help the school year get off to a much smoother start:

  1. Make sure each child has their own bin, and ensure that it gets used only for important papers and supplies. This will make it a lot easier to find school notes that need to be signed, school supplies like pens and pencils, and homework paper. Have everyone check their bin daily to ensure it isn’t collecting junk, and anything that needs to return to school, does.
  2. In today’s world, everyone has a cellphone. Make sure your family’s cell phones are synched, everyone has each other’s numbers, and you all have access to each other’s calendars. That way, it will be easy to make a call or schedule an appointment, keeping everyone on the same page.
  3. Synch up all the clocks in the house. That way, your child in the upstairs bathroom won’t think you have five more minutes before you have to leave the house.
  4. Keep backpacks and shoes at the entryway or in the mudroom. It’s best to set up an area for each child, if you can. Making sure everything is in place helps keep morning confusion at bay – nobody will be late hunting for their sneakers or school books.
  5. Designate a quiet homework space. Keep it stocked with supplies that might be needed, like paper, pens, pencils, and sharpeners. It also helps kids from getting distracted by video games, the television or computer.
  6. We know it can be very hard to get into a routine, but it can make life so much easier! If you don’t already do so, start the routine of organizing backpacks, packing lunches and checking the calendar the night before, so the morning routine is a breeze!
  7. Keeping a calendar on your phone is helpful, as is keeping a paper version in an area where your family spends a lot of time, like the kitchen. Update it daily with any appointments or important dates, and make sure you add these to your digital calendar as well.

Of course, at T.F. O’Brien we’re happy to help with all your home comfort needs, which gives you one less thing to think about! Whether you need ductless for that new converted space in your home, maintenance for your equipment, or even a filter change, we can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll help you stay comfortable.

HVAC Expert, Long Island Business Owner to Speak at Metropolitan Air Conditioning Contractors of New York’s Survive and Thrive Event

Kerry O’Brien to talk about company T.F. O’Brien’s 85 years of resilience

Kerry O’Brien, president and co-owner of T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating in Long Island, will speak at the Metropolitan Air Conditioning Contractors of New York’s (MACC) “How to Survive and Thrive in the HVAC Industry” event on Thursday, September 12.

The seminar for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals will begin at 6 p.m. at Trattoria 35 in Bayside. O’Brien, a Long Island native, will discuss his experience building his company, how he got into the HVAC industry, what challenges he has faced in his 15 years as company president and how he overcame them.

At the event, Kerry O’Brien will detail how much of the company’s ability to survive for 85 years in business is attributed to adaptability.

“My father and grandfather taught me: ‘The one constant is change.’” O’Brien said. “Since we opened our doors, we’ve evolved with the times and updated everything from the equipment and tools we use to our customer service. For us, it’s a thrill keeping up with modern challenges and advancements.”

The Survive and Thrive event will also feature Joseph DeMicco, founder and CEO of Amplify Industrial Marketing + Guidance. It is free to MACC members, or $50 for non-members. To register, visit: https://www.maccny.org/AMSEvents/Register.aspx?evtid=c24a8b24-6aa7-45ed-9771-4f8e502a0a6d.

About T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating – T.F. O’Brien is a Long Island-based HVAC company founded by Thomas Francis O’Brien in 1934. Their team of over 40 employees has been family-run since its inception and strives to offer the best service and technical expertise on the island.

About MACC – The Metropolitan Air Conditioning Contractors of New York MACC is a non-profit association whose membership is comprised of HVAC industry professionals in the New York City metro area. MACC members are given the distinct opportunity to network with other industry professionals and are provided with the tools and resources necessary to grow their businesses. Membership is comprised of two categories: Contractor and Associate. A contractor is any firm, or corporation that designs, installs, services and/or repairs environmental systems. An associate is an industry-related company that supplies products or services to contractors.

Five Reasons You Need A Generator For Your Home

As hurricane season approaches here on Long Island, it’s time to think about preventive measures that can be taken to help you and your family stay safe during the storm. While we hope a hurricane doesn’t happen, it’s good to be prepared in case it does. One of the best ways you can ensure that your home won’t lose power during the storm is by installing a generator.

