Concrete Path | Norwalk, CT | Devine Bros.

Important Questions to Ask Before Your Next Concrete Project

Taking on a concrete project can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to hire an expert contractor to handle your job from start to finish. We’re here to tell you what questions to ask and why you should choose Devine Bros.

What kind of experience do you have?

Experience is a key factor when choosing any service, but it’s especially important when it comes to concrete. Who would you trust more: a contractor that has 40 years of work under his belt or the one on his first job?

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut have trusted Devine Bros.. for nearly 100 years.

Do you have any recommendations for my project?

Be sure to have any potential contractors visit your property prior to hire. A skilled contractor will likely have suggestions that you haven’t considered.

Devine Bros.. can provide stylistic recommendations that fit well with the look you desire.

How should I prepare for the job?

Once you’ve chosen a contractor, there are a few things to do to prepare for your specific project.

Devine Bros. is here to guide you through the process from start to finish. We’ll provide instructions on how to prepare for the job and keep you updated through completion.

Devine Bros. operates two ready-mix concrete plants in Fairfield County. We have lightweight structural concrete, high strength microsilica concrete, and can even create a custom blend designed to meet your specifications. In addition, we’re certified by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the American Concrete Institute.

If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or any of the surrounding areas, Devine Bros. is just a phone call away. Contact us today at 203-866-4421.

Thermostat | Norwalk, CT | Devine Bros.

How to Save Money with Your Thermostat

As temperatures rise, it’s everyone’s first instinct to crank the A/C, but using your air conditioner to cool your home 24/7 can get expensive. That’s where we come in! Did you know that your thermostat plays an integral role in energy savings? Read on for key ways to keep cool without breaking the bank this summer:

  • Strategically Set Your Thermostat: Believe it or not, 78-degrees is the optimal thermostat temperature for energy savings. — GASP! Say it ain’t so! — Shocking we know. Your air conditioner uses less energy when the thermostat is set more closely to the temperature outside. Set your thermostat according to the weather forecast to slash your energy bill.
  • Invest in a Programmable Thermostat: One of the easiest ways to cut cooling costs is to purchase a programmable thermostat. You’ll be able to schedule your A/C to automatically turn off while you’re at work and on right around the time you plan to return home. This eliminates the need to manually fuss with the settings every day. Just set it and forget it! (Pro Tip: Check out the Nest Learning Thermostat — it learns your temperature habits in about a week and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. You can also adjust the temperature from your smartphone or tablet.)
  • Acclimate to Higher Temperatures: Though it may be unbearable to imagine, getting your body acclimated to warmer temperatures is extremely beneficial to your budget. Try raising the temperature gradually. If you’re comfortable in a 68-degree atmosphere, try raising the thermostat one degree per day until you work up to 78-degrees — or whatever you can comfortably handle. You’d be amazed at how quickly you’ll adapt.
  • More Ways to Save: Of course, there are ways to supplement that higher thermostat setting to stay cool.
    • Block the Sun: Invest in blinds and/or curtains to block the sun’s rays from baking your home in the afternoons.
    • Open the Windows: Temperatures can drop up to 20-degrees in the evenings. Give the A/C a break and crack open the windows to stay cool and get a dose of fresh air in the process.
    • Install Ceiling Fans: A great way to supplement your cooling system is to install ceiling fans in various rooms of your home. They only cost pennies per day to operate and circulate the air, making warm rooms feel cooler.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to help get your home ready for the 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, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

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.

ac tune up norwalk ct

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

spring energy saving tips

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.

5 Biggest Lawn Care Mistakes

testing soil pH level

Maintaining a healthy lawn is no easy task. Don’t make it harder on yourself by making these five common mistakes:

Not testing your soil.

Everything about your lawn starts in the soil, which is why it is important to have your pH level tested. Testing your soil will help you determine which type of lawn treatments are required, the best type of fertilizers to use, how much is required, and other important decisions.

Cutting the grass too short.

When mowing your lawn, it’s tempting to set the mower blades as low as possible. After all, the shorter you cut your grass, the longer until it’s time to mow again. However, it is possible to cut your grass too short, leaving it prone to disease and drying out. Set the mower height to about 2½ inches and never cut off more than ⅓ of the grass blade at once.

Bagging lawn clippings.

Do you bag your lawn clippings after mowing? If so, you are essentially throwing away free fertilizer. Freshly-mowed grass clippings are full of nutrients such as nitrogen; leaving them on your lawn can reduce your need for fertilizer by up to 25%.

Watering too much.

When it comes to watering your grass, less is more. Overwatering your lawn not only wastes water, it discourages your grass from developing a deep root system, making it more likely to die in periods of drought. A good rule of thumb is to add ⅓ of an inch of water three times per week. Water early in the morning if possible, as this helps minimize evaporation.

Waiting until it’s too late.

A lush lawn is a year-round commitment. If you wait until the late spring to start prepping, you’re already too late. This season-by-season calendar from House Logic details exactly what you need to do to maintain a healthy lawn all year long.

Devine Bros. offers the widest selection of landscaping and masonry materials in Fairfield County, Connecticut. From mulch to flagstone and everything in between, look no further than us to supply your next project. All of our products are available for pickup and delivery. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, call (203) 866-4421 to learn more, or view our product selection online.

