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Air Specialties Air Conditioning & Heating

Monday, 19 March 2018 22:00
Buying a new central air conditioner is a major investment. When repairing your old unit is no longer an option and it's time to purchase a new air conditioner, here are some things to consider.

West Haven Air Conditioning

1. EFFICIENCY - Depending on the age of your old air conditioner, installing a new, energy efficient system could pay for itself over time. By looking at the Energy Star Label on new air conditioners you can find out how efficient the unit is, as indicated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating tells you how efficiently a unit uses electricity: the higher the number, the greater the efficiency.

The typical SEER rating of units manufactured prior to 1992 is about 6.0. In 1992, the government established a minimum cooling efficiency standard for units installed in new homes at 10.0 SEER. High efficiency units have a rating of at least 12.0 SEER.

2. MULTIPLE SPEED OPERATION - Multi-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts and small temperature swings.

3. AIR QUALITY - If indoor air quality is a concern, you can effectively reduce indoor pollution by installing a whole house air cleaner to the AC units air handler. You'll breathe easier knowing that your new system is capturing the contaminants that can cause health problems.

Have questions about choosing the best air conditioner for your home? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating. We have decades of experience in air conditioning.
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 15:03
With warm weather right around the corner we will soon be turning our central air conditioners on to cool our homes.  Regular maintenance is critical to ensuring that your cooling system is running reliably and efficiently. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money in the form of more frequent repairs and a shortened lifespan of the unit, but every time it's running in the form of higher utility bills.

West Haven AC Maintenance

Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” – EnergyStar.gov

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

In addition to keeping your air conditioner clean, an Air Specialties Air Conditioning tune-up includes lubricating moving parts, checking coolant levels, inspecting the blower motor, belts, electrical systems and much more. So call us today to schedule your AC tune up and keep your cooling system is operating reliably and efficiently all year long.

So don't wait until the busy summer season to tune-up your air conditioner. Schedule you air conditioner tune-up today and rest easy knowing your air conditioner is running efficiently all summer long.
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 20:15
Do you have rooms in your home that are always cold, regardless of how high you set your thermostat? There are many factors that can cause uneven heating in the home, here are some of the possible causes.

Uneven Heating

The Air Ducts Ductwork Are Leaking Or Are Undersized

If airflow to certain parts of the home is insufficient, you’ll experience uneven heating or cooling in those areas. An airflow imbalance will also cause your heating system to work overtime in order to compensate, which in turn will shorten the unit's lifespan and decrease its efficiency.

In order to create a balanced airflow a qualified HVAC technician will need to inspect and assess the effectiveness of your home’s ductwork by performing an airflow analysis.

Identifying leaks and blockages is also important, as leaks are a major contributor to inefficiency and uneven temperatures. If blockages are identified, they will be removed to restore airflow. Once the underlying causes of the imbalance have been identified, the appropriate repairs or replacement will be made to get your system functioning normally again.

Variable Speed Motors

Variable speed motors provide more even heating and cooling, and allow for more precise control of airflow throughout the home. By moving the air more slowly through the system, variable speed motors can help make a home’s air filtration and moisture control systems more effective. They adjust the system’s output based on the home’s heating or cooling needs. They can also be helpful in situations where uneven heating or cooling is actually desired. If there are rooms in your home that are rarely used, you can save money by keeping them at a slightly higher or lower temperature than the other rooms in your home. This involves “zoning,” which means customizing temperature settings for different areas of the home. In general, variable speed motors are the only systems that allow for zoning within the home.

Ensure Your HVAC System Is The Correct Size

Just as you’re experiencing discomfort due to uneven temperatures, your system is constantly trying to compensate, which means high utility bills and shortened system lifespan.

An improperly sized HVAC system may result in uneven heating or cooling. This could be the result of either an incorrect load calculation at the time of the system’s installation or a home’s heating and cooling needs changing over time. For example, it is common that an extra room is added or an area like an attic or basement is converted into living space. If your HVAC system is too small to properly heat or cool your home, uneven temperatures and system failures could result. To determine whether your HVAC system is properly sized, contact an HVAC professional for an up-to-date load calculation.
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 19:47
With natural gas costing around 50 percent less than heating oil, many homeowners are finding the initial cost of conversion worth the long term savings in fuel cost.

Connecticut Oil-To-Gas Conversion
While the price advantage of natural gas generally means a new gas system will pay for itself in as little as 5 years, there are other costs to consider:
  • The cost of the new equipment (gas-fired furnaces and boilers generally cost less than oil-fired equipment)
  • Installation cost
  • The cost to run a gas line to the house
  • The cost to dispose of the oil tank and old equipment
Other reasons to consider natural gas over oil include:

Smaller Footprint
Gas equipment typically takes up less space than oil equipment.

Incentives
Federal and state tax incentives may be available for upgrading to high efficiency heating systems.

