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!

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

Should I Get A Generator for my Home?

Here in the New York and Connecticut areas, strong summer storms often result in power outages. A potent gust of wind can cause a branch to slam onto a utility line and leave your home without electricity for hours at a time.

If you’re on the fence about whether you should buy a generator for your home, there are some situations that favor owning a residential generator you might want to take into consideration. Let’s examine a few of these situations to determine whether they’re likely to affect you and your family.

Reasons To Own a Backup Generator

The team here at Bruni & Campisi thought up a few pretty sound reasons for purchasing a backup power generator, including:

  • Generators for Medical Equipment: If you or a member of your family relies on electric-powered medical equipment, a backup power generator is essential to ensure its continued, smooth operation.
  • Generators for Food Safety: If a really strong storm hits and causes extensive damage to your neighborhood, your utility power might be out for a while. Should this happen, perishable food in your refrigerator will spoil. If a few days of restaurant take-out isn’t financially feasible, you’ll want to think about getting a generator to keep your food fresh and edible as your utility company restores power.
  • Generators for Data Safety: If your home’s IT system relies on a constant power source to maintain the integrity of your data, you’ll want to consider investing in a power generator equipped with an automatic transfer switch that can instantly transfer power once utilities fail.
  • Generators for Sump Pumps: A strong summer storm that brings with it massive amounts of rain can spell trouble for your home’s basement. If your home is outfitted with a sump pump, you’ll want to invest in a generator to ensure water is being kept out of places it shouldn’t be.
  • Generators for Peace of Mind: You should feel comfortable in your own home. If a storm knocks out your utility power, you may have to endure unpleasant weather conditions, a disengaged security system and the challenge of navigating your rooms without the aid of light. A backup power generator can provide you and your family with a sense of normalcy as utilities are restored to your home.

Bruni & Campisi: Your New York Metropolitan Area Generator Experts

If you live in Westchester County, NY, Greenwich, CT, Stamford, CT or the surrounding areas and are interested in outfitting your home with a generator or are in need of generator repaircontact us here at Bruni & Campisi today.

We are a Better Business Bureau-accredited company that has been trusted by communities throughout the New York metropolitan area to provide outstanding craftsmanship and caring customer service for nearly 40 years. Having a generator you can rely on during storms is a smart way to protect your family and investments and maintain electric power when utilities are not available. We are happy to help provide generator services to ensure your home is ready to handle power outages.

HVAC Systems for Eco-Friendly People

Here at Bruni & Campisi, we think it’s great when folks take an interest in adopting a more eco-conscious lifestyle. That’s why we’re more than happy to promote green HVAC options for your home or business facility. Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems serve a dual purpose — they can simultaneously preserve precious natural resources while helping you save money on your utility bills.

Let’s take a look at some environmentally friendly HVAC system arrangements to learn about how you can promote more energy-efficient practices in your building.

Eco-Friendly Heating and Cooling Units

One way to begin to engage in eco-friendly heating and cooling practices in your home or business facility is to procure and install a green heating and air conditioning unit. Look for air conditioners with an EnergyStar rating and a high SEER — Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio — mark. SEER is calculated by dividing BTU — British Thermal Units, which measures a machine’s ability to remove hot air from a space — by wattage, or how much power your air conditioner needs to perform this action.

It isn’t necessary to purchase a machine with the highest SEER available. Simply find an air conditioner with a higher SEER than the unit you have been using, and you’ll realize quite a bit of cost savings over the course of a year.

Other Heating and Cooling Tips

There are a few other ways you can keep your system running efficiently that don’t involve making huge investments of time, money or energy. First, you should check your HVAC system’s filters every few months to ensure they’re clean and not restricting air flow. A clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder, requiring more power to navigate air through it.

The next thing you can do is to have your duct work inspected for any gaps or air leaks. Like a clogged air filter, a leaky HVAC system will need to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature, driving up your utility bills and possibly reducing the life of your HVAC system’s components.

Finally, you can inspect your building’s windows and doors to look for spots that air might escape from. If it isn’t financially feasible to replace your outdated doors and windows, you can use weather stripping and caulk to plug up areas where air might be getting out.

Bruni & Campisi: Your HVAC Energy Efficiency Experts

If you’re looking to upgrade your Westchester, NY, Stamford, CT or Greenwich, CT-area home or business with eco-friendly equipment, contact us here at Bruni & Campisi today for a free estimate. Our friendly, knowledgeable team has provided expert craftsmanship and outstanding customer care to the area for nearly 40 years.

We offer a wide range of plumbing, HVAC installation, HVAC repair and HVAC replacement services for you to choose from. We will be happy to work with you to determine a cooling and heating system solution that is both eco-friendly and cost effective. Trust the team of professionals at Bruni & Campisi to get the job done for your home or business.

Common HVAC Installation Errors

It’s understandable to keep costs low when renovating your home or business facility. There are certain aspects of construction and building repair that can be fully performed in-house without taking much of a risk. It can be tempting to choose an installer who can do the job for a really low price, even if the details are a little skimpy. We get it — money is tight.

Your HVAC system, however, is one part of your building you should leave to a qualified professional with demonstrated expertise in their field who will take the time to thoroughly outfit your building with quality equipment and expert craftsmanship. We’ve seen a lot of well-intentioned home and business owners make HVAC installation mistakes that have ended up costing them money and time and put them at risk for injury. Let’s take a look at some of the top HVAC installation errors and how you can avoid HVAC installation mistakes in your home or business.

The Most Common HVAC Installation Errors:

Here are some of the most typical installation mistakes people make when assembling their HVAC system:

  • Leaving Leaks:

    If gaps in your HVAC ducts haven’t been properly addressed, or if flimsy material is used to seal them off, chances are your system is leaking air. This can decrease efficiency, requiring your furnace or compressor to work harder, which draws more energy, needlessly raises your utility bills and puts a strain on natural resources.

  • Improper Design:

    A poorly laid out HVAC system design can lead to inefficient air flow, causing similar issues to that of leaky ductwork. Additionally, a poorly chosen furnace or compressor — one with an output capacity that is not well matched to your building’s particular needs — can cause a lot of headaches and high repair bills. Have your contractor sit down with you to talk through their system plan for your home or business, and be sure to ask any questions about things you’re unsure of.

  • Poor Venting:

    Carbon monoxide is a deadly byproduct of your HVAC system. If your vent components are not adequately directing it out of your home or business facility, you, your family, your staff and your clients’ lives are at risk. Make sure your building is equipped with functioning carbon monoxide detectors, and pay close attention to any warning signs they may give off. Additionally, be sure to talk with your HVAC contractor to make sure the equipment they are using in your vents is sourced from a reputable manufacturer and fits the correct specifications.

  • Insufficient Drainage:

    In addition to requiring a method to disperse toxic gases, your HVAC system also needs a place to eject excess water. Standing water raises the risk of mold growth, foundational damage and frozen pipes. You’ll want to make sure your contractor has a plan for how to effectively drain fluids from your furnace and air conditioning compressor so as to prevent damage and health issues.

Bruni & Campisi: Your HVAC Installation Experts

If you’re a home or business owner in the Westchester County, NY, Stamford, CT or Greenwich, CT areas in need of professional HVAC installation, contact us here at Bruni & Campisi for a free estimate. We know how to install HVAC correctly — our team has provided dedicated service to the area for nearly 40 years. We will be happy to work with you to develop a comprehensive plan for your HVAC system that ensures efficiency, safety and durability, uses the finest products and employs skilled trade technicians to conduct the work.

Bruni & Campisi, Inc.

Serving Westchester, Greenwich and Stamford since 1979.

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