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How to Save on Cooling Costs this Summer

No, the heat isn’t on — it’s the ozone layer. Summer is here and continues to make its presence known daily. Although you may be tempted to leave your air conditioner running, you certainly won’t be thrilled to see your electric bill next month. While it may seem impossible to stay cool on 90-degree+ days, the goal IS attainable. Shut the A/C off, and try out these cost-effective cooling tips:

Change Your Routine

When the temperature changes, so should your routine. This doesn’t mean taking off from work, but to simply modify your daily choices.It’s all about the cool compromise.

  • If it’s too warm in your home, cook dinner outside on the barbecue.
  • If it’s too hot outside, save yardwork for evenings or for a cooler day.

Clean the Filter

Although you’re trying to keep your air conditioning usage to a minimum, eventually you will need to use it. Before turning the unit on, be sure to clean/replace the filter. Most air conditioners work overtime because a dirty/old filter creates blockages within the air passages. By giving a little TLC, your A/C won’t use as much energy. Pro Tip: After you initially clean your filters, be sure to maintain them regularly.

Block the View

Are you a morning person? Keep your blinds and curtains closed. It may be tough to block your awesome view, but it will help maintain a cool temperature within your home throughout the day.

Your Biggest Fan

Despite what you may think, using a standard blade fan will make a huge difference. Although fans don’t have cooling regulators like A/C units, they’ll circulate the air throughout a room. If you give a fan about 10 minutes, you’ll notice a much cooler temperature inside your space.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape this summer. We offer air conditioner repairs, installations, and tune ups, and have one of the largest inventories of landscaping supplies in southern Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

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5 Things to Consider When Buying an Air Conditioner

things to consider when purchasing an air conditioner

In the stifling summer heat, we live and die by our air conditioners. Whether you’re utilizing central air or a window air conditioner, there’s no denying the importance of a working cooling system. However, not all air conditioners are created equal. In order to find the perfect cooling system for your home, it is important to consider these five factors:

  1. Window Unit or Central Air: How many rooms are you looking to cool? Window unit air conditioners are a great solution if you’re looking to cool one or two rooms, while central air is best for cooling an entire home.

  2. Cooling Capacity: This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Find an air conditioner with a BTU level that is designed for your space.
    • If your BTU level is too low, the unit will run continuously in an effort to cool the large space. This will cause your energy bills to skyrocket.
    • If your BTU level is too high, the unit will turn off before the space is fully cooled and dehumidified. This will cause inconsistent temperatures  throughout the room.

  3. Energy Efficiency: While you’re shopping, search for a unit with an Energy Star certification. These air conditioners use 10 percent less energy than standard models. In addition, be aware of the Energy Efficiency Ration (EER) measurement. This tells you the how many BTUs are used per watt of power. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit.

  4. Electrical Installations: Be sure your electrical system can support your chosen air conditioner. The electrical requirements for your cooling system will be listed in the specifications. More powerful air conditioners may require a 220-volt circuit. If you do not have one of these in your home, you a licensed technician can install one for you.

  5. Maintenance Requirements: Air conditioning units require maintenance every now and again to ensure they stay in tip top condition. Over time, these units can accumulate dust, dirt, and debris. This can clog the filters and hinder the unit’s effectiveness.  Be sure to clean your cooling system once a year. For window units: wash the air filter with soap and water. For central air: schedule regular professional tune-ups.

As the temperatures rise, trust the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros. to keep you cool this summer. Our home cooling services include professional air conditioner installations, repairs, replacements, tune-ups, and more. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians by calling (203) 866-4421.

Get Your A/C Ready for Summer With a Tune Up from Devine Bros.

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Summer is coming — is your air conditioner ready?

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best way to keep your A/C running all summer is by having it tuned up this spring! The last thing you want is for your cooling system to break down in the middle of a heat wave, when HVAC companies are at their busiest. That’s why mid-spring is the perfect time to schedule your tune up with the trained technicians at Devine Bros.

