Looking for a Hot Career? Look Into HVAC Installation and Service

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Career opportunities for HVAC installers and service technicians abound. These trained and certified technicians install, service, and repair or maintain air conditioning and heating systems, in both commercial and residential environments. Service techs are the frontline professionals who ensure that heating and air conditioning systems are running properly to deliver the best indoor climate control at peak efficiency.

Because HVAC systems vary across locations, a qualified individual must know how to install and service a range of units: forced hot air furnaces, hot water boilers, steam boilers, and ductless heating and air conditioning units. They should also know how to install and service programmable thermostats, humidifiers, and whole-home dehumidification units to best serve customers of full-service contractors.

Responsibilities & expectations of HVAC installers/service techs

  • Install a new heating and air conditioning system; lead installers will supervise the project, from ductwork in the house to the compressor outside.
  • Connect the equipment to the fuel, water, or refrigerant source
  • Verify compliance with the site plan and specifications – the lead installer must know how to read plans and understand design specs
  • Inspect and test systems –for routine calls according to a service agreement or to troubleshoot a problem
  • Test joints or connections to locate leaks
  • Repair or replace worn or defective equipment – a qualified HVAC installer will know how to repair or replace components or add new devices to boost a system’s performance and enhance indoor air quality (such as in-duct air purifiers or gernicidal Blue Tube UV lights)
  • Test electrical circuits to ensure power continuity
  • Verify that the HVAC system meets current EPA standards and recommend replacement if needed
  • Know best practices regarding proper disposal of refrigerant

As part of a maintenance call, an HVAC service technician may clean or vacuum the equipment or ductwork, oil parts, refill refrigerant, and change filters and/or humidifier pads. The technician should provide the owner with a detailed checklist of tasks performed, problems detected, and suggested remedial steps.

HVAC installers must also know how to lay out and connect the electrical writing between the controls and the equipment; that means knowing how to read and follow wiring diagrams, and handle the tools needed for the job. If you plan to do commercial work, where refrigeration is part of the job (such as hospitality venues, manufacturing/industrial properties, or certain retail establishments), you’ll be working in HVACR (R is for refrigeration) and must have that expertise and certification.

Training to be an HVAC technician or installer
A reputable HVAC contractor will look for technicians who have graduated from high school (or equivalent) and attended a good trade school or community college with courses in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration; completion of those courses or the program will result in becoming certified or earning an associate’s degree. After that, it’s best to secure an apprenticeship that provided meaningful field experience. Basic math skills are a must, given that as an installer or service tech, this person will be doing calculations of varying kinds on a daily basis. Solid computer skills or experience with electronics will give you a competitive advantage.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, all our technicians are professional and well-trained, and are all NATE-certified or are working toward their certification. NATE which stands for North American Technician Excellence, and it is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians.

HVAC sales
Another line of work for experienced installers is to go into HVAC sales for an HVAC contractor. This person:

  • Fully understands home or commercial heating and cooling systems and the different makes and models on the market
  • Can recommend the best system for the location based on multiple factors
  • Stays abreast of the latest technology that enhances performance, improves air quality, and delivers better climate control and comfort
  • Is up to date on industry trends, and government and industry regulations
  • Knows and can sell the HVAC contractor’s full capabilities – for example, the homeowner upgrading an outdated air conditioning system may live in an area prone to power outages and therefore, may also benefit from a standby generator
  • Enjoys meeting and talking to new customers

Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric is always looking for qualified HVAC installers and service technicians; we also are looking for a great HVAC sales person. If you’d like to join an award-winning company that values superior customer service and satisfaction, offers competitive pay and benefits, and rewards a job well done, contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

Importance of HVAC Service Agreements for your Residential System

Installing a high-quality heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system in your home is the first step to improving indoor air comfort. The second step: make sure that HVAC system is running properly with a service agreement or maintenance plan.

Having the appropriate service agreement in place helps to ensure your heating and air conditioning system is running at its best; it also helps detect and remedy problems before they lead to breakdowns. Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric offers a range of plans specific to various types of systems as well as prepaid agreements for a specific set of services.

