Tag Archives: home efficiency

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.

 

Prepping For Winter

Prepping for Winter

Did you notice the ground this morning? In many places around Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire there was a layer of frost, and even a thin coating of snow covering the grass we just spent the summer lounging in. And, while both of these elements will likely be gone by lunchtime, it’s still a reminder that Mother Nature rests for no one. Winter is coming. And with it, seasonal distresses like coughs, colds, and sniffles.

While we’re on the subject, have you thought about the health of your heating and cooling environment? It’s important. Its health is a direct link to you and your family’s health. So, that said, here are a few important things to take action on before the sky opens and the snow really starts to accumulate:

  • Clean the vents and tidy up around any outdoor piece of your unit. Debris – like leaves, grass clippings, twigs, etc. – can really build up in your HVAC unit during the dusty summer months. While you’re at it, take a quick look at the vents for any dirty buildup and vacuum them out to ensure proper airflow to prevent the circulation of dust and other airborne toxins in your home.
  • Change the air filter. Seriously. You change the one in your car (at least we hope you do), so why not change the one that is servicing your home? It’s easy and your HVAC unit running at an optimal level. Like the function of any filter, when it’s clogged it’s clogged. And when clogs happen, the entire system gets bogged down causing harder, unnecessary strain on your investment. This quick fix is also an element of your maintenance service contract if you’d prefer a professional to handle the matter…
  • Check and set your thermostat accordingly. If your thermostat is programmable, make sure you adjust it for the cooler months. If your thermostat isn’t programmable, keep in mind that it’s 2017 and such technology is extremely affordable, easily installed, and instantly saves you money and unnecessary energy usage. Program it by hours of the day, days of the week, times of the year… There are so many variables you can adjust for. In doing this, you’re proactively making sure your furnace isn’t working unnecessarily hard when it doesn’t have to. Not only does this extend the life of your system, it will save you serious coin on energy bills as well.

And while some of the things we just mentioned are things you can conceivably do yourself, there is also maintenance you’re better off leaving to the professionals like us at Suburban Companies. Having your friendly, experienced neighborhood HVAC professional from Suburban come out to your home to perform maintenance once or twice a year, will have much benefit to you and your system as the years stack up. Having maintenance done at the beginning of each season is key to ensuring that your system will run safely and smoothly all year long. And if that isn’t enough of a reason, having proper maintenance done will also save you money on your energy bills and extend the life of your HVAC unit.

A few of the key tasks we do when we perform seasonal HVAC maintenance include:

  • Detecting and fixing minor problems. Because minor problems can lead to major deficiencies and require expensive repairs.
  • Inspect your HVAC system for performance and safety. Because, like any inspection, safety is the priority. You want your system to work, and provide peace-of-mind. We’ll look to make sure things are running optimally and no leaks or potentially hazardous systematic discharge is occurring.
  • Clean and lubricate the system thoroughly. Because, as mentioned, a good cleaning goes a long way. Like any other aspect of life.
  • Test and calibrate the thermostat. Because, let’s face it, sometimes things happen and we want to ensure proper function and efficiency so you can take complete comfort.

HVAC maintenance takes a lot of work and is not something “anyone” can do. It is, however, something we do here at Suburban Companies. We take great pride in servicing our customers and have since our inception in 1965. Our five Carrier President Awards are a testament to this. We provide exemplary service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Winter’s coming. Are you ready? If not, take comfort, we’ll be right over. Give us a call today, or, better yet, lock in to one of our maintenance plans and achieve the peace of mind in knowing the heating and cooling environment in your home or business is taken care of – bringing you and your HVAC system good operative health and complete environmental comfort.

 

Energy Efficiency During the Frigid Winter Months

Energy Efficiency During the Frigid Winter Months

Here in Massachusetts we’re staring at a string of days that won’t even register on the positive side of the Fahrenheit thermometer. That’s cold. As you assess where you’re at as the winter plods along, we thought we’d throw out a dozen tips to help you keep your energy consumption as efficient as it can possible be. Heat is expensive. Maximize what you get out of the energy you’re producing under your roof – be it at home or at the office.