The Benefits of Tune Ups

A little bit of maintenance can go a long way for your home cooling system. In fact, annual maintenance is necessary to keep your air conditioner running at peak efficiency for years to come. Some benefits of tune ups include:

  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Extended equipment life span
  • Improved cooling capacity and comfort
  • Prevent costly breakdowns
  • Maintain your warranty (some cooling system manufacturers will void their warranty if routine professional maintenance is not performed)

About Devine Bros. 16-Point Tune Up

Devine Bros. 16-point A/C tune-up offers the most comprehensive cooling system maintenance routine in Fairfield County, CT. During your service, our trained technicians will:

  1. Clean and inspect condensate drain
  2. Clean and inspect condensate pump
  3. Clean or replace air filter
  4. Check blower belts – adjust or replace if necessary
  5. Check and lubricate blower wheel and bearings
  6. Lubricate and check all motors
  7. Check thermostat operation – check temperature drop across indoor coil
  8. Clean and check condenser
  9. Check and tighten electrical connections
  10. Check and clean compressor contractor
  11. Check condenser disconnect switch
  12. Check condenser fan blade and bearings
  13. Check controls and safety
  14. Test pressure cut-off switches
  15. Check refrigerant check and operating pressures and temperature
  16. Test compressor operating voltage and amperage draw

Ready to schedule your air conditioner tune-up? If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding Fairfield County area, give Devine Bros. a call at (203) 866-4421.

Spring into Savings with these Energy Conservation Tips

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Spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner. If you are already sweating at the thought of high energy bills, keep cool and follow these ten tips from the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros.

  • Change your air filters. Air filters should be changed once per month to prevent extra wear-and-tear on your HVAC system.
  • Switch on your ceiling fans. Setting your ceiling fan blades to rotate counterclockwise can create a cool, gentle breeze throughout your home.
  • Schedule an A/C tune up. A professional tune-up can lower your energy bills, extend the lifespan of your system, and improve cooling capacity.
  • Control your humidity levels. High humidity makes the air feel warmer than it really is. Investing in a dehumidifier can help you save on air conditioning costs.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. Save money by having your air conditioner automatically turn off when it isn’t needed – such as when the house is empty.
  • Upgrade to Energy Star. A brand new Energy Star cooling system can offer significant energy savings, if it is properly installed by a trained technician.
  • Seek more shade. We seek shade when it’s hot outside – the same thought process applies inside the home too. Closing your blinds, installing an awning, or even planting a tree can all help keep your house cool.
  • Don’t add more heat. If your home is already hot, the last thing you want to do is add more heat by cooking in the oven or using your clothes dryer.
  • Lay Low. Warm air rises, so hanging out on the first floor of your home is a better option than upstairs on hot days. The basement is even better, so long as it’s not too humid (refer to point #4).
  • Seal air leaks. Air leaks around your windows and doors can cause cold air to exit your home, and hot air to enter it. Luckily, these leaks can be sealed quickly using caulk or weatherstripping.

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut can trust the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros. to keep them cool this summer. Our home cooling services include professional A/C installations, repairs, replacements, tune-ups, and more. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians by calling (203) 866-4421.

How to Get Your Home Ready for Spring in 5 Easy Steps

how to prepare your home for spring

Spring is around the corner; is your home prepared for the change of seasons? Follow these five steps from Devine Bros. Heating & Cooling, and it will be:

1. Clean your gutters. Spring showers are on the way, and if your gutters are clogged, rainwater can seep into your roof and foundation. Clean your gutters at the start of the season to divert rainwater away from your home and prevent water damage.

2. Care for your lawn. Great summer lawns are made in the spring months. Remove debris and dead grass from your lawn with a rake, then loosen up the soil. Lay down quality grass seeds, add fertilizer, and stay on top of your watering, and you will have a lush lawn before you know it.

3. Change your air filters. HVAC air filters should be cleaned or replaced every month. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, leading to increased wear-and-tear and higher energy bills. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to replace your filter.

4. Switch your ceiling fans. Set the blades on your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise during the warmer months. This will gently push air down into the room and create a wind chill effect to help keep you cool.

