Category Archives: Air conditioning

5 Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning

Ductless air conditioning
Don’t let the ductless diminutive stature fool you.

Whether you call them ductless systems or mini splits, this newer air conditioning technology is packed with advantages that make many homeowners glad they made the switch. At their heart, ductless systems are heat pumps. But don’t let that worry you. Even in Massachusetts, they’re both efficient and more effective than you’d ever imagine.

Mini splits offer as high as 21 SEER, which is better than many traditional air conditioning choices out there. And once the weather decides to turn cool again, you’ll get efficient and comfortable heat that doesn’t have the same level of limitations that traditional heat pumps are notorious for.

Here are 5 advantages of installing a ductless mini split system to cool your home now and keep it warm later:

#1: Enjoy Simpler, Less Invasive Installation

Mini splits are true to their name. They’re much smaller than traditional air conditioning systems, and they’re also a split in two parts. The condenser is comparable to the size of a typical window-shaker air conditioner. It’s installed outside, just like a full-size heat pump. The air handler is quite small, and mounts directly on an interior wall in the space you want to cool.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Ductless mini splits have no ductwork. Instead, a small tube runs through the wall and connects the two components. This means any home, no matter its age or construction, can have mini splits without lowering ceilings or other invasive measures. They’re as perfect in new construction or home additions as they are in older homes that have no ductwork.

#2: Eliminate Hot and Cold Spots

Every home has one, and some homes have many. They’re the annoying spots where it’s never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer. But hot and cold spots are no match for ductless mini split systems.

Each condenser can operate two or three air handlers. And you can install the air handlers anywhere you like. If you have a reading niche that you wish was warmer, mount a mini split and enjoy that part of your home again. If you have a bedroom that’s never cool enough in summer, give the room its own air handler, and control the temperature independently. This is true zoned cooling and heating.

#3: Have Heating and Cooling in One Unit

A new mini split isn’t just for air conditioning. It’s the answer to both cooling and heating needs. Most Massachusetts natives are skeptical about heat pumps, at least when it comes to providing adequate heat in winter. And rightly so. But these news systems are markedly different. It’s not just that they’re powerful, they approach heating in a refined way.

Traditional models are incapable of producing adequate heat once the outdoor temperature dips into the teens. But new technology means advanced, modern mini splits keep on working, even when the temperature reaches 13 below zero. Don’t try that with an old-fashioned system.

Ductless air conditioning
Mini splits use a remote control, but there’s another, even more convenient option.

#4: Control Systems Remotely

Talk about convenient! Your new ductless air conditioning system will have at least one, and likely a few, separate air handlers. You’ll need one for each zone in your home. But you won’t have to stand on a step stool to adjust the temperature on each one. You can use your smartphone.

Some of the newest systems have an app that turns your phone into air conditioning mission control. No matter where you are, you can turn the system on, off, and adjust the comfort level as easily as you check email or send a text.

#5: Get Noticeably Lower Energy Bills

Ductless mini split systems are efficient, and that makes them a smart choice. You’ll start to see a return on investment within the first month. That’s because their heat pump technology is incredibly efficient. It uses less energy to extract more humidity and keep you more comfortable.

The humidity factor is important. If you’ve ever noticed how an 80-degree day feels much hotter when humidity is high, you can see the role played by moisture in the air. Mini splits remove more humidity than old-fashioned air conditioning units. That means you can set your thermostat slightly higher in summer and feel more comfortable than you would at a colder setting with your old system.

Ductless mini split heat pumps make cooling and heating simple and effective. They’re kind to your wallet because they’re so efficient, and your home will feel comfortable all year long. That includes those pesky hot and cold spots.

Rodenhiser has served the 495 / 128 area of Massachusetts for 87 years, and we’re still going strong. We pride ourselves in offering the finest products and the best service, and we guarantee your satisfaction. If your air conditioner leaves something to be desired, contact us today and learn more about ductless systems. They might be the solution you’ve always wanted.

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4 Facts to Know About Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning
It might not look fancy, but your air conditioning system is sophisticated.

