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Ask Phil: Adapt To Seasonal Changes With Mini-Split Comfort and Savings

At CPS Heating and Cooling, your comfort matters. CPS is Boston MetroWest’s choice for heating, cooling, and air quality.

In New England, the seasons are anything but cut and dry. In recent memory, we’ve had 50-degree days in December, and I’ve still had on long pants and shirts in June. The transitions between seasons can make it difficult to achieve ideal comfort, especially when families are looking to save on heating costs.

I know people who make it a competition to see who turns on their heat last. For everyone who wants to win that game, as well as those who simply want ideal climate control at prices within reach, this article is for you.

If you use a ductless mini-split system to stay cool and dry during the summer, you’re already a step ahead. These affordable, easy-to-install units are popular solution for room-specific cooling and heating.

The Magic Behind The Ductless Split

Down to about freezing, your mini-split system is the more efficient option over a furnace or other forms of central heating. Whereas firing up your house-wide heating system is excessive during chilly nights, the focused climate control of the mini-split makes it the more efficient option to heat individual rooms as needed.

Energy efficiency and climate-controlled comfort are designed into the heating elements of ductless splits as well as their cooling capabilities. In fact, in the fall and spring, when temperatures are all over the place, the customizable temperature settings of your mini-split really make a huge difference in how you manage the climate throughout your home.CPS Heating & Cooling specializes in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for both commercial and residential customers. The Marlborough Chamber of Commerce recognized CPS as a Small Business of the Year.If your house is like mine, fall is a time of year when each room of the house can have a totally different temperature. I may put on a sweater in the TV room only to take it off and still end up sweating in the sunroom.

Since mini-splits allow for room-by-room temperature control, the units only use the energy needed to regulate the comfort of an individual room. For a few pennies a night, you can keep the bedroom cozy without having to heat up the rooms that get sun all day.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of a mini-split in chilly weather.

Efficiency

The electric-bill-slashing, earth-friendly efficiency of the mini-split isn’t just a summer thing.

As you may know, ductless systems are more energy efficient than big clunky window units.

  • Some central cooling and heating systems may lose up to 30% of their efficiency in the ducts delivering air. A ductless system avoids this waste
  • Unlike a central system, a mini-split can switch off completely when it’s not in use rather than just slowing down
  • Plus, the state-of-the-art equipment doesn’t rely on brute force and continuous electricity consumption the way window units do

Boston MetroWest turns to CPS Heating & Cooling for ductless spit installation. Our expert HVAC technicians can help you save on energy costs.

Add up the savings on your electric bill, savings in state and federal rebates and tax incentives, and saving by planet by lowering your carbon footprint, using mini-splits as part of your heating and cooling approach is a win-win!

Custom Comfort

As the weather gets colder, particularly at night, a mini-split lets you heat occupied rooms without heating the rest of the house. If your bedroom on the north side of the house is chilly, you don’t have to make your kids sweat in their rooms by turning on your furnace.

Customizing your comfort with a ductless split is more efficient down to about 32-degrees Fahrenheit. When the weather is below freezing, however, it’s time to switch on your central heating because the ductless system has to work too hard to heat that single room in a freezing-cold house.

CPS Heating & Cooling can improve the indoor air quality in your home. Keep your family healthy with affordable air quality solutions.

Anyone in your family have allergies, asthma, sinus problems, or respiratory conditions? Dust, pollen, mold, and other pollutants build up in ductwork and cause and exacerbate severe health problems. Not only do mini-splits work without ducts, but the filters on the units are easily accessible to clean regularly.

Guest Rooms, Add-Ons, and those Grown Kids Living Above your Garage

Why heat the guest room when you don’t have any guests? A ductless system is ideal for those rooms that don’t get much use.

If you’re adding on or converting storage space into living space, like in an attic or loft space above the garage, installing a mini-split can be a turnkey alternative to extending your home’s ductwork. The on-demand operation of a ductless system makes it ideal for your new rooms—especially in those rushed situations when your grown-up kids suddenly move back home!

Own Your Own Business?

CPS Heating & Cooling is your workplace solution for climate-controlled comfort. Reduce employee sick days with increased indoor air quality.

CPS Heating & Cooling is your workplace solution for climate-controlled comfort. Reduce employee sick days with increased indoor air quality.]

Small business owners know the value of cost savings, and the same versatile installation and operating advantages mini-splits offer homeowners make them ideal for multifamily properties, commercial space, restaurants, and retail locations.

Extending ductwork through concrete walls may not be an option, but you can retrofit the slim tubing and wires of a ductless system just about anywhere. Plus, improving the comfort of your workers and customers always translates into increased profits.

Cool fall weather doesn’t need to bring an end to total comfort when you have the comfort, efficiency, and convenience of a ductless mini-split.

Find your comfy zone this fall!

