How Can A System With No Ducts Keep My House Cool?

Ductless air conditioning seems to be all the buzz lately, and with good reason – this type of system is super-efficient, and there are options available that also allow it to provide heating in the cooler months. But many people still wonder if ductless AC really works as well as HVAC professionals say it does. You should know, many people are choosing ductless to cool their homes these days, and according to an article on the This Old House website, that choice is with good reason.

According to the article, one of the main reasons for people turning to ductless to cool (and heat) their homes is the unparalleled efficiency. That’s because with ductless, there are no worries about air leaks, heat gains, or pressure issues that you might see with other types of systems. And in addition to potentially saving money on your energy bills, many utility companies offer incentives to homeowners installing ductless systems, not to mention the availability of low-interest financing, making it a more affordable option.

How does ductless efficiently cool an entire home?

With ductless, you as a homeowner are able to control how much cool air is needed in different zones throughout your home. When ductless is chosen as a whole-house cooling option, there is usually more than one unit installed in the home, and you have complete control over those individual units. Essentially, that means you can keep individual spaces in your home precisely comfort-controlled, at the simple touch of a button. This multi-unit idea might have you wondering, though, how whole-house cooling can be accomplished without extensive, messy construction work.

Ductless consists of indoor and outdoor units. Because ductless systems do not require air ducts, there is no need to remodel your home. There are many options available, from a single ductless air conditioning unit, to a multi-split system capable of cooling and heating your entire home. All that’s required with a ductless system is a three-inch diameter hole to connect the electrical cables and refrigerant lines between the indoor and outdoor components. That makes a ductless system much easier to install in your home, so you’ll be able to enjoy better home comfort sooner, without a lot of clean up.

But ductless probably isn’t a great choice for northern climates, right?

Many people don’t really consider ductless cooling and heating as a year-round option because they’ve heard the heat pumps that control such a system don’t work great in cooler climates. While it’s true there was a time that heat pump systems weren’t a great choice in areas where the temperatures went below freezing, modern technology has changed all of that. New compressor technology makes it possible for today’s units to work even in areas where temperatures go down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit!

Zoned ductless systems offer ease of installation, incredible efficiency and are a great alternative in homes that do not have available ductwork. You might be surprised to learn that they can help you save up to 30 percent of electricity, when you choose ductless over window AC or central air systems that feed into aging ductwork. Modern advances make mini-split systems a viable option, even in colder climates, and the fact that they can provide both cooling and heating for year-round comfort has made them a key player when it comes to home comfort equipment.

Trust Stafford to help you get the right ductless system for your home.

To learn more about ductless cooling and heating, and if it’s the right fit for your home and lifestyle, all you need to do is give Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. a call. Our comfort specialists will be happy to help you get all the information you need about ductless split systems. We proudly offer high-quality Carrier products for your home. You may contact us via phone at 860.684.9485. We look forward to helping you with your ductless needs.

Don’t Have Your “Ducts” In A Row? Get Ductless!

Keeping cool in the summer can be a challenge, especially when your home isn’t equipped with ductwork. Homes that use radiant or baseboard heat often do not have air ducts in their home, making it nearly impossible, without a lot of remodeling and construction, to install central air conditioning. Many people in this scenario opt for window air conditioning units, which can be loud, block views and waste energy. So what can you do if your home doesn’t have the ducts you need for central air? Choose ductless cooling and heating!

Even though ductless air conditioning has been around for a while now, many people are unfamiliar with it. Or, they may not realize how many benefits there are to choosing ductless over window AC. The fact is, ductless air conditioning provides a whole host of advantages when it comes to cooling your home. It’s versatile, too – so if you need air conditioning throughout your entire home, or just in a specific area, there’s a ductless system that will work for your unique needs.

How can I get a ductless cooling system that works for my home?

When you’re considering air conditioning, it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional, like the ones here at Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. We can help you evaluate your current air conditioning system, and explain to you how we can make ductless cooling work for you. For instance, if you’re living in a home without ductwork throughout, we’ll explain how a ductless mini-split system can deliver targeted cooling to individual areas of your home. Or, if you already have central air but have added areas to your home like additions, finished basements, or a converted attic or garage, ductless is the perfect solution to help make those spaces cool and comfortable year-round.

