Replacing Your Water Heater: Tips For Comparison Shopping

replacing your water heater, Long Island, New YorkMost homeowners take their water-heating systems for granted, enjoying hot showers and not giving a thought to what’s supplying the comfort. But when hot showers turn cold, replacing your water heater may be the only remedy. Continue reading “Replacing Your Water Heater: Tips For Comparison Shopping”

Tankless Water Heaters — 2 Sizing Terms You Should Know

tankless water heaters, Long Island, New YorkTankless water heaters are a great option for many homes. Instead of heating water around the clock, like a conventional hot water heater, tankless heaters only heat water when there is a demand for it. This can result in significant energy savings, but not without taking two sizing factors into consideration. Continue reading “Tankless Water Heaters — 2 Sizing Terms You Should Know”

Here’s What You Need To Know If You Think It’s Time For A New Tankless Water Heater

tankless water heater benefitsIf you’re in the market for a new water heating system, you should give tankless water heaters consideration. A tankless heater, also called an instantaneous water heater, does not contain a storage tank, and can comfortably provide hot water while using less energy than conventional tank systems. But it is vital that such a system is properly sized for your home. Continue reading “Here’s What You Need To Know If You Think It’s Time For A New Tankless Water Heater”

How To Get Peak Performance From Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a great way to save money on heating water for your home. However, like with any other home comfort equipment, there are ways to optimize energy efficiency and get the best possible performance from your tankless heater. Continue reading “How To Get Peak Performance From Tankless Water Heaters”

Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Water Heater

Water heaters are one of the biggest drains on a house’s energy, especially as they begin to age.There are a few things to consider when picking a new water heater.  First, which system should you get? Here are some of your options: Continue reading “Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Water Heater”

Energy Savings Calculator: Making Every Dollar Count

Energy savings calculators are questionnaires that gather information on energy usage and process that information to identify changes that will decrease energy usage and provide energy cost savings. Using an energy savings calculator can help you focus on the parts of your home energy system that need attention. The  Home Energy Saver website is a good example of an energy savings calculator.

After you input your household data, then the calculator provides recommendations on potential energy cost savings in the following areas:

  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Hot Water
  • Large Appliances
  • Small Appliances
  • Lighting

The savings in energy costs are based on reduced energy usage after upgrading your current home energy system. Think of your home energy system as being enclosed in your house structure, or envelope. Making small but important changes in the envelope to seal leaks and add insulation are important first steps to reducing energy usage and costs.

Here in the New York and Long Island areas, heating and cooling are critical to your household. These systems should operate efficiently and provide the best performance for the least cost. One way to improve heating and cooling efficiency is through using a programmable thermostat. To improve the basic performance of your heating and cooling, consider replacing your heating or air conditioning equipment.

Hot water, appliances, and lighting are also areas where you can use the energy savings calculator to help decide on the best equipment upgrade plans for energy cost reduction. You can also take advantage of newer and more energy-efficient technology like solar and tankless water heaters, energy star appliances, and CFL lighting options.

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.

Tankless Water Heater Facts for Homeowners

With an increasing interest in energy  efficient appliances for the home, tankless water heaters are often viewed as an attractive, cost-saving option. While conventional water heaters utilize storage tanks  to hold  the heated water for use, energy loss can occur when these units are operating in standby mode.   Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat the water only as it is needed. This saves money by eliminating the potential for energy loss and the associated costs. In fact, ENERGY STAR® estimates that a typical family can save $100 or more per year with an ENERGY STAR qualified tankless water heater.

So, just how do tankless water heaters work? When the hot water tap is engaged, cold water flows into a heat exchanger located inside the tankless unit. If the unit is electric, an electric element heats the water. If it is a gas-fueled unit, a gas burner  provides the energy to heat  the water. It is because of this method that  tankless water heaters are able to  provide an almost continual supply of hot water.

Tankless  water heaters typically  provide hot water at a rate of 2 to 5 gallons (7.6 to 15.2 liters) per minute. Therefore, it is important to first consider how hot water will be utilized before purchasing a tankless unit for your home or business. For example, point-of-use units, or even smaller tankless water heaters, may not be able to keep up with the demand of multiple appliances running at once. For this reason, you may wish to consider installing separate tankless water heaters, or even a whole-house unit to ensure the highest efficiency.

Tankless water heaters  can cost more than conventional storage water heaters. You may find, however,  that any initial cost increase is generally off-set by the energy savings tankless units can provide.

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.

Welcome to Our New HVAC Blog

If you’re a typical homeowner, at some point you’re going to have questions about your heating and cooling system—how to maintain it, operate it properly and get better efficiency to reduce your energy bills.   We’ve started our new blog for the purpose of helping our customers and residents of Long Island learn more about home comfort.   Here, you’ll find information about a variety of HVAC topics, and explore options for improving your indoor environment.

There’s a lot that homeowners should know about choosing, operating and maintaining their HVAC systems.   Some of the topics we’ll be talking about are:

  • Preventative maintenance/precision tune-ups
  • Ductless air conditioning
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Ventilator systems
  • Indoor air quality
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Energy tax credits

And much more.  There’s a lot of important information out there that you should know, so check in with us each week.

So, why do homeowners need to be informed about their HVAC systems?   Isn’t that what the experts are for?     Here at T.F. O’Brien, we believe that an informed homeowner is the best defense against unnecessary HVAC repairs and breakdowns.   If you understand how your system works and how to maintain it properly, you’re less likely to let small issues become big problems later on.   For example, many people don’t know how important it is to size their system properly.   An over- or under-sized system can waste fuel and lead to breakdowns and repairs that could cost thousands of dollars over the life of the system.

The educated homeowner will also know how to operate his or her system efficiently, to minimize wasted fuel and money spent on energy.   Did you know that a properly maintained and operated HVAC system can save the average consumer up to 30 percent off energy bills?   According to www.energystar.gov, the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of this cost going to heating and cooling costs.   You can get significant savings when you know how to keep your system running smoothly.

So, be an informed homeowner!   You’ll get the benefits of lower energy bills, improved comfort and healthier indoor air.   Check with us each week to get your HVAC questions answered and learn more about the system that works hard to keep you comfortable every day.

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.