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advantages-of-ductless-heating-and-cooling

Advantages of Ductless Heating and Cooling

No matter the season, we’re always experiencing intense weather in the northeast. From blizzards in winter to scorching summer days, it’s important to make sure your home has all the HVAC equipment you need to keep your home safe and comfortable in any weather.

How do you choose the right heating and cooling system? Which will keep you comfortable without requiring frequent maintenance or being an eyesore inside your home? The answer is simple — ductless heating and cooling is the perfect solution for a low-maintenance system that fits into the rest of your home — and budget.

How Do Ductless Heat Pumps Work?

Traditional heat pumps use ducts to transfer heat, moving air from outside into your home, or vice versa for cooling systems. While these systems work well in theory, they can cause problems ranging from allergies and rodent infestations to leaks and frequent blockages. The systems include ducts and other components which need periodic maintenance and repairs.

Luckily, there is a much better solution — ductless heating. While traditional pumps use ducts to heat, ductless heat pumps work by blowing warm air directly into the room. They connect directly to an outdoor compressor that heats the air before sending it to the indoor unit, which distributes it throughout the room where it’s installed.

These systems can be installed nearly anywhere in a home, from the ceiling or wall to the floor. While they are not the most powerful heating system, they are extremely efficient and can circulate air throughout the house without using an expensive, inconvenient duct system.

How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?

Ductless air conditioners work by linking an outdoor air compressor to individual rooms in the home. The system sucks hot air from inside the home into the outside compressor, which cools the air and recirculates it into your home. While traditional cooling systems like central air use long stretches of ducts to cool a home, ductless air conditioners pull in warm air and push cold air back out, resulting in a much quicker and more efficient cooling process.

Like ductless heat pumps, these air conditioners can be easily installed nearly anywhere in a home, and even just one system in one room can heat an entire floor better than several individual window units.

Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning

More benefits of ductless air conditioning include:

  • Ease of installation: Ductless air conditioners require just one hole in a wall to connect your inside unit to the outdoor air compressor. Because of this, installing a ductless air conditioner is much easier, quicker and cheaper than installing a traditional duct system. In addition, these systems can be installed in nearly any type of home — they are not limited to homes still being constructed, unlike other air conditioning systems.
  • Energy conservation: Ductless air conditioning requires much less energy than other cooling systems since it uses the same air, just cooling the air temperature down, rather than pulling in air from outside or other rooms. Air ducts can account for 30% of energy losses in an air conditioning system, which is another reason why a ductless system is so energy-efficient.
  • Price of use: Because ductless air conditioning systems require less energy and electricity, a great benefit of ductless air conditioning is how much you will save on electricity costs.
  • Efficiency: Other systems have efficiency drawbacks, such as high cost and energy usage of cooling the whole house when using a duct or unit system. Ductless air conditioners are extremely effective at targeting the entire house while keeping costs down.
  • Maintenance: Unlike most other HVAC systems, ductless cooling systems require little maintenance. After installation, the only thing you need to worry about is adjusting the temperature to your liking and occasionally changing a filter. After that, an annual maintenance check can help you keep your system in the best condition!
  • Noise reduction: Ductless cooling systems are much quieter than any other type of cooling system. If you don’t want to have to shout over your air conditioner, ductless systems are right for you!

Benefits of Ductless Heat Pump

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The benefits of ductless air conditioning also coincide with the advantages of ductless heating since the two systems can consolidate into one unit. In addition, ductless heating systems also offer:

  • Consistent temperature: Because of ductless systems’ efficiency, they result in a much more consistent and comfortable temperature throughout your entire home, ensuring that one room isn’t colder than the rest.
  • Allergy relief: Compared to duct-based heating systems, ductless heaters attract fewer allergens. They also include filters to prevent allergens from populating in the first place. These systems circulate fresh, clean air throughout your home at all times, reducing allergens significantly.
  • Incentives: Utility companies know the value of ductless HVAC systems, so many often give customers bill discounts, incentives and rebates for installing a ductless heat pump.
  • Convenient design: Ductless systems are compact and much smaller than other systems, so they won’t take up too much space in your home. Plus, they can be installed nearly anywhere — even on the ceiling!
  • Remote control: While other heating systems require users to walk over to the system frequently to adjust the temperature, most ductless heat pumps come with a remote that allows you to control your home’s temperature from wherever you are!

