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

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-Split: Ductless 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

Is the air quality inside your home making you sick? Probably.

Allergies are often aggravated by poor indoor air qualityThink of your central heating & air conditioning system as your home's lungs. It breathes in air and contaminants and then breathes those pollutants back out again all day (and night) long.

These hazards include pollen, mold, smoke, chemicals and gases such as radon and carbon monoxide.

Air quality problems within the home attribute to an alarming number of health risks, affecting your family's comfort and well-being. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of poor indoor air quality. 

According to the EPA, indoor air health problems are present in 8 out of 10 homes, and indoor air pollution is listed as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. In fact, there are two to five times more contaminates contained in indoor air than outdoors.

Millions of Americans suffer from allergies caused by pollen which often aggravated by poor indoor air quality, including pollen trapped indoors. Mold is another common toxin that triggers health problems. Excess humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth. If you can see condensation on your windows regularly, then the humidity level needs to be addressed.

There are many different areas of the home that these invisible pollutants reside - all filtering through the same system. Indoor air pollutants produce the same symptoms as many illnesses, including fatigue, headaches, nausea, scratchy throat and nasal irritation. 

A healthy home is attainable

Take control of your home's healthA healthy home (and office) is attainable with safer products and better indoor air quality.  A number of energy-efficient products can help you manage more than just the temperature of the air within your home. 

A qualified HVAC contractor that specializes in Indoor Air Quality solutions and testing can help you determine the best solution - whether you require a system to manage humidity or reduce harmful airborne particles for better air freshness and purity.  Some options include:

ERV - Energy Recovery Ventilation

Energy Recovery Ventilators, or ERV systems deliver fresh air to the home's interior, bringing equal amounts of healthier, fresh air into your home while exhausting the same amount of air out. 

Unlike opening a window, an ERV system helps keep the air fresh without introducing pollen and other allergens inside. During summer, the system pre-cools and dehumidifies while humidifying and pre-heating in the winter months.

ERV products are available in many convenient sizes and a qualified HVAC contractor can properly size a unit that precisely meets your needs.

Humidifiers / Dehumidifiers

Controlling humidity levels also helps you maintain a healthier and more comfortable home environment, preventing mold and mildew growth.

Dry air can also cause structural damage to your home and possessions. It can cause walls, woodwork and hardwood floors to crack. Optimal humidity can also help you stay warmer at cooler temperatures. That means you can lower your thermostat and save energy, thereby lowering your heating costs. 

Air Cleaners

Many types (and sizes) of air cleaners are available, ranging in price - from the lower cost table-top models to sophisticated whole-home systems. Some air cleaners are extremely effective at particle removal, while others like most table-top models, do not adequately do so.

Duct Cleaning

The removal of contaminants from your home's heating and cooling (HVAC) system should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality. Cleaning your ducts can flush out pollutants like pollen and mold. Look for a qualified Duct Cleaning service from a trusted source such as your local Better Business Bureau or Angie's List.

Massachusetts residents in the Burlington area can rely on the specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical to maintain control of indoor air quality for a healthier, more comfortable home!

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Guide to Indoor Air Quality has a great deal of information on the sources and effects of indoor air problems in both the home and office.

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This entry was tagged Heating, Air Conditioning, Humidifiers, Ventilation, IAQ, HVAC, ERV, Indoor Air Quality, and posted on April 04, 2016

Winter Storm Heating Tips: How to stay warm

Winter Storm Tips for MA residentsWinter storms often come with extremely low temperatures and also strong winds, icing, and sleet. This makes them hazardous and dangerous.

Regardless of how severe an expected storm might be, you should always be prepared.

Know the Difference

Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to keep you and loved ones safe.  According to the Red Cross, winter storm preparedness advisories include:

Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Winter Storm Tips

When heavy snow and ice is in the forecast, remember these tips to help keep you and your loved ones warm:

  • Change your filters now, before your system goes into overdrive. This also helps with airflow putting less stress on your system.
  • Use space heaters and ceiling fans to further disperse heat throughout your house.
  • Clear all snow and ice off of your outdoor units if you can, as this allows for much better air flow.
  • Close off rooms that are not being used, and place door draft stoppers under the doors to further contain the heat in your home. A rolled towel can also act as a draft stopper.
  • Consider buying a protective cover for your outdoor faucet; these are often the cause of frozen lines.
  • Keep all indoor plumbing lines running at a drip - a burst pipe is no fun to deal with.
  • Bundle up; layering is very effective.
  • Nothing is worth having a an accident in inclement weather. Stay off of the roadways as much as possible.

If you find yourself in a heating emergency without heat, contact Total Comfort Mechanical for assistance. We will get your system running and get you back in Total Comfort.

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This entry was tagged Heating, Heat, Storm, Winter and posted on February 15, 2016

Total Comfort Mechanical Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

angiesListssa2015L.pngBURLINGTON, Mass. - Jan. 17, 2016 - PRLog - Total Comfort Mechanical, Inc. of Burlington, MA has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015. The company also was awarded this honor in 2013 and 2014.

“Having won this award for the third year in a row makes us extremely proud,” said General Manager Wendell DePaiva, “…as not only meeting but exceeding the customers’ expectations is our ultimate goal”.

“Only about 5 percent of the Heating and Air-Conditioning service companies within Middlesex County (MA) have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

To set up an appointment with Burlington's favorite heating and air conditioning service, call (718) 697-9016. For more information, visit their website: http://totalcomfortmech.com.

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Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three 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.

Source Total Comfort Mechanical, Inc.

 

Original post:  http://prlog.org/12525524

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This entry was tagged Heating, Air Conditioning, Heat, Angie;s List, Award and posted on January 17, 2016

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