Spring is here and summer is never far behind. Soon it will be time to switch on the air conditioning for the season. But is yours ready? And do you need a new one?

Many homeowners don’t think about their central air conditioning until there’s a problem. In the best situation, all that you have to do is adjust the thermostat and you’re all set. But if adjusting hasn’t worked well in a while and your home is less than the ideal temperature, it’s probably time to think about a new system.

Here are 4 facts that you need to know before taking the plunge.

#1: You’ve Got Different Options

Central air conditioning gives you choices. If your home has existing ductwork, the choices are simpler. If it doesn’t, it’s a bit more complicated. In this part of the country, most air conditioners are part of a central split system with an indoor and an outdoor unit. Indoors is the coil unit and outdoors is the compressor unit. For homes with existing ductwork, this is a likely choice. If there’s no ductwork, which is common in older homes, your air conditioning contractor will need to install it.

Alternatively, there’s the ductless mini-split system. As the name implies, they’re small. They’re also effective. Technically a high-efficiency heat pump, these systems do not require ductwork. The outdoor unit connects with the indoor unit using a small hose instead of large ducts. That means they’ll work in older homes without finding or creating the space to install traditional ducts.

#2: Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

If a 2-ton air conditioning system is good, then a 3-ton must be better, right? Not really. And in many cases, a too-large system is less effective. The tonnage doesn’t refer to the unit’s size or weight, but its cooling capacity. The capacity that you need is determined by many factors including the amount of insulation in your home, existing air leaks and even the number and condition of windows.

Technicians use different methods to determine what a home needs. One method is called the Manual J, and all evaluate many different factors to arrive a the right size. If you choose an air conditioner that’s undersized for the job, your home won’t be cool enough. But if you choose one that’s more than you need, you still won’t be cool enough and you’ll probably have a condensation problem.

Central air conditioning
A good technician can help find expensive leaks or avoid them altogether.

#3: Ductwork Needs Attention

Ductwork is almost never seen, but it’s one of the most important parts of any central system. It connects to the air conditioner and carries cool air throughout your home. When the ductwork is in good condition and protected against leaks, your system works more efficiently and you stay cooler. But if leaks exist, Consumer Reports says your air conditioning’s efficiency could be cut by 40 percent.

Ducts should be properly sealed and have adequate insulation. Sealing helps prevent conditioned air from leaking out before it reaches the different rooms in your home. Insulation helps prevent the warmer air in walls and ceilings from heating up the ducts and consequently warming the already conditioned air inside.

#4: The Right Contractor Matters

The difference between a good air conditioner and a terrible one is often in the hands of the contractor. A great system that’s the perfect size for your home won’t perform as well if it’s not professionally installed. There are so many different things that could go wrong.

But when you work with a pro, you know that everything from the size of the system and levelness of the installation down to the seals where the ductwork meets the unit is done correctly. And that means your unit will work at peak efficiency and you’ll stay more comfortable.

Air conditioning should be mainly worry free. But a system that you don’t have to think about, aside from regular maintenance, requires getting the installation right from the beginning. And that usually requires the help of a professional HVAC tech.

If your home isn’t as cool as it ought to be or you’re worried about the condition of your central air system contact us today. At Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, we help remove some of the mystery so that your home can stay comfortable all year long.

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Do I Need a New Central Air Conditioning System?

Central air conditioning systems in Massachusetts can last a long time, but eventually will need replaced. Is your A/C working as efficiently as it used to? Is it running at all? If you are having issues with your central air conditioning system, it is a good time to consider whether you should replace it or repair it.

