Tag Archives: cooling

Home Environmental Automation Choices

Get a Grip on Technology

Home Environmental Automation Choices

Did you just lock the front door to your house while sitting at your desk three towns over in your office? Is this real life? Technology is full of amazing bells and whistles, isn’t it?

And before we get lost in the wonderment of it all, let’s hold the phone for a moment (we see you sitting there, getting ready to download another app with that smart phone of yours…)

Technology, with regard to being able to control everything in the palm of your hand, is only as beneficial as the proprietary hardware they serve. Everyone wants to take advantage of the plethora of home automation products available today. You know what we’re talking about:

  • Video doorbells
  • Wi-Fi garage openers
  • Cameras
  • Entertainment controls
  • Water leak detectors
  • Security monitoring
  • Remote locking technology
  • And, of course, remote thermostat control

There are more, but we’ll spare you any further sprawling text to read. You understand what we’re getting at here. Before you get wrapped up in downloading all the latest and greatest apps on your phone that control x y and z, take a breath. Think ahead. Consider a plan.

Ponder for a moment on what your priorities are and make sure the products you purchase are compatible. Just because you saw Ellen using it on her show doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work in the context of what you yourself have. From the perspective of the heating and cooling environment of your property, consider the following:

  • Do you support the Google/Nest platform, or Amazon/Alexa?
  • What products do you already have in your home?
  • What do you plan to purchase in the near future?
  • Will the platform you choose integrate with all the products in your home?
  • What are you willing to compromise?

We repeat: Think about it.  Put a plan together. Should your home automation plan be centered around a thermostat?  Perhaps. After all, what good is a dwelling if it’s not environmentally comfortable at the outset?

Is the platform you chose open? Does it limit your options?  For instance, Google/Nest is a proprietary platform which would/could potentially interfere or limit the communicable efforts of other technologies interspersed around the residence/workplace. It’s not the end of the world, but in this, “on demand” culture we exist in currently, it’s easy to get lost in just reaching out and grabbing the “latest and greatest.” Why not pause for a moment, do some due-diligence, and formulate an all-encompassing environment that achieves maximum comfort from your HVAC system to your doorbell. It takes a minute, but in the end, you’ll be saving yourself time and potential tech-driven headaches.

As always, we’re here to help you troubleshoot any problems and/or questions you may have regarding your heading and cooling environment. For all else, stick with the Geek Squad…

If you need anything regarding your heating system during these frigid months, Suburban Companies is here for you 24/7/365. Take Comfort.

 

Outfitting Your Home With the Best of Both Worlds

Style or Comfort

Outfitting Your Home With the Best of Both Worlds

What came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s a fair question that be applied to many lines of thinking. This includes the advancements made in HVAC heating and cooling systems over the years.

Should you purchase a heating and cooling system that is compatible with your thermostat, or a thermostat that is compatible with your heating and cooling system? As has been a trend in the heating and cooling industry as of late, “smart” thermostats have been popping up all over the place. At their core, they’re a fine looking piece of gadgetry and have many benefits that any home or business owner can take full advantage of. That is, if they have an HVAC environment that can handle the communicable features offset by such a device.

Thermostats have come a long way. Most of us reading this have likely run into the thermostat that you adjusted simply by moving the switch up and down along the “thermometer” and leaving it at rest where your desired temperature was on the box. Then of course, is the radial dial. Same idea. You move the dial until the red arrow is pointing at your desired temp. And that was it. The bells and whistles were rounded out by the ability to also read the temperature as it stood in the house or office. Which is to say, there weren’t any bells and whistles at all. Set it and forget it (until of course, the bill came, then you probably set it a bit lower).

Then came the digital interface, which enabled you to set your thermostat for particular temperatures during particular times of the day, which allowed for a better grasp on efficient environmental control. Things couldn’t get any better. Until they did. And, while the features continue to roll out, the visual appeal of the contemporary thermostat is on point with modern, sleek design.

But, somewhere in all this transition we lost sight of the fact that sometimes an updated thermostat (for an older heating and cooling system, or a new system) doesn’t necessarily mean the cost savings you talked yourself into. And further, that a thermostat is simply a switch that turns the heating/cooling on or off. (Sorry to burst your bubble.)

