Heating & Air Conditioning Specialists, Burlington MA

Burlington MA Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Is Your Furnace Seeing its Last Massachusetts Winter?

Is your furnace seeing its last Massachusetts winter?
Regular maintenance of your heating and air conditioning system allows minor repairs to be caught before they become major, costly replacements. However, even the best-maintained furnace cannot and will not last forever.  

The average furnace life span is approximately 15 years. While the equipment may last that long or even longer, it's likely that your heating bills are higher than they need to be. Components break down and all furnaces lose their efficiency over time.

Factors to consider

  • Age of the system – If it’s over 12 years old, it's most likely time to replace
  • Extent of existing problems – whether recent repairs have been minor or extensive and costly
  • Size of unit – Is the current system over or under-sized for your home? This can lead to premature failure.
  • Frequency of repairs
  • Efficiency Rating

Investing in a new furnace in 2017 could be one of the best decisions you make! Here’s why:  Efficiency standards for all heating and cooling units sold in the United States are regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy. Every heater, air conditioner and heat pump is assigned one of these efficiency ratings.

For gas or oil-fired furnaces, the Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating (AFUE) is the standard measure of seasonal efficiency. The AFUE rating is given as a percentage, indicating how much fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is wasted.

High-efficiency furnaces, like those that are ENERGY STAR certified, have AFUE ratings of 95% or above. This means that the furnace converts 95% of the fuel that you supply to heat your home -  the remaining 5% is lost out of the chimney.  Furnaces that are over 10 years old could have an AFUE somewhere around 60%, meaning you could save up to 40% on your gas or oil heating bill by replacing it with a new, high -fficiency furnace!

Save even more with Furnace Rebates

Massachusetts residents have an opportunity for additional savings when replacing their heating and cooling system. Mass Save offers rebates on the purchase and installation of residential heating and cooling equipment that meets certain energy-efficiency specifications.

In addition to lower energy use and improved comfort for your Burlington area home, you may be eligible to receive rebates on the following equipment types:

  • Central Air Conditioning/Heat Pumps
  • Furnaces
  • Mini-Split Heat Pumps
  • Thermostats

If you purchased an ENERGY STAR certified gas furnace in 2016, it will meet the requirements for the Federal Furnace Tax Credit.  All other ENERGY STAR Federal tax credits expired at the end of 2016.

Don't Ignore the Warning Signs

Are you noticing odd sounds coming from the furnace? Does it seem colder in the house than last winter? Maybe the pilot keeps going out. Don't wait - call for a check-up now.

Winter will be over in a couple of months, you say. You’ll be shutting the furnace down for a long stretch, so why deal with calling for repairs, right? WRONG. Repairs should always be done at the earliest possible time so the problem will not have the opportunity to worsen.

When you decide to get a new furnace, the best course of action is to call in a certified professional to calculate the correct type of furnace you need, and the one that will keep your home heated effectively and efficiently all season long.

All Total Comfort Mechanical systems, accessories and products are installed with a dedication to quality and reliability. Whether you choose to make repairs or replace your system, you can expect to receive Total Comfort for your home and family. 

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This entry was tagged Energy Efficiency, Energy Rebates, Heating, Energy Star, Heat Pumps, Heat, Energy bill, Replacement, Furnace and posted on January 30, 2017

Total Comfort Mechanical Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Total Comfort Mechanical has received the annual Angie's List Super Service Award consecutively since 2013

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Dec. 20, 2016PRLog--Total Comfort Mechanical has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting another exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.

This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.

“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Heating and Air Conditioning companies in Massachusetts were able to do it.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that Total Comfort Mechanical has been honored with this award,” said Wendell DePaiva, General Manager. “It is a testament to our commitment to total customer satisfaction, and we truly thank our customers for making it possible.”

Founded by DePaiva in 2009, Total Comfort Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning serves the MA cities of Burlington, Bedford, Lexington, Winchester and surroundings

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.

“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”

Founded by DePaiva in 2009, Total Comfort Mechanical serves the Massachusetts cities of Burlington, Bedford, Lexington, Winchester and surrounding MA locations. The company offers a wide range of heating and cooling services and specializes in energy-efficient indoor climate options, with a focus on ductless heat pump and air conditioning installation.  For more information, visit the company website at www.totalcomfortmech.com.