There are several reasons why choosing a standby generator for your home is a good idea, the obvious one being maintaining power even when there is an outage. We’d like to share with you a few other reasons why having a generator is important.

Five Reasons To Get A Home Generator

Having a generator helps ensure your family’s safety and comfort. On Long Island, we’ve endured some very powerful storms and hurricanes, which have resulted in loss of power for an extended period of time. Generators help keep your appliances running, your home comfort equipment operating, and your lights on. That way, you can stay comfortable and stay in your home – helping you and your family weather the storm more easily.

A generator keeps your perishables from spoiling. According to the Food and Drug Administration, your refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours, and your freezer about 48 hours. Unfortunately, in a circumstance like a severe storm or hurricane, your power can be out for a prolonged period of time. A generator can mean your food stays preserved and safe for consumption. 

Is there someone in your home who needs electricity for their medical devices? Then having a generator is crucial. Medical devices like nebulizers, home oxygen and CPAP machines all rely on electricity to operate, and in many cases, it is crucial that these devices are operable. As such, a generator can be a necessity for those with medical needs.

Generators can help preserve your appliances and home comfort equipment. It’s not necessarily the lack of power that causes damages to your appliances, but the sudden surge of electricity when power is restored that can cause problems. A generator ensures that your appliances and home comfort equipment have the power they need throughout the outage, avoiding that problem from happening – helping your equipment stay intact.

Having a generator keeps your security system functional. Unfortunately, power outages can be an ideal time for burglaries. No electricity means home security systems are disabled, and there is no lighting to deter would-be burglars. If you have a generator, however, you can avoid both of these scenarios – and help keep your home secure.

Think a backup generator might be a good choice for your home? T.F. O’Brien can help.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to provide our customers with quality residential generators. We offer automatic standby generators that back up the circuits you choose during a power outage. They automatically start within seconds of detecting power loss, and run on your home’s existing natural gas or LP fuel supply. You’ll be able to choose a backup option from essential circuit, managed whole-house, or complete whole-house coverage.

Want to learn more about installing a quality generator in your home? We’re ready to assist you. Just call us at 516.488.1800 to schedule an appointment with us today.

Transition Through The Seasons With Ductless

Here on Long Island, we’re able to enjoy warm summer weather well into the fall months. Because we have a prolonged cooling season compared to most of New York, that means it’s important to have not only properly maintained cooling equipment, but also equipment that can transition easily from season to season. If you’ve been considering an all-in-one solution to your home comfort needs, you might want to consider ductless.

Ductless cooling and heating can provide you with effective, efficient cooling all summer long, helping you and your family enjoy precise comfort control. Perfect for converted or added spaces, as well as homes that lack ductwork, these systems provide the cooling you need in a compact, easy to install unit. Because they don’t require ductwork, you won’t have to deal with the mess of construction – often, your ductless system will be ready to enjoy in one day.

And, ductless can help you transition easily once the days get cooler.

While ductless systems that offer cooling only are an option, you should know you can get systems that offer both cooling and heating. This configuration is especially helpful once the weather starts to transition. People often find that during this time, some days call for cooling, while others might need a little home heating. That’s where ductless cooling and heating comes in. It’s simple to switch from cooling to heating with a ductless system – which ensures home comfort no matter what the weather outside is like.

At. T.F. O’Brien, we’re pleased to provide our customers with the very best ductless cooling and heating systems available. Our expert technicians can install them in your home both promptly and without a lot of mess or downtime, so you can enjoy the benefits of ductless quickly. What’s more, you’ll enjoy improved comfort that’s highly energy efficient, quiet, and easily controlled by a remote. And, ductless systems are made to blend seamlessly with virtually any décor.

To learn more about how you can stay comfortable, no matter what the season, give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to tell you more about ductless cooling and heating for your home.

Five Ways to Keep Your Cool During The Dog Days

GettyImagesAugust is here, and that means the dog days of summer have arrived on Long Island. This time of year, Mother Nature turns up the heat, and that can make for an uncomfortable situation for many. Extreme heat not only can make you feel miserable – it can also make you sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are a number of factors that can affect the body’s ability to cool down when the temperatures soar, with senior citizens, small children, and those with medical concerns being among those at highest risk.

