Tossing & Turning? Find the Right Sleeping Temperature!

Woman wearing winter hat and scarf scowls and covers up in bed.Most people fully understand the benefits of a full night’s sleep – especially if they haven’t been getting one. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep is very important for many reasons, according to the Sleep Foundation. The organization indicates that we don’t catch enough z’s, we can open ourselves up to some concerns, including increased calorie consumption, decreased cognitive performance, inability to focus, impaired driving, and other health concerns.

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They also explain that while there are many factors that can lead to poor sleep, one of the largest factors is bedroom temperature. A room that is too hot or too cold can disrupt the body’s ability to both fall asleep and stay asleep, although overly warm bedrooms seem to cause more sleep disruptions than those that are a bit too chilly. While comfortable sleep temperatures vary from person to person, most doctors agree that the ideal temperature for most is around 65ºF.

How can an HVAC dealer help me find the right sleeping temperature?

While your home comfort specialist can’t necessarily determine the best sleeping temperature for their customers, they can help them achieve it once the homeowner discovers it. There are products available that can make it easier to ensure your bedroom is just right for sleep.

  • Programmable Thermostats: Once you determine your ideal sleeping temperature, a programmable thermostat can help you set it and forget it! That’s because most programmable thermostats have settings for home, away, and sleep. You can set the “sleep” time a bit in advance of your usual bedtime to ensure your room is the ideal temp, too!
  • Smart Thermostats: A step up from the programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat is easy to control via a computer, tablet, or smartphone. So, no matter where you are, you can easily use the product app to set the right temperature for sleep. And, some smart thermostats are even able to “learn” your habits, so they automatically change the temperature so that it’s just right for sleeping.
  • Ductless Cooling & Heating: What if you have one HVAC system in your home, but the people living there can’t agree on a sleeping temperature? Then ductless might be the solution for you. That’s because a ductless system can control the temperature in a specific area, making it much easier to create the ideal sleeping environment for individual sleepers!

Can T.F. O’Brien help me get these products for my home?

We can! As a trusted HVAC contractor, we’re able to install both programmable and smart thermostats in your home and explain to you how to use them. And, if you need better temperature control from room to room, we’ll be happy to show you how ductless can help. Simply give us a call at 516.488.1800 to schedule an appointment with us – and rest easy!

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

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  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.

Talking “Turkey” About Winter Energy Efficiency

Like most homeowners, when cooler weather starts to roll around and the holiday season settles in, you and your family likely start spending more time indoors. And, with this year being particularly unique, the chances are you’re probably using a lot more energy than usual. Many people are working and going to school from home, at least part of the time, and that likely means they’re using more lighting and electronics. Couple that with increased energy use in the cooler months due to home heating, and you may be wondering if there are ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.

The heating system in your home can use a good portion of your energy budget. During a typical year, the Department of Energy estimates that home heating uses more energy and costs more money than using any other system in your home, and generally accounts for up to 42 percent of the average utility bill. This year, because people are likely to be home at times when they typically wouldn’t be, those prices could potentially be even higher. So, what are some ways the average family can save on energy during the winter months?

5 Ways You Can Save Energy This Winter

Fortunately, there are a few measures any homeowner can take if they are looking for ways to conserve energy during the winter months. We’ve compiled five ways you can save energy – and potentially on your utility bills – when the colder weather strikes. Learn more below:

SAVE ENERGY NOW
For more information,
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516.488.1800
  1. Turn off lights and unplug small appliances when not in use. This seems like it should be an easy one, but when family members are all milling around the house, it can be hard to remember to turn off lights to unplug toasters and other small kitchen appliances when not in use. You can consider using a timer on lights in your home, or just making it a habit to do so when you leave a room. Even though it seems like a small step, it adds up. And remember, even if you’re not using appliances, when you leave them plugged in they’re still sapping small amounts of energy almost continuously.
  2. Consider installing a programmable thermostat – or better yet, a smart one. There are several thermostats on the market today that can be programmed for maximum efficiency. You can set your thermostat to different temperatures for different parts of your day, such as when you’re home, away, or sleeping. And, smart thermostats take it to the next level by “learning” your family’s habits. Not to mention, they can be controlled remotely from smartphones or computers, so if you forget to turn your thermostat down before leaving home, you can easily adjust it remotely.
  3. Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs and power strips. While this can be an upfront expense, you’ll save in the long run. LED bulbs use significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last much, much longer – potentially up to 25 years, according to NYSERDA. Energy-saving power strips can also help you save because they can prevent that energy-sapping, even when appliances are not in use, that we mentioned above.
  4. Always look for the most efficient appliances.No doubt you’ve noticed that most appliances available on the market today are ENERGY STAR-rated. Appliances that have received ENERGY STAR’s seal of approval are made to be more efficient and use less energy. Virtually all appliances today have a version that is made to be as efficient as possible, from washers and dryers to dishwashers and even home heating equipment.
  5. Make sure you get annual maintenance on your heating equipment. Annual maintenance not only helps you stay more comfortable, but it can also help assure that your heating system is operating at its efficient best. That’s because annual maintenance services include cleaning your equipment, which allows it to run more smoothly. And, keep your system’s filter clean – that’s generally a part of your maintenance but may need to be done more often depending on how frequently your equipment runs.

