Category : home comfort

Selling Your Home? Here are 6 Things to Consider Doing

plumbing service

Are you considering selling your home? Don’t let little problems get in your way. There are several things you can do to make sure that your home is appealing to visitors and potential buyers. Here are some suggestions from our HVAC and plumbing service experts:

Updating your entryway

One of the first things a visitor will notice about your home is your entryway. Liven it up by giving your front door a fresh coat of paint (or even replacing it, if it’s outdated) and hanging or planting some colorful flowers. You can also add a welcome mat and a door wreath for an added warm welcome.

Replacing your HVAC system

If your HVAC system is old and inefficient, it won’t be much of a selling point to a potential buyer. Talk to the experts at Oliver about replacing your system; we carry an array of gas, electric, and oil furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and more. We’ll help you figure out which system is the best fit for your needs and your budget.

Fixing leaks

Whether it’s your shower head, kitchen sink, bathroom faucet, or outdoor spigot, no one likes a leaky fixture. You’ll give the impression that your home is old and not taken care of, which can lower your chances of selling. If you’re unsure how to fix the leak yourself, give us a call. Even slow leaks can lead to several gallons of water lost every week, so limit your water waste and make your home buyer-ready.

Adding a deck

When it comes to home improvement projects that have a successful payback, a deck is definitely one of them. A deck increases your living space and allows for outdoor entertainment. Just by building a 16×20 ft. pressure-treated wood deck with a simple layout, you can look forward to an up to 90% payback when you go to sell your home. Our home remodeling team can help you design and build your very own deck – just call us and set up an appointment!

Updating hardware

If you don’t have the money to replace or refinish your cabinets, a simple hardware update can spruce them up and give them a whole new look. The same goes for other hardware like doorknobs and drawer pulls. Choose pieces that give your home a modern, yet elegant look.

Revising your landscaping

Before visitors notice your entryway, they’ll notice your landscaping – which means they’ll notice if you haven’t updated it in years. Take the time to trim up your trees and shrubs, replace dead plants, and add some new pieces to complement the size and shape of your home. You can even add some in-season flowers for a colorful pop.


The Benefits of an HVAC Zoning System

HVAC repair service

If you haven’t heard of an HVAC zoning system, the experts at Oliver would like to enlighten you a little bit about its benefits: If you’re interested in saving money while increasing the comfort of your home, we suggest a zoning solution. Not only will you be able to turn the thermostat up or down in various areas in the house, you’ll also enjoy being constantly comfortable. For a few points on why so many homeowners have invested in the system, read below:

Convenience

Being able to control the temperature in each area of your home is extremely convenient. Not only can you adjust the thermostat according to each room’s size, but you’ll never have to go out of your way to do it. (Think about the convenience of waking up in the middle of the night and not having to go all the way downstairs to adjust the temperature.)

Savings

By choosing a comfort system with zoning, you’ll only use energy when you need it, which can save you money on your monthly energy bills. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint and be a bigger part of the “green” movement.

Comfort

When people think of home, they think of comfort, and having a thermostat in each part of your home means you’ll always be comfortable. If your kitchen is always hotter than your bedroom, or your basement is much colder than the rest of the house, you’ll be able to adjust their temperatures accordingly and never be too hot or too cold.

HVAC Lifespan

Zoning systems work best when they are installed with your heating and cooling system. Units with a compatible communicating system will be able to run at maximum efficiency. By not working your unit as hard, you’ll prolong its lifespan and won’t have to worry about wearing it out (or relying on our HVAC repair service).

If you’re interested in turning your home into a comfortable, efficient space, give us a call to set up a free, no-obligation in-home estimate.


