Category Archives: Accessories

Is Aeroseal Safe?

DuctworkAeroseal resolves high energy bills and leaky air ducts without adding pollutants that affect indoor air quality. The more people become aware of chemicals and hazards that pollute the air, the more they think about the materials and products used in and around the home. That’s why Aeroseal is a perfect, safe solution to leaky ducts; it won’t create a brand new problem.

DOE and EPA Approved

The development of Aeroseal was backed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Their research led to the Aeroseal methods and materials for sealing the leaks that waste energy and money and harm indoor air quality.

The EPA discovered that indoor air, especially that in the home, is sometimes as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. And a large part of the problem is leaks that allow pollutants inside. Further, the Aeroseal product doesn’t add pollutants of its own.

Aeroseal Chemicals Are Non-Toxic

The Aeroseal process involves sealing off the HVAC system, pressurizing it and sending a mist of sealants through the ducts to close off every air leak, no matter where it’s located. That naturally makes homeowners wonder just what’s in the mist.

The primary component in Aeroseal is Vinyl Acetate Polymer (VAP). But don’t worry about the chemical-sounding name. It’s the same thing you’d find in chewing gum and zero-VOC, water-based paint. OSHA doesn’t even list recommended VAP exposure times. Aeroseal is so safe, most people don’t have to leave home while the technician seals the ducts. And there’s almost no odor.

Watch how Aeroseal works:

It’s Safe for HVAC Systems, Too

With all of that mist filling the ducts, you might wonder about how it affects the mechanical parts of your HVAC system. Not to worry. Part of the Aeroseal process is sealing off the system. The only areas affected by the sealant are the ducts; everything else is blocked until the process is over.

Aeroseal won’t clog up your ducts or reduce airflow, either. It works under pressure that forces sealant into the openings. Mist enters the ducts and only sticks to the edges of gaps and leaks. Then as more mist fills the system, more and more sealant particles build up only where you need them. Eventually, leaks are sealed and the remaining sealant is drawn back out again.

Aeroseal isn’t just safe to use, it makes your home a safer place to breathe. Allergy sufferers may find that dust and seasonal issues with pollen are a thing of the past. And of course, the biggest benefit is reduced energy costs and lower bills. It’s an all-around win.

If your home is dusty and your heating and cooling bills seem to get worse and worse every year, the problem might be as close as your ductwork. And now, there’s a much more effective way of sealing the gaps and leaks than applying aluminum tape and mastic. Aeroseal reaches into the farthest nooks and crannies of your ductwork and adds nothing to contaminate the air.

Call Rodenhiser today to learn more about Aeroseal and to schedule your appointment. The coming cool weather can be the cleanest, warmest and most efficient heating season your Massachusetts home has ever seen.

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What are the Benefits of Aeroseal?

Aeroseal helps your whole family breathe easier.

Aeroseal might sound like some kind of gadget, but it can help you get the most out of your HVAC system. Most houses have quirks that rankle the most patient of homeowners. Maybe yours has uneven temperatures and allergens that you can’t quite get under control. Or maybe you’re tired of paying high energy bills but aren’t quite sure what to do about it. Aeroseal was designed to help.

Many air quality, efficiency and general HVAC issues are rooted in air leaks throughout the ductwork system. Aeroseal stops the leaks, and the process is just about as noninvasive as it gets. Here’s what you can expect from it.

Reduce Dust, Pollen, Mold and Other Allergens

Air leaks throughout the ductwork let your expensive heated and cooled air escape. But they do something else, too: they draw in musty, dusty, allergen-laden particles. Once inside the ducts, those allergens are blown out into every room in your home.

Think about where your ductwork runs. In most Massachusetts homes, the network branches out through walls, basements, crawlspaces and attics. And those areas are notoriously dusty. Some are also dank with mold and mildew problems. Aeroseal stops air leaks, and that helps keep your indoor air cleaner and more allergen-free.

Aeroseal is a Non-Toxic Material

What good can eliminating air leaks do if the sealant sends a whole new range of air pollutants into your home? With Aeroseal, that’s a nonissue. The product is so safe, it’s used in hospitals and government buildings.

The manufacturer explains that the polymer which seals ductwork gaps is the same water-based material used in hair spray and chewing gum. It has “extremely low” VOCs. Any odor is mild, similar to water-based paste used for children’s crafts, and usually disappears in about a day.

