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Is Your Furnace Headed for a Breakdown? Here Are 5 Warning Signs.

Once winter’s chill settles in, people rely on the heat their furnace provides on a daily basis. But if their furnace isn’t operating properly, it can quickly become a frustrating situation. Frequent repairs are costly and inconvenient, and when your furnace isn’t working right, you’re likely to be concerned about your family’s comfort and safety. Nobody wants to think about being without heat when the cold weather hits, but that’s usually when your furnace breaks down.

So, short of waiting for it to happen, what can you as a homeowner do? Fortunately, there are a few indications that spell trouble for your furnace. Knowing your furnace’s age and repair history, and keeping an eye on your energy bills from year to year are all helpful places to start. And, ENERGY STAR® offers a few signs that point to a possible furnace breakdown – we’re sharing five of the most important signs below.

5 Signs that Your Furnace May Be Headed for a Breakdown

  1. Excessive Dust. The good news is, if your furnace seems to be producing excessive dust without any other problems, the fix is likely a relatively simple one. You probably just need to replace your furnace filter. Your filter collects dust, dirt, and other particles in the course of the usual furnace operation. When it gets dirty, it blows those particles through the air in your home. Changing it whenever it’s dirty helps alleviate this problem. Of course, if there are other issues along with excessive dust, or you’re not sure how to change your filter, calling your heating contractor is always a good idea.
  2. Unusual Noises. As with any other type of equipment, your furnace will make some noise during the course of the usual operation. However, there are some noises that aren’t normal, such as banging or squealing. When those noises are present, there could be issues with belts or the motor, so having it serviced by a professional is probably in order.
  3. Equipment Age. While nobody wants to think about the expense of having to replace a furnace, no equipment lasts forever. If your furnace is around 15 years old, and it isn’t keeping your home as comfortable as you’d like or heating bills are inexplicably creeping up, then it may very well be time to start thinking about a replacement. Of course, there are some things you can do to ensure your furnace lasts as long as possible, like annual maintenance and changing the filter whenever it is dirty.
  4. High Utility Bills. If the price of utilities hasn’t increased substantially, but there has been a noticeable spike in your utility bills, the chances are your furnace is working harder than it needs to – and therefore is using more energy. This could be because of a problem with your furnace that needs to be addressed by a qualified contractor, so the best thing to do is to call your HVAC professional if you notice this is happening.
  5. Frequent Repairs. A furnace that needs to be repaired often is definitely more likely to break down entirely at some point. This is especially true if your furnace is on the older side, or hasn’t received proper annual maintenance. Eventually, you’ll need to weigh the costs of repairs against the cost of purchasing a new system. One way to decide if you should keep repairing your system or consider replacing is following the “5000 Rule” – multiply the repair cost by the age of your unit, and if it meets or exceeds 5000, it may be time to replace. For instance, if your furnace is 12 years old, and the repair is $480, that comes out to 5,760 – and a replacement may be in order.

What to Do If You Think Your Furnace Might Need Repair or Replacement

If your furnace is showing any of the above signs, or you’re simply concerned that it isn’t operating properly, your next step is to contact a trusted heating contractor. No matter what your heating need, 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.

Heating System 101: Learn About the Different Types for Your Home

If you’ve been considering replacing the heating system in your home, you should know that gone are the days when the only systems available to customers were either furnaces or boilers. Home comfort technology has advanced a great deal over the past couple of decades, and homeowners have many more options when it comes to their home heating.

At Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc., we’re pleased to offer our customers an array of heating systems that can help them enjoy better comfort and efficiency. Our skilled technicians are specially trained in the installation, maintenance, and repair of many different types of heating systems, so you can count on expert service from us.

Le

arn about the heating systems Stafford Mechanical can install in your home.

At Stafford Mechanical, it’s important to us that you always get all the information you need when it comes to making a large HVAC purchase like a heating system. Below, please fin

d a description of the different types of heating systems we offer:

  • Furnaces: Furnaces are generally centralized heating that sends heated air through a home’s duct system. Furnaces generally use fuel oil, electricity, or gas to heat the air.
  • Boilers: Boiler systems work similarly to furnaces, except they use heated water instead of heated air. The heated wateHow do I know what type of heating system is right for my home?