Phil

CPS Heating and Cooling

You can always call on your extended family of dependable heating, cooling, and air quality experts at CPS Heating & Cooling.

Contact us anytime to set up a consultation or call us at 508-460-6691.

 

 

Ask Phil: Adapt To Seasonal Changes With Mini-Split Comfort and Savings 2018-10-17T11:28:35+00:00

Fall Furnace Prep

Summer is coming to an end and fall is around the corner. Gone are long days and coming are brisk nights. We love leaf piles, pumpkins, and apple picking. However, fall is more than just a beautiful and refreshing season. It can also get cold fast, and you’ll want to be prepared. We don’t write this to depress you, but rather we have your best interest at heart. It’s time to start thinking about scheduling a furnace tuneup. Now is the best time to schedule one as there are still many appointment times available and everyone isn’t rushing to have it done at the same time.Variety of pumpkins with child's hands holding small orange gourd Are you wondering if you even actually need a furnace tuneup? It might seem like an expense you could skip, but we would not recommend that. A furnace tuneup can save you a lot of time and energy down the line. Not to mention, the precaution of a tuneup keeps your family safer from everything from a potential fire to a carbon monoxide leak.

A furnace tuneup will provide you with proper airflow which is essential to keeping your home comfortable. This also, along with other factors, ensures that your system is running efficiently. This piece of information is very appealing to those who have concern for the environment, but it is important to note that a system that runs efficiently will also provide the lowest heating bill.EARTH spelled out with leaves on wooden background, other leaves borderWhile we’re on the topic of money, a tuneup is far more than a repair. Once your system has broken down the problem often gets worse and worse over time. What was once a minor issue could turn into a financial burden for you and your family. Maintenance is the best way to avoid this and will also keep your furnace running longer. In addition to lasting longer you will also enjoy the benefits of your manufacturer’s warranty. Most warranties only apply if the owner provides proof of annual tuneups.smiling woman with eyes closed, dark hair, floral blouseWe can’t really even imagine the cold on a day like today, but you don’t want the first cold snap to arrive and have no heat! Sometimes issues can show themselves in disturbing ways such as clanging and banging or even a rotten egg smell. Hard pass, right? Take care of these potential issues now and you won’t have to worry!

warm cup of coffee with gray mittens

Still not convinced to plan ahead? Well, there is still some time in summer and you probably want to keep cool. We’ll also check to be certain that your thermostat is working properly and your thermostat is central to many comfort issues regardless of whether it’s controlling your AC or furnace at the time. You’ll be more comfortable now and for many months to come. No more procrastinating; Call us today!

Fall Furnace Prep 2018-10-04T12:52:59+00:00

Ask Phil: How can I keep my air conditioner from breaking down this summer?

Stay cool this summer by avoiding AC breakdowns.

You’re right to think about the condition of your AC unit before it breaks down. Once the summer heat and humidity settle in, everyone is going to have their air conditioners running day and night, which puts a lot of stress on the machines. All the units that aren’t up to par are going to fail, and then service providers are inundated with emergency calls.

By scheduling diagnostic testing and preventative maintenance before the summer rush, you can ensure your heating and cooling system is in the best shape possible to provide enhanced air quality and temperature-controlled comfort at home and at work.

I know, many people roll the dice every year and get by without regular maintenance. They believe they’re saving money. Actually, they’re just kicking the can down the road by pushing off a bigger payout. Believe me, I’ve done the math, and repairing a damaged unit is much more costly than paying for periodic maintenance. Eventually, every unit will fail, but the value we provide to customers is making their units last as long as possible. When we do replace a unit, our customers say, “I got my money’s worth out of it.”

Our family of customers count on our heating and cooling services 24/7.

Here’s a strategic plan I use to keep my HVAC system at home and our office in Westborough running at top efficiency and effectiveness:

Customer-level care—Cost: $0

Look at your unit periodically. Sounds silly? Most of the time, exterior components are tucked in corners and hidden with vegetation so the metal boxes don’t detract from a building’s aesthetics. Keeping them out of sight is fine, as long as you keep them in mind. Visually inspect your unit on a regular basis. In the summer, do it every time you mow the lawn. Climbing vegetation and thick bushes can choke the air intake and output of units and cause your machine to run less efficiently and overheat.

When you remove vegetation too close to the unit, avoid using a weed wacker. This convenient landscaping tool notoriously flings pebbles and other debris, which can get inside the unit and damage it. Also, one careless swing of the weed wacker can severe critical electrical wires.

Never underestimate a basic visual inspection. Don’t look inside the unit, but simply assess the outside. Do you see puddles near the unit on a dry day? Do you hear a strange noise when it runs? Anything out of the ordinary may be a sign the unit needs a closer inspection. Call for a service appointment as soon as possible to avoid an emergency call later.

Our techs are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).

