NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for the DIYer

Air conditioner maintenance

If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably used to getting things done yourself. So you might be tempted to try air conditioner maintenance tasks to save money. The problem is, you can end up costing yourself more when you’re in over your head.

Check out these air conditioner maintenance tips and do DIY the smart way.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

HVAC Repair in NYC: Does Your Tech Get Enough Training?

HVAC repair

It’s not rocket science, getting competent HVAC repair in NYC, right? At least you might not think so. So then why are you experiencing so many problems?

Customer service and scheduling issues are bad enough: making you wait days or longer for an appointment, showing up late, then taking even longer to get HVAC repair parts needed to complete the job.

But when the problems go deeper and involve the ability to correctly diagnose and fix problems, that’s another matter entirely. The fact is, HVAC repair (in NYC especially) is becoming more and more complex all the time, as vendors move toward proprietary technology. The issues you’re seeing may very well be due to inadequate training.

Read on to learn what you must look for in a service provider of HVAC repair in NYC, specifically related to proof of expertise and ongoing training.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Manage HVAC Service with Arista’s Customer Portal

(COMING SOON)

Arista is making it easier to stay on top of maintaining and servicing your HVAC equipment. We are in the process of launching a new online portal where customers can schedule a maintenance or repair visit, access service call records, access invoices & balances, and more.

We understand that sometimes you need information outside of regular business hours. And, you don’t always want to take the time to make a phone call when you need to schedule service. That’s why we have created our new online customer portal that makes it quick and simple to manage your HVAC service needs at your convenience.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

NYC Disaster Recovery: Is Your Business Ready for the Next Big Storm?

nyc disaster recovery

In NYC, disaster recovery is on our minds this time of year

For business owners in the New York City area who lived through Superstorm Sandy, this can be an anxious time of year. Many of us are keeping an eye on the forecast and worrying every time a tropical depression forms.

There’s a good reason for that concern. If you’re not prepared, storm damage can severely impact your business, or even put you out of business for good. Unfortunately, worrying won’t protect your business in the event of a major storm. A NYC disaster recovery plan can.

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Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

How To Save Money On Restaurant Refrigeration Equipment

restaurant refrigeration equipment

It’s the middle of your dinner rush, with a packed house, and one of your line cooks reaches into a low boy to grab ingredients, only to find everything warm. What do you do? Get to the nearest Restaurant Depot to replace it? Not the smartest move: treating your restaurant refrigeration equipment like disposable items can cost you a lot of money.

It’s true that heavy repairs can be pricey. So what’s the alternative? Properly maintained restaurant refrigeration equipment won’t need repairs. With proper care, your fridges and freezers will last much longer.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Smart HVAC & Sensor Technology for Smart Buildings

smart hvac

Why are companies investing in technology for smart buildings? The obvious draw is the significant cost reductions that can be achieved on energy consumption and operating expenses. Yet there are other compelling reasons that smart HVAC, sensors and other smart buildings technology give companies a competitive edge:

  • Reduced operating expenses allow companies to invest more in revenue producing initiatives, such as development of products and services
  • Savings can be re-invested in workplace transformation programs that can help attract talent, improve collaboration, and drive new ideas and innovation
  • Greater control over building systems, as well as the intelligence needed to make better facilities management strategic decisions

BONUS: you can even use smart buildings technology to improve employee experience. At a time when companies are striving to attract workers back to the office, the importance of workplace experience has never been greater.

Wondering where to start? Read on to learn about smart HVAC and space optimization technology designed to modernize your workplace while also cutting facilities expenses.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, COVID and Indoor Air Quality, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Return to the Office: Occupancy & AC Maintenance in NYC

AC maintenance in NYC, return to the office

People are trickling back to the office, albeit reluctantly in many cases. Employers are renovating spaces and adding perks in an effort to make the environment welcoming and make the return to the office more attractive for employees. But what about indoor air quality? Have you done what’s needed to make sure the air in your space is both comfortable and safe?

Attention to air quality and AC maintenance in NYC is essential, both for the satisfaction of returning employees and also for the health of your system. 

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

NYC: Surviving the Heat is Like Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

surviving the heat

Surviving the heat in NYC: 5 ways you’re doing it wrong.

When NYC’s temperatures flirt with triple digits, it can feel like there’s no way surviving the heat in your sweltering office or apartment is even possible. Surviving a zombie apocalypse seems a whole lot easier. Well, as it turns out, we can learn a lot about surviving the heat from the best scientific tips about what to do (and what not to do) when facing a legion of reanimated corpses.

Surviving the heat in NYC, like surviving a zombie apocalypse, requires that you know what you’re doing and have the proper plan in place. Here’s what you are almost certainly doing wrong, and how to change your ways so you don’t get eaten alive by the summer heat and humidity.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

8 Ways To Avoid Air Conditioning Compressor Failure

air conditioning compressor failure

Just like taking care of your body keeps you healthy, taking proper care of your AC means it’s much less likely to break down. Without regular maintenance, an air conditioner can accumulate wear and tear that can lead to poor performance and a shorter lifespan. That’s why it’s so important to take the steps outlined here to prevent AC compressor failure, which can often mean having to get a new air conditioning system.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

5 Ways to Reduce HVAC Noise in an Open Office Space

HVAC noise

Today’s open office spaces, featuring collaboration areas along with stations for different types of work, are a boon for business in many ways. Yet distractions such as HVAC noise can lower productivity in these environments.

Read on to learn some effective strategies for HVAC noise reduction, as well as one way you can use HVAC noise to your advantage.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

5 Signs Your Air Conditioner Fan Needs Replacing

air conditioner fan

If you are noticing signs that your air conditioning system might be having trouble, we understand why you’re trying to figure out what’s going on BEFORE it breaks down completely. Very smart of you!  When you can replace failing parts proactively before they cause bigger problems, you can often prevent a more expensive repair, not to mention inconvenient downtime (which will likely happen on the hottest day of the year). 

Your air conditioner fan (and there are actually at least two of them in most systems) is one part that can go bad and lead to a whole host of other problems.

Here’s a quick primer on air conditioner fans, and how the signs you’re seeing might point to  replacing one of these fans to prevent a breakdown. Plus, we’ll share how you can prevent this type of problem from happening to you again.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

NYC Luxury Property Managers: How to Choose an HVAC Service Company

luxury HVAC service company

Don’t hire an ordinary HVAC service company for NYC luxury residential properties

There’s a lot on the line when you have to decide on an HVAC service company for a luxury residential building in NYC, or in any large city for that matter. You are giving the HVAC service company’s technicians access to your residents’ homes. That means you need to be able to count on them to:

  • Perform regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns, so you avoid those emergency calls when the AC dies the day a homeowner is having a dinner party
  • Avoid making a mess or damaging expensive furnishings
  • Diagnose problems accurately and fix them fast to avoid repeat service calls
  • Recommend equipment that won’t be an eyesore or take up valuable apartment space
  • Make you a priority and get to you in a hurry when you need them

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Commercial Refrigeration

NYC: 12 Tips To Get Ready for a Restaurant Health Inspection

restaurant health inspection

Your NYC health inspection grade is one of the most visible (and powerful) forms of promotion about your restaurant. After all, your rating is plastered right there in your front window, where every customer and passer-by can see it. All NYC ratings are also published in the New York Times. That’s why, if you do poorly on your restaurant heath inspection, at best it’s a PR nightmare. And in the worst case, you could be facing fines and even a shutdown.

