Why You Need a Humidifier and How to Pick the Right One

Many in the northeast despise the winter because of what happens outside: the brutal cold, the mounds of snow, and the blustering winds. But what about what’s happening inside your home—everyone zapping each other with static electricity or going through tubes of lip balm because your home lacks sufficient moisture.

Finding and maintaining the right level of moisture improves the air quality of your home, can keep you and your family healthy, and can even protect some of your belongings. Installing the right humidifier can keep your home more comfortable and energy efficient.

Why Do You Need a Humidifier?
During the winter, your heating system dries out the air inside of your home. Humidifiers are designed to replace that lost moisture to maintain optimal levels.

Besides drying out your lips and giving you the pleasure of static electricity, low moisture can:

  • Make your home feeling cooler: The lack of moisture in the air makes the air feel cooler, causing you to turn up the heat and raise heating costs. Adding moisture to the air helps you feel warmer at a lower temperature and saves you money on your heating bill.
  • Make you sick: According to the Mayo Clinic, cold viruses thrive in drier conditions. It can also dry out your mucous membranes, causing a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat. Humidification is good for your nasal passages and respiratory tract when the heat is on.
  • Hurt your skin: When the air inside your home lacks humidity, your skin, which is half-water, dries out as well. This can cause dry skin, itching, flaking, and even tightness around the joints. Overly dry air can even cause existing skin conditions, such as eczema and acne, to flare up.
  • Harm your furniture and floors. Dry air that dips below 20% humidity can actually start impacting your furniture and wood finishes. This can cause cracks, gaps between wood flooring boards, and even piano keys to become out of tune.

How Do You Find the Right Humidifier?
The ideal humidity level is between 30 and 50%. However, without a humidifier, the moisture in your home could be as much as 2/3 less than that. But that doesn’t mean you can just install any humidifier on your HVAC system and instantly solve all your problems.

When deciding on a humidifier for your home, some aspects to consider include:

  • Finding the right size: One of the most common mistakes is installing a humidifier that is too small for the size of the house or doesn’t consider other factors, such as insulation, the presence of a fireplace, or the type of heating system.
  • Finding the right type: There are many types of humidifiers, such as flow through units and mist or steam units. When deciding on a humidifier, you need to consider all of the conditions of your home. For instance, if you have hard water, a spray humidification system can be more easily clogged with mineral deposits.
  • Keeping up with maintenance: One overlooked feature of humidifiers, especially if your furnace has an evaporate-plate humidifier, is proper maintenance to make sure there is no build-up.

These are all considerations that your HVAC contractor should review with you before making a recommendation on the best humidification unit for your home.

Replenish the Moisture in Your Home Today!
Don’t wait until winter has arrived and your furnace or heating system dries out the air in your home. Call Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric today to choose and install the right humidifier for you, your family, and your home. Contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or (973) 237-0505 to set up your free consultation.

Air Purifiers Keep Your Home and Your Family Healthy

We all try to make better decisions about the food we put into our bodies and the amount of time we spend exercising. Unfortunately, many of us overlook the importance of keeping the air inside our home clean and free of toxins. The EPA estimates that the air we breathe inside our homes is two to five times dirtier than the air outside.

In order to protect your family, especially if one of the members of your family suffers from allergies or asthma, an air purifier improves the air quality of your home and can ensure that everyone will breathe easier and keep your home and family healthy.

Air Purifiers: What Do They Do?

In the simplest terms, air purifiers pull air through filters to catch harmful particles. There are different types of air purifiers, though the most common use HEPA filters. These, as part of an overall plan to remove irritating particles from your home, can reduce the pollution and help improve your family’s health.

Many families place air purifiers in one room, usually the most used room in the house such as a bedroom. However, if someone in your family suffers from severe allergies or has asthma, it may be important to have multiple air purifiers to keep your family members breathing clean air.

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

The various types of pollution that can enter your home include:

  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites

Besides cleaning the air you breathe, air purifiers can also protect your home from mold and rot. While using only the wattage between that of a table lamp and a computer, using air purifiers immediately following renovation work can protect your home by removing the contaminants in the air.

Benefits of Owning an Air Purifier

As mentioned, there are many benefits to using an air purifier, especially for those who suffer from respiratory conditions. Some of these benefits are:

  • Removing unpleasant odors
  • Trapping pet dander
  • Neutralizing smoke
  • Trapping dust
  • Catching seasonal allergens

Finding the right filtration system and air purifier for your home can reduce the prevalence of bacteria and germs so your family can avoid the sneezes and illnesses associated with those risks. However, finding the right air purifier for your family’s needs and for the room or space you plan on using it in can be a confusing process. Your HVAC contractor should be able to recommend the right unit to handle your home’s square footage and environmental issues efficiently.