So, tell me about the benefits a ductless AC system can deliver.

When you choose ductless for your home, you can expect the following great advantages:

  • Targeted Comfort: Ductless systems are generally zoned, so you’ll be able to provide just the right level of comfort depending on the unique needs of your home and family.
  • Ease of Installation: It goes without saying, but ductless systems are simpler to install because they don’t need ductwork to operate. That means a lot less construction mess, and a lot less downtime, too!
  • Better Efficiency: Ductless systems are extremely efficient, and use much less energy than window units. And because they deliver targeted AC, you have much greater control over home comfort levels.
  • Year-Round Comfort: Some ductless systems can provide heating to your home as well. This makes them perfect for additions, or other rooms you want to use all year long but don’t have the necessary ductwork.
  • Quiet Operation: Ductless systems are usually whisper-quiet, which makes them a far more appealing choice than window AC. And, they’re designed to blend seamlessly with virtually any décor.

How can I find out if ductless air conditioning and heating is right for my home?

To learn more about ductless cooling, and if it’s the right fit for your home and lifestyle, all you need to do is give Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. a call. Our comfort specialists will be happy to help you get all the information you need about ductless AC. We proudly offer high-quality Carrier products for your home. You may contact us via phone at 860.684.9485. We look forward to helping you with your ductless needs.

Why Choose High Efficiency Air Conditioning?

How old is your air conditioning system? Did you know that if it’s more than 10 years old, it could be time to look into updating? If your system is running great, and you’re getting the energy efficiency you need, of course there’s no need for an upgrade. But if you’ve found yourself making a lot of expensive repairs in recent years, or you’re spending much more than you’d like on your home energy bills during the summer months, it’s probably time for a change.

Today’s air conditioning systems not only provide optimal comfort; they also offer much better energy efficiency than their older counterparts. According to the Department of Energy, “today’s best air conditioners use 30 percent to 50 percent less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid-1970s.” They add that you could save 20 percent to 40 percent of cooling energy costs by replacing an air conditioner that’s 10 years old with a newer, more efficient model.

So the major benefit of choosing to install high-efficiency air conditioning is, of course, energy savings. But what are some of the other benefits to high-efficiency AC?

When you work with Stafford to replace your old system with a new high-efficiency model, you’ll enjoy these additional benefits:

  • Quality Products: Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is a proud Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer. You can trust us to not only provide high-quality, high efficiency air conditioning systems for your home. And, you can rely on our factory-trained technicians to meet all of your cooling needs.
  • Quieter Operation: Modern air conditioning systems operate more quietly. That provides you and your family with more than just cool comfort. It also keeps your home quiet and peaceful, no matter how hot the outside temperatures might get.
  • Environmentally Sound Refrigerant: Today’s air conditioning systems are manufactured using a type of coolant that is naturally more energy efficient, and does not harm the ozone layer. So while you’re staying cool, you’re also being mindful of your carbon footprint.
  • Professional Installation: When you work with Stafford, we’ll be able to help you determine just the right air conditioning solution for your home. No two homes are alike, which is why we never offer cookie-cutter solutions. We take the size of your home into account, as well as the specific needs of your family.
  • Many Options: Whether you’re considering central air conditioning, or are interested in another cooling solution such as ductless or geothermal AC, we can provide you with different options best suited to your specific needs. We take great pride in every system we install, so you can count on us for expert results.

When it’s time to update to high-efficiency AC, call Stafford to help.

If you’d like to learn more about getting high-efficiency cooling for your home, count on Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. to assist you. We proudly offer high-quality Carrier products for your home. You may contact us via phone at 860.684.9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your air conditioning needs.

Why Getting AC System Maintenance Is Important

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, making sure your home’s air conditioning system is properly maintained is important. They inform us, “neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.” Getting your air conditioning system’s fins, coils and filters maintained regularly helps your unit run effectively and efficiently over its lifetime. But what if you don’t get maintenance? How will your system be affected? Is it really necessary?

