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Your HVAC maintenance to-do list

heat pump Medfield, MA If your Medfield household has a heat pump system, you have the benefit of using one piece of equipment for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. A heat pump accomplishes this by transferring heat between the inside and outside of your home.

When it’s cold outside, the heat pump draws in ambient warmth from the outdoor air. It then transfers this heat indoors. In the summer, this process is reversed. Your indoor air handlers draw in heat from inside your home, leaving cool air to be cycled back in. The heat is then expelled outdoors.

We’re now well into winter, and spring is approaching. It’s the perfect time to think about what you need to do to prepare your home’s heat pump for the warm months ahead.

Here is the Tom Fricker to-do list to get your heat pump ready for summer.

1. Check your air filter

The best policy for your heat pump’s air filters is to check them once a month during the peak heating and cooling seasons. You’ll want to clean or replace them if they appear dirty or clogged. This will ensure free airflow and better system efficiency.

2. Vacuum or wipe down your indoor equipment.

Dust, dirt and other debris can coat your indoor air handlers, blocking airflow and impacting your home’s air quality. Take a few minutes to vacuum away any dust. You can also wipe the equipment down with a cloth. Not only will this help your heat pump’s performance; it will make the equipment look more attractive.

3. Check your outdoor units.

Your condenser units are exposed to all sorts of debris. In the fall and winter, they can become clogged with leaves, old grass clippings, trash, weeds, etc. This blockage will impact the heat pump’s overall efficiency, and it can even cause lasting damage. It’s a good idea to find a clear day and clean off your outdoor heat pump equipment before the cooling season arrives.

4. Arrange heat pump maintenance.

If you treat your heat pump well, it can last a long time — even as long as 15 years!

The most important step in taking care of your heat pump is arranging annual service with a professional HVAC technician. The technician can clean, test and calibrate your equipment. They will also be able to identify lingering issues and fix them before they cause a breakdown. Plus, regular maintenance will keep your equipment running at maximum efficiency, saving you money on energy use.

Enroll in a TF Complete Heating & Cooling service plan.

We offer comprehensive coverage for your heat pump with our popular service plans. When you protect your system with TF Complete Heating & Cooling, you’ll receive:

You also get the benefit of receiving service from the most trusted team in the region. We are the heat pump experts!

Reach out to our team today to schedule service for your heating and cooling equipment.

How to read and respond to issues with your oil or gas-fired heating equipment.

furnace repair Medway, MA For the most part, when your home’s furnace is functioning properly, there shouldn’t be any fast-blinking lights or illuminated codes. Today’s oil and gas-fired furnaces run smoothly and relatively quietly. So, if you notice an unusual light flashing on your equipment, it’s a good idea to look up the error code and find out if something needs immediate attention from an HVAC professional.

At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, we can assist with errors on a wide range of furnaces to ensure your home heating keeps working through the iciest New England winters.

Different brands have different error codes.

Pretty much all manufacturers put a series of flashing LED lights on their furnaces to alert you to an error, and the color and pattern of these lights will tell you what the exact issue is. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal code for these errors. Different brands have different error codes.

To “decode” these flashing lights, either check your furnace’s installation manual or go to the manufacturer’s website to find the code list.

Here are some common errors for furnaces.

If your furnace is flashing an error code, the underlying issue could be:

This is not an exhaustive list. It’s a rundown of common issues that can trigger a furnace error code.

Do not attempt your own furnace repair.

If you notice one of the furnace issues listed above — or if you’re unable to determine what’s causing your furnace error signal — please immediately contact a licensed HVAC repair technician like the team at TF Complete Heating & Cooling.

Furnace repair is not a “do-it-yourself” home project. Today’s heating equipment is complex, and it connects to heating oil tanks or gas lines. If you try to fix the error yourself, you could trigger a dangerous gas leak or a costly oil spill. Even if the result isn’t a health hazard, you could severely impair your furnace’s performance.

The good news is that if you’ve arranged regular service for your heating equipment, the cost to repair a standard furnace error could be modest. The key is to bring in a professional right away.

You can count on the Tom Fricker team.

There are many good reasons that homeowners in Medway and throughout Bristol, Middlesex and Norfolk counties trust us for HVAC maintenance and repairs. We offer flat-rate pricing for repairs and clear, transparent diagnostic fees. Our Complete Heating service plans provide comprehensive protection for your furnace, including 15% off any repair work and free annual heating maintenance to keep your equipment running safely and efficiently. These plans also guarantee priority emergency heating service.