5 Things That Contribute to Indoor Air Pollution

indoor air experts

We spend most of our lives indoors and much of this time is spent at home, so why breathe indoor air that’s dirty? At Oliver, we know clean indoor air can mean a happier, healthy life – especially for those who suffer from breathing problems or allergies. Here are five things that can contribute to indoor air pollution and lead to coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, and even more serious situations:

Dirty Ducts

As air flows through your home, airborne particles are pulled into your ductwork and after awhile, you’ll begin breathing these particles as they start circulating through your home. Keeping your ductwork clean is an important part of keeping your indoor air clean and with a duct cleaning from our indoor air experts, we can get rid of the dust, dirt, dander, and more that have been circulating through your system.

Humidity

Moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which means if your home is too humid, you could be at risk for breathing in mold spores. Not only is this unhealthy, but it can cause problems for those who are allergic to mold. Investing in a dehumidifier can reduce the amount of moisture in your home and help your family breathe easier.

Smoke

If someone in your family is a smoker and does so indoors, they’re adding a variety of airborne pollutants to your indoor air. (In fact, they say the air pollution caused by cigarettes is up to 10 times worse than diesel car exhaust.) Pollutants can also come from cigars and E-cigarettes, which many people are turning to these instead of traditional cigarettes. While E-cigarette smoke isn’t as bad as cigarette smoke, it can still dirty indoor air.

Pet Dander

Many people believe that pet dander simply refers to hair, but this isn’t true. Pet dander is actually dried skin cells that fall off of your pet and either float around in the air or settle on surfaces. Many times, these cells attach to your pet’s hair and when their hair falls off, it can bring dander with it. With a mix of hair and dander floating around your home, you’re likely to breathe it in on a regular basis.

Dirty Filters

Homeowners tend to run their heat or air conditioning without thinking about their HVAC filters. However, your filters can only trap so much dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and more. Once they’re filled, your HVAC system will circulate these particles throughout your home, so our indoor air experts recommend regular HVAC maintenance. Change your filter every three months or so – even more frequently if you have pets or someone in your family smokes.

Don’t expose your family to dirty indoor air – take action to keep it clean and keep your family healthy. Change your HVAC filters, vacuum your carpets, dust your surfaces, and clean your air ducts on a regular basis and you’ll have a happy, clean environment.


What Happens When You Don’t Maintain Your HVAC System?

HVAC maintenance

At Oliver, we’re always telling our customers how important HVAC maintenance is. A reliable HVAC maintenance plan can keep your unit running smoothly, improve its reliability, and extend its lifespan. Some of our service calls are made because the HVAC unit hasn’t been properly maintained. Here are some things that could happen when you don’t have a maintenance plan:

Improperly Functioning Thermostat

When your thermostat doesn’t function properly, your HVAC unit may not turn on when it’s supposed to or turn off when it’s supposed to. Not only is this bad for the unit, but it also affects the comfort of you and your family.

Dirty Coils

Your HVAC unit’s evaporator coil is located on your indoor unit and works much like a radiator to make sure that the air flowing through your ductwork is heated or cooled properly. A dirty evaporator coil can restrict airflow, which can also dramatically reduce your unit’s efficiency. The dirt can also harbor mold and mildew, giving your indoor air poor quality.

During the summer, your outside HVAC unit’s condenser coil is responsible for eliminating the hot air that is sent to it. The cleaner the coil, the more efficiently it can handle the hot air. If your condenser coil is dirty, your unit’s efficiency can dramatically drop, hiking up your energy bills and reducing the unit’s lifespan.

Dirty Filter

The role of an HVAC air filter is to filter out pollen, allergens, dander, and other airborne particles that can harm your health. A good air filter will give you high-quality indoor air that can not only prevent illnesses but also shorten them. When your air filter is dirty, airborne particles aren’t filtered; instead, they enter your home through your ductwork and are breathed in by you and your family.

Blocked Condenser

Your condenser is one of the most important parts of your HVAC unit. It’s responsible for desuperheating, condensing, and subcooling to make sure the air that flows through your home is the right temperature. A blocked condenser means the heat transfer that usually occurs won’t be able to take place and the condenser’s temperature will rise. When this happens, your HVAC unit won’t operate efficiently and if not taken care of, your condenser could burn out.