Do You Need to Replace Your Central A/C?

air conditioning system
Central air conditioning system

Here are seven reasons you might want to replace your central A/C:

  • Your current system is 10 years or older. Energy efficiency standards have improved over the past decade. Even a system installed a decade ago will not be as efficient as one purchased today.
  • Your cooling bills keep going up. As an A/C system ages, it can start requiring more energy to do the same job it did when it was first installed. This means your energy bills go up every cooling season.
  • You want to make your home more energy efficient. A brand new, energy efficient central air conditioning system is a greener choice, especially if your old system is highly inefficient.
  • The ductwork in your home was installed when it was built. Ducts installed even 10 years ago are likely to have leaks and gaps. This makes them inefficient and will drive up your costs.
  • You have rooms in your home that never get comfortable. The cool air never seems to reach those rooms. It may be due to a struggling A/C system or major issues in the ductwork.
  • You have high levels of humidity in your home. Air conditioning systems pull humidity out of the air while simultaneously cooling it. If your A/C is not running efficiently, you may be having humidity problems.
  • You may have a malfunctioning thermostat. Older thermostats are not as accurate as they were when they were first installed. The temperature on the thermostat may not be what the temperature of the air is.

If you want to talk with an HVAC expert about central air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City, call us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips for Your Holliston Home

The hot summer months are definitely here. Your air conditioning is going to be working overtime. You need to keep your HVAC in good working order to keep your home cool in this heat. You can use the best summer HVAC maintenance tips to help your system keep up with the worst summer can bring.

Summer HVAC Tips to Use

If you haven’t already done basic maintenance on your HVAC system, now is the time to start. Here are five tips to get you going:

hvac system
Source: iStock.com/Maudib
  1. Make sure supply and return vents are not blocked. Your HVAC works by moving air out of and into the system. During summer, the warm air comes in, gets cooled, then gets expelled out to cool the house. If you have furniture or other items in front of the vents, the air flow is blocked, which means it takes longer to cool your home.
  2. Vacuum dust and pet hair from vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the fins of your vents. As the dust accumulates, it starts attracting larger debris and slowly cutting off air flow. If you want your HVAC to be as efficient as possible, keep those vents clean.
  3. Rinse the outside unit with a hose. The outside part of your HVAC system gets dirty over time. In summer, grass clippings can accumulate. In the autumn, leaf debris is the main culprit. Spring brings plenty of pollen. All of this can decrease the system’s energy efficiency.
  4. Change air filters monthly. Air filters help remove the minute particulates that can decrease the HVAC system’s efficiency. They also help improve the air quality in the house.
  5. Have an annual service visit. Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance to work at its best. Having an HVAC professional make a visit and do a tune-up will keep the system running efficiently. It also prolongs the system’s life and keeps repair needs to a minimum.

These best summer HVAC maintenance tips will help you beat the heat. If you need to schedule your annual maintenance visit, give us a call here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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How to Keep Your Home’s AC System Cool This Summer

Your A/C is going to be working overtime this summer. You do not want it to overheat and break down. The best way to prevent problems is getting the equipment in good working order and keeping it that way. Learning how to keep your AC system from overheating is not difficult and does not take much time.

Keep Your A/C in Good Working Order

Use these tips to maintain your air conditioning system and keep it from overheating:

    air filter
    Source: iStock.com/Serenethos

  • Change the filters regularly. Filters help keep the insides of the A/C and the ductwork clear of dust and debris. They also play a role in keeping your indoor air quality good.
  • Hose off the outdoor condenser. The fins on the condenser unit can get dirty, which decreases its efficiency. Use a gentle spray of water to clear it away.
  • Cut back bushes and plants. The outdoor condenser needs a steady flow of air to work efficiently. Overgrown grass, weeds, and bushes can block that air flow. Keep the area around the condenser trimmed.
  • Have a professional HVAC maintenance visit once a year. Your A/C needs regular maintenance to run efficiently. An annual visit from an HVAC professional will keep it running throughout the summer.
  • Check ducts and hoses for leaks. If your ducts have leaks, you are losing cool air to your attic or crawlspace. If the hoses are leaking, the system cannot cool efficiently.
  • Use ceiling fans. Fans do not cool rooms, but they make people in the rooms feel cooler. Turning on the fans allows you to turn the A/C temp up.
  • Block the sun with drapes. UV rays coming through the windows heats up your indoor space. Insulated drapes help block that heat and keep the inside cool.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. You can program it to keep the house cool when people are at home and go into energy saving mode when everyone is gone.

