Maintain an Energy-Efficient Home Over the Holidays With These 3 Tips

To ensure an energy-efficient home throughout the holidays, it’s vital to be mindful of energy consumption and other wasteful practices. Consider these tips to prevent energy waste through year’s end. Continue reading “Maintain an Energy-Efficient Home Over the Holidays With These 3 Tips”

Before Investing in an HVAC Upgrade, Get Load Calculations Performed

load calculation, Long Island, New YorkUpgrading an HVAC system could be one of the most complex purchases you make as a homeowner, and the critical first step is a load calculation. Continue reading “Before Investing in an HVAC Upgrade, Get Load Calculations Performed”

Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First

load calculation, Long Island, New YorkIf you’re starting the process of choosing a new HVAC system, the first and most important step to take is getting a load calculation. Continue reading “Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First”

Do You Know How Lifetime Costs Impact Your Heating System Purchase?

lifetime costs for HVAC equipment Long Island, NY areaWhen purchasing a major appliance, such as a heating system, there are upfront costs and there are lifetime costs to consider. Upfront costs are the price of the equipment along with installation. Lifetime costs involve both upfront costs and the costs to maintain the equipment, fuel costs and other factors. Continue reading “Do You Know How Lifetime Costs Impact Your Heating System Purchase?”

Summer Energy-Savings Tips For Long Island Residents

energy savings  - long islandIf the Long Island summer heat and humidity don’t make you uncomfortable, your cooling bills just might. But increasing your energy savings doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. Here are a few summer energy savings tips: Continue reading “Summer Energy-Savings Tips For Long Island Residents”

Whole-House Energy Savings Tips For Long Island Homeowners

It’s expensive to own a home on Long Island. But even if you can’t do anything about your property taxes. there are steps you can take to increase your energy savings and reduce your utility bills. Continue reading “Whole-House Energy Savings Tips For Long Island Homeowners”

You Protect Your Computer With a Surge Suppressor, Why Not Your HVAC System?

All electronics need protection from power surges. Your heating and cooling system is no different.

When lightning strikes nearby or a storm knocks down a power line, it’s possible to send a surge of energy through the power grid, damaging sensitive electronics. Anything with a microprocessor is at risk, including your heating and cooling system.   Continue reading “You Protect Your Computer With a Surge Suppressor, Why Not Your HVAC System?”

High Efficiency Boilers Cut Energy Costs

Do you have a steam or hot water heating system? Do you rely on an old, inefficient boiler to heat that water that heats your home? Do you cringe every time you open your heating bill?  Did you know that high efficiency boilers cut energy costs?

It’s true. You can save a considerable amount of money on your energy bill by switching to a high efficiency boiler.

Two Types of Boilers

Boilers heat water for use in heating systems. There are two basic types of boilers:

1.  Steam boilers, which transports the steam to steam radiators

2.  Hot water boilers, which sends the water to baseboard radiators, radiant floor systems, or a coil system

Because steam boilers operate at higher temperatures than do their hot water counterparts, they are a little less efficient than hot water boilers. However, high efficiency boilers come in both steam and hot water models.

Understanding Efficiency Ratings of Boilers

The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) tells you how efficient “high efficiency boilers” really are. The AFUE is calculated by taking the total heat output of the boiler compared to the total energy consumption of the unit. For instance, an AFUE of 90 means that 90 percent of the fuel’s energy is used to heat your home. (Only 10 percent of the fuel’s energy is wasted).

Finding the AFUE of high efficiency boilers is easy. By law, the AFUE must be displayed on all new boilers. Just keep these facts in mind:

·                 The higher the AFUE, the higher the efficiency level of the boiler.

·                 Mid-efficiency boiler will have an AFUE of 80% to 89%.

·                 High efficiency boilers will have an AFUE of 90% to 97%.

·                 The minimum allowable AFUE for a fossil-fueled boiler is 80 percent.

·                 The minimum allowable AFUE for a steam boiler is 75 percent.

If you want to save a lot of money on your energy bills this winter, without sacrificing comfort, buy a high efficiency boiler. You’ll be glad that you did.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about preventive maintenance and other HVAC topics, please download our free  Home Comfort Resource guide.

The Benefits of Zoning System Design

An HVAC zoning system gives you the best possible climate control for your residence. Having a zoning system design is like having a different HVAC system in each part of your house, which comes in handy on Long Island, with the very cold winters and extremely hot summers. In addition to providing you with total comfort throughout the year, a zoning system design for your home also saves money.

Different areas of your home have different climate control needs that vary throughout the day, as the sun moves. By having a well-planned zoning system design, you can control the climate in each room of your home, much the same way as you control the lights.

A typical 2-story home with a basement is supplied by a single HVAC unit, with 1/3 of air conditioning going to each level, all of the time. Therefore each level consumes an equal 1/3 of your energy bills.

If that same home were to use zoning, only a small  percentage of the total daily energy consumption would go to each level: If the main level needs heat, then only it gets heat. If the basement is only used part of the day, then it only needs energy for that part of the day.

A programmable thermostat can control each zone of your home. So if the only time you are in the master bedroom is at night, you can set the thermostat to only heat the master bedroom at night, saving energy and therefore money. The programs can be reset or overridden at any time, depending on your schedule and need changes.

In addition, zoning reduces the number of times your HVAC system cycles on and off, saving money as well as prolonging the life of the system.

Overall, a zoning system design provides numerous benefits for homeowners, making it less expensive to operate than multiple systems, giving the ability to have temperature control in each zone, lower operating costs and using less power.

Zoning system designs do have some limitations, however. There are no small zones. In other words, you can’t heat a bedroom and its next-door bathroom separately. You need to have a 2-stage air conditioner as well as variable speed blower or air handler or furnace. One area of the home must be a “dump zone” that excess hot or cold air can be dumped in.

Depending on the size of the home and its exposure, 5 zones are often optimum, but it can be too much for a single system to handle. A professional HVAC system contractor can design the zoning system that best works for your needs, taking not only the system into account, but the accompanying ductwork and other factors as well, including humidity.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about preventive maintenance and other HVAC topics, please download our free  Home Comfort Resource guide.