Have you been limping along with your older R22 air conditioner? Hoping to avoid replacing it during the high season? Especially if you know your unit has a refrigerant leak, you may be trying to decide how long you can get by before you’ll have to invest in a new system. An important factor in making that decision is answering the question: when is R22 no longer available?
NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog
Wine requires precise conditions to age nicely. If you invest money in your wine collection, invest in an environment that keeps it safe for years to come. Let’s look at some of the necessary components of storing and preserving wine, and how the right HVAC system can help you achieve those conditions.
Most of us consider good health a top priority. We wouldn’t think of doing our cardio routine outdoors next to a factory spewing pollutants into the air. However, we don’t often think about indoor air quality. This benign neglect could put our health at risk. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside can be at minimum 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside.
That’s a good reason to consider an HVAC air purifier, or HVAC air filtration system.Read more
Why repair or replace an air conditioner this fall?
If you’ve got an aging air conditioner, you may be breathing a sigh of relief when Labor Day rolls around. You made it through another summer with the old unit! But don’t talk too soon. You could still experience a breakdown during a brutal week of Indian summer. Then you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner.
Noticing signs of mold in your air ducts?
ODORS. An unusual or musty odor is often the first sign of mold in air ducts. In many cases, you’ll smell it before you can see it. If you notice a musty or moldy smell that goes away when you are not using your air conditioning or heating (if they share ducts), that can narrow the cause down to some part of your HVAC system.
If you’ve noticed condensation on an AC vent (air conditioner vents “sweating”) or worse, an AC vent leaking water, you’re right to be concerned and start investigating what might be going on. If you let it go, you could end up with property damage along with a potential air conditioner repair bill.
Let’s go over how moisture can get on your AC vent, and the potential damage it can do. Then we’ll explain the possible causes. It’s important to check them out, because the water on your AC vent might be condensation, but it also might be coming from your ducts or your air conditioner itself.
If you’re in the market for an HVAC service contract, you have probably encountered a wide range of prices. And since you’re probably not an HVAC expert, it can be a challenge to compare options and figure out what’s included, if the AC maintenance plan is worth the money, and ultimately which one is right for you.
Here’s a heating & air conditioning price guide to help you understand the different types of HVAC service contracts and the variables that factor into HVAC service pricing. Armed with this information, you can figure out which options are important to you and be better equipped to choose the heating & air conditioning maintenance agreement with the right price for the coverage you want.
Why change your AC filter?
The air filter’s job is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC equipment. You’d be amazed how much builds up on there in a very short time. Just think about the air quality in Manhattan and the dust your cleaning staff picks up every day. Imagine how much grime would accumulate if you didn’t clean for a month. That’s how much debris is clogging your air filter, and much more if you haven’t remembered to change the AC filter in a while.
Air conditioner power consumption: how much are you using?
As anyone who has seen their electric bill skyrocket in the summer will know, your air conditioner power consumption can be a big, unpredictable cost. To try and understand your costs, you can start with your AC unit’s power rating (check the label on the condensing unit), which will tell you how much power it uses under perfect conditions. In real life, conditions are rarely as consistent as that.
There are many factors that affect how efficient your AC is and how much power it uses, including age and condition of the unit, the layout of your space, design of the air ducts, how air-tight the space is, and of course the weather. That’s why calculating your expenses is never an exact science.
If you’ve ever spent a hot summer in New York City in a home or business plagued with air conditioner problems, it’s certainly an experience you don’t want to repeat. Don’t leave your summer comfort to chance! Learn about the most common causes of air conditioner problems and the easy steps you can take to prevent repair issues.
It is definitely not cool when your air conditioning system has a meltdown during a heat wave. This cooling season, take steps to prevent air conditioner breakdowns.
For example, your AC not cooling well might be because your AC coils are clogged and you need air conditioner cleaning. Let’s take a look at how air conditioning coil cleaning can help you system work better.
If your home AC has not been working well, it can be tricky to figure out when to bite the bullet and replace it. In this article, we’ll share some tips for making that decision, as well as information that will help make sure you’ll be happy with your new unit.