Using these tips will help you learn how to keep your air conditioner from overheating. If you need to schedule an annual tune-up, contact Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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Important Home Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Your A/C is one of your main defenses against the heat of the Massachusetts summer. To keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently throughout the summer, you need to keep it in good working order. You can use these home air conditioner maintenance tips to keep the cool air flowing all summer long.

A/C Maintenance Tips

air filter
Source: iStock.com/BackyardProduction

Here are five tips to help you maintain your A/C system:

  1. Change the air filters. The air filter in your A/C captures dust and fine particulates. It keeps the interior of the equipment clean, which promotes efficient operation. It also helps clean the air, promoting good indoor air quality. If a filter gets clogged, it can cause the A/C to run harder. Clean or change the air filters at least once a month.
  2. Clean the supply and return vents. Even with a good air filter, dust can get into your ducts and the A/C system. One way to keep this to a minimum is to clean the return air vents. You can use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or use a brush to remove the dust. You should also clean the supply vents. If you find excessive dust in those vents, you may need a duct cleaning.
  3. Clean the condenser coil. Dirt and debris can clog the fins on the condenser unit. This decreases its efficiency. You can use a vacuum or a gentle spray of water to clear these fins.
  4. Clear away any blockages around the condenser. The condenser needs a clear air flow to run smoothly. You need to make sure there are no weeds, dirt, or leaves blocking the air flow.
  5. Schedule a maintenance visit. To remain efficient, your A/C needs a regular tune-up and inspection. This should be done by a licensed HVAC technician once a year. He will do routine maintenance, check fluid levels, and electrical connections, among many other things.

These home air conditioner maintenance tips should keep your A/C running smoothly and at optimal levels. If you need to schedule routine maintenance, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Important Things to Know About AC Maintenance

Your air conditioning is running full blast this summer. If you haven’t already thought about maintaining your A/C, you need to start thinking about it right now. AC maintenance is critical for keeping your cooling costs down, repair needs to a minimum, and system life to the max.

Important Things to Know About Maintaining Your A/C

air filter maintenance
Source: iStock.com/BackyardProduction

Here is a list of things you need to do to keep your A/C running this summer:

  • Change your air filters every month. Air conditioning units require a steady flow of air to run efficiently. The air filters help keep that air clear of dust and debris. But a clogged filter makes the A/C struggle. Simply changing the filter once a month will enhance efficiency and improve your indoor air quality at the same time.
  • Clear weeds and debris away from the outside unit. Like the inside air blower, the outdoor compressor unit needs clear air flow to do its job efficiently. Weeds and debris block the flow of air. When mowing the lawn or weeding the garden, take time to clear things away from the outside unit.
  • Clean your home’s air supply and return vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the vents’ fins. You want nothing to impede air flow in and out of the cooling system. At least once a season, use a vacuum hose to clear away dust and debris. Make sure furniture is not blocking the air either.
  • Have an annual service performed by a licensed HVAC technician. Like most mechanical systems, A/Cs need tune-ups and service to run efficiently. The technician will check refrigerant levels and make sure the system is tuned properly.
  • Update the programming on your thermostat. If your schedule has changed since you last used the thermostat with your A/C, update its programming. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, get one installed.

Doing routine maintenance of AC systems will keep them running throughout the summer. If you need your A/C system serviced or have a repair need, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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4 Advantages of Split Air Conditioning Systems

Do you need to add air conditioning to a new addition or to a part of your home not previously cooled? You may find that your old A/C can’t handle the new space or that it is impossible to run new ductwork to this new space. The advantages of split air conditioning systems make them a viable option for almost any cooling need you might have.

