How Does Maintenance Help My Cooling System?

March 20th, 2015

We’re still feeling Old Man Winter here in NJ, but we have started to see glimmers of spring. While summer may still be a distant memory, spring offers you the ideal time to get your whole-home air conditioner ready for its heavy summer workload. In fact, we here at DB Heating & Cooling believe maintenance to be so important that we have a preventative heating and cooling maintenance program for all of our customers, including those in Hackensack. But before we explain some of the benefits of our maintenance program, let’s first review why maintenance is so important.

Benefits of Cooling System Maintenance

Maintenance is a full tune-up for your system, so a number of things happen during a maintenance appointment for your cooling system, including:

  • A thorough inspection of the system
  • Small repair
  • Multiple checks, including refrigerant levels
  • Cleaning, adjusting and lubrication of components
  • Change of air filter
  • Performance testing

Having such a thorough appointment helps provide the following benefits:

  • Better energy efficiency
  • Better comfort
  • Extends life of the equipment
  • Helps prevent repair

But when you join the DB Heating & Cooling maintenance program, you get additional benefits that last all year long, including:

  • Priority scheduling – when you are a DB Heating & Cooling maintenance program member, you will be at the top of the list for our services, no matter how many people were there before
  • 24-hour emergency service – while all customers can access us 24/7, only program members are eligible for after-hours service during peak periods
  • Discounts on repairs – program members receive exclusive discounts on repairs
  • No overtime charges – as a member, you won’t have to pay any overtime charges for any appointment
  • Maintenance agreement is fully transferrable – should you want to pass the agreement to another person or take it with you to a new home, all you have to do is tell us.

The DB Heating & Cooling preventative maintenance program makes it easy for you to maintain your heating and cooling systems in Hackensack. Call us today and see how maintenance can help you.

What Is the Difference Between an Air Cleaner and an Air Purifier?

March 13th, 2015

There’s a lot of terminology that gets thrown when it comes to whole-home products and systems. Indoor air quality is one such area that has its fair share of terminology, and it can be confusing for homeowners to know exactly which products do what. For instance, take air cleaners and air purifiers – what’s the difference between these two products? It’s important to know the difference so that you can get your indoor air quality needs met, and the experts at DB Heating & Cooling are here to help you.

Air Cleaners

“Air cleaners” is a broad term that refers to any kind of indoor air quality product that cleans the air – however, an air cleaner is not an air purifier. This means that an air cleaner, like a mechanical air filter, will not be able to remove all biological contaminants, including bacteria, viruses and spores (mold, mildew, fungi). Why? Biological contaminant particles are very small and can pass through filter media. Electronic air cleaners can capture more biological contaminants because electronic air cleaners charge the particles and then capture them, but like mechanical filters, not all the biological contaminants can be trapped. Here are the products that are considered air cleaners:

  • Mechanical air filters (not HEPA)
  • Electrostatic precipitators (electronic air cleaner)
  • Ion generator (electronic air cleaner)

Air Purifiers

An air purifier is a device that will remove biological contaminants from your indoor air. The main indoor air quality product that does this is UV germicidal lighting. UV lighting utilizes UV-C rays to destroy and eradicate biological contaminants by destroying the cell’s DNA and life-sustaining proteins. As such, the cells cannot survive or reproduce. However, for UV lighting to kill biological contaminants, the organism has to pass directly under the lighting, so it’s best to pair UV germicidal lighting with an air cleaner.

HEPA mechanical filters can also purify the air, but they are so strong that they can restrict air flow in your HVAC system. If you are interested in using a HEPA-grade mechanical filter in your HVAC system, work with a specialist to determine if this is feasible for your HVAC system.

If you have questions about what type of product(s) you should be using for your Waldwick home, call the experts at DB Heating & Cooling today.