It can be difficult to know the exact system that will best suit your home, but usually, if you’ve had a furnace or boiler installed it’s best to replace it. Most of the time, these heating systems are between 10-20 years old by the time they need replacement, so you can count on a new furnace or boiler to be much more energy-efficient than the one it’s replacing. Additionally, some homes can benefit from the addition of ductless heating units or radiant heat in specific rooms or spaces. The best thing to do is to contact Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. and schedule a consultation with us.

When you choose to work with Stafford Mechanical for your heating needs, you’re working with a full-service HVAC contractor. We can help you get the new heating system you need from quality manufacturers such as a Carrier®. And, we can help you with any service you might need after the installation because we provide complete annual maintenance and repair services. If you’re ready for more effective, efficient heating this winter, give us a call at (860) 684-9485 and we will be happy to assist you.

The Top 5 Reasons You Need Fall Maintenance

While the autumn season is still providing us with some warm days, the chilly winter weather will be here sooner than many of us would like. You will want to make sure your heating system is ready to take on the cold weather ahead. Just like getting your vehicle inspected and tuned up, getting your heating system maintained is good practice, too. The HVAC professionals at Stafford Mechanical Services, Inc. can provide you with the annual maintenance your system needs to keep you warm all winter long.

You can count on our highly-skilled heating technicians to help you with your heating maintenance needs, effectively and efficiently. However, you might be wondering why you even need to think about heating maintenance in the first place. Believe it or not, there are many important reasons why you should choose annual maintenance for your heating system, from better efficiency to warranty maintenance. Learn more about the benefits of heating maintenance below.

Why You Should Choose Heating Maintenance for Your Home

  • Improved Efficiency. Heating maintenance includes cleaning your system, replacing a dirty filter, and proper lubrication of mechanical parts. Your system will work much better, helping to improve energy efficiency – which can help you save on heating bills!
  • Better Air Quality. Heating systems, especially forced-air systems like furnaces, can blow dust and other particles throughout your home. Often, a dirty air filter is a cause. With heating maintenance, the dirty filter will be replaced or cleaned, helping to improve the air quality in your home.
  • Longer System Life. Your vehicle probably wouldn’t last too long if you never changed the oil or got new tires. The same goes for your heating system. Not getting yearly cleanings and check-ups can lead to system failure later on – and possibly premature replacement.
  • Fewer Expensive Repairs. Part of your annual maintenance includes a full system check-up, which can locate small, easy-to-fix issues before they become larger ones. Taking care of problems earlier than later can help prevent system failure – and a much more expensive repair or even replacement – down the road.
  • Maintaining the Warranty. Many people do not realize that most heating equipment manufacturers require maintenance to keep the warranty intact. Failure to get heating maintenance per your warranty’s requirements can void it – leaving you to pay out-of-pocket expenses that would otherwise be covered.

Stafford Mechanical can help you get the heating maintenance you need this fall.

Getting the annual heating maintenance you need is as easy as calling Stafford Mechanical at (860) 684-9485. We will be more than happy to schedule an appointment with you. Keep us in mind for your heating repair and installation needs, too.

Not Happy with Your Indoor Air Quality? We Can Help!

As we enter late-summer, many people start to see their seasonal allergies resurface. That’s because weeds and grasses like goldenrod and ragweed blossom and the leaves that fall from the trees often grow mold. As a result, those with seasonal allergies can suffer significantly.

Unfortunately, this year allergy symptoms can be even more cause for worry. Scratchy throats, runny noses, and coughing are all common allergy symptoms. The good news is, products are available that can help reduce pollen in your home – eliminating some of the worries for you.

Learn about the products that can help reduce and remove allergens from your home’s air.

