Resolve to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient in 2020

tfobrien energy efficiencyIt’s that time of year again – when everyone starts thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. Many times, they revolve around weight loss and fitness, and sometimes achieving personal and professional goals. One resolution that can help both you and the planet in 2020 is to conserve energy. And it’s a resolution you can keep pretty much effortlessly, especially when you start at home.

There are many ways you can make your home a den of energy efficiency, and they’re a lot simpler than you might think. We’re sharing a list below of seven ways you can very easily start making you home more efficient today. The best part (aside from the money you can save on your utility bills)? Most of these solutions are set it and forget it! Just make a couple of simple changes and you’ll start saving energy right away and all year long.

Seven Easy Ways You Can Resolve to Save Energy This Year

  1. Change over to energy efficient lightbulbs. Change out your old, incandescent bulbs with halogen, compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. They offer much better energy efficiency AND they last much longer than their incandescent ancestors. (Most homes have 40 or more fixtures that require bulbs, so choosing energy efficient ones is sort of a big deal.)
  2. Lower your thermostat. We’re not saying you have to run around the house in long johns and a parka all winter long, but if you remember to lower your thermostat just 3-5 degrees before you leave the house, you can save energy. Want to save even more? Drop your thermostat 10 degrees or so during the workday and save up to 15% every year. If you have a programmable or smart thermostat, it’s even easier, because you can set it to change when you leave for work – or change it yourself right from your phone!
  3. Make sure windows and doors are sealed. Drafty windows and doors let the warm air out and the cold air in, which makes your heating system have to work even harder. And the reverse is true in the summer, letting your conditioned air out and the hot, sticky air in. So making sure any gaps or cracks around windows and doors are sealed is an inexpensive way to reduce energy usage, and ultimately costs.
  4. Not using it? Unplug it. Cell phone chargers, battery chargers and, small appliances like toasters and electric can openers can all be energy vampires when they’re not in use, sucking the energy right out of your outlets and costing you more money when it comes time to pay your utility bills. If it doesn’t need to stay plugged in to operate properly – unplug it, and potentially save 10% annually on your energy bills in the process.
  5. Wash with cold water whenever possible. Not yourself, unless you want to. We’re talking about your washing machine. Most detergents are available in cold water formulas that do a great job of getting your clothes fresh and clean. And did you know – 90 percent of the energy used by your washer is for heating water. So, washing in cold can save YOU cold, hard cash.
  6. Get an HVAC tune-up for your heating and air conditioning equipment. By getting your equipment tuned up on a yearly basis, you’ll also be helping it stay energy efficient. A qualified technician, like the ones right here at T.F. O’Brien, will make sure your heating and cooling equipment is running at top efficiency. Not to mention, a tune-up can help keep your system from breaking down prematurely, and as a result needing expensive repairs or replacement.
  7. When getting a new computer, switch to a laptop. Thinking about replacing your old desktop computer? When it comes time for new technology, consider getting a laptop. Why? They’re up to 80% more efficient than desktop models, and you can take them anywhere with you!

Want to learn more about making your home energy efficient? Call T.F. O’Brien.

At T.F. O’Brien, helping you enjoy the most energy efficient home comfort is important to us. We work hard to help you get the services and equipment you need to save energy, save money and save the planet! To learn more about energy-saving equipment and products, just give us a call at 516.488.1800 – and we’ll resolve to help you make your home more efficient in 2020 and beyond!

Check out our energy efficiency infographic below, and feel free to share it with your friends!

TFO WEB HomeEfficiency

 

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.

5 Reasons Why You Need AC Maintenance

Concerned about keeping your cooling system in the best possible condition? No worries – annual maintenance can help! According to the Department of Energy, not getting system maintenance can lead to inefficiency and a steady decline in equipment performance. Keeping your heating and cooling equipment well maintained is crucial; T.F. O’Brien’s professional trained HVAC service technicians can help.