Leaks

Leaks in an HVAC unit can be caused by several common scenarios: the drain hole is blocked with dirt or debris, the condenser pump is broken, the seals on your unit aren’t tight, or your hose is clogged or blocked. All of these things can occur if you don’t properly maintain your HVAC unit.

Power Malfunctions

As part of our maintenance plan, we’ll perform an annual 21-point inspection where we’ll make sure that your HVAC unit can power up properly and power down properly. If it can’t, you’ll run into a lot of frustration when your home is too warm or too cool and you can’t run your unit properly in order to adjust the thermostat.

Dirty Blower

The role of your HVAC’s blower is to circulate the warm or cool air throughout your home. When it gets dirty, it requires more energy to operate, which increases your energy bills. If a blower gets dirty enough, it will fail and once it fails, it’s a sign that more problems are to come. If this happens, many HVAC companies recommend replacing your entire HVAC system.


Why a Humidifier Is Beneficial in Cold Weather

heating and cooling contractors

Winter is in full force and to help combat its effects, our heating and cooling contractors suggest investing in a humidifier for your home.  A humidifier can not only improve your overall comfort, but it can also:

Cure dry skin.

Does it ever seem that no matter how many times you moisturize your skin, it just won’t stay moisturized? That’s all thanks to the dry, cold temperatures of winter. With a humidifier, however, the air in your home will stay moist and your skin won’t dry out as easily (which includes those chapped lips).

Make you feel warmer.

When there is moisture in the air, it feels warmer to your body (which is why a humid summer day feels much hotter than a dry summer day). By investing in a humidifier, you’ll not only feel warmer, but you’ll save money on your energy bills because you won’t have to use or turn up your heat as much.

Stop snoring.

Even though snoring is caused by obstructed airways, a humidifier can help moisturize those airways and the overall respiratory system to lessen the loudness and intensity of your snoring.

Prevent and shorten illnesses.

The small hairs in your nose are meant to trap harmful viruses and bacteria so that you don’t get sick. When the air you breathe is dry, the hairs in your nose can’t produce mucous and as a result, they won’t be able to trap particles. Adding moisture to the air can not only prevent you from becoming ill, but it can also shorten the length of your illness by soothing your symptoms.

Control static electricity.

You know it’s winter again when all of your clothes start sticking together or nearly everything you touch gives you a jolt. The drier the environment, the more chance for static electricity; invest in a humidifier and you won’t see as much of it.

Reduce sinus/asthma discomfort.

Aching sinuses, allergies, and asthma can be aggravating – especially in the winter. Add moisture to your air, however, and you’ll notice that your discomfort will be greatly reduced.


Why a Home Generator Is a Good Idea This Winter

home electrical service

If you’ve been thinking about a backup generator for your home, our home electrical service experts can say that the idea is a great investment – especially during the winter. While the upfront costs of a generator may seem high, keep in mind that there are many benefits to installing one for you and your family:

Continue reading


Don’t Miss Our Heat for the Holidays Program

Here in the Northeast, heat is an essential element for the winter season and we know there are some families that simply can’t afford a reliable heating system. That’s why each year around the holidays, Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical likes to help those in need by donating heaters.

Continue reading


When to Clean Your Air Ducts

Enjoy Fresh Air on a Regular Basis

When it comes to air ducts, there’s no set amount of time you should leave between cleanings; duct cleaning should be done on an “as-needed” basis and in general, is good to do every couple years.

How dirty your ducts get depends on many factors including: your home’s location, the size of your home, how many people live there, if family members smoke, if you have pets, etc.

The warm or cool air that blows out through your vents travels around your home and picks up airborne particles like dust, dirt, dander, mold, pollen, allergens, tar and nicotine (if members of your family smoke cigarettes). The air is then pulled back into your HVAC system and is recirculated over and over. As these particles travel through your home’s ducts, some get trapped and build up. Over time, the traveling air picks these particles up and before you know it, you’re breathing in more and more particles that could harm your health.