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Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

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This entry was tagged Heating contractor, Air Conditioning, Heat, Award, HVAC and posted on December 20, 2016

Burlington HVAC News: Total Comfort Mechanical Earns Elite Status

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Burlington HVAC Contractor reaches Mitsubishi's Highest Contractor Achievement Level

For Immediate Release

BURLINGTON, Mass. - Dec. 1, 2016 - PRLog -- Total Comfort Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Specialists have attained the distinguished Elite Diamond Contractor status from Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Zoned Comfort Solutions™ and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) cooling and heating systems.

"We have been proud to be a part of Mitsubishi's Diamond Contractor Program for many years now," said Total Comfort Mechanical General Manager Wendell DePaiva, "but we are absolutely thrilled to achieve the best–in-class Elite Diamond Contractor status. With over 3,000 other HVAC contractors in the Diamond Contractor Program nationwide, it's truly a distinguished honor to be considered the best of the best."

Mitsubishi Electric enhanced their Diamond Contractor Program earlier this year with three new achievement levels: Diamond Contractor, Preferred Diamond Contractor and Elite Diamond Contractor.

Several criteria are included in each contractor classification, such as the tracking of warranty registrations for each system a contractor purchases, as well as five performance indicators – marketing, training, service, sales and customer satisfaction.

Founded by DePaiva in 2009, Total Comfort Mechanical serves the Massachusetts cities of Burlington, Bedford, Lexington, Winchester and surrounding MA locations. The company offers a wide range of heating and cooling services and specializes in energy-efficient indoor climate options, with a focus on ductless heat pump and air conditioning installation.  For more information, visit the company website at www.totalcomfortmech.com.

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This entry was tagged Heating contractor, MA, Air Conditioning, Mitsubishi, HVAC, Cooling and posted on December 02, 2016

Everything you wanted to know about Air Conditioning

Everything you wanted to know about Air Conditioning

HVAC (Heating - Ventilation - Air Conditioning) can sometimes be overwhelming.  Here we'll break down some of the most commonly used terms in the business, so the next time you call your heating and air conditioning service specialist for help, you'll impress the expert!


Heating & Air Conditioning for the Average Joe

Air Conditioning, HVAC for Dummies

  • Air conditioner: A mechanical device used to control temperature and air movement in a confined space.
  • BTU/H: (British Thermal Units per Hour): A measure of cooling or heating capacity.
  • Capacity or Load: A refrigeration rating system usually measured in Btu/h.
  • Compressor: A refrigeration or air-conditioning system pump that circulates refrigerant through pipes between an outdoor and indoor unit using pressure.
  • Ductless Mini-SplitDuctless systems consist of one or more outdoor compressor units and indoor air-handling units, called “heads”, linked by a dedicated refrigerant line. There is no ductwork required.
  • External Static Pressure (ESP): Measure of static pressure losses from ductwork, fittings, dampers, grills, and any other devices located in the airstream.
  • Freon: See Refrigerant.
  • Heat pump: An air conditioning system that provides either heating or cooling - because it can reverse the direction of refrigerant flow.
  • HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor): A rating of the seasonal efficiency of a heat pump unit when operating in the heating mode.
  • Indoor unit: The air handler of the air conditioning system.  It contains a heat exchange coil, filters, remote signal receiver and fan.
  • Outdoor Unit: A component of the air conditioning system which contains the compressor, fan, circuit board, and heat exchange coil. It pumps refrigerant to or from the indoor unit.
  • Refrigerant: Many people commonly refer to refrigerant as Freon, which is actually a 'brand' name (much like Kleenex).  Refrigerant is a gas/liquid substance that is used to provide cooling, by direct absorption of heat. The most environmentally-friendly refrigerant at this time is R410A.
  • Refrigerant lines: Insulated copper tubing through which refrigerant flows to and from the indoor and outdoor unit.
  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): The rating of the seasonal efficiency of air conditioning or heating units.  The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the unit is.
  • Split-Ductless System: A system comprised of a remote outdoor condensing unit connected by refrigerant pipes to a matching, non-ducted indoor air handler and a remote controller. Special cases for introducing ventilated air may call for limited ducting to air handler from outside.
  • Split-zoning System: A system comprised of a remote outdoor condensing unit connected by refrigerant pipes to a matching, indoor air handler that conditions single or multiple room space that is conditioned to a set temperature and is independent from other rooms within the same structure.
  • Zone (zoning): A single or multiple room space that is conditioned to a set temperature and is independent from other rooms within the same structure.

 


Burlington MA Heating Air Service Area

A trained and licensed HVAC contractor can help you determine the appropriate options for your home's air conditioning. For more information, contact the Total Comfort Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning Service  website or call us at (781) 697-9016.