5. Schedule an A/C tune up. Your air conditioner has been sitting idle for months, but soon you will use it almost every day. Make sure it’s ready for the sudden increased workload by having it professionally tuned up. In addition to preventing breakdowns, an A/C tune up can improve comfort and lower your energy bills.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to help get your home ready for the spring and summer months. We offer air conditioner repairs, installations, and tune ups, and have one of the largest inventories of landscaping supplies in southern Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, call (203) 866-4421 today.

Insulation: The Key to Year-Round Energy Savings

mineral rock wool

Do you want to save money on your energy bills? You should start by looking at your home’s insulation. In this article, the home heating and cooling experts at Devine Bros. break down everything you need to know about insulation; including what it is, what types are available, and how to determine if your home needs more.

What is insulation?

Insulation is a type of material used in homes and buildings to reduce unwanted heat loss or gain. Simply put, the purpose of insulation is to keep your home at your desired temperature with minimal energy use from your HVAC system.

What types of insulation are there?

There are many types of insulation available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types of insulation include:

  • Blow-in insulation. Loose insulation that is sprayed into place with a specialized air blower.
  • Batts. Pre-cut pieces of insulation that are generally installed between studs.
  • Rolls. Similar to batts. Pre-cut in width, but come in long lengths to cover floors and crawl spaces.
  • Rigid foam. Sheets of polystyrene that insulate while providing a partial vapor barrier.

Is my home adequately insulated?

Unless your home was built specifically for energy efficiency, chances are it would benefit from added insulation. Most older homes are severely under-insulated, and even many newer homes are not as energy-efficient as they could be.

Scheduling a professional energy audit is the easiest way to determine if your home’s current insulation level is sufficient. During an energy audit, a trained technician will perform several tests on your home (including an insulation check) to determine how energy-efficient it is and where you can improve.

How can I add insulation to my home?

  1. Identify weak spots in your home. An energy audit will better help you identify your weak spots, but common problem areas include walls, attics, basements, and around windows and doors.
  2. Determine your R-Value. Insulation is categorized by R-value, which measures how well the material can resist heat. Your R-value is determined by your geographical location, click here for an R-value map.
  3. Choose which type of insulation is best. A sales associate at your local hardware store may be able to assist you.
  4. Install the insulation. Installation is different depending on the type of insulation, and the area it is being installed. You may choose to seek professional help for this step, as installation can be tricky.

Once you’ve sufficiently insulated your home, take your energy savings to the next level with a professionally-installed HVAC system from the experts at Devine Bros. If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, give us a call for all of your home heating and cooling needs at (203) 866-4421.

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Energy Star

woman buys a air conditioner

Whether you are shopping for a new appliance, HVAC system, or television, always be on the lookout for the blue Energy Star tag. These labels are not just for looks – there are plenty of good reasons why they make a smart investment for your home.

Here are three reasons you should consider choosing Energy Star for your next purchase…

Save money.

Products that carry the Energy Star label have been tested by a third party and proven to offer significant energy savings. You will reap the benefits of these products every month when it is time to pay your utility bill.

Save energy.

Energy Star products use less energy, and there are plenty of benefits to that. Not only will you save money on your monthly bills (as mentioned above), but you are doing your part to save the environment – and who can put a price on that?

Qualify for rebates.

Energy Star products can save you money, both in the short- and the long- term. These products can pay for themselves over the course of several months, but many people yearn for instant gratification. Energy Star can offer that too, thanks to government rebates. Click here for a list of rebates available in your area – some of them could save you thousands.

Once you find an Energy Star furnace, cooling system, or water heater, let the experts at Devine Bros. install it in your Connecticut home. Even an Energy Star HVAC system won’t save you money if it is not properly installed. If you live in Fairfield County, give our home heating and cooling experts a call at (203) 866-4421.

5 Reasons to Change the Air Filter on Your HVAC System

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When was the last time you changed the air filter on your HVAC system?

Just like a car, your furnace and air conditioner both have air filters that need to be cleaned or replaced periodically. It’s an easy task to forget, but it is important to the health of your HVAC system. Here are five reasons you need to be keeping up with filter maintenance:

  1. Extend the lifespan of your equipment. A dirty air filter allows dust, dirt, and debris to enter your HVAC system. This forces your unit to work harder, increasing wear-and-tear and ultimately shortening its lifespan.