Convenience
No more oil deliveries, gaps in service, negotiating with your oil company, or prepaying. Natural gas is always available.

Domestic Fuel Source
Unlike most heating oil, natural gas is an abundant domestic fuel source.

Versatility
With a natural gas line you can reduce your utility bill by converting your electric clothes dryer, stove and water heater to less expensive natural gas.

Environmentally Friendly
Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and a highly efficient form of energy. Converting from oil to natural gas can reduces CO2 emissions by around 27 percent.

Have questions about converting from oil to natural gas? Give Air Specialties Heating and Air Conditioning a call, we can help answer all your questions.
Sunday, 21 January 2018 21:13
Gas Furnace Standing Pilot FlameWhile electronic ignition furnaces have been around for a while now, you may still have a gas furnace with a standing pilot light that remains lit all the time. The standing pilot light works in conjunction with a thermocouple to control the ignition of the burners and the flow of gas. The thermocouple senses if the pilot flame is hot enough to ignite the fuel to the burner.

If you have an old furnace that uses a pilot light, it needs to be kept clean burning and properly adjusted to ensure that the furnace operates safely and efficiently.

Inspecting a Gas Furnace Pilot Light Flame

Remove the furnace cover panel to expose the burner assembly and pilot. You should be able to clearly see the flame of the pilot light. The first thing to check is the color of the flame.
  • A natural gas flame should be a bright blue color with a small amount of yellow at the very tip.
  • A propane flame will have more of a bluish-green flame with a tinge of yellow at the tip.
  • The flame should strong enough to cover about 1/2 inch at the end of the thermocouple tip.
  • If the flame is too strong and not adjusted correctly, it will be blue and may make a hissing sound as the flame crosses the thermocouple. The pilot should be adjusted to reduce the intensity of the flame.
  • A yellow flame is caused by lack of oxygen and incomplete combustion. If the pilot light is a weak yellow flame it will not get hot enough to heat the thermocouple to the temperature needed to enable the gas valve to open. This is often caused by a dirty pilot tube tip.
  • A split flame is usually caused by a dirty pilot tube.
  • A flickering or wavering flame is usually caused by a draft. Check to see if there are sources of drafts in the room and take steps to reduce the effects on the furnace.
Have questions about your gas furnace or boiler? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating.
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:38
Best Hot Water HeatersWhen choosing a new water heater for your home there are more choices than ever. Here's a comparison of the most common types of water heater and the advantages and disadvantages of each style.

Electric Tank Water Heater

Heats and stores water using electricity
  • Purchase Cost (less installation): $300 - $1,200
  • Advantages: Lowest upfront cost, Good for small or large households
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Gas Tank Water Heater

Heats and stores water using natural gas or propane
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $380 to $1,500
  • Advantages: Lowest upfront cost, Good for small or large households
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Tankless Gas Water Heater

Heats water on demand when its needed.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1000+
  • Advantages: Good for smaller households, lower operating cost, small footprint
  • Disadvantages: More expensive to operate

Electric Heat Pump Water Heater

Uses electricity to move heat from one place to another
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: 2-3 times more efficient than conventional tank water heater.
  • Disadvantages: Not a good option for colder climates

Condensing Gas Water Heaters

Heats and stores the water using gas, then uses the combustion gas to further heat the water.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: Lowest operating cost. Can save a household $100+ a year
  • Disadvantages: Higher up-front cost

Hybrid Tankless Water Heater

Combines the advantages of a small storage tank with a tankless water heater.
  • Purchase cost (less installation): $1,000+
  • Advantages: Lower operating cost. Less standby heat loss than a conventional tank water heater, and no "cold water sandwich" that can occur with tankless water heaters.
  • Disadvantages: Higher up-front cost
Need help choosing the best water heater for your needs? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating. We can help.
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 02:20
Space Heater SafetyDid you know that 80 percent of home heating fire deaths in the U.S. involve space heaters and that 32 percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters? It is estimated that space heaters cause over 19,000 home fires, 360 deaths, and over 1,000 injuries a year.

Once a house fire starts it is only a matter minutes before it becomes life-threatening. By following a few safety steps when using a space heater you can avoid becoming a statistics.
  • Space heaters should never be closer than 3 feet to upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, bedding and other flammable material.
  • Place the space heater on a hard, level and nonflammable surface
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters
  • Never leave a space heater running when you are away from home.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a grounded wall outlet without adapters or extension cords
  • Choose a model with features like a built-in thermostat that shuts the heater off when the room temperature is met and a thermal cut out switch that shuts the heater off if it gets too hot.
  • If you have kids or pets, a cool touch exterior can prevent accidental burns
  • Ensure there is a working smoke detector on every level of the home and test them monthly
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 22:08
Furnace Air Filter

If you want to find out how effective your air filter is at removing contaminants from the air, check the filter's MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV is a standard that rates the effectiveness of air filters. A higher numeric rating means the filter will remove finer particulate matter from the air.