5 Areas Not to Forget While Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning

Break out your brooms and dustpans, it’s time for spring cleaning. Before you get started on your to-do list, make sure you aren’t forgetting about these five important areas:

Air Filters

It is estimated that four out of every five HVAC-related breakdowns are caused by dirty air filters. A dirty filter limits fresh air intake, thus increasing the wear-and-tear on your HVAC system. Clean or replace your air filters at the start of spring, and every month afterwards.

Gutters

A clean, fully-functioning gutter system is a home’s best defense against water damage. Clogged gutters force rainwater to seep into the roof, or pour over the edge and puddle near the foundation. A clean gutter system, on the other hand, directs rainwater safely away from the home. Clean your gutters now, before the April showers strike.

A/C Condenser Coils

The condenser coils on your air conditioner are designed to vent warm air, but they have been collecting dust over the winter season. When these coils can’t adequately release heat, your cooling bill will skyrocket, and you are more likely to experience costly breakdowns. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to locate and clean your system’s condenser coils.

Patio

Your patio is the heart of your backyard, and usually the gathering place for summer barbecues. Now is a good time to clean it off and seal any cracks or potholes that may have developed over the winter season. Click here for a step-by-step guide to cleaning brick patios.

Air Ducts

Air ducts are a common hiding spot for dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and all types of other allergens. This accumulation can hinder airflow, limiting the energy-efficiency and overall effectiveness of your cooling system. These particles can also spread throughout your home, triggering allergies. Air duct cleaning requires specialized tools and equipment, which is why you should hire a professional service every 3-5 years.

If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, let the home cooling experts at Devine Bros. help get your home ready for the warm weather. We offer professional air conditioner installations, repairs, tune ups, and more. Give us a call at (203) 866-4421 to get started with a free estimate.

Early Spring Landscaping Tips for a Beautiful Summer Lawn

early spring landscaping tips

One of the most popular quotes in the world of sports is, “championships are won in the offseason.” Similarly, great summer landscapes are made in the spring.

Your lawn is just waking up from the long winter season, and it is hungry for nutrients. If you want a lush, healthy lawn this summer, you need to start working on it now. Here are seven things you should get done before mid-April.

1. Clean your gutters. The start of spring is always a good time to clean out your gutters. A clean gutter system will prevent water from pouring over the edge of your roof and drowning plants close to the perimeter of your home.

2. Remove debris and dead plants. Your lawn and garden have taken a beating from the long, cold winter – it’s time to clean them up. Pick up dead branches that have fallen from surrounding trees, rake up dead leaves, and remove any unwanted growth.

3. Prune trees and shrubbery. Prune any trees and shrubs which look damaged, diseased, or dead from the winter weather. Remove any weak spots and encourage the shrub’s natural shape. Wait to prune spring shrubs until after they have finished blooming.

4. Mulch your garden beds. Mulch tends to decompose or wash away during the winter months, making now the perfect time to restock your garden beds. Using a shovel, rake, or your hands, evenly distribute the mulch until it is 2-3 inches deep.

5. Apply pre-emergent weed killer. Don’t let weeds plague your landscape this season: kill them before they have a chance to grow by applying a pre-emergent weed killer.

6. Inspect landscaping equipment. Lubricate, sharpen, and inspect the various components of your landscaping equipment. If you notice any signs of damage, have it repaired now so it is ready to go when you need it later on.

7. Repair any stone fixtures. You’ve done everything you can for the vegetation in your yard; now it’s time to turn your attention to masonry. If you have any stone fixtures, clean them off and make any necessary touch ups and repairs. If you don’t have any stone fixtures, now is the time to install one.

Devine Bros. offers the widest selection of landscaping and masonry materials in Fairfield County, Connecticut. From mulch to flagstone and everything in between, look no further than us to supply your next project. All of our products are available for pickup and delivery. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, call (203) 866-4421 to learn more, or view our product selection online.

 

Spring is Here, and Allergies Will Soon Follow

spring allergies

Spring is in the air – or is that just pollen?

While spring is generally welcomed with open arms, the 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies may not be as receptive. Luckily, there are ways to minimize your symptoms without barricading yourself in your home.

Here’s a few tips to help keep your allergies under control this season:

  • Start taking your allergy medication now, so it is working at full strength by the time peak allergy season comes around.
  • Dust, vacuum, and mop your home regularly.
  • Wash your bed sheets every week in hot water. Consider using a hypoallergenic cover on your mattress and pillows.
  • Bathe your pets twice a month, and don’t let them sleep in your bed.
  • Take off your shoes when you enter your home and leave them at the door.
  • Keep windows closed when the pollen count is high. Use the air conditioner at home and in the car.  
  • Find and remove any mold or mildew in your home.
  • Change your air filters in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Have your air ducts professionally cleaned. They could be harboring dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and other allergens.
  • Keep your humidity levels under 50% to kill dust mites.
  • Invest in a HEPA filter to remove airborne particles from your home.

Poor indoor air quality can worsen your allergies, and even lead to health problems down the road. How clean is the air in your home? If you live in Fairfield County CT, call Devine Bros. at (203) 866-4421 to schedule an air quality consultation.

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.