NYC Metro Area’s HVACR Blog

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Is a Radiant Floor Heating System Right for Your Space?

radiant floor heating system

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 

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

What are you really getting with your HVAC maintenance program?

HVAC maintenance program

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 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Video technology holds HVAC vendors accountable

hvac vendors

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 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

What Does an HVAC Air Purifier Do? The Facts for Buyers

hvac air purifier

Most of us consider good health a top priority. The throngs of people working out in fitness centers and running and riding bikes on every available pathway in NYC and the burbs are a testament to the value placed on a healthy lifestyle.

Though we wouldn’t dream of conducting our cardio routine in a parking garage or an outdoor location where the air pollution is palpable, most of us don’t really think about indoor air quality. This benign neglect could put our health at risk if we put stock in the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that the air inside can be at minimum 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside.Read more 

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

The Inside Scoop on the Central Air Humidifier

central air humidifier

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 

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

When Does R22 Become Illegal? Help For AC Equipment Owners

when does r22 become illegalHave you been limping along all summer 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. Now that cooler weather is on the way (hopefully!) you have some time to plan and decide on a course of action that works best for you and your budget. An important factor in making that decision is answering the question: when does R22 become illegal?

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Don’t Ignore These 5 Signs of an AC Refrigerant Leak

ac refrigerant leak

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.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Your R22 Air Conditioner: Repair or Replace Guidelines

r22 air conditioner

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, September 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.

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

How Long Should an Air Conditioner Last?

how long should an air conditioner last

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.

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

Why Clean AC Coils? The Definitive Answer

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.

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

Why is my AC making a loud noise?

air conditioner noise

Rid yourself of a noisy air conditioner

The hot weather has hit and the cool air provided by your air conditioning system gives you welcome relief, but the noise coming from your air conditioner is quite another story. When your system was initially turned on, you thought the air conditioner noise would go away, but it hasn’t.

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

Why is my AC blowing warm air?

ac blowing warm air

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

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

Why is my air conditioner freezing?

air conditioner freezing up | ac unit freezing up

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

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

Why is my AC leaking water inside the house?

air conditioner leaking water inside

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

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

Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?

ac circuit breaker | ac circuit breaker keeps tripping

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

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All, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting: 9 Common Problems & Solutions

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

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

24 Clever Ways to Hide an AC Unit Indoors & Out

hide ac unit

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

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Could You Have an Air Conditioner Allergy?

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

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

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Losing Its Cool? Try Air Conditioning Coil Cleaning

air conditioning coil cleaning

As the owner of a luxury home or someone who manages high-end properties, you might know firsthand that it is definitely not cool when your air conditioning system experiences a meltdown during a heat wave. There are things you can do to prevent such an unwelcome event that could cause you to lose your cool figuratively and literally.

One of the top reasons for your AC not cooling satisfactorily is your system may be in dire need of a good air conditioning coil cleaning. Let’s take a look at why your AC not cooling your home adequately could be because an air conditioning coil cleaning is overdue.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Smelly Air Conditioner? Get Spring Cleaning for Your AC

smelly air conditioner

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

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

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Luxury HVAC for Luxury Residences: Why You Need VRF Technology

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

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

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

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Buying a High End Air Conditioner? Get White Glove Installation

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

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

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

HVAC Service Contracts: Controlling Time, Quality & Cost

HVAC service contracts and the project management triangle

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

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

hvac service contracts: choosing time, quality & cost

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

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

Modern Air Conditioning Options for Older Homes & Buildings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Luxury Gift Ideas for the Holidays: The Gift of Comfort

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

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

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

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, 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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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

10 Ways to Spot Quality HVAC for High End Residential Properties

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.

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

Ductless AC System? NYC: Think VRF for Comfort & Efficiency

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.

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

Top 11 Ways to Get Better HVAC Energy Efficiency

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

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

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

What Happens When You Don’t Change the AC Filter

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 paper 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.
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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

HVAC System Cleaning: Banish These 5 Nasty Things From Your AC

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.

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

HVAC Humidity Control: 5 Reasons Your AC Is Ineffective

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.

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Is Too Much Humidity Hurting Your Health?

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?

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

AC Troubleshooting: Refrigerant Leak

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

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

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

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Commercial Air Conditioning, Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Tips for Troubleshooting AC Electrical Problems

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.