Technician-level care—Cost: Call for an estimate

The cost of fixing anything depends on what’s wrong with it. The average cost of repairing a heating or cooling unit

ranges from $160 to $450 in Worcester County. Do your research and you can get an annual service contract within that range, which is a great value when you consider all you get with a competitive service contract versus a one-time fix.

Maintenance programs differ from company to company, but before the summer season, be certain your heating and cooling unit receives these standard services:

  • Filter replacement. Air filters are very inexpensive to replace, and by doing so, you can save a lot of money in utility costs and repairs. These simple devices catch pollen, grit, and other debris from getting sucked into the exterior unit and fouling up the inner workings. By performing this function, filters quickly get clogged. When air can’t pass through the filter, the unit works harder and less efficiently, which both increases your electric bill and reduces the life expectancy of your unit.
  • Thorough inspection. Just like you should give the exterior of your unit regular visual inspections, a service technician should give the exterior and interior of the unit a careful look for signs of early-stage problems. Some things the tech should do include:
  1. Check for corroding wires and connections
  2. See how the machine starts up and runs
  3. Inspect coils for dirt and buildup
  4. Inspect and clean drain pan
  • Check, clean, and adjust. In addition to a visual inspection, the tech should safety test all major system components, including:
  1. Check and calibrate thermostat
  2. Test switches and relays
  3. Test motors and fans
  4. Lubricate moving parts (if necessary)
  5. Measure refrigerant levels and charge when needed

By no means is this a complete list. CPS techs use a 23-point inspection process every time they visit a unit. However, having his information will help you take an active part in maintaining your unit and also guide you in asking the right questions when choosing your heating and cooling service provider.

Stay comfortable this summer!

Phil

CPS Heating and Cooling

Share this article with your friends and family so they stay cool this summer, too.

Contact us anytime to set up a consultation or call us at 508-460-6691.

Ask Phil: How can I keep my air conditioner from breaking down this summer? 2018-09-21T11:26:10+00:00

Spring checklist for your home

It’s officially spring! Welcoming the spring season is an exciting time for all of us. We get to leave our windows open for some fresh air, escape our hibernation, and embrace the return of the sun we so graciously appreciate after only seeing its glare for a few months in the reflection of heaps of snow. It can be easy to get caught up in the fever of short sleeved clothing that we forget that spring comes with responsibilities along with its blessings. So this year when a drink for the daffodils crashes your plans for a fun day outdoors, take care of this checklist so you can join in the euphoria of perfect weather on another spring day.

                                                                    

  1. We are constantly reminding our customers on all of our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest) about switching your filter. We don’t highlight this unnecessarily; It really is of the upmost importance. Switching your filter keeps your air clean which in turn will keep you healthy. This is especially important if you have allergies and irritants such as pollen have built up in your filter. Not to mention, a new filter will allow your system to run more efficiently which will save you money in the long run.                                                  
  2. Schedule an air conditioning tune up. It may not seem like a priority when the heat hasn’t quite set in yet, but this could be the best decision you make all year. Setting up an appointment before the summer rush will ensure that your system is running optimally all spring and summer. There’s nothing worse than a sticky summer day without air conditioning!
  3. With the season change comes a change in the temperature inside as well. Now that you don’t have to cope with the frigid bite of winter (hopefully), make a point to adjust your thermostat settings. If you have a programable thermostat perhaps you don’t need the heat so high in the morning to keep the floors warm to make getting out of bed in the morning a touch more bearable. Taking a moment now to do this will save you from a sweat drenched morning a few weeks down the road.
  4. Spring cleaning is not just for your heaps of junk in the attic or the fashion mistakes of last year. It also extends to your HVAC system and, more specifically, your ductwork. Clean ductwork is essential for home air quality. Like your filter, dirt, dust, pollen, and other pollutants build up in the passageways and blow into your living space. Make it a priority this season to invest some energy into this simple way to keep your family healthy!                           
  5. And, the best for last… Although not recommended for gas fired furnaces, one of the most simple ways to take care of your home in spring is to turn your HVAC system off. Yes you read that right. Turning off your system and cross ventilating your home on a beautiful day will not only improve your health but give your system a nice break. Also, did we mention you’ll save some money? Win!

Spring is the best time of year to start fresh. We hope that this list takes you into the sunny seasons with optimal comfort for you, your family, and your friends!

CPS Heating & Cooling

http://www.cpshvac.com/

1-866-CPSHVAC

Spring checklist for your home 2018-04-18T14:55:47+00:00

AFUE Explained

 

Many CPS Heating & Cooling customers have shown curiosity about the efficiency of their current or future heating and/or cooling system so today we’ve chosen to write a brief post to explain the terminology and your efficiency options so you feel more confident and informed when speaking with your technician.

