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.

Hot News about Air Conditioning Refrigerant

Many older air conditioners and refrigerators once used Freon, the trade name for R-22 and certain other refrigerants and aerosol propellants manufactured by The Chemours Company. However, the product was banned in 2015 by the Environmental Protection Agency and it is scheduled to be completely phased out by 2020. The EPA deemed R-22 and other chlorofluorocarbons to be hazardous to the environment by causing ozone depletion.

Although R-22 is still being manufactured to maintain existing HVAC equipment, many homeowners with older HVAC systems that rely on R-22 are facing increased costs for the refrigerant due to the dwindling stockpile of that product. And, after 2020, R-22 won’t be manufactured or imported in the United States at all. Because of the environmental issues with R-22, HVAC service contractors in the US must have an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and repair systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants such as R-22.

So, what does all this mean for our customers?

More environmentally friendly refrigerant: R-410A

R410-A RefrigerantAt Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we switched to a refrigerant called R-410A. In fact, we have been using it since 1995 when it was first introduced, because it is much more environmentally friendly. Unlike R-22, 401A does not contain bromine or chlorine (which contribute to ozone depletion). It also enables higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings, reducing power consumption which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

For homeowners with older HVAC systems, now is the time to upgrade to more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly equipment that use 410A; remember, if your system breaks down after January 2020 (only 18 months from now), you will be faced with a replacement at that time. There are ways to retrofit an older system to use the newer refrigerant but it’s not possible for all systems, so your Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric technician will have to assess whether or not we can do the conversion. If not, a retroactive HVAC system replacement will be more cost-effective in the long run.

If you’re interested in upgrading your HVAC system to a more energy-efficient unit, ask about our new HVAC system special that is good through the end of June, with zero percent financing for 36 months (we have other favorable financing programs available as well). Or ask about our $500 installation coupon here.

Not ready for a new system? Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric about system maintenance that will help keep your HVAC system running at its peak, at (973) 237-0505 or info@bloomfieldcooling.com.

How is Your Indoor Air Quality?

Your HVAC Contractor Can Make Sure it’s Free of Germs and Airborne Allergens.

Has your HVAC contractor recommended ways to improve your indoor air quality beyond what your heating and air conditioning system can do on its own?

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we employ two devices and methods to kill germs and airborne allergens that aggravate respiratory allergies and make home occupants sick. They are the REME HALO™ in-duct air purifier and the Fresh-aire UV germicidal light. These work differently but both attack contaminants that collect in your system’s coils and ductwork.

REME HALO

This is an in-duct air purifier that brings indoor air quality (IAQ) technology to a very high level. It is truly capable of purifying every cubic inch of air that your central air conditioning system reaches in your home. This device eliminates odors, allergies, and “sick building syndrome” caused by three types of indoor air pollutants: particulates, microbes, and gases.

The REME HALO re-creates Mother Nature’s air purification process to rid your home’s indoor air of common allergens such as mold spores, dander, dust, smoke, and pollen. It eliminates odors from cooking, dirty laundry, smelly pets, and musty rooms that have not been aired out in years (or mildew-ridden basements and attics).

This device is installed into a section of the air conditioning or heating system air ducts called the supply plenum. It produces ionized hydrogen peroxide molecules that are distributed throughout your entire home, and that break down the contaminants in the air upon contact. It’s a much more active air technology that doesn’t wait for pollutants to come to it in the HVAC unit—it proactively sweeps through your home to do its work. And, since hydrogen peroxide occurs naturally in our atmosphere and is part of nature’s air-cleaning process, you’ll have nature-fresh air in every room, thanks to the work of these “friendly oxidizers.”

These units are easy to install and do so much to improve your home’s air quality. Next time you schedule your seasonal maintenance, ask us about installing a REME HALO on your existing HVAC system.