While third party “add on” thermostats provide added features for older HVAC systems, they may in fact limit the capabilities of newer systems. Twenty years ago we never heard of Nest, Ecobee, and others like them… That was when your existing HVAC system was installed. For sure adding one of these thermostats to your existing system will add features. However the HVAC systems we install today offer significant features that require communicating controls to function at their full capacity. Communicating controls operate your system at the perfect balance of capacity for the temperature you desire. Why limit your features with third party thermostats, when you are, for all intents and purposes, purchasing an HVAC system that can provide both style and comfort.

And further, we’re always here to answer questions if you’ve got one you need answered.

 

The Difference Lies in Our Credentials

Technicians You Can Trust

The Difference Lies in Our Credentials

We’ve long discussed how it’s imperative that you choose a contractor you can trust, and how has your best interests and comfort in mind. We’ve outlined some of our accolades (6 Carrier President Awards). We’ve been the recipient of countless testimonials. And we’re thankful for all of it.

Today, we want to shine a light on our team of technicians. The very people that work with you and for you to make sure your heating and cooling environment and applicable HVAC equipment is up to snuff and exceeding in expectation.

Here’s the skinny, we, and anyone else for the matter, can tell you all day long about how great we are, but, we all know that at the end of the day, these types of claims can easily be shrouded in a veil. In short: talk is cheap. Right? Right. To start, we make sure all of our technicians are standup individuals by our initial in-depth background check that is conducted during the pre-hiring process. Once hired, Suburban issues standard uniforms with applicable employee badges and we make sure all licenses are up to date. This included licensing for:

  • Sheet Metal
  • Gas Filters
  • Refrigeration Technician

What we aim to do from this point forward is to further explain why our team of technicians is second-to-none in our industry. Where competition and choice gather in a saturated pool, we are, for all intents and purposes, the cream that rises to the top. Why? Because all of our technical staff employees are put through rigorous training programs and have, unlike other companies, been certified by multiple industry best standards.

When a Suburban technician comes to your home or business to install or maintain your HVAC investment, they carry with them these prestigious certifications:

EPA 608 – Government issued certification. Technicians are required to pass an EPA-approved test specific to the type of equipment the technician seeks to work on. Tests are administered by an EPA-approved certifying organization.

NATE – The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification is the gold standard for technicians. This is a nationally recognized and respected certification that, while not legally required, is highly recommended for any technician working in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC) industry. To obtain this certification, a technician must pass a knowledge-based exam developed and administered by industry experts that illustrates they are better prepared for the workforce and more adept at handling difficult scenarios which in turn yield better results for their customers and the equipment they’re serving/servicing.

AC Check – Technicians are trained to perform an Airflow and Charge (AC), which is a testing procedure that verifies that central air conditioning and heat pump systems are commissioned properly and in good running condition. Systems that are properly commissioned have improved efficiency, and create increased comfort and savings for homeowners. The AC Check testing procedure ensures proper installation and operation of equipment and systems, and further, AC Check trained contractors can access incentives, training, and special offers for their residential customers. So, in short, with this certification in hand, we can save you maximum dollars on your HVAC investment (while making sure your system is saving you maximum dollars on your utility bills).

In parting, you have a lot of options when it comes to working taking control of your heating and cooling environment around the home and in the workplace. Suburban Companies comes to you with unparalleled professionalism and customer satisfaction as the pillars to our longevity and success. On top of the aforementioned certifications, we conduct frequent periodic trainings as new equipment and technologies enter the marketplace to ensure that we’re always ahead of the curve.

And further, we’re always here to answer questions if you’ve got one you need answered.

Take comfort with Suburban.

Upgrade Antiquated HVAC Systems; Maximize Efficiency and Comfort

Planning on purchasing an old home and doing major renovations in the New Year? Let us be the first to extend our congratulations! Renovating a home is major accomplishment in a person’s life as it is symbolic of all the hard work it’s taken to get to this point. At the core of this decision is the notion that purchasing and renovating a home is a serious investment – one of the largest you’ll ever make. You’re undoubtedly putting endless hours into what the cosmetic appearance of your home will be. You’re thinking about landscaping and how your home appears from the road. You’re thinking about the refrigerator, sinks, showers, baths, floors, fixtures, all of the fun stuff that goes into customizing your home, making it yours and assuring comfort is achieved.