The TF Complete Heating & Cooling team is at your disposal if your furnace is experiencing an error. Get in touch with us to request service.

Choose the on-demand water heater that’s best for your home.

water heater Norfolk, MA When it comes to your home comfort equipment, it pays to invest in quality and efficiency. This is certainly the case for your hot water system. A reliable, energy-efficient water heater is essential for getting through your day. It ensures that you can bathe and wash clothes and dishes. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has found that the average American home uses about 20% of its energy heating water — the largest share after heating and cooling.

At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, we’re committed to ensuring the comfort of homes in Norfolk and throughout our Massachusetts service area without breaking the bank. If you want plentiful hot water on demand and reduced energy spending, you can’t go wrong with a tankless water heater.

How do tankless water heaters save you money?

Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters don’t store hot water for distribution in the home. Instead, they heat water on demand whenever an appliance or fixture needs it. When properly sized, a tankless water heater will generate virtually endless hot water for you.

This process eliminates “standby losses.” Storage tank water heaters are sometimes referred to in our business as “reheaters” because they reheat unused water over and over again. This means you’re spending money to heat up water you aren’t using. The DOE estimates that tankless water heaters can be up to 34% more efficient than traditional units. They also tend to have longer service lives than storage tank units.

How are tankless water heaters powered?

You can find tankless water heaters powered by electricity, natural gas and propane. While gas-powered tankless systems can be slightly more expensive than electric products to purchase and install, they also tend to have higher flow rates (the amount of hot water they can generate on demand).

Depending on the comparable rates of gas and electricity in your area, tankless gas water heaters might have a longer or shorter recoup period than electric alternatives. It’s a good idea to speak to a trustworthy HVAC technician (like a Tom Fricker team member) before choosing a tankless model.

How big are tankless water heaters?

One of the other significant benefits of going tankless is that on-demand systems take up a lot less space than storage tank models. They’re typically wall-mounted and about the size of a suitcase. You can save up to 12 square feet of floor space.

TF Complete Heating and Cooling — Your Tankless Water Heater Connection!

When you come to us to upgrade your hot water system, we’ll work hard to find a product that works for your family’s needs and budget. We sell and install top-quality tankless water heaters that will allow you to enjoy long, steaming hot showers even when the dishwasher is running.

For oil-heated households, we also install indirect-fired water heaters, which use heat from your boiler to warm up water. Households with a high demand for hot water can pair these products with a high-efficiency boiler and significantly lower their water heating costs. Additionally, indirect-fired systems usually have lifetime warranties for the original purchaser.

Contact the Tom Fricker team to get a FREE estimate on a new, energy-efficient water heater.

Choose the best heating equipment for your home.

boiler services Wrentham, MA When we talk to people who have recently purchased homes heated by a boiler in Wrentham or elsewhere in Norfolk County, they sometimes have an outdated understanding of oil-fired systems. Their image is of inefficient heat and lots of soot. But today’s oil heating equipment is much different from the system your grandparents used.

At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, we can help you get the most from your heating oil equipment — and we’re here if you’re ready for another type of heating system.

How does a heating oil boiler keep you warm?

A boiler system does not use forced air or ductwork to heat your home. Instead, it heats a tank of water and then transfers either hot water or steam through pipes to radiators, floorboards or radiant floor systems. This steam or water condenses and returns to the boiler to be reheated and circulated again. This cycle continues until your rooms are at the desired temperature.

Oil-fired boilers use heating oil to heat the water. Your boiler’s burner converts the oil into a fine spray, which mixes with air to ignite.

Many people prefer boiler heat to furnace heat. It is slightly moister, which can make rooms feel more comfortable. Boilers are typically quieter than furnaces. Today’s oil boilers are also more efficient than earlier equipment, with fuel efficiency ratings approaching 90%.

Comparing heating oil and other energy sources.

If you want to compare how much heat you get from oil versus other energy sources, the best metric to do so is British thermal units (Btu). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one gallon of heating oil can generate about 138,500 Btu. To achieve the same heat production with other energy sources, you’d need:

You can compare your per-gallon price for heating oil to the rates for those other energy sources for an idea of how your energy spending might change.

Factors to consider about heating systems.

If you’re unhappy with an old or inefficient heating system and considering a change, we can help you. Many homeowners leap to the conclusion that they should change their energy source or system type. Sometimes, this is a good idea, but not always.