Ducts Aren’t Lined, Just Sealed

Some homeowners wonder about the method for sealing, how much product is used and what might happen inside the ducts over time if Aeroseal fails. But ducts aren’t lined with the polymer. It only bonds with the gaps that you need to seal, leaving the rest of the network as it was. In fact, you could still have ducts cleaned seasonally if you want. But you probably won’t need to.

Aeroseal only lands and bonds where it’s needed. A fine particle mist flows through the ducts under pressure and is forced into cracks and loose seams. The remaining particles blow on through, leaving no residue behind.

Watch this short episode of Ask This Old House and see Aeroseal in action:

Reduced Energy Consumption and Lower Utility Bills

Of all the pros about Aeroseal, this one might be the greatest. In fact, high energy bills are often the reason New England homeowners look into duct sealing in the first place. Air leaks rob you of heated and cooled air. They cause your HVAC system to work harder, and drive up energy costs.

Sealed air leaks prevent air loss, which makes your home more comfortable. It can help eliminate hot and cold spots, take some of the load off your HVAC system, and ultimately lower your consumption and costs. Many homes lose 20-40% of conditioned air through leaks. Aeroseal prevents 90 percent of that.

Traditionally, duct sealing required mastic or aluminum tape to close off gaps that waste conditioned air. But the majority of your ductwork is likely inaccessible or at least difficult to reach. Sealing a whole system would mean climbing through attics and crawlspaces and maybe even cutting into drywall. And that doesn’t even begin to address the problem of identifying the leaks in the first place.

Aeroseal works differently. First, your ductwork is closed off. Then a pressure test shows the volume of leaks present in the system. That tells your technician how much polymer to use. Then a fine mist of sealant is sent into the system where it’s automatically forced into gaps, no matter where they exist. Remaining particles are blown out, and your ductwork is sealed better than new.

Air leaks plague most homes, but you don’t have to live with the problem. A simple process can reduce allergens, improve air quality, lower energy bills and make your whole house more comfortable.

Call Rodenhiser today and learn more about this revolutionary duct sealing system. We’ve helped homeowners in Milford, Framingham, Concord and throughout the Route 495 / 128 area for over 85 years, and we can make your home more comfortable, too.

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What is Aeroseal?

AerosealMost homes have leaky ductwork to some degree, and that reduces air quality while costing you comfort and money. In an average home, about 30 percent of conditioned air is lost to leaks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But Rodenhiser offers Massachusetts homeowners an effective and affordable solution: Aeroseal.

This technology changes the way many people think about duct leaks. If you consider the location of your home’s ductwork, it’s hard to imagine accessing all of it. Finding and sealing leaks that might be tucked away in the farthest recesses probably seems impossible. But that’s what Aeroseal does.

Watch how Aeroseal works:

Finding Leaks Where They Hide

There’s no such thing as a typical location for ductwork leaks. Some areas are more prone, such as seams and bends, but leaks can pop up anywhere in the network. Instead of locating every gap and sealing them one by one, an Aeroseal treatment focuses on sealing every leak at once. This tells us exactly how much air your ductwork is losing.

We seal off the registers throughout your home and run a pressure test. That shows us the extent of the problem and how much air is being lost. Then we temporarily seal off your HVAC system from the ductwork to prevent any of the material from getting inside and causing damage.

Aeroseal reaches all of the places that you can’t get to.

Sealing Every Leak in Your Ductwork

Once the system is prepped, then the Aeroseal process starts. We inject aerosol sealant particles into the ductwork and keep them from settling right away by circulating the air inside. That gives the material a better chance of finding its way to leaks instead of landing and sticking where it’s not needed.

This process seals the ducts from the inside, which is a more effective method than aluminum tape and mastic applied from the outside. It not only finds more leaks, but it seals them permanently. And unlike mastic sealants, only a few ounces of Aeroseal is required to do an average home.

Gauging the Results

After the Aeroseal treatment is complete, we don’t leave you wondering whether or not it worked. The whole process, beginning to end, is computer monitored. You’ll see the initial results from the pressure test that show the extent of air loss. And then you’ll see how much is lost after the treatment. The difference is usually dramatic.