Benefits of an HVAC service plan

  • A service plan saves you money. You’ll know up front how much the routine service call costs, and depending on the service level you sign up for, you’ll receive discounts on certain parts, diagnostic visits, and labor on repairs. Plus, routine maintenance avoids costly emergency visits and repairs.
  • A service plan provides you with documentation. You’ll have an audit trail that shows what was checked, problems that were noticed, and remedial steps taken for each visit.
  • Regular service heightens system efficiency. These days, consumers seek the more energy-efficient HVAC units available—and they want to keep their systems running at peak performance.
  • Regular service extends your system’s lifespan. Protect your investment by taking care of issues or make repairs before they cause a breakdown.

HVAC service tips:
1: Ask your HVAC contractor if the company offers maintenance plans for a variety of heating and cooling systems: forced hot air, air conditioning, steam boilers, and hot water boilers. You need to be sure the technicians know how to work on your particular unit or, if you upgrade or make a system change, that the company will be able to service your new equipment. You can read about the different plans we offer at https://bloomfieldcooling.com/maintenance-plans/basic-information/.
2: Make sure your HVAC contractor is sending technicians who are not only well-trained but who are also certified by NATE, or North American Technician Excellence. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, all our technicians are NATE-certified or are working toward their certification.
3: We invite readers to take advantage of our spring AC tune-up special: save $50 on the visit by May 31, 2019. Details are at https://bloomfieldcooling.com/specials/air-conditioning-tune-up-special/. If you have a standby home generator, we strongly recommend a service agreement for that critical piece of equipment as well.

Why a Dehumidifier is an Important Part of Your Home’s HVAC System

It doesn’t take a flood from a storm or broken pipes to require the work of a dehumidifier to help dry out a basement. In general, basements are damp and humid, creating an environment that can harbor mildew or mold. However, it’s not just obvious water problems in your basement that can cause issues in your home; excessive moisture builds up everywhere. Cooking, cleaning, and showering add moisture to your indoor air. That’s why a whole-home dehumidifier is such an important element in your HVAC system.

A whole-home dehumidifier will improve your indoor air quality and your family’s comfort for several reasons.

Excessive moisture can aggravate allergies, create musty odors, or show up as mold and mildew on surfaces. It is also a breeding ground for dust mites when the relative humidity exceeds 50 percent. Anyone with asthma or other allergies that are triggered by mold and mildew will be glad to have a drier home!

A home with chronically high humidity may also suffer, with warping or damage to wood trim and floors. Humidity is also trapped in fabrics (furniture, draperies, and carpeting) and may damage photographs—anything that is sensitive to high humidity.

Excessive humidity also causes the air in your home to feel warmer, which may lead you to crank up the air conditioning when it’s not truly necessary. With an installed dehumidifier, you’ll be less likely to overcool your home (which will help keep down your energy use and costs).

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we install Aprilaire whole-home dehumidifiers as part of your heating and cooling system; it can also be installed as a standalone unit. It automatically removes the proper amount of moisture from every room throughout the entire house. With this type of humidity control you:

  • Reduce growth of dust mites, mold and other contaminants that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms
  • Get rid of the cold, clammy air and mildew odors everywhere.
  • Protect your furnishings and structure against warping or worse
  • Enhance your home’s energy efficiency – lower humidity means you’ll feel cooler at a higher temperature

The model we install (Model #1850) can remove up to nearly 12 gallons of water a day—but let’s hope you are never in the position to need that! This industry-leading, high-capacity whole-home dehumidifier is ducted to your HVAC system; it has an easy-to-use interactive display and is low maintenance. Your Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric technician will check it and clean or replace the filter as needed once a year as part of your maintenance.

With warm weather ahead, consider installing an Aprilaire whole-home dehumidifier. You’ll have less reason to crank up the AC, your family will be more comfortable, and anyone with sensitivities to moisture-induced contaminants will breathe easier—and more easily—with drier air throughout your home. Call us at 973-237-0505 to make an appointment.

Spring is Nearly Here – and so is Spring HVAC Maintenance Season

The temperatures in northern New Jersey are still fluctuating between winter cold and hints of warmer spring—but at Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we’re gearing up for spring maintenance season for our customers’ HVAC systems. In fact, we’re ready to go with routine semi-annual service calls on the first 50-degree day.

Your HVAC professional should perform several important routine maintenance tasks and system checks to ensure your central air conditioning will be ready to run properly when the warm weather hits. Plus, given the frigid temperatures we’ve endured this winter, your hard-working system will need some TLC from the technician.

