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Full service HVAC contractor specializing in maintenance and installation of energy efficient systems. Servicing NYC and NJ.With the latest, state-of-the-art heating and cooling equipment and a highly experienced staff of HVAC contractors, we have the tools to handle any task, large or small.

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Our commitment is to creating long-term relationships with our clients by providing quality without compromise, and to that effect, we promise to never leave a job that has not been executed to your complete satisfaction.


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Monday, April 8, 2019

Furnace Air Filters – Everything You Need to Know

The furnace air filter is a critical component of any forced air HVAC system. There are different types and sizes offering different benefits for cleaner air and HVAC equipment. With regular furnace filter maintenance, your HVAC system will perform optimally – here’s what you need to know to make smart furnace filter choices for your home and system.

air filter

Types of Furnace Air Filters

There are a few different options to choose from when it comes to selecting a furnace air filter for your system. The main types and their advantages are:

Fiberglass/Synthetic Filters

Fiberglass or synthetic filters are a cheap and disposable option for your furnace. They catch up to 80% of particles 50 microns and larger and 25% of particles between 3 to 10 microns. Considered minimum protection, fiberglass/synthetic filters prevent dust and dirt from building up on heat exchangers, fan motors, and other surfaces. The larger particles are trapped and eliminated, so your furnace components remain clean. They allow your system to have maximum airflow but don’t filter harmful contaminants affecting your health.

Polyester Filters

Polyester filters are made using the highest quality materials available and are median-sized. They trap and eliminate 80% to 95% of particles 5 microns or larger. A polyester filter costs fours time more than the average fiberglass/synthetic filter, but it offers more protection against pollutants that cause health issues.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters use self-charging fibers to attract particles out of your air. You can purchase disposable or washable electrostatic filters depending on the requirements of your furnace. Washable versions offer a MERV rating between 4 and 10 and last considerably longer than the average filter. Maintenance on a washable filter requires soap and water to wash the filter and letting it completely dry before reinstalling it. If you install it before it completely dries, you run the risk of mildew and mold growth.

Pleated Filters

A pleated filter offers high-efficiency results by trapping particulates 0.3 micron in size, such as bacteria and viruses. Pleated filters are more efficient and last longer compared to fiberglass/synthetic filters. They eliminate more pollutants from your air without sacrificing airflow within your system.

HEPA Filters

High efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, filters provide high-end filtration by trapping up to 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger. Even though they are excellent at eliminating indoor pollutants and create a healthier environment in your home, they can drastically reduce your system’s airflow, costing more money in energy usage.

HVAC Contractors Enhance Customer Comfort with Portable A/C Units

If you’ve ever had the bad luck to experience an air conditioner breakdown in the heat of summer, you know how miserable your home can get. HVAC contractors do their best to tend to customer needs promptly, saving you from days of high temperatures indoors, but sometimes air conditioner repairs or new air conditioner installations cannot be performed right away, leaving you without cooling until ordered parts arrive or new systems can be scheduled for installation.

In years past, you may have been left to sweat it out until your cooling system can be fixed. Today’s air conditioning contractors are using improved portable air conditioning technology to improve the comfort of their customers while awaiting air conditioner repair or installation. Portable A/C is also being used in emergency situations for mission-critical businesses such as data centers, and you may also see portable cooling technology at sporting events or outdoor concerts throughout the summer.

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  • HVAC contractors are using portable air conditioners largely during summer heat waves when emergency situations arise. These may be residential, such as when an air conditioner has gone out and is awaiting repair, providing temporary relief for the elderly, pregnant women, or others with medical conditions who are more susceptible to danger when indoor temperatures rise.
  • Portable air conditioners can be set up fairly easily and quickly, though having ample power to supply the unit can be an issue. When creating emergency contingency plans with commercial clients, these issues are addressed ahead of time so infrastructure is available when the time comes.
  • Some cooling contractors are keeping portable AC units on-hand, which can be delivered to customers awaiting air conditioning repair or installation. Portable cooling units require some maintenance, such as clearing drain lines and emptying water reservoirs, which technicians should review with customers to eliminate issues during use.
  • Portable A/C is used to provide spot cooling in commercial applications, cooling server rooms or providing needed dehumidification in rooms storing ammunition. Contractors utilizing portable air conditioning units are working with customers to create emergency plans to address cooling needs in the event of a power outage, system outage, or other catastrophe, addressing potential needs ahead of time so solutions can be rolled out quickly when and if these situations arise to reduce or prevent damage or loss. Portable cooling units may also be used as long-term solutions in applications where spot or additional cooling is required but permanent equipment is not an option.