We’ll provide you with a certificate of completion that contains a before-and-after summary of duct leaks. You’ll see the total CFM of leakage and how that would compare to a single hole in the ductwork. For example, a total loss of 254 CFM is the equivalent of a 48-inch hole in the ductwork. And you’ll also see how the improvement in your system translates to better HVAC efficiency.

No ductwork is 100 percent leak-free. The average home has numerous gaps throughout the network. Each one on its own might be small and insignificant. But collectively, these leaks can equal big losses.

Aeroseal makes ductwork sealing faster, easier and much more effective. It approaches the problem differently. Instead of a technician investigating the ducts and sealing whatever is found, this material is naturally attracted to every leak, no matter where it exists. Even if there’s a tiny leak in the farthest reaches of your attic, Aeroseal will find and seal it.

If your utility bills are oddly high and your home isn’t as comfortable as it should be, chances are you have leaks in the ductwork. Rodenhiser is the HVAC professionals that Massachusetts homeowners have relied on for generations. Contact us for Aeroseal HVAC service today, and see a dramatic improvement next month and all year long.

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The Symptoms of Leaky Ductwork

Leaky ductwork
A sealed-up system works better and saves you money.

Leaks in your ductwork cost money, stress your air conditioner and can even lead to allergy flares. The network of air passageways that runs through your home isn’t exactly an aesthetic feature, either. It’s hidden inside walls, crawlspaces, and attics. So unlike a plumbing leak that leaves a trail of water, a duct leak might go unnoticed for years.

But there are clues if you know where to look, and there’s a solution that’s simpler than you might think. If you live with one or more of these problems, it’s probably time for an inspection.

#1: You’re Paying Higher Energy Bills

Temperatures are brutal this summer, both in Massachusetts and nationwide. But it’s always difficult to know if it’s the weather or a problem with your HVAC system that’s responsible for higher energy bills. Either one (or both) might be to blame.

Leaks in the ductwork allow part of your conditioned air to escape into places you’d never intentionally cool, such as the attic and between walls. The U.S. Department of Energy says that in many homes, the loss is about 30 percent. Leaks can also allow heat from those spaces to infiltrate the ducts and warm up the air that your AC system worked so hard to cool. Warm air naturally transfers to cooler spots when there’s nothing in place to stop it.

#2: You’ve Got Hot and Cold Spots

Most homes have spots that are harder to cool than others. Rooms on upper floors and those with large windows or inadequate insulation can all take on excess heat. And you might also have spots that are too cold. But when those problems can’t be traced to an obvious culprit, leaky ducts might be behind it.

With leaks, some of your cool air never makes it to its destination. That creates hot spots. Then if you lower the thermostat to compensate, other parts of your home might be too cold. If hot spots happen near your registers, you’ve probably got a leak.

#3: Your Air Filter Gets Dirty Faster

Most homeowners change the HVAC air filter every 1-3 months. It depends on factors such as whether or not you have pets and whether it’s pollen season. More particles in the air clog up the filter faster. However, leaks in the ductwork can dirty the filter more quickly.

Ducts run through unfinished parts of your home, and those areas are highly dust-prone. All that it takes is a small leak to allow dust inside, where it’s then sent out through the registers. From there, the system’s air intake draws in the particles and the filter traps them. If your home looks a bit dustier and your filter needs frequent changing, a duct leak might be behind it.

Leaky ductwork
If you have to do this, there’s a problem.

#4: The Airflow is Noticeably Lower

Air should flow out through every register in your home at about the same rate. You might notice some differences, as registers closer to the system often have a bit more airflow than those at the end of the run. But it shouldn’t be dramatic.

Comparably low airflow through one or more registers is one of the simplest ways to suss out leaky ducts. Unfortunately, some homeowners live with the problem for years, believing that it’s a normal hazard of a forced-air system. That’s usually not the case.

Duct leaks are like little thieves that abscond with your family’s money and comfort. And for years, sealing up those leaks was a challenging, invasive and costly job. But there’s a newer technology called Aeroseal that’s effective, efficient and affordable.

Instead of fixing leaks from the outside using messy mastic and tape, Aeroseal works from the inside. The best part is that it finds and seals leaks in hard-to-reach areas and those that are so small that the human eye wouldn’t spot them. It’s a simple solution to a complicated problem.

Rodenhiser specializes in duct inspection and sealing. For over 85 years, we’ve provided excellent service to homeowners in Framingham, Concord and throughout the route 495 / 128 area. Call Rodenhiser today, and we’ll seal your leaky system for good.