The health inspector rarely announces himself in advance. So how can you be sure you’ll have all your ducks in a row when he shows up during a busy lunch shift when you’ve just accepted a large delivery? It’s about being prepared at all times.

Here at Arista, we have been servicing NYC restaurants for decades. We’ve seen how to most successful NYC restaurants are doing it right. Here are 12 of our most useful restaurant health inspection preparation tips.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Why You Need a Dedicated HVAC Service Account Team

HVAC service account team

If you have used the same HVAC service company for some time, chances are you have a good relationship with a technician who visits you regularly. You already know how helpful it is, and how much comfort it brings you, to have this person you trust who knows you and your equipment. That person really represents the face of the company for you. 

But chances are, you know little about everybody else who is working behind the scenes to take care of your account and provide the HVAC service you want and need. It truly takes “a village” to provide a great customer experience. 

If that’s what you expect from an HVAC service provider, we thought you might like to know about the other dedicated professionals that are part of Arista’s account teams, and exactly what they do for our customers.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

10 Ways to Spot Quality HVAC for High End Residential Properties

high end residential HVAC

When you’re managing high end residential properties, quality is something that’s always on your mind. Homeowners not only expect it, but demand it, not only from the systems and furnishings in their homes, but from the service providers that take care of them.

When it comes to quality HVAC, chances are you’re not an expert. Arista is not only an HVAC expert, but we’re also experts in working with the highest value property owners in New York City. So let us guide you through some of the important features to look for in a quality equipment for the luxury homeowner.

Choosing a quality HVAC service provider, whether it’s for installation, repair, or ongoing maintenance, is really not much different. To get the quality service you need and expect, it’s all about knowing what to look for. That can be especially challenging in a large metropolitan area like New York City, where there are many players but not many qualified to handle this market. We’ll help you evaluate who stands head and shoulders above the rest, wherever you are searching for quality residential service.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Spring AC Maintenance Checklist & Comparing Service Contracts

AC maintenance checklist

The trick to evaluating air conditioning service contracts

Did you know that there are no government-imposed standards when it comes to air conditioning service contracts? That means all air conditioning maintenance is not created equal. Never assume that you’re comparing apples to apples when evaluating service contracts from different providers.

In a way, this is a good thing, because it means that reputable air conditioning service companies can customize a contract according to the age and condition of your equipment, the cooling needs of your space and its occupants, and your budget. You just need to be sure what’s covered under the contract, and that you’re getting the features you need.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

8 Ways AC Preventative Maintenance Keeps the Repairman Away

AC maintenance

If you’ve got an aging air conditioner, you’re probably not looking forward to the hot and humid summer days ahead. If you sweated your way through last summer and shelled out a lot of cash for repairs, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent breakdowns this summer.

The truth is, there is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to prevent many repair issues: have AC preventative maintenance done before you start up your system this spring.Read more 

Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential Installations

Do you need an HVAC maintenance plan for a new system?

HVAC maintenance plan

If you just had a new heating and/or air conditioning system installed within the past year or two, chances are the installer recommended an HVAC maintenance plan. But do you really need preventative maintenance? Ideally, everything is in good condition so you should expect no problems for a while. 

That’s partly true. In the first year or two, it’s unlikely that anything will go wrong with the equipment itself. However, there are lots of environment-related problems that can happen even to new systems, but can be prevented with a good cleaning and tuneup. 

Over time, neglected maintenance will shorten the life of your system. Some of these issues can even cause you headaches in the short term.  

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

AC Coil Cleaning: How to Tell When You Need It

AC coil cleaning

If your home or business has an air conditioner and you’re in charge of making sure it keeps working, you probably know that it’s important to have your air conditioner regularly maintained. And you may have heard talk about AC coil cleaning as part of that maintenance.

But if you’re not an air conditioning expert, it probably sounds like greek to you. What exactly is an air conditioner coil? And why is it so important to clean it? And most important: how do you know when you need to have it done when you’ve never even seen the thing?

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Company News

HVAC Jobs in NYC: Arista is Hiring Technicians 

Arista Air Conditioning: jobs available for technicians at all experience levels

Looking to boost your career with a new challenge, or get started as an HVAC service technician? Arista Air Conditioning, the largest HVAC & Refrigeration service organization in the NYC metro area, is currently hiring technicians at all experience levels including entry-level helper positions, apprentices with some experience, up to fully qualified journeymen. 

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Q&A about HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts

HVAC preventative maintenance contract

Have you recently been burned by high HVAC repair costs? Or have you purchased a new HVAC system and want to start off right taking proper care of it? If so, you may be thinking about investing in regular service and looking at HVAC preventive maintenance contracts for the first time.

You’ve probably got questions… and maybe you’re not quite ready for a sales pitch just yet so you’re reluctant to start making calls. Here’s some handy information about what to expect from an HVAC preventive maintenance contract how to begin evaluating your options.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen

5 Essential Tips for Choosing a Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Hood

commercial kitchen exhaust hood

Air flow is really important for your restaurant kitchen

If you’re setting up a restaurant kitchen for the first time, or even renovating an existing kitchen, you probably don’t have to do much research to choose your kitchen’s cooking appliances. After all, food is your thing. Changes are you have known exactly what you want for a long time. But what about your commercial kitchen exhaust hood?

Air flow is probably not your thing. And when you start to research your options, you quickly discover that there’s a lot more to it than you thought. So here’s a quick primer that can help you choose the commercial kitchen exhaust hood that’s perfect for your food service establishment.

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Commercial HVAC

Skipping Commercial HVAC Design Could Sabotage Your Renovation

Commercial HVAC design

Commercial HVAC design eliminates costly mistakes

It’s both challenging and exciting to come up with a new design for your commercial space. When you’re renovating your business, there are many tasks and decisions to make. You are probably looking forward to picking out new color schemes, layout, furniture and décor, and having a new space that functions as well as it looks. Yet there is an aspect of renovation planning that you may have overlooked, even though it’s critical to the comfort and function of your new space: commercial HVAC design.

Think about why you decided to undertake this renovation project to begin with. Especially if you own a restaurant, retail store or hotel where customer satisfaction is critical, the need for renovations likely was influenced by complaints from employees and customers. You may be looking to improve the comfort and functionality of your new space, and possibly reduce your energy expenses. Commercial HVAC design plays an important role in how well the outcome of the renovation project meets your requirements.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Top 10 Restaurant Kitchen Design Ideas & Tips

Restaurant kitchen design ideas

Looking for restaurant kitchen design ideas? You’ve come to the right place.

Arista has done restaurant HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen equipment repair for many years (decades, really) so we’ve been involved in countless restaurant startups and renovations. In the process, we’ve learned quite a few useful tips. Here goes!

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

9 HVAC Service Provider Problems You Should Not Tolerate

HVAC service provider problems

Problems with your HVAC service provider?

With so many other pressing problems on your mind as a business owner or manager, at times it may seem easier just to ignore nagging concerns with your HVAC service provider. But over time, those things that were merely annoying start to become critical issues that cost you money and even threaten your business.