It is a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: Most of us know the feeling of waiting for the cable repair or installation person to show up.
Not knowing when a service technician is going to arrive can be even more stressful when you’re a building owner or facilities manager who has to answer to frustrated tenants or a boss who is asking for updates.
At Arista, we firmly believe in leveraging technology to improve efficiency for our team and also to enhance communication in customer service.
That’s why we’ve now implemented a customer service technology designed to keep everyone informed when it’s time for an HVAC service or repair visit.
There’s no question that good air quality is vital to health, especially for older adults, children and anyone with conditions such heart or lung disease. In a city as big as New York, with a population of more than 8.6 million people and growing, air quality is an ongoing challenge.
While there is only so much you can do about outdoor air pollution, you can significantly improve indoor air quality with regular HVAC cleaning, especially air conditioner cleaning before you start up your system in spring.
Here are four reasons why you should take advantage of HVAC cleaning services in NYC.
Do you tend to feel uneasy about signing a contract? That’s natural when you’re making a commitment to spend money. It can be a bigger source of stress when you don’t understand exactly what you’re getting for your money. That’s often the case when homeowners and business owners purchase an HVAC service contract.
Airflow issues are among the most common HVAC problems. If you suspect you have HVAC airflow problems, you’re probably experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Hot and cold spots throughout your space. This is often one of the first signs of HVAC airflow issues.
- Pressure imbalance. Do you have doors slamming by themselves, strange whistling noises and drafty areas? These are symptoms of air pressure problems caused by poor airflow from HVAC systems.
- No air coming out, weak air or low airflow from vents in your house or commercial space.The problem could be throughout the space, or you could have one AC vent not blowing air in one room. This is when you begin to realize something is wrong.
- Your AC system blows warm air. Now you KNOW something is wrong!
If you ignore the problem for too long, the strain on your system can lead to compressor failure. The compressor is like the heart of your air conditioner, and when it goes, there’s a good chance you’ll need a new unit.
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!
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.
Furnace fuse keeps blowing? This guide to electric furnace troubleshooting explains the common causes and fixes.
If you have been experiencing electric furnace problems (specifically the furnace fuse blows when the heat turns on) throughout the holiday season, you might have assumed the problem is those cheap holiday string lights. But when it happens again (even after Santa has left the building along with the spike in your electric bill), you’re probably wondering what to do now.
Plagued with a lingering musty smell in your house or business? Here’s why you really need to do something about it:
If you’re considering replacing the HVAC system in your NYC commercial space or high-end residence, there’s a new type of HVAC technology on the market that you need to know about. It’s called Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and it’s the latest and greatest in heating and cooling comfort.
Guide to HVAC and home automation device compatibility
Are you looking to get a smart speaker for your home? To get the most from your investment, it’s important to pick the one that can work with the smart devices you’ve already got, including your HVAC smart thermostat.
As we’ve talked about in our blogs all this month, heat pump technology has evolved to the point where heat pumps are growing in popularity in colder climates, like here in the northeast. You might even be considering a heat pump yourself, to:
- Supplement another system, such radiant floor heating
- Replace your existing heating and cooling systems with one unified solution
- Increase your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint
- Lower your ongoing energy costs — plus, take advantage of the heat pump tax credit.
If you’re in a colder climate and researching HVAC replacement systems, you may have learned about the split system heat pump for the first time.
In milder climates, heat pumps are a very common go-to HVAC solution because they provide both heating and cooling. And, heat pumps cost quite a bit less to operate than a split system air conditioner plus a separate heating system (such as a gas or oil furnace).
A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can also work in reverse to provide heat.
If you need to replace your air conditioning system or your entire HVAC, should you consider getting a heat pump for AC? A heat pump can replace your air conditioner, and possibly your heating system as well. But it is important to make sure it’s the right choice for your needs.
