Kerry’s Blog

FAQ – How We’re Handling Things During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ensuring the health and safety of our customers and our employees remains our top priority. We continue to focus on providing essential customer services, and we want to address the most common questions that many of you have right now.

Are you providing services right now?
Yes. Heating and cooling contractors have been deemed essential by state government. If you need any services, please contact us at (516) 488-1800.

What hours and days are you working?
Monday through Saturday 8am to 10 pm and Sunday 8am to 5pm.

Is it safe to let your employees in my house?
The safety of our employees and our customers is definitely our highest priority, and diligence will be of paramount importance during these difficult times. We are paying close attention to updates from the CDC, the World Health Organization, and local health officials. We have also been proactively implementing internal procedures and protocols to ensure the health and well-being of our employees and customers.

  • 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
  • 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 of at least 6 feet 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 at (516) 488-1800.
  • 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 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.

Do you provide air purification products and do they help?
Yes. We have access to indoor air quality products, including those that use ultraviolet light to eliminate bacteria, mold, allergens, and viruses that are currently being recirculated through the air in your home. Follow this link for more information.

Also, something as simple as having us replace your filter can help reduce these unwanted contaminants too. Indoor Air Quality products are affordable, they can be very quickly installed in your existing ductwork, and they’re what many of our customers are asking for right now. We’re working with manufacturers to make sure we are well stocked to meet our customers’ needs.

One other thing to consider is that allergy season is almost here. Any breathing difficulties, sneezing, or stuffiness right now right now could be a source of great worry and uncertainty for some customers, which in turn could result in an unnecessary and potentially risky trip for medical testing. Air quality products can help customers avoid these kind of difficult decisions right now, by reducing in-home contaminants. We want to help.

What else can I be doing now with my AC or heating system to prepare?
AC system failure during the hottest months could be not only inconvenient, but also potentially dangerous for some. It’s also something that’s often avoidable. If it’s been a few years since your AC had a tune up, system inspection and safety check, it may be time to consider having this done now before the hot weather arrives. Preventative maintenance can help you avoid a system breakdown by identifying problems before it’s too late. We’re available to do system inspections, and our technicians are adhering to CDC guidelines to ensure safety – both for their families and yours. You can feel confident when you allow our team into your home, and for many conventional air conditioning systems, we won’t have to enter your home at all.

What should I do if my heating or air conditioning breaks?
If your heating or cooling system isn’t working properly, let us know. We’ll give our customers priority service, especially if you’re at greater risk due to age or underlying health conditions. If you need help, we can be there, and as always, we’ll do everything possible to get your  system running again quickly.

And while we understand that nobody is focused on a replacing a system that doesn’t need  replacing right now, if your system can’t be repaired, or if you need a replacement, right now know that many of our manufacturers are offering discounts and incentives, and we can pass those savings and options along to you.

Any more questions? Please contact us
At T.F. O’Brien, we truly care about your health and well-being.

We know that times like this can be difficult, and uncertain. We want you to feel comfortable to communicate freely with us. If you’re concerned about us coming into your home, or you’re worried that you may be ill and are wondering how to get the home comfort assistance you need, call us. We can talk it through with you, and help you find the best solution. And, if you want to know more about our indoor air quality products that can help keep your air contaminant-free, please let us know. We want to help, and are ready to work with you during this time of uncertainty.

So if you have questions, please call us at (516) 488-1800, or contact us using the form below and let us know how we can assist you. We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,
Kerry and the team at T.F. O’Brien

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COVID-19 Announcement to Customers

We are in unprecedented times here in our great nation, state and towns.  T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating has been serving our community for over 85 years. Safety is our top priority not only for our clients but for our employees as well.

T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating provides a vital role in maintaining the health and safety of our community. Therefore, we will try our best to remain open during this time of social distancing. If your AC/Heat is broken, we will do our best to be there to fix it.

I want to share our plan to address concerns and answer questions that you may be asking. Below is our process moving forward until further notice.

We will be following cleaning protocols recommend by CDC and state agencies. Any team members that have fever, are showing signs of sickness, or who have been known to be exposed and not protected will be asked to remain at home.

Service Call Precautions

We are open and running calls to homes currently. We want to be there in case of emergencies and make sure we keep our clients safe and comfortable at home. We also need to take caution and protect our team members and make sure they stay healthy as well.

When you call in, our office staff will be asking if anyone in the home has a fever or has been exposed to the virus. We need to know so that we can be proactive with our team’s response and protection. We will be following protocols to maintain a safe work environment by wearing gloves, wearing masks if needed, and disinfecting work areas in the home and in our truck after each call.