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

AC Leaking Water? What to Do Next

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.

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

Top 5 Causes of Frozen AC Coils

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Summer Humidity Is Scarier Than You Think

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.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

5 Facts You Need to Know About Air Filters for Allergies

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

Not so much if you have allergies.

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

You might think your air conditioning system will 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.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

5 Reasons Your Home May Need Indoor Air Quality Testing

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Cleaning Your AC Coil Impacts Comfort Air Quality & More

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Top 10 Causes of HVAC Airflow 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 HVAC airflow.
  • Little to no air coming from your air conditioning registers. 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.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Duct cleaning services: Why, when & how?

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Ductwork Sizing & Other Mistakes That Hinder Your HVAC Comfort

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

High Rise HVAC: New Technology Saves Both Space and Energy

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Extreme HVAC Service in NYC: Do You Have What It Takes?

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.

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

AC Maintenance: The Cure For Springtime Allergies?

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.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Residential HVAC Services: Innovation Improves Cooling in NYC Luxury Homes

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:

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

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

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

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Cool! New HVAC Technology Promises the Ultimate in Comfort

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.

Seriously?

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

HVAC Duct Cleaning: Do You Need It or Not?

Is HVAC duct cleaning right for your home? Many homeowners question whether it needs to be done, how often to do it, and how to find the right company to perform the job. Some HVAC service providers also try to convince homeowners that it’s important to seal ducts and apply chemical biocides and treatments to kill bacteria and mold. True or false?

Homeowners are overwhelmed and perplexed about which HVAC services are necessary and which aren’t. Many customers have asked us if there are any guidelines or recommendations to follow, and fortunately, there are. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued guidelines and information that we’re going to share in order to help you make an educated decision about whether HVAC duct cleaning and other services are right for your home. We’ll also provide advice about how to choose a service provider should you decide you want these services performed.

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Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

The 4 Most Common Mistakes With Home Humidification Systems

Have you had it with the dry air this time of year? There’s the discomfort that comes from dry skin and cracked nails. And isn’t your hair bad enough from wearing hats and running around in the snow and wind? Yet dry, flyaway hair persists even indoors due to the bone-dry air in your home.

If you’re reading this, you already realize that it’s time to start looking at humidification systems for your home. Yet you may not realize the full extent of the problem. There are even more annoying winter issues that are also caused by low relative humidity, which can reach 10 percent or lower when the furnace is running around the clock. (Humidity levels should be between 30 and 50 percent for comfortable conditions).

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Residential HVAC

Buying a New Air Conditioner? Why It’s Smart To Buy In Fall & Winter

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and you may be looking forward to getting a jump on your Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Probably the last thing on your mind is spending money on buying a new air conditioner.

However, if your air conditioner was giving you trouble all last summer, and you realize it’s time to consider buying a new air conditioner, you’d be smart to start thinking about it. But, you may be wondering, why worry about it now? It’s been a warm autumn for the most part, but you certainly don‘t expect to need your air conditioner anytime soon. Why not wait for spring?

The fact is, fall is one of the smartest times for buying a new air conditioner. It can be your best opportunity to shop around for the right system for your needs at the best possible price.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

5 Reasons You Need Humidification In Your Luxury Residence

The Benefits of Humidification For Your Home and Family

Chances are, you pay pretty close attention to the air temperature in your home. After all, when the temperature varies even by a few degrees, you’ll notice the change quickly since you’ve become accustomed to living with a set air temperature. Like when your spouse or kids decide to change your thermostat setting.

Humidification, on the other hand, is an important yet often-overlooked aspect of your home’s comfort. You’ll certainly notice when the humidity reaches the 80 percent mark on those steamy summer days, yet you may not be aware of the detrimental effects of insufficient humidification (translation: dry air) during the winter season when the furnace is running. If your home does not have a humidification system, you’ve probably noticed some of the symptoms, even if you didn’t realize the cause.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Space Heater Alternatives: Better Ways to Eliminate Cold Spots

Each year, space heaters are the cause behind more than 25,000 home fires and over 300 fatalities, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some space heaters release carbon monoxide that can be deadly as well. We all know it: using a space heater is a huge risk to your family simply to eliminate chilly spots in your home. So why do so many continue to use them? Probably because they are not aware of better space heater alternatives.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

10 Skills an NFL Quarterback and HVAC Service Technician Share

When you’ve been working with the same heating and air conditioning service company for a while, you may begin to wonder how you can tell if your HVAC service technician is any good. Is he just doing okay servicing your equipment or is he really a top-notch HVAC guy?