Schedule an Appointment for a Ductless HVAC Install With Bruni & Campisi

There are so many advantages of ductless heating and cooling, from the ease of use to the simple installation for any home to, most importantly, saving you money! This is the efficient and cost-effective HVAC system you’ve been looking for that is usable and affordable for anyone.

Winter is right around the corner. Is your home’s heating system ready for the season? You need to ensure that your home is prepared for extreme weather. If you’re ready to explore ductless HVAC systems and install one in your home, contact us at Bruni & Campisi today to schedule an appointment!

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Best Air Conditioning Settings in Summer

Best Air Conditioning Settings in Summer

With record-setting temperatures reaching the triple digits across the Northeast coastline, New York and Connecticut residents depend on reliable air conditioning to escape the extreme heat.

Learn how to choose the best AC setting in summer to keep you cool all season long. Discover tips to help you run your air conditioner efficiently, remove unexpected in-home heat sources and make it through the heat waves with a well-maintained, adequately set AC unit.

What Is the Best Temperature for the Air Conditioner in Summer?

If you’ve ever played “AC settings tag” with your family, you understand that people can have very different ideas about the best temperature setting for AC in summer. Educate your household and determine your home’s ideal AC settings based on the following preferences:

  • Energy conservation: Energy Star recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during warm months to save energy and lower the electric bill.
  • Money savings: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) encourages setting the AC temperature at 85 degrees for eight hours per day when you leave the house to save 5-15% on your cooling bills.
  • A good night’s sleep: If you can comfortably sleep in a warm room, Energy Star suggests an overnight AC setting of 82 degrees, but that may be too warm for most sleepers. Studies show that the optimal sleep temperature is much lower — approximately 65 degrees — because our bodies are programmed to experience a core temperature dip at night. In the Northeast, you can sleep well and save costs by using bedroom fans and opening your windows whenever it’s cooler overnight.

Concerned you may forget to manually change these settings every morning, afternoon and night? Don’t sweat it! Use a programmable thermostat to adjust settings automatically throughout the day.

What Is the Best AC Setting During a Heat Wave?

It may not be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk this summer, but it certainly feels like it. In recent years, the heat wave season has risen to a whopping 47 days longer than it was fifty years ago, and June 2021 was America’s hottest June ever in 127 years of records.

Even if you have the world’s greatest air conditioner, you can expect your unit to cool your home about 20 degrees lower than the outside temperature during a heat wave. Follow DOE temperature settings and implement the following tips.

7 Tips to Cool Your Home During Hot Days and Heat Waves

Stay hydrated and indoors during a heat wave. Here’s how you can lower your home’s interior temperature and preserve your AC unit:

  1. Switch the fan position from “auto” to “on”: To help with temperature differences between levels and rooms, turn the fan setting to “on” to circulate the air consistently 24/7.
  2. Set the thermostat to a higher temperature: It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a good idea to set your thermostat to 75 degrees or higher to prevent overworking your AC unit on sweltering days.
  3. Only cool the used rooms: Close air vents in unused rooms and keep those doors shut to conserve energy.
  4. Block the sun: Close every shade and draw your curtains in every room.
  5. Avoid appliance use: When it’s already roasting, the last thing you want to do is add more heat. Avoid using the oven, washer and dryer until the weather cools.
  6. Use ceiling fans: While fans technically cannot reduce the air temperature in a room, they circulate the air and dry perspiration on your skin, making you feel cooler.
  7. Maintain your AC unit: Ensure your air conditioning can work at full potential with regular maintenance and cleaning.

On-Average-AC-Unit-runs-in-cycles

Is It OK to Run AC All Day?

An average AC unit runs in cycles, turning on for 15 to 20 minutes to reach your desired temperature setting, turning off to rest until the house temperature reaches your setting again, repeating the process every day. When temperatures consistently surpass degrees in the high 80s or 90s, your air conditioning may run more than usual or never turn off. In some cases, running constant AC is fine, and a number of energy-efficient systems are designed to run 24/7.