 


 

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This entry was tagged AC, Tips, Heating, Air Conditioning, MiniSplit and posted on July 21, 2016

Save money on your summer energy bill with these HVAC Tips

Save money this summer with our HVAC Energy Saving Tips

Did you know that about half of the energy consumed in the United States is for heating and cooling alone?

Keeping your Massachusetts home air-conditioned and comfortable can be expensive, especially when everyone is trying to beat the sweltering summer heat and energy consumption is high.  The good news is there are actually some very simple things you can do to stay cool without having to empty your wallet for energy bills!

1-     Don’t forget the Filter

This is one of the easiest things to do yet one of the most commonly overlooked. Filters should be replaced regularly, so make it a habit by keeping a supply of filters on hand. Actually, the number one reason for HVAC system failure is dirt. Properly maintained equipment lasts longer and keeps the system running more efficiently.  Filters should be changed every:

  • 3 months on a 1" pleated filter 
  • 6 months on a 5" media air cleaner 

It's also helpful to invest in a HVAC Maintenance plan, as many include free filter changes with membership. 

2-     Get in the Shade

Burlington MA is located in the "temperate" area on the US Dept. of Energy's climate region map. Unlike the hot and arid Southwest and hot and humid Southeast, energy-saving landscaping strategies for this area must be balanced - keeping heat out in summer and keeping it in during winter months. 

Adding more trees and bushes to your home's exterior not only provides a more beautiful landscape, but can considerably block the amount of solar heat beaming on the roof and through the windows. All that heat makes your air conditioning system work harder. Strategically place vegetation so that it shades the roof, east and west facing walls.

If the outdoor air conditioning unit itself receives some shading from trees and shrubbery, it can also improve your HVAC system effectiveness up to 10%!

3-     Upgrade your Thermostat

Mitsubishi Wireless Digital Programmable ThermostatIf you are reading this article on a smartphone and you don’t have a digital programmable thermostat yet, you should be embarrassed!  Advanced technology can help you save energy and reduces costs by giving you precise control over temperature, humidity, air treatment, scheduling and more.

Smart and relatively inexpensive, Digital Programmable Thermostats allow you to adjust the settings for a higher temperature when no one's home or during cooler parts of the day.

On the go and want to change the settings? You can even connect to your system from almost anywhere via Wi-Fi.

4-     Turn off ceiling fans when not in use

Keeping a ceiling fan running all the time, even when the room is unoccupied really doesn’t keep the room cooler.  Though they do help circulate air, ceiling fans have no effect on the temperature of the area. They simply redistribute already conditioned (or unconditioned) air and make it feel cooler because it's creating a breeze against your body. Prevent wasted electricity by turning them off when leaving a room.

5-     Go Underground

Naturally cooler than the rest of the home, a basement can provide instant relief on a hot day.  If your home has a basement, why not convert it into a summer family room or hangout?

Be sure to keep basement windows and doors closed during steamy summer weather to avoid excess condensation which increases indoor humidity.  Humidity levels however can be controlled with a number of whole-home humidity control solutions that are designed to work together to use energy as efficiently as possible.

6-     Make sure vents are clean and open

It may be obvious but it is truly remarkable what you may not notice about your own home. Vents can be accidentally shut for cleaning purposes and never reopened. If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home, don’t forget to check the vent.

7-     Replace old air conditioning units with newer, efficient models

Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning - look for the Energy Star logoIf you have an older unit that has not been properly maintained, investing in a new and more energy-efficient model. The replacement costs are well worth it in the long run. See this guide to determine if you should repair or replace your heating and cooling system.

When you’re faced with the choice between replacing and repairing part or all of your heating and cooling system, rely on a trusted HVAC contractor like Total Comfort Mechanical to help you find a solution that’s affordable, keeps your family comfortable and makes sense in the long-term.

8-     Get a Tune-up!

Regular maintenance allows minor repairs to be caught before they become major, costly replacements. To be absolutely certain you are obtaining optimal efficiency from your home's central air conditioning system, schedule an AC tune-up. This includes a check of multiple factors to ensure all air conditioning system components are operating properly and that the system is meeting the manufacturer’s expectations for efficiency. Failing parts can be identified in advance to prevent unexpected equipment breakdown.

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This entry was tagged Energy Efficiency, AC, Tips, Air Conditioning, Energy Star, Energy bill, HVAC and posted on June 03, 2016