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Expert Interview Series: Karlyn Knafo of Fibertec Window and Door Technologies on the Benefits of Fiberglass Windows and Doors

Window and door

Karlyn Knafo is the Marketing Coordinator at Fibertec Window and Door Technologies, the link between informed consumers and high performance windows and doors. We recently asked her about the benefits of fiberglass windows and doors. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us about Fibertec Windows and Doors. What makes your product unique? What sets it apart from the competition?

Fibertec Window and Door Technologies is North America’s leading fiberglass window and door manufacturer. For more than 25 years, Fibertec has set a high standard in the industry for high performance and we continue to reach out to homeowners looking to build green homes.

Our fiberglass windows and doors are extremely energy efficient, providing not only exceeding energy ratings, but also an aesthetically pleasing product that provides year-round comfort. We are one of the only companies in the industry that provides a solid, closed back fiberglass frame for our windows. We can also proudly say that we manufacture our glass in house, allowing us to provide maximum quality control.

What are the benefits of fiberglass doors and windows versus products made from other materials?

Fiberglass windows and doors will outlast all other window components such as vinyl and aluminum. Fiberglass is also a very low-maintenance product, offering stability in its structure and flexibility in its design properties. Fiberglass windows can be painted to any custom color desired, without the homeowner experiencing any fading over the years.

Fiberglass frames are the optimal choice because they can withstand heavier units such as triple pane units. As energy efficiency becomes more popular over the years, the demand for a more solid and reliable frame without additional support grows as well. Fiberglass frames will not warp or crack, no matter the weight of the sealed unit.

How do fiberglass doors and windows help the environment?

Fiberglass windows and doors are considered to be energy efficient and a much better choice for the environment. It helps reduce the use of heating and air conditioning, which leads to less use of electricity and gas and ultimately helps reduce emissions into the environment. Fiberglass does not emit any toxic odors. Fiberglass is also recyclable and in case of a fire, will decompose slower than vinyl would in such a case.

What are the qualities of a high-performance and energy efficient window or door?

Several important qualities of a high-performance fiberglass window or door begins with the build of the frame. A closed back frame rather than an open back frame will provide durability around the entire perimeter. The sealed unit is also a crucial component of manufacturing a high-performing product. From the type of glass used, along with the type of glass coating and sealant used, a sealed unit must be handled with care during fabrication in order to eliminate the possibility of seal failure. An energy efficient window will have high energy ratings to go with it. U values as low as 0.12 can be expected from our fiberglass windows and doors.

Why should homeowners care about installing more energy efficient doors and windows? What are the benefits?

Homeowners can greatly benefit from the cut in energy costs when installing energy efficient windows and doors. Having a combination of an air tight seal, gas fills between the panes of glass, triple glazing and appropriate glass coatings will all provide the homeowner with an energy efficient window that allows natural light to be used to its advantage, and block out the heat or the cold when necessary.

There are many different properties of the building envelope that contribute to a home’s level of energy efficiency. However, windows are the biggest cause of energy loss. Fiberglass windows are most capable to keep an air tight seal, without ever warping (which leads to loss of energy) over time.

How often should homeowners look at replacing doors and windows?

The beauty of fiberglass windows is that they never have to be replaced. Vinyl windows usually need to be replaced about every 10-15 years, thus costing at least double the price of fiberglass windows over time.

What should homeowners be doing seasonally to further weatherproof their doors and windows?

For the most part, the windows are kept shut for the longest time during the winter. To prevent from any issues with the window’s operating mechanism, it is best to lubricate every now and them to keep the windows in the best condition. Otherwise, fiberglass windows are very low maintenance and don’t need any further work to be done on them for weatherproofing.

Think it might be time to make your home more energy efficient? Set up an appointment online to get your energy efficient HVAC set up.

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How Strong is Your Ceiling Fan Satisfaction?

Ceiling fan
Maybe it’s time for a replacement instead of a repair.

If your ceiling fan isn’t doing its job, it might be time to upgrade to something that looks and performs much better. This summer’s incredible heat is certainly putting household ceiling fans through their paces. They might not extract humidity like air conditioning does, but they keep air flowing. And that helps make the people in the room feel more comfortable.

In a perfect world, your ceiling fan complements the room and offers several different setting options to control air flow. Some are programmable, and some even connect with your smart home system. If you’re not sure about whether it’s a good idea to upgrade, here are a few clues.