Semi-annual maintenance protects your HVAC system by finding and fixing potential problems before they become costly repairs. Your air conditioning contractor should include the following tasks in a spring maintenance check:

  • Check the refrigerant charge – Refrigerant is what cools the air in your home. The technician should check the refrigerant lines for any necessary repairs. Make sure the HVAC service contractor has an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and to repair older systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs). IMPORTANT: Your technician must know which type to use on your unit.
  • Change the air filters – As the air circulates through your home, the air filters attract and grab billions of airborne particles. This helps the HVAC system deliver better air quality and protects the system. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we recommend high-efficiency pleated air filters; their electrostatic charge attracts the tiniest particles, including bacteria spores and pet dander (a common allergen). Changing the air filters a few times a year keeps circulated air as clean as possible, reduces system wear and tear, and lowers energy costs by increasing the system’s efficiency.
  • Clean the condenser coil – Make sure the technician removes the condenser covers or blankets outside (if you put them on in the winter) to check on the unit’s condition. The suction line (which helps supply cool refrigerant to the compressor outdoors), should be properly insulated to maintain optimal cooling; damaged insulation should be noted and addressed. Any vegetation or trash that has collected on and around the outdoor coil must be cleared; this enables the system to deliver the best possible performance with good air flow.
  • Clear out the drain system – The technician will clear debris and check that the air conditioner’s condensate drain is not clogged. A properly maintained condensate drain lets 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 that promote mold growth or bacteria buildup. In addition, a clear drain avoids putting undue load on the unit and improves efficiency (an obstructed drain will send out less cool air).

Routine maintenance can also reveal other issues that may require some additional attention, such as mold, which affects indoor air quality and your health. Last year we told you about the REME HALO and the Blue-Tube UV light that purify indoor air of allergens, and prevent and kill mold in your AC unit. The technician should make a note regarding the presence of mold and your HVAC contractor should offer recommendations for remediation. In addition, the contractor should provide you with an estimate for any repair work the technician has noted to support your central air conditioning system.

As we know, North Jersey gets a lot of rain in the spring and basements can be very damp and humid. Installing a dehumidifier in the basement will help prevent mold and odors there during the summer time. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we recommend, sell and install high-quality, durable Aprilaire dehumidifiers that actually filter and condition the air. The water is pumped into a sink or drain so there’s no need to empty a water basin. They’ll keep the basement or other environments much fresher and healthier.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. we make your HVAC tune-ups easier to schedule and afford with our flexible maintenance plans. Prolong the life of your HVAC system, keep your energy costs in line, and avoid costly repairs. Contact our award-winning team at 973-237-0505 for your spring HVAC maintenance or for a quote on updating your existing system or installing a new one.

The New Cor™ Thermostat – Smart Energy Control for Your Home

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we’re all about helping our customers boost their energy efficiency and save money on utility bills with the best equipment on the market. That why we are such big fans of Carrier’s Côr™ C smart thermostats. These Energy Star®-certified thermostats enable homeowners to control their home’s temperature and energy use from anywhere—and maximize their HVAC system’s efficiency.

The sleek thermostat is a fully programmable seven-day unit that:

  • Has an easy-to-use full-color touchscreen (similar to a smartphone)
  • Is a fully connected, Wi-Fi® capable, smart-home unit
  • Comes equipped with energy savings intelligence and reduces your energy use. In fact, according to Carrier, homeowners who install Côr™ thermostats save an average of 20% on their heating and cooling energy costs.*

Smart technology. Because Côr™ is “smart,” it learns your family’s comfort preferences and can manage it all for you if you wish. Its features enable the thermostat to adapt beyond manual programming for greater efficiency.  For example, it can make modifications to your home’s temperature control based on outdoor weather conditions. The thermostat can adjust indoor humidity It even gives you your local four-day weather forecast. Plus, Côr™ automatically downloads the latest software updates for all models to ensure your thermostat is always performing at its best.

Connectivity. You can control your settings remotely via the internet and connect and check in on your system—from any room in the house or wherever you happen to be—with the free mobile app for Apple® and Android™ devices To enhance your “energy IQ,” you can log into the web portal for detailed reports on your home’s energy consumption to help you make smarter decisions about your optimal temperate control settings and schedule. It even provides customized energy-saving tips based on your usage and environment. It’s all part of creating a more connected home.

Flexibility. Côr™ is compatible with many brands of HVAC systems and for homes with a Carrier heat pump and furnace, the device’s energy-smart design can stretch your energy dollars further by acting as what’s called a Hybrid Heat® system. Your Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric technician can explain how that works to save on fuel consumption.