Unless you are in a very remote location, chances are you have many options when choosing an HVAC service company. So why settle for less than you deserve, or worse, less than you’re paying for?

Here are some of the common ways your HVAC service provider may be letting you down, and why you should repair or rethink the relationship.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

5 Reasons to Get a New HVAC System When You Renovate

new hvac system

If you’re about to undertake a major renovation project in your building, you’re probably both excited and anxious at the same time. On one hand, the new space will make life easier and enhance your business. On the other hand, there are so many details to consider that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Case in point: you probably never expected to have to get a new HVAC system.

Especially if you’re not changing the overall footprint and square footage of the space, you may wonder why your heating and cooling systems would need to be replaced with a new HVAC system.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Understanding Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Ratings

save energy with commercial hvac retrofits

If you’re considering installing a new air conditioning system, you’ve probably run across many rating acronyms on the sales literature. Those acronyms are all about the energy efficiency of the air conditioner, and they can help you compare the efficiency of various models. Those ratings are extremely important, since as much as 50% of the energy usage in your home or commercial space is consumed by your HVAC system.

The problem is, the equipment manufacturers don’t make it all that easy to understand how to interpret those numbers. If it’s all greek to you, here’s a primer on the various air conditioning energy efficiency ratings, what they mean and what numbers you should look for.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

High Rise HVAC: New Technology Saves Both Space and Energy

High rise HVAC

High rise HVAC is a major concern in New York City

New York City is home to about 7000 high rise buildings, typically defined as structures with 12 or more stories. And that number is growing every day. According to the Wall Street Journal, over the past five years the city has experienced the largest construction boom in a generation.

Especially for luxury residential construction projects, high rise HVAC requirements are a prime concern. Buyers and tenants demand nothing less than consistent comfort, quiet operation, and even the ability to customize the heating and cooling of the space according to their individual requirements. Yet for builders of high rise residential buildings, those needs have been tough to meet with the traditional high rise HVAC options. They tend to be noisy, inefficient, and they take up too much valuable space within the building.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Smart Thermostat Reviews: Nest, Honeywell & ecobee

smart thermostat reviews

Don’t you feel comfortable and secure when you’re in control of your surroundings? That’s one reason smart thermostats have become a sought-after feature for NYC’s luxury homeowners. The ability to remotely adjust the comfort settings of your HVAC system is the ultimate in control.

Smart thermostats allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling comfort remotely from your IOS or Android smartphone. So the next time you run out and forget to adjust the thermostat, no worries. Simply pull up the app and adjust your setting in seconds.

We’re reviewing these top smart thermostats:

The cool features of these smart thermostats provide more than convenience; they can significantly reduce your energy bills. If you’ve been reading our blog every now and then, you probably already know that your HVAC system consumes up to 50% of your home’s energy usage. Remembering to turn out the lights when you leave the room won’t make nearly as much of an impact on your energy bill as installing one of these smart thermostats.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Fall HVAC Maintenance Checklist to Tackle Now

HVAC maintenance checklist

The weather has finally turned here in the New York City area. Ready to turn on the heat? Not so fast! Have you completed your fall HVAC maintenance yet? To keep the occupants of your space comfortable and your systems in great shape, now’s the time to tackle the HVAC maintenance checklist.

Read on to learn what needs to be done to your heating and cooling systems, as well as why it’s in your best interest not to skip the essential tasks on the HVAC maintenance checklist.

Learn more about the WHY behind fall HVAC maintenance in NYC by reading this: 4 Consequences of Fall Furnace Maintenance Neglect.

Use these checklists to start a conversation with a certified provider of HVAC maintenance in NYC or in your area about what’s included in their service agreement, as well as what HVAC maintenance checklist tasks are needed for your equipment.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Fall Furnace Maintenance: How to Change Your Furnace’s Air Filter

Furnace maintenance: How to change furnace filter

According to ENERGY STAR, you should be checking and changing your furnace’s air filter every month during peak heating season. That’s probably more often than you need to be calling in your trusty HVAC service guy. We love to see you, of course, but this is a job that you can probably handle on your own if you choose to do so.

If you plan to stay on top of this important furnace maintenance task yourself, let your service guy know when he comes to do your fall furnace maintenance before you start up your furnace for the heating season. He can make sure you have plenty of the right filters on hand, and can show you or your maintenance crew the steps to properly insert and remove the air filter.

Here are the simple steps to help you get it done.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Your Office AC: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Upgrade

office ac upgrade

Business owners have so much to worry about these days. Chances are, replacing your office AC is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if you experienced problems with your office air conditioner all summer, you’d be very smart to think about upgrading it now instead of waiting until spring.

While it’s tempting to wait for spring to deal with your office AC problems, the fact is that autumn and winter can actually be the best times to buy a new office air conditioner. Read on to learn why, as well as important information you need to make a good decision and get the best possible pricing.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Get to the Bottom of Air Conditioning Noise

air conditioning noise

When air conditioners get loud, or start making strange sounds, it gets annoying in a hurry. Not only is the air conditioning noise intrusive, but it also might signal an impending breakdown and the need for an expensive repair.

So how do you know if it’s a quick fix, something a service tech needs to take care of, or something you could just drown out by donning headphones and blasting your tunes?

Take a look at the types of air conditioning noise you’re likely to hear, and what it means about your HVAC system.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Cleaning Your AC Coil Impacts Comfort, Air Quality & More

cleaning ac coil

Reliable air conditioning is something we tend to take for granted… until all of a sudden it’s not reliable anymore.

It’s tempting to hope that you can start up your AC and everything works perfectly. But if you want that to happen, you need to take steps to make sure your air conditioner can handle the hot summer days. That includes cleaning the AC coil.

Read on to learn more about this important component of your air conditioner, why it’s so vulnerable, and how cleaning it can have a huge impact on your summer comfort, your energy bills, and even the quality of the air you breathe.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

Office Like a Meat Locker? 7 Tips to Improve Your Cold Office

cold office

It’s still summer for goodness sake! Why is everybody in your office dressed like it’s January? If everybody’s annoyed about your cold office, chances are you’re hearing a lot of under-the-breath grumbling and comments about working in a meat locker.

You should know that putting up with a little grumbling is the least of your problems. When your employees are uncomfortable, it costs you in all kinds of ways.

We’ll tell you how to fix the problem once and for all.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Top 5 Causes of Frozen AC Coils

Unlike other HVAC malfunctions, frozen AC coils can be caused by failures in almost any part of the system. If you see frost or a layer of ice on your indoor unit, that’s obviously a problem… but it’s not so easy to diagnose the reason.

In this article, we’ll explain the possible causes of frozen air conditioner coils, and what to do next if it’s happened to you.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Troubleshooting: Refrigerant Leak

AC troubleshooting: refrigerant leak

If you’ve got an older air conditioning system (and you’re reading this article!) chances are you’re familiar with what happens when you’ve got a refrigerant leak.

You begin to notice that your AC is not cooling very well, even though the fans are blowing and the air flow seems fine. Over time, days or even weeks, the problem gradually gets worse, even though the system is running more than usual. Finally, you put your hand up to the register and you feel warm air blowing out. That’s a classic sign of a refrigerant leak. Not again!

