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!

Need Air Conditioning Services? Count on Stafford!

The summer weather has arrived, and with it, the warmer temperatures. In fact, you might have already used your home’s air conditioning system this June. Hopefully, you’ve had it serviced for the year by one of the expert technicians at Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. (If not, you still can give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.) At Stafford, we take great pride in offering our customers a complete listing of air conditioning products and services, because their comfort is one of our top priorities. But what does it mean to be a full-service AC contractor? Can you really rely on us for all your cooling needs?

The answer to that is, simply, yes! We proudly provide some of the best home cooling options available on the market today. We’re always looking out for the latest technologies, and we’re pleased to provide our customers with some great options like ductless and heat pumps that not only offer optimal comfort, but also incredible energy savings. Our professional team of technicians is licensed and trained to provide the best service, whether they’re making repairs or installing a brand-new system in your home. Your satisfaction is very important to us, and we work to ensure your every need is met.

We’re pleased to offer a full array of air conditioning products and services for your home.

We’ll help you decide on which of these great AC products is right for your home:

  • High-Efficiency Air Conditioning: As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we proudly install high-quality, high-efficiency Carrier air conditioning systems. They help you and your family stay cool, while offering energy savings that will help keep your utility bills in check.
  • Ductless Air Conditioning: Do you have a room in your home that could benefit from air conditioning, but where ductwork is either impractical or impossible? No problem! You can count on Stafford to provide you with efficient, simple-to-install ductless AC.
  • Geothermal Air Conditioning: Heat pumps are becoming more and more common, since advanced technologies have allowed heat pumps to be used even in colder climates. Geothermal AC uses heat pump technology to make cool, dehumidified air for your home – at a significant operating cost savings!

Stafford also provides expert air conditioning services, including:

  • Air Conditioning Repair: If your AC system breaks down, you need to know you can rely on your contractor to help you right away. Stafford offers 24-hour emergency repair services, so you can trust you’ll get expert repairs on your equipment. That way, you’ll get back to enjoying cool comfort in no time.
  • Air Conditioning Maintenance: If you want to ensure that the AC system in your home provides effective, efficient cooling now and for years to come, getting annual maintenance is important. We’ll make sure your air conditioning system is running smoothly, helping you and your family stay comfortable.
  • Air Conditioning Installation: No matter what type of air conditioning you use in your home – central air, ductless or geothermal – Stafford can provide expert AC installation. Our technicians are licensed and trained, and as a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we offer you the best in AC solutions.

When you need air conditioning services of any kind for your home, trust the professionals at Stafford Mechanical Services to help. We can help you with your Carrier AC, or any other brand. You may contact us via phone at (860) 684-9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your air conditioning needs.

How a Heat Pump Can Keep You Cool This Summer

When consumers hear the words “heat pump,” it only stands to reason that their thoughts turn to home heating. It’s true that heat pumps can help you keep your home warm and cozy during the cold winter months, but did you know they can also help keep your home cool during the summer months? The Dept. of Energy (DOE) provides an explanation of how heat pump systems work to keep you comfortable, no matter what the weather outside is like.

According to the DOE, “heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners.” They work by using electricity to move heat from cool spaces to warm spaces, in turn making the cool area cooler and the warm area warmer. During the colder months, heat pumps work by bringing heat from outdoors indoors, and in the summer months, they move the heat from your house outdoors. Heat pumps move heat rather than create it, and as a result they can be much more energy-efficient than traditional systems.

Heat pumps are often used in ductless heating and cooling systems. Like typical heat pump systems used in ducted applications, these systems have two components, an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler. The systems are linked via a small-diameter conduit. Many people choose to introduce heat pump systems to their home via ductless, because the advantages are many. First of all, there is no need to worry about adding more ductwork, because these systems require none. Ductless heat pump systems are generally simpler to install than traditional systems, so homeowners won’t have to contend with a large renovation project – and the mess that goes along with it.

Of course, as mentioned above, the most impressive benefit of a heat pump system is the energy efficiency, which translates into savings on your utility bills. According to the DOE, “heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.” And, with new developments in technology, heat pumps are able to function well in colder climates like those we experience in the Northeast, so installing a heat pump system in your home is a great choice for year-round comfort.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to assist you with your heat pump needs. 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.

Choosing Ductless: The Benefits May Surprise You!

More and more, people are hearing about ductless heating and cooling. However, few people know that there are numerous benefits when it comes to choosing this home comfort technology for their home. Ductless heat pump systems have the capability of keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and with advanced technology, many of these systems are adaptable to the cold climate we experience. You can enjoy comfort all year round with today’s ductless – and much more.

