NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog

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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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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

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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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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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 Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Service: Must-Do for the Holiday Rush

Ready or not, it’s time to start thinking about the holiday season! It’s no joke: in the food service business, we’re coming up on one of the busiest times of the year. Are you ready for the holiday rush?

Getting prepared means doing everything you can to make sure your restaurant is at its best. You can’t afford problems with your refrigeration equipment to derail your plans for a successful and profitable holiday season. Take action now: invest in commercial refrigeration service to keep everything running smoothly.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

How AC Works (The basics you must know)

Our theme for this month’s blogs is “Things Techs Wish People Knew About HVAC,” and that starts with a very basic understanding about how air conditioning works.

Why should you know or care how AC works, as long as it keeps your space cool?

The short answer is:

  • You should know how AC works so you understand what’s needed to keep it working efficiently and reliably
  • You’re more likely to notice sooner when something’s not working right, and call for help. In many cases, that awareness can turn small problems from turning into bigger (and more expensive) problems.

So, here’s a basic primer that explains how the most common air-cooled systems & how air conditioning works.

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

7 Secrets for Staying Cool In Summer

When August finally rolls around, it can be hard to remember that you were wishing for this heat in January. A hot day on the beach is nice, but the humidity in summer leaves you sticking to your chair. If you find yourself longing for the chilly days of winter, check out these ways of staying cool in summer before you resort to that in-office water balloon fight.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Ducted Air Conditioning Unit vs Ductless: What’s Best For You?

Taking on a commercial renovation project comes with an overwhelming number of decisions that need to be made.

You probably feel comfortable making some of those choices, such as choosing the most functional layout or even selecting furniture. But as a business owner, you may feel less than qualified to decide on the right HVAC system for your new space. A ducted air conditioning unit or a ductless one? You’re not an HVAC expert; how are you supposed to know what’s right for your space?

If you’re being pressed for a decision without fully understanding your options, you’ve come to the right place for help. Here’s some basic information on the ducted air conditioning unit and the ductless system, to guide you in making the best choice for your business.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

10 Restaurant Kitchen Design Mistakes You Must Avoid

Restaurant kitchen design: planning is everything

Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your restaurant. Getting your restaurant kitchen design wrong can be a huge disaster. Design impacts the success of your restaurant in many ways:

  • the efficiency of your food prep
  • the ability of your staff to follow safe food handling practices
  • cleanliness of your restaurant
  • whether you’re meeting all applicable codes and standards (if not, you could be shut down or your opening could be delayed)

As a provider of HVAC, refrigeration and kitchen equipment maintenance to NYC restaurants for decades, we’ve been involved in lots of restaurant renovations and build-outs. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about what NOT to do when creating a restaurant kitchen design. Whether you’re remodeling or opening a new establishment, avoid these bad practices that can cost you big time.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Furnace Making Noise? It’s Probably Not a Poltergeist

It’s downright scary when your furnace is making noise

It’s Halloween again, that spooky time of year when you see ghosts, bats and witches hanging out all around your neighborhood (not to mention miniature superheroes and Disney princesses). So when you have a furnace making noise and producing all sorts of ominous sounds, you can’t help but wonder if a poltergeist is haunting it.

Before you call in the ghost busters, get a grip and realize that your furnace is making noise because something is wrong, and more than likely it’s not an evil spirit.

Here are some clues to the common problems that cause your furnace to be making noise. Luckily, most of them are not that scary.

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Commercial HVAC

Seeking Reputable Air Conditioning Companies? Don’t Forget to Vet for Security

HVAC Contractors and Building Automation Security

If you’re in charge of facilities management, you’re certainly accustomed to thinking about the physical security of your workplace, as well as the physical comfort of employees and customers. But if you’re not an IT guy, you probably never thought it was your job to worry about data security, much less worry about vetting reputable air conditioning companies.

You may have never considered the importance of seeking reputable air conditioning companies. All that changed last year when Target reported a major data security breach that happened after network login credentials were stolen from Target’s third-party HVACR vendor.

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Commercial HVAC

Replace Your Old HVAC System to Save $ and Prevent Breakdowns

Facilities Managers have too much to do to risk a breakdown of an old HVAC system

We’ve worked with many, many Facilities Managers over the years, and we know that it’s a demanding job. It seems like more and more responsibility is piled on the shoulders of NYC’s Facilities Managers, demanding an ever-increasing level of time and expertise.

In addition to responsibility for your building’s power, lighting and mechanical systems, Facilities Managers are managing cleaning, maintenance and even landscaping. Every new workplace initiative seems to get added to the FM’s job description, from increasing security to energy-efficient operation. AND you’re expected to do it all with fewer and fewer resources.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

HVAC Cooling Tower Maintenance Checklist

THIS CONTENT HAS BEEN REVISED as per the new NYC cooling tower legislation. See the updated article:   UPDATE: Cooling Tower Maintenance Checklist for NYC

Following the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in New York City this past summer, there is a great deal of concern and uncertainty about what’s required for proper cooling tower maintenance. As a business owner, you want to keep your employees and customers safe from deadly bacteria. And if you’re in New York City, you must make sure you stay in compliance with NYC Health Department regulations.

What’s happening with New York’s cooling tower maintenance legislation

Back in August, the New York City Council passed new legislation that requires the registration, inspection and disinfection of all cooling towers as a preventative measure against Legionnaires’ Disease. The new law requires building owners to register all cooling towers with the city, and also register any new cooling towers before putting them into use. The NYC Health Commissioner has also issued an order requiring all cooling towers to be inspected by an environmental consultant and then disinfected.

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Commercial HVAC

Emergency HVAC Service: Is Your Provider Prepared for a Disaster?

Does Your HVAC Service Company Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Those of us in the New York City are who lived through Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath understand the need for disaster recovery planning.

Chances are, if you own a business in New York City, you’ve done your due diligence and developed a disaster recovery plan for your business. You probably have plans in place for evacuation, communication with employees and customers, power supply and data access. After all, having a disaster recovery plan in place can make the difference between getting back up and running after a catastrophe and losing your business permanently.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

7 Ways to Get Fast AC Repair After a Storm Takes You Down

Make sure you’ll get fast AC repair after a storm

Have you been through it before? After a major storm blows through and takes out everything in its path, including your air conditioning system, you just want fast AC repair to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

But then you face major delays as you wait for someone to come assess the damage to your system, order the parts and/or equipment needed to get you back up and running, and finally make the repairs. If lots of other homes and businesses have experienced storm damage, you could easily be waiting weeks or even longer to get your cooling system back.