The question we’d like to pose is, what are you doing to take control of your home’s heating and cooling environment? It’s the first thing people think of. In fact, in some people’s eyes the fridge is more important than the fire that’ll keep you warm when winter strikes. Cosmetics are important, but it’s what’s “inside” that counts. True comfort is achieved in the environment of the air that surrounds you, not the species of wood that makes up the cool rustic grains in your floor.

Here’s an idea, Suburban Companies is happy to send out one of our qualified Comfort Advisors. We’d be happy to come out and consult you on the options that are at your disposal to heat and cool your home and get that existing, antiquated heating and cooling system of to modern day standards (and heck, even exceed those “standards”). The technology to achieve both has never been greater and the cost-savings benefits are mighty handy when you’re looking at your overall budget.

Did you know that as someone updating old heating and cooling elements and appliances within your home in Massachusetts you can take advantage of a program called Mass Saves? As a Massachusetts resident/taxpayer, you’re paying for the benefit, so you might as well utilize it if and where you can. Let’s get you caught up…

What to expect from the typical Mass Save Energy Audit:

  • The consultation usually takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
  • You (as well as any other “decision makers” of the property being evaluated should be present at the assessment.
  • We will help you develop an energy savings plan and explain applicable incentives.
  • You will receive a personalized report outlining recommended energy efficiencies for the property.
  • Installation of no-cost immediate savings measures such as light emitting diode (LED) light bulbs, programmable thermostats, and water saving devices, as needed.
  • Screening for eligibility for the ENERGY STAR® refrigerator rebate.
  • Air sealing and insulation specification.
  • Infrared testing, if applicable.
  • Combustion safety testing.

What exactly are these rebates we speak of?

There are many. We at Suburban are happy to talk you through them, and we’ll even do our part to help you leverage them when you work with us to initiate your home or business heating and cooling needs. We are the proud recipients of Carrier President’s Award for Excellence (six times!), and yield at nothing to make sure your heating and cooling system installation and maintenance is, quite simply, working for you. And, we’re also in the business of making sure the Mass Save program is working for you simultaneously.

Here are a few immediate rebates of interest:

  • Earn 75% (up to $2,000) toward the installation of approved insulation improvements.
  • Up to a $500 rebate on a qualified electric mini-split heat pump system.
  • Up to a $750 rebate on electric heat pump water heaters.
  • Up to a $500 rebate for residential electric customers that install a qualified high-efficiency central air conditioning system and/or a central heat pump.
  • Up to a $100 rebate for wireless enabled thermostats and up to $25 for programmable thermostats.
  • Up to a $1,200 rebate for the installation of heating and water heating equipment (oil or propane).
  • Up to a $1,600 rebate for the installation of heating and water heating equipment (gas).

Some of this can be confusing which is why it’s in your best interest to have Suburban walk you through each step to maximize your perspective rebate(s). That, and in general, we’re in the business of keeping all of our customers as comfortable as we can in their residence and we take great pride in the service and products we provide. For a major home renovations and energy upgrades, we love educating you on all of the options available to you to take advantage of from the perspective of your heating and cooling system, and we might even enlighten you to a possibility you hadn’t even thought about.

It’s a New Year; you’re planning new home renovations for you and your family… We’re excited for you, and would be delighted to help you make some key decisions under the umbrella of this massive decision – An investment in time, money, and memories. Call Suburban today and Take Comfort. We’ll keep you warm when it’s cool, and cool when it’s warm – here for you 24/7/365.

Trending: Variable Refrigerant Flow is the Wave of Your HVAC Future

VRF HVAC

Every Tuesday for approximately 10 weeks during the Fall and Spring season, we at Suburban Companies invest in our staff and host training sessions to get us up to speed on the latest and greatest technologies in the HVAC industry.

We’ve spent this Fall getting up to speed on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC systems, which are quite an impressively bolstered piece of technology in our industry. VRF HVAC systems offer the most heating and cooling comfort in a property – from commercial to large-scale residence units – with multiple ranges of environmental comfort needs.