  1. Improved energy efficiency. When your HVAC system goes into overdrive due to a dirty air filter, it consumes more energy than usual. You can easily see the difference a clean filter makes when you open your utility bill.

  1. Maintain good indoor air quality. The point of the air filter is to collect common airborne allergens such as dust and pet dander. A dirty filter cannot effectively trap these contaminants, leaving them free to circulate throughout your home.

  1. Enhanced comfort. When your HVAC system is operating at maximum capacity, it can heat or cool an area more efficiently. This translates into a more comfortable home with minimal temperature fluctuations.

  1. Prevent breakdowns and repairs. Did you know that four out of every five HVAC system breakdowns are caused by a dirty filter? Changing yours on a monthly basis is recommended if you don’t want to rack up a hefty repair bill.

Trust the professionals at Devine Bros. to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape. As Fairfield County’s home heating and cooling experts, we offer a variety of services to help keep you comfortable all year long. From furnace repairs to central air installation, and everything in between, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

4 Tricks to Minimize Humidity in the Home

Thumbs Up after successfully cleaning and installing fan vent

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut are no strangers to humidity. Besides the uncomfortable, stuffy conditions it can cause, high humidity levels can also warp wood surfaces in your home and lead to mold. Here are four tips and tricks you can use to help keep your humidity levels in check.

Use Your Exhaust Fans

Many homes are equipped with exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom – two areas where high humidity levels are common. If you have these fans in your home, use them to your full advantage. Run your bathroom fan for 15 minutes after every shower, and use your kitchen fan while cooking on the stove top to remove excess moisture from the air.

Relocate Your House Plants

Many house plants release water vapor into the air. If you only have a few plants at home, this is no big deal. But if you have many, their role in your humidity levels could be significant. Place them outside or concentrate them in one room to minimize their impact.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Insulation, insulation, insulation. Upgrading yours can greatly reduce your humidity levels. Seal air leaks with weatherstripping or caulking, insulate your crawl space with a vapor barrier, install storm windows, and wrap your water heater and pipes with insulating foam – all of these small actions can go a long way.

Invest in a Dehumidifier

The most effective way to remove moisture from the air is through the use of a dehumidifier. Air conditioners also perform this function, but you can buy separate machines designed for this specific feature. Dehumidifiers can be purchased as standalone, supplemental units, or as a whole-home solution that attaches directly to your HVAC system.

If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, trust the HVAC experts at Devine Bros. to keep you comfortable all year long. We offer a variety of heating and cooling services to Fairfield County homes, and can also help you keep your humidity levels in check. Call us today at (203) 866-4421.

How to Troubleshoot Your Air Conditioner

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Few things are more important than your air conditioner during the hot summer months. When you air conditioner isn’t working, life at home can get uncomfortable rather quickly. But don’t panic; use these troubleshooting tips from Devine Bros. to get your cooling system up and running in no time!

If your air conditioner is not running at all:

  • Check to see that it is plugged in. If you have a window unit, make sure it is securely connected to an electrical outlet.

  • Check your electrical panel to make sure it is receiving power. Whether you have a window unit or central air, your A/C might not be receiving power.

  • Lower the thermostat by 5 degrees. The thermostat may be set too high for your air conditioner to turn on.

If your air conditioner is running, but not cooling:

  • Check the thermostat settings. The thermostat may be set too high for your air conditioner to produce cold air.

  • Clean or replace the air filter. Your air filter should be cleaned or changed every month for optimal performance.

  • Remove any leaves, branches, or debris blocking the condenser. If you have an outdoor unit, make sure it has plenty of breathing room to prevent overheating.

  • Vacuum the condenser coils and fins. Dirty coils can make it nearly impossible for your unit to release excess heat.

  • Inspect the evaporator. The last step in the troubleshooting process is to take a look at the evaporator to see if it is dirty or frozen.

If your air conditioner is still not working after performing these steps, it’s time to call in the professionals. Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut can count on Devine Bros. to keep them cool all summer long. If you are in need of air conditioner installation or repair, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.