Here’s one fun, yet effective way to tell: think about the qualities of a top NFL quarterback. Look for signs of these skills, habits and abilities, and you can be sure your HVAC service technician is someone you can count on to get the job done right.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

How to Cover an Air Conditioner for Winter to Prevent Damage

As the winter approaches, you may be wondering if your outdoor air conditioning unit needs protection from the elements. The answer is, yes it does! Falling leaves as well as snow and ice can get into the condensing unit and cause damage. So how should you cover an air conditioner for winter? First we’ll tell you why it needs protection, and then we’ll get to how to cover an air conditioner for winter safely so that you don’t make matters worse.

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Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

Property Managers: HVAC Preventive Maintenance Plans Prevent Headaches

You may be wondering what we mean when we say that HVAC preventive maintenance plans prevent headaches. Is that metaphorical headaches in the form of HVAC problems, or literal pounding pain in your head? In this case, the answer is BOTH.

When you are a property manager, stress is a way of life. You have so many problems and complaints to deal with on a daily basis, that it’s no surprise when the metaphorical headaches lead to the real kind. So if you’re reading this blog because you want to solve HVAC problems OR because you want to stop taking ibuprophen every day, learning about HVAC preventive maintenance plans can help.

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Residential HVAC

Top 5 Furnace Issues: How to Get Warm ASAP

It’s that time of year again, when you’re wearing heavy sweaters and snuggling under blankets so you can put off turning on the heat for as long as possible. We understand what you’re thinking: if you don’t turn on the heat you can keep pretending winter is not right around the corner!

There’s only one problem with that mindset. When you finally do have to cave in and turn on the furnace, what if you experience furnace issues? It will be REALLY cold by then, and those sweaters won’t be enough to keep you warm while you wait to have your furnace issues fixed.

Our advice: test your furnace now to make sure everything is working well. If you do experience furnace issues, read on for information about what could be wrong and what to do next.

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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, Residential HVAC

Heat Pump Troubleshooting: 3 Common Problems and Solutions

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. Heat pumps do operate somewhat differently than a traditional air-cooled air conditioner. So how do you begin heat pump troubleshooting? And are there issues you can fix yourself?

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

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

9 HVAC Service Provider Problems You Should Not Tolerate

Problems with your HVAC service provider?

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

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

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

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Commercial HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

HVAC Safety Tips: Don’t Let Carbon Monoxide Sneak Up On You

A carbon monoxide leak can mean disaster for your business

You already know that carbon monoxide is deadly—you’ve certainly heard the horror stories that result from people unknowingly breathing in the colorless, odorless gas. So as a responsible business owner or manager, you don’t take those kind of risks lightly. That’s why you have carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your space, right?

Here’s what you may not realize: while carbon monoxide detectors may alert you about a leak and prevent injuries and deaths, they can’t completely protect your business from the results of a carbon monoxide leak. Even if no one is hurt because you got the warning quickly, there are still expensive consequences. To avoid these, you need to prevent the carbon monoxide leak in the first place. And to do that, you need these HVAC safety tips.

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Installations, Residential HVAC, Residential Installations

Repair or Replace An Air Conditioner? The Right Way to Decide

Why Repair or Replace An Air Conditioner in September?

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, September 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. Then you’ll need to decide whether to repair or replace the air conditioner.

The truth is, fall is really the best time to take control of your air conditioning issues and think about if it makes sense to repair or replace your air conditioner. If you do need a replacement, you’ll have more time to consider the best option and shop around since the weather is cooling off and there’s less pressure to make a quick decision. You’ll also have the opportunity to get a great price on “leftover” units. And if you decide to repair your older unit, you can get the time and attention from the best HVAC service experts since they’re less booked up than in the summer.

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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, Residential HVAC

How to Fix Storm-Related Electrical Damage to Your AC System

A Power Outage Can Take Down Your Air Conditioner in a Second

Even in September, it’s not uncommon for New York City to get those pop-up thunderstorms on hot and humid days. Sometimes they can be severe, with gusty winds that can take down power lines. When that happens, you can suddenly find yourself in the dark. And worse, without air conditioning!