Here are the basic advantages of a VRF system:

  • Consistent comfort
  • Quiet operation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Installation flexibility, great for tight spaces
  • Heat and cool simultaneously in myriad zones
  • State-of-the-art controls
  • Fewer breakdowns/less downtime

The most common question we’re hearing out of the gate is, “what is a Variable Refrigerant Flow or VRF HVAC system?”

VRF HVAC systems have been the popular HVAC system of choice in Europe, Japan, China and other parts of the world for quite some time. Over the past half-decade or so, the technology has become increasingly popular on domestic soil here in the United States – especially in areas of populace congestion such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York City.

VRF HVAC systems are, for all intents and purposes, like traditional central air conditioning systems in that they’re air-cooled and refrigerant-based, using outdoor condenser units and indoor fan coil units – but that’s where the similarities end. VRF systems rids itself of typical bulky, noisy units that often times sounds like a plane taking off when it fires up. Instead, the VRF technology employs smaller, individually controlled handlers.

The term variable refrigerant flow, or VRF, refers to the system’s ability to control the amount of refrigerant flowing to each of these small air handlers. This sophisticated new VRF HVAC technology is capable of providing not only cooling, but also heat, and, wait for it, it can even make both heating and cooling happen simultaneously to different areas within the property. Now that’s pretty amazing. The use of multiple indoor units provides the ability to create zones that can be individually controlled. What’s more, these VRF HVAC systems are very quiet and energy-efficient because the variable-speed compressor runs only at the capacity needed for the current conditions. These units are perfect for:

  • Large homes
  • Apartment complexes
  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Offices
  • and so much more…

5 Reasons to Choose a VRF HVAC System

1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY. VRF HVAC systems are designed to provide the exact the amount of cooling needed for the current environmental conditions, which means it runs less frequently and at a lower capacity. The VRF HVAC system is also designed to capture heat from the cooling process and reuse it in other areas that may need heating.

2. QUIET OPERATION. As mentioned the new technology is consists of smaller indoor air handlers which are quieter than a traditional split system.

3. HEAT AND COOL SIMULTANEOUSLY. We mentioned this above, but seriously, this is awesome… The VRF HVAC system captures residual heat absorbed from the air during the cooling process, and redirects that heat to other parts of the building that need heat. That means you can have air conditioning in the living room for a party, while you heat the bedroom where the baby is sleeping. Or you can have heat in the winter for cooler window offices, and air conditioning in the central conference room for a large meeting. VRF HVAC technology measures the precise requirements of each zone, and sends the precise amount of refrigerant needed to do whatever the job calls for. As a result, each area of your space is consistently comfortable with well-controlled humidity and no hot or cold spots.

4. LESS DOWNTIME. Since the VRF HVAC system is designed to run only when needed and under partial-load conditions, there is less wear and tear on the parts. This means fewer breakdowns – which is a great cost savings benefit, honestly. Also, if something goes wrong with one air handler, often the others are unaffected. That means your whole space won’t be compromised without air conditioning all at once.

5. MODERN CONTROLS. For residences, you can take advantage of mobile control technology that lets you adjust temperature settings for each zone from your mobile device. For commercial settings, the VRF HVAC system’s built-in controls may allow you to skip purchasing expensive building management software.

A single VRF system can power up to 64 independent indoor units, depending on the system. This provides superior zoning because the refrigerant flow can vary from location to location, delivering only the necessary capacity to each zone.


For all your heating and cooling needs, contact us at Suburban Companies and take comfort.

Summer (HVAC) Reading: “Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything”

8 Quick AC Facts From the Freezer

Have you ever read a book on air conditioning? Not a manual, but an actual book with a conversational dialogue formulated around the air conditioner – one of mankind’s greatest inventions? Probably not. Well, we have. Bet you never thought you’d find a book report on our site. Well, we’re not going to give you a report so much as give you a few pretty interesting facts that we took away from the read that are all about the air conditioner – the vehicle that keeps us cool during these sticky, hot (and sometimes flat out oppressive) months here in New England.

The book?

“Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything” – by Salvatore Basile

The facts?