You may be asked by a technician to speak to them via phone and we may ask that you help control the thermostat while we are stationed at the equipment. We ask that you work with us so that we may provide the services needed.

Maintenance Calls

We will be running maintenance calls during this time. If you are scheduled already, we plan to come but you are welcome to reschedule so please let us know. We will call before coming and go over any precautions that we need to discuss.

System maintenance is still very important and should not be put off for too long or ignored all together.

Obtaining Signatures for Work

Our normal process is for repair work to be approved via signature before beginning work. In order to reduce contact, we will be suspending this requirement at this time so you will not be asked to sign. This is to help keep personal contact to a minimum while we are at your residence.

For equipment sales, we will continue to require signatures for replacement equipment. We will ask you to sign and email back to us once approved.

Updates from T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating

We expect to follow this plan in two week increments unless the situation changes. We will send out communications via our webpage and social media if things change.

We greatly appreciate you, our clients, and our team members here at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We understand the value of trying to reduce the spread of this virus so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed. We are confident that we will be able to handle this predicament as quickly as possible and return to normality.

 

B’Gosh & Begorrah! It’s Almost St. Patrick’s Day!

At T.F. O’Brien, you know we’re all about Irish pride. Our name says it all, as well as our annual Shamrock Savings event. We love St. Patrick’s Day, and sharing the love with you! Have you ever wondered where some of the traditions of the holiday come from?

For adults, much of the St. Patrick’s Day festivity includes a dinner of corned beef and cabbage, and possibly imbibing in some green beer. For kids, enjoying a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and trying to capture the elusive leprechaun are part of St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Learn more about these St. Pat’s standbys below.

Five St. Patrick’s Day Traditions and Legends Explained

  1. Leprechauns: Leprechauns go all the way back to the 8th Century, and their beginnings are rooted in tales of water spirits known as luchorpán. These wee people were known for their love of imbibing, as well as shoe making. Legend has it that if you capture a leprechaun, they’ll grant you three wishes if you set them free.
  2. Corned Beef & Cabbage: Enjoying corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day is actually an entirely Irish-American tradition, Delishably In Ireland, the dish is primarily bacon and cabbage, but Irish immigrants found that corned beef was easier to find and cheaper in America. And there is no corn in corned beef – “corned” refers to the size of the salt used in the curing process.
  3. Pot of Gold: Directly related to leprechaun mythology, the tale of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is also associated with St. Patrick’s Day. This legendary pot of gold is where the leprechauns store their coins, and humans often try to catch a leprechaun to gain access to it. However, leprechauns are pretty tricky, so that pot of gold tends to be rather elusive!
  4. Green Beer: According to Food & Wine, green beer comes from an Irish tradition of adding shamrocks to beverages on St. Patrick’s Day. Green beer was created by Dr. Thomas Curtin in 1914, for a St. Patrick’s Day party at the Schnerer Club in the Bronx. While nobody knows what was in that original recipe, blue food coloring is what gives modern green beer its verdant hue.
  5. Lucky Charms: Lucky Charms cereal came about in 1964, and was the first cereal to include marshmallows. Lucky the Leprechaun, the cereal’s mascot, has been there from the get-go, although he’s also been known as Sir Charms and L.C. Leprechaun over the years. The original marshmallow charms were pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers.

Getting the right home comfort solutions isn’t the luck of the Irish, though.

You don’t need a leprechaun’s wish in order to get the home comfort solutions you need – you just need to give T.F. O’Brien a call. We can help you get the necessary heating and cooling services to keep your home and your family comfortable all year round. And, we’re happy to share with you a little pot of gold if you need a new system – ask us about our Shamrock Savings event, and how we can help you save up to $4,245 on a new high-efficiency HVAC system. Call us at 516.488.1800 to learn more. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and yours!

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:

  • 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.

Limited Duct Space? Consider High Velocity Heating.

Do you live in an older, multi-story home but need better heating? Then it’s time to get your “ducts” in a row and consider the benefits of high velocity heating. Developed to provide optimal heating in homes where space for ductwork is limited, high velocity heating systems can provide you with the heat and comfort you need – without the headache of having to install ductwork throughout your home.

High velocity heating circulates the heat throughout your home with small diameter ductwork – which is especially beneficial in homes where larger diameter ductwork may be space-prohibitive. High velocity heating systems use a type of indoor equipment known as an air handler, outdoor equipment, a line set of pipes that connect the indoor and outdoor units, and a small-diameter duct system that transfers heated air throughout your home. All you need to control the system is a standard thermostat.

Besides smaller ductwork, what are some of the other benefits of high velocity heating?