So what can you do to make sure you’ll get fast AC repair the next time around? First, and most importantly, don’t wait for next time to think about it.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Refrigerant Safety: Don’t Pay Too High a Price for Staying Cool

What Facilities Managers Need to Know About Refrigerant Safety for HVACR Systems

With all the safety risks that are lurking around your building, you may not think of your air conditioning system as dangerous. Yet most air conditioning systems, VRF systems that provide heating as well as cooling, and commercial refrigeration systems rely on refrigerant chemicals that can be deadly if an accident happens.

When you are responsible for building systems and the safety of your building’s occupants, you’d better understand refrigerant safety guidelines to make sure a tragic accident doesn’t happen on your watch.

Here’s what you need to know about refrigerant safety and your HVAC equipment.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

What New Yorkers Need to Know About Legionnaires Disease in NYC

The outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC has raised many questions

While it’s a relief to know that the recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC is over, many New Yorkers still have lingering questions and concerns about Legionnaire’s Disease in NYC as well as the new legislation recently passed in the city to prevent further outbreaks. Even though the outbreak is officially over, those of us who live and work in NYC will be dealing with the ramifications for quite some time.

Everyone is talking about this issue, and you may be unsure about whether you can trust what you’re reading and hearing about Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC. So we have put together a list of what those of us who live and work in NYC need to know, and where to get reliable and accurate information.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for your NYC Business

New York City Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York City, it’s no secret that NYC is extremely vulnerable to storm surge and wind damage in a hurricane. We all lived through it and we know firsthand what can happen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted 6-11 named storms, including 3-6 hurricanes and up to 2 major hurricanes for the 2015 season. And as we all know, it doesn’t even have to be called a “hurricane” to inflict severe damage.

So if you’re like most New York City business owners, you can’t help but be a little nervous when hurricane season rolls around again. But sometimes a little anxiety can be a useful thing, if it motivates you to get prepared.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

DIY HVAC Repair? Don’t Even Think About It

DIY HVAC repair is tempting

Have you always been handy? If you can fix your car and lots of things around your home, you may be tempted to take on the challenge of DIY HVAC repair. Or maybe you’re a business owner with a maintenance staff that handle cleaning and minor repairs around your premises. They should be able to tackle DIY HVAC repair, right?

Wrong! DIY HVAC repair is not only dangerous, but it can lead to some very expensive consequences. Read on to learn why DIY HVAC repair is a temptation you should not give in to.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

Restaurant Air Conditioning: Are Comfort Issues Driving Diners Away?

Restaurant air conditioning.

As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably invested quite a chunk of change in décor and lighting to make your restaurant’s atmosphere inviting. But have you paid as much attention to your restaurant air conditioning and the temperature of the dining room?

Without a doubt, restaurant air conditioning is a hot topic among diners (pun intended!). Air temperature is an important part of every diner’s experience, and if your customers are sweating or shivering through their meal, they are not likely to return for another one. Especially in New York City, you have competitors on every block, and customers will quickly find another restaurant where they can eat in comfort.

When your dining room feels like a sauna or an icebox, you’re losing more than the customers who don’t return. These days, it’s likely that those disappointed customers will share their uncomfortable experience with everyone they know on Facebook, or worse, post a negative review on Yelp. Both word of mouth and bad online reviews can do some serious damage to your restaurant’s reputation. When diners feel like you’re skimping on restaurant air conditioning maintenance, they may wonder (our loud and on social media) whether you’re also cutting corners on food handling, kitchen cleanliness, or quality of ingredients.

Also, don’t forget that your employees will be more productive when the temperature is comfortable.

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Commercial HVAC

Your Uncomfortable Office Temperature Is Hurting Your Business

When your AC doesn’t work, neither do your employees

It’s mid-August, and the summer slump is in full swing. How many of the following symptoms do you see in your office?

  • Workers sitting at their desks but clearly daydreaming instead of working
  • People taking long lunches outside
  • Lots of cigarette breaks (even people that don’t smoke) and Starbucks runs
  • Fewer early and late meetings scheduled because so many people are waltzing into the office at 10 and skipping out at 4

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

A Good Heating and Air Conditioning Company is Hard to Find

Is it time to look for a new heating and air conditioning company?

If you’re reading this, you probably already suspect that things are not going the way they should be with your current heating and air conditioning company. Have you experienced any of the following signs of declining service?

  • Making you wait days for a service call
  • Not showing up when they say they will
  • Sending untrained technicians that don’t understand your system
  • Misdiagnosing problems
  • Skimping on preventative maintenance
  • Leaving a mess behind

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

The History of Air Conditioning: How Our Ancestors Stayed Cool

7 Fun Facts About the History of Air Conditioning

Since it’s too hot to go outside and you’re probably safely ensconced in your comfortably air conditioned home or office, you may be feeling blessed to live in the 21st century where we only have to step inside to escape from the heat.

But the truth is, our ancestors had all sorts of clever ways to beat the heat, and some of their ideas are precursors to air conditioning as we know it today. So sit back and enjoy these fun facts about the history of air conditioning.

On the other hand, if you’re sitting in an office that’s not all that comfortable and wishing you could do something about it, here’s what you should be reading instead: Improving an Imperfect World: Mitigating Office Temperature Extremes.

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Commercial HVAC

Office Air Conditioning Battles: Take Control Before Workers Do

Office air conditioning comfort issues can seriously impact your business

In the dog days of summer, your office air conditioning is working harder than anyone else to keep your commercial space comfortable. The constant onslaught of heat and humidity, along with rain, pollen and NYC pollution, can make it tough for your system to keep up with the demand.

And if your air conditioner hasn’t been regularly serviced, it has to work even harder to meet the demands of the environment.

When your air conditioner can’t keep up with the cooling demand, some parts of your space will be too hot, while other areas are too cold. High humidity may be causing condensation buildup and even dangerous levels of mold, pollen and other contaminants in the air. Your employees are feeling extremely uncomfortable and may even be getting sick from the poor air quality.

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Commercial HVAC

Are Indoor Odor Problems Driving Your Customers Away?

Indoor Odor is Really, Really Bad for Business

Comfort is an important factor in where people choose to shop or dine. But comfort is not only about the air temperature; if your establishment has an unpleasant indoor odor, you may be driving away customers in droves.

Who wants to eat a meal in a restaurant with a lingering indoor odor of grease or even mildew? In addition to the comfort factor, customers can’t help but wonder about cleanliness and food safety. They’re also not likely to spend much time shopping in a boutique that smells like a locker room.

When customers walk out, you’re losing more than just the customers who don’t return. It’s increasingly likely that those unhappy customers will share their negative experience with your indoor odor both with friends and on Yelp or Facebook. Word of mouth and bad reviews can severely damage the reputation of your business.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

10 Tips to Improve Air Quality & Make Indoor Air Safer to Breathe

Air Quality Alert: How Safe Is Your Indoor Air?