It’s important to take the necessary measures to keep cool in high temperatures, so you’re able to prevent heat-related illness from happening to you. Of course, keep strenuous activity to a minimum, limit your time outdoors, and make sure to wear natural fabrics and sunscreen. All of these measures will help avoid a possible life-threatening situation. But there are a few other steps you can take that can help you stay healthy when the weather is at its hottest.

The CDC offers some suggestions to help you stay healthy during a heat event.

The good news is, there are many measures you can take to stay safe when it’s hot and humid outside. Here are five suggestions from the CDC that not only help you stay cool – but also stay safe.

  1. Drink more water than you usually would. Keep the fluids flowing – don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Conversely, avoid alcohol, as it can contribute to dehydration. Plain water is best.
  2. Don’t use your stove or oven. It will only add to the heat that’s already in your home. Besides, it gives you a great excuse to order a pizza!
  3. Check on friends or neighbors – especially those who are older or are in ill health. Heat events can be especially difficult for them.
  4. Don’t rely on a fan to stay cool. Fans are great to help keep air circulating throughout your home, but they won’t cool the air.
  5. Stay in air conditioning as much as possible. The CDC indicates, “air conditioning is the number one way to protect yourself against heat-related illness or death.” If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, consider staying with family or friends who do, or seek an air-conditioned shelter in your area.

If you need help with your air conditioning, T.F. O’Brien can assist you.

At T.F. O’Brien, we can help with any air conditioning need you might have. We have extensive experience with the installation, maintenance and repair of all types of air conditioning systems, including ductless cooling and central air conditioning. Call us today at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. Prefer to contact us online? Click here to complete our short form, and a representative will reach out to you.

Cooling Your Home’s Special Spaces

ductless_additions_renovationsNothing makes your home seem more exciting and new than a renovation, especially when that renovation provides you with your own, special space. More than ever, people are enjoying hanging out around the house, and creating perfect areas in their homes for just that purpose. Whether you’ve added a “she-shed” outside your home, converted a garage into the quintessential “man-cave,” or added a home theater room in your finished basement, you’ll want it to be the perfect place to unwind.

When you create a new space for relaxation and enjoyment, of course you’ll want to make sure everything reflects your personal style. From the flooring, to the furniture, to the décor, your space is about you. Your she-shed might be chock-full of art supplies and crafting materials. Or, your man-cave might have comfortable recliners and games. Home theater? Maybe you’ve spent time visiting local antique shops for the perfect vintage movie posters. But… if your space isn’t comfortable, it’s hard to enjoy it.

Controlling the comfort in your renovated spaces is important.

If you’ve converted an area of your home, built an addition, or installed an outbuilding on your property, you may not be able to give that space access to your home’s existing ductwork. You should know, though, that you don’t have to rely on noisy window AC or clunky space heaters in order to keep your special space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Ductless heating and cooling is a great option.

When you choose to have your home comfort company install a ductless unit in your man-cave, she-shed, home theater or any other renovated or added space, you’ll be able to enjoy the area year-round, in complete comfort. What’s more, ductless systems are extremely efficient, quiet, and mount on the wall or in the ceiling of your space – providing you non-obtrusive comfort. And, because ductless systems don’t require complicated construction or additional ductwork, it can be installed quickly, with little mess.

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

At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve been installing quality ductless systems for years – and we can help you get one, too. Our expert installers will have your ductless unit up and running promptly, so you can sit back and relax, or craft, or watch that box-office smash, in complete comfort. We know you worked hard to create your very own special space, and we want you to enjoy it – no matter what the weather outside might be.

Are you ready to get complete comfort control for your renovated or added space? Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. Prefer to contact us online? Click here to complete our short form, and a representative will reach out to you.