Maybe you have an area of your home like an addition, converted attic or garage, or finished basement that could benefit from heating and cooling. Or, perhaps you’re considering replacing your entire antiquated electric heating system. Ductless air conditioning and heating is the perfect solution in both scenarios. That’s because ductless is just as the name indicates – a system that can keep your home comfortable year round, without the need to install additional ductwork.

And because ductless systems use heat pump technology, they are extremely energy efficient.

Each zone (if you install a ductless mini-split system) has its own thermostat. As a result, temperatures throughout the home can be precisely controlled. Because you’re only conditioning spaces that are being used, energy is saved – and ultimately money on your utility bills. And, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), ductless systems are also more efficient because of the simple fact they don’t use ductwork – the DOE indicate that duct losses can account for more than 30 percent of energy consumption for space conditioning.

But beyond the advanced comfort and energy efficiency these systems can provide, many homeowners love ductless because it’s both quiet and unobtrusive. Because ductless systems are so flexible because they come in a number of styles, including high wall, ducted console, and cassette units. Ductless is also engineered to provide low operating noise. Unlike clunky, noisy window units ductless systems can be streamlined to fit into your home environment seamlessly. All you’ll notice is better comfort.

With ductless, you and your family will breathe easier, too.

A final benefit to ductless is its ability to help with allergen control in your home. Each separate unit has its own filter. That lets the air in rooms that have ductless installed be more comfortable, cleaner and fresher. With ductless, the air is circulated within the confined space of the room. That means no cross-contamination such as fumes, dust and odors from other areas of the home.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to assist you with your ductless heating and cooling needs. 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 get into a new ductless system for your home.

5 Reasons Why You Should Schedule AC Maintenance this Spring

There’s nothing better than turning on your air conditioner on a hot, humid summer day and enjoying the cool comfort it provides. But did you know that in order for it to run its absolute best, it should receive regular maintenance? That’s why we recommend to our customers that they contact us in the spring to schedule their AC maintenance, before the hot weather hits. But many people wonder, is air conditioning maintenance worth the price tag attached?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), proper air conditioning maintenance is crucial. They state, “Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.” That means your air c

onditioner won’t do as much to keep your home comfortable during the hot weather, but your energy use – and your utility bills – will increase. And nobody wants that! The DOE explains how maintenance can help your system run more efficiently this summer and for years to come.

AC Filter Cleaning & Changing

It seems almost too simple, but the most important maintenance task when it comes to the efficiency of your air conditioner system is routinely replacing or cleaning of the filter. Why? Because once your air conditioner’s filter gets clogged and dirty, the air simply cannot flow through easily. And that reduces your system’s efficiency, making it use more energy to run, and thus hiking up your utility bills.

Evaporator & Condenser Coil Cleaning

Your air conditioner has evaporator and condenser coils, and they collect dirt and debris during their months of use – especially if the filters aren’t changed frequently. When the evaporator coils get dirty, airflow is reduced and they lose their ability to absorb heat. Outside, your condenser coils are at the mercy of nature – especially in environments where there’s a lot of foliage and/or dust getting kicked up. For your part, you can reduce the chance of debris getting into your condenser coils by keeping the area clear of falling leaves, dryer vent discharge and lawn mower clippings. Coil fins will also be checked for bending and will be “combed” back into original position if needed.

Condensate Drains

Part of your annual maintenance includes clearing out your air conditioning unit’s condensate drain channels. If these become clogged, your unit will not be able to effectively remove humidity… and that can lead to excess moisture in your home. Unfortunately, too much moisture can lead to discoloration of walls, carpet and furniture, and can encourage mold and mildew growth.

Refrigerant Concerns

Your technician will make sure your system has the correct amount of refrigerant, and if not, they will test for leaks. Then, they’ll capture any of the refrigerant that needs to be evacuated from the system. (It’s illegal to release refrigerant into the environment, because of the potentially harmful effects.) Any leaks will be repaired, and the technician will make sure your system is charged with the proper amount of refrigerant.

Electrical Checkup

Keeping an eye on your air conditioning systems electrical system is also important – issues with the electrical system can cause your AC to malfunction. Your technician will ensure that your system is operating under the correct electrical control sequence, and that your AC and furnace can’t operate at the same time. They’ll also inspect all electric terminals, and tighten and clean connections.

As you can see, there are many moving parts to your air conditioning system, and making sure they’re all working together in harmony is an important part of keeping your AC running effectively and efficiently. At Stafford, we’re pleased to offer our customers air conditioning maintenance agreements that will help you get comprehensive AC services for your home. So don’t hesitate – give us a call at 860.684.9485 to get your spring maintenance scheduled today!