For those of us who live and work in New York City, air quality is an issue we can’t afford to ignore. After all, it’s easy to see that brown haze that hangs over the city, especially on hot and humid summer days. And it’s not a surprise considering the concentration of motor vehicles, diesel generators, construction, kitchen exhaust and industrial byproducts in and around the city. You can’t help but wonder what that’s doing to your lungs. Especially if you’re one of the millions who suffer from asthma or other breathing difficulties.

As individuals, we can take steps to improve air quality outdoors, but we may not see an immediate payoff. But here’s a surprising fact that you may not know: indoor air quality can be just as bad for your health, and may be even worse, than outdoor air. According to the EPA, indoor air quality can be as much as 2 to 5 times worse than the air outside. And according to GreenGuard, an organization that promotes environmental health and safety, there is a great deal you can do to immediately improve air quality in your home and work space.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Bad Hair Days & More: Humidity and Air Conditioning Problems

Humidity and Air Conditioning Problems Cause More Than Just Bad Hair Days

July in New York City can feel like we’re living in the tropics. The temperatures pushing 90 degrees or higher are compounded by sticky air that makes it feel even worse. If your air conditioner is not doing a great job getting rid of the humidity, it can have all kinds of nasty consequences beyond comfort and uncooperative hair.

Here’s what you need to know how to tackle humidity and air conditioning problems.

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Commercial HVAC

4 Energy Saving Tips for Business Owners That Save Real Money

As consumers, most of us try to do what we can to save energy: we turn out the lights when we leave a room, we recycle our paper, glass and aluminum, and we fix leaky faucets to save water. But as a business owner, there is a great deal more you can do to save energy. With the summer heat upon us, you’re probably focused on energy saving tips as a way to cut the rising cost of doing business.

The fact is shocking: you’re probably wasting 30 percent or more of the energy used in your commercial space.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 30 percent is the amount wasted by the AVERAGE building. If you haven’t done much to update your systems and your practices over the years, you could be wasting even more. It’s no wonder your bills are so high and get worse every year. These energy saving tips will help.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

15 Creative Ways to Hide Your Outside Air Conditioner

Preserve your brownstone’s curb appeal

If you’re lucky enough to have usable outdoor space around your NYC residence, you’ll certainly want to make the most of its curb appeal. Whether you’re dining alfresco, playing outside with the kids, or hosting an outdoor cocktail party, who wants to be staring at an ugly outside air conditioner?

While that outside air conditioner is essential to your indoor comfort, air conditioner manufacturers have yet to come out with a unit that’s particularly attractive looking. So that leaves it up to you to come up with a way to camouflage it in your outdoor space.

Luckily, lots of creative people out there have dreamed up some ingenious ways to hide an outside air conditioner. Here are some of our favorites.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

The Goldilocks Syndrome: Incorrect HVAC Sizing Can Cost You

We call it the Goldilocks Syndrome: it’s what happens when you get the wrong HVAC sizing for your residential space.

You’ll regret your choice when you get an air conditioner that’s too small or too big. Comfort is guaranteed when you get your HVAC sizing just right.Unfortunately, the Goldilocks Syndrome is all too common. Less-than-knowledgeable contractors automatically replace your air conditioner with the same size unit you had previously, or base the HVAC sizing decision purely on the square footage of your space.

In fact, there are many more factors that need to be considered to get your HVAC sizing correct.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Ducted vs. Ductless Air Conditioning? How to Choose

To duct or not to duct? That is the question.

When you’re renovating a residential space, you have a lot of choices to make. Choosing a new air conditioning system may not be as much fun as choosing new furniture, but it’s just as important to get it right.

Contractors are probably throwing a lot of options at you, maybe without a whole lot of explanation. Here’s a primer on two fundamental types of air-cooled HVAC systems, and the information you need to choose which is right for you.

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Commercial HVAC

NYC Homeowners: 15 Ways to Save Energy This Summer

Just about everyone is concerned about ways to save energy these days. Rates aren’t going anywhere but up, and as we add more and more electronic devices to our lives, our consumption is growing as well.

Even if you’re fortunate enough not to be worried about paying the bill, you’re probably worried about the condition of the planet and the legacy we’re leaving behind for our kids and their kids.

By now, most of us understand why we need ways to save energy. The question is, how can we do it?

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

HVAC Service Contract vs. Homeowners Warranty

Have you recently moved into a new NYC residence? Congratulations! You’ve finally found the perfect home for you, and naturally you want it to stay that way.

Like many new homeowners, you may be thinking about purchasing a homeowners warranty to cover unexpected failures to major home systems like heating and cooling equipment. You may also have received a homeowners warranty as part of your purchase contract. If so, you probably feel like you’ve covered all the bases and you can breathe easy.

Not so fast.

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Commercial Refrigeration

Commercial Refrigeration Maintenance: Summer Tuneups Prevent Meltdowns

The food service manager’s nightmare

It goes something like this:

Your commercial kitchen is bustling, yet you have this feeling of impending doom.

You look around for the source of the problem, but everything looks normal.

Then you suddenly realize… your refrigerated display case was making funny noises yesterday. You head over there at a run.

The light is out.

There’s no more funny noise; now it’s deathly quiet.

And your buttercream is drooping and melting like an ice cream cone on a hot day. NOOOOOOO!

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Commercial HVAC

Air Conditioning in NYC: Lessons from Seinfeld

It’s always gratifying when you can learn something from television. That way, you can tell yourself you’re doing something educational when you binge-watch old Seinfeld episodes.

Luckily, you really can learn a couple of important lessons about air conditioning in NYC from Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer.

SPOILER ALERT: Some plot details of Seinfeld episodes are revealed below, but we’re betting that you’ve already seen them anyway!

Read more 

Commercial HVAC

7 Ways to Fix Office Temperature Fluctuations Once and For All

May can be an unpredictable month: one day it’s 80 degrees and the next day (sometimes even the next hour!) it’s 50 degrees. It’s a challenge to dress appropriately for the weather. What’s worse, the temperature can be just as unpredictable in your office.

It’s a tough time of year for your HVAC system as well. When outdoor temperatures change so drastically throughout the day, keeping up with the changing conditions and keeping your building comfortable may be more than your air conditioning system can handle, especially if it hasn’t been regularly maintained. Then you end up with the office temperature fluctuations that put everybody in a bad mood.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Air Conditioning Maintenance Doesn’t Cost. It Pays.


There’s no question about it, running a business in New York City is expensive. We don’t need to tell you that you’re faced with some of the highest rents and operating expenses in the country. Like any successful business owner in NYC, you do what you can to cut costs.