First and foremost, it is important to know that Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a thermal efficiency measure for combustion HVAC equipment like furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. This type of measurement is extremely accurate because it represents a season-long understanding of efficiency as it relates to outside factors such as weather — rather than simply representing the short-term ability to run efficiently in ideal conditions.

The standard for efficiency is 80% AFUE, but by no means a glass ceiling. This level of efficiency usually means that the flue vents back into a chimney through metal flue pipes in gas or oil systems. This is a great starting point, and if you are concerned with the upfront cost of your system this is the AFUE we would recommend.

High efficiency systems, on the other hand, measure at 90-96% AFUE. This level of efficiency is created by flue vents with PVC plastic pipes through the side of the home and will generate water during the heating season. It burns the moisture out of the combustion air and brings it into the heating system in gas systems. This process is more advanced and a system that runs this way may cost more upfront. On the other hand, over time you will save money on your heating bill and decrease your carbon footprint. If you can afford this system we would definitely recommend this level of efficiency. Who doesn’t want to save money and save the environment while they’re at it?

It can be difficult to decide what efficiency is right for you and your family on your own. Factors such as current and future budget, the age of your home, and other considerations can be challenging to sort through without a professional. If your have any questions contact us today or visit our website for more information!

CPS Heating & Cooling

http://www.cpshvac.com/

1-866-CPSHVAC

AFUE Explained 2018-02-13T15:19:47+00:00

Beautiful Air Conditioning Units

Is there a “beautiful” air conditioning unit? No. Here’s how to solve the problem.

A complete home is a balance of comfort, practicality, and aesthetic appeal. This is as true for your home’s heating, cooling and air quality system as it is for your furnishings and decor.

Coordinating the efficiency, price, and place within your home for an HVAC system is a delicate and sometimes tedious process. A home comfort expert — such as those on the CPS staff — can help you find the system that matches your ductwork, comfort needs and budget.

But how about aesthetics? Unfortunately, your air conditioning condensing unit can be the most unsightly part of your home or garden. It is often tempting to try to conceal it to blend in with the aesthetic of the rest of your home.

There are lots of ways to “screen off” an air conditioner from view. Take a look at our Pinterest board for ideas on how to do this. But remember, it is important to keep a close eye on a few details to ensure that your unit continues to run safely.

Air conditioning condensers are complicated components; covering them can sometimes block air flow. If you have a ductless split cooling system, the air handler must be left out in the open on the wall. This is because the ductless split air handler is designed so that it takes air in from the top of the unit and blows air out the bottom of the unit. If this influx and outflow of air is hindered in any way, the system doesn’t run at optimum efficiency and ends up having to work harder in order to bring the room to temperature. This can also cause the condenser to heat up to unsafe temperatures.

To prevent these risks, make a point of keeping the indoor air handler at a minimum of 6-8 inches from other objects.

As always, if you have any questions we would be happy to take your call (508-460-6691). We are also reachable by email (info@cpshvac.com). If you need some inspiration for HVAC cover-up ideas, we have tons of tips we’d love to share with you!

Beautiful Air Conditioning Units 2017-06-02T10:11:28+00:00

Can a high efficiency furnace be installed in my attic?

Perhaps the first thought that crosses many minds when it is time to install a furnace — particularly when replacing a small antiquated unit with a new, high-efficiency one — is a question: “Where am I going to find the room to put it?”

Most people choose the basement or a closet, but if either of those spaces do not present themselves as ideal then other options need to be found.

It turns out that for many homes, a very convenient place to place a furnace is in the attic. There is a common misconception that this is not possible for high efficiency furnaces. Not so! There are rarely instances when we will advise against an attic installation.

The trick to the installation of a gas furnace in an attic space is routing the condensate drain from the attic down through the core of the house to the basement. This drain removes the excess water that a heating system will generate. The drain must be installed through the core of the house — as water will be flowing during the colder months. If the drain is located too close to the outside of the home it may freeze in the coldest of winter weather.

If an attic installation is possible in your home, it can be a great option for many homeowners. But please, use a top-notch contractor! We have seen too many poorly installed draining systems and have been called on too many emergency calls for cracked units and tubes due to freezing.

The installation team at CPS has a variety of products and services that can find the best fit for you and your family. If you have any questions feel free to contact us online or by phone (508-460-6691).

Can a high efficiency furnace be installed in my attic? 2017-02-15T18:03:31+00:00

Gas Boiler Upgrade in Marlborough, MA

CPS recently installed these two 96% AFUE gas boilers in a multi-family in Marlborough MA
Efficient Gas Boilers
Click to view larger image

These 78% AFUE gas boilers were recently replaced by the 96% AFUE gas boilers above
inefficient gas boilers
Click to view larger image

What is AFUE?

Gas Boiler Upgrade in Marlborough, MA 2017-04-14T10:57:06+00:00