What Is Ductless Cooling, Anyway?

ductless_acChances are, you’ve heard of ductless cooling. After all, it’s become a very popular choice for home cooling over the past few years. But you may have a few questions. You might wonder if it would work in your home, if it works with your existing systems, or maybe even how it works in the first place. At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve been offering ductless cooling for several years, and are experts in ductless application and installation. We can answer your questions, and can help you get the cooling you need to stay comfortable all summer long.

First, let’s talk about what, exactly, ductless cooling is. The explanation is pretty much in the name itself. Ductless cooling is just that – a cooling system that doesn’t require air ducts to operate. Unlike a central air conditioning system, ductless units operate independently of each other. So you can have a singular ductless unit installed in your home, or units installed throughout, creating cooling zones.

How are ductless systems installed?

Ductless systems are mounted on the ceiling or on a wall, and require nothing more than a small hole drilled in the ceiling or wall to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. That’s it – no need to install additional ductwork, which saves on construction mess and costs. Ductless systems provide a more effective, and much more efficient, alternative to window air conditioning, and are extremely quiet. And, you can count on quality – brands like Daikin, for instance, offer durability combined with attractive styling.

Here’s a step-by-step description of how ductless cooling is installed in your home:

  • A hole is drilled in the ceiling or wall to connect indoor and outdoor units
  • The condensing unit is installed outside, with unit connection facing the house
  • Refrigerant lines, electrical wiring, and defrost wiring are run through the hole, connecting the indoor an and outdoor units
  • The indoor unit is installed either high on an interior wall or in the ceiling
  • All electrical connections are completed
  • The system is charged with refrigerant and tested to ensure it’s operating according to manufacturer specifications

How do I know if ductless is right for my home?

If you need air conditioning for a single space, and currently rely on window AC to stay cool in that area, then ductless is a great option for you. This includes spaces that you’ve added or renovated that don’t have access to your home’s current duct system, like new additions, finished basements, or converted garages or attics.

If you currently have baseboard heat, or another type of electric heating system, in your home, it’s also probably a good candidate for ductless cooling. It can be very costly to add a duct system to a home that doesn’t already have one. Not to mention, there are ductless configurations available that can cool your space in the summer, and heat it in the winter. So if it’s time to replace your baseboard or radiant heating system, ductless cooling and heating could be the perfect option for you.

Additionally, ductless cooling can help balance out spaces in your home, so your current system can operate more efficiently. Ductless can supplement your existing cooling system by providing support for problem areas, especially if you have a larger home. The best thing to do if you’d like to learn more about ductless and whether or not it’s right for your home is to contact T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’re ready to help you with your home cooling needs.

You can count on the professionals at T.F. O’Brien to help you get the best system for your home. We have extensive experience with the installation, maintenance and repair of all types of air conditioning systems, including ductless cooling. Call us today at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. Prefer to contact us online? Click here to complete our short form, and a representative will reach out to you.

AC Then & Now: How Air Conditioning Has Changed

GettyImagesInstalling home air conditioning is nothing new. In fact, the first private home to have air conditioning installed was built in 1914. At first, it was a luxury only easily afforded by the wealthy. It wasn’t until 1945, when a less expensive, compact window air conditioner was developed, that more people had access to home cooling. But in the years that followed this invention, leaps and bounds in air conditioning technology were made, and soon, central air became more accessible to the general public.

Air conditioning installation in new home builds became much more common, and by the late 1960s, most of the new homes built had central air conditioning. According to the Department of Energy, today, nearly 100 million homes in America, or 87 percent of households, have air conditioning. With so many Americans relying on cooling – and the detrimental effects that refrigerants in the past could have on the environment – many manufacturers took the responsibility to create better, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly AC.

Changes in refrigerants and efficiency make modern systems better for consumers and for the planet.

For many years, the effect of early refrigerants on the environment was not known. But as time passed, it became more and more clear that refrigerants were causing depletion of the ozone layer and were contributing to the greenhouse effect. Manufacturers sought a safer type of refrigerant, and in 1996, air conditioning systems using the refrigerant R-410A, came out on the market. This refrigerant differed from its precursor, R-22, in that it doesn’t contribute to ozone depletion, and functions at a much higher efficiency. That means air conditioning systems that use this type of refrigerant are more efficient, saving energy.