To save money, you may decide to cancel air conditioning maintenance. If you have fairly new equipment, air conditioning maintenance may seem unimportant.

The simple truth is, air conditioning maintenance is not a cost. That’s because it saves money. Depending on your equipment, the usage of your space and the nature of your business, air conditioning maintenance can save you a startling amount of money.

Here are 6 surprising ways that air conditioning maintenance saves money:Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

4 Power Issues That Cause AC Failure

When you have electrical issues related to your air conditioner, you might not be able to tell what’s causing the problem: your air conditioner or the electrical system in your space.

It’s no secret that electricity is nothing to fool around with. If you’re not an expert in wiring and electricity, the danger is enough (as it should be!) to keep you from trying to figure it out on your own. But then who do you call? The AC guy or the electrician?

In most cases, your first call should be to your air conditioning service company. There are a number of power-related problems that can cause AC failure and performance issues, and an AC service tech is qualified to diagnose the problem, and properly trained in how to work around high-voltage electricity.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Your AC Running Constantly is Trying To Tell You Something

Remember the Grinch, slowly driven mad by the Whoville Christmas celebrations with all that NOISE, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE? That’s how you start to feel when your AC is running constantly. It’s annoying enough to turn anyone into a Grinch.

All that noise from your air conditioner is trying to tell you something! And the problem will only get worse if you don’t address it.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

8 Preventable Causes of AC Compressor Failure

There are any number of issues that can cause your air conditioner to stop working. Luckily, they’re not all expensive fixes. The problem could be just a loose wire that’s caused a power failure in your air conditioner. Or you could have a clogged air filter that’s impeding the air flow to the system.

On the other hand, when AC compressor failure causes your system to breakdown, you have a major AC emergency service problem and a big expense on your hands. The compressor is a vital and expensive component, and when it goes you may find yourself dropping a lot of cash on a new AC unit.Read more 

Commercial HVAC

Air Conditioner Replacement or Repair? How to Decide.

Congratulations, New Yorkers! We’ve made it through a long, nasty winter, and it’s finally spring. The robins have arrived, there are tulips poking through the ground, and it seems like everyone is walking around with a smile. It won’t be long before it’s time to turn on the air conditioner and break out the flip flops.

Speaking of turning on the air conditioner, actually the time to turn it on is NOW, before the hot days arrive and you really need it. Give it a test run to make sure it starts up ok and no problems have arisen from the unit sitting unused all winter.

But what happens when you turn on your AC and it starts making hideous noises? Or it blows a fuse? Or it starts up but no cold air comes out? Or worse, nothing happens at all? Unfortunately, you’ll have to make that dreaded emergency service call.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Refrigeration

It’s Not Easy Going Green: PlaNYC and Doing Your Part to Save Energy

All New Yorkers face impacts from climate change

According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), New York City faces significant risks from climate change by the 2050’s. Mean average temperatures will rise by as much as 6.5 degrees, annual precipitation will increase up to 15 percent, and sea levels will rise by as much as 31 inches. Noticeable increases will occur within the coming decade. These are some of the impacts New Yorkers will see as a result of climate change:Read more 

Residential HVAC

Must-Have HVAC Features That Enhance Air Quality & Comfort


What’s more important than the quality of the air you and your family breathe every day in your home? It affects not only your mood and your energy level, but whether or not you catch every cold that goes around and your long-term health as well.

Your heating and air conditioning systems do their part to improve your home’s comfort, but have you considered these add-ons that take comfort and healthy air to the next level?Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

4 Reasons You Need HVAC Design for Your Air Conditioning Install


If you’re in the process of renovating a commercial space in New York City, you know how much planning goes into the project. Architects, engineers, builders and contractors all do their parts to ensure that the space looks and functions according to the client’s requirements and can be completed within the allotted budget and time line. In spite of that, one of the most important aspects of planning a renovation is sometimes overlooked: HVAC design.

In many cases, complaints from customers and building tenants drive the need for renovations. This is particularly true for hotels, restaurants, retail establishments and other businesses where customer satisfaction can make or break the business. As a result, owners and managers of these spaces have certain requirements when they undertake a renovation project. Increased comfort and air quality are often among these expectations, as are reduced energy expenses. HVAC design plays an important role in whether or not these requirements are met.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations

5 Money-Saving Features to Look For in New Thermostats


Does your building still have the old dial thermostats? If you’re looking for a way to save money on your energy bills, consider upgrading to new thermostats with programming capabilities. It’s a relatively low cost way to cut expenses on your heating and cooling bills without sacrificing comfort. Today’s new thermostats even provide convenience and notification features that make it even easier to save money.

How much can you save? According to the US Department of Energy, you can save between 5 and 15% on your heating bill when you set back your building’s thermostats by 10 to 15 degrees during the periods when your space is unoccupied. Related article: 15 Tips to Keep Your Energy Bills From Skyrocketing This Summer.

But with so many new thermostat models out there, how do you choose the new thermostat that’s right for you? Look for the following features to get the most benefit from your investment:Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC

Why Getting New Air Conditioning Should Mean Getting a New Heating System

The trees are budding, the grass is poking through the ground, and the warm weather will be here before you know it. While this is good news for most, you might be dreading the warm days ahead if your air conditioning system barely made it through last summer. If your unit is held together by paper clips and is barely producing cool air, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it before the seasonal rush.

Making the right decision about a new air conditioning system takes time and research to make sure you get both the right price and the right system for your needs. If you wait until that first 80 degree day to get started, you’ll pay more and might wind up making a mistake if you have to decide quickly.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

3 Steps for Buying a New Air Conditioner (The Right Way).

Did your air conditioner give you trouble all last summer? You were probably relieved when the hot weather was over, so you could stop worrying about your unreliable unit breaking down again at the worst possible time, and shelling out your hard-earned cash time and time again to fix it. Even though it’s hard to imagine with a foot of snow on the ground, it won’t be all that long before those hot days are back.

You probably don’t want to think about buying a new air conditioner just now. If you’re smart, though, this is exactly the right time to make a decision about your air conditioner. If you think it may be time to throw in the towel and buy a new air conditioner, now is the time to research your options and get the best price on a new unit that’s right for your needs.Read more 


Your Ice Machine: The Most Dangerous Item in Your Restaurant

Food safety has to be a primary concern on the mind of every NYC restaurant owner. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t stay in business very long. The consequences of serving potentially dangerous food are serious, not only to your patrons’ health, but also for your business:

  • poor health inspection grades
  • negative reviews on social media and in the press
  • lawsuits and even financial damages

All of these consequences will erode your customer base and eventually put you out of business. As a successful restaurant owner or manager, you already know this, and you’re certainly vigilant about enforcing safe food handling and keeping your kitchen clean. But there’s a food safety danger in your restaurant that’s hiding in plain sight: your ice machine.