Still not sure annual cooling system maintenance is what you need? Here are five benefits that your AC system will enjoy:

  1. Less worry about the safety of your AC system. Much like taking your vehicle for an annual tune-up, our technicians will inspect your cooling system and equipment. They’ll check for refrigerant leaks and make sure electrical components are in good working order, so you can count on your system’s safety.
  2. You’ll avoid an HVAC system breakdown at the worst possible time. Maintenance keeps your AC system clean, and takes care of minor problems and repairs. Lack of cleaning and tune-up can, unfortunately, lead to a breakdown at the most inopportune time. That’s when we’re at our busiest, too, so finding immediate service can be a frustrating challenge.
  3. You won’t void your system warranty. Many manufacturers require that your cooling system is regularly maintained in order to keep the warranty intact. Not getting the maintenance you need could mean you’ll be stuck with a major breakdown – and costly repairs that your warranty will no longer cover.
  4. You’ll save money on cooling. When you call for maintenance, part of the service includes cleaning of your system. That’s important, because when an AC system is dirty it works harder, and much less efficiently – taking more money from your wallet when it comes time to pay utility bills.
  5. Your whole family will breathe easier. Changing the air filter is an important part of AC maintenance. When your system circulates air through a dirty filter, those particles make their way into the air you and your family breathe. Getting the seasonal maintenance your system needs keeps indoor air free of mold, pollen and dust.

To take advantage of all of these great benefits, and have a qualified HVAC service technician inspect your system – call T.F. O’Brien today. We look forward to helping you with your annual maintenance needs.

7 Reasons You Need Annual HVAC System Maintenance

HVAC Technician Inspects Heating and Cooling SystemConcerned about keeping your heating and cooling system in the best possible condition? No worries – annual maintenance can help! According to the Department of Energy, not getting system maintenance can lead to inefficiency and a steady decline in equipment performance.

 

Keeping your heating and cooling equipment well-maintained is crucial; T.F. O’Brien’s professional trained HVAC service technicians can help.

Still not sure annual HVAC system maintenance is what you need? Here are seven benefits that both your heating and cooling systems will enjoy:

1. Less worry about the safety of your HVAC system. 

Much like taking your vehicle for an annual tune-up, our technicians will inspect your entire HVAC system and equipment. They’ll check heating systems for issues like carbon monoxide, and cooling systems for refrigerant leaks. They’ll make sure electrical components are in good working order, so you can count on your system’s safety.

2. You’ll avoid an HVAC system breakdown at the worst possible time.

Maintenance keeps your heating and cooling system clean, and takes care of minor problems and repairs. Lack of cleaning and tune-up can, unfortunately, lead to a breakdown at the most inopportune time – either the coldest of winter nights, or a scorching summer day. That’s when we’re at our busiest, too, so finding immediate service can be a frustrating challenge.

3. You won’t void your HVAC system warranty.

Many manufacturers require that your heating and cooling system is regularly maintained in order to keep the warranty intact. Not getting the maintenance you need can mean you’ll be stuck with a major breakdown – and costly repairs that your warranty will no longer cover.

4. You’ll stay more comfortable all year-round.

Your home’s HVAC system needs to be at peak performance in order to keep your home toasty warm during the colder months, and cool and comfortable in the summer. With annual maintenance, you can count on better airflow. Not to mention, repairs or replacements can be made to any components not in proper working order

5. Your HVAC system will enjoy a longer life. 

When you make sure that your heating and cooling systems are properly maintained, you’re helping to ensure that they run better. Maintenance ensures a cleaned and lubricated system. It frees it of the gunk and buildup that can cause your system to run poorly. And, small issues are found and repaired easily before they cause premature system failure.

6. You’ll save money on heating and cooling. 

When you call for maintenance, part of the service includes cleaning of your system. That’s important, because when a heating or cooling system is dirty it works harder, and much less efficiently – taking more money from your wallet when it comes time to pay utility bills.

7. Your whole family will breathe easier. 

Changing the air filter is an important part of HVAC maintenance. When your system circulates air through a dirty filter, those particles make their way into the air you and your family breathe. Getting the seasonal maintenance your system needs keeps indoor air free of mold, pollen and dust.

To take advantage of all of these great benefits, and have a qualified HVAC service technician inspect your system – call T.F. O’Brien today. We look forward to helping you with your annual maintenance needs – just give our service department a call at 516-488-1800 Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm, and we’ll be happy to assist you! You can also Schedule your HVAC System Maintenance by clicking here.

 

Show Your Furnace the Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about hearts and flowers, so adding your home’s furnace into the equation might not exactly seem like the most romantic thing to do. But did you know that if you show your furnace a little love by getting it the maintenance it needs, it’ll save you money? And that’s extra money you can spend on special gifts for your Valentine!