Blue-Tube UV

This product harnesses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill germs, to improve air quality in your home. It’s a whole-house UV light installed directly inside the central air system (like the REME HALO) and eliminates microbes and odors as air cycles through the system. It’s also extends the life of your system and reduces energy and maintenance costs by keeping the coils free of unwanted contaminants.

According to Blue-Tube UV’s manufacturer, indoor air pollution is made up of particulates, mold/germs, and odors/volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although conventional system filters are effective against particulates—that’s part of their job—the Blue-Tube UV sterilizes biological contaminants such as mold, germs, and viruses that are in the air and on your HVAC system’s surfaces (these thrive in the moist, cool environment). In short, it uses low-voltage UV light as a germicidal that disinfects your system. It actually scrambles the microorganisms’ DNA, which then prevents them from reproducing.

Blue-Tube UV kills the mold and the biofilm that collects on your AC coils, keeping the coils cleaner, which helps maintain your system and lengthen its life span. And of course, it keeps your family healthy by ensuring the air you breathe inside your home is free of germs. It comes in a few different lamp configurations to accommodate various size systems and homes.

As always, our HVAC service technicians are here to help, and will be happy to install one of these indoor air quality technologies to fill your home with the great indoors. Ask us about the REME HALO and Blue-Tube UV; we’ll assess your needs and recommend the right device for your HVAC system. Call Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. for your spring maintenance appointment at 973-237-0505 (and don’t forget to take advantage of our spring special pricing).

The Importance of Proper HVAC Training

HVAC Technician - Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & ElectricIf your vehicle’s onboard control panel stops functioning, you wouldn’t allow just anyone work on your car, would you? Of course you would go to a certified auto mechanic. The same goes for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. This is a specialized system with lots of moving parts and is a major investment in your home and your family’s comfort. Servicing an HVAC system requires the expertise and know-how of a well-trained HVAC technician.

HVAC systems comprise costly components; investing in the service and skills of trained technicians to handle maintenance, repair or replacement pays off in many ways:

  • You’re assured that your heat and air conditioning will continue to work efficiently and properly at all times.
  • A highly trained, certified technician protects your HVAC system, your home, and your warranty.
  • A well-trained technician or installer will know the latest and greatest options and repair and maintenance methods. Trust us, you’ll be very sorry if they don’t!
  • Customer service and satisfaction will be much better.

When you call the local HVAC company, ask about its staff’s training and credentials. Make sure the company’s techs have received proper (and well-regarded) industry training and have access to on-the-job or continuing education to stay up with HVAC industry trends and new technologies. After all, today’s heating and cooling systems are always improving; systems being installed today are much more advanced than what was available 10 or 20 years ago. A continuing education program enables technicians to keep their diagnostic, repair, and installation skills sharp—and enable them to offer better customer service.

HVAC training prepares installers and technicians to assess how the unit and ductwork should be configured to accommodate the space or the home’s layout. Installers and technicians must know the newest heating, ventilation and air conditioning designs. They also need to be up to date on crucial safety guidelines and OSHA codes—for everyone’s protection.

Comprehensive training should cover general knowledge all the various areas needed in HVAC work such as electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and refrigerant work. At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we have licensed electricians on staff to perform all the electrical work associated with installations and repairs but our technicians are also able to perform light electrical work so they can get the job done efficiently (and correctly). Training also enables technicians to be good diagnosticians. After all, when your heat is out or the air conditioning stops working, don’t you want someone who knows what he or she is talking about to come check out the problem?

Certification is also important. Being certified proves the HVAC technicians have met various industry and government requirements to perform the work properly and safely. For example, at Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc., we make sure our team members all have North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and those who must handle refrigerants carry EPA Section 608 certification. Note also that HVAC companies must be licensed by the State Board of Examiners of Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Contractors, which protects consumers by making sure all work is done in full compliance of state law.

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we pride ourselves on our HVAC technicians’ knowledge and skill. Our team offers superior service, earning us accolades on Angie’s List (multiple Super Service awards) and locally in the Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards (Best HVAC Contractor) four years in a row. We are currently hiring HVAC lead installers, HVAC installers, and HVAC service technicians. Interested candidates should send their resumes to us at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or by mail to our office: 127 Paterson Avenue, Little Falls, New Jersey 07424.