If you’re building, renovating or replacing HVAC equipment, there are more options than ever for heating and cooling your space. You’re already familiar with the old standby options: boilers, gas furnaces, electric baseboard heat and split system air conditioners. But if someone has suggested a heat pump, this technology may be new to you.
This is an update to one of our most popular and helpful blog posts. We’ve added advice for those of you who have an older R22 AC unit that uses the Freon refrigerant which is being phased out. Here’s the original: Repair or Replace An Air Conditioner: The Right Way to Decide.
If you’ve got an aging air conditioner, you may be breathing a sigh of relief when Labor Day rolls around. You made it through another summer with the old unit! But don’t talk too soon, fall can still get steamy in NYC and if your unit is not performing as it should be, you could still experience a breakdown during a brutal week of Indian summer weather. Then you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace it.
Here in New York City, those of us who lived through Superstorm Sandy tend to be more than a bit nervous about hurricanes. You don’t quite understand the magnitude of what can happen until you experience a storm like that, and have to deal with the aftermath. Since hurricane season is coming around again, we want to address a topic that’s a big concern here in Manhattan: hurricane preparedness for high rise buildings.
Cooling is obviously one of the greatest health benefits of air conditioning. But it does more than just keep you comfortable in the summer. AC can make conditions better for preventing heat related symptoms or for recovering from illness.
However, you may have heard some scary stories about air conditioning making people sick. Many people wonder, is AC healthy? Rest assured, the answer is yes, as long as you take proper care of your AC unit. Air conditioning health problems can be prevented with regular maintenance and cleaning.
When it’s summer in the city, an indoor pool might just be the ultimate luxury. Rain or shine, it’s a great place for beating the heat or getting some exercise. But along with the pleasure and convenience comes a unique maintenance issue that outdoor pool owners, managers, and service technicians don’t have to deal with: indoor pool humidity problems.
Let’s face it: most people are not HVAC experts. So when you’re trying to choose a service provider or an installer for air conditioning and heating equipment, that can be a difficult task. How can you tell if they know what they’re doing? That’s why many turn to HVAC reviews online to help identify the best and weed out the worst.
When it’s only June and you’re already wondering if your aging air conditioner will make it through the summer, it’s not a good situation. Maybe you’ve been told it needs some repairs. That puts you in a tough position: do you spend the money on a commercial air conditioner repair to get through the summer? Or do you bite the bullet now and invest in a new system?
Comfortable air is one of those things that luxury homeowners in NYC (any homeowners, in fact) tend to take for granted until suddenly the apartment air conditioning is not working. When the AC breaks down, the consequences can be devastating for high-end homeowners. It’s much worse than merely being too warm for a little while and having to pay for a repair. Did you know that expensive decor and irreplaceable furnishings can be damaged by failed apartment air conditioning?
Keep reading to learn about what can happen and what you can do to prevent the worst from happening to you.
In houses, apartments, schools, and daycare facilities across the five boroughs, there may be a hidden threat to the city’s more than 1.7 million children: IAQ and mold.
Nationally and at the state and local levels, exposure to dampness and mold in buildings has been recognized as a public health problem. In this article, we’ll reveal the link between IAQ and mold. We’ll also look at the dangers associated with mold as well as management and prevention strategies for mold problems.
Usually our blog articles focus on our readers, their HVAC problems and concerns, and our best tips and advice for solving those problems. We’re not trying to sell you something: we understand that some of our readers just want information but don’t necessarily need our services at the moment. We’re happy to be your go-to source of reliable and trustworthy information about central air repair, maintenance and installation.
That being said, we do hope you’ll reach out to us if you’re in the NYC metro area and you find yourself in need of central air conditioner repair service, preventative maintenance, or installation.
Here’s why you’ll be glad you did.
You have probably heard that clean HVAC ducts help ensure healthy indoor air quality. You may be thinking about doing a DIY duct cleaning project. If you’re watching your wallet and have an industrious spirit, you can try duct cleaning yourself.
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.