Ceiling fan Some of the new ceiling fan designs are as ingenious as they are beautiful.

It’s Lost its Beauty and Charm

For a lot of homeowners, the time to replace a ceiling fan might have nothing to do with performance and everything to do with how it looks. It’s technically a home appliance. But a glance in any high-end stainless kitchen will tell you that appliances should be as attractive as anything else in the home. Ceiling fans are no different.

Long gone are the days when your only choices were lights or no lights and 4 or 5 blades. Modern ceiling fans can be industrial, whimsical, utilitarian, casual, elegant and practically anything in-between. Believe it or not, even brass fixtures are coming back in style.

There’s a Wiggle Here and a Wobble There

Ceiling fans should do a lot of things, but they should never wobble. That’s a sign that the fan is loose, improperly installed, broken, unbalanced or perhaps there’s a combination of problems. Stacking pennies on one blade in an effort to balance it out isn’t the best course of action. Replacement could be.

Many newer fans have more durable hardware than those manufactured a decade or two ago. They hold up better, stay in balance easier, and aren’t prone to going off kilter from ordinary use. Whether you use yours year-round or only in the heat of summer, a new ceiling fan won’t come with the worry of it crashing down every time you turn it on or switch speeds.

That Humming Sound Isn’t Your Favorite Tune

Hums in a ceiling fan might mean a couple of different issues are afoot. Sometimes, the hum is mechanical parts rubbing together. And sometimes, humming is a signal that you’ve got electrical problems.

The motor might be on its last legs, especially if the fan has been in operation for many years. The problem might also be a bad capacitor or maybe the wiring is loose. Considering the potential for electrical fire, humming or buzzing sounds should merit a maintenance call as soon as possible.

Ceiling fans are incredibly sophisticated now. Some are practically works of art. Many are on the smart home track, too. You can program and operate the fan and lighting package wirelessly using a smartphone or another “smart” device.

They might not be required home systems, but they certainly make life a lot more comfortable. Ceiling fans can also help save energy by reducing reliance on your HVAC unit. In summer, they provide a breeze that enhances the body’s natural cooling system. When winter rolls around, a change in the rotation direction helps circulate your costly heated air back down into the room instead of letting it escape upward. That’s a win-win situation year-round.

If your ceiling fan is ugly and performs as good at is looks, Rodenhiser can help bring you into the 21st century. For over 85 years, we have provided top-notch service to homeowners throughout the Massachusetts Metro West area. Call us for electrical service today, and reap the rewards of a new ceiling fan for years to come.

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Should You Rewire Your Home? Here’s How to Tell

Rewiring your homeWhat a marvel electricity is, but what a disaster when your wiring is unsafe or doesn’t suit your needs. Most homes go through at least one rewiring eventually. The National Electric Code and local code update periodically to keep up with the times and address newly discovered safety issues. And although homes are grandfathered in, which means you aren’t required to rewire except under certain situations, it’s a smart idea both for safety and performance.

Should you rewire your home? It depends on a few different factors. Here are some of the most relevant.

Do Breakers (or Fuses) Often Pop?

Modern homes demand electricity at a level that probably no one could have predicted back in the 1800s. That’s when the first homes were wired up for power. If your wiring is older, it might not handle the load. And the result is breakers that trip or fuses that blow.

It’s important to recognize that a tripped breaker or blown fuse indicates a problem. Those issues happen when the demand is higher than the wiring and panel can handle. When a breaker or fuse pop, it’s a preventive measure that guards against an electrical fire. If your home is plagued by frequently blown circuits, don’t reset or replace and forget about it until the next time. An electrician can find the problem and protect your home and family.

Rewiring your home The existence of K&T doesn’t mean that the home has never been rewired.

Do You Have Knob-and-Tube Wiring?

Some very old homes have a type of wiring called knob-and-tube or K&T. In its original form and for what it was designed to do, it was pretty safe. But electricity demand is higher now, and the materials have probably degraded a lot over the years. If even a small section of your home is still wired with knob-and-tube, it should probably be rewired.

One of the biggest problems with K&T wiring is that the insulation that protects the wire breaks down over time. That leaves the bare metal exposed, which means there’s nothing to stand between the electricity that runs through it and the combustible materials inside your walls and ceilings. Then, of course, there’s the high demand on wiring that was never intended to support it. Do yourself a favor and let a pro check it out.