Because of COVID-19, people are spending more time in their homes than they possibly did in the past. As such, their indoor air needs to be fresh, clean, and free of as many contaminants as possible – most especially for those with allergies. The professionals at Stafford Mechanical Services are ready to help. We have the products you need to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ), including the following:

  • Air Filtration: We’re happy to help you with your air filtration needs. Our filters are beneficial because they trap pollutants, allergens, and other pathogens that can cause inadequate indoor air quality.
  • Air Purification: Our air purification system helps keep your home’s air fresh, clean, and contaminant-free. Our system uses a unique process that produces ionic oxidizers that actively seek out and purify pollutants in the air and on surfaces. As a result, it reduces the number of odors, pollutants, smoke, mold, bacteria, and viruses in your indoor air.

For those who deal with allergies or other respiratory concerns, air filtration and air purification may be vital. By choosing these products, you and your family will notice improved indoor air quality right away. The air will likely smell much fresher, and you’ll notice less dust and other particles in the air circulating around your home.

Stafford Mechanical can help you get the best air quality for your home.

Now more than ever, the quality of the air we breathe every day is crucial – especially for those with respiratory concerns You can count on Stafford Mechanical Services to help you when it comes to your indoor air quality needs. You may contact us via phone at (860) 684-9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your comfort needs.

Air Conditioning System on the Fritz? We Can Help!

When the summer temperatures get too hot to handle, most people turn to their home’s air conditioning system for relief and comfort. Our home cooling systems allow us a reprieve from the summer heat, giving us space to relax, cool down, and sleep better at night. But, if your home’s AC system is acting up, you and your family might not be enjoying the best comfort possible.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can tell if your air conditioning system needs some service. Of course, if it isn’t operating at all, you should call your HVAC contractor and schedule an appointment right away. But, there are a few other indicators that are more subtle, but can point to air conditioning concerns that shouldn’t be ignored.

5 Signs You May Need AC Repair Services

If you’re concerned that your air conditioner isn’t performing as well as it should, here are a few signs that you might need some repairs:

  1. Utility bills are on the rise. If you’ve noticed an increase in your utility bills that seems unusual, there is a chance your AC is working harder than it has to be. This could indicate an issue with your system – it could be as simple as a dirty filter. Check your filter first; if that’s not the problem, it’s probably time to give Stafford Mechanical Services a call.
  2. Different temperatures throughout your home. If you have central air and notice that some rooms are noticeably warmer than others, there could be a problem with your air ducts or the sizing of your current AC system.
  3. Noises coming from your unit. Obviously, your air conditioning system will make some noise when it runs. But if those noises sound like grinding, whining, or pinging, it could indicate an issue with your system.
  4. Your home is dustier than usual. If you’re noticing extra dust flying through the air when your system is operating, chances are you need to change the filter in your system. This is a simple measure that you can do yourself, but if you’re not comfortable with that, our technicians are happy to help.
  5. You’re just not comfortable. Maybe you have to keep adjusting your thermostat, or maybe your system isn’t cooling your home down as well as it should. If you’re noticing that your AC system is simply not keeping you as comfortable as it has in the past, you may need some repairs.

Getting the air conditioning repair you need is as easy as calling Stafford Mechanical.

At Stafford Mechanical Services, we’re ready to help you get the air conditioning repair services you need to be comfortable all summer long. We take great pride in not only providing our customers with top of the line equipment from brands such as Carrier®; we are also pleased to offer you professional services from our expert technicians. So, if you need repair services, give us a call at (860) 684-9485. We’ll be happy to help with all your home comfort needs.

Need Air Conditioning Maintenance? Stafford Mechanical Can Help!

The air conditioning system you have installed in your home was likely a costly investment. Much like a vehicle, your AC system works hard to provide for you, and, like your car, it’s a complex machine with many moving parts. Of course, you have your car maintained on a regular basis – making sure it gets the oil changes, tune-ups and small repairs it needs to keep running perfectly for you. You also need to do the same thing for your air conditioning system.

During the heat of the summer, it’s likely your AC system runs most of the time, keeping your home cool and your family comfortable. It’s important to know that this frequent running can cause wear and tear on your system. Your best bet? Choosing air conditioning preventive maintenance services from a reliable HVAC contractor, like Stafford Mechanical Services. When you choose to work with us, you’ll discover the benefits of annual AC maintenance.

