Burlington MA Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Is Your Furnace Seeing its Last Massachusetts Winter?

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 this year 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 Heat, Furnace, Replacement, Energy Efficiency, Energy Star, Energy Rebates, Energy bill, Heating, Heat Pumps and posted on January 30, 2017

Save money on your summer energy bill with these HVAC Tips

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

Ductless Air Conditioning - It's so HOT Right Now

What is a Ductless Mini-Split air conditioning system?  Only one of the hottest-selling cooling systems in the country - Massachusetts included!  A trend that took Europe by storm and is now heading westward, these modern, energy-efficient and stylish air conditioners have become such fast sellers that Mitsubishi is challenged to keep up with the growing demand. 

Mitsubishi, the world’s top-selling brand of ductless cooling and heating systems, experienced a complete sell-out of its 2013 U.S. inventory well before the end of last year.  This caused limited availability and back-orders with Mitsubishi Diamond HVAC specialists throughout the United States.

Mitsubishi Full Stock Burlington MA

Nearly six weeks ago, the out-of-stock inventory was made available again and has been flying off the shelves ever since. “Heating and air conditioning specialists” Total Comfort Mechanical of Burlington, MA happily announced the new 2014 mini-split systems were back in stock and contacted their customers to arrange installation to those that had been anxiously awaiting their new Mitsubishi ductless mini-split systems. 

The ductless mini-split wave is keeping HVAC contractors extremely busy. "We can hardly keep up with the demand", said Total Comfort Mechanical owner Wendell DePaiva. "We've had so many requests for ductless installs that we completely wiped out our inventory in just a few weeks," DePaiva said, "but we have already restocked and are ready to install."  

It seems Massachusetts residents are some of the most energy-conscious the country - the U.S. Green Building Council recently ranked the state #4 in the top 10 list of states leading the nation in green building.

How Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work

Like central air conditioners, ductless units have a split design and don't require a complicated system of ducts. The split system (also called a mini-split, ductless split, or duct-free system) has at least one indoor unit in the home or office (this is the evaporator) and one outdoor unit (the condenser).  Line sets, which are copper tubes of refrigerant, are run to the indoor unit from the outdoor unit.

The indoor component can be mounted on the ceiling or the wall and are extremely quiet when in operation. Read more about ductless ac systems here.

Mitsubishi Ductless MiniSplit installed

With the booming popularity of ductless systems, the product selection is getting wider - many electronics manufacturers now offer their versions of ductless appliances. Considering that many smaller brand names typically don't specialize in heating and cooling solutions, it's important to note that it can be a challenge to find qualified technicians to install and service them. 

The specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical recommend sticking with a trusted, industry leader that provides a solid warranty on their product and has a network of certified and trained Diamond Contractors to perform the installation and service.  "It's smart to get a few estimates from qualified and certified HVAC contractors before making the investment," DePaiva advises.  

Check with your local Better Business Bureau or other local chamber organizations to learn about the reputation of the heating and air conditioning contractors in your area. Burlington MA residents and neighboring MA cities can request a quote or more information on ductless AC solutions here or the following link:

 Ask A PRO

Related Ductless MiniSplit articles:

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This entry was tagged Energy Efficiency, Energy Rebates, Ductless, Burlington MA, Air Conditioning, Air Conditioner, Mitsubishi AC, MiniSplit, Ductless AC, Mitsubishi and posted on April 08, 2014

Previously Sold Out, Mitsubishi Ductless Air Conditioning Units Again Available in the U.S.

Massachusetts HVAC Specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical with the popular Mitsubishi ductless heating & cooling units.

Burlington, MA – In recent weeks, heating and cooling customers in Massachusetts and throughout the country have anxiously awaited the availability of Mitsubishi heating and cooling products. Due to the explosive popularity of these high-efficiency air conditioning and heat pump systems, the manufactured inventory by Mitsubishi Electric sold out before the end of 2013, causing a limited availability of the popular ductless heating and cooling mini-split products in the United States. HVAC specialists and Mitsubishi Diamond Contractors like Total Comfort Mechanical, Inc. of Burlington unfortunately experienced back-orders of the product of up to six weeks.

Total Comfort Mechanical is pleased to announce that the wait is over! We are re-stocked and ready to provide customers throughout Middlesex County MA the latest, most energy-efficient ductless air conditioning systems available.

There are plenty of reasons for the better-than-anticipated-growth of the Mr. Slim ductless system and ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems in general. Happy customers from all over the world are raving about the product.

When compared to window A/C units, duct extensions, baseboard heating and other alternatives to central heating & air – Ductless Systems beat them out when it comes to energy efficiency, noise level, comfort control, reliability, air filtration, and space-saving design.

Reasons Homeowners are going Ductless

Installation is quick and easy – typically one day is all that is needed for installation of a ductless unit (one zone or Air Handling Unit ) by an experienced heating and cooling expert team – two days at most. In addition, there are generally no home modifications required to install a ductless mini split.

Versatility – the units fit well into virtually any interior design plan. They can be mounted in a number of ways to complement your home or office décor, including high-wall mounting, floor mounting, ceiling mounting, or even recessed wall and ceiling mounts.

Refined, SMART system controls and components such as floor-to-ceiling temperature sensors which save energy while providing supreme performance.

Many rebates and incentives are available from local utility providers. Some offer incentives up to 30%.

Ductless air conditioning systems consume less energy than traditional central air conditioning, and zoned systems provide control over individual room temperature.

They are also an attractive option for any on-the-spot heating or cooling needs, including enclosed sun rooms, upstairs bedrooms, computer rooms, exercise rooms, classrooms, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, hotels and churches.

To learn more about the best Ductless Air Conditioning system options for your home or office, visit the heating and cooling specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical online or call (781) 697-9016.

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This entry was tagged Energy Efficiency, Air Conditioning, Energy Star, Mitsubishi AC, Heat Pumps, Ductless AC and posted on February 17, 2014

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