Don’t forget that ice is food

It’s easy to overlook the risks associated with ice machines, since we don’t tend to think of ice as food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, does define ice as food. Ice is handled by your staff and ingested by your customers, and it can spread illness just as easily as other food sources if contaminated by viruses, bacteria and mold. And if your ice is contaminated, you won’t even know it ntil it’s too late. Your ice could look, smell and taste just fine, but still be harboring dangerous microorganisms.

A study by the Daily Mail found one in three food establishments serving dirty ice. In a 2011 study of Las Vegas food establishments, over 70 percent of ice samples tested positive for the presence of coliform bacteria. These bacteria can and do cause serious illness. How does ice contamination happen? Most often, it’s the result of poor ice machine maintenance and cleaning.

Safe ice requires a clean ice machine

According to FDA regulations, ice needs to be stored and handled like food, and that means ice machines need to be regularly cleaned. Food Law 2009 Chapter 4 specifies that ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, which is generally at least 2 to 4 times per year. Depending on your usage volume, the location of the machine, and the water conditions, you may need to clean it more often. For very heavily used units located near a cooking line inside a restaurant kitchen, you may need to clean the machine as often as every month. If you haven’t been doing this, or not doing it properly or frequently enough, it’s likely that you have mold, slime and scale buildup inside your machine that’s contaminating your ice.

And it gets even worse. When a contaminant is introduced into an ice machine, the ice can actually preserve the germs and the moisture allows them to reproduce. As they grow in a colony, those dangerous microorganisms excrete sticky substances called biofilms that make them very difficult to remove once established. Getting rid of mold and other dangerous microorganisms is not so easy; it

requires physically scrubbing with specialized chemicals. And if you miss a spot, mold can regrow again very quickly even after being removed. That’s why prevention- that is, preventive maintenance–is the best strategy to avoid ice contamination.

Don’t let just anybody clean your ice machine

Cleaning an ice machine is a job for the pros; don’t just send in your maintenance guy with a bottle of bleach. First of all, you need to know what products to use for the type of ice machine you have. You also need to know how to disassemble the machine, meticulously clean all parts including the water line, and put it all back together.

Professional refrigeration service experts not only know all the ins and outs of your machine and the right techniques to ensure your ice is clean, but they also know how to inspect and care for the machine to maximize its life span.

Don’t neglect other ice safety and handling guidelines

Once your machine is clean and sanitized regularly, follow these guidelines from Food Safety Magazine to prevent contamination between cleanings:

  • When removing ice, use scoops with handles that prevent hands from touching the ice. Don’t touch any other part of the scoop except the handle.
  • Keep the scoop outside the ice bin, so the handles don’t touch the ice. The scoop should be kept on a stainless steel, impervious plastic or fiberglass tray.
  • Keep doors closed except when removing ice.
  • Consider periodically testing your ice and ice machine surfaces for the presence of contaminants.

A refrigeration service contract doesn’t have to cost as much as you might think. The right refrigeration service company can customize the contract based on your equipment, your needs and your budget. To learn more, refer to our helpful guide to Refrigeration Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find the Right One for Your Food Service Operation

Commercial Refrigeration

How to Clean Up Your Commercial Refrigeration and Nail that ‘A’ Grade

How to Clean Up Your Commercial Refrigeration and Nail that ‘A’ Grade

If you own or manage a restaurant in New York City, you probably have nightmares about the health inspector. You know the one we mean, where he comes in wearing a diabolical grin and slaps a C grade on your front window.

Seriously, even if he comes in smiling pleasantly, your stomach probably does flip-flops. Having the health inspector turn up can be even scarier than having your chef call in sick. You immediately remember all the maintenance tasks you’ve been meaning to take care of, like the low-boy on your cooking line that’s been running too warm. Then you imagine the potentially catastrophic violations that could come as a total surprise: like having to throw out everything in your blast chiller because the temperature is too high. You might even face the closing of your restaurant because of a Condition V critical violation.

Some of the most damaging violations you can receive in an inspection come from food being stored or held at the wrong temperature.

Here’s how poor restaurant HVAC refrigeration service leads to dangerous temperature variations:

Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

5 Reasons to Combine Your HVAC and Refrigeration Repair Services

If you are a facilities manager for a restaurant group or chain, you have a lot on your plate (pun intended). You can easily have a dozen people calling you every day with problems that need to be fixed, and you can’t possibly check them all out by yourself. You need to rely on service providers for information, assessments, and advice to help you make decisions.

Let’s say you’re overseeing 15 restaurants and you’re responsible for refrigeration and HVAC and commercial kitchen maintenance. If you have different vendors for each system and each location, you could be dealing with as many as 45 vendors! That’s definitely too many hands in the kitchen. Not to mention too much time on the phone and far too much paperwork with all those separate work orders, proposals and invoices. Make your life easier by building a relationship with one trusted refrigeration and HVAC service provider that can handle all your service needs.

Here’s what you stand to gain:

Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

How to Compare AFUE Furnace HVAC Energy Efficiency Ratings in 3 Steps

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the market for a new furnace or boiler. It’s a lot of cash to lay out so close to the end of the heating season, but if your current unit is DOA you may have no choice. If you’re among the smartest NYC business owners, maybe you’re planning ahead to get the best deal BEFORE the old unit dies.

In either case, the good news is you have an opportunity to get a more energy-efficient unit, which can save you considerable cash on your utility bills. But you may be confused about the HVAC energy efficiency ratings and what they mean. Also, you have probably realized that more efficient models can cost considerably more. Is it worth it? How much HVAC energy efficiency will give you the right return on your investment?

Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

4 Things You Better Be Getting With Your HVAC Maintenance Contract.

Every smart business person is trying to cut costs. When it’s time to think about renewing your annual HVAC preventive maintenance contract, you may be tempted to go with the lowest priced option. It can seem expensive, and you may not fully understand what you’re getting for your money. Why should you pay more?

But consider yourself warned: going with the lowest bidder frequently costs much more in the long run! That’s especially true if you don’t think through what’s included in the HVAC maintenance contract and your relationship with the service provider. So how can you evaluate the value you’re getting for the HVAC maintenance cost? Consider the following:Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

6 Reasons to Choose Tech-Savvy NYC HVAC Service

At one time or another, many New York City business people find themselves tasked with finding an HVAC service provider. Thiscan seem like an overwhelming assignment. While you certainly appreciate a comfortably heated and cooled building, how are you supposed to tell which heating and air conditioning service companies are any good?