The Department of Energy explains that with new standards in place, modern air conditioning systems use about 50 percent less energy than they did in 1990. Because of this, homeowners can enjoy better comfort, all while saving energy – and, ultimately, money on their utility bills. And, many manufacturers and utility companies recognize the benefits of installing a new, more efficient system. As a result, they offer homeowners rebates and incentives for installing new, efficient, environmentally sound air conditioning.

Modern technology has helped make air conditioning more sustainable than ever.

In addition, new types of air conditioning systems were being developed with a focus on overall improved efficiency. One type of system, ductless air conditioning, was created for homes where ductwork wasn’t available. Replacing less-efficient window air conditioning, ductless systems are highly efficient and easily controlled. For homeowners, that means greater efficiency. With ductless, it’s much simpler to create a zoned system that keeps spaces cool in the summer and warm in the winter – all while increasing efficiency and comfort levels.

And, heat pumps are becoming more and more of an option for homeowners, as new technology has created heat pumps that operate in much colder temperatures than their predecessors. Because heat pumps cool (or heat) spaces by moving heated air rather than generating it, these systems are extremely efficient. The Department of Energy offers that heat pump systems can reduce energy use by 30-60 percent, in addition to controlling humidity and providing durability and reliability. And, today’s cold climate heat pumps can operate even when outdoor temperatures dip to -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it time to replace your old, inefficient air conditioning? T. F. O’Brien can help.

At T.F. O’Brien, we’ve made it our priority to stay on top of modern trends and better, more sustainable technology when it comes to comfort equipment. We provide our customers with the very best, most efficient systems available on the market today. We’ll work with you to ensure that the system installed in your home not only keeps you comfortable, but helps you enjoy maximum energy efficiency as well. To schedule an appointment with us, simply call us at 516.488.1800, and one of our comfort specialists will be glad to talk with you about today’s many efficient, effective home-cooling options.

A Day In The Life – Laura’s Ride-Along

Laura Hanson TFO
Laura Hanson and Nick Betka

Laura Hanson, a customer service representative at T.F. O’Brien, recently had the opportunity to tag along with a technician to learn more about what, exactly, techs do out in the field. While she had some knowledge of HVAC equipment, she wanted to know more about what it was really like for the people out there performing the work for clients. So on May 15, 2019, she spent the day on a ride-along with technician Nick Betka.

Laura had an understanding of heating equipment, since she used to own a plumbing supply company and her husband is in the field as well. Air conditioning was a bit of a different story, however. “I had no knowledge of air conditioning other than it was in my window,” Laura said, adding, “I had requested a day in the field to actually see different AC equipment and to view an actual tune-up.” Laura and Nick headed out on the job, going to both residential and commercial sites. “A special thank you to Mrs. Dorothy Gregory, Ms. Dorothy Eneo, The Brake Service Group, and Serendipi Tea for making me feel so welcome in your homes and businesses,” she said.

Laura explained that she and Nick arrived at their first call, a customer’s home, at 8 a.m. The home contained two central air conditioning systems, and the first order of business was to check the air handlers and then the compressors. Laura said she was impressed by Nick’s skills out in the field. “Nick is so knowledgeable – I now know what a contactor looks like,” she shared. The next job was a tune-up for a single zone ductless system. She learned how to clear the condensate line, clean the system and replace the filter properly. She was impressed by the cooling power of ductless, and now plans to install a system in her own home in the fall.

Overall, Laura said her day went well and she felt it was very beneficial for her to have that opportunity. “My day flew by and I felt a little more confident with each job. I have to thank my service manager, Richie Hogan, for making the day happen. I know the office was very busy that day, but he felt it was important for me and others to have a day to learn.”

Laura has been a part of the T.F. O’Brien team since 2016. She assists us with scheduling service calls, dispatching calls to technicians, assisting with accounts receivable, ongoing trainings, and public relations. She takes great pride in helping the day run smoothly both for the team and for our customers. Laura lives in Bellerose with her husband, Scott, and two of their three daughters, Brittany and Courtney. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter Lauren’s two sons, grandsons Owen and Quinn.