Benefits of Custom Ductwork

March 6th, 2015

If your home has a forced air system for heating and/or cooling, then it needs a ductwork system to deliver the air to your living spaces. How ductwork is made and installed plays a big role in its performance and how comfortable and energy efficient your home will be. One way to help ensure that your ductwork functions optimally is to have custom ductwork made for your home. Fabricating custom ductwork takes skill, training, expertise and experience, which is why you should only hire a trained professional for the job. The ductwork experts at DB Heating & Cooling have served customers throughout Bergen County, so if you need custom ductwork for your Woodcliff Lake home, call us today!

Why Consider Custom Ductwork?

You may be asking yourself this question as there can be some extra costs when choosing to install a custom ductwork system for your home. Here are some reasons why custom ductwork may be a better fit for you:

  • It is perfectly sized – ductwork isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Not only does the ductwork have to fit your home, it also has to fit your HVAC system. When ductwork is too small, you won’t get the air volume you need to adequately heat and cool your home, and when the ductwork is too big, the volume of air will be lost in the ductwork.
  • Better energy efficiency – with custom ductwork, you air loss is minimal, meaning that the air is being delivered correctly to your home’s living spaces. This takes pressure off your HVAC system, and helps reduce the system’s energy usage.
  • Better air balance – one of the biggest problems with ductwork systems is poor installation; this can lead to faulty ductwork and/or ductwork with lots of twists and turns. All of these problems can seriously interfere with the system’s air balance. With a ductwork system made specifically for your home and HVAC system, you can rest assured that your system is perfectly balanced.

Ductwork systems can last more than 30 years, so it’s important to make sure you install a ductwork system that will give you the long-term performance you need for your home.

The experts at DB Heating & Cooling are ready to assist, so if you are interested in custom ductwork for your Woodcliff Lake home, call us today!

Reasons to Consider a Boiler System for Your Home

February 27th, 2015

Have you spent this winter struggling with an ailing heater, or are you moving into a new home that needs a heating system? Why not consider the installation of a boiler? Boilers may not be the newest kid on the block as far as heating systems go, but this is actually a good thing. Boilers have a long track record of being durable and efficient, and having this long track record can give you the confidence that a boiler is a tried-and-true heating system that will provide your home with the heat it needs for years to come. Today’s boilers are the most energy efficient boilers around, and they offer some benefits you may not get with other kinds of heating systems. Professional installation is important for any heating system; having an amateur perform the installation to save a few dollars can cost you much more money down the road. The heating professionals at DB Heating & Cooling can help with the installation, repair, maintenance and replacement of a boiler for your Waldwick, NJ, home, so call us today!

Outlet Choices

One of the reasons a boiler can be a good choice for your home is that there are a few options homeowners can choose for outlet sources. Boilers can deliver heat through radiators, baseboard radiators and hydronic radiant floor, wall or ceiling heating. You can even combine outlets to suit your home’s style and your preferences.

Benefits of a Boiler System

Other benefits of a boiler system include:

  • Good for allergy sufferers – no matter which outlet(s) you choose for your boiler system, none will swirl dust and other allergens around as a forced air system will, which can be a big help for allergy sufferers.
  • Easily zoned – the piping system used with boilers can be easily zoned, providing more customized comfort for your home.
  • Gentler heat – the heat coming from a boiler system is radiant, no matter what outlet is used, and this delivery of heat is gentler and as such, can feel more comfortable.

Still have questions about installing a boiler system in your Waldwick, NJ, home? Call the heating experts at DB Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment.

Is It Time for a Thermostat Upgrade in Bergen County?

February 21st, 2015

Your thermostat is the control center for your HVAC system, but it is often the last part of your system to be upgraded. Having an outdated thermostat can make it difficult to achieve the maximum energy efficiency level for your home and can also add stress to your HVAC system. So what are your choices when it comes to a thermostat upgrade for your Bergen County home? Let’s take a look.