 

Here are five ways maintenance gives your furnace the love it needs:

  • Annual maintenance helps your furnace operate more efficiently. Maintenance helps to free your furnace of dirt and debris buildup, and keeps all the moving parts well lubricated so that it runs, quite literally, like a well-oiled machine. And when it operates more efficiently, you’ll likely save money on your utility bills.
  • Maintenance can keep the need for repairs at bay. It helps catch small problems before they become larger, much more expensive issues. That’s because qualified technicians are analyzing your system on an annual basis, and can easily spot any concerns that might become bigger problems for you down the road.
  • A well-maintained furnace is a longer-lived furnace. As mentioned above, annual maintenance helps find potential problems and allows you to take care of them right away. And, maintenance keeps your furnace clean and operating efficiently, which can add to its lifespan.
  • Preventive maintenance keeps your warranty intact. You might not realize this, but chances are if you read the fine print on your equipment warranty, you’ll see that annual maintenance is required. Most manufacturers view annual maintenance as a reasonable measure the homeowner can take to keep equipment running smoothly. And, not getting maintenance may void your warranty.
  • The air in your home stays cleaner, too. One of the best ways you can help maintain your furnace is by cleaning or changing the filter when it becomes dirty. The air that flows through the filter into your home will contain fewer contaminants as a result. Not only will you breathe easier, but also your furnace will operate better when it doesn’t have to force air through a dirty filter. We’ll clean or change your filter during your annual maintenance, but ideally you should change it monthly during times of high usage.

Getting annual maintenance from T.F. O’Brien is easy.

At T.F. O’Brien, we love providing our customers with the services they need to keep their furnaces running effectively and efficiently all year long. And, showing your furnace the love it needs this winter is easy when you work with us. All you need to do is call us at 516.488.1800, or request an appointment online, and we’ll be more than happy to schedule your maintenance appointment with you.

Getting Your Home Holiday-Ready

Ready or not, here they come. That’s right, folks – the holidays are upon us. While you may be riding the struggle bus to get yourself in the mindset for the holidays and everything they entail, getting your home holiday ready is a much simpler undertaking.

Let’s start with those holiday lights. Do those endless strands of twinkling lights make you cringe as you think about what they’re going to do to your energy bill? We recommend switching over to LED lights. Of course there is an initial investment to be made but it won’t take long before they’ve already paid for themselves. Additionally, they’re more durable, don’t burn out and are much safer to use, both indoors and out, because they don’t get hot.

Speaking of safety, we would be remiss to not mention some tips to keep you and yours safe from dangers within your home this holiday season (and no, we’re not talking about the in-laws here!). On average, U.S. fire departments respond to about 50 house fires each year caused by Christmas trees. To prevent your family from becoming a negative holiday statistic we recommend keeping your tree at least three feet from all heat sources and avoid placing it in a corner at all costs. Fires that start in corners are found to spread more quickly and get hot faster than those that start in other parts of the home. You also want to be sure to keep all exits and pathways clear in the event of an emergency (a tip you can use to rationalize purchasing fewer gifts too!)

Will that jolly old elf be struggling to get down your chimney this year? He won’t if you’ve recently had it cleaned and inspected. Chimney fires account for more than 25,000 fires annually and often spread to the main structure of the home. The good, and bad, news about chimney fires is that they can be prevented with regular inspection and cleaning.

We hope that you’ve had your furnace serviced for the season but if you haven’t we recommend making an appointment to do so as soon as possible. Not only will a clean furnace run more smoothly and efficiently, but also a thorough inspection by a certified technician will allow you to identify any potential problems that you may be likely to encounter during this holiday and heating season. The last thing anyone wants this time of the year are unexpected guests and unexpected home repairs so when it comes to your heating system it is certainly better to be proactive rather than reactive. Additionally, check those smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are current and that their power supply is fresh.

Surviving the holidays is a team effort and when it comes to prepping your house, T.F. O’Brien is on your side. Give us a call today at 516.488.1800 and let us give you the gift of peace of mind this year.

Three Gifts of Home Comfort for the Person Who Has Everything

Some people are just difficult to buy for when it comes to holiday gift-giving. If you’re out of ideas, here at T.F. O’Brien has a suggestion you may not have considered – the gift of home comfort. While it may not seem like the most glamorous present you could give, it’s definitely one of the most thoughtful. Nothing says, “I love you” like a comfortable home, so when you give one of these gifts, you’re not just spending money on something that will only be enjoyed for a short time. Home comfort can be enjoyed all year long, and for years to come.