Advantages to Consider

Here are four advantages homeowners get when they install split A/C systems:

air conditioning system
Source: iStock.com/arenacreative
  1. Easy installation is possible in almost any situation. There is no ductwork involved with a split system. The inside unit can hang from the ceiling or on the wall. The outdoor unit can sit up to 100 feet from the inside unit. A small hole in the wall for the refrigerant pipe and wiring is all that is required.
  2. Quiet operation makes it an option for any room in the home, including the bedroom. The indoor units operate with only a quiet hum. The outside units can be placed where its noise causes minimal disturbance.
  3. More cost-effective than one central A/C unit is. Each room the split system cools has its own thermostat, which can be programmed individually for the occupant(s) of that space. That means the room is only cooled when it’s needed. The inside units use smaller fans which use less energy than a central A/C blower. Units often run at different times, which keeps energy use even lower.
  4. Heating capacity is built-in with these split systems. Most split air conditioning systems are actually heat pumps. This makes it possible to heat and cool the space year-round. If you are adding the system to a basement, attic, or garage space, this can extend the usability of the space to all four seasons.

If you are looking for an affordable, efficient cooling solution for all or part of your home, consider the advantages of split air conditioning systems. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.

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Why You Should Hire a Rodenhiser Electrician

If you are a home owner with an electrical problem, you may be asking “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” DIY electrical videos on YouTube make it look so easy. In reality, most electrical issues are best left to the professionals.

Rodenhiser Electrician
Source: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Why Hire a Professional?

Here are five reasons why you should hire a Rodenhiser electrician when you have an electrical problem or installation:

  1. It will cost less. Electricians do not make the mistakes that many inexperienced homeowners make. That means there is no extra cost for doing the work over. Electricians work to current code specifications so there is no costly issues with meeting permit requirements. Plus, they guarantee their work if something fails in the future.
  2. Safer than DIY. Handling electricity can be dangerous. There is the immediate harm of electrocution. In the long run, a misplaced wire can be an electrical hazard that causes fires or causes damage to your HVAC equipment.
  3. Licensing and permits. If you have an electrical project, it is in your best interests to have a professional do the work. The electrician must meet codes and pull permits. That ensures that there are no issues when the homeowner goes to sell the house.
  4. Experience with all sorts of electrical issues. Rewiring a lamp is fairly straightforward. Adding a new 220 circuit for your air conditioning system is something else. An electrician can handle both the simple and complex. They can tell you if you need to upgrade your service panel or add a new circuit.
  5. Quicker. Electricians have the tools and experience to do the work quickly and efficiently. If you don’t want to take the next month to add that new circuit or upgrade the electrical for your new water heater, hiring a professional is the answer.

The answer to “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” is because it is safer, quicker, and more cost-effective than trying to do it yourself. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning if you have any electrical issues that need addressed.

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5 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home’s Air Conditioning System

Summer heat is upon us here in Massachusetts. The air conditioning is running constantly, driving up your energy costs. You may even be dreading opening up your next electric bill. Use these energy-saving tips for air conditioning systems to keep your bills down this summer.

Keep Those Cooling Costs Down

programmable thermostat
Source: iStock.com/pkazmercyk

These tips will help you keep your electric bills reasonable during the hot summer.

  1. An annual service visit will keep the A/C running efficiently and smoothly. The HVAC technician will service and tune the system while inspecting it for any necessary repairs. Regular service prolongs the life of the system and also cuts down on repair costs.
  2. Air filters keep dust and debris out of the inside of the air conditioner. If the air filters get clogged, the A/C will have to work harder to keep your home cool. That is why it is important to change the air filters at least once a month during the cooling season.
  3. A programmable thermostat will maximize the efficiency of your A/C. You set the thermostat to cool down when you are home. When you are not home, the thermostat will allow the house to warm up a few degrees. This helps lower your cooling bills without you needing to remember to turn the thermostat up or down.
  4. Use window treatments to block direct sunlight. The heat that comes from the sun causes your home to warm up. If you use insulated drapes or shades, that heat is blocked from entering your home. The A/C doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.
  5. Use ceiling fans to move the air around. Ceiling fans do not decrease the actual temperature in the room. However, they do make the room feel cooler to a person standing in it. This allows you to turn your A/C to a higher temperature and cut your energy use.

If you want more energy-saving tips for air conditioning systems, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We are the A/C experts in the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts.

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