Types of Thermostats

Here are the main types of thermostats available to homeowners:

  • Digital – digital thermostats can replace a slide or dial thermostat simply by wiring it in. Digital thermostats have easy-to-read faces, precise temperature-setting and easy-to-use buttons. These features make them more energy efficient because you can set an exact temperature on them rather than aiming for a range, as can happen with a slide or dial thermostat.
  • Programmable – a programmable thermostat is a digital thermostat that can be programmed for up to 7 days. With a programmable thermostat, you can set up to 4 different temperature changes throughout a given day, which allows you to power down your heating or cooling when no one is home. This can save you a great deal of energy.
  • Wireless – a wireless thermostat is actually a small system in which the main thermostat, which acts as both a thermostat and receiver, communicates with wireless thermostats you can place around your home; the wireless thermostats just need to be within a certain range of the receiver, which is usually no more than 500 feet. Wireless thermostats can allow you to set the thermostat from wherever you are, adding a level of convenience to your home.
  • Smart – smart thermostats use all these technologies and then some to give you the highest level of control over your HVAC system. A smart thermostat can be accessed by any smart device you own, so you can manage, program, track and monitor your heating and cooling from virtually anywhere – you just need access to the internet.

Mismatched, outdated or just poorly-performing thermostats can put stress on your HVAC system and cause issues with comfort.

If your thermostat is no longer doing the job you need it to, call DB Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at DB Heating & Cooling hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Indoor Air Quality Tips for the Winter Season

February 5th, 2015

In an effort to stay warm while also staying energy efficient, many homes can become so air-tight that ventilation problems develop. Having good ventilation is an important factor in having healthy indoor air quality, particularly if you have a forced air system. However, there are some simple steps you can take to help maintain or maintain your indoor air during the winter, and to help you achieve that, here are some indoor air quality tips for your Bergen County home:

  • Change your air filter – if you have a furnace or heat pump system, the system has an air filter. These air filters should be changed every three months to keep them effective; when they fill up with dirt and dust, they can clog. This not only affects your indoor air quality, it can also affect the air flow in your heating system.
  • Move smokers outdoors – it may not be the best time of year to be outside, but second-hand smoke is one of the worst culprits of indoor air pollution and a leading cause of lung disease.
  • Make sure your ductwork is in good shape – faulty ductwork allows air to escape but it also allows numerous contaminants into your air deliver system and directly into your home. Duct repair and/or duct sealing can restore faulty ductwork, which will improve both indoor air quality and performance.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly – dust is major allergen, and when trapped inside for the winter, it serves only to aggravate allergies. Weekly vacuuming and dusting can greatly reduce the level of dust in your home.
  • Add some plants – plants help purify the air in your home, taking in contaminants, using them as food, and returning fresh oxygen to the air. Plus, they can also add a pleasing aesthetic to the living spaces of your home.
  • Use a whole-home air cleaner – if you have serious allergy sufferers, or just want to make a big improvement to your home’s indoor air quality, consider the installation of a whole-home air cleaner. Whole-home air cleaners are installed as part of your HVAC system, so they operate automatically.

Keeping your indoor air quality healthy helps keep you and your family healthy. For more indoor air quality tips for your Bergen County home, call the experts at DB Heating & Cooling today.

Why Commercial Building Controls Require a Specialist

January 29th, 2015

When any part of your commercial property’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is not operating properly, it may be because of an error in the commercial control system. Commercial control systems are either electric, electronic, or pneumatic, but any type serves the same function: to control every component of the HVAC system associated with the air handler automatically. Commercial control systems are set up to monitor a number of processes and settings, such as the temperature of the supply and return air, the temperature indoors and outdoors, the humidity in the building, and the air pressure through the vents.

These control systems can help an expert to adjust the supply fan in the ducts, the valves of a hot- or chilled-water system, dampers, or electric heating strips. When one of these doesn’t seem to be working as needed, you may consider attempting to access the controls and make adjustments yourself. However, it’s important that you only allow a professional deal with these systems. This means making sure that your technician is a commercial specialist with experience installing and adjusting large commercial building controls.

There are several reasons that an expert is the best person for the job. For one, commercial building controls can be complicated to understand, and an exclusively residential technician is not familiar with many of the settings and setpoints managed in the control panel. In fact, there may be hundreds of different settings for any single control panel. It’s also best to have a technician who has some preliminary knowledge of the fault codes that may come up upon troubleshooting the system, and who has access to a fault code guidebook, although the malfunctioning part may require a lot of background knowledge to diagnose as well.