Have you read stories linking poor air quality to health issues? If so, you may wonder if you should hire an HVAC cleaning company to clean your air ducts. There are lots of companies offering duct cleaning bargains. But how do you choose a reputable HVAC cleaning company over one that makes promises they will not keep?
Avoid getting ripped off by following these guidelines.
Is your living or work space not as cool as you would like it? Are you noticing your indoor air is not fresh and maybe even musty? Have you heard any banging and whistling noises?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, your ducts might be the cause of these HVAC problems. Let’s take a look at some common HVAC problems associated with duct deficiencies.
Your furnace gets to snooze over the summer and your AC settles down for a long winter’s nap, but your ducts never get any rest. In many HVAC systems, ducts do double-duty. They deliver heat from your furnace in the winter and cool air from your AC in the warm months.
Winter is over and hot weather is coming soon. That’s why spring is the best time to do furnace duct cleaning. By calling in a professional for furnace air duct cleaning now, you get better comfort from your AC when those scorching days happen.
Could there be a connection between your sneezing and your HVAC ducts? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time that dirty ducts turn out to be the culprit behind air conditioning allergies. Let’s look at the possible connection between your allergies and duct cleaning.
Many factors go into calculating the cost of duct cleaning. For example:
- Are your ducts commercial or residential?
- How much ductwork do you have?
- What are your ducts made of?
- Are your ducts in good condition or are they damaged?
- Do you have mold?
When searching for answers to “how much does duct cleaning cost,” don’t overlook the cost of NOT doing it. Ask yourself: “If I have moldy or dirty ducts that cause poor air flow or air quality, can I afford to skip duct cleaning?
If you are among the more than 50 million Americans affected by allergies, listen up! As we head into prime allergy season, it’s time to learn about how HVAC & allergies are related. And learn ways to reduce pollen that gets spread by your HVAC system.
This time of year, you may be staying indoors, hoping to avoid allergens and reduce symptoms. However, pollen spores are among the most difficult allergens to avoid. Even indoors it can be hard to remove pollen particles because many of them are so tiny. They also lurk in places you haven’t thought of, like your HVAC system.
Are you looking to hire an HVAC service company to do preventative maintenance? Chances are you’re unsure about what preventative maintenance includes. If you already have an HVAC preventative maintenance contract, you might wonder if you’re getting the same services as some of your neighbors.
That’s where an HVAC preventative maintenance checklist comes in handy.
Maybe you just moved into an upscale NYC residence and are looking for a reliable residential HVAC service. Or, maybe you’ve had enough of your residential HVAC contractor, who is late for appointments and leaves a mess behind.
You should accept nothing less than stellar service. Here are tips on how to find a residential HVAC contractor that won’t disappoint you and will treat your home like a castle.
As a luxury homeowner, you want good indoor air quality and pleasant temperatures inside your home. A reliable HVAC system delivers those two essentials for a comfortable living space. An HVAC maintenance contract can help you get and keep the indoor climate you deserve.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of an HVAC maintenance contract.
If you’re considering a new HVAC system for your upscale home, you probably want to look at an energy efficient HVAC system, but may be concerned that the higher upfront costs might outweigh the benefits of an upgraded system. An energy efficient HVAC system won’t only save you money on utility bills; it will also boost the comfort level in your home.
Let’s explore how you can reap benefits by the installation of an energy efficient HVAC system.
This is an update to one of our most popular and helpful blog posts. Here’s the original: 5 HVAC Maintenance Troubleshooting Tips That Could Save You Money
As a manager of commercial or residential buildings in NYC, you probably are all too familiar with the stress and aggravation that follows a major HVAC system breakdown. Tenants do not usually take in stride equipment failures that result in an uncomfortable living or working environment.
If you’re planning for a new residential HVAC system, the significant variation in the HVAC installation cost from vendor to vendor may have caught you by surprise. If several vendors gave you an HVAC installation estimate, you may be even a bit confused about a new HVAC installation cost because of the divergent quotes you received. Not only is the new HVAC installation cost complicated, but the variety of equipment doesn’t make things easier.