Read on to learn about what causes a refrigerant leak to happen, how to get it fixed right, and options for making sure it doesn’t happen again.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

What Is the Ideal Office Temperature?

ideal office temperature

In space, the “Goldilocks zone” is the area around a sun where the temperature is habitable to life. In the office, differing temperature preferences can feel as far apart as the sun and moon. Today we’re helping you bridge the gap by finding the ideal office temperature to satisfy all your employees. Don’t be deaf to your employees’ complaints, because a comfortable employee is a productive employee.

Here are some strategies you can use to make your office not too cold, not too hot, but just right.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Poor Air Flow From Your AC? Check for Duct Problems

poor air flow from duct problems

Especially in a commercial space where windows don’t open, it’s essential to have properly functioning ventilation. One of the most common sources of HVAC air flow issues is air duct problems.

Stuffy, stagnant air is difficult to put up with. When air conditioning problems lead to insufficient air flow in your workplace, you’ll notice people taking every opportunity to get out of there. Going outside for a break, taking long lunches… maybe you’ve done it yourself. If so, it’s time to get to the root of the problem before lagging productivity begins to impact your bottom line.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Leaking Water? What to Do Next

AC leaking water

When you find a puddle of water on the floor of your mechanical room, it’s a scary sight and a source of anxiety. Your AC is leaking water. Now what?

First of all, take a breath and relax. There are a number of possible causes for an AC leaking water, and many of them are not difficult or expensive to fix.

However, it’s important to act quickly, because your AC leaking water can cause expensive damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. Also, an air conditioner water leak might be a problem that can lead to compressor failure. When that happens, you might find yourself having to replace your unit.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

IAQ Alert: Is Your HVAC System Contaminated?

When you think about the potential dangers that could threaten your building and its occupants, your HVAC system may not immediately come to mind. Many companies are prepared for natural disasters and terrorist threats, which, although potentially devastating, are statistically unlikely to happen. Yet companies fail to consider the much more likely threat of indoor air quality (IAQ) problems such as an accidental chemical or biological contamination spread through the building’s HVAC system.

With some advance planning and regular maintenance of your HVAC system, you can prevent many IAQ threats entirely and avoid the worst outcome from accidents.Read more 

Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Get Ahead of the 90 Degree Day with HVAC Preventative Maintenance

HVAC preventative maintenance gets you ready for the 90 degree day

The first hot day of the season could happen any time now! Is your building’s air conditioning system ready for the challenge? Getting your equipment tuned up and ready for the upcoming season is imperative not only for a smooth and comfortable transition, but also for the efficiency and reliability of your system.

If your system was shut down due to Covid for much of 2020, HVAC preventative maintenance even more important this year.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Your HVAC System Could be the Cause of that Musty Smell

Musty smells from your HVAC drive away customers

That musty smell is driving away customers

Few complaints drive customers away faster than unpleasant odors from mold and mildew, restrooms, or food. Lingering odors in your restaurant, health club or retail store could spell disaster for your business.

Psychologists studying the effects of odors have documented that people quickly become conditioned to odors. This means that while you and your employees stop noticing an odor very quickly, your customers notice as soon as they walk in the door, and they will be walking out the door in a hurry.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Sick Building? Try Air Conditioner Preventive Maintenance

Air conditioner preventative maintenance

Are you beginning to suspect that you have a sick building on your hands?

When mysterious illnesses begin to occur in your office, at first it might seem like a coincidence. For a while you might assume that stress is making everyone sick. But as the reported cases increase, and people notice that their symptoms disappear after they go home, the term “Sick Building Syndrome” starts to be whispered throughout your workplace.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Why Do Retail Stores Need Commercial HVAC Preventive Maintenance?

commercial hvac preventive maintenance | store maintenance in retail

Are you providing your visitors with an inviting climate that will entice them to stay and shop and return to your store often? A hot or stuffy store can chase your customers from your shop even before they make it to the register.

Proper store maintenance in retail is essential for success. Let’s take a look at why your business would benefit from commercial HVAC preventive maintenance.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Air Filters for Allergies: 5 Facts You Need to Know

HVAC air filters for allergies

Flowers are blooming, the grass is green and lush, and trees are bursting with new leaves… Don’t you just love this time of year?

Not so much if you have allergies.

When the pollen count is out of control, all you want to do is hide in an air conditioned room until fall. Unfortunately, that probably won’t help.

You might think your air conditioning system will remove those nasty allergens from the air. But without the right air filters for allergies, you’ll still be sniffling and sneezing your way through the season.

And it’s not just pollen you need to worry about! The summer heat and humidity make the conditions ripe for the growth of mold and mildew, which can also bring on allergy symptoms.

Learn the facts about choosing the right air filters for allergies, as well as other HVAC maintenance tips that can reduce your suffering this season.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

How to Cut Downtime & Get Better Restaurant Equipment Service

In the food service business, every hour that you’re open and operating is critical to your bottom line. So what happens when you’re open but not operating (or not fully operating) due to maintenance issues? Chances are, you’re losing money. Here are some (probably all too familiar) examples:

  • The HVAC is out, your kitchen staff is ready to pass out and customers are walking out due to the heat
  • Your walk-in freezer is down, the ice cream is melting, and you have a delivery coming in an hour
  • It’s Fried Chicken Friday, and your deep fryer is on the fritz
  • The health inspector is due, and the dishwasher just stopped working

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Is a VRF HVAC System the Right Choice for Your Business?

VRF HVAC system

Replacing your air conditioning? Consider a VRF HVAC system

If you’ve been living with uncomfortable temperatures, humidity issues and repeated breakdowns, you know you’re going to need to replace your air conditioning system before summer gets here. And if you’re smart (which of course you are as a business owner or manager!) then now is the right time to think about it.

That’s true for a couple of reasons:

  • Get ahead of high demand and possibly long wait times when the hot weather hits.
  • You can get a great deal. Many suppliers will have equipment on hand that didn’t sell over last summer that they’re happy to sell for a discounted price to make room for new models.
  • Experts recommend replacing your heating system at the same time as your air conditioning system. In many cases, both systems work together and if you replace one without replacing the other, your comfort may be compromised and it will cost you more in the long run. Now is an ideal time to replace both systems without disrupting your business.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

HVAC System Maintenance, Humidity and Your Poor Indoor Air Quality

Have you noticed a mysterious epidemic growing in your building? Are your employees complaining about headaches, asthma attacks, and itchy red skin? Have you experienced an unusual number of fried computers lately? Musty odors?

What kind of strange phenomenon could cause all of these things to happen? The surprising culprit is uncontrolled humidity levels in your building.

Humidity is a key component of air quality. More and more business owners, as well as their employees and customers, are concerned about air quality because it can dramatically affect a person’s health, comfort, and ability to function at his or her best.

And, controlling humidity can also help in the fight to control the spread of coronavirus.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

Salons & Spas: Improve Indoor Air Quality to Keep Customers Safe

ways to improve indoor air quality at your salon or spa

Salon owners and employees are accustomed to the chemical fumes associated with a salon: from hair dyes, nail polish, aerosol sprays and other products. But customers don’t want to be assaulted with those odors.

Now due to the pandemic, customers are paying more attention to indoor air quality and its impact on their health. After all, if the smell of hair spray is lingering, what are the chances that the air in your salon is harboring something more dangerous?