You may have paid attention to the trucks you see around the neighborhood, and asked people you know for recommendations. You’ve probably done an internet search to see which HVAC service companies are the leading providers in your area. Beyond that, you may be at a loss about how to find a qualified and reliable company that can meet your needs.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

The Dangers of Choosing the Wrong Furnace Repair Company

If you’re not an expert on HVAC equipment, or even a handy sort of person, choosing a furnace maintenance provider for your company can seem like a daunting task. You’ve been trusted with this important assignment, yet you may feel like you’re in over your head.

Not to make you more nervous, but there’s a good reason to be concerned. If you choose a provider that’s unwilling or unable to do the job right, they may skip steps that can result in dangerous and even deadly consequences for you and your building’s occupants.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Furnace Maintenance: Got a New Furnace? Don’t Void Your Warranty!

New Furnace? Don’t Neglect Maintenance and Void Your Warranty!

Have you installed a brand new furnace in the past! year? It probably cost you a pretty penny, but you’re now happy to be luxuriating in reliable and consistent warmth. No more worries about coming into the building in the morning and discovering that your office is an ice box.

You may think you’re done worrying about your HVAC system for a little while. Unfortunately, that’s not the smartest decision. Your installer may have mentioned that your new furnace needs regular maintenance to keep it running at its best. Don’t dismiss this advice as just a way for them to get more money out of you!Read more 


Happy Holidays from Arista!

Warm holiday wishes from your friends at Arista

We wish you a joyful holiday season

and a New Year filled with peace, prosperity and warm memories.

May the coming year be your best yet,

and we look forward to serving you in 2015.


We will resume our normal schedule
of twice-weekly blog posts after the New Year.

Commercial HVAC

Retrofit Your Furnace or Boiler for Energy Savings

If you’re like most business owners, you’re on the lookout for ways to cut operating costs. Your fuel bills, in particular, may be on your mind at this time of year.

Did you know that your HVAC system consumes as much as 40 to 50% of your building’s total energy usage? Those new high-efficiency furnaces you may have read about can reduce your HVAC energy consumption by as much as 30 to 40 percent, depending on the age and condition of your old system. But what if you’re not ready for a new furnace just yet? Your current system may have years of life left. Or you may need a little time to come up with enough cash to purchase one of those high-efficiency systems. Is there any way to reduce your energy consumption now?Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Furnace Troubleshooting: 8 Signs Your Furnace Needs Maintenance

As a business owner, this time of year you’re probably running around like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve trying to get everything done. The last thing you want to worry about is the condition of your heating system. But in those rare moments when you sit still for a moment, you may be experiencing nagging doubts that your old furnace is going to make it through the winter without an expensive and inconvenient breakdown.

Take a glance through the list below. Have you noticed any of these symptoms? If you have, you’re probably worried that your furnace or boiler is about to go down for the count. Taking the “wait and see” approach makes it likely that you won’t like what you see (especially on your invoice) when that breakdown happens.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Don’t Let Furnace Water Leaks Ruin Your Holiday

Isn’t it just the last thing you need during the crazy rush right before the holidays? Your maintenance guy tells you there’s a puddle of water under your furnace. Oh, great… there goes your dream of a profitable December and starting off the New Year with a trip to the tropics. Will you have to shell out thousands for a new furnace instead?

Don’t cancel your plans just yet! There are a number of reasons that can lead to your furnace leaking water, and most of them don’t mean an untimely death for your heating system.

Start by identifying what type of heating equipment you have, and check out these possible causes for water leaks.Read more 

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

5 Common HVAC Installation Mistakes and How They Cost You

If you’re in the market for new HVAC equipment, you’re probably doing a lot of research into the type of equipment that’s best for your needs, as well as the brands that are highly rated. Did you know that it’s just as important to do your due diligence in choosing the right installer? Use this HVAC troubleshooting guide to help you understand possible issues.Read more 

Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Love Your Radiant Floor Heating? Don’t Neglect Maintenance

Did you know that radiant floor heat is one of the oldest forms of climate control? Ancient Eskimos filled stone trenches under their dwellings with hot smoke to warm the space. The Greeks and Romans used hypocausts, basically furnaces pumping hot air into floor and wall space, to warm their public buildings and bath houses. Different forms of radiant floor heating have been used for millennia.Read more 

Commercial HVAC

Furnace Troubleshooting: 8 Causes of Inconsistent Building Heat

If you’re are building or facility manager, one of the least pleasant parts of your job may be handling all the complaints about the building’s temperature.

How can it be that some complain about working in a meat locker, while others are opening the windows? It may not be just people’s individual comfort levels that are causing the problem. In fact, uncovering the associated furnace problems causing inconsistent heating system performance can sometimes be pretty complex.

But, never fear; basic furnace troubleshooting skills can help you hone in on the issue! Take an inventory of the following common 8 causes of heating inconsistency and take control of your building comfort!Read more 

Commercial HVAC

New York HVAC Systems: 8 Reasons Bigger is Not Always Better

One of the worst mistakes you can make when purchasing new HVAC equipment is choosing a unit that’s the wrong size for your space. Especially if your old unit was not providing adequate heating or air cooling, you may be tempted to go with a more powerful unit thinking you’ll get more comfortable conditions.

You won’t. When it comes to furnaces, boilers and air conditioners, bigger is not necessarily better. What you want is a unit with exactly the right capacity to meet the needs of your space.

Here are 8 reasons why an oversized unit is the wrong choice for your heating and air conditioning needs:Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

Neglected Commercial Refrigeration Equipment is a Recipe for Disaster!

In the food service business, you spend good money on the best ingredients, because your customers expect nothing less than the freshest fare. So much depends on the quality of your food. But if you’re storing that food in commercial refrigeration units that have not been properly maintained, you might as well be throwing your money away.Read more 

Commercial Kitchen, Commercial Refrigeration

The 6 Step Guide to NYC Restaurant Energy Savings

In the restaurant business, how do you keep your profits consistent when costs are continuously rising? Food prices, utility rates and wages are going nowhere but up. Especially in New York City where competition is fierce, you probably aren’t in a position to raise prices to offset increased expenses. So what can you do? You need to find a way to cut operating costs without impacting the quality of your product or the comfort of your guests.

A surprisingly effective strategy is to focus on energy efficiency. According to ENERGY STAR, the average restaurant uses 5 to 7 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. If yours is a quick-service restaurant, you may be using up to 10 times more energy. That’s a lot of cash that could be going toward your bottom line. If you can save 20 percent on energy costs, that could increase your profit margin by as much as one-third.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Fall Furnace Maintenance: 8 Signs Your Furnace Has Called it Quits

If your building’s furnace has been there for 10 or 15 years (or more), you may be wondering how much life it has left. You don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars for a new one if you don’t have to yet, but you also don’t want to be in a position of having to make a quick decision to buy a new furnace when it suddenly fails and you have no heat. How can you predict when it’s likely to fail so you can replace it proactively?

