Enjoy Insulation Benefits in All Seasons on Long Island

insulation benefits-all seasons - Long Island, New YorkMost people know that insulation benefits homeowners in the winter by keeping out the cold, but it also benefits your home during warmer months by sealing in cool air and keeping the heat out. If you’re unsure if your home is adequately insulated, check to make sure that it meets the needs of our climate. Continue reading “Enjoy Insulation Benefits in All Seasons on Long Island”

Home Energy Savings as Simple as Understanding Your Gas Bill

gas billLearn How You Get Billed for Your Energy Use


Becoming well informed about your gas bill can actually help you increase your monthly home energy savings.

Gas company costs to the customer

Many homeowners may not realize that the gas provider purchases fuel from an outside source. This cost is typically 50 percent of the average customer bill. Interestingly enough, most companies pass this cost directly on to the consumer, without a price increase. Gas companies make a profit from their delivery fees and service charges.

The cost of gas can fluctuate monthly and seasonally, depending on the current fuel rate. This can be similar to the change in gas prices at your local gas pump. Your gas bill may show an average of these price fluctuations throughout the year, keeping the monthly cost basically the same.

Gas usage terminology

It’s worth your while and you can improve your home  energy savings if you understand how gas consumption is expressed on your bill. The quantity of energy used in the Long Island area is measured in therms. Without sounding too technical, this term is a short abbreviation for thermal unit. It reflects the consumption of BTUs, or British thermal units, where one therm is equivalent to 100,000 BTUs. Other costs appear on your bill reflecting various fees and charges. These costs are set by the company and the customer has no control over them.

Lowering gas costs for better home energy savings

One area you do have control over is the amount of gas your home consumes. The first step toward lowering costs is to have an energy audit performed. You can also pay attention to the BTU rating assigned to your appliances. The higher the BTU number, the higher the amount of energy it consumes per hour, which means higher gas consumption. Consider purchasing certified energy-efficient appliances. Energy and cost savings can be expected and are well worth the investment.

For more information about boosting home energy savings, contact the professionals at  T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’ve been proudly serving homeowners in Long Island since 1934.

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

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Your Geothermal Heat Pump: Factors That Will Affect The Final Cost

geothermal heat pump, Long Island, New YorkWeigh the Cost and Savings Benefits of a Geothermal System

There are many reasons to install a geothermal heat pump system in your home. Geothermal heating is effective, environmentally friendly, safe and has a low operating cost. Continue reading “Your Geothermal Heat Pump: Factors That Will Affect The Final Cost”

Energy Vampires: Take Care, Or They Could Overpower Your Long Island Home

power strip helps stop energy vampires, Long Island, New YorkReduce Your Overall Energy Bill With Proper Charger Use


They’re called “energy vampires” for a reason, and they fittingly strike most often in the middle of the night. Continue reading “Energy Vampires: Take Care, Or They Could Overpower Your Long Island Home”

Are You Using The EnergyGuide Label To Maximum Advantage?

using the energyguide label, Long Island, New YorkLearn How to Read the Black and Yellow Label on Your Appliance


If you’ve been shopping for new heating or cooling equipment, you have probably run across the EnergyGuide label. This bright yellow tag is full of useful information to help you make a cost-effective purchase.   Continue reading “Are You Using The EnergyGuide Label To Maximum Advantage?”

Do-It-Yourself Energy Evaluations Are An Effective Way To Locate Air Leaks In Your Home

Energy Evaluations Long Island, NY areaEnergy evaluations can help you to identify places in your home where air leaks into and out of your home. Energy evaluations can be performed by professionals who will use special equipment such as infrared cameras to detect leaks. You can also perform an energy evaluation on your own – if you know where to look for leaks and how to fix them.   Continue reading “Do-It-Yourself Energy Evaluations Are An Effective Way To Locate Air Leaks In Your Home”

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

lifetime costs for HVAC equipment Long Island, NY areaCritical Thinking Can Help You Make a Wise Decision

When 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?”

Whole-House Energy Savings Tips For Long Island Homeowners

With a Few Simple Hacks, You Can Save On Your Energy Bills

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”

Comfort Plus Control with Zoning Systems

Different Rooms Have Different Uses and Temperatures

An option for your heating and cooling system that allows better comfort, greater control and the potential to reduce energy costs sounds good, doesn’t it? The use of zoning systems gives homeowners that type of increased comfort and control in our homes.

Zoning systems added to a home’s existing heating and cooling systems results in a more consistent temperature level. The home is divided into zones that have their own thermostat. The different thermostats tie into a central control allowing the homeowner to have a consistent comfort level in all the home living spaces. This eliminates problem rooms or areas that are too cool in winter or too hot in summer. The flow of conditioned air is more accurately balanced without getting one room too hot or cool in order to warm up or cool off another room. More air is delivered where it is needed, less air where it is not.

The air distribution can be controlled and the comfort level in each zone is more easily maintained. Rooms or areas that are rarely used can be dealt with separately. Keep those areas at a winter level of 65 degrees and a summer level of 78. While the other living spaces maintain a 72-degree level, you are saving energy costs by reducing the heating and cooling of rooms that are seldom, if ever, used. Put the warm and cool air where it is needed, not where it is wasted.

Zoning systems can give you that kind of control. If you and your family have noticed “hot spots” or “cold spots”inside the home, zoning may be a solution. If you would like an assessment of your home to see if zoning systems can give you greater comfort and control, contact us at  T.F. O’Brien. We’re always happy to help with answers and options for your home comfort concerns.

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

Airflow Issues? Maybe Your Air Returns are Lacking.

Having an Effective Air Return Reduces HVAC Stress

If it seems that some of the rooms in your home are comfortable while others are too cool, too warm or stuffy, it could be your air returns.   Most homeowners don’t really think about the air ducts; as long as your HVAC system seems to be functioning, all is OK.   In reality, it could be that inadequate return air ducting is the reason your home isn’t quite as comfortable as you would like.

For the air in your home to feel consistent and comfortable in every room, it is necessary that stale air is drawn out of the room so that heated supply air can enter the room.   This is why it is desirable that air returns are placed in all major rooms, such as the living room, bedrooms and kitchen.

When return air ducts are located only in one or two rooms, the newly heated air coming in to your home has to force through the air in all of the rooms, making your HVAC system work harder.   This also means an inconsistency in temperatures throughout your home.

We know that you don’t give these details much thought; we simply want you to be aware that air returns are essential to your family’s comfort, and to your HVAC system working as efficiently as possible.

If your home is lacking in return air ducts, consider having more installed.   Avoid placing furniture over air returns, or blocking them with wall coverings or other items if located in the wall.   Also, consider having a professional check your return air ducts for air leaks and proper air flow.   You will save on energy costs, and your family will remain comfortable no matter what room they are in.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.   We strive to educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).   You can find more information about air returns and other HVAC topics by downloading our free  Home Comfort Resource guide.