By cleaning your home’s ductwork, you’ll not only reduce your chances of illness, you’ll also improve the lifespan of your HVAC system and reduce your energy costs. In addition, to keep your home’s air even more clean, be sure to change your HVAC filter every one to three months (depending on the type).

At Oliver, we have a team of air duct cleaners that can remove harmful buildup and have you and your family breathing clean air in no time. If you’re not sure if your ducts need cleaning, give us a call today for a free over-the-phone estimate or schedule an appointment.


10 Reasons to Invest in an HVAC Maintenance Plan

Here at Oliver, we want you to have an HVAC system that’s perfect for your home, but we know it can be a big investment. That’s why we’ve created a variety of HVAC maintenance plans. On a regular basis, our experts will inspect your system and make sure that it’s running smoothly. Here are the top 10 reasons to have an Oliver maintenance plan:

10. Discounts

As a maintenance plan member, you’ll automatically get a 10% (or more) discount on diagnostic fees and any repairs our experts may need to make.

9. Filter Replacement

A clean filter traps dust, dirt, and other allergens better than a dirty filter, so we’ll replace your standard filter to keep your air clean. We can also supply specialty filters to meet your family’s needs.

8. Tune-Ups

With our variety of maintenance plans, you can enjoy a precision heating and/or cooling tune-up that will test your thermostat operation, motor, wiring connections, drainage system, and more.

7. Warranties

No matter what goes wrong, we stand behind our work with a two year Parts & Labor Warranty on every repair.

6. Priority Service

As a maintenance service client, you’ll get priority service over those who don’t have a plan – which means faster repairs.

5. Free Estimates

Need some work done? Our experts will give you a free estimate for equipment replacement and kitchen or bath renovations so you know exactly what you’ll be paying.

4. Equipment Replacement Program

Become a member of our VIP Loyalty Club and you could earn up to $100 every year toward the purchase of a new HVAC system from Oliver.

3. Emergency Service

If you discover a problem with your HVAC system, simply call us. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make any repairs or replacements you may need.

2. Annual Inspections

Each year, our experts perform a 21-point heating inspection and 21-point cooling inspection, then make necessary adjustments to ensure everything is running smoothly.

1. Peace of Mind

The #1 reason to have an Oliver HVAC maintenance plan is peace of mind. You’ll be able to sit back and relax, knowing that your system is running at its best and that if anything goes wrong, we’re always here to help.

If you’re interested in an HVAC maintenance plan, click here for more details or give us a call today!


Natural Gas Costs to Increase This Winter

natural-gas

According to ACCUWeather and the U.S. Energy Information Administration, this year’s winter is set to be colder and longer than past winters (especially if you live east of the Rocky Mountains). In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the Northeast will be 17% colder than it was last year, although the colder temperatures may be slow to start.

With colder temperatures in the forecast, homeowners will be turning to their heaters on a more regular basis during the winter months. According to the EIA’s Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook, heating oil users will use the most energy (a 38% increase) while electricity users will use the least (a 5% increase) compared to last year. Propane users and natural gas users are predicted for similar increases, at 26% and 22% respectively.

Even though all types of homeowners will be using more energy this year, only natural gas users (about half of all Americans), will have to cope with higher prices. The cost of natural gas is predicted to be 11% higher than last winter, making it at its highest since the winter of 2010-2011.

In an article by npr.org, Jeff Brady says, “Your overall bill will depend on where you live. The agency reports that an entire winter’s worth of natural gas heating for the average home will be $635. In the Northeast it will be nearly $900 [because] pipeline bottlenecks have pushed up prices in the region.”

If you’re in need of a new natural gas heater, talk to one of our heating experts today. We can help you choose an energy efficient model to save you as much as possible this winter.