You don’t want to be that salon that puts its customers at risk. Luckily, there are HVAC solutions available today that can reduce odors, improve indoor air quality and help keep everyone safe and healthy.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

12 Reasons Your AC Is Not Cooling Your NYC Business

AC is not cooling

It’s frustrating when your AC is not cooling your business effectively. Especially when it’s an issue that happens intermittently or has developed slowly over time. Complaints from your employees are increasing, and you may be worried about losing business.

The tricky part is, there are many issues that can result in your air conditioner not cooling enough. Your equipment might need repair or replacement. Or maybe something in your environment that’s changed and your system is not broken at all.

Read on to learn more about the common problems you should know about, so you can take the appropriate action.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Furnace Blowing Cold Air? 13 Common Causes.

furnace blowing cold

Here in the New York City area, we’re all pretty tired of the cold weather by now. No matter how you travel to work, whether it’s by bus, car or train, your commute probably ends with a cold walk in the icy wind. When you get to your destination, you expect to walk into a toasty warm space. The last thing you want to find is that the furnace is not heating. Even worse, the furnace is blowing cold air!

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Heat Pump Troubleshooting: 3 Common Problems and Solutions

heat pump troubleshooting

Heat Pump Troubleshooting Can Be Tricky

If your space has a heat pump system that provides both heating and cooling, it may seem like there are twice as many possible causes when something goes wrong. A heat pump system does operate somewhat differently than a traditional air-cooled air conditioner. So how do you begin heat pump troubleshooting? And are there heat pump repair issues you can fix yourself?

In some cases, there are issues you can prevent and problems you can solve on your own when you are aware of the heat pump troubleshooting steps. Here is a list of the most common problems we see with heat pumps, possible causes, and what to do next.

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Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Ice Machine Cleaning Checklist for Restaurant Refrigeration Service

ice machine maintenance

In a 2013 study by the Daily Mail of ice cleanliness at British food establishments, 6 out of 10 restaurants were found to be serving ice that contained higher levels of bacteria than the water in their toilets.

Experts attributed this finding to the likelihood that the toilets were regularly cleaned, whereas the ice machine cleaning and maintenance was neglected.

Have you been regularly cleaning and servicing your ice machine? Do you know how to clean an ice machine the right way? If you neglect ice machine maintenance or do it wrong, you’re putting your customers at risk for illness, and your restaurant at risk as well.Read more 

Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Top 11 Ways to Get Better HVAC Energy Efficiency

hvac energy efficiency

There’s a saying about saving power: the cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one you don’t use. HVAC energy efficiency starts with a mindset of using less and getting the most out of what you have. Since HVAC systems represent a significant portion of typical energy costs (experts say as much as 50 to 60 percent), these measures can make a big difference.

Today we’re sharing with you the top 11 ways to increase your HVAC energy efficiency.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Why is my AC blowing warm air?

ac blowing warm air

It’s incredibly frustrating when you just can’t get cool on a hot day, even though your air conditioning sounds like it’s working (it’s blowing). Is it you or is it really hot in here? You check the thermostat, and in fact the temperature is soaring well above the set temp. When you place your hand over one of the AC registers, you find your AC blowing warm air.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Why is my air conditioner freezing?

air conditioner freezing up | ac unit freezing up

You may expect your air conditioner to be cold, but if it’s covered in frost or ice, that’s not a good sign. When your air conditioner is freezing up, it can’t properly cool your space. And worse, if you don’t do something about it quickly, you can end up with water damage in your walls and ceilings as well as an expensive AC repair on your hands.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Why is my AC leaking water inside the house?

air conditioner leaking water inside

Finding water anywhere it doesn’t belong in your house is a major cause for concern. Not only are you worried about where the leak is coming from (and how much it will cost to fix it!) but you’re also concerned about damage to your home. When it’s your air conditioner leaking water inside, you need to act fast to prevent water damage as well as expensive repair bills.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?

ac circuit breaker | ac circuit breaker keeps tripping

It’s the last thing you need on a hot summer day: your air conditioner keeps shutting off and the AC circuit breaker keeps tripping. You’re probably wondering what’s going on, and if there’s an easy solution. Do you need to call someone to fix the problem and if so, who should you call? The AC service company or an electrician?

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

9 Tips to Improve Warehouse Temperature Control & Save Money

warehouse temperature control | warehouse temperature

As the owner or operator of a warehouse, you are concerned about warehouse temperature issues and whether warehouse temperature control improvements are warranted. By looking at ways to enhance warehouse temperature control measures, you have taken your first step in providing consistent warehouse temperature comfort and maximizing your dollars spent on energy.

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All, Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC

Computer Room Air Conditioning: Is Your Equipment at Risk?

computer room air conditioning

It’s one thing when your air conditioner is not working properly at home, but it’s quite another thing when the air conditioning system is not performing at optimal levels at a business where computers are at the core of the operation. As a facility manager, you know a top-performing computer room air conditioning system is essential to commercial success. So let’s take a look at what can happen if the computer room air conditioning is not functioning at a high level.

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Commercial HVAC

NYC Cooling Tower Regulations: Are You In Compliance?

cooling tower regulations

Do you own a New York City/State building that has a cooling tower as part of your HVAC system? If so, you know about the new cooling tower regulations recently passed by the city and the state following last summer’s outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.

We have been hearing about quite a few companies that have been getting violation notices and receiving hefty fines as a result of the city’s efforts to enforce Local Law 77 – 2015. If you’re one of them, or worried that it might happen to you, here is some clarification and advice that can help you get in compliance.

Here are some answers from Gary Berkowitz, Arista’s Manager of Chemical Cleanings and an expert in cooling tower maintenance and the new cooling tower regulations.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Tired of AC Ducts Ruining Your Decor? Get AC Without Ductwork

 

ac without ductwork | beautiful air conditioner

Maybe you’re looking to renovate your shop and have a particular style design in mind, but the unsightly HVAC ductwork is crimping your vision for your space. Or maybe you already have designed your boutique and have everything aligned with your distinctive taste, except for those ugly ducts. Believe it or not, you may be able to pluck those ducts from your space and have a beautiful air conditioner system. Imagine this – you can have an AC without ductwork.

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All, Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

HVAC Coil Cleaning: Better Comfort = More Customers In Your Store

 

coil cleaning

It may be hard to believe that coils could be responsible for taking down your commercial HVAC system or making it operate at a low efficiency level. Routine coil cleaning can help your system turn out a peak performance, reduce your energy costs and bolster the comfort level in your store, which will make it an attractive place to shop and work.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Why Combine a Refrigeration & Commercial HVAC Service Contract?

commercial hvac service contract | refrigeration service contract

While combining facility services under one contractor is not always the best approach, some combined services are as a natural fit as a burger and fries. It makes perfect sense to put a commercial HVAC service contract and a refrigeration service contract under the same contractor’s roof and can actually provide for a more efficient operation, reduce your costs and your stress level.