Learn more about how HVAC contractors are using portable A/C units to improve experiences for customers both residential and commercial at ACHRNews.com.

Window AC Units vs Whole House Air Conditioners

Air Conditioner

A cooling system feels like an essential for most households during the summer months. Not only does an air conditioner keep your family comfortable, cooling also provides a safe refuge indoors when outside temperatures soar.

Air conditioners weren’t always the standard in homes – many older homes used construction features and other cooling tips to lower temperatures in the home without an air conditioning unit. Because of this, your older home may not have an air conditioner.

If you want the cool comfort and security of a cooling system this summer, you have a few options – a window AC unit or a whole home air conditioning system. HVAC.com shows you the benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as estimated costs, so you can decide which option is best for your summertime comfort needs.

Window AC Unit Installation

Window air conditioning units are a single-room, temporary solution for cooling your home. Window air conditioner installation costs average between $150 to $750, depending on the type of unit you buy – the national average is approximately $300. Since these solutions are not permanently installed, you may be able to find a unit used to lower your upfront costs.

Window air conditioning units are a good option in certain situations:
  • Ideal for rented homes and apartments where there is no whole home cooling system.
  • In homes with existing whole home cooling, but a certain area requires additional cooling to maintain comfort.
  • In homes without existing ductwork, where installing ductwork to support a whole home air conditioner is cost-prohibitive or the home cannot support effective installation due to space or design constraints.
  • For homes in climates where cooling is only needed for a short period of time.

Window AC Unit Installation Cons

  • Window AC unit installation is not a whole home cooling solution. If you want to cool more than one area, you’ll need to purchase and install additional units. Depending on the price of the unit, it may be more cost-effective to have a whole home air conditioner installed.
  • Because window AC unit installation is directly within the room the unit will serve, you’ll experience more operating noise. Many whole home air conditioners feature noise reduction components to lower operating noise, and the equipment is typically housed away from your living areas so you’re less likely to notice the noise.
  • Window AC unit installation is temporary, so the units can be removed from the window area. This can make your home more susceptible to burglary, as thieves can remove the unit from the outside of your home and gain access through the window.
  • Some consider window AC unit installation an eyesore. The units are typically not designed with aesthetics in mind, plus the equipment is installed within sight directly in your living spaces.
  • With a window air conditioning unit installed, you’ll lose natural light in your living area, as the unit blocks out a significant portion of your window area.
  • Window air conditioners don’t provide the even temperatures that a whole home cooling system can deliver. They do not circulate conditioned air as efficiently, creating hot spots within your room. Some areas may be too cold, while others too hot.
  • Window AC unit installation does not include air filtration at the same high level a whole home air conditioner provides. Their filters are not as efficient and do not provide whole home indoor air quality improvement.
  • Window AC unit installation doesn’t offer the dehumidification benefits that a whole home air conditioner will. Some window AC units offer better dehumidificationthan other models, but even so, these units will not deliver moisture removal across your entire home.

Whole Home Air Conditioner Installation

A whole home air conditioner is a permanent solution for cooling in your home. The system provides cooling for every living area, not just one as a window unit does. Installing a whole home air conditioner costs an average of approximately $5,350. Your home may require additional work to facilitate a whole home unit, such as ductwork installation, adding cost to your project. This is not a project you can do yourself – whole home air conditioner installation should be done by a professional for your safety and to ensure system performance.

Whole home air conditioners are ideal in situations where:

  • Your home has existing ductwork in good shape, and you’re replacing an older whole home cooling system.
  • You need cooling in many areas throughout the home.