Here we go:

  1. In 1736, the English House of Commons in the United Kingdom was cooled by a 7-foot, hand-cranked “blowing wheel,” which essentially was nothing more than a giant fan. The man at the helm of the crank was called the Ventilator.
  2. An anonymous California millionaire was the first person to try using A/C to cool a 6’ x 9’ room in his home in 1892. The room required a false wall to hide the machinery, more of which was placed on the roof – sounds like a typical city commercial install these days…
  3. Two of the earliest known ventilation systems were installed in 1899, in Cornell University’s dissecting rooms (for cadavers), and 1903, at the New York Stock Exchange.
  4. The first known, fully functioning air-conditioned home, was built in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1913. The home was owned by Charles Gates (AKA “Spend-A-Million” Gates), who was the heir to the barbed wire fortune. His mansion took up three city lots, and – just to set the mood a bit more – had gold plumbing. Gates never got to experience the benefits of said air conditioner because, as fate would have it, he died while on a hunting trip before the house was completed.
  5. Since there were no affordable home air conditioning systems back in 1917, movie theater owners would fill seats by marketing their “state-of-the-art” ice cold air conditioned theatres with icicle-covered letters on their advertisements. This type of messaging worked rather well and movie theatres were often at capacity on those simmering summer days.
  6. Herbert Hoover was the first United States President to enjoy air conditioning in the Oval Office. He spent $30,000 on the system, just months after the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression. True story.
  7. For a basic window A/C unit in the 1940s, you’d spend around $350, which, in today’s money, is almost $3,500.
  8. AND finally, because we’re loyal to our Carrier roots… Founder Willis Haviland Carrier, whose patents and ideas created the first widely popular factory-scale coolers, was so absorbed in creating his air conditioner that he once left for a business trip with a large suitcase in which he had packed nothing but a handkerchief. Now that’s just fun…

We’ll stop there. Lucky for all of us, the technology of air conditioners has improved drastically, and there are many affordable options for all of us to take advantage of. To explore some of those options, and to take comfort during this hot summer season, give Suburban Companies a call today. You’ll be glad you did, and we’d be happy to meet you. Unless of course you’re still happy with that hand-cranked 7-foot wheel in your living room…

Optimizing the Cool: Accenting Your HVAC Equipment During the Hot Summer Months

You know by now that Suburban Companies is in the business of comfort and making sure that our customers’ home and business environment is at an optimal degree. (See what we did there?)

Since we’re smack dab in the middle of summer, we’re going to focus on cooling for a moment. Keeping cool is essential during these long, sunshiny days, and there are ways to further exploit cooler temperatures indoors that help maximize the work that your HVAC unit is doing.

You ready?

Here we go:

Keep the shades drawn

Yeah, we know, it’s nice out, we like to look around at all the lush green grass and vegetation (flowers) that are coming to life and adding a whole bunch of natural beauty to the landscape outside our windows. And while we’re not trying to suggest you shouldn’t take in those sights, we are here to tell you that keeping the blinds/curtains pulled back is heating up the interior of your home or office. We all know that when we’re outside and looking to shave off a degree or two of oppressive heat hitting us from the sun, we seek shade. The same sentiment is true indoors. Creating shade by drawing the, well, shades, is going to drop the internal temperature naturally.

Check the location of your thermostat

If you had your system installed by one of our certified and trusted professionals, you need not worry about this one, but, reality is, this is not the case with everyone reading this… (but hey, contact us if you need information on a new system or need to schedule routine maintenance/service).

Make sure your thermostat isn’t located directly next to a window. Why? Well, quite simply, if you don’t have those (aforementioned) shades drawn (or even if you do), the heat that permeates from your window is going to trigger a warmer response within the operative makeup of your thermostat and “tell it” to turn on and cool things down. Your house may not actually be as warm as what is being read by your thermostat if it’s directly next to the window. Pick a wall that’s at a more centralized position within the room. It’ll make a big difference.