3 Ways Your AC System Benefits From Maintenance

Filters: Your air conditioning system’s air filters allow air to flow freely through your system, and help keep dirt and debris from entering the air in your home. If your filters are dirty, though, they’ll block the normal airflow – and that can greatly impact your AC system’s efficiency. Not to mention, if your filter is too dirty to do its job, that dirt and debris can build up in evaporator coils and cause even more issues. Changing your filters is easy, and can lower energy consumption by up to 15 percent.

Coils: The evaporator and condenser coils in your home’s air conditioning system are kind of dirt magnets, and even with the proper filter changes, they can accumulate dirt easily. Condenser coils that are in the outdoor part of your unit are especially subject to collecting dirt – especially if you live where it’s dusty, or if there is a lot of foliage around your unit. Falling leaves, lawn mower clippings, and even dryer vents can lead to debris concerns. As a result, it’s important to have a technician maintain your system yearly.

Fins & Drains: The aluminum fins on your evaporator and condenser coils can very easily get bent. As a result, the airflow through the coil can get blocked. And, your condensate drains can get clogged easily, too, causing excess moisture in your system. Your technician has the right tools to remedy both bent fins and clogged condensate drains – helping your system work more effectively and efficiently.

Getting preventive AC maintenance yearly ensures your system is getting the checkup it needs.

When you call Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. for your system check-up, we’ll look at a number of different factors that could affect system performance. Here’s what we’ll check for:

  • Refrigerant amounts and potential leaks
  • Check for duct leaks
  • Measure system airflow
  • Inspect and evaluate system electrical components
  • Oil motors
  • Check belts
  • Check thermostat accuracy

Call Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. to schedule your spring air conditioning maintenance.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to help you with your spring air conditioning maintenance needs. We proudly service Carrier® and many other brands as well. Just give us a call at 860.684.9485, and we’ll be happy to help you get preventive maintenance for your AC system.

Give Your Home Comfort System The Love It Needs

It’s easy to take your home comfort system for granted. It works quietly in the background, helping you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As long as you and your family are comfortable, you might not pay much attention to it at all. But, when something goes wrong, you’ll likely find yourself in a frustrating predicament either requiring costly repairs or potentially, even system replacement. But there’s good news – a little love goes a long way when it comes to your home’s heating and cooling equipment.

And the best way you can give your home comfort system the love it needs is by choosing annual maintenance. When you count on a qualified contractor to provide you with the preventive maintenance you need for your heating and cooling equipment, you’re helping to ensure that your system operates effectively and efficiently all year long. What’s more, getting preventive maintenance can help prolong the life of your system as well. And, that can help you save money now and in the long run, too.

Annual maintenance from Stafford is one of the best gifts you can give your home comfort system.

At Stafford, our professional technicians provide homeowners with the very best annual maintenance available. When you choose one of our comprehensive maintenance plans, you’ll receive an annual cleaning and inspection of your home comfort system. What does this mean for your system? Here are just a few benefits:

  • Moving parts are cleaned and lubricated. This helps your system operate more effectively and efficiently. It also allows our technicians to take note of any small problems. That way, they can them repaired before they become larger, more costly issues down the road.
  • Filters are changed. Believe it or not, changing the filter in your home comfort system is one of the best ways you can improve its operation and efficiency. Equipment has to work extra hard when pushing heated or cooled air through a dirty filter. Not to mention, your home’s air will be cleaner, too.
  • Maintenance helps keep your warranty intact. Many people don’t notice it, but often in the fine print of their equipment warranty is the requirement of annual maintenance. And, if they don’t get maintenance as outlined, this can often mean that the warranty on the equipment becomes void.
  • Your equipment will last longer. Think about it this way – what if you never got your car inspected, or the oil changed, or installed new wipers or tires when needed? It probably would not last very long. Furnaces, boilers, heat pumps and air conditioners are mechanical like a car, and require maintenance in order to run optimally, and keep running that way for years to come.

Show your home comfort system the love by getting preventive maintenance and taking a few simple steps.

While we can’t emphasize enough the importance of annual maintenance, there are a few things you can do yourself to keep your comfort system running smoothly. As we mentioned above, changing the filter is important, and a part of annual maintenance. But, when your furnace or AC is running continually during the very cold and very hot times of the year, your filter probably should be changed monthly for the maximum benefit. You can do this quite easily yourself, but if you’re not sure how to, our technicians will be happy to show you or do it for you.