Smaller ductwork and improved home comfort are the obvious benefits of installing a high velocity heating system in your home. But there are several other benefits you’ll enjoy when you choose to install high velocity heating in your home. Check out these additional perks:

  • Quiet Performance
  • Space Utilization
  • Limited Remodeling
  • Draft-Free
  • Consistent Temperature
  • Humidity Reduction
  • Attractive Design

T.F. O’Brien can help you get the high velocity heating you need.

When you’re considering a high velocity heating system for your home, look no further than T.F. O’Brien. We’re pleased to offer our customers high quality solutions that will help you and your family enjoy better home comfort – without the hassle of adding a large ductwork system to your home. To find out more, simply call us at 516.488.1800, and we’ll be glad to help you.

Why You Should Choose a Daikin Comfort Pro

daikin logo vectorYour home comfort is important. As such, you should never just trust it to any company. Unfortunately, there are HVAC contractors out there who lack the credentials, experience and training to bring you and your family effective and efficient home comfort. Many times, people choose them because their products and services are cheaper up-front. But the problem is, all too often there are concerns down the road, and people end up paying more than they would have had they chosen to work with a reputable contractor.

At T.F. O’Brien, we know how important it is for our customers to get the best value for their money. That’s why we’ve chosen to be a Daikin Comfort Pro. The equipment we offer is manufactured to provide our customers with the best possible efficiency and effectiveness. But what’s more, we are required to meet certain criteria in order to become – and remain – a Daikin Comfort Pro contractor. While this means more stringent standards for us, it’s worth it – because it means our customers are getting the very best service and products available.

What does it mean to be a Daikin Comfort Pro?

As a certified Daikin Comfort Pro, we are uniquely qualified to bring our customers a complete range of heating and cooling products from Daikin, the world’s number-one air conditioning company. Daikin is a leading innovator and worldwide provider of advanced, high-quality AC and heating solutions for homes, businesses and industrial buildings. But much more than the equipment, Daikin Comfort Pros, the companies that sell, install and service this equipment brand, are held to excellent customer service and a commitment to quality.

Learn why you should choose a certified Daikin Comfort Pro.

  1. Only select technicians can call themselves Daikin Comfort Professionals, and T.F. O’Brien is one of them. We were thoroughly vetted before being approved to offer and install Daikin indoor heating and cooling system equipment.
  2. In order to remain a Daikin Comfort Pro, we’re required to live up to the Daikin Promise – that if you as our valued customer are not fully satisfied with the product and service we provide, we will resolve any issue, no charge.
  3. Daikin offers the type of manufacturer warranty customers want and need. As part of its yearly maintenance plan, Daikin offers a unit replacement warranty, meaning that if one of the key system components fails, they will give you a new unit.

As a certified Daikin Comfort Pro, T.F. O’Brien is pleased to offer complete services.

  • We repair your equipment.F. O’Brien’s expert technicians are able to service, diagnose and repair all makes and models of HVAC equipment, even if you don’t have Daikin. We’re dedicated to your home comfort and are happy to help you.
  • We offer quality replacement. When you need a new unit, whether yours is broken down or you just want more efficiency, we can provide you with both high-quality Daikin equipment and expert installation.
  • We maintain your equipment. We maintain any make or model of HVAC equipment. We’ll provide you with the comprehensive maintenance you need to ensure your system runs smoothly and your warranty stays intact.

No matter what your need, the Daikin Comfort Professionals at T.F. O’Brien can help.

Whether you need a completely new HVAC system, or repair or maintenance to your current one, you can count on T.F. O’Brien to help. Just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be more than happy to assist you with all your home comfort needs.

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

 

Fuel-Free Heating Alternatives for 2020 – What Are My Options?

When it comes time to replace your home’s heating system, you should know you have options that are cleaner, more efficient, and don’t use gas or oil. These innovative systems actually extract the heat from the air or the ground, and bring it into your home. That way, you won’t need to worry about gas being piped in, or fuel oil deliveries. You and your family will just be able to enjoy year-round comfort.

Wait, year-round comfort? But I don’t need heating in the summer.

That’s just another benefit of installing a heat pump system. The beauty is, in the summer months your heat pump will actually cool your home. Just like they extract heat from the ambient air in the winter and pump it into your home, in the summer months, they can extract heat from your indoor air and pump it outside. So, heat pumps really are the complete package deal – one that can keep you comfortable and provide you with maximum energy efficiency.

But I’ve heard heat pumps don’t work well in cooler climates.