Here’s how AC maintenance can help your system perform better.

Many people don’t know the direct benefits air conditioning maintenance offers their system. There are several reasons to choose annual preventive maintenance, however, that will help preserve your system. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider AC maintenance for your system:

  • Your system will operate more effectively. This just stands to reason, because maintenance cleans your system and makes sure all the moving parts are working at top performance. And, getting maintenance annually can help ensure that your system works great not just this summer, but for years to come.
  • Your AC will be more efficient. An air conditioning system that has to operate while dirty, or with vital components not working as well as they should, takes more energy than a system that receives regular maintenance. A well-maintained system is more efficient, and can help you save money on your utility bills.
  • Your indoor air quality may improve. As we said previously, if you’re system isn’t well-maintained, the chances are it’s also dirty. And that can mean contaminants are being circulated throughout your indoor air every time your air conditioner runs. Annual maintenance means your system is thoroughly cleaned – reducing particulates in your home’s air.
  • Your warranty will remain intact. People may not realize this, but most of the time HVAC manufacturers require regular system maintenance to keep the warranty intact. If you fail to get maintenance and your system breaks down, you might end up with a voided warranty – and a large repair bill that otherwise may have been covered.
  • You probably won’t have to deal with a major breakdown. Nobody wants to find out that their AC system needs repairs. But one of the benefits of regular maintenance is that your HVAC technician will spot small problems before they become larger ones. So you’ll be able to remedy the concern right away, so it doesn’t become an expensive repair down the road.

Stafford Mechanical can help you get the air conditioning maintenance you need.

We take great pride in not only providing our customers with top of the line equipment from brands such as Carrier®; we are also pleased to offer you professional services from our expert technicians. So, if you need to schedule annual air conditioning maintenance, give us a call at (860) 684-9485. We’ll be happy to help with all your home comfort needs.

Ductless Air Conditioning Keeps You Cool; Clears the Air

Man and woman seated on yellow couch with wall unit If you need air conditioning for your home, you’re likely discovering that you have many options when it comes to cooling systems. Traditional ducted systems are great, if you have available ductwork throughout your home. But installing ductwork can be a costly, not to mention messy, venture. And in some homes, no room was left in the walls during original construction to accommodate ductwork.

But you don’t have to settle for either being too hot, or installing window air conditioners. That’s because ductless systems are simple to install, require no ductwork, and can be up and running in no time, with a minimum of construction. Ductless air conditioning systems only require that a small hole is drilled in the wall, to connect tubing between the outdoor and indoor units. Whether you need air conditioning in one room in your home, like a new addition, finished basement or converted attic, or you need cooling throughout, ductless is a great option.

And, ductless systems provide many other benefits, including improved indoor air quality.

Many people are turning to ductless air conditioning not only for the cool comfort, but for the many additional benefits these systems provide. Ductless AC is highly efficient, and that can help you save on your energy costs. That’s because ductless systems offer targeted, easily controlled cooling per room or zone, and many times use heat pump technology – one of the most efficient ways to keep your home comfortable. And, ductless offers advanced filtration – something that’s important to many homeowners in today’s world.

Ductless air conditioning provides multi-stage filtration that helps to decrease particulates and contaminants in your indoor air, including bacteria, dust, allergens and pollen. Some models are able to remove up to 99 percent of bacteria and viruses from the air that circulates throughout your home – making them beneficial for anyone who suffers from allergies, respiratory conditions, or who simply wishes to enjoy fresher, cleaner air.

How can I learn more about the benefits of ductless air conditioning?

You might be surprised to learn that the benefits of ductless don’t stop with improved comfort, efficiency and air quality. There are several more reasons why ductless is an incredible choice for your home comfort.

  • Ductless systems also provide energy-efficient heating.
  • Ductless systems provide extremely quiet operation.
  • Ductless systems are unobtrusive, and can blend seamlessly into your home.
  • Ductless units are easily operated via remote control.
  • Many utility companies offer rebates and incentives for high-efficiency ductless installations.