Lower your thermostat – Sounds crazy as we start to pile the blankets on the bed, but, give it a shot… A decrease of 4 °F could save you as much as 4% on your heating bill. Who couldn’t use a little more green in their pocket? Invest in a sweater and demand more out that thermostat!

Lay down a rug – Do it. You’ll not only help insulate your floors, but you’ll cut down on noise too. Cozier on myriad fronts…

Check your filters – We know, we know. We harp on this a lot. Hey, we wouldn’t have to if you’d just commit to a carefree maintenance plan… Checking the filters on a monthly basis during the winter months will help keep your heating environment “honest,” well maintained, and will reduce energy consumption which could save you up to 5% percent on your heating costs.

Don’t block air vents – Seems obvious, be we’ve learned that it isn’t. Keep supply and return air vents clear of furniture and appliances so your heating system can work more efficiently. Do you sleep with a pillow over your face? No, of course you don’t. You’ve got to breathe to make the next day a viable option. Same is true with your heating system. Let it breathe.

Don’t heat unnecessary places – Avoid heating areas of your home that are not insulated, such as a garage, crawlspaces, attic, or storage sheds. Further, installing a “smart” programmable thermostat allows you to manage the heating of multiple areas of your home or office, saving you up to 10% on your energy bill.

Purchase a well-insulated door – Unless you already have one. Or perhaps bolster the insulation on your current mode of entrance. To check if a door provides good insulation, place your hand against it from the inside. If it feels cooler than the inside walls, it might be time to install a door that’s better insulated. Install fully insulated doors on all entrances to garages, cold storage rooms and un-insulated basements. Also, think about your windows too. We’ll save you line item; it’s very much in tune to what we’re talking about here with doors.

Try a tune-up – Have we mentioned our maintenance plans? Not ready to replace your heating system? A regular tune-up can save 3 to 10% on your next heating bill.

Measure your attic’s insulation thickness – You’re greatest combatant to lost heating energy is in the way you insulate your building. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure its thickness. If there is less than 7 inches of fiberglass / rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose you could probably benefit by adding more. And while you’re up there, consider installing some roof vents and inlets to improve ventilation. 

Heat your home (or office) responsibly – This harkens back to the smart thermostat we referenced above. With a proper, technologically advanced thermostat, you won’t even need to worry about the sentiment of this entry.

Here’s the skinny: Cranking up the heat to warm your dwelling quickly doesn’t work. It will warm up at the same rate, regardless of the temperature setting. All you’re doing is taxing your heating system.

Enjoy the sun – Open the drapes or blinds on sunny days and bask in the “free” heat. Keep those south-facing windows squeaky clean to let the light through. All this said, remember to close the drapes or blinds when the sun sets. You know why.

Try a humidifier for extra heat – Not only does a humidifier add a little bit of relief to the painfully dry air that chaps skin and bothers the lungs, it also allows you to turn your thermostat down and be comfortable at lower temperatures. The heat gets stuck in the “water” in the air – which, in this case, is a good thing. We’ll talk about air conditioning in the summertime when humidity is naturally oppressive…

Close the garage door to trap heat – Another “seems obvious” piece of advice, but, we make a lot of house calls, and we know a lot of you are just leaving those doors wide open. It’s fine (generally speaking) in the summertime, but during the winter months, keep the garage door tightly closed as often as possible so that you might retain warmer air against the garage-side wall of the house, which will act as a buffer against the colder outdoor air.

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

Upgrade Antiquated HVAC Systems; Maximize Efficiency and Comfort

Antiquated HVAC Systems

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.

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

Air Conditioning Westwood MA

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!