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All, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting: 9 Common Problems & Solutions

air conditioning troubleshootingBefore you know it, those living in the residential building you manage will be cranking up their air conditioning systems. It goes without saying that you’ll want to start off the warmer weather months in a comfortable zone, which for you and the residents means as complaint-free as possible. A preemptive air conditioning troubleshooting mission and appropriate residential air conditioning maintenance can aid you in your goal of smoothly operating air conditioning systems and happy residents. Let’s take a look at the most common air conditioning problems.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

24 Clever Ways to Hide an AC Unit Indoors & Out

hide ac unit

Let’s face it, your air conditioner is an essential component of your luxury home, but it’s not something you want front and center. Most of us would rather hide the AC unit. It can be downright embarrassing to have ugly AC equipment cluttering up your patio or ruining your perfectly designed interior. So today we’re sharing 24 fun ways to hide air conditioning units. That includes both the outside condenser and wall-or ceiling mounted boxes indoors.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Could You Have an Air Conditioner Allergy?

air conditioner allergyThe warm air hits. You turn on your air conditioning and you find yourself and those around you sneezing. You start to think, I can’t be allergic to the air conditioner, can I? After considering the air conditioner allergy theory, you move onto chalking it up to something more plausible: seasonal allergies. Though you might not be exactly correct with either one of your diagnoses, you could be on the right track.

Your air conditioning system and seasonal allergies may both be playing a role in what you perceive as an air conditioner allergy. It’s not that you are allergic to your air conditioner unit, it’s that you are allergic to the contaminants that are being circulated through it, which could include seasonal allergens and other nasty stuff. Let’s take a look at what is blowing your way and could be the source of your air conditioner allergy.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Smelly Air Conditioner? Get Spring Cleaning for Your AC

smelly air conditioner

Maybe you have noticed that the air in your home no longer smells fresh as a daisy and is even verging on objectionable, but you haven’t been able to put your finger on the source of this uninvited change in your living space’s atmosphere. Could it be that your home is the victim of a smelly air conditioner system and is in dire need of some HVAC spring cleaning?

You are not alone. Tis the season for malodorous problems to crop up and a common time to eradicate those unwanted odors coming from a smelly air conditioner system by undertaking a little HVAC spring cleaning. As a luxury homeowner or one who manages luxury properties, surely you should not have to put up with subpar breathing conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes for the smelly air conditioner, which has diminished the indoor air quality in your home.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Luxury HVAC for Luxury Residences: Why You Need VRF Technology

vrf technology | luxury hvacRenovating a luxury residential property comes with a lot of tough decisions: about the design and layout of the space, and all the interior furnishings and finishes that make the home perfect for you. You probably didn’t expect to have to decide on an HVAC system. Yet when it comes to luxury homes, comfort is essential, and that means you need the right luxury HVAC system. That’s why so many high end homeowners (especially in New York City) are choosing VRF technology. What’s more, according to a report by Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, equipment manufacturers are introducing VRF systems specifically designed for luxury residential homes.

What is VRF technology? It’s an HVAC system that works differently than the traditional split system that has one big outdoor condenser and one large (noisy!) air handler inside. Those older-type systems run at only one speed- full blast. Instead, a VRF system has multiple smaller air handlers that run at the exact capacity needed for the current conditions. “VRF” stands for “Variable Refrigerant Flow,” meaning that the system precisely controls the amount of cooling refrigerant required to provide the perfect comfort conditions.

Why is that better for your luxury residence? Read on to find out.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

How to Choose an HVAC Company: Don’t Overlook Reputation

how to choose an HVAC company
If you currently use an HVAC company you are unhappy with, unfortunately you probably have firsthand knowledge of unacceptable service or a dissatisfaction with your climate control system.

Rest assured, it does not have to be that way. Not all HVAC companies have been created equal and you can choose a company that will provide topnotch service and install quality equipment to match your needs. Let’s look at how to choose an HVAC company that can provide you with the services you deserve.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

High Quality HVAC System Installation Checklist for System Owners

hvac system installationIf you’re in line for a new HVAC system installation, there is important information to digest before you undertake such a considerable capital investment. Your comfort along with your employee’s comfort and productivity depends on your comprehensive review of the myriad of options for your HVAC replacement; not to mention its impact on your wallet upfront and down the road. Let’s take a look at some of the things business owners and facility managers should take into account when sizing up a HVAC replacement project.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Buying a High End Air Conditioner? Get White Glove Installation

high end air conditioner
Whether you prefer old world charm or a modern twist, it took your painstaking decisions to furnish your home in a way that reflects your distinctive taste. Now you need a company that will make the same effort to protect your investment with a premier climate control system.

As a luxury homeowner or a property manager, why would you trust the installation of a high end air conditioner system or maintenance of that system to any company that does not have impeccable credentials and the capability and personnel to provide you with white glove customer service? Rest assured, there are companies nearby that can offer you with white glove customer service when installing a high end air conditioner system.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

HVAC Service Contracts: Controlling Time, Quality & Cost

HVAC service contracts and the project management triangle

hvac service contracts
If you’re having difficulty comparing widely differing options when evaluating HVAC service contracts, it may be helpful to use the project management triangle as a guide.

Are you familiar with the project management triangle? It’s a model that describes the relationship between three opposing constraints that impact work: time, quality and cost. It means that your choices in one area impact what you get in terms of the others. For example, if you decide you need the lowest price for a commercial HVAC service contract, that choice impacts what you get in terms of quality and/or timeframe.

hvac service contracts: choosing time, quality & cost

The rule of thumb you’ll often hear with regard to time, quality and cost is that you can choose any two, but the contractor controls the third one. When it comes to HVAC service contracts, we find that this rule breaks down: getting the best quality for the lowest cost is not a realistic option, no matter how much time you throw into the equation. However, understanding the relationship between these three constraints for HVAC service contracts is a useful exercise for focusing your priorities and clarifying what you’re getting for your money.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

How to Choose an HVAC Contractor That Shares Your Company Values

How to choose an HVAC contractor for your business: why is it so hard?

How to choose an HVAC contractor
If you’re in charge of your company’s facilities, you’ve certainly had experience dealing with heating and air conditioning contractors. You’ve likely vetted quite a few over the years. Yet, since you’re reading this article, you are probably finding yourself disappointed yet again. You may be wondering why it is such a challenge to find an HVAC service provider that meets your expectations.

The answer is: not every HVAC company is qualified to handle the challenges of commercial spaces, especially large corporate environments and businesses with multiple locations.

Also, you want a company that’s willing to customize its service according to your needs and priorities. Read on to learn about how to choose an HVAC contractor that’s both willing and able to deliver superior service that goes beyond your expectations.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Cleaning Air Ducts Improves Comfort Conditions in Older Buildings

If you’ve got a business located in an older building in an urban location, such as brownstones in New York City, chances are you have heating and air conditioning systems with ducts. And it’s likely that those ducts have been there for a number of years. Especially given the pollution levels in the city, a lot of nasty stuff can build up in those ducts over time: including dust, allergens, chemicals, microorganisms and mold.

If you are experiencing comfort problems in your building, such as odors, inconsistent temperatures, and even allergies and other health issues, cleaning air ducts can make a big difference.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Modern Air Conditioning Options for Older Homes & Buildings

When you’re renovating an older building for modern living (especially one in an urban setting like NYC), adding modern conveniences can be a challenge. Air conditioning is a prime example.

Older buildings often don’t have the space to install the ductwork needed for traditional systems. Also, electrical systems may be sufficient to handle the load of today’s AC equipment. While upgrading the electric can be expensive, finding the space for air conditioning equipment is more of a problem. Doing it wrong can often mean damaging original plaster, floors and woodwork. Even in the best case, installing traditional equipment usually means giving up closet space or lowering ceilings to make room for equipment.