As you can see, ductless air conditioning offers incredible benefits to the homeowner, increasing the value of your home and even more importantly, the comfort of you and your family.

How can I get ductless air conditioning installed in my home?

Getting ductless installed in your home is easy! Simply call Stafford Mechanical Service and we will be glad to help you. We put our customers first – please rest assured we are following all CDC guidelines to keep you and your family safe during this time. Your comfort, health and safety is always our priority. Give us a call at (860) 684-9485 and we’ll be glad to help.

COVID-19: How We’re Handling the Crisis

Illutration of COVID-19 virusCOVID-19, or the coronavirus as it’s more commonly called, is rapidly moving and is affecting our daily lives more and more each passing day.  While most people who contract the virus will survive it, for some, like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, it can be deadly. That’s why we’re taking every possible measure to keep our customers and our team safe.

At Stafford Mechanical Services, we know how important it is to keep home and business environments safe and comfortable. We’re taking every measure possible to ensure our workforce is healthy, and our workplace is safe for our employees. While we’ve always taken measures to ensure that our employees practice appropriate sanitary and health measures, in light of COVID-19 we have put some additional practices in place.

Our Workforce

We have requested that anyone who is feeling ill at all not report to work. That way, we can rest assured that those on our team avoid health risks and possible sickness. But more importantly, this measure is in place to ensure that you, our valued customer, are not exposed in any way to illness. While this is not much different than how we do business normally, we are asking employees that have any symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home for 14 days. As always, our customers and our employees are our priority.

Our Customers

As we’ve said above, Stafford Mechanical is taking every possible measure with our team to ensure that the spread of illness is contained. We’d also ask at this time that our customers who may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms inform us before we come into your home. So, please let us know if anyone in your household has symptoms of, or has tested positive for, coronavirus prior to your appointment. Keeping you comfortable is important to us; however, we also need to put practices in place that keep our employees safe as well.

How We Can Help

Stafford Mechanical’s team is trained to keep customers and their comfort top of mind at all times. We strive to help people who are concerned about their home environment, and there are ways we can assist you when it comes to the health of your indoor air. As home comfort specialists, Stafford Mechanical proudly offers our customers indoor air quality (IAQ) products that keep their air in their homes fresh, clean and contaminant-free. We offer air filtration, humidifiers, and the Air Knight, one of the most advanced air purification systems on the market today. The Air Knight system uses a unique new indoor air quality process to naturally produce ionic oxidizers that proactively seek out and purify pollutants in the air AND on surfaces.

Communication is Key

We care about your health and well-being. You are valuable to us, not only as a customer but as someone we’ve come to know over the years of doing business with you. We know that times like this can be difficult, and uncertain. We want you to feel comfortable to communicate freely with us. If you’re concerned about us coming into your home, or you’re worried that you may be ill and are wondering how to get the home comfort assistance you need, call us. We can talk it through with you, and help you find the best solution. And, if you want to know more about our indoor air quality products that can help keep your air contaminant-free, please let us know. We want to help, and are ready to work with you during this time of uncertainty.

At Stafford Mechanical, we truly care about you, our customer. Please call us at (860) 684-9485, and let us know how we can assist you. We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

Are Heat Pumps a Viable Option for New England Winters?

Woman with laptop seated by frosty windowsWhen it comes to home heating options, there are more available than ever before. Today’s heating systems are much more energy-efficient than their predecessors, and some are also more environmentally friendly. For instance, heat pump systems are considered to be both highly efficient and environmentally sound, because they don’t require fuel to operate. They extract heat from the outdoor air or ground, which is then pumped into the home. But – are they a wise choice for people living in colder climates?

Heat pump technology has been available in warmer climates for some time now. Many people enjoy the advantage of having a heat pump system, because not only does it help to heat indoors during the cooler months, but it also offers air conditioning during the summer, by reversing the process and extracting heat from indoor air and pumping it outside. This factor has made it a good choice for people living in the warmer regions, but up until a few years ago, heat pumps really weren’t considered a sole source of home heating in the northern part of the country.