Don’t toss the fan

Listen, we know you’re excited. You’ve got an HVAC system that’s slated to cool the whole house and/or office. And, for all intents and purposes, it will. Some of us get so excited that we ditch the fan (or, let’s be honest, fans – plural) for good. “What do I need it for?” Hey, we get it. It seems like a useless appliance. But that fan, be it a window fan, an standing oscillating unit, or a ceiling fan, can actually accentuate the work your HVAC is doing. If you’ve got a fan circulating on low, it’s going to make the environment around you feel a solid 10 degrees cooler, and, to be completely transparent, a fan uses about 10% of the energy an HVAC unit is going to use. So don’t treat the fan like an inferior part of the family – let it do its thing. The benefits are vast.

The lower the temp, the higher the price

Again, we know you’re excited. So are we. We love installing a new HVAC system for a customer and seeing the look on their face when the initial “fire up” phase kicks in and their home or office is all of a sudden the most comfortable place on earth. We know the feeling. We thrive off of that feeling and reaction. As we mentioned at the start, we take great pride in delivering ultimate comfort. Here’s the skinny, don’t just set the thing on arctic temperatures and assume your going to save a trunkful of cash. There’s saving to be had, for sure, but listen, the lower you set the thermostat the more it’s going to cost you. Keep that in mind. We’re not telling you you shouldn’t, we’re just merely stating that you’ll save more the higher you get up the ticker on the thermostat (when it comes to cooling – heating is an entirely different subject).

In short: set your thermostat to the highest temperature you can stand in the summer months to keep the most coin in your wallet. You can save around 10% (we know, we keep dropping the 10-figure everywhere in this thing…) a year by setting your thermostat 10-15 degrees higher for approximately 8 hours each day. If you’ve got a smart thermostat, you can automatically adjust the temperature of your home or office depending on what time of day it is and how much use a space gets as it pertains to those specific times. Keep that in mind. And if you’re interested in learning more about different thermostats that are available, here’s some light reading material for you.

We’re here when you need us. And if we don’t hear from you, stay cool and take comfort this summer!

You Get What You Pay For: Invest in the Health of Your HVAC System

Your Trusted Source

When was the last time you had dental work done? Do you remember? Did you call around looking for the lowest quote?

Probably not.

You probably did more research that fell in line with qualifications and “quality” over keeping your cost as low as possible.

Do you remember the last time you needed to take your pet to the vet for an emergency situation? Did you call around to the vets in your area to find the cheapest price?

Of course not.

As pet owners, we take the care and comfort of our furry (or feathered, scaled, whatever you’ve got) friends (and otherwise “extensions of the family). We don’t leave it to chance in the hopes that we can save some money.

This same line of thinking applies to our homes. We don’t look for the cheapest contractor when we need a new roof. We want someone that ensures that the elements aren’t leaking into the living room; you know what I mean?

Okay, all this said, who do you place your trust in when it comes to the comfort of your home? We’re talking air quality and temperature. Do you leave it to chance? Do you leave it to the lowest bidder?

We sure hope not.

There’s more to the health of your heating and cooling system than the lowest sticker price, or those attention grabbing “$69 AC Tune UP!” stickers slapped on a sale ad.

No. When it comes to whom you contract for the health and wellbeing of your home or office’s HVAC system, hire someone you trust. Hire someone that can keep your heating and cooling environment optimized and running for a nice, long life. That’s where the savings is. What good is a $69 tune-up if it isn’t addressing all the proper needs your system requires to ensure its life hasn’t just been cut by 25-50%? A new system is a whole lot more than a maintenance fee… The idea of maintenance isn’t a “one size fits all” type of equation.

Here’s the thing:

When it comes to your HVAC system, there really isn’t an immediate indication that an install or service was done properly. At least not to the common user/owner.

Like your dentist, family doctor, or vet, you need to go on reputation. You need to take comfort in the notion that the people you have on your side are actually on your side and not just hitting you for a quick, cheap buck.

Do you find yourself muttering, ‘eh, so what if my system was not cleaned properly and always runs 20% longer each time I starts it up…’ – or – ‘so what if the drain that runs from my system isn’t cleaned properly…”?

Do you? Do you care that improperly cleaned drainage mechanisms are causing standing water to pool up inside your system and rusting it from the inside out? Of course you care, and course you weren’t muttering those things. You don’t want to think about them. You want to be certain our system is running.