As an added bonus, as your Carrier Côr™ dealer, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric also connects to your unit to receive reports on your system in order to detect problems proactively, for remote troubleshooting, and to determine if maintenance is required.

We can install a new Côr™ smart thermostat any time, so give us a call at (973) 237-0505. It installs easily and we can do it as part of a routine maintenance appointment or service call.

*Based on a 2012 third-party study comparing Carrier® Côr™ technology to the estimated cost of a non-programmable thermostat set to 72°F at all times.

Start a Hot Career as a Generator Technician

Photo: Generac

As we know in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex and other northern NJ counties, severe storms can wreak havoc with power supplies—fueling the need for standby home generators. Given the growing demand (some would say, need) for standby home generators in northern New Jersey, it’s now wonder that generator technician is a job that’s growing in popularity—and is a professional who is definitely in demand in our area.

A generator technician services and installs generator systems and related equipment. These often run on heavy diesel or gas-fueled combustion engines, and are used to provide electrical power to homes when power lines are down or due to other service interruptions. This specialized mechanic installs generators, makes generator repairs, testis and monitors the engines’ combustion systems, and ensures the energy output is efficient. In some cases, it may also be necessary transport or dispose of hazardous and flammable materials as part of these service calls.

Qualifications for generator technicians

Technicians should have the field experience or a trade school background necessary to be fully trained in standby generator installation, maintenance, and repair. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we are busy installing and maintaining standby generators throughout northern New Jersey—so much so, in fact, that we are hiring. As a certified, authorized Generac dealer and installer, we provide training and certification classes for Generac generators (of course, we also service other generator brands). Our technicians get plenty of experience working on top-of-the-line equipment for our customers in Passaic, Essex, Bergen, and Hudson counties.

If you’re a generator technician looking to make a change, or you’d like to become a generator technician, contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric about job opportunities. We offer a competitive salary with benefits, a great work environment, and a lot of satisfied customers who’ve helped us earn 12 Angie’s List Super Service awards and multiple Best of Essex awards as Best HVAC Company. Call (973) 237-0505 or email info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

Is Your HVAC System the Correct Size for Your Home?

Is Your HVAC System the Correct Size - Bloomfield CoolingYou rely on your HVAC system to provide a comfortable environment in your home; but if the system in not the correct size, that will have a big (and negative) impact on your energy consumption and costs. Therefore, it is crucial that your HVAC contractor take all key factors into account when making the load calculation that determines the size of your residential system heating and air conditioning system. This all concerns the capacity of the system to adequately heat or cool your home with maximum efficiency.

An HVAC system that is too small will keep on running without providing adequate comfort. A system that’s oversized is inefficient in another way, with compressors that run cycles that are too short. These sizing errors are often due to basing the system solely on the home’s square footage.

Proper load calculation

The load calculation helps your HVAC contractor design the system properly. This includes the number, size and location of air ducts, and properly sizing the equipment to optimize comfort and efficiency. Aside from the home’s square footage and layout (an open floor plan will have different needs than more small and separate spaces), other factors to consider in a general load calculation are:

  • Potential heat loss/heat gain of the home depending on exposure and setting (full sun all day or shady environment, for example)
  • Ceiling height
  • Type of insulation in the walls; doors and windows in the home
  • How/where the heat and air conditioning will be distributed (rooms to be heated/cooled, ductwork)
  • Other heat sources that may affect cooling

HOT TIP: Find out if the contractor is following Manual J® residential load calculations (the industry standard) and for installation, the Quality Installation guidelines from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the American National Standards Institute’s Standard 5.

Knowing when it’s right

When the load calculation is done correctly and your HVAC system is properly sized and installed:

  • You should not hear the system run or hear the air moving through the ductwork. A quiet system indicates ducts are the right size, air velocity is correctly calibrated and the fans are using the right amount of power.
  • There should not be any odors nor an unusual amount of dust (these indicate leaky ductwork).
  • The air temperature should be even throughout all zones. You can check this by going room to room; changes in comfort level may mean the air distribution system is not properly sized, installed or balanced.
  • Your utility bills should be lower since presumably, your system is more efficient and operating as expected.