Arista Boosts Consumer Confidence in HVAC Repairs & Service with New Wearable Technology
LONG ISLAND CITY, New York – Jan. 16, 2018 ¬¬– Leading NYC HVAC provider Arista Air Conditioning Corporation announced today an exciting new partnership with XOi Technologies that adds an unprecedented level of transparency about HVAC repairs and service to the business/client relationship through the use of cutting-edge technology.
Do you ever feel like you’re getting short-changed by your HVAC company? If you have been dissatisfied with your HVAC vendor and suspect more attentive and knowledgeable service is available, your suspicions are correct. While there are many reputable HVAC contractors out there, only the best HVAC companies invest in leading-edge technology to enhance their already outstanding service.
You probably have heard of radiant heating, but if you’re like a lot of people it remains a mysterious heating concept. Truth be told, forms of radiant heat graced ancient Rome before Julius Caesar ran his empire. Though a radiant floor heating system may have originated with Greek and Roman hypocausts, which circulated hot air under flooring, progressive innovations still render it as a cutting-edge method of heating your home or business.Read more
It’s undeniable that unpleasant events can serve as a learning experience. And if you ever had your HVAC system break down in the dog days of summer, you were probably kicking yourself for neglecting to sign up for an HVAC maintenance program. Now that you have survived that uncomfortable situation and have purchased an HVAC maintenance plan, do you really know what services are covered under your HVAC preventative maintenance program?Read more
As a homeowner, you’ve probably had at least one experience with a repair technician, remodeling contractor or mechanic that left a sour taste in your mouth. After the job’s completion, you wondered if you got what you paid for or overpaid for the services rendered. When an emergency forces you to call in a random fix-it person, feelings of helplessness are amplified.Read more
Once the dog days of summer are over and fall puts a chill in the air, many reluctantly reach for the thermostat and turn on the heat. Now that your concerns about high humidity likely evaporated after Labor Day, your thoughts may have shifted to another problem: dry air. Don’t be discouraged over this atmospheric annoyance. The installation of a central air humidifier is the solution.Read more
Even though we may enjoy warm late summer days, most of us don’t want that heat creeping into our air conditioned living or work space. Are you are concerned because your place is not cooling off like it should? Perhaps you’ve noticed warm air or lower than normal airflow coming out of your system’s registers or you’ve heard a hissing sound. Maybe you’ve observed water on the floor by your HVAC unit or seen ice forming on your evaporator coils. These are all telltale signs of an AC refrigerant leak.
With the hottest temperatures of the year staring us down, the last thing we need is a meltdown over an air conditioner breakdown. Home and business owners and facility and property managers across the NYC metropolitan area are keeping their fingers crossed that mature air conditioning systems make it through the summer. This tenuous situation can’t help beg the question, “How long should an air conditioner last?”
HVAC experts say an air conditioner should last about 15 to 20 years under normal conditions. However, many factors can reduce that life, including poor installation, operating conditions, system sizing, and neglected maintenance.
If you’ve got air conditioning equipment that you rely on, chances are you probably understand the importance of regular maintenance. But the trouble is, not all preventative maintenance agreements include coil cleaning. If your service vendor has been recommending this procedure, you may be wondering why you need to clean AC coils.
Here’s a quick explanation followed by more information for those of you who want the details.
The seasonal temperatures are here. You know the air conditioning system has been turned on, yet you’re just not feeling the comfort you would expect. The disappointing lack of cool air coming through the air conditioning vents prompts you to ask yourself, “Why is my AC not blowing?”
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.
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.
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.
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?
Before 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
Renovating 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.
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.
HVAC service contracts and the project management triangle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 so many players in the market. We’ll help you evaluate who stands head and shoulders above the rest, wherever you are searching for quality residential service.
Trying to decide on the right ductless AC system for a NYC luxury residential or light commercial space? It pays to consider variable refrigerant flow or VRF systems for the ultimate in comfort and efficiency.