Trained technicians take care in replacing sensors, controllers, and safety switches, as they know that the replacement piece can suffer damage from improper handling. They also know the different precautions to take when working with electronic vs. pneumatic systems, for example, and what safety procedures to taking when working with electrical equipment.

The technicians at DB Heating & Cooling are specialists trained in handling commercial HVAC systems including commercial building controls in Bergen County. Call us today. 

How a Humidifier May Benefit You

January 22nd, 2015

We are at the coldest part of the year in Fair Lawn, and you have probably been using your heating system with regularity for some time. Heat can be hard on you and your home, especially if you use a forced air system. One way to add needed moisture back into your home in Fair Lawn during the winter is with a whole-home humidifier.

Why Use a Whole-Home Humidifier?

We all know that too much humidity makes for discomfort, promotes mold and mildew growth and makes everything sticky. Too little humidity also brings its fair share of problems. One such problem is that wood products need humidity; without it, wood becomes too dry and brittle and as a result, can splinter, shrink and break easily. This includes wood trim, wood furniture, wood floors and even walls. A second problem is maintaining heat in the air. Humidity holds heat, which is why excess humidity feels so uncomfortable. When there is too little moisture in the air, it can feel colder inside your home than it is simply because there’s not enough moisture in the air to maintain the heat level. A third set of problems that can develop from a lack of moisture in your home relates to personal health issues. When there isn’t enough moisture in the air, your mucous membranes, including your eyes, nose and throat, can become dry and irritated; this can hamper your ability to stave off infection during the winter months. Your skin can also dry, becoming itchy and uncomfortable. Lastly, viruses and bacteria pass more easily in a dry atmosphere, making it easier to become ill.

How Does a Whole-Home Humidifier Work?

A whole-home humidifier becomes a part of your heating system so it adds moisture seamlessly. You can set the humidity level on your thermostat or on a separate humidistat and the humidifier will do the rest.

If you are starting to see the effects of low humidity in your home, it may be time to consider the installation of a humidifier.

Call the experts at DB Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality specialists.

Can a Furnace Be Used for Ductless Heating?

January 15th, 2015

Ductless heating and cooling has become very popular over recent years, which isn’t surprising as these systems have a number of benefits you can’t get with other types of HVAC systems. However, they do have their limitations, and one limitation is that a ductless system cannot provide heating via a furnace. But don’t be so quick to toss that furnace out! Why? Because an LG ductless mini-split system can act as a back-up heating system for your Bergen County, NJ home.

How Ductless Heating Works

Ductless systems provide heat by utilizing heat pump technology. What this means is that a ductless heating system has a component known as a reversing valve that allows the system to switch between heating and cooling capability. The system is set-up the same as a ductless air conditioning system: an outdoor unit containing the compressor and condenser connects directly to indoor blowers (up to 4) via a conduit placed in an exterior wall. The blowers contain the other necessary parts for heating and cooling, including a fan, coils and a small air filter. Everything needed to heat and cool your home is contained in these components, which is why it isn’t necessary to have ductwork.

Benefits of a Ductless Heating System

There are multiple benefits to be gained from a ductless heating system:

  • Great energy efficiency – heat pumps do not use fossil fuels and on average use about 25% of the electricity of a whole-home air conditioning system to operate, making them very energy efficient.
  • Customized heating – the indoor blowers operate individually, allowing you to customize your home’s heating, very similar to the way a zone control system does.
  • Long lifespan – the average lifespan for a heat pump is 20-25 years; comparatively, a combustion heating system has an average lifespan of 15-20.
  • Very versatile – not only can a ductless system work with an air-source heat pump, it can also work with a geothermal ground-source or water-source heat pump.

If a ductless heating system seems like a good fit for your home, you may want to consider the installation of an LG ductless mini-split system.

The experts at DB Heating & Cooling can help you determine if an LG ductless system is right for your living space, so call us today!