That’s why it’s smart to consider alternative air conditioning systems for older homes, as well as small businesses renovating older buildings. In New York City, historic brownstone townhouses are frequently renovated for both uses. Here we will discuss the problems with older solutions, and introduce 3 more modern air conditioning options for older homes that you may not know about.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

HVAC Retrofit: Dos & Don’ts for Historic Buildings Conservation

New York is a historic city, settled by the Dutch in the 1600’s. There are actually quite a few structures dating back to the mid-17th century. As a result, we have many unique and beautiful historic buildings mixed in with the glass and concrete high-rises throughout the city. Many of those older buildings are protected by law and must be renovated according to strict rules for historic buildings conservation. That impacts an HVAC retrofit or replacement that’s typically needed to restore a historic space to a condition that works for a business or even a luxury residence.

Here at Arista, we have been working on historic building renovations for decades (no, not since the 1600’s but we’ve been at this for a long time!). So we’ve learned a thing or two about the unique requirements of historic spaces for HVAC.

Last week, we shared the first article in a two-part series about some of the issues you need to address with an HVAC retrofit or replacement for historic buildings. In part 1, we began with a list of 9 DOs when installing HVAC solutions in a historic space.

In case you missed it: HVAC Solutions: DOs and DON’Ts for Historic Building Preservation

Today, we’ll reveal the all-important HVAC DON’Ts for historic buildings conservation in part 2.

HVAC retrofit or replacement: DON’Ts for historic buildings conservation

1. DON’T install a new system unless you need to
Even when you’re making structural fixes or cosmetic changes to meet the needs of a new commercial tenant, it’s possible that the existing HVAC system, or components of it, can be salvaged for the sake of historic buildings preservation. That’s especially true of the heating system. For example, you may be able to keep the old radiators and replace the old boiler with a new one. Or, consider an HVAC retrofit to add AC to parts of the building not cooled by an existing system.

There are some situations where a repair or an HVAC retrofit may be a viable option for historic buildings conservation. There’s one caveat to be aware of, though: think carefully about keeping AC systems that use the old R-22 refrigerant. That refrigerant is currently being phased out due to the environmental impacts, and getting R-22 is becoming more difficult and expensive every day. That means you may need to consider a replacement system that uses one of the newer refrigerants.

 

2. DON’T forget to consider modern HVAC options for historic buildings conservation
If an HVAC retrofit will not meet your needs, don’t assume you have to replace an older system with the same type of older system! There are newer HVAC technologies that have significant benefits for historic buildings.

A variable refrigerant flow (or VRF) system is one such option. For one thing, these system don’t typically require ductwork, which can be a boon when you’re trying not to damage existing walls, ceilings and building structures. Also, the system consists of multiple air handlers which are smaller and take up less space.

What’s more, these new systems are extremely quiet, energy efficient and customizable for zoned operation.

Learn more:
7 Reasons to Choose VRF Technology for Your New Air Conditioning
The Ultimate Guide to Air Conditioning for NYC Luxury Residential Spaces
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3. DON’T cut through exterior walls
In many buildings, it’s standard practice to cut holes through exterior walls to install what’s called “through the wall” HVAC units. This is usually forbidden by building regulations for historic buildings conservation. That means an HVAC retrofit to add a small unit onto an existing system might not be an option.

In some cases, you’ll have to get creative using existing penetrations through exterior walls, and consider ductless systems.

Related article: Ducted vs. Ductless Air Conditioning? How to Choose

4. DON’T alter historic architecture
Just like you have to be creative to avoid cutting through the exterior, it takes some expertise to find solutions that avoid altering architecture in a historic buildings conservation project.

Here are some of the things you should avoid doing whenever possible: avoid dropping ceilings, covering window openings, masking historic features or altering spaces to make room for HVAC equipment. If you are creative, there is usually a way to do it without destroying original architecture.

We could tell you so many stories to illustrate that point! Take a look at this previous blog to see what we mean: Residential HVAC Services: Innovation Improves Cooling in NYC Luxury Homes.
5. DON’T make condensing units or vents an eyesore
Aesthetics is a primary concern for historic buildings conservation. That includes both the interior and exterior of the space. Whether you are completely replacing the HVAC systems or only doing an HVAC retrofit, placement of equipment is extremely important.

That means, don’t put condensing (outdoor) AC units on a visible part of the roof. Don’t add vent pipes that ruin the asthetics of the roof line. If you must put a condenser in a visible area outside, at least use some creativity to hide the unit.

Read this related article for some great ideas: 15 Creative Ways to Hide Your Outside Air Conditioner

6. DON’T introduce moisture that can damage older structures
An HVAC retrofit or replacement, done as part of a historic buildings conservation project, requires the expertise of trained HVAC professionals. Be sure you choose a company that is experienced with older buildings, because if you’re not careful with the installation you could end up with condensation damaging the historic building structure.
Water leaks can stain walls and ceilings, and uncontrolled humidity can damage woodwork and expensive finishes.

Learn more: AC Leaking Water: Air Conditioner Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

7. DON’T skip regular preventative maintenance!
As we stressed in our part 1 article, investing in HVAC preventative maintenance is a smart move for any business, but it’s a must for those located in historic buildings. Not only are the consequences higher when something breaks (see the previously cited article about water leaks!) but the costs for repairs can be higher because it’s harder to access equipment and ventilation systems without harming building finishes.

Imagine the repair costs and building damage that you could face if a blocked drain causes a slow water leak that spreads mold through the walls before anyone notices?

That’s just one reason that our last DON’T may be the most important of all.

Learn more: Air Conditioning Maintenance Doesn’t Cost. It Pays.

All

Scott Berger Joins MCAA Technology Committee as Vice Chairman

 

Appointment addresses need for service-focused technology HVAC education

SUMMARY: Scott Berger, President of Arista Air Conditioning and former MSCA Chairman, has been named Vice Chairman of MCAA’s Technology Committee. The appointment addresses the organization’s plans to expand its technology HVAC education programs to meet the needs of the service industry.

Long Island City, NY, February 1, 2017 — Scott Berger, President of Arista Air Conditioning and former MSCA Chairman, has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Technology Committee for the Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MCAA). Berger’s appointment is intended to help the organization expand its technology HVAC education programs to meet the needs of the service industry.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

HVAC Solutions: Dos & Don’ts for Historic Building Preservation

If you’re renovating a historic building in New York City, the HVAC solutions you choose can be a very important decision. It may not be the first thing on your mind, compared to structural and design decisions. However, choosing the right HVAC systems and installers means you get the comfort conditions needed for the intended use of the space, while also doing a good job with historic building preservation and maintaining the character of the building.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Choosing the Right HVAC System: Older Building Air Conditioning

You are considering the renovation of your business space in an older building and are faced with many important decisions and among those is choosing the right HVAC system. You probably feel comfortable with many of your choices such as the best floor plan to meet your needs. But when it comes to selecting a new HVAC system, you may feel lacking in expertise and chilled by the thought of choosing the right HVAC system for your space that is on the cusp of renovation.