5 Reasons to Choose a Ductless Heat Pump System

If you’ve been considering updating your home’s heating and cooling system, you should know there’s a way you can do it all – with just one system. Ductless heat pump systems have the capability of heating and cooling your home, and at the same time offer energy efficiency. And, with advanced technologies, just about anyone can choose a heat pump to effectively heat and cool their home.

Here are five reasons why a ductless heat pump system is a great choice for your home:

Energy Efficiency 

Because heat pump systems move heat rather than generate heat, they can provide the same space conditioning at a fraction of the cost of older heating and cooling systems. The Department of Energy estimates that modern heat pumps can reduce electricity use by nearly 50 percent compared to furnaces and baseboard heat.

Air Conditioning Capabilities

A major benefit of a ductless heat pump system is that it not only can heat your home in the winter, but it can provide air conditioning in the summer months as well. Not to mention, they provide excellent dehumidification. As a result, your home will be cooler in the summer and less damp – and that means you and your family will enjoy better comfort.

Targeted Comfort

Is adding ductwork to your home is either impractical or impossible? With a ductless heat pump system, you won’t have to worry. Mini-split heat pumps offer targeted comfort to every room in your home, without the need for additional ductwork. And because you have a separate unit in each area, you can control the amount of heating and cooling in each space to create the perfect indoor climate.

Quiet Operation

Because of the type of compressor heat pump systems use, they offer quiet operation as well as a longer operating life. That way, you and your family can enjoy home comfort without the noise you might get from traditional heating systems and window air conditioners – year after year.

Cold Climate Capabilities

Many people who have researched heat pump systems think that they won’t work in the colder climates of New England. That’s because in the past, it’s true that heat pumps were more effective in milder climates. But with advanced technologies, ductless heat pump systems are now a viable alternative, even in chillier locales.

Stafford Mechanical can help you get the ductless system you need.

Think you’re ready to consider a ductless system for your home? Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. is ready to assist you! To learn more, please contact us via phone at (860) 684-9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your ductless heat pump needs!

Top 5 Reasons Why Seasonal Heating Maintenance is Important

Most people make sure their vehicles have the proper windshield wipers and tires before the winter weather hits. They likely take their car in for a tune-up, inspection and oil change before the snow flies, too. Yet, many of us don’t think of our home comfort equipment the same way. But, the furnace in your home needs proper care in order to run its very best, just like your automobile does. You may have heard about seasonal maintenance, but you may not understand the importance of it.

At Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc., we think it’s important to do more than simply tell our customers that they need a product or service. That’s why we take the time to explain to you the benefits of the services we provide. That includes seasonal heating maintenance. Choose us to help you get the maintenance you need for your furnace. You’ll quickly see the advantages every time the heat kicks on.

Here are five reasons why seasonal heating maintenance is good for your furnace:

Energy Efficiency

When you maintain your furnace properly, it enjoys better energy efficiency. That’s because mechanical components are lubricated and work more efficiently, requiring less energy to get the job done. And, cleaning or changing out the filter helps with efficiency, too, as your furnace can easily circulate air through your home – instead of trying for force it through a clogged, dirty filter.

Life of Equipment

Seasonal maintenance helps to prolong the life of your equipment. All the important inner workings of your equipment are checked, cleaned and maintained, so It also helps to find any tiny issues and remedy them before they become larger ones that are more difficult to fix.

Air Quality

Think about it – when your furnace isn’t clean, how can the air moving through it be? A well-maintained system allows for freer airflow – and keeping your filters changed or cleaned on a regular basis is an important part of that. Your filter will trap many of the common allergens that plague your home, including pollen, dust, and pet dander. Getting furnace maintenance helps you breathe easier – literally!

Savings on Repairs

Even with preventive maintenance, sometimes you may need repair services. Usually, annual maintenance helps keep the repairs on the smaller – and less costly – side. When you have a maintenance plan from Stafford, you will save money on your repairs, should you need them. Plus, many warranties indicate that annual maintenance is necessary for the warranty to remain valid.

Better Home Comfort & Safety

When your furnace is running properly, your whole home will be more comfortable. As mentioned above, you’ll have better indoor air quality. And, it’s less likely that your furnace will experience any fires or carbon monoxide emissions, so you can feel a whole lot safer when your furnace is maintained. Helpful hint – coincide checking and/or changing smoke and CO detector batteries with your annual furnace maintenance for an added layer of protection.

Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. provides the seasonal maintenance you need for your home.

As you can see, seasonal maintenance is an important part of staying comfortable all winter long. To get the furnace maintenance you need for your home’s comfort and safety, simply contact Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. and we will be more than happy to help you get the maintenance you need.