For other units, running all day long isn’t ideal because:

  • It overworks the unit.
  • It increases cooling costs.
  • It may indicate a deeper problem.

Why Is the House so Hot Even With the AC On?

Does your house seem unusually hot even with your air conditioner on? Even with your AC blowing cool air, your rooms may feel warm due to the sun, poor air circulation, maintenance and other factors that have nothing to do with your unit.

10 Reasons Why Your AC May Be Working at Limited Potential

Check your air conditioner settings for summer and follow these home preparation tips to maximize your unit’s ability to create a cooler interior environment.

  1. Incorrect thermostat settings: Inefficient temperature settings can overwork your unit. Adjust your settings to Energy Star and DOE recommendations for maximum energy efficiency.
  2. Clogged air filter: A dirty air filter disrupts airflow and forces your unit to work harder. Replace filters every 90 days or more frequently at 30-60 days if you have allergies or pets.
  3. Incorrect unit size: An older or undersized unit may cool the air but won’t reduce humidity properly.
  4. Corroded coils: Salt in the air can impact AC units, so homeowners near the shore should check their coils frequently. If you notice powdery white or flaking coils, your unit may require maintenance.
  5. Dirty or damaged ductwork: Leaky ductwork allows cool air to escape before it reaches all rooms of the house. If your ductwork is too small or grimy, it won’t adequately handle the airflow. Check for damage and dirt — your ductwork may need cleaning or patching.
  6. Refrigerant leak: A slow refrigerant leak may escape your notice without proper inspection. Minor leaks are a common AC issue that may require a filter replacement or additional maintenance to correct.
  7. Blocked condensing unit: Check your outdoor AC condenser to make sure it’s clear on all sides. Remove any landscaping overgrowth so it can exhaust heat safely.
  8. Competing heat sources: Remove extra heat from the equation to prevent an overworked unit. Block sunlight, close doors to unused rooms and avoid appliance use.
  9. Poor insulation: Improper home insulation around doors and windows allows hot, humid air to seep into your home. Draft-proof your home with weatherstripping, insulated curtains, new door sweeps or door snakes.
  10. Lack of air circulation: Improper air ventilation and circulation in the home can affect air distribution. Check your vents and turn on fans to improve airflow.

If you’re still sweltering even after implementing recommended adjustments — or if your AC unit shows signs of damage and continued inefficiency — then it’s time to schedule professional maintenance.

Contact Bruni and Campisi for Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance

For air conditioning repairs, maintenance and upgrades to beat the heat this summer, look no further than Bruni and Campisi. For more than 40 years, our full-service, NYSERDA Home Energy Performance–participating HVAC contractors have been helping homeowners in New York and Connecticut increase energy efficiency, lower utility bills and keep their units running smoothly. Quick and efficient, we provide the expertise, quality and customer-first professionalism you and your home deserve. And with our one-year labor warranty on all work performed, you have peace of mind that your investment is protected.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your air conditioning service, upgrade or maintenance plan today. We look forward to working with you.

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Benefits of Ductless AC Systems

When it comes to HVAC, most property owners know that their homes or business need a) a furnace and b) an air conditioner. Of course to find the right unit for your needs you need to evaluate the size, brand, and budget to name a few. What many home and business owners might not be aware of is that the standard furnace or the traditional AC system are not your only options. Aside from equipment such as a boiler or a geothermal heat pump one of the most popular forms of alternative cooling is the ductless AC system.

A ductless AC very much resembles the central air conditioner that most people might be familiar with. On the exterior of your property is the compressor and condenser which processes the warm air that is removed from a room. Also, on the interior is an air handling unit (evaporator and fan) where the cool air is created and delivered. What’s really different is the path that the air takes to get from one place to another. Conventional AC units have a duct system that has many flaws. In the ductless version, a conduit houses the power cable, condenser drain, refrigerant, and suction tubing and travels to each room in a much less invasive manner.

Benefit #1 – No Ducts!

If you’ve got a whole house or commercial property that needs to be cooled, ducts do their job to get that air delivered to where it needs to go. That being said there are numerous opportunities for ducts to lose heat as connections and seams become loose or crack and holes develop in the sheet metal. The ductwork is also very loud as air is forced through it. Finally, ducts can harbor dirt and debris that gets kicked up and distributed throughout the home every time the AC turns on.

