Bob Mims Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

The Advantages of a Programmable Thermostat

May 21st, 2018

thermostat-adjustmentDo you live in a home where you have to control comfort using a manual dial-and-levers thermostat? These older style of thermostats can get the basic job done, but we recommend you consider making the upgrade to a digital programmable model—or even a “smart” Wi-Fi thermostat.

The Benefits of Going Programmable

The specific benefits of upgrading your home to programmable climate controls depend on the model you get. These are the broad benefits you can expect, but feel free to ask your installer questions about how the new system works—there may be advantages you don’t know about.

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Surprising Reasons Cooling Systems Fail Prematurely

May 7th, 2018

thermometer-going-redWhen you read that title, you probably expected to see a list of funny pictures of animals jammed inside air conditioners, or a picture of a truck that accidentally skipped over the curb and crashed through an outdoor condenser unit. Yes, weird things can happen that will cause an air conditioner to fail. You could probably think up some bizarre situations on your won.

But what this post is about is a bit more useful: when we say surprising reasons, we mean surprising to homeowners who aren’t familiar with HVAC equipment. But these problems aren’t surprising to HVAC technicians like us. We see them often. People are rarely aware of what can cause an AC system failure—and it can sneak up on them. So here are few of those surprises you don’t want to run into.

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An Energy Recovery Ventilator for Summer Weather

April 23rd, 2018

sun-and-snowflake-badgeIt’s not quite full spring weather yet here in Staten Island, but it’s definitely the time to start preparing for it. One of the essential steps is to schedule maintenance for your air conditioning system or heat pump so that it’s ready to go when the first heat hits.

But you can also take this time to help improve ventilation for the summer. It’s an unfortunate fact of modern living that houses are so well sealed against the outdoor weather to help them stay energy efficient that they don’t allow for proper fresh air circulation. But if you open up the windows in your house during the summer, what happens? Yes, heat comes in along with the fresh air, and that’s uncomfortable. You can blast the AC to try to overcome the heat, but then your electric bills start to rise.

There is a solution to this problem you can have installed in your ventilation system before summer heat arrives: the energy recovery ventilator (ERV).

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How Do I Know What Size Water Heater to Get?

April 9th, 2018

water-heater-in-cornerNo matter the season, you need hot water for your house. If you’ve ever lost hot water in your home for a day, you already know how miserable and unpleasant life can get. Almost as bad as having no hot water is having a water heater that isn’t the correct size for your needs. A water heater that’s too small won’t supply your household with the necessary hot water. A water heater that’s too large will cost a small fortune to run.

So how you do you find an ideal new water heater in Staten Island, NY?

It’s not hard: call our professionals! You shouldn’t attempt to first purchase a replacement water heater, or the first one for a new home, and then call plumbers. Let them help you choose the water heater. They’ll make professional calculations to determine the idea size and type of system.

We’ll show you what we do to size water heaters below.

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Doing the AC Replacement Shuffle: It Can Be Tough!

March 26th, 2018

big-blue-question-markIn our previous post, we talked about the importance of having routine air conditioning maintenance done in the spring. (Call us now if you haven’t done this yet! Don’t put it off.) Maintenance helps an air conditioner last for as many years as possible, and many ACs can serve a house effectively for 15 years. But an air conditioner is not a “forever” device. At some point in the future, you’ll need to have an air conditioning replacement in Staten Island, NY.

But what if the future is today? Looking ahead to the warm weather—and it will be here before we know it—do you have doubts about your air conditioner? Are you wondering if you should keep repairing it, or if it’s less expensive in the long-run to put in a new one?

If you’ve got these questions bouncing in your head, you’re caught doing the AC Replacement Shuffle. We have some answers for you that will help with making the choice—but eventually you’ll need our direct assistance.

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Time to Think About Air Conditioning Maintenance

March 12th, 2018

servince-reminder-clockIt’s March and spring will soon be sprung upon us. In the world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, this means it’s time for AC maintenance for customers.

Maintenance requires a professional HVAC contractor in Staten Island, NY. This isn’t a job you can handle with a checklist printed up from an do-it-yourself site. It requires experience, training, and special tools.

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Should I Install an Electric or Gas Furnace?

February 26th, 2018

big-blue-question-markFurnaces have a long history, and over that time they have run from a variety of energy sources. The earliest furnaces burned wood and coal. Today a furnace can run from oil, propane, and even condensed wood pellets. However, the most common energy sources are electricity and natural gas.

If you are thinking about having a furnace installed for your home, you’ll probably be making the choice between going gas or going electric. (You may have already had to deal with a similar decision regarding your kitchen oven and stove.)

Is there a best choice? No—because each home is different and each homeowner is different. We can break down some of the benefits and drawbacks of the two furnace types to help you start thinking about which one will meet your needs.

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Signs You Need to Replace Your Boiler

February 12th, 2018

pressure-on-boilerThere are many advantages to using a boiler for home heating rather than a forced-air system like a furnace. A boiler provides cleaner air and works at high energy efficiency to keep down the high cost of staying warm in a New York winter. The best long-term advantage of a boiler is that a boiler is … long-term! On average, a boiler will outlast a furnace by five or more years.

Your boiler isn’t immortal, of course! If you live in your home long enough, the boiler will wear down to the point where paying for repair after repair is no longer worth it. Putting in a new boiler stops those extra costs and helps you avoid an emergency winter breakdown.

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Why Does It Cost So Much to Run My Furnace?

January 29th, 2018

money-going-up-chimneyIf you’re asking this question, it’s likely because your utility bills are arriving each month with bigger numbers on them than you’ve seen before. Of course it costs money to run a furnace … but should it really cost that much?

The answer is, “Probably not.” Hikes in heating costs could be warnings of malfunctions somewhere in the HVAC system or a sign the furnace needs to be retired and a new one installed. But they also might point to simple heating mistakes you can correct on your own. We’ll go through a list of possible reasons you have a furnace that’s giving you the low winter blues from high winter bills.

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Warnings You May Have a Boiler That Needs Repairs

January 15th, 2018

wrenchesNot all HVAC contractors work on services to install and repair boilers. That’s unfortunate, since boilers are still popular choices for home heating that offer a number of benefits over using a forced-air system like a furnace. We’re proud to offer complete services for boiler installation and boiler repair in Staten Island, NY. Many of our customers rely on boilers to get them through the winter, and it’s our duty to see those boilers stay in the best shape for as long as possible.

I think my boiler needs to be repaired, but I’m not sure…

Here’s a good rule to live by: if you are unsure about your boiler’s performance, then you definitely need to call professionals to look into it. There’s something making you suspicious, and unless it’s a problem that’s easily solved (like a mistake in thermostat settings), it will take skilled HVAC repair technicians to uncover the actual problem and find solutions to it.

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