Here is some basic information that should help break the ice in the decision-making process and steer you in the right direction in making best choice for your business.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Owner’s Guide to Restaurant HVAC & Refrigeration Service

Like most business owners, you’re probably not an HVAC expert. Yet your restaurant HVAC is a mission critical system that your business can’t operate without. All year round, you depend on your heating and air conditioning system to keep your dining room comfortable for your customers, so they keep returning to your restaurant again and again. Your restaurant HVAC also keeps your kitchen and food prep areas comfortable for employees, which have specialized comfort and ventilation requirements in order to meet health inspection requirements.

The same holds true for your commercial refrigeration equipment. When your walk in freezers, blast chillers, low boy refrigerators and display cases are not working as they should, it’s a big risk to your business. If your food quality suffers, you could lose customers. In the worst case, you could be serving food that puts customers in danger of getting sick if your ingredients are not stored at the proper temperatures. The next thing you know, negative reviews start popping up on social media. And what happens if the health inspector shows up when your commercial refrigeration equipment is acting up?

That’s why we have put together this collection of essential information for the restaurant owner about restaurant HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment service: it’s everything you need to know at your fingertips. Get the answers to all your questions and concerns here! Plus we’ve added out best advice for restaurant owners, based on everything we have learned from serving the industry for 6 decades.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Customer Retention in NYC: Turn New Diners Into Regulars

There are about 24,000 restaurants in New York City alone. Restaurant customer retention can be difficult to manage in that kind of climate. With all of those choices, how do you motivate your customers to keep coming back for more?

Luckily, Restaurant Week will be stirring up some fresh interest in the local dining scene and hopefully drive some new business your way. You want to make a good impression, so what’s a good way to turn them into repeat customers? Make their experience stand out, and offer something better than the rest. Here are some great ways to boost restaurant customer retention.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Restaurant Event Planning: 7 Tips for NYC Restaurant Week

With NYC restaurant week coming up, there will be lots of restaurants gearing up to put their best foot forward. How do you stand out in the crowd? Add entertainment to the menu. Restaurant event planning is a big deal for a reason: it draws people into your restaurant and greatly increases the chances of them having a memorable experience. Check out this list of ways to ensure a successful event.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Make Restaurant Comfort a Priority (It is for diners!)

Here’s one fact you probably already know: the success of your restaurant is about much more than the food. Restaurant comfort is a big issue for diners, and a prime reason they will choose to frequent your establishment, or not.

Yet (as you probably realize since you’re reading this blog!) getting restaurant comfort right it not as easy as it seems.

Just think about your own experience. It’s probably something like this: your patrons are constantly complaining about being too hot or too cold, or being bothered by drafts from your AC blowing directly on their food. And making it too loud to carry on a conversation. At the same time, your kitchen is sweltering to the point that people are ready to pass out from the heat. Even worse, you might have kitchen odors migrating to the dining room. That’s not a pleasant experience for your diners, either.

We’ve heard lots of stories like this from the many New York City restaurants we have serviced over the years. Certainly you’ve experienced your staff fiddling with the thermostat in a desperate attempt to improve your restaurant comfort. It’s even worse when you catch your customers doing that!

Read on to learn more about why restaurant comfort is a tricky issue. Then we’ll reveal how the right combination of specialized equipment, HVAC system design and maintenance can improve environmental temperature control and solve your problems once and for all.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Facilities HVAC Replacement Strategy for the New Year

Maintaining of a large corporate property portfolio is a complex job. Take your HVAC for example: keeping hundreds or even thousands of HVAC units running is mission critical. Yet FM is responsible for more than just upkeep of all these units. Increasingly, you are tasked with:

  • Keeping the environment comfortable for employees and customers
  • Reducing business downtime due to emergency repairs or equipment failures
  • Reducing energy consumption and cost
  • Switching to more environmentally-friendly refrigerants as required by federal mandate

As equipment ages, it becomes more inefficient. As a result, it’s increasingly likely to break down, provide inconsistent comfort, and drive up energy costs. That’s why meeting the objectives above requires having a plan for proactive HVAC replacement as units reach a certain level of inefficiency.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Luxury Gift Ideas for the Holidays: The Gift of Comfort

Are you struggling to find luxury gift ideas for that discerning person in your life? Nothing says luxury (and appeals to those who love the best of everything) like holiday gifts that provide the ultimate in comfort.

Here at Arista, we have been serving luxury homeowners here in New York City for more than 60 years, so we know a thing or two about this subject!

Here are 6 incredibly fun luxury gift ideas for the holidays that are all about giving the gift of comfort. The last one might not seem like quite as much fun, but the experience it provides is sure to be appreciated daily for years to come.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Top 15 Holiday Energy Saving Tips for New York City

December is an expensive month, between all the gifts you have to buy, holiday entertaining, and paying the electric bill for your massive lights display. Why not save some money with these holiday energy saving tips?

Not to mention all the harm we’re doing to the environment by wasting electricity and fossil fuels this time of year. Do your part to save the planet by following these simple holiday tips for saving energy.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Business Owners: 20 Holiday Gift Ideas for Employees

Business owners, you know your employees are your #1 asset and a huge part of your business’ success. This is the time of year to let them know you recognize what they contribute to the organization and to you personally. When it comes to holiday gift ideas for employees, think beyond the generic gift card or fruit basket to make them feel truly valued.

Of course, everyone likes cash. But you would probably not be reading this if that was an option! Instead, peruse this list of holiday gift ideas for employees for some creative holiday gifts that are sure to please and send the intended message.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Holiday Party Planning: 7 Tips to Make It Stress-Free

Holiday party planning can evoke a mixed bag of emotions. You’re probably looking forward to impressing your guests and enjoying a festive occasion. But whether you’re planning an open house for a hundred or an intimate gathering for a few friends or family, chances are you’re stressing over getting everything perfect.

Successful holiday party planning is all about managing the most important aspects of your gathering: the people, the setting, and of course, the food and drink. Today we’re sharing a collection of tips that can help to remove some of the stress from holiday party planning, by helping you avoid common pitfalls in each of these areas.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Holiday Tips for NYC Retail Businesses to Maximize Profit

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The NYC streets are teeming with shoppers and you’re looking forward to your most profitable holiday season yet. Hopefully Black Friday was successful for you and a sign of healthy sales to come over the coming month. But are you doing everything you can to get shoppers into your stores and entice them to spend? And are you doing everything you can to control costs and maximize profit?

Here at Arista, we have worked closely with NYC’s retail business community for decades. Today we are sharing some holiday tips from some of our most successful retail customers about how to maximize profit this holiday season.

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Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, we extend our warmest wishes to all our valued associates, clients, partners and friends. We are truly grateful for the confidence you have shown in us, and we look forward to serving you in the year to come.

Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

NYC: Need Simultaneous Heating and Cooling? Try VRF Technology

Here in the NYC area, it’s that frustrating in-between season again, where you don’t know how to dress from one day to the next. Having to changing your clothes several times a day can be annoying, but keeping your space consistently comfortable in this weather is another challenge altogether. Some areas wind up too cold while others are too warm. Did you know that you can get an HVAC system that provides simultaneous heating and cooling?

Read on to learn more about VRF technology, a sophisticated type of HVAC system that provides simultaneous heating and cooling (as well as other advantages over conventional systems). We’ll also identify as the types of spaces that can benefit most from this technology.

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