So, you’ll probably do a little research, yeah? Yeah. Here are some things to look for .

You’re looking for experienced technicians that have the proper qualifications and tools for the job. You want a company that stands on its laurels and continually looks to improve. You want a track record that speaks for itself.

You want Suburban Companies.

And no, we’re not looking to sound arrogant. That is not our intention at all, and those that have met us and work with us know this to be true. We’ve simply “been there, and done that.” There’s a reason we’re the trusted source in our field. There’s a reason we’ve won so many coveted awards, such as six-straight President’s Awards from Carrier – a well-respected industry giant.

If you’re serious about your home’s heating and cooling solution, and you’re not out for the cheapest quote, give us a call. Because truthfully, spending a little more in the moment, is saving you a whole lot in the long run. You can take that to the bank, and in the meantime:

Take comfort.

For Your Consideration: Equipment Features to Mull Over While Installing New HVAC Equipment

New Equipment

Are you in the process (or research phase) of taking better control of your heating and cooling environment? It’s a big investment, and one not to be taken lightly. You need to think long and hard about what your looking to achieve, and how to best combat pains you may face in your day-to-day quest of finding comfort in your home or office.

The basic understanding/thought process is this – when you’re cold, you want to find warmth, and when you’re hot, you’re striving to find some cool relief. There are of course other variables in the middle, like, for instance, pulling humidity out of the air that leaves you feeling sticky, and, in some cases warmer than you ought to be feeling.

The purpose of this article is to discuss different features that you may not have wrapped your mind around just yet. We aim to inform, so please, if you are in the market for new equipment, consider the following:

  • Humidifiers

A lot is said about dehumidifiers. We’re in New England, so humidity is a real struggle – especially in the summertime. What we don’t tend to think of, which is an easy addition to your heating and cooling system is the need to humidify the air during the winter months. Depending on how you heat your home, there’s a very good chance that the frigid winter air is taking all the humidity right out of the walls. The problem with constantly breathing in dry air, is it can cause respiratory problems and increased allergy symptoms. Dry air can also make the air temperature in your home or office feel cooler than humidified air, which may cause you to reach for the thermostat and jack it up a bit higher – which isn’t an ideal situation to be in. So think about the air in your home, and just how much control you’d like to have. Humidifying the air, is, at times, just as important as pulling out some of that sticky air that we experience in the summertime. On average a properly humidified home will allow you to drop the temperature of a given space by two degrees. When air contacts your skin with the proper humidity, you also “feel” warmer. In addition temperature variation within the home will vary less and your overall “comfort” will be significantly better.

  • Variable Speed Air Handlers and Compressors

Quite simply, the air handler portion of an HVAC system is a device that circulates conditioned air throughout your home or office. The compressor is the outside component that does the “work” to actually heat or cool your home. In typical heating and cooling unites the air handler is either on or off. There’s no “control.” A variable speed blower is the solution to that, working to gradually distribute hot or cold air as is needed throughout the space, rather than just blowing it all out on full-speed with no real “intelligence” to speak of. By choosing a variable speed blower you’re HVAC system is working at a much more efficient and optimal level because it operates on a more proactive level rather than reactive – automatically switching “gears” from low to high speeds, depending on how much “attention” is needed. HVAC systems with variable speed blowers and “communicating controls” supplement the heating and cooling loss of your home in real time – only adding the amount necessary based on the changes in outside temperature. This avoids large temperature variations and the on/off nature of conventional HVAC systems. The Carrier Infinity is a good example of this type of system.

  • Programmable Thermostats and Communicating Controls

When it comes to programmable thermostats, there are several options at play. We’ve outlined a few options in this feature. In short, programmable thermostats enable the user (you) to take control of the environment around you in a optimal way. Are you out of the house during certain hours? Do different hours of the day mean different things to you in terms of how environmental comfort is perceived and/or achieved? Of course. But many of us don’t think the most efficient results out of our heating and cooling systems. Thus, programmable thermostats help us achieve just that. Some of them even have options put management capabilities in the literal palm of your hand (you can control your system from you phone or other applicable handheld devices). Weigh the options if you’re looking to keep things lean, mean, and firing optimally.