While it may be unfamiliar to some, VRF technology is not new. In fact, it’s been the ductless AC system of choice in Japan and Europe for decades. These ductless AC units have been gaining in popularity in the US over the past 10 years or so, particularly in the Northeast, including New York City, and on the West Coast, according to a report earlier this year by ACHRNews.
Read on for a review of when you may want or need to choose a ductless AC system in NYC, and why VRF is an ideal choice.
What would happen if you just stopped filing papers? Or if you stopped checking your email? What about if you- horror of all horrors- never refilled the coffee machine?! It’s easy to imagine the resulting chaos from such a scenario. But there is another under-appreciated staple of the office routine: your AC air filter.
What would happen if you didn’t change your AC filter? It’s hard to believe such a small part could make a big difference in air quality, but it does. Think of cleaning the air like cleaning the rest of your building. It would get pretty bad if you neglected it for a month.
Consider all the dirt and grime you’d see on the floors, on counters and surfaces, and in bathrooms. That’s equivalent to what accumulates in your filter in a given month. What are the consequences of this uncleanliness? Let’s look at what happens after you don’t change your AC filter to find out.
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.
It’s easy to stay vigilant about keeping your office or apartment building clean when having a neat space means making a good impression. But what about a mess you can’t see that’s lurking inside your air conditioning system? That kind of grime can do more than make a poor impression; it can lead to health problems. That’s just one reason why HVAC system cleaning is so important.
Case in point: in 2015, New York City was affected by health scare known as Legionnaires’ disease. This dangerous sickness was reported in certain large buildings and offices, and was eventually linked back to contaminated HVAC water cooling towers. Since then, legislation has been introduced to keep water cooling towers clean and prevent further infections. This situation goes to show that it’s not just fear mongering; HVAC system cleaning is a vital part of keeping your space healthy.
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.
Isn’t air conditioning supposed to remove humidity? So why is yours not doing the job?
If you’re sweating your way through another muggy August, read on to learn more about HVAC humidity control and why your AC might not be up to the task.
Then we’ll tell you 4 ways you can get an older unit to remove more moisture so your space doesn’t feel like a tropical jungle.
This time of year, it can feel like you’re living in a steam bath. August inevitably brings too much humidity and heat, and it can be difficult to escape the uncomfortable effects, even indoors.
Are you having trouble maintaining your energy and focus with too much humidity in the air? Even hunting down Pokémon is too much effort in this weather. It’s enough to make you wonder exactly how the high humidity levels are affecting your body and your health. How are indoor humidity & health related?
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.
What’s the key to troubleshooting complex equipment? In many cases, it’s deciding when to try solutions yourself and when you need to get help from professionals.
That’s an important decision when facing an AC electrical problem. Unless you happen to be a licensed electrician, messing with circuits yourself can be very dangerous.
Related article: DIY HVAC Repair? Don’t Even Think About It
On that note, it’s a good idea to be cautious and turn off your AC before investigating the problem if you suspect electrical damage. You might also not be sure if an issue is caused by the wiring or by some other problem in the AC. These tips will help you troubleshoot the issue and guide you to the right course of action once you’ve discovered the cause.
Isn’t it funny how the presence of water can cause such a variety of reactions in different contexts? On a hot July day, water seems cool and inviting when it’s in your backyard pool. It may even be a welcome relief when it’s falling from the sky. But 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 leaking water can cause expensive damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and furnishings. And there is one possible cause of AC leaking water that can cause your air conditioner’s compressor to fail. When that happens, you might find yourself having to replace your unit.
With longer days and July heat, summer is finally kicking into high gear. It can make even the most hard-working of us want to sit directly under the AC and wait for Disney to make a sequel to Frozen already. While imagining you’re in Arendelle might help you cool off, if your AC suddenly seems to have Elsa’s frosty powers, it could spell trouble for your HVAC system.
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, it’s obvious that this is the problem. But indoor units are not always accessible. To prevent this from happening to your AC, you need to know what else to look for.