Rewiring your home A safe electrical panel is labeled well and shows no signs of corrosion.

Do You Have an Old Electrical Box?

As with K&T wiring, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about a fuse box. That is if it’s maintained in good condition. But the sheer age of some fuse boxes means that rust and other corrosion is a problem. Nothing lasts forever. Some breaker boxes aren’t as new as you might imagine either.

Then there’s the issue of certain brands that are known hazards in the industry. It’s no secret that Federal Pacific panels installed between 1950 and 1990 pose a significant threat of fire. In fact, Inspectapedia calls them “fires waiting to happen.” Peek inside to see if there’s corrosion, and look at the brand name. If you’re suspicious, Rodenhiser can tell you whether your home is at risk.

Do You Need More Outlets and Fixtures?

The more prevalent electrical devices become, the more demand is placed on the wiring. Some homeowners compensate by adding power strips to expand one outlet into several. And some resort to extension cords. Neither is a good, long-term solution. And then there’s the issue of a home addition or remodel. Where new wiring is added, it’s a good idea to update the whole system.

Older homes, even those built just a couple of decades ago, might not have enough outlets or fixtures to suit a modern lifestyle. Using stopgaps, such as outlet extenders, places too much burden on the wiring at the outlet. They’re technically safe, but they’re not recommended as a permanent solution. The best way to accommodate your needs is with a wiring update that you know is safe and up to code.

No home is wired to last forever. What’s code at the time the wiring is installed will likely change. And so will the level of electricity demand that’s placed on the system.

For safety’s sake, it’s always best to let an electrical contractor inspect your wiring when you think that there might be a problem. Luckily, that’s an area where Rodenhiser excels. We have served the Route 495 / 128 area of Massachusetts for 85 years and counting.

When you work with us, you can rest easy because you’ll know that your home and family are in good hands. Contact Rodenhiser when you need dependable electrical service.

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Home Lighting Automation: What You Need to Know

Home lighting
Home lighting automation is probably more convenient than you expect.

It seems that everywhere you look, there’s something new in home automation. Lighting is a fun place to start because the systems can be simple but have dramatic results. Even better, most of it is DIY friendly.

Whether you want to automate all of your home’s lighting or just a few areas, there’s a system or a single component that’ll work for you.

Lighting Automation Saves Steps and Energy

The biggest benefits of any home automation, including lights, are energy savings and fewer steps. You can control the level of light plus set them to shut off automatically, and you don’t have to walk to a wall switch to accomplish it.

Most lighting automation systems work with a hub, touchscreen, smartphone or all of them. That gives you some flexibility. Some are so simple that they’re literally plug-and-play. And some are more sophisticated and require some initial programming and setup before they’re ready to use.

Whether you need to download an app to control the lights or speak commands to a hub such as Amazon’s Echo, the result is lighting that’s simpler to use and more effective. It’s different, but don’t let that intimidate you. If you can screw in a lightbulb, you can use home lighting automation.

Home lighting Smart lighting also makes homes safer.

Everyday Home Lighting Offers Lots of Choices

Probably the simplest form of home lighting automation is the smart light bulb. Phillips makes Hue for about $170, which PC Magazine says has been around long enough that it “works with just about every other system out there, from Amazon Echo to IFTTT (If This Then That) to Siri (using the Philips Hue Bridge 2.0).” Install the bulb – whichever brand you choose – and your hub or smartphone lets you turn lights on and off, dim them with precision and even change the light color.

BeOn bulbs cost about $200 for three LEDs that use home automation, plus they switch on when someone rings a doorbell and work when the power is out. Another option is the Belkin WeMo switch, which is a motion-sensor smart outlet where you can plug in any light, such as an ordinary lamp, and control it, including scheduling on and off times, using a smartphone or IFTTT.

A third option is built-in smart lighting, which usually requires professional installation. All of your fixtures, such as ceiling fans, recessed lighting, and chandeliers, can have practically any feature that you want. Imagine how handy it would be to have lights that switch on when you enter a room and switch off when you leave, hands-free.

Outdoor Lighting Can Also be Smart

Homeowners are getting a lot more creative with outdoor lighting. But instead of manually programmed timers and switches, you can control all of it using an app or voice-activated hub. The standard lights that you’d expect are available, such as floodlights for driveways and landscaping features plus mood lighting for your deck or patio. But there are other clever options that make outdoor entertaining more interesting.