To begin, completely overhauling your heating system can be pricy and disruptive. For example, installing ductwork to change from a boiler to a furnace system can become a complex full-home renovation. Some homes in our region benefit from a full electric heat pump conversion, while others may install a few ductless mini-split units but hold onto their boilers, embracing a hybrid system of sorts.

Similarly, converting from heating oil to natural gas may save you money over time, but it’s not always clear if that can defray the upfront expenses.
It’s important to look at all your options to decide if it’s a better idea to convert to a new system or invest in a more efficient version of your current one.

Talk to the Tom Fricker team about your heating upgrade.

If you’re looking for candid, informed guidance about your home heating options, come to TF Complete Heating & Cooling. Our team of highly-trained, experienced technicians handles furnace and boiler installations, as well as heat pump conversions. We can help you review your options, make recommendations for equipment upgrades, and then secure and install your new heating system.

We would love to help you boost your comfort this winter. Contact our team for a FREE estimate.

When to install a new oil- or gas-fired home heating system.

furnace service franklin, maWith icy, frigid weather just about every night in Franklin and throughout Bristol, Middlesex and Norfolk counties, the last thing you want is for your home’s furnace to break down on you.

If it’s been a while since your last furnace maintenance call, and your heating equipment seems to be struggling, give TF Complete Heating & Cooling a call. We can look at your heating system and advise what service it needs — and whether it might need to be replaced.

How long will your furnace last?

A furnace can last around 20 years with proper maintenance. Some can even continue operating for 25 years or more. The older your furnace, though, the less fuel-efficient it likely is. Any furnace over 15 years is a candidate for replacement because it’s considerably less efficient than a new model, and your maintenance and repair costs are likely to increase.

When is it time to arrange a new furnace installation?

Firstly, it’s important not to wait until your current furnace is out of commission. If you find yourself without heat in the middle of a New England winter, your options for a furnace replacement will be limited by the urgency of your situation.

It’s best to get ahead of an old, struggling furnace and start exploring your options early. Some warning signs of a failing furnace include:

Additionally, you should consider replacing a furnace if the cost of a needed repair is more than 30% of the expense of a new furnace.

What energy savings can you see with a furnace upgrade?

A furnace that’s older than 15 years may have a fuel efficiency that has deteriorated to 60% or lower. So, you end up wasting nearly half of every gallon of heating oil or therm of natural gas you pay for.

Now, consider that today’s high-efficiency furnaces have fuel efficiency ratings in the 90% range and higher. Investing in a new, efficient piece of equipment could lower your fuel consumption by 30%, and you won’t sacrifice an iota of comfort in the process!

Trust the Tom Fricker team with your furnace installation.

The expert technician team at TF Complete Heating & Cooling performs countless furnace installations each year. We have the process down pat. To minimize the disruption of replacing your heating equipment, we handle much of the ductwork fabrication at our shop beforehand. Our team can often install your furnace in one day, and we’ll safely dispose of your old equipment for you.

We can also help you ensure your new furnace’s long-term efficiency and dependability with a Complete Heating Plan. These comprehensive service plans include:

When you upgrade your home heating with us, we guarantee you’ll be Completely satisfied with the results. Reach out to us for a FREE estimate.

Never attempt a do-it-yourself home heating installation.

furnace repair carteret, nj We all love to feel handy around the house. A new light fixture or wall shelf looks all the nicer when you do the work yourself. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we spoke to many homeowners in Bristol, Middlesex and Norfolk counties undertaking significant DIY home projects.

We think that’s fantastic, but certain tasks require certification, specialized knowledge and precision tools to complete. One of these jobs is furnace installation. You must count on licensed professionals like the Tom Fricker team to handle it.

You could face the following risks if you try your own furnace installation.

Personal Injury

A furnace is much larger and more cumbersome than a piece of furniture. It isn’t easy to place correctly, even with a couple of extra hands. Moreover, installing a new furnace normally involves removing the old unit and replacing ductwork, too.

The TF Complete Heating & Cooling team has experience moving, placing and connecting furnaces. We handle a lot of the prep work in our shop to minimize the disruption to your home. Also, we remove and safely dispose of your old furnace.

Gas Leaks

Installing a propane or natural gas furnace means connecting to a fuel line. This involves significant safety risks, including explosion and suffocation dangers. For this reason, DIY furnace installations are often not legal. With a professional installation, you can be confident that the work is done by someone who’s received rigorous safety training.