Getting Your Ducts in a Row with Ductless Heating and Cooling

Keeping your home at the right temperature all year ‘round is all about getting your ducts in a row. But installing ductwork for a new HVAC system (or extending an existing heating and cooling system) can be frustrating, very difficult, or in some cases, simply not prudent when it comes to older homes, additions to your abode, or finished basements or renovated attics.

A ductless heating and cooling system may be the answer to your ductwork and airflow challenge. Ductless systems can be installed, allowing the homeowner to duck the frustration, mess and challenge of opening walls and dealing with bringing central air into unusual or difficult spaces.

Ductless systems (also called ductless heat pumps or ductless mini-splits) are safe, sturdy and quiet. They are a highly effective way to install primary heating and cooling systems for electrically heated homes. And, best of all, they can save the homeowner money by evenly warming up a room at a fraction of the other heating systems.

How do they work?

By using heat pump technology, ductless heating and cooling systems distribute warm or cool air better than traditional electric heaters. Two-way heat pumps transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air by compressing and expanding refrigerant. Ductless systems use variable speed compressors with inverter technology to constantly match the heating or cooling load. With no on/off cycling of conventional electric resistance and central heating systems, there is no uncomfortable temperature variations nor high energy consumption.

A ductless system consists of the following:

  • Outdoor unit, which houses the condensing coil, an inverter-driven variable speed compressor, an expansion valve and a fan to cool the condenser coil.
  • Indoor unit, which contains an evaporator and a quiet oscillating fan to distribute air throughout the living space.
  • Refrigerant line-set composed of insulated copper tubing, which is housed in a conduit alongside a power cable, and a condensation drain.
  • Remote control used to program the desired temperature for day and nighttime settings. Controls may have wall-mounted or Wi-Fi enabled.

In just one day, a professional can install the ductless system and you can start reducing your electric heating costs by 25 percent to 50 percent.

Many benefits

  • A ductless system can replace or supplement your current heating system (whether it is baseboard, wall and ceiling heat, wood stoves, electric furnaces and other electric plug-in space heaters).
  • It is a cost-effective solution in a small home to supplement the current single-zone electric system. Your ductless system is sized to meet the heating and cooling needs of the home’s individual zones.
  • It is an efficient alternative to extending the home’s existing ductwork or pipes or adding electric resistance heaters.
  • In new construction, home designs can be adapted to take advantage of a ductless system. For instance, it can be used in various zones of the house to simplify installation and minimize refrigerant line length.
  • A ductless system results in better and more efficient energy use by eliminating the costly overheating and over-cooling often seen with central air systems.
    • With the ability to control each heating and cooling zone independently, a homeowner is no longer paying to heat or cool unoccupied rooms.
    • The system maintains constant indoor temperatures by running continuously at higher or lower speeds.
    • Plus, ductless systems have great seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER), usually between 16 and 22 with heating seasonal performance factors (HSPF) ranging from 9 to more than 12.

Don’t wait and get caught out in the cold—call Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric today get your ducts in a row with a ductless system. We’ll install a high-quality Mitsubishi ductless system that is right for your home. And, as a Mitsubishi factory-trained Diamond dealer, we offer one of the best warranties in the business— a full 12 years, far longer than any other in the industry.

Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric at info@bloomfieldcooling.com or (973) 237-0505 to set up our 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.

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.

Challenging Space for Ductwork? No Problem!

Have a challenging space? Concerned about the ductwork? Our team of expert installers are not only up for a challenge, but can even do custom ductwork without disturbing your space. We love things that are out of the ordinary! If you are needing a new installation, additional air flow or just an extension, our air conditioner experts can help you. Contact Bloomfield Cooling, Heating and Electric today and schedule a free estimate: Residential Air Conditoning Service