Lumenplay offers expandable sets of string lights that start at around $50. Using a smartphone app, you can change the light color and choose a twinkling pattern and synch them to music. For about $31, you can add a PlayBulb light to your garden. It operates the same way as interior smart lightbulbs.

For a high-end experience, FX Luminaire systems cost between $200 and $700 for the power supply alone. But you can add an array of lights, including virtually everything imaginable for landscapes and home exteriors. Use a smartphone app to control each component separately.

Home automation keeps getting better all the time. Chances are if you can imagine it, it’s available. Precision control that’s simpler than operating an on/off wall switch is part of what makes lighting automation so nice. And energy savings is another bonus. You can even control lights away from home, in many cases.

When you’re ready to upgrade your home’s lighting to the 21st century’s cutting-edge, let Rodenhiser help. We’ve served the Route 495 / 128 area since 1928, and we can make your home a marvel of lighting automation. Call us for expert electrical service today.

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How to Prepare Your Holliston Home for Hot Weather This Summer

The weather this summer is hot. And your home may be making it difficult to stay comfortable inside. Is your Holliston home ready for the summer? Knowing how to prepare your Holliston home for hot weather will keep you comfortable this summer.

How to Protect and Secure Your Home Against the Heat

programmable thermostat3
Source: Kozielczyk

What can you do to get your home ready?

  • Keep the cool inside by weatherproofing your home. Hot air can get in from the outside through cracks around doors and windows. You can use caulk to seal any openings around frames. Weatherstripping provides protection around the moving parts of windows and doors.
  • Have your HVAC system checked. Like most mechanical equipment, your A/C needs routine maintenance to work smoothly. Once a year, have an HVAC professional do a tune-up and inspection.
  • Change your air filters regularly. Your air filters help your HVAC run smoothly and efficiently. When they get clogged, it can decrease the system’s efficiency.
  • Use your ceiling fans, in the right direction. During the summer, your ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise for the best movement of air. The movement of the air will make your skin feel cooler and let you turn the A/C up a few degrees. If you don’t have ceiling fans, install them this summer.
  • Put your drapes to work. When the sun is streaming in your windows, it is heating up your home. Use your drapes to keep the heat at bay. If you don’t have insulated drapes, consider installing them. They can make a real difference in how comfortable your home is.
  • Get a programmable thermostat. You can program the thermostat to have your home nice and cool when you are there, and save money when you are not there.

Once you know how to prepare your home for hot weather, you can enjoy the fun that summer brings. And there is a bonus. Many of the things you do for the summer will translate to better comfort in the colder months. If you need someone to inspect your HVAC system, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Are There Benefits to Installing a Ductless Air Conditioning System?

Ready to install a new air conditioning system? A ductless air conditioning system is an option to consider. It is a flexible, affordable alternative to ducted central A/C or window units. The benefits of ductless air conditioning show why it is a serious contender for keeping your space cool.

Some Essential Benefits of Ductless A/C

ductless air conditioning

Let’s look at some benefits you get from going ductless:

  • Easy installation – This happens because there are no ducts to run. Using a two-man crew, a typical central A/C system can take up to a week to install. All the ductwork needs to be run, the air handler installed in the attic or closet, and the outside compressor set. A ductless mini-split usually takes a day or less for complete installation.
  • Small footprint – The external compressor for a ductless mini-split is only a fraction of the size of the compressor for central A/C. The interior unit is even more petite. A regular central air system requires a large air handler installed into the attic or a closet. A ductless system uses air handlers that hang on the wall.
  • Very efficient – A ductless mini-split typically uses far less energy than a typical central air system. Plus, because there are air handlers in individual rooms, it is possible to control temperatures in each room, making the system even more efficient.
  • Remote control operation – Every air handler has its own remote control. This makes it possible to control the exact temperature within a room without running out to the central thermostat all the time. The room’s occupants can control the temperature from the bed, the couch, or even the water closet.
  • Very quiet – Many A/C systems make a ton of noise while keeping your home cool. A ductless system is built for residential quiet. At most, the occupants hear a low hum.

If you need an efficient, affordable way to cool your space, consider the benefits of ductless air conditioning. For more information on a ductless system, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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