Filters are tested for for their ability to trap pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria and tobacco smoke. Here are how effective the different MERV ratings are at removing various contaminants from the air.

1-4 : Filters out pollen and dust mites.

5-8 : Removes mold and dust.

9-12 : Traps lead dust and most bacteria

12+ : Filters out all bacteria and tobacco smoke

When choosing an air filter for your HVAC system it may seem like a good idea to buy the filter with the highest MERV rating, since you want to have the cleanest air possible, right? In most cases, you should use a filter in the 5-8 range. The reason is that filters with a high MERV rating will have the smallest pores for air to pass through. This can make it harder for the HVAC system to push air through the filter, reducing system performance. To avoid restricting the air flow, filters with a higher MERV rating should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to prevent damage to the HVAC system.

Ultimately, if your home's air is dirty enough to require a higher MERV rating, or you're changing air filters more than once a month, you may be better served by having a whole home air filtration system. A furnace air filter is really just designed to keep your HVAC equipment clean to prevent wear and tear. A whole house air filtration system is designed to actually clean the air inside the home.

Have questions about air filters? Call Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating. We can help answer all your questions.
Monday, 27 November 2017 02:01
Learning ThermostatLearning Thermostats, or smart thermostats, have been around for a while now, and they keep getting smarter. Here are some of the features you will find that can help keep your home more comfortable while also reducing your energy usage.
  1. Learns your routine. Built-in sensors track activity in the home and use algorithms a custom, auto-adjusting temperature schedule based on those movements in the home. If you turn down the heat before bed, the thermostat learns this routine.
  2. It knows when you're away. Using your smartphone's location and sensors in the home, a learning thermostat can switch to economy mode to save energy.
  3. Tracks energy usage. Knowing your energy usage history can help you better manage your heating and cooling schedule and save on your utility bill.
  4. Early warning of an emergency. If the temperature drops unexpectedly when it's below freezing because your furnace is not working, you will be warned before pipes freeze and your home is damaged.
Upgrading to a learning thermostat is easy, and can make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 02:00
Tips to Save on Hot WaterTank storage water heaters are one of the most energy intensive appliances in the home, second only to heating and cooling systems. By changing some habits and installing a few simple accessories, you can reduce energy consumption from your hot water heater significantly.

1. Reduce hot water use at the source. One of easiest ways to cut hot water usage is to install water saving shower heads. The minimum flow rate on a shower head should be no more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Many water conserving shower heads can reduce flow to as little as 1.6 gpm while maintaining acceptable water pressure. The water savings for a household of four could be as much as 14,000 gallons a year along with greatly reduced energy required to heat the water.

2. Insulate the hot water distribution system. Even in a small home, as much as 10 percent of the energy used to heat water can be lost in the pipes that supply the hot water. Insulating hot water pipes is an inexpensive way to significantly reduce heat loss.

3. Use a water heater blanket. While many new water heaters have sufficient insulation built into the tank wall, many older tanks will allow heat to escape. The larger the water heater, the more surface area that will allow heat to escape. Prevent heat loss by wrapping your water heater tank in an insulation blanket available from most home supply stores. Some manufacturers recommend against installing insulating blankets on their energy-efficient models, so be sure to read your owner's manual before adding a blanket.

4. Water heater maintenance. Over time, storage tank water heaters can accumulate sediment that reducing heating efficiency. Flushing the tank annually will remove the sediment and make it easer for the burner or heating element to heat the water.
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Why Choose Air Specialties Air Conditioning and Heating?

  • NATE Certified Technicians
  • We Accept Visa, Mastercard & Discover
  • Planned Maintenance Agreements
  • Extended Service Agreements
  • Same Day Service On Most Units
  • Free Estimates On Replacement Units
  • Family Owned and Operated For Over 60 Years
  • Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer
  • Heat Pump Specialists
  • We Service All Makes & Models
  • 24 Hour Live Operator Answering Service for Emergency Repair
  • Indoor Air Quality Specialists (Humidification & Air Purification)
  • Puron® Refrigerant Specialists
  • All Employees Are Background Screened For Your Protection

Call Us Today!

Getting the right furnace maintenance is about more than just checking the boxes on your home maintenance list; it’s about having the support of professionals who can help you and your family breathe easy — literally!

Are you looking for seasoned professionals to do your furnace maintenance and get the job done right the first time around? If so, our crew would love to hear from you! To get in touch with the leading AC and heating company in your neck of the woods, don’t hesitate to give our team at Air Specialties a call today!


The team at Air Specialties understands hot water boiler installation and hot water boiler maintenance, so don’t bother trying to wrap your head around all the technical stuff — leave that to us!

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