This time of year, it feels like summer humidity is the enemy. Here are just of few of the reasons you probably just want to spend the summer in an air conditioned room:
- The minute you go outside, all your clothes are stuck to your body.
- Summer humidity and hair just don’t get along.
- In this weather, anything that gets wet stays that way.
- Right after you get out of the shower, you feel like you need another one.
- Crowded elevators and subways… well, you get the idea.
Nobody’s going to argue with those reasons for not being a fan of summer humidity. However, there are much scarier facts you should know about humidity and how it can affect your health.
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 filter out all 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.
Which do you find more scary: something right before your eyes, or something you can’t actually see but looms large in your imagination?
The spider on the ceiling? Or the monster under the bed?
For most of us, it’s what we can’t see that’s truly frightening.
When it comes to the quality of the air in your home, those fears about what’s lurking unseen can be justified. There are quite a number of invisible dangers that you risk with every breath you take.
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 for the summer and everything works perfectly. But if you want that to happen, you need to take steps to make sure your air conditioner is ready for the hot summer days ahead. 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.
As a HVACR service provider, here at Arista we perform a variety of different services for our customers related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration. Many of them are fairly straightforward (at least from the customer’s standpoint!): your air conditioning breaks and we fix it. Even the reasons for preventative maintenance of HVACR equipment are fairly well understood. But when it comes to duct cleaning services, people tend to have a lot of questions.
If you’re reading this, chances are you have questions too. So today we’re going to answer some of the most common questions we hear every day about duct cleaning services.
When you’re renovating a space, whether it’s a residence, office or other light commercial space, you are probably most concerned about how the space will look and how it will function. For example, you’re busy choosing colors and lighting and furniture, as well as working with an architect on the best layout for the space. And of course, you’re focusing on the cost and the timeline.
Your HVAC system is probably not even in the top 10. Yet it should be, because when your new space is complete, your satisfaction with the results will depend on the comfort and functionality of your home or business. And mistakes in designing and installing your HVAC, such as incorrect ductwork sizing, can seriously impact both function and long-term comfort.
High Rise HVAC is a Major Concern in New York City
New York City is home to more than 6000 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, the city is in the midst of what may turn out to be the largest construction boom in a generation, as hundreds of new residential projects have been initiated in the past year.
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.
You’ve probably heard about extreme sports such as hang gliding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and even extreme ironing (really!). Today we’re going to introduce you to a new form of extreme sport: it’s called EXTREME HVAC SERVICE in NYC, where everything is more extreme. It’s the kind of HVAC service businesses need to ensure consistent comfort without extreme costs.
Is Poor Indoor Air Quality Causing Your Allergy Symptoms?
Most of us tend to think of allergies as caused primarily by pollen and pet dander. So why are people still suffering who live and work in the city, where pollen-producing plants and furry critters are in much shorter supply than in the suburbs?
The answer for many is poor indoor air quality.
What’s so special about residential HVAC services in Manhattan?
There’s no place in the world like New York City. The skyline, the culture, the diversity… it’s one of the most exciting and interesting places in the world. That’s why over 1.6 million people choose to make their homes in the 22 square miles that make up the island of Manhattan. That works out to nearly 72,000 residents per square mile, all competing for the same space and resources. No wonder living space is no outrageously expensive!
The crowded conditions in Manhattan make providing residential HVAC services a unique challenge. We have to deal with situations that just don’t happen in other parts of the country (at least not all at the same time!). These are just a few examples:
Why you shouldn’t hire just any 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 the necessary maintenance to prevent breakdowns, so you avoid those emergency calls when the a/c 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
Why is a smart home thermostat so smart?
Most people want a smart home thermostat for two reasons:
- So they can save energy by only heating or cooling their space when it’s occupied.
- So they can come home to a comfortable temperature without running the heat/ac even when nobody is home.
Some cool new HVAC technology options are being introduced that will make staying warm in winter and cool in summer a whole lot easier for all of us. As a matter of fact, in some instances, you may not have to think about it all. Your new HVAC technology might just be able to follow you around—heating you up and cooling you down when you need it.