With a ductless system, the processed air comes directly from the indoor air handler unit. Everything that is needed to communicate between the outdoor compressor and the indoor evaporator is transported via the conduit that is just 3” in diameter. This creates a quieter, more efficient, AC system that distributes less dirt. Plus you don’t want all the bulky duct work taking up space.

Benefit #2 – Convenience

If you were to run a traditional AC into any additional rooms in the house, it would involve tapping into the existing ductwork and creating another path. This simply isn’t feasible because your air conditioner is sized for the specific square footage of your home. Adding more space to cool will have a central air conditioner cycling nearly non-stop thus driving up utility bills and lowering lifespan.

This is the main reason why ductless ACs are so popular. If customers want to add on to their home or finish a garage or basement they can do so without disrupting the existing HVAC system. You can also use a ductless AC as a secondary cooling device to ease the pressure of your current air conditioner during peak times. Running the conduit of a ductless system to a living room or kitchen where most of the family time is spent allows you to turn down your ‘main’ air conditioner’s thermostat.

Benefit #3 – Energy Efficiency and Multi-Zone Cooling

Ductless systems are energy efficient almost because of all their benefits. Not having ducts, for example, prevents energy loss through leaks. The reason you can run a ductless AC in your living room and turn down the thermostat on your ‘whole house’ unit is because of multi-zone cooling. Basically what this means is that up to four different air handlers can run off each outdoor condenser. Each of these air handlers is in a separate room and they all have individual separate temperature controls. Therefore if you’re not in a room, you can turn off the air handler to that area. With most conventional central air systems, one thermostat controls the temperature for the entire home whether rooms are occupied or not.

This is just scratching the surface of a ductless AC systems benefits and potential. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more information about these wonderful home appliances.

The Importance of Maintaining Your AC Unit

Modern AC units are being built to last longer while running more efficient. That being said, manufacturers can only do so much – same for the installers. Home and business owners have a responsibility when they have a new air conditioner installed and that requires scheduled maintenance.

To be honest there’s really no reason not to have your AC maintained on an annual basis. Sure it is an overhead, but at the same time, you recoup that investment in lower utility bills, a more comfortable home, and a longer last HVAC system. Here is what can happen – and why – when you slack on maintaining your AC unit:

#1 You May Lose Your Warranty

Maintaining an air conditioner isn’t just recommended for premium performance, many manufacturers actually require it as part of their warranty agreement. It makes sense, why should manufacturers be liable for problems that occur prior within a warranty period if the unit is allowed to build up dust, operate with chewed belts, function with a condensing drain not being cleaned, etc.? An air conditioner warranty is a two-fold agreement – 1) the manufacturer will supply quality parts and stand by their workmanship if 2) the homeowner agrees to regularly have the unit cleaned, air filters changed, and so on.

#2 You’ll Pay Higher Energy Bills

If you think that lack of AC maintenance driving up utility bills is hyperbole, just look at the process. Air travels through a clean filter much easier than one caked in debris, right? The air conditioner will also continually try to meet the demands of the thermostat regardless of the condition of the filter. If your blower has to work harder to force air through a clogged filter, it’s going to cycle longer which will obviously increase your utility costs. This is true for components besides the filter, too as maintenance includes cleaning ducts and airways as well as inspecting the air flow of blowers and blades.

#3 Your Repair Costs Will Go Up and Your AC Will Die Off Faster

One of the most important aspects of air conditioning maintenance is a thorough inspection and lubrication of all the system’s moving parts. When belts are allowed to operate while worn or debris builds up in the bearings of the fan blade, it means other components must overcompensate and start to wear down faster themselves. In this manner, maintenance is a preventative measure that catches ‘issues’ before they become ‘catastrophes.’ Even more along those lines, blocked up drain plugs and condensation lines can lead to water damage or at the very least mold growth and a musty smelling utility room.