Also, a programmable thermostat can work in harmony with your home comfort system, helping maximize your heating and cooling, which in the long run provides greater equipment efficiency. There are even smart thermostats available that actually “learn” homeowner habits and adjust temperatures accordingly. These can be controlled easily from your phone or computer, even when you’re away from home.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to help you show your home comfort system the love it deserves. We proudly service Carrier® and many other brands as well. Just give us a call at 860.684.9485, and we’ll be happy to help you with your preventive maintenance needs.

Advantages of High Efficiency Heating Systems

Over the years, there have been many advances in home heating systems. Today’s equipment is definitely not your grandfather’s, and modern systems are made with energy efficiency and environmental friendliness in mind. Many people still prefer to use gas or oil-burning furnaces for their homes. There has been a movement toward improving these types of systems so they’re much more energy efficient, still while providing you and your family with the comfort you need.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), most older furnace systems had efficiencies that ranged between 55 and 70 percent. What this meant for homeowners was that anywhere between 45 and 30 percent of the energy used by these furnaces was lost – making them inefficient, and home heating costly. Now, furnace systems can achieve much higher efficiencies – some up to 98.5 percent! That translates into much less money spent on fuel bills for you, and much less pollution output for our planet.

Many types of high efficiency heating systems are now available.

The DOE indicates that if your heating equipment is old, worn out, inefficient or significantly oversized for your home, the best and easiest solution to the problem is to replace it with a newer, more advanced model. At Stafford Mechanical Services, we can help ensure that your new system not only provides you with better efficiency, but also is the right size and configuration for your home. We can also help you heat areas of your home where ductwork is impossible or impractical, with super-efficient ductless heating.

By adding ductless heating to spaces that have not been typically heated, you’ll be able to balance out the temperature in your home, and your gas, oil or propane furnace won’t have to work as hard. The result is much more comfortable home and better energy efficiency. And of course, maintaining your new heating system will help it stay at its most efficient and effective, so be sure to contact Stafford for your annual heating maintenance needs.

When you count on Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. to help you with your heating needs, we’ll help you get the right system for your home. Our professional technicians will provide you with high-quality equipment and expert installation. We proudly offer Carrier® heating equipment, as well as many other brands. Just give us a call at 860.684.9485, and we’ll be happy to discuss the best type of heating for your home with you.

5 Ways to Keep Warm During a Heating System Breakdown

It’s Murphy’s Law (or National Lampoon’s Christmas) – if your heating system is going to break down, it’s going to do so when you have a house full of people staying over for the holidays. What can you do if you have all the relatives over, and you suddenly realize that your heating system isn’t working? Well, the first thing we hope you do is give Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. a call. We’re available 24/7 for emergency heating services, and our top priority is keeping you and your family comfortable.

You’ll probably want to keep heat loss at a minimum while you wait for us, though, so here are five simple measures you can take in order to stay comfortable while waiting for service:

Block Window and Door Drafts

Exterior doors and windows can be a top culprit when it comes to home heat loss. Rolling up towels or blankets and placing them at the bottom of your doors and windows can help block cooler air from coming in and warmer air from leaving. If you have a door that goes through your garage or an enclosed porch and need to leave, choose that one instead of one leading directly outside – letting the cold air in will only hasten the drop in your indoor temperatures.

Use Curtains to Keep Heat In

Curtains can work to help you during a heating system breakdown. For instance, you can open curtains a bit if it’s sunny out to let some of the heat from the sun in, or, if it’s dark and dreary out, you can keep them closed so the heat stays in.

Congregate in the Living Room

Or whichever room has the most space to accommodate the whole family. Keep any interior doors shut so the heat stays in, and make sure you have plenty of blankets, sweaters and even hats and mittens. Consider doing something active like dancing or playing games that require movement.