Not sure what gifts of home comfort you can give? Here are three suggestions we have for you that you can give this holiday season:

Ductless System: Maybe your loved one has a converted space that they enjoy using for hobbies or leisure, but it lacks the heating and cooling necessary to keep it comfortable all year long. When you choose to install ductless heating and cooling in that space for them, they can make use of areas like additions, converted attics or finished basements year-round.

Smart Thermostat: The gift of a smart thermostat has many benefits your loved one will enjoy. For starters, smart thermostats help equipment perform more efficiently; allowing people to save on energy bills and enjoy greater comfort. Smart thermostats also offer convenience, because often they can be monitored and changed from a Smartphone or computer. Some even learn your family’s habits and program themselves!

Maintenance Plan: Even though it sounds completely boring, a maintenance plan is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family and friends. Why? First of all, it will help them enjoy better comfort year-round. Secondly, it helps their equipment last longer and operate more efficiently. So, maintenance plans truly are gifts that keep on giving!

If you’d like to give the gift of home comfort to someone you love this holiday season, T.F. O’Brien can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be happy to help.

5 Reasons to Get Heating Maintenance This Year

Fall is a time when most people take advantage of the last bit of milder weather to prepare their homes for the winter months ahead. General home maintenance, like making sure drafty doors and windows are sealed, the chimney (if you have a fireplace) is cleaned, and home protection systems like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, are all important tasks. But what about your home’s heating system? Is it in working order for the chillier weather ahead? The best way you can ensure that it’s ready for winter is by getting annual maintenance.

It should come as no surprise that systems that receive the proper seasonal maintenance work better than neglected equipment. And when your heating system works better, you can count on it to help your family stay more comfortable. Plus, it can save you money on your utility bills. If that’s not reason enough to get your heating system the maintenance it needs, there are plenty more!

Here are the top five reasons why annual maintenance is important:

  • Better Equipment Efficiency. When you call for heating maintenance, part of the service includes cleaning of your system. That’s important, because when a heating system is dirty it works harder, and much less efficiently – taking more money from your wallet when it comes time to pay utility bills.
  • Enhanced Equipment Safety. Much like taking your vehicle for an annual tune-up, heating system maintenance allows our technicians to inspect your equipment. They’ll make sure all electrical components and combustion parts are in good working order. If they aren’t, deadly carbon monoxide can be produced or there can be a fire hazard.
  • Improved Home Comfort. Your heating system needs to be at peak performance in order to keep your home toasty warm during the colder months. When you get heating maintenance, you can count on better airflow. Not to mention, repairs or replacements can be made to any components not in proper working order.
  • Longer Life for Equipment. When you make sure that your heating system is properly maintained, you’re helping to ensure that it runs better. Maintenance ensures a cleaned and lubricated system. It frees it of the gunk and buildup that can cause your system to run poorly. And, small issues are found and repaired easily before they cause premature system failure.
  • Better Indoor Air Quality. Changing the air filter is an important part of maintenance. When your system circulates air through a dirty filter, those particles make their way into the air you and your family breathe. Getting the seasonal maintenance your system needs keeps indoor air free of mold, pollen and dust.

T.F. O’Brien provides you with the heating maintenance you need.

When you work with T.F. O’Brien for your maintenance needs, you can rest assured that your heating system will be running at its most effective, most efficient best this winter. Our technicians are highly skilled. They can help you make the most of your heating equipment – now and for years to come. Call us at 516.488.1800 to schedule your heating maintenance with us today – your system will be glad you did!

Don’t Forget – Now Is the Time to Schedule Your Spring Tune Up!

Now is the best time to schedule your seasonal air conditioning system tune up. One annual seasonal tune up is included in your paid service plan, and is most beneficial when it is done as the seasons are changing before you are ready to turn your air conditioner on for the summer. How does a tune up help?

  • It ensures that your system is running effectively
  • It helps maintain energy efficiency
  • It helps to catch any refrigerant leaks your system may have
  • It allows our technicians to catch small problems – before they become large, expensive ones

Please call the service department at 516-488-1800 Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm to renew your service plan and schedule your seasonal air conditioning system tune up. Please note that we cannot schedule appointments by e-mail, therefore we look forward to your call.

Shamrock Savings from T.F. O’Brien!

Happy March from all of us here at 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!

Learn more about our Shamrock Sales event, and how you can save “green” all year long.

Click here to learn more about how you can save, and be sure to check out our 2018 Shamrock Savings commercial! And, did you know installing high-efficiency equipment in your home can help you save the “green” now – and for years to come? Here’s how.
And, 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