#4 Your House Won’t Be As Comfortable

You WANT your AC to be working on optimum levels not just to avoid financial repercussion, but so that your home is comfortable. Most people are aware that an AC that has failed to be maintained will not cool a property as good as it should. More than that though, the unit’s job is to condition the air in your home or business. A full and complete AC cycle works to remove the moisture and humidity from the air. If your AC isn’t working properly it either short cycles which leaves you with an uncomfortably humid house or it long cycles which drives up utility bills.

When it comes to contracting AC maintenance, failure to do so could cost you dollars at a time or it could cost you hundreds (or thousands) if you need repairs but your warranty is voided. We tell our clients that the other option of a comfortable home, lower utility bills, and much longer lasting system are the more desirable route to take.

Be sure to contact us for AC maintenance!

Benefits of Gas Fireplace Over Wood

Fireplaces can get a bad rap in the home improvement industry mostly because contractors say to batten them up simply because they are an energy loss risk. It’s true an unattended fireplace can leak air among a few other problems but is that enough to overlook the multitude of benefits that a unit could bring to your home? Bruni and Campisi urges you to think of some of the positives of having a fireplace before writing them off altogether:

  • Extra source of warmth to cut down on heating bills
  • Romantic, peaceful, and relaxing
  • A backup heat and light source if the power goes out
  • Adds value to your home to the right buyer
  • A fun and unique place to cook

Of course, not all fireplaces offer these benefits which brings us to a question that homeowners often have to ask themselves. Which is the preferable fire source – gas or wood?

The Traditional Wood Burning Fireplace

When most people think of a fireplace, they conjure up images of the traditional wood logs crackling on an open flame. There’s not a whole lot to explain about a wood fireplace beyond that. The hearth is the brick and mortar of the fireplace that is encompassed by the surround. The surround contains the mantel which is the decorative aspect of the wood fireplace. From there you have the firebox, where the fire is contained, and the flue, where the smoke exits the home safely. The chimney is the protective unit surrounding the flue which also adds aesthetic value to the exterior of the house.

Wood burning fireplaces are considered a very inefficient heating source for one main reason. The flame needs oxygen and a draft to survive, but at the same time, you don’t want that draft forcing smoke and fire out into the home. Therefore the wood fireplace works in the opposite manner in that it sucks the air out of the home and up the flue in order to ‘stoke’ the fire. You’ll still get some warmth from the wood fireplace, but hopefully without all the smoke and ash that makes it look like your furniture and electronics were sitting by a campfire.

How Does a Gas Fireplace Differ?

There are a couple different types of gas fireplaces but in a nutshell, their biggest advantage as a whole is that they don’t produce smoke or ash. This might take some of the ‘fun’ out of owning a fireplace at your cabin, but the numerous advantages make up for this so-called ‘faux’-er place. First of all, the oxygen source for vented gas fireplaces comes from outside of the home meaning that all the heat can be placed into the home instead of dispelled out a chimney like a wood burning unit. The exhaust produced from burning the gas is vented out of the home in the same manner in which your clothes dryer works.

There are also ventless gas fireplaces that are very close to ‘plug and play’ units. These models work in the same manner as your gas stove range. The flame burns cleanly so it can be exposed to the open air (safety screens included) without any special venting being needed. You would think you’d have to have your stove cranked up to generate enough heat to warm a room, but gas fireplaces are manufactured in the opposite manner in that they require less fuel to create more heat. Thus ventless gas fireplaces are some of the most efficient heating sources on the market.

For those who don’t want to miss out on the ‘fun’ aspect of a wood burning fireplace flames, the closest alternative is gas logs which resemble that traditional wood hearth. The heat is available in an instant and you’ve got the cool piled-up wood aesthetics – without having to actually chop and replace the logs. Gas logs are available from Bruni in both vented and unvented systems.

Reiterating the Benefits of Gas Fireplaces Over Wood Burning Units

Wood fireplaces have the ‘look cool’ advantage over gas, few would argue that fact. Even so a wood fireplace is one of (if not THE) most efficient heating source available mostly because they cause the homeowner to force air out of the building in order to produce heat. Blocked flues and dampers can also present a huge safety risk, at the very least forcing smoke and ash back into your home and damaging costly electronics and furniture. These features need to be maintained on a very regular basis in order to avoid these problems. Plus, the chimney basically connects to the firebox through an actual hole in your house, making the whole unit an incredible leak threat that could damage drywall, flooring, wiring, insulation, and more.