If you’ve noticed many of the following warning signs, it’s time to call a certified HVAC service company for an evaluation of your system and recommendations for replacement options.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Fall Furnace Maintenance: 3 Reasons to Clean Your Furnace

Chances are you’ve seen articles and advertisements telling you to get your HVAC system cleaned and maintained at least once or twice a year (it should be apart of any fall furnace maintenance routine). You may be wondering why it’s so important. After all, your equipment seems to keep working, right?

That may be the case for now, but you’re setting yourself up for a host of trouble later on (not to mention much bigger expenses) by skipping this easy and affordable task.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Things that Go Bump in the Night: Is Your Furnace Making Noises?

It’s that time of year again when you see skeletons and witches inhabiting every lawn and peering out of every window. So when you have a furnace making noises with all sorts of unsettling sounds, you can’t help but wonder if a poltergeist got in there.

Before you call in the ghost busters, here are some of the common problems that may be making your heating system go bump in the night (and all day long). Luckily, most of them are not that scary.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Heating Maintenance: Checklist for Gas and Oil Furnaces

If you haven’t already done so, you’re probably thinking it’s time to turn on the heat in your building. Not so fast! Have you done your fall furnace maintenance? If you want to keep your building occupants healthy and safe, as well as warm, it’s in your best interest to take care of this task before starting up your furnace for the first time. November is almost upon us! The leaves are dropping off the trees, the holiday ads have already begun, and you’re toying with the idea of breaking out the winter coat. It’s going to get chilly, especially after we change the clocks and lose another hour of daylight.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

9 Skills Sherlock Holmes & A Great New York HVAC Service Tech Share

Are you in the market for a new HVAC service provider, and wondering how to tell if someone’s really any good? Think about the qualities of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes. That’s what it takes to be a top-notch NYC HVAC guy.

Look for signs of these skills, habits and abilities, and you can be sure you’ve found someone you can count on to get the job done right:Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Fall Furnace Maintenance Tips: Are Carbon Monoxide Detectors Enough?

It’s no secret that carbon monoxide is deadly. We’ve all heard the horror stories that result from people unknowingly breathing in the colorless, odorless gas. As a responsible business owner or manager, you have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your building, and you probably think that protects you from the danger.

Not entirely.

It’s true that carbon monoxide detectors will most likely protect you from the deadliest outcome: people in your building becoming sick or even dying from exposure to the poisonous gas. But have you considered the consequences of having a scare in your building when those detectors go off? The following fall furnace maintenance tips will help you stay safe in the event of your detectors go off, and take preventative action to ensure they never do.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

4 Consequences of Fall Furnace Maintenance Neglect

At this time of year, you’ve probably seen and heard the recommendations about having your furnace cleaned and maintained before the start of the cold weather. What’s all this fuss about fall furnace maintenance, anyway? Your building’s furnace is tucked away in a boiler room out of sight. No one has to look at it, so why should you care if it’s dirty as long as it’s doing the job?

Here’s what you may not realize. All that buildup of dirt and grime, as well as the fact that your furnace is not being regularly inspected for impending problems, is endangering the health of your building’s occupants, not to mention your wallet.

Here are four serious risks you face when you neglect fall furnace maintenance:Read more 

Commercial HVAC

5 Smart Strategies: Energy Saving Tips for Commercial Buildings

We have good news and bad news about your building’s energy consumption. Which do you want to hear first?

Ok, here’s the bad news: you’re probably wasting 30 percent or more of the energy your building uses. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 30 percent is the amount wasted by the AVERAGE building. If you haven’t done much to update your systems and your practices over the years, you could be wasting even more. It’s no wonder your bills are so high and get worse every year.

The good news? If you take advantage of the energy saving tips for commercial buildings, outlined here, you can significantly cut your usage and your bills without adversely affecting the comfort of your building’s occupants. Here’s how:Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Preventive Maintenance Agreements

Broken Air Conditioning? 3 Steps to Avoid Being Taken to the Cleaners

Take Control of Your Broken Air Conditioning Unit.

As a business owner or manager, you wear a lot of hats. But it’s going a bit too far when you’re expected to understand the technical mumbo-jumbo about what’s wrong with your broken air conditioning unit and make a decision to replace it on the spot. Do you trust this service provider and their diagnosis? Is this problem really a death sentence for your equipment? Can you buy a little time to figure out your options?

Just say no, or at least say “not so fast.” Any service provider that insists you need to purchase new equipment without offering an adequate explanation – or one that’s understandable to someone who’s not an HVAC expert – should raise a red flag. You should never rush into making an expensive equipment purchase, because it’s easy to make the wrong choice and spend more money than you need to.

Here’s how to proceed when you find yourself in this situation:Read more 

Commercial HVAC

Air Conditioner Mold: Can You Get Sick from Air Conditioning?

Air Conditioner Mold Can Make You Seriously Sick.

In July in New York City, it can feel like we’re living in the tropics, with the weather alternating between heat and humidity and thunderstorms with torrential downpours. As your discomfort grows, do you know what else is growing in your air conditioner? Mold and bacteria. Now it’s September and the NOAA is predicting at least one major hurricane this season.

If you’ve been neglecting regular maintenance of your air conditioning system, you’re setting yourself up for a potentially serious situation. As the temperature and humidity levels fluctuate, so does your risk of contamination from mold and disease-causing bacteria, including legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease.Read more 

Commercial HVAC

Can You Get Sick from Air Conditioning? Allergy Symptoms Tell All

In the late summer and early fall seasons here in the Northeast, the air is inundated with grass and weed pollen spores, bringing about miserable allergy symptoms for many people. If you’re suffering, you’ll do just about anything to get relief. Like pay a fortune to your neighbor’s kid to do your yard work for you. (We know one guy who wears a surgical mask 24 hours a day.)

If you own a business or are in charge of building maintenance, this problem can cause you major headaches (in addition to the sniffles, sneezes and coughs). The prevalence of air conditioning allergy symptoms can seriously disrupt worker productivity. Employees are staying home sick and taking time off to visit the doctor. Also, blowing your nose 100 times a day takes considerable time away from your job! The problem can even turn deadly for people with chronic conditions such as COPD, asthma and diabetes.Read more 

Commercial HVAC

Office Temperature Fluctuations Turning Your Cubicle into a War Zone?

September weather is rough on your HVAC system. The temperatures seem to fluctuate on a daily basis: 90 degrees today, 50 degrees tomorrow. Then there’s rain, humidity, and pollen to throw a monkey wrench into the situation. Keeping up with the changing environment and keeping your building comfortable may be more than your air conditioning system can handle, especially if it hasn’t been regularly maintained.