New Year, New Resolutions for Your HVAC Environment

Commercial HVAC Boston

As 2016 came to a close and the focus becomes sharper on 2017, we all make it a point to make personal “resolutions” for the year that’s ahead of us. How about thinking from the perspective of your home or business HVAC system? If that heating and cooling system of yours could hold a conversation with you, you might be surprised with what it might tell you.

Being an HVAC system in Massachusetts, or heck, New England, is no easy task. Enduring sweltering summers and the perilously frigid winters, HVAC systems put up with a lot to make sure ultimate comfort is served to the homeowner they’re providing an ideal environment for. Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold… They’re fighting through the extremes of the extremes. And, well, they don’t complain. Treat ‘em right. It benefits both sides…

New Year’s Resolutions for your HVAC System:

Upgrade and/or change your air filters frequently.

Seriously. We’ve been talking about filters for a while now, but, in all honesty, it’s the root of many potential issues. Filters are important for many things in life, and adding your HVAC environment to the list of things filters are needed for makes sense. Filters not only help clean the air you’re breathing, they also keep the working components of your HVAC system in proper operational order by keeping harmful elements out. It’s a two-way street. Filters keep your HVAC system healthy, while also keeping you healthy. Think filters. They’re easy, affordable, and are often overlooked.

Consider implementing a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat enables ease of management when it comes to your heating and cooling environment and when/how to properly adjust the settings of your HVAC system to attain maximum comfort. The truth is, the constant finagling of a regular general thermostat isn’t a very efficient means of “staying on top” of the overall temperature and feel of your surrounding environment. A programmable thermostat, for all intents and purposes allows you to “set it and forget it.” Some even offer management controls accessible from any handheld device (smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.).

The long and short of it is this: When you opt for a programmable thermostat, you’ll wind up saving money, conserving energy, and minimizing headaches by knowing that your system will be operating at peak performance. Essentially, you gain the ability to take full control of your environment – and that equals the highest level of comfort, which we’re all looking for.

Learn the repair warning signs.

We’re going to keep this one simple, because honestly, if you have a trusted HVAC service contractor on your side, you should be able to minimize the need to worry about this subject. But, in any event, here are three basic signs that should prompt you to take action…

  1. You’ve noticed a curious rise in your utility bills. If they’re going up, you’re subject to either rising utility costs, or an HVAC system that isn’t performing at an optimal level.
  2. Deteriorating air quality or airflow. This isn’t something that’s necessarily easy to diagnose, but if you notice things getting dustier than normal, and/or you’re experiencing dry, unexplainable coughs, it may be due to poor air quality or airflow. Once you’ve subjected yourself to the addition of an HVAC environment in your home or business, you’ll become familiar with how the air feels. If that quality feels “off,” or, if the heating or cooling of your indoor space seems uneven, there’s an issue somewhere in the delivery. It may be time to call in a professional.
  3. Age gets to us all. Even our appliances. Keep note of how old your HVAC system is. The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 15-20 years. If you have a maintenance plan in place with a service contractor like us here at Suburban, you’re helping yourself get the most life possible out of that system.

Schedule routine maintenance.

This is really the best thing you can do for your home or company’s HVAC system. By scheduling annual maintenance with a trusted certified HVAC professional, you’re making sure your HVAC system is up to snuff, and can focus on the other things around you that matter most.

If you’re heating and cooling system is routinely maintained, it’s going to operate at the highest efficiency for your living environment possible. Optimizing the performance of your system, as well as your own personal environmental comfort, as well as the comfort of your wallet. It really is that simple.

We’d be grateful if you allowed Suburban Companies to be your HVAC service contractor. We service Massachusetts, and the greater Boston area, southern New Hampshire, and beyond. Contact us today to set up a free consultation, or to schedule maintenance.

Take comfort in the new year!

Think Filters

HVAC Filters Maintenance

Let’s talk about filters for a second.