New technology has made heat pumps adaptable to cold climate conditions.

Because of the efficiency of heat pumps, manufacturers realized that developing heat pumps that work well even in colder climates would be beneficial to consumers and the planet. As a result, the cold climate heat pump was developed. According to the Department of Energy, heat pump systems are now a legitimate heating solution, even for colder regions. Cold climate heat pumps are available in both central ducted models, serving homes that have ductwork, as well as ductless systems for homes that have used baseboard-type heating and don’t have ductwork.

Additionally, today’s heat pump systems use a more environmentally-friendly form of refrigerant than their predecessors, R-410A, which does not harm the ozone layer. Not to mention, this refrigerant also provides better energy efficiency. So, in addition to heat pumps providing greater energy efficiency in general, R-410A provides additional energy efficiency for these systems. The Department of Energy indicates that research shows that the annual savings over electric heat is around 3,000 kWh, and 6,200 kWh over oil heat.

Let the professionals at Stafford help you find the right heat pump system for your home.

If you’ve been considering a new heating system for your home, our experts can help. We provide a wide range of heating solutions, including heat pump and ductless systems. We’ll work with you to determine the best system for your home and lifestyle needs. And, Stafford installs quality Carrier® home heating products, so you know you’ll be getting a quality system that has been built to last, while providing you with maximum home comfort and efficiency.

To learn more, simply give us a call at 860.684.9485. We look forward to helping you with all of your heating needs, including installation, maintenance and repair.

6 Ways to Make Your Home More Efficient This Winter

Model of a home with a scarf wrapped around itWhen winter arrives, not only does the air become more chilling – so do your energy bills. There are many reasons why the winter months tend to sap energy from our homes. Of course, there’s the need to heat your home, and that is always a large expenditure – in fact, the Department of Energy (DOE) indicates that heating your home accounts for about 45 percent of your energy bill. Add to that the added cost of lighting your home as the days are shorter, and your utility budget can make quite an impact on your wallet.

Fortunately, there are ways you can save energy during the winter that can help when it comes time for the utility bills. The DOE offers up a few tricks and tips that can keep heating bills manageable, all while helping you keep your home warmer and more comfortable for you and your family. An added benefit? Putting these tips into effect this winter will also help keep your home cooler once Old Man Winter leaves town and the warmer weather arrives again!

Six Tips to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

  1. Make good use of your curtains. During the winter, open your curtains to let the sunshine in during the day, which will naturally provide a heat source for your home. Then, close them at night to help keep the heat inside. (Reverse the process in the summer.)
  2. Install a programmable or smart thermostat. That way, you can set your heater back a few degrees while you’re away or sleeping – a set it and forget it solution! Of course, if you have a smart thermostat, you can easily control temperatures, right from your smartphone or laptop!
  3. Ensure your home is protected against the elements. Many homes need air sealing, even if there are just small cracks or holes. And, if your home isn’t well-insulated, consider increasing the insulation. It can help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  4. And while you’re at it… Seal your air ducts, too, and make sure they’re properly insulated. This is especially important if they’re installed in an unheated area of your home, like a crawl space or an attic.
  5. Check doors and windows. Often, they’re not completely airtight around their perimeters, and this can cause heated or cooled air to slip out, and cold or hot air from outside to come in. Fortunately, adding some weatherstripping around doors and windows is a simple solution.
  6. Be a fan of your fans. Ceiling fans, that is. By setting your fans to spin clockwise in the winter, they’ll blow the heated air that rises back down. Obviously, you’ll want to set them counterclockwise during the summer months.

And, make sure you have a reliable contractor to help you with any heating concern.

When you choose Stafford Mechanical Services to help with your home heating, we’ll make sure your heating system is running as efficiently as possible, by providing you with annual maintenance and reliable, fast repair services. And, when the time comes to replace your system, we’ll offer you quality, high-efficiency Carrier® heating equipment. So, give us a call today at (860) 684-9485 to learn more about the products and services we provide. We look forward to helping you with all of your heating needs, including installation, maintenance and repair.