Get an Air Purifier Today!

There are many reasons to install an air purifier to improve your home’s air quality and to protect your family from airborne allergens and other hazards. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we sell, install and service Carrier air filtration equipment—the best on the market. Contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or (973) 237-0505 to set up your free consultation.

Is Your HVAC Contractor Trustworthy? Here are Some Ways to Check

So, you’re ready to upgrade your heating and cooling system or perhaps you’re preparing to install your very first HVAC system in your home. Like many homeowners, you’ve called a few contractors in for estimates so you can compare pricing and packages. But have you checked beyond the price quote to make sure they are trustworthy?

As many New Jersey homeowners have discovered over the past couple of years, not all HVAC contractors are what they seem on the surface—much to the consumers’ dismay. Performing unnecessary work and driving up the cost of the job is one area to look out for. But how can consumers protect their homes and their wallets against unscrupulous contractors? Here are some tips for consumers anywhere and specifically for those in New Jersey, where we conduct business.

  1. Ask for references. Of course, any contractor will give you the best of the best from recent jobs but this will give you an opportunity to ask past customers pointed questions about the projects and garner different feedback. If the contractor balks when asked for references, or has no testimonials on the company website, walk away.
  2. Do an online search for the companies you’re interviewing. There are plenty of websites where consumers can submit reviews and others that are more industry-oriented that may have valuable information to consider.
  3. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Although not all companies are members, it only takes a minute and you might uncover unwelcome reviews and a history of complaints … or an A or A+ rating! Go to www.bbb.org for information and to find your local chapter.
  4. Contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. This agency regulates contractors and serves as an important watchdog for consumers. Make sure the companies you plan to do business with do not have complaints lodged against them. You can check online and save yourself a lot of heartache in the process.
  5. Call Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric. We take every project as seriously as if it were being installed in our own homes.
    • Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric has been voted “Best HVAC Contractor” three years in a row in Suburban Essex magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
    • Our company has also received the President’s Award from Carrier (we are a Carrier authorized factory dealer); winners of this industry honor are noted for leadership, management, customer satisfaction, expertise, business growth and operational excellence.
    • We carry an “A” rating from customers on Angie’s List and we’re now in our 11th year as an Angie’s List Super Service Award provider.

Need a quote on a new HVAC system? Want to find out more about our maintenance plans that keep your unit running at peak performance? Contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or (973) 237-0505 to set up your free consultation with the HVAC contractor hundreds of NJ customers have trusted for decades.

The Importance of Performing Maintenance on Your Standby Generator

If you’ve had a standby generator installed at your home or place of business, you’ve already taken the first really important step to ensure your power stays on in the aftermath of a storm or natural disaster. Are you maintaining your generator properly to ensure it functions at its best when you need it most?

It’s possible that your investment will last decades—20 or 30 years—if well maintained (after all, it’s not working all the time and top-quality generators are built to run for tens of thousands of hours over their lifetime). To protect that investment and your home, preventive maintenance is necessary and should be done by a certified technician. If you are in a severe environment or have experienced numerous power outages, more frequent service may be needed.

As we shared in a video earlier this year, you as the owner, can perform a visual inspection every month or have your contractor do so, especially if the generator has been running for any extended period of time. You’ll first want to make sure the area is clean of debris and that no critters have set up house inside an enclosed unit. When the unit is not running, check the oil level and maintain the level as close to full as possible. Do not overfill it.

NOTE: if the generator has been running, wait 10 minutes after it shuts down so all of the oil in the engine can drain back into the sump.

What the generator technician will check semi-annually or annually

Make sure the company you call for maintenance follows this general systems and parts inspection list, which are key to your generator’s performance:

  • Air system (combustion and cooling air) – air filters should be replaced.
  • Starters (batteries and charger)
  • Transfer switch

These last two items are often overlooked so be sure your HVAC/generator contractor is checking these, as they help power the unit.