We’re not talking about the filters you’re utilizing when snapping photos on your phone (to make the photos look better). No, we’re talking about filters that could potentially cause inopportune effects if not given the proper attention.

If you have an HVAC system installed in your home, chances are there are filters in one or more places of your home that are catching dust, debris, and other unwanted particles that circulate in your home’s air.

Okay, sure. So what does this mean?

clean-dirty-hvac-filtersWell, they, like other filters, they need to be periodically replaced. Have you ever looked at the air filter in your car? Maybe not.

Perhaps you enlist your mechanic to swap that out for you on an annual basis. What about the filter in your dryer? You know, the one you scoop dust and lint out of very regularly. If you’re not, your clothes aren’t drying very well, and your taxing the investment you made in that very appliance.

Like other filters, the one(s) that exist in your heating and cooling system need attention. They need to be replaced at least once a year, maybe more depending on your home’s environment. For instance if you have a lot of pets. It’s easy to overlook. We understand. We’re all busy. So, if you’re scheduling regular maintenance for your system, ask your contractor to help you out with the filters (if they aren’t already). By the way, if you have a washable filter, consider upgrading it to a real filter. Washable filters do not catch the fine particles to actually clean your air.

At the end the day the benefits of addressing your home’s air filter are vast – and the cost associated with this preventative/proactive measure are quite minimal.

Here a few things you can expect when you’re doing the due-diligence:

  • Save Money: When you’re optimizing your system’s health by periodically cleaning/replacing the filter you’re enabling the system to run more efficiently and not taxing the inner working of the appliance because it’s working through prospective blockage, and/or its inability to read the temperature properly in the home. When things are running at an optimal rate, you spend less on electricity and maintenance bills. Keep the cash in your account.
  • Maintain Better Health: When you’re air is clean, you’re lungs are clean. When your lungs are clean, you breathe better. When you breathe better, your entire body benefits from greater health because you’re not taking in air toxins and unhealthy bacteria floating around in the air. And, if we can harken back to the first bullet, you’ll save money. Better health equals less healthcare expenses.
  • Greater System Performance / Longevity: You don’t run your care with the same oil and filter in it for the entirety of its life. That is unless you’re replacing your car annually. When you’re conscious and proactive of “the little things” your investments will treat you better, and, once again, you’ll wind up saving money. Optimization is the best solution.

replace-hvac-filtersNo matter how you look at it, by proactively maintaining and swapping out your HVAC system’s air filter, you can cut your total energy costs by as much as 15% (according to www.energy.gov). In the long run, that can make a huge difference.

For all of your residential and commercial HVAC needs, contact us at Suburban HVAC. Take Comfort: We’ll answer any questions you might have and assist you in any way that we can.

Hot Topic – Preparing Your Home for the Cold New England Months Ahead…

Be Prepared

The last leaves are barely clinging to their spot on otherwise bare tree branches. A frost was likely stuck to the windshield when you set foot outside to begin your daily commute to work (if it hasn’t yet, it will soon, trust us…). It’s time to break out the winter gear, and likewise, it’s time to prepare you home for what is sure to be a cold, long winter. We got off easy last year. That isn’t going to happen again…

So while you plan your winter budget, we offer you five tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of heat your HVAC system is blowing at you during the season of single-digit temps and snow flurries.

winter-ready-windows-caulkingWeather proofing your home’s windows and door – We’ll start with an obvious one: Utilize a fresh application of caulk, or one of the many weather strip options at your local hardware store to shore up gaps that exist on the perimeter of those pesky windows and doors – especially if you live in an older home. They may exude ambiance, but they also permeate massive amounts of energy. And what good is paying to heat your home if that heat is just escaping through the cracks? None. I mean, it was an obvious answer, but we had to lay out it there…

hvac-air-filtersInspect, clean, and change filters – You know your HVAC system has a filter right? It might even have two. You don’t? Well, it’s time to get close to your investment… Put simply, if you’re not proactively monitoring and maintaining your system’s filter(s) you’re doing the system, yourself, and your bank account a disservice. Nobody wins if a filter isn’t periodically cleaned and/or replaced. Clean filters equal clean air, efficient use of your system, and money savings. Read more here.