Go Indoor Camping

This sounds funny, we know, but if you have a tent and ample room, put it up inside. The kids will love it, and you can gather inside and tell stories, read books, or just pretend that you’re on a fun camp-out. The tent will serve to capture the heat from your own body, as well as everyone else’s – keeping everyone toasty. Please do not build a fire for s’mores, though – unless, of course, you have a fireplace!

Dream By the Fire

If you do have a fireplace in your home that is operable and well-maintained, you will likely want to get the fire going in the case of a heating system failure. Gas or electric fireplaces are easy enough to turn on and off as needed. Wood fireplaces, as long as the chimney is in good order, are another good choice for keeping your family warm while you wait for repair services.

Of course, we want you to remain safe during your heating emergency. Be mindful of carbon monoxide levels in your home. If your CO detector indicates the presence of carbon monoxide in your home, crack open a window, get your family out of the house and someplace safe, and call your local fire department. Be aware, too, that many portable heaters that run on some form of fuel produce carbon monoxide. Never use one indoors that has been designed for outdoor use, or better yet, use an electric space heater.

When you choose Stafford to help you with your emergency heating needs, we’ll provide you with top-of-the-line service from our highly skilled HVAC technicians. We want to help you save money and most importantly, to stay comfortable no matter how chilly the winter weather gets. When you need emergency heating repair services for your home, rely on us to help. Simply give us a call at 860.684.9485 and we’ll be pleased to assist you.

Five Signs That It May Be Time For A Furnace Replacement

Winter is coming… have you been thinking about your home heating needs? One thing’s for certain, you’ll want to be sure your furnace is prepared for the chilly weather ahead. If you noticed last winter that your furnace might be in need of a major repair, or that it’s reaching an age where replacement is inevitable, it’s time to start thinking about replacing your old furnace. The Better Business Bureau offers some solid advice on how to know it’s time for furnace replacement.

Here are five signs that you may need a furnace replacement:

An Increase in Utility Bills. Have you noticed that your energy bills increase year after year, beyond the increases in fuel costs? If so, it may be time to consider replacement. But take heart – if you haven’t had annual furnace maintenance in a while, that could be a prime factor. A good cleaning sometimes is all it takes; however, if your utility bills don’t improve even after annual maintenance, your system could be on its way out.

A Lot of Expensive Repairs. If your furnace is being maintained regularly, but you’re still experiencing system breakdowns – and the subsequent repairs – your furnace could be failing. The older your furnace gets, the more likely this is to occur. You’ll need to carefully evaluate whether the cost of repairs outweighs the purchase price of a new, more efficient furnace. Often, a new furnace is far more cost-effective than making repeated, costly repairs.

Static Cling and Creaky Floorboards: Older heating systems were made in such a way that they kept household moisture levels very low. This led to people experiencing dry, flaky skin, woodwork and furniture drying out, static electricity and even respiratory concerns. While damp air can be problematic, so can overly dry air. Modern furnaces account for that and allow for the right amount of moisture in the air.

Strange Noises from the Basement. Clanging, popping, rattling – none of these noises are ones you want your furnace to be making. These sounds are more than just annoying; they’re an indication that there could be real problems going on with your furnace. These noises can be a sign of pressure buildup or other hazards, and you should call Stafford right away to get to the root of the problem.

Fluctuating Temperatures. You may notice that you need to adjust your thermostat on a frequent basis in order to stay comfortable. Or, that your home takes an unusually long time to heat up. Of course, when you can’t regulate the temperature in your home, the first place to look is the thermostat. If that isn’t the issue, it’s probably time to have a professional look at your furnace – especially one that is older and/or has needed frequent repairs.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. can help you get the furnace you need.

When you choose Stafford to help you with your furnace needs, we’ll provide you with top-of-the-line equipment, installed by our highly skilled HVAC technicians. We want to help you save money and most importantly, to stay comfortable no matter how chilly the winter weather gets. When you need furnace installation for your home, rely on us to help. We proudly provide Carrier® equipment for your home comfort needs. Simply give us a call at 860.684.9485 and we’ll be pleased to assist you.