People in the south have been using heat pumps for their home comfort needs for years, but for us northerners, heat pump technology hasn’t been as accessible. That’s because up until a few years ago, heat pumps weren’t made to operate in the cooler weather like we get here on Long Island. But in recent years, advancements have been made that allow for cold climate heat pump technology, so now even those of us who experience all four seasons can enjoy the benefits that come with owning a heat pump system.

Okay, let’s talk more about the benefits.

Most people who own a heat pump system will tell you that the top benefit is energy savings, because that translates into savings on their utility bills. Heat pump systems are extremely efficient; in fact, they’re one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat and cool your home on the market today.

Additionally, they’re much better for the environment, because they don’t rely on any type of fossil fuel to work. While they do use refrigerant, it is an environmentally sound formula that does not harm the ozone layer. And, as we mentioned above, heat pump systems can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, eliminating the need for separate heating and air conditioning systems.

I have baseboard heating in my home and no ductwork. How can a heat pump help me?

For homeowners that want to replace their heating and cooling, but don’t have ductwork, ductless systems are available. Using heat pump technology, a ductless system is comprised of single units installed in zones throughout your home, or in spaces that may not have access to existing ductwork. Because each zone can be controlled based on the heating and cooling needs of that specific space, most people find that ductless systems provide exemplary comfort and efficiency. While some are available for cooling only, there are systems that also provide heating, making them the perfect choice for year-round comfort.

Who can help me learn more about heat pump heating and cooling?

You’ve come to the right place! At T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating, we make it a priority to stay up-to-date on the latest in home comfort technology, so we can provide our customers with the very best and most efficient products. And, our expert technicians never stop learning, so they always provide you with highly skilled installation and service. To find out more, just give us a call at 516.488.1800, and we will be happy to help.

A Humidifier Will Keep Static Electricity From Getting Out of Hand

humidity guage-humidifier, Long Island, New YorkWe all know that the winter months in Long Island are notorious for creating an excessive amount of static electricity around the home, causing everything from unpleasant shocks to bad hair days. The reason for the static increase is related to a home’s heating system and the lack of a humidifier. Continue reading “A Humidifier Will Keep Static Electricity From Getting Out of Hand”

New York State’s 100% renewable energy by 2050 plan: what does it mean for homeowners?

Long Island-based HVAC expert talks electric heating efficiency, costs

This year, New York state announced an ambitious mandate to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050, and for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030. While not the first state to implement such a plan – Hawaii, New Jersey and California already have, just to name a few – New York’s is the most aggressive yet in the United States.

Often when residents hear about a ground-breaking statewide initiative like this, the first question they ask is, “How will this affect me?” It is easy to assume the responsibility for such a large-scale plan will fall to big business owners and state government, but homeowners can contribute as well through the way they heat and cool their homes.

Renewable energy means a shift from oil and gas to strictly electric heating and cooling. So, homeowners who are used to powering their home systems with the former will have to make a shift to the latter in the somewhat near future.

Kerry O’Brien, co-owner and president of T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating in Long Island, explained that there is a knee-jerk reaction of fear when homeowners think about the costs associated with having to make the switch to electric.

“Long Island has some of the highest electric rates in the country, so that can be alarming,” O’Brien said. “However, once residents take a closer look at where their money is going, they realize it’s just a shift in where they’re putting it as opposed to an overall increase.”

For example, an oil delivery in Long Island can cost $800 or more. So, while a homeowner will see additional monthly charges to their electric bills once they make the shift, they will no longer be incurring multiple hefty oil delivery charges during the winter months.

“We see the highest volume of calls from people wanting to switch from oil to alternative fuels in January because it’s the coldest time of year and their oil bills are so high,” O’Brien said. “But once they switch to electric heat pumps, they say, ‘My electric bill went up!’ That’s because they’ve shifted where they’re spending their money.”

Misconceptions about the short-comings of electric heating technology have made homeowners hesitant to switch, but the efficiency of electric heating has improved dramatically over recent years.

“Twenty years ago, heat pumps were completely ineffective and inefficient for the northeast climate,” O’Brien said. “Nowadays, with significant advancements in technology, they are an effective and budget-friendly way to heat and cool homes, even in New York’s harsh winter weather.”

In fact, most heat pumps are capable of heating homes in temperatures as low as 5 degrees. There are also cold climate pumps capable of handling minus 15 temperatures. This makes it a great alternative to oil or gas heating, especially for homes without ductwork.

While 2050 and even 2030 may seem like a good distance away, New York homeowners can start helping now by requesting an estimate for switching to an electric heat pump system from local heat pump experts like T.F. O’Brien. Most companies can easily and quickly provide this information. Residents can help by making upgrades like this in the coming years as New York state moves toward meeting its ambitious 100 percent renewable energy initiative.