Electrical issues

Modern furnaces have complicated electrical components. If you don’t have proper training on this equipment, you will likely damage these parts. More seriously, you could risk electrocution.

Carbon Monoxide Risks

Homeowners know how crucial it is to place carbon monoxide (CO) detectors throughout their rooms, especially in bedrooms.

Some causes of CO accumulation are combustion issues and improper ventilation from heating equipment. Carbon monoxide has no taste or smell. Exposure symptoms can resemble the flu, like nausea, fatigue and dizziness. But CO can cause serious health problems and even death. Doing your own furnace installation considerably increases the likelihood of combustion and ventilation issues that lead to CO accumulation.

Voided Manufacturer’s Warranty

When a professional technician handles your furnace installation, your manufacturer’s warranty will be in place if something goes wrong. But if you attempt your own installation, the manufacturer may not honor the warranty. You could be on the hook financially for repairs that come later.

More Frequent Breakdowns and Diminished Furnace Performance

While you might feel like you’re saving money by handling your own furnace installation, you’ll likely end up spending more.

Even if you can complete the installation, your new furnace will not operate at top efficiency, resulting in higher energy use. There’s also a good chance of your furnace breaking down. Then, you’ll need to contact a professional HVAC technician for a furnace repair — or potentially a whole new system.

The TF Complete Heating & Cooling team can handle your furnace installation. We work quickly and safely, and we might even be able to save you money with rebates and tax incentives. Reach out to us today for a free estimate.

Test your heating system before the freezing weather arrives.

boiler tune-up Franklin, Ma The worst time to discover that your boiler has a mechanical or electrical problem is when the temperature outside is below freezing. You could end up with coats piled on your bed while we send our technicians for an emergency no-heat call.

That’s why we recommend that homeowners in Medfield, Wrentham, Franklin and other communities in our service area give their boilers a test run now and contact TF Complete Heating & Cooling if there’s an issue. This puts you ahead of any potential service issues and ensures your boiler operates well in the winter ahead.

Does your home have a boiler?

If you aren’t sure whether your home has a boiler or furnace, here are some ways to tell.

Boiler systems don’t use ductwork or heated air to warm your home. They circulate either steam or hot water through pipes to baseboards or radiators. If you have baseboards or radiators instead of vents, your home has a boiler.

How can you test your boiler?

Make sure your thermostat is set to “heat.” Turn the thermostat 5 degrees higher than your current room temperature. If your boiler does not switch on, confirm that its power switch is set to the “on” position and that the breaker powering it hasn’t tripped.

If the boiler still does not come on, we suggest you contact us for a service visit.

Common issues with boilers

Here are some standard problems that can lead to a lack of heat from your boiler:

Have you arranged your annual boiler maintenance?

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure your boiler’s efficiency and dependability is to arrange a service visit from the Tom Fricker team once a year. Annual boiler maintenance prevents unexpected breakdowns and extends your boiler’s lifespan. It will also improve your system’s fuel efficiency, lowering your winter energy bills. Finally, an annual maintenance visit is typically required to keep your manufacturer’s warranty in effect.

With a Complete Heating Plan, you can ensure your heating system always receives the attention it needs. These service plans include a free yearly maintenance visit, priority emergency service and a 15% discount on any repairs and diagnostic fees. It’s a fantastic value!

Want to enroll in a Complete Heating Plan or arrange year-end boiler service? Contact our team today!

On-demand water heaters pay off big with superior efficiency.

tankless water heater Norfolk county, ma Sometimes, it makes sense to go for the less expensive option when making a purchase. You don’t always need a pair of $200 designer sunglasses or the priciest Kobe-style cut of beef. However, some higher-cost purchases can be better value because they are investments that save you money for years to come. Some examples include a car with good gas mileage or higher-quality shingles that last longer than cheaper alternatives.

Water heaters are another good example. Traditional storage tank water heaters are generally less expensive than tankless water heaters. However, making an upfront investment in a more advanced hot water system can save you money in the medium to long term. The Tom Fricker team can help you determine if that investment is worth it when it’s time for a water heater replacement.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

As you might imagine, a tankless water heater doesn’t have a storage tank of water it deploys throughout your home. These are on-demand systems that produce hot water only when you need it. Here’s a general rundown of how a tankless water heater works:

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

When you upgrade to a tankless system, you can enjoy numerous home comfort and budget advantages. These benefits include:

TF Complete Heating & Cooling upgrade water heaters!