Other routine maintenance services are to replace, clean and/or perform a visual inspection of the following:

  • Oil & oil filter
  • Spark plugs & spark wires
  • Battery terminals & cables
  • Air intake & exhaust system
  • Engine starting system
  • Fuel lines & hoses
  • Voltage input & electrical connections
  • Vibration & insulation conditions
  • Control board operation
  • Transfer switch operation & controls

This is not a complete list of standby generator maintenance points, and there may be other preventive maintenance actions required for your particular unit; your installer or your new maintenance contractor should review these with you. Of course, having a preventive maintenance contract will ensure the inspections are done right, done on time, and that proper actions are taken without out having to think about them. Want to know more? Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com to set up a consultation for your standby generator.

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared this Summer: The Importance of Semi-Annual Maintenance on Your HVAC system

With summer coming, there’s still time to make sure your central air conditioning system is ready for the heat and the pressures of the season. There are important routine maintenance tasks your HVAC professional should perform at this time of year (with others equally as important in the fall to prepare for winter).

Semi-annual system maintenance protects your system (and investment) from breakdowns which could end up costing far more to repair if problems go unnoticed. After all, it’s cost effective to fix a minor problem before it gets out of hand (and expensive to correct). Routine maintenance also ensures that your central air will run as efficiently as possible—and more reliably during peak times. Just as you wouldn’t let your car run for many thousands of miles without an oil change or engine check, the same goes for your HVAC unit.

When your air conditioning contractor shows up, ask if the following tasks are on the punch list.

  • Check the refrigerant charge – Refrigerant cools the air in your home; depending on which make and model of central air conditioning unit you have will inform how much refrigerant you need. Make sure the technician checks the refrigerant lines for any necessary repairs. Note that in the U.S., HVAC service contractors must have an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and to repair systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs) which are typically used in older air conditioning systems. Your technician must know which type to use on your unit.
  • Change the air filters – Air filters grab the billions of particles floating through your home as the air circulates, thereby delivering better air quality and protecting the system. We recommend high-efficiency pleated air filters, which have an electrostatic charge that attracts the tiniest particles, including pet dander and bacteria spores. These must be changed a few times a year to ensure your circulated air is as clean as possible, to reduce system wear and tear, and to lower energy costs by reducing the power needed to do the job.
  • Blow out the drain system – It’s important to clear debris and make sure the condensate drain for the air conditioner is not clogged. A clear drain avoids wasting energy and putting undue load on the unit (which will send out less cool air if the drain is obstructed). A properly maintained condensate drain enables the water to flow from a tray that captures it to a drain. Obstructions can cause water damage to the unit and in the winter, this can create high humidity levels promote the growth or mold or bacteria buildup.
  • Clean the condenser coil – Before any cleaning happens, the technician should remove the condenser covers or blankets outside (if you put them on in the winter) and ensure that the unit is intact after the winter. The suction line, which helps supply cool refrigerant back to the compressor in the outdoor unit, should be properly insulated (damaged insulation should be noted and addressed) to maintain optimal cooling. All debris (vegetation or trash) that has collected on and around the outdoor coil must be cleared in order to get the best possible performance from your system with good air flow. (Note: if you put mulch down around the compressor, don’t pack it too high here).

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. you can always rely on our certified HVAC technicians to perform the proper maintenance and notify you right away of potential problems … and provide you with an estimate for any repair work that they deem necessary to support your central air conditioning system. We not only pride ourselves on delivering superior customer service, our customers think the same thing; Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric has been named Best HVAC Contractor three years in a row by the readers of Suburban Essex magazine in the annual Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards, and we are recognized for superior service year after year by Angie’s List.

Prolong the life of your HVAC system, keep your energy costs in line, and avoid costly repairs. Contact us for your spring and fall HVAC maintenance or for a quote on updating your existing system or installing a new one. We’re at 973-237-0505.

Be Prepared for Windy Days!

It’s windy days like today that make you realize a home standby generator offers the comfort and security you need. With storm season approaching and thousands of New Jersey residents without power due to damaging high winds, having a Generac standby generator has become a necessity that is hard to live without. Keeping your generator operating at peak performance is important – give us a call at Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at 973-237-0505 to ask about our generator maintenance special for only $225 or learn more at: http://bloomfieldcooling.com/specials/generator-maintenance-special/

Looking for Super Service for Your Steam Boiler?

Our maintenance plans provide the customer with four levels of service: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. This allows the customer to decide how much service they would like to invest in. Looking for steam boiler service from a company that is a Best of Essex and Angie’s List Super Service award winner? Check out our steam boiler maintenance club information and discover the difference: http://bloomfieldcooling.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/New-Hot-Water-Boiler-Club-Memberships-Bust.pdf