Communicating Controls are alternatives to programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat is a simple switch to the HVAC system – “on” or “off.” This is adequate for single stage equipment. Unfortunately, with variable speed modulating equipment this leaves the hard work up to the system to “guess” what speed to operate in based on assumptions that are mostly inaccurate. These systems should be matched with the manufacturers communicating control.

Unfortunately this will limit the choice of the consumer to the control from the manufacturer, however most of these devices far exceed the benefits and have all of the features of other “well known” thermostat manufacturers. A Communicating Control “talks” directly to each component of the system (variable-speed fans, variable speed compressor and modulating gas valve in the furnace). This also provides pro-active failure notification due to the constant monitoring of the system.

  • High-Efficiency Air Filters

Sure, being able to adjust the heating and cooling of the air in your home or office is important. We want comfort, and, in this day-and-age, we want it on demand. You know what’s equally important that we don’t automatically consider? What’s actually in the air that we’re breathing… Seriously. Being warm or being cool is something that we can feel in the moment, but what’s going on that we can’t see or feel? What are we taking into our lungs that may be a detriment to our health over the long haul? That’s why you should be considering a high-efficiency air filter. Because clean air is healthy air and healthy air leads to a healthier you.

There are many ways you can take greater control over your surrounding environment. There are many options when it comes to taking optimal comfort. Let’s have a conversation to discuss your exact needs and we can help you realize a solution to your existing issue(s). At Suburban Companies, we’re here when you need us 24/7/365.

The Cool is in the Coils

The Cool is in the Coils

As summer fast approaches, home and business owners everywhere will be reaching for the controls to the air conditioner portion of their respective heating and cooling system. Right? Right.

Quick question: What are you doing for your annual HVAC “checkup”? Are you locked into a service plan yet? Yes? GREAT. No? Well, consider it

Part of that maintenance, especially at this time of year, will be the proper cleaning of the coils that literally “fuel the cool” in your home or office. This is imperative the efficient operative function of your HVAC system – Especially if you live in a more metro area like Boston for instance. The higher amount of potential contaminants in the air, the more buildup is likely to have accumulated on the coils of your air conditioning apparatus.

How do you save money as a home or business owner by keeping the coils clean?

Well, for one, clean coils prevent the overworking of your entire system due to importune grit, grime, and dust. In the long run, this literally helps add to the longevity of your HVAC environment and helps you to avoid system failure – which can (and will) result in a costly repair or the need for completely new heating and cooling system.

Another cost savings that stems from keeping a proactive “cleanly” approach to coils is the immediate cost savings you’ll experience in monthly utility bills. When dirty coils are forced to overwork to achieve optimal performance, more energy is being used. Simple premise. If your air conditioner’s coils are not thoroughly cleaned every year (and in some cases, monthly, depending on your location), you will experience discomfort in your home or office and your energy bills will inevitably be through the roof…

What are your air conditioner’s coils?

Fair question. Perhaps we should have started here, but alas, better late than never, right? In short, the air conditioning portion of your HVAC system contains two sets of coils:

  1. Evaporator coils. The evaporator coils are located in the indoor portion of the cooling solution and are responsible for “absorbing” heat from your home or office’s air and transferring it to the refrigerant element that carries it out of your home.
  2. Condenser coils. The condenser coils are typically located in the outdoor portion of your air conditioner. The condenser coils are responsible for “dumping the heat from the refrigerant element to the air outside.

To a large degree, the coils contained in your HVAC system are tucked inside the system, and, to be honest, are difficult to effectively access and clean on your own. And if you’re a business owner (or manager), you don’t want to be tinkering around with the HVAC system while you should be focusing on other aspects of the business. That’s why we’re here. Cleaning air conditioner coils is a job that’s best left to your friendly service contractor such as the team here at Suburban Companies. Remember that maintenance plan we mentioned before? Well, think about it. This is part of that service. Our goal is to make sure your HVAC system is firing at an optimal level so that your comfort is at a maximum.

Contact us today to learn more, and to sign up for your maintenance service. Learn more about maintenance right here.

Once you’ve got us locked in, you’re free to Take Comfort.

Here’s to the sunny days ahead, and total comfort in your home and/or office!