Keep your thermostat constant – It’s okay to drop the thermostat a few degrees when you’re out the door to work in the morning. That actually saves you significant monies on your monthly electric bill. But dropping the system down to 50 when you’re gone, and 75 when you’re back is using excessive resources – from electricity to finances. Keep it constant. You’ll do yourself and your system a huge degree of betterment by being smarter about your use of the thermostat dial.

thermostat-consistantUse a programmable thermostat – This harkens back to the entry above about being smarter about the usage of your thermostat dial. A programmable “smart” thermostat may be a great option for you because you can “set it and forget it” based on peak usage hours, etc. There are myriad options here. Check this out to learn more about programmable thermostats and how they can benefit you, your home, and your bank account.

Consult an HVAC specialist – In short, a certified, trusted HVAC contractor on your side guarantees that you’re running smoothly and efficiently during the winter, and also throughout the other three seasons that exist in these parts as well. Scheduled maintenance plans are a thing of beauty for the busy homeowner that is best served with a “plug and play” option. At Suburban, we’ll give you just that – Ease of mind, a fully optimized heating and cooling system, and, as our tagline suggests, ultimate comfort.

At Suburban, your comfort is our comfort.
Contact us today to learn more.

Annual Checkup: The Importance of Maintaining the Wellbeing of Your Heating and Cooling System

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Is your heating and cooling system performing under the weather?

Is your heating and cooling system experiencing an operative cough? Is it running too warm? Too cold? Are you unsure? Call in the doctor…

While we at Suburban are available 24/7 to take care of your immediate heating and cooling needs, we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping a consistent annual maintenance routine in place for your home’s heating and cooling system.

Why?

Well, there’s an assortment of reasons.

The short answer is: optimization.

optimize your heating systemIf you’re heating and cooling system is routinely maintained, it’s going to operate at the highest efficiency for your living environment possible. Optimizing the performance of your system, as well as your own personal environmental comfort, as well as the comfort of your wallet.

Why preventive maintenance is highly recommended:

For Air Conditioning

  • Dirty condenser coils increase your electrical bill.
  • Dirty evaporator coils (even with a small amount of dirt) can decrease efficiency, increase operating costs, and be a major cause of compressor failure.
  • A low or high refrigerant charge can cause compressor failure.
  • Loose belts and worn pulleys decrease airflow.
  • Improperly lubricated rotating equipment will eventually fail.
  • Algae can plug a condensation drain, which can cause expensive water damage.

For Heating

  • Heat exchangers can develop cracks, risking carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Dirty burners cause poor combustion resulting in heat going up the stack.
  • A defective thermocouple will cause the furnace to shut down.
  • Weak or dirty pilots can be extinguished causing the furnace to shutdown.
  • Safety controls left unchecked can cause dangerous problems.

If your heating and cooling is running at a prime rate, you’re going to be saving money, not losing it due to system deficiencies and potential unseen leakage that may be occurring that can’t be seen by an untrained eye.

Not to worry. We’re here for you. Contact Suburban and we’ll make sure you’re heating and cooling system is operating up to par, and replace the existing old filter, with a fresh one – which will immediately help freshen the air your breathing.

What’s more is, if you’re not servicing your heating and cooling system, you may fall out of line with the general requirements that keep your warranty in good standing.

You see, many new heating and cooling system installs include a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, which insures you’ll be covered if something were to go wrong with your system. But here’s the thing: If you’re not having a professional maintain your home’s system on an annual basis, you may be at risk of losing that benefit.

Don’t lose sight of it. It could cost you dearly if you do…

Questions? Allow us to answer them. Call us today. Call us anytime.