At T.F. O’Brien, we want to help you save energy this winter.

We always work to help our customers find the most energy-efficient solutions, and we can help you too. Learn more about the maintenance plans that can help your equipment operate at its most efficient, and ask us about thermostats that can save on system energy use, too. And, if it’s time to replace your heating system, we can help you find one that is just right for your home – and can help you save on those winter utility bills.

Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to help!

Five Reasons You Should Take Advantage of Shamrock Savings

As you know, the arrival of March also means Shamrock Savings at T.F. O’Brien. We make our best offer of the year on quality heating and cooling equipment, helping you save money and get into a better, more efficient system. Of course, the savings are one of the main benefits of our Shamrock sales event, but there are a few other reasons why you might want to consider replacing your equipment.

First, tell me more about the Shamrock sales event. How will I save?

When you purchase a new, high-efficiency system, you’ll be eligible for an amazing $4,245 savings. We’re bundling together an incredible offer* that makes saving some green easy! Here’s how we do it:

SAVE NOW
For more information,
Call or click here:

516.488.1800
  • FREE Humidifier with Complete Heating & AC System – $895 Value
  • Manufacturer and Utility Company Rebates – $3,000 Value (on select systems)
  • 12-Year Warranty
  • FREE Wi-Fi Thermostat – $350 Value

Okay, it looks like I’ll save the green! But why should I get new equipment?

There are many benefits to installing new home comfort equipment that go well beyond the money you’ll save. Here are five reasons why taking advantage of this offer is a great choice for you and your family:

  1. Your home will be more energy efficient. This is especially true if you currently have old equipment installed in your home. Changes in technology over the past few years have made today’s heating and cooling equipment much more efficient that its predecessors. For instance, according to the of Energy, a new furnace could potentially be up to 42% more efficient than an older system.
  2. You’ll be more comfortable. Many times, homeowners purchase their homes with the HVAC system already in place. Unfortunately, they may not know the system was not properly sized for the home. If this is the case, you and your family won’t get the maximum in home comfort from your system. Installing new equipment with T.F. O’Brien will ensure that your system is sized properly – so you enjoy the best comfort.
  3. Your Wi-Fi thermostat will help your system operate more effectively and efficiently. We’ve included a Wi-Fi thermostat in our offer not just because we wanted to add on a flashy, fun product. Wi-Fi thermostats provide you with the ultimate control over your system, and allow you to monitor it, even when you’re not home. No more running out the door and forgetting to set the thermostat back. If you forget, you can easily access it from your phone or computer, and make those changes wherever you are. Because you have greater control over your system, it will provide you with better efficiency – and ultimately savings on your utility bills.
  4. Your humidifier will help keep your home much more comfortable. Running the heat in the winter can dry out your home – and you. Keeping a proper moisture level will keep your skin from getting too dry, as well as your nose and throat, because the moisture levels will stay at the right level for optimal home comfort. And, you won’t have to worry about creaking floorboards and furniture.
  5. You’ll avoid costly breakdowns. If your system is getting on in years, the chances that it will need repair services in the (potentially near) future increase. Depending on the type of repairs needed, it could become very expensive to keep your system working properly. Not to mention, old heating and cooling systems are likely very inefficient as well, so between repair needs and spending more than you have to on energy, costs can add up.

Alright, let me know how I can take advantage of Shamrock Savings.

That’s the easy part! All you have to do is give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment with you. But you have to act quickly – our Shamrock sales event ends on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2020. Give us a call today and let us help you get into better comfort and better efficiency this March!

* Ask us for details about the different financing options available with credit approval. Restrictions may apply. Total savings shown: $895 Humidification System, 12-year warranty, $350 Wi-Fi Thermostat, and $3,000 manufacturer and utility rebate available on select systems. Ask dealer for details. Offer Expires 3/17/20.