For whole home cooling, a whole home air conditioner is likely the best solution. A whole home unit will consume less energy versus using multiple window units throughout the home, saving you money. A whole home unit also maintains indoor comfort better by delivering even temperatures throughout the home with fewer hot spots. Whole home air conditioning equipment offers more features for your convenience, better air filtration to reduce allergens and troublesome health symptoms, and does a better job keeping humidity levels in check.

How to Charge a Heat Pump in the Winter

hvac system

Heat pumps use refrigerant to transfer heat between the inside of your home and the outdoors. When refrigerant lines are damaged, refrigerant can leak out of the system. The heat pump will need to be recharged to restore the proper amount of refrigerant necessary for optimal performance.

Charging Heat Pumps in Cold Weather

Charging heat pumps in cold weather requires the superheat method, performed by trained HVAC technicians. Superheat refers to the difference between the refrigerant vapor’s actual temperature and its saturation temperature at the same point
To prevent the home from becoming cold, the auxiliary heating system will run while the heat pump is taken offline for repair. Charging heat pumps in cold weather is a difficult process because there is little latent heat load surrounding the system’s evaporator. The heat pump’s refrigerant charge won’t be perfect, but levels will be close, providing efficiency.

How to Charge a Heat Pump in the Winter

How to charge a heat pump in the winter is as follows:

  • The condenser is blocked using plastic sheeting to prevent air from leaving the system.
  • The heat pump is set to cooling mode by changing the position of its 4-way reversing valve. The low voltage wire is removed to force the heat pump to run in cooling mode for repair even though the thermostat calls for heat, which is provided by the auxiliary heating system.
  • Air is bled from the refrigerant lines containing refrigerant vapor.
  • A refrigerant cylinder is attached to the gauge lines to capture the refrigerant. It is turned upside down, then the manifold valve is opened on the system’s liquid line, allowing refrigerant liquid to flow into the line and move to the indoor and outdoor coil.
  • When the refrigerant liquid stops flowing, the valves are shut and the cylinder is placed in a bucket of tap water. This keeps the cylinder’s temperature at a temperate appropriate for keeping pressure up while charging refrigerant vapor into the heat pump – cylinder pressure can quickly drop during the refrigerant vapor charging process.
  • The superheat of the heat pump is measured. Liquid temperature of refrigerant boiling within the evaporator is measured via suction gauge, as well as the temperature of refrigerant coming out of the evaporator coil.
  • Head and suction line pressures are monitored and compared to the system’s superheat in order to determine an accurate charge.
  • Once the system has been charged, the plastic sheeting is removed from the condenser and orange low voltage wire replaced to switch the heat pump back to heating mode.
  • The system’s gauges are monitored for normal operating conditions.

HVAC technicians use the superheat method when charging heat pumps in cold weather. Because the outdoor coil operates at a lower temperature due to its size compared to the indoor coil, system responsiveness is lowered when attempting to charge a heat pump operating in heating mode. The superheat method has provided proper refrigerant charging in outdoor temperatures down to 20°F.

Dangers of Refrigerant Leaks in Winter

hvac system

Homes and businesses throughout the country rely on heat pumps to keep indoor spaces warm throughout the winter months. These systems use refrigerant in the heating process – as it converts between liquid and gas through the stages of the system, it transfers heat between your interiors and the outdoors or ground source. While refrigerant leaks are typically associated with cooling issues, a refrigerant leak in your heat pump during the winter is a dangerous problem.

Winter Refrigerant Leaks

A leaking refrigerant line in your heat pump during the winter can pose devastating consequences for the safety of occupants as well as your heating system.

Dangers of Winter Refrigerant Leaks Indoors

When heat pumps lose refrigerant during the winter, they will not be able to adequately heat your home or workspace. A potentially serious problem that results is a lack of heat inside. When outdoor temperatures are extreme, a lack of heat indoors can be a dangerous problem. Warmth is not only important for comfort, but also for safety during the winter months.
Many homes and businesses with heat pumps also have an auxiliary, or backup, heating system that can be utilized when the heat pump is malfunctioning, or in conditions where the heat pump isn’t operating efficiently, such as extreme cold. If your heat pump isn’t keeping your living areas warm due to a refrigerant leak, switch over to the auxiliary heating system using your thermostat – select the ‘emergency’ or ‘backup’ heat setting.
If you do not have a backup heating system, it is important that you have winter heat pump refrigerant leaks repaired right away. A skilled heating repair contractor makes repairs to eliminate the leak and recharges the system, allowing the heat pump to function properly and restore warmth indoors.