Of course, you always want to use a licensed and insured HVAC contractor to protect you and your home, and to ensure that only certified, well-trained technicians are doing all the installation and/or repair work. To discuss your needs—whether retrofitting an existing HVAC system with upgraded equipment or installing a new system—contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric for a consultation: 973-237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

How to Choose a Quality, Reliable HVAC Contractor

Like any type of contractor, choosing a good HVAC contractor takes some vetting on the homeowner’s part. Here are some things to look for and look into before you sign that contract for a new heating & air conditioning system for your home.

  1. The HVAC contractor should be licensed. No one can afford to have an unlicensed individual working on their gas lines, disposing properly of refrigerant, or performing electrical work. In New Jersey, HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) contractors are licensed by the State Board of Examiners This entity protects consumers by ensuring that the HVACR contractor does all work in compliance with State law, and that the contractors meet all educational and other requirements for licensure. Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. is Master HVACR Contractor #19HC00144800
  2. Get written estimates. There is no such thing as a real quote over the phone. Compare cost, energy efficiency and warranties among the various bids you get from licensed and insured contractors. The one you select should adhere to the written bid.
  3. Expect a thorough in-home evaluation. The HVAC contractor needs to survey your home thoroughly, measure the rooms, examine your insulation and existing ducting (if applicable), and look at many other factors that go into the calculation for your custom HVAC installation.
  4. The new system should be right-sized for your home. Size and load is very important to ensure your home will be comfortable all year ’round and that the system is not overtaxed in terms of heating and cooling efficiently.
  5. How to Choose a Reliable HVAC Contractor - Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric

  6. Make sure your new unit is really new. The average lifespan of an HVAC unit is about years (in terms of its efficiency), and technology continually improves system and energy efficiency. Don’t get stuck with the company’s old inventory! A properly licensed HVAC contractor will recommend newer options to bring your home up to date. It’s helpful to know the make and model of your current system, its age, and its maintenance history as a baseline.
  7. Don’t always go with price. You know the expression, “You get what you pay for?” There’s a reason why it’s true! With your HVAC system being the most complicated (or only) mechanical system in your home, it pays to go with the contractor who delivers the best value for the money—in terms of equipment, service, and support. The most inexpensive bid may cost you more in the long run because of unanticipated maintenance and repairs or higher energy costs due to an insufficient system.
  8. Get referrals, read reviews, research. Ask your friends and family who they refer for this important project and go online to read reviews from customers. Also ask the HVAC contractor for references and contact them for find out about the installation experience and service performance. Check the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any legitimate complaints lodged against the company.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, all our technicians are properly trained and certified to perform the work they do in your home—whether a new installation, routine maintenance, or system repair. And, our company is licensed and insured to meet all State of New Jersey requirements, and a multiple award winner for the high level of service we deliver to our customers throughout northern New Jersey. For a free evaluation of your current HVAC system or information about installing a new one, contact us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or 973-237-0505.

Generator Season is Here – Are You Prepared?

Bloomfield Cooling Generac GeneratorWhether it’s a hurricane or tropical storm, blizzard or ice storm, major weather events wreak havoc due to flooding, downed trees and power lines. For homeowners with a reliable standby generator, power outages present less of a problem. That said, it’s critical that you perform regular generator maintenance and have your fall maintenance done on your HVAC system so the equipment works as expected during the coming months.

Last month, we reminded readers to run the generator’s self-test. There are also minor maintenance operations you should do, such as keeping the area around the unit free of debris and checking the oil level (when the unit is not running); keep it as close to full as possible (but don’t overfill it).

Beyond that, full preventive maintenance should be done yearly or twice a year, depending on the environmental conditions and how often the generator runs. This routine maintenance should be performed by a certified technician, to ensure everything is properly checked and corrected, and to maintain your unit’s warranty.

Preventive generator maintenance
Your HVAC/generator contractor will check the air system, engine starting system, and transfer switch operation and controls. It is crucial that the tech checks the starter (battery and charger) and transfer switch, since these two items help power the unit. Obviously, if they are not working, neither will the generator. In addition, the technician should replace, clean and/or visually inspect the:

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

Depending on the make and model of your standby generator, there may be other preventive maintenance actions required.

To make it easy for you to get your standby generator checked, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric is running a special of just $225 for your generator maintenance. We are an authorized Generac dealer but service multiple makes of standby generators. If you have not yet installed a new generator, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric also offers 12-month interest-free financing for those who qualify, on installations of new generators as well as HVAC systems.

Fall HVAC system maintenance
Before you know it, it will be time to turn on (and keep on) the heat. Is your central HVAC system ready for winter?