When homeowners in Worcester or Middlesex County need to upgrade their hot water equipment, they know to trust the TF Complete Heating & Cooling team. We perform countless water heater installations every year. We sell top-of-the-line tankless products and can even help you make your upgrade more affordable with financing and financial incentives.

Don’t wait — reach out to our team today for a free estimate on a new water heater.

Tom Fricker can increase the energy efficiency of your home’s heating system.

furnace service Middlesex county, ma What kind of energy source does your heating equipment use? Many homes in Medway, Wrentham, Medfield and other cities and towns we serve use oil-fired furnaces to stay cozy and warm when outdoor temperatures drop or a gusty nor’easter rolls into New England.

TF Complete Heating & Cooling has years of experience keeping Massachusetts families comfortable and safe. Whatever kind of home heating system you have — and however it’s powered — our expert team can help you stay warm for less.

Are furnaces efficient?

Many households in our service region use forced air heating and cooling. They depend on a furnace system with ductwork and vents to deliver heat. Furnaces use a burner powered by gas or oil to heat air in a heat exchanger. Then, a blower fan distributes this heated air to rooms in your house via ductwork.

When considering the efficiency of a furnace, you should start with its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, percentage. This tells you how much of the fuel your furnace consumes goes to heating your home. Today’s oil furnaces generally have AFUEs between 84 and 90 percent. Nearly all the money you spend on fuel goes to your home comfort.

Of course, fuel efficiency ratings for equipment don’t tell the whole story. You also need to consider how much heat the fuel itself can generate.

Is heating oil efficient?

Heating oil has a significant benefit over other home energy sources: it generates a lot of heat. One gallon of heating oil can produce approximately 138,500 British thermal units (Btu). That’s a significant amount of warmth for your home. By comparison, you need roughly 134 cubic feet of natural gas or 41 kilowatt hours of electricity for that many Btu. *

Let us help you boost your home heating efficiency.

Oil furnaces are fantastic heating sources, and upgrading from an older, less efficient furnace to a newer model can do wonders for your home energy budget. If you want to explore your furnace replacement options, the Tom Fricker team is here to help you.

Furnace installations are incredibly complex, but we have it down to a science. Our technicians fabricate any necessary ductwork at our shop before showing up at your home. This speeds up the installation and minimizes the disruption to your daily life.

Not only do we install furnaces, but we also have ways to improve your heating efficiency. We can inspect and seal any ducts that may leak warm air and lower your fuel efficiency. As a comprehensive heating and cooling provider, we are heat pump experts. If you want to investigate whether a heat pump can improve your energy use and comfort, TF Complete Heating & Cooling is happy to guide you through the process.

Our team stands behind the HVAC work we do. We guarantee you will be Completely satisfied!

TF Complete Heating & Cooling is standing by to assist you. Reach out to us for a free, no-obligation estimate .

* Source: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/british-thermal-units.php

Tips for getting your heating system running this fall.

boiler repair Worcester county, ma If you heat your home with a boiler, you enjoy some of the most effective and comfortable home heating available. Boilers produce a moister heat than furnaces and other forced air systems. This moisture makes your home feel warmer and more comfortable. Boilers are also great for indoor air quality because no circulated air can transport dust, pollen, debris, mold or other pollutants.

With winter right around the corner in Medfield, Franklin, Norfolk, Wrentham and other communities we serve, we recommend people give their boilers a quick test drive to make sure they’re working correctly before temperatures plummet.

If your boiler doesn’t work when you start up your heating system, try these simple troubleshooting tips.

1. Check your thermostat

Simple as it may seem, the problem with your heating system may be your thermostat settings. Check whether your system is set to “heat” and ensure the thermostat is set 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature.

2. Confirm your boiler is getting power.

If your thermostat settings are okay, but you’re still not getting heat, check these two power issues:

  1. Is the boiler’s power switch set to the ON position?
  2. Is the circuit breaker that feeds power to your boiler set to ON?

3. Confirm your boiler is getting the fuel it needs.

The burners of your boiler need some sort of fuel. If you have a heating oil or propane-fired boiler, check your home’s fuel tank and ensure it isn’t empty. If it is, contact your fuel company for a delivery.

If you have a natural gas boiler, ensure all the valves are open to supply fuel to the equipment. If they are, but your burners are out, you should check with your local utility and see if there’s a system issue.

4. Check your boiler’s water levels.

Your boiler needs water to warm your home. Steam boilers have a glass vial gauge. It should be at least half full of water. If the water level is low, you can add water by opening a