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

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Call or click here:

516.488.1800
  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

 

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 Tips for Maximizing Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

August is known for its hazy, hot and humid weather. Chances are, you’ll be running your air conditioning system much of the time. No matter how efficient your air conditioner is, it still uses energy, and that can get costly if it’s operating most of the time. The good news is, there are a few ways you can maximize your efficiency, making it so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.

Here are five tips that can help:

  1. Seal leaky doors and windows. That way, the cold air won’t escape inside – and the hot outdoor air won’t come in.
  2. Put your ceiling fans to work. Make sure your fans are set to counterclockwise – this helps create a cooler feel to the air.
  3. Make sure your filters are clean. When your air conditioning system runs frequently, its filters can get clogged with dirt and dust. Change it out often during high-use months for better effectiveness and efficiency from your air conditioning system.
  4. Consider a smart thermostat. You’ll have greater control over your AC system. Many smart thermostats “learn” your habits, so they’ll automatically set sleeping and away temperatures. And, most smart thermostats can be controlled even when you’re not there with a convenient phone app.
  5. Keep the heat in your kitchen to a minimum. On very hot days, consider grilling out, using the microwave, or using the Crock-Pot. Turning on your oven can add significantly to the heat of your home, making your AC work harder.

Of course, if you’re concerned about your air conditioning system’s efficiency or effectiveness, or if you’re paying way more on your utility bills than you should be, you should give T.F. O’Brien a call. We can check out your system to rule out any issues, and if there are problems, we can make the needed repairs. To learn more, call us at 516-488-1800, and we’ll be happy to help you.

Holiday Cheer from T.F. O’Brien

Thanks for reading Kerry’s Monthly Message for December. The holiday season is here, and we’re looking forward to special times with friends and family. The scent of Christmas cookies baking in the oven, the twinkling of lights in the windows, and the joyful, giving nature that the season seems to bring out in us are just a few of the reasons that we love this time of year.

Of course, there is no good time for a furnace or boiler breakdown, but during the holiday season it’s that much worse. At T.F. O’Brien, we understand that heating emergencies can happen at the most inconvenient times. That’s why we’re here for you – nights, weekends and even holidays. If you need emergency services, call us at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be happy to help you. 

We love this time of year – especially giving gifts! Need some ideas? Read on…

This December, we have some gift ideas for the person on your list who has everything – why not give the gift of HVAC? And, if you’re wondering the best way to keep your furnace running optimally this winter, there’s one simple thing you can do. Find out what it is by clicking here! Additionally, here are a few ways you can save energy – and ultimately money on your utility bills – this winter. 

We hope you and yours have a joyous Christmas or Hanukkah season, and we wish you the very best for a happy New Year. See you in 2018! 

Thanks for reading, 

Kerry

Three Ways to Give the Gift of HVAC this Holiday Season

If you have a hard-to-shop-for loved one, you know how difficult finding the right gift for them can be. What do you give to the person who has everything? This holiday season; why not consider something you might not have thought of before – HVAC. We’d like to share with you some ideas that can help make the season bright – and more comfortable.

Here are three HVAC-related ideas that can help you finish off your holiday shopping list:

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats have changed the way people do home comfort over the last few years. This technology enables people to have control over their heating and cooling systems like never before. More than a programmable thermostat, smart thermostats can generally be controlled remotely, from a Smartphone, tablet or computer. That way, the homeowner can keep household temperatures regulated, even when away from home. Also, smart thermostats are usually fairly simple to use, which makes them ideal for almost anyone. There are even smart thermostats on the market that have “learning” capabilities, so they know when you’re home, when you’re away, and your preferred home temperatures during these times.

Ductless Heating & Cooling

It’s a modern trend that people convert areas of their homes like basements and garage spaces into personal enjoyment areas, such as crafting and hobby rooms, music rooms and the much-sought-after “man cave.” However, these rooms may not exactly be the paragon of comfort, as they are often not connected to the home’s duct system. Luckily, ductless heating and cooling is available for these spaces, making them as comfortable and usable as the rest of the house, no matter what the weather outside is like. Ductless systems require no additional ductwork, are efficient and non-obtrusive, and generally can be installed in a short period of time with minimal construction work.

Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There’s no better way to let someone know you love them than to show them you care about their safety. Giving a gift of new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors might not seem very glamorous, but it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give. There are devices on the market that can warn you of smoke or carbon monoxide, even when you’re not at home. When you count on T.F. O’Brien to help, we can provide you with advice and best placement of your smoke and CO detectors.

This year, give a memorable gift that keeps on giving – HVAC from T.F. O’Brien.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800 and we’ll be happy to help you make someone’s holiday extra special this year.

Happy Thanksgiving from T.F. O’Brien!

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

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

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

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

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