Homeowners are advised to perform some simple routine maintenance checks every month to help keep their HVAC system running properly. These include checking and changing out the air filters if they are dirty or clogged, keeping vents clean and free of dust, and making sure the outdoor compressors are free of debris (leaves, sticks, dirt, etc.)

The technician should go through a comprehensive checklist of your heating system to check filters and inspect electrical switches, belts, contacts, motors, safety switches, gas pressure, and refrigerant levels. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, our certified technicians will take care of any components that need replacing, alert you to any potential issues, and make recommendations for remedial steps to take. Our team services forced hot air systems as well as steam boilers and hot water boilers. You can read more about our various maintenance plans and services for your heating and air conditioning systems here.

Don’t wait for the leaves to fall to get your HVAC system or standby generator checked out and properly maintained—when the storm hits or the temperatures drop, you’ll want to know with confidence that your equipment will run as expected. Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com to set up your maintenance appointment.

Keep Your Standby Generator Standing By 24/7

Running the self-test is an important part of your generator’s maintenance plan

Standby generators are the gold standard for emergency electrical power for your home or small business. When there’s an outage, the generator kicks in automatically and provides service for hours or days, energizing your fridge, phone and all your essentials. It will do the job whenever you need it—if you do your job to maintain it properly.

Once a standby generator is permanently installed in your yard, it will last a long time if well-maintained, potentially 20 years or more. The self-testing feature is a primary reason these generators are so reliable.

How self-testing works
Each week, the standby generator turns itself on for about 10 minutes, based on a programmed schedule. The day and time can be set from the control board, and for convenience, your installer can program your unit to run self-tests weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.

The Generac11kW Home Backup Generator, WiFi enabled. Photo, Generac Power Systems, Inc.Any problem that’s detected is read by a remote indoor monitor that transmits data to your maintenance team, who will determine if your generator needs service.

Also important: the test charges the 12-volt car battery the generator uses so it’s ready to go the moment a blackout occurs.

Is it noisy?
Most generators are relatively quiet during the self-test, like a car idling in your driveway. Some of the best standby generators on the market, like the Generac Guardian series, have recently been enhanced to further lower the decibel level.

Be sure to listen for and monitor the results of these exercises. You can also read the display inside your generator to gather all the data points from the last test run. Another simple visual inspection: check the external indicator light, which should be green if it’s running properly. Red indicates an operating problem and requires a service visit by a certified technician to keep the warranty intact.

Remote access to data
If you’re away from home, don’t worry. The Generac Guardian series and other top-of-the-line generators have remote Wi-Fi monitoring capability. Weekly data results can be transmitted to a smartphone, tablet, or PC.

“Our customers can check the status of their generators even when they’re at work or on vacation,” notes Mike DeJoseph, owner of Bloomfield Cooling, Heating, & Electric, Inc. “If they get an alert that their generator is running when it shouldn’t, or if there’s an operational problem, they can contact us right away so we can check out the issue.”

Maintenance to-do list

  • Monitor oil levels monthly, or more when the generator is running for longer periods of time; be sure the breaker and unit are off before pulling out the dipstick. Oil levels are key to maintaining the warranty.
  • Keep the area around the unit clear and easily accessible, especially near the intake and exhaust areas. The generator needs air to work properly. Leaves, snow, or nesting birds and animals can all interfere with operation.

Scheduled inspections
A factory certified technician should fully inspect your generator annually or more depending on usage and more extreme weather. Make sure the installer or contractor has a comprehensive checklist for your specific unit which includes:

  • Starters and alternators
  • Transfer switch operation and controls (detects service interruption and disconnects your house from the utility)
  • Air (intake and exhaust, filter replacement)
  • Electrical connections and voltage input
  • Fuel lines and hoses
  • Oil and oil filter (change at least twice a year)
  • Load testing (to verify overall reliability to run at full kW output)

For ultimate peace of mind, Bloomfield Cooling, Heating, & Electric, Inc. offers a preventive maintenance contract, which ensures inspections are done correctly, thoroughly, and on time. We are a factory authorized dealer for Generac and offer certified service for Generac and Honeywell generators, the industry’s leading brands. Your work is always performed by certified technicians from a multiple-award-winning HVAC company.

Check our website to read about standby generator and our latest generator maintenance specials; then call us at (973) 237-0505 to set up your appointment or for more information.