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Commercial HVAC, Commercial Kitchen, Residential HVAC

NYC: Surviving the Heat is Like Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

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

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

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

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Commercial 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, Residential HVAC

Why and How to Change an 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.

When your AC filter gets clogged, dust and dirt start getting into the air conditioner itself, causing wear and tear on the parts. You probably know what that means: the more wear and tear on the parts, the sooner they wear out and you’re dealing with a breakdown. The clogged filter also prevents enough air from flowing through the system to keep it working properly.

Related article: Crippling Air Conditioning Problems Caused By Poor Air Flow.

According to ENERGY STAR, you should check and change the AC filter every month during peak season. That’s probably more often than you want to call your trusty HVAC service guy. We love to see you, of course, but this is a job that you can probably handle on your own if you choose to do so. It’s helpful if you know how to change the AC filter yourself.

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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, Residential HVAC

Improve Air Conditioning: Avoid These 5 Ductwork Design Mistakes

It seems like there are about a million things that need to be considered when you’re planning a renovation of your commercial space. And the problem is, unless you’ve done this many times before, you may not know about all of them. That is, until you’ve made a mistake and it’s too late to correct it.

If you’re like most business owners, you probably didn’t realize that your HVAC system and its ductwork design is something you need to be thinking about even before the architect has completed the plans.

Do you want comfortable, consistent temperatures in your space? How about good air quality? Energy efficiency? If you do, then it pays to plan your ductwork design early in the renovation process to avoid mistakes.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

How to Fix That Noisy Air Conditioner That’s Driving You Crazy

Do you remember the episode of Mad Men where Ginsberg is literally driven insane by the constant, brain-numbing racket of the computer? If you’re working in an office with a noisy air conditioner, you may be concerned that you, or someone sitting near you, is headed for a similar fate.

Before that noisy air conditioner causes anyone to do “unnatural things” as Ginsberg would say, it’s time to take control of the situation and get rid of that noise for good.

First things first: you need to get to the bottom of the source of the noisy air conditioner.

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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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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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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

AC Running Constantly? Ignore It And You’ll Regret It

AC running constantly? Deal with it, or it’s going to cost you

When was the last time you experienced the blissful silence when your air conditioner finally shuts off?

If your answer is “sometime in April” then you’ve definitely got a problem on your hands. Even in the heat of the summer, your AC should not be running constantly. If it does, failing to address the issue can seriously cost you.

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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, Residential HVAC

Smart Thermostat Reviews: Nest Learning & Honeywell Wi-Fi

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

The Nest Learning Thermostat and the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling comfort remotely from your IOS or Android smart phone. So the next time you run out and forget to adjust the thermostat, no worries. Simply pull up the app and adjust your setting in seconds.

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

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Commercial 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 HVAC, Preventive Maintenance Agreements, Residential HVAC

HVAC Service Contract Pricing Guide

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 it’s worth the money, and ultimately which one is right for you.

Here’s a primer to help you understand the different types of HVAC service contracts and the variables that factor into the pricing. Armed with this information, you can figure out which options are important to you and be better equipped to choose the contract with the right price for the coverage you want.

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Alleviate Spring Allergies: Air Filters & MERV Filter Ratings

It’s amazing what those little microscopic buggers (pollen, dust and mold spores) can do to wreak havoc on your health. This time of year, the air is just saturated with them and the consequences are obvious: people sneezing and wheezing everywhere you go.

When the pollen counts are so high and the air is turning warm and sticky (just the right conditions for mold growth), it may seem like there’s little you can do to avoid suffering, short of moving to the desert.

Good news! There is one one very easy and effective way to alleviate spring allergy symptoms that you may not know about. Hit those nasty things where they live: in your HVAC system.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.

One area where you may be tempted to trim expenses is air conditioning maintenance. The benefits may seem kind of nebulous to you, especially if you have relatively new equipment. Why is air conditioning maintenance so important anyway?

The simple truth is, air conditioning maintenance shouldn’t really be considered a cost, since it actually saves you 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 actually puts more money back into your pocket: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, Residential HVAC

AC Coil Cleaning: How to Tell When You Need It

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

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

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Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

Spring AC Maintenance Checklist & Comparing Service Contracts

The trick to evaluating air conditioning service contracts

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

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

Commercial HVAC, Residential HVAC

8 Ways AC Preventative Maintenance Keeps the Repairman Away

 

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

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