Dangers of Winter Refrigerant Leaks to Your Heat Pump

Low refrigerant levels in your heat pump during the winter makes it more difficult for the system to adequately heat your interior spaces. Heat pumps are made to operate with a specific refrigerant charge – if refrigerant levels drop, serious malfunctions can occur. The heat pump may freeze over or the compressor easily overheat. These issues can cause damage to your system, requiring heat pump repair or even replacement.

Signs of Winter Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks in a heat pump during the winter aren’t always easy for a user to identify. As low refrigerant levels in your heat pump during winter is a serious problem, quick repairs are needed. Watch for the following signs that could indicate a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system:

  • Lower heat output
  • Can’t keep indoor areas warm enough using the heat pump
  • Hissing sound coming from the heat pump
  • Ice on the heat pump’s coils

Why Can’t a Homeowner Buy a Fully Installed Air System Online?

Seems like you can buy pretty much anything online these days! Online shopping has added convenience and ease for homeowners – just about anything you could possibly need, delivered quickly to your door! This way of shopping is especially handy when something in your home is broken and you need a fast replacement.

So why can’t you do this with your HVAC equipment? Your current equipment is broken down, there’s plenty of information readily available online to help you evaluate replacements – why can’t you make the purchase online? To replace heating and air systems, homeowners are used to the old way of doing it, making an appointment with a contractor, waiting for the appointment, discussing equipment options, purchasing, then more waiting for the install. You’ve already done your research and know what you want, so why can’t you buy it?!

Until now, that was the way you were forced to buy and install HVAC systems. Contractor Commerce from HVAC.com is revolutionizing the way homeowners buy heating and cooling equipment, and the way HVAC contractors are selling it! Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, see how Contractor Commerce simplifies the purchase and installation process for you!

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Contractor Commerce for Homeowners

Replacing your furnace or air conditioner has traditionally been quite time consuming, with all the appointment scheduling and waiting. You have to take time out of your busy day for sales appointments, even if you already know what model you wish to purchase thanks to your online research! This has just been how it was done – until now.

With Contractor Commerce, HVAC contractors can easily offer you, the homeowner, an ecommerce portal to make HVAC equipment and installation purchases, just like you would buy any other product for your home online! Wouldn’t your life be easier if you could hop on your trusted contractor’s website, browse equipment and installation options, and make your purchase right there, whenever you wanted?

When your contractor uses Contractor Commerce, it’s really just that easy! No waiting for business hours to take the first steps, no waiting for a sales rep to visit to provide the product information you need to make an informed purchase decision. Your contractor’s website provides everything you need to research available options and actually make the purchase and schedule installation!

Contractor Commerce for HVAC Contractors

The way consumers make purchases has changed, with ecommerce accounting for a large and growing percentage of household sales. Just because our industry has used “the old way” of doing things forever doesn’t mean change isn’t the best option for your business.

With Contractor Commerce, your entire product offering is hosted on your existing website, giving your customers the opportunity to browse and learn about equipment right there, and even make their purchase. No wasted time with sales calls, no losing the sale due to a packed schedule. It can all be done at your customer’s convenience, online!

Contractor Commerce removes the hassle from the buying process, for everyone involved. It’s easy to set up – you can have your store online in a matter of minutes. Sell entire systems and their installation, maintenance agreements, filters, and more products and services your customers need, when they need them. Offer more products and options than you’ve been able to before to further meet the needs of your customer base.


What can we do


Poorly installed or corroded ductwork can account for up to 30% of your heating and cooling costs.


Heating and air conditioner and environmentally friendly retrofitting of existing.


Heating, cooling, air conditioner, HVAC repairing.


Reliability and long-term operation of systems.


We carry out evaluation work and an agreement on the terms that will satisfy customers.


Effective work for the client.


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