The result? Parts of the building are too hot, and other areas are too cold. High humidity may be causing condensation buildup and even dangerous levels of mold, pollen and other contaminants in the air. People are uncomfortable and may even be getting sick from the poor air quality. What’s more, the environment also has a direct effect on the productivity of your employees or tenants. They’re feeling lousy, they’re getting less done, and before you know it, they’ll be fighting mad. If you don’t do something to address the situation, they will.Read more 

Commercial HVAC

6 Risks You Take When You Forgo NYC HVAC Tech Intelligence

Trust your techs. They’re really smart.

NYC HVAC techs are pretty smartLike every business owner, you’re probably trying to save money. So when your air conditioner is on the fritz or needs a seasonal cleaning, you may be tempted to call in your handy brother-in-law or let your building maintenance guy try to do it himself. It may seem simple to hose off the condenser coils and check the refrigerant level, but HVAC work is much more complex than you may realize. Your service tech has had years of training, he has loads of knowledge that help him both solve and prevent problems, and he’s much smarter than your brother-in-law (don’t tell him we said that).

HVAC is a complex trade and you can do a lot of damage and cost yourself a great deal of money by taking shortcuts.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

4 Steps for Storm Readiness: NYC HVAC Prep for Hurricane Season

Whether they call it a superstorm, a tropical storm, or a hurricane, these devastating weather events can cause catastrophic damage, as those of us who lived through Superstorm Sandy know all too well. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted 8-13 named storms, 3-6 hurricanes and 1-2 major hurricanes for the 2014 season, so now is the time to get prepared.

We all know the drill to protect our homes and families when an impending storm threatens: stock up on water and non-perishable food, get out the flashlights and weather radio, buy lots of batteries, bring in your lawn chairs and board up the windows. But did you know that you should also be taking precautions to protect your NYC HVAC system?

Making the time now to take a few precautionary actions, and knowing what to do when a storm strikes, can make the difference between sailing through the storm with no damage and having to shell out thousands for new HVAC equipment.Read more 

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

HVAC Repair: 3 Scenarios Where You Might Pay Twice.

When should you pay twice for HVAC Repair in NYC?

You know the drill: something breaks and you call in someone to fix it. The HVAC repair guy tells you what’s wrong, and charges you a lot of money. At first, everything seems to be working again. You breathe a sigh of relief and forget about it. Then lo and behold, it breaks down again a short time later.

We’ve all been through it, which doesn’t make it any less frustrating, not to mention expensive. Unfortunately, it happens all too often with air conditioning systems. The question is, should you have to pay each time the tech comes out and works on your system, even when he doesn’t fix the problem?

It’s a tough question, and the answer depends on the circumstances. Here are a few scenarios related to refrigerant leaks, one of the most common causes of a/c malfunctions, to guide you if you find yourself in this sticky situation.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

10 Fall Maintenance Tasks That Prevent HVAC Repair

Avoid HVAC Repair With This Simple Checklist.

It’s hard to believe September is here already! You’re probably busy with back-to-school activities, the start of the football season, and picking out your Halloween costume (it’s never too early!). It’s a good thing we’re here to remind you that air conditioning maintenance needs to be on your fall to-do list.

Your air conditioner has worked hard all summer keeping your building cool. Once you shut down your system for the season, it needs to be cleaned, inspected and properly protected for the long winter ahead. If you skip these important tasks, you’re risking a major HVAC repair headache (not to mention a major expense) when you start up your air conditioner in the spring and find it’s not working.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Leaking Water: Air Conditioner Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

Air Conditioner Problems Raining on Your Parade?

Leaking Just when you were having a good month with no major disasters, and you were actually optimistic about getting ahead of expenses, your maintenance guy comes in to tell you that there’s a puddle of water around your indoor air conditioning unit. Now you’ve got that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach in anticipation of an expensive repair bill.

Don’t panic! It may look bad, but in many cases, your air conditioner problems–even water leaks are not an expensive fix, if you’ve caught it quickly.Read more 

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

Avoid Air Conditioning Repair: NYC Techs Talk Compressor Failure

Compressor Failure Could Mean Serious Air Conditioning Repair in NYC

When a service tech inspects your broken air conditioner, the very LAST thing you want to hear him or her say is, “Sorry, the compressor has failed.” It’s often a death sentence for an air conditioning unit since it’s such a costly part to replace. If your warranty has expired and the cost to replace a compressor exceeds a third of the cost of a new unit, you may be facing the purchase of a new air conditioner. Either way, it’s going to cost you a bundle.

The surprising fact is that as many as 80 percent of compressor failures could be prevented if the problems leading to the failure were corrected in a timely manner. These problems can be detected and eliminated during regular preventative maintenance and help you avoid costly air conditioning repair in NYC.Read more 

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

AC Troubleshooting: FROZEN HVAC System? Don’t “Let it Go!”

AC Troubleshooting: Why Your Air Conditioner Freezes Up and What to Do About it.

If you have children, or you’re alive on the planet, you’ve seen/heard of/know all the words to all the songs to Disney’s Frozen. In the movie “Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter” (so says IMDB). Yea, it’s a real nail-biter.

While you may not have a loyal reindeer, you may indeed be facing an epic journey of your own when the icy powers of your air conditioner cause an eternal winter of your evaporator coils. (Eh, come on…go with it. It was only a matter of time before a witty HVAC company took advantage of the comparison).Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Troubleshooting: 10 Common Causes of a Constantly Running System

AC Troubleshooting Guide to Fixing a Constantly Running AC Unit

Mid-August and temperatures are in the 70’s? It makes you wonder if the dog days of summer are behind us or if they’ll be back with a vengeance next week. It’s a relief to have some cooler weather, but one thing that may put a damper on your comfort level is the sound of your air conditioner running constantly when you know it shouldn’t be.

Is your AC running all the time without shutting off, or cycling on and off continuously? There are several causes for concern. More than likely you’ve got a problem with the unit. It’s also using way too much electricity and running up your electric bill. And don’t forget about the wear and tear on your air conditioner from all that unnecessary work.Read more 

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

A Guide to the Top 3 Power Related Air Conditioner Problems

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner: Problems with Power

It’s incredibly frustrating when your air conditioner experiences power-related issues because you often don’t know who to call, the electrician or the air conditioning service guy. Since you’re probably not an expert in wiring and electricity, the danger of high voltage is enough (as it should be!) to keep you from trying to figure it out on your own. Here’s a quick guide to the top 3 power issues you could be experiencing, and what to do if it happens to you.Read more