Gas fireplaces provide a heat source without nearly any of the disadvantages of wood fireplaces. Gas fireplaces don’t require a chimney, merely small vents the size of the one you’d find on your dryer. Unvented gas fireplaces don’t even require that. There is no risk of a gas fireplace causing your roof to leak and there is no ash that emanates from the gas fireplace being in operation. You don’t even need to stoke a gas fireplace as most modern units operate via a remote or even an app on your smartphone.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about integrating a gas fireplace into your home. Once you start enjoying the benefits of these convenient units you’ll wish you called us Winters upon Winters ago.

Sources
https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/ventless-fireplaces-what-you-need-know/
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/05/realestate/your-home-using-gas-fireplace-for-heat.htmlhttp://www.ventless-gas-fireplaces.com/frequently_asked_questions.html
http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/mechanical-systems/gas-fireplaces-offer-efficient-heating-choices
https://smarterhouse.org/heating-systems/types-heating-systems
http://heattalk.com/best-gas-fireplace-inserts-reviews/https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/vent-free-fireplaces/

What to Do When Your Pipes Freeze in the Winter?

Unless you’re a skier or enjoy ice fishing, there really isn’t a lot to look forward to during the cold months. Our first priority is always going to be to make sure ourselves, as well as our friends, family, and pets, are safe as the mercury continues to plunge. The protection of your home from the cold temps is also critical this time of year. Prevention is always the top priority – but here’s what to do when your pipes freeze in the Winter:

Why Do Pipes Freeze and What’s the Damage?

Pipes freeze because it’s cold; a no-brainer, right? Well, why is it that your neighbors are out keeping warm in their hot tub while you can’t even pour a glass of water? The answer is because it’s not the cold temps alone that cause pipes to freeze. Also, the freezing doesn’t cause the most damage – it’s the impending thawing.

Pipes can freeze up because they aren’t properly insulated. For roughly $4 per foot, you can have foam insulation installed to create a barrier between the cold and your pipes, saving you hundreds in potential damage. Failure to ‘winterize’ your home also causes pipes to freeze. Leaving a hose hooked up outside, for example, creates a pressure buildup that will actually cause a burst in the cold weather – not good. Turning your heat off when leaving for a Winter weekend is another surefire way to return home to some sort of plumbing damage.

Damage from frozen pipes can range from plumbing repairs to the complete replacement of drywall, carpet, wood floors, furniture, and more. It’s not unheard of for frozen (then thawing) pipes to cause $5,000 – $10,000 worth of damage to a property. This is why it’s important to know what to do when your pipes freeze in the Winter.

Prevention Didn’t Work – Now What?

So your home or business plumbing has frozen up – it doesn’t have to be a death sentence especially if you act promptly and properly. Sometimes the most that happens when your pipes freeze is just that you’re without water for a stretch.

The first thing you want to do when your pipes freeze is open up the hot and cold faucets. This will relieve pressure in the system and give the thawing water somewhere to go when it does begin to thaw. You always want to start thawing at the faucet and work towards the blockage. Starting to thaw in the middle of the pipes, for example, can create a steam blockage that causes a burst.

There are a number of thawing methods that can be attempted as well. It works to wrap the frozen section of pipes in a warm towel and regularly pour hot water over the top of them. On exposed areas of pipe that are frozen you can also use a hair dryer or space heater thaw the ice.

What to Do When Pipes Freeze In Winter – Call a Plumber

Sometimes the safest option is to simply call a plumber when your pipes freeze in Winter. An experienced plumber can pinpoint the blockage and perform the proper reparation methods depending on where the issue is located (even behind walls). Best of all when a plumber comes on site, it’s like a Winter pipe audit. You’ll know the problem areas (exposed pipe, poor home insulation, gaps around windows/doors, etc.) and the appropriate solution. Peace of mind is priceless, especially in the bitter cold Winter months.

If you need help from us at Bruni and Campisi click here

Bruni & Campisi, Inc.

Serving Westchester, Greenwich and Stamford since 1979.

100 Grasslands Rd, Elmsford NY 10523

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