Enjoy Better Comfort & Save Energy This Winter With a Heat Pump System

Autumn has just arrived, so people aren’t necessarily thinking about the cold chill of winter quite yet. But if the telltale signs point to needing a new heating system for your home, it’s the perfect time of the year to install a new system. Fall is a great time to get into a new heating system. Outdoor temperatures are still mild enough that you probably won’t need your heating system running quite yet, allowing for the time it takes to remove your old system and replace it. And, manufacturers and utility companies often have rebates and incentives available this time of year, so you’ll likely be able to save some money.

If you’d like a system that offers not only optimal comfort, but also excellent efficiency, then why not consider a heat pump system? Many people have never really heard of heating equipment outside the traditional furnace or boiler. And, those who have heard of heat pump systems often think that they don’t work well in colder New England climates. But this is a misnomer – advances in heat pump technology have made it possible for heat pumps to operate effectively and efficiently even in colder climates.

According to the Department of Energy, “Cold climate ASHPs (air-source heat pumps) can reduce household energy consumption by up to 40 percent, with homeowners currently utilizing electric resistance (e.g., baseboard heat) or fuel oil to heat their homes likely to see the most cost savings.” How do heat pumps operate so efficiently, you may wonder. They work by using electricity to move heat from cool spaces to warm spaces, making the cool area cooler and the warm area warmer. During the colder months, they bring heat from outdoors indoors.

An added bonus? They can keep your home cool in the summer too!

The way heat pumps do that is essentially by reversing the process that keeps your home warm in the winter. They move the heat from your house outdoors, and because they move heat rather than create it, they can be much more energy efficient than traditional systems. So having a heat pump can mean better year-round comfort and energy efficiency – helping you cut your energy consumption and pay less on your utility bills.

And, you can replace your current system with heat pump technology, whether you have ducts or not. There are applications that work with your current ductwork, as well as in homes that previously used baseboard or radiant heat rather than forced air. Ductless offers the same energy-efficient home comfort as a ducted heat pump system, but can easily be installed in any room of your home. And that means you won’t have to deal with a massive renovation project, and the inconvenience and mess that accompanies it!

If you’re ready to consider an effective, efficient heat pump system for your home this autumn, Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to assist you. We proudly service Carrier heating equipment and many other brands as well. You may contact us via phone at (860) 684-9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your heating needs.

Cooler Weather is Coming… Is Your Heating System Prepared?

Fall has arrived. We’ve enjoyed a fairly warm transition from summer into autumn, but cooler weather is on its way. Now is the time of year when people begin to ready their homes for the winter months ahead. From adding weather-stripping around doors and windows, to cleaning the gutters, it’s important to be prepared for when the snow flies. And that goes for your heating system too – is it winter-ready?

HGTV recommends that you have a professional, like one of our expert technicians here at Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc., perform a routine check on your heating system before the colder weather arrives. At Stafford, we know how important annual maintenance is for your heating system. That’s why we offer a comprehensive annual service agreement that ensures your furnace, boiler or heat pump operates effectively, efficiently and safely all winter long.

Additionally, it’s recommended that you change your filter monthly during those months when your heat is running.

Why? There are a couple of reasons. First of all, your heating system filter catches all the dirt, dust and allergens that flow through your air ducts. That means filters get clogged and dirty. Airflow is restricted, and the air that does make it into your living space is of poor quality – and that can cause allergies and other respiratory concerns.

Also, trying to push the air through a dirty filter makes your heating system work harder, which can lead to inefficiency and a shorter system life. When Stafford visits your home to perform your annual service, we’ll be more than happy to show you where your heating system filter is located, and how to change it. Of course, you’ll always have the option of giving us a call if you’d like us to change your filter for you.

We’re pleased to provide you with the maintenance you need on virtually all types of heating systems, including:

At Stafford, we’re happy to help our customers get the most out of their heating system. By choosing one of our heating maintenance plans, you’ll receive an annual cleaning and inspection of your home’s heating system. And, you’ll get priority service in the event of an emergency. Your heating system will perform more efficiently – and it will be less likely to experience a costly breakdown.

We’re pleased to service Carrier® heating equipment, and many other brands as well. Let us help you get your home heating system prepared for the cooler weather ahead by calling us today at 860.684.9485 to schedule your annual heating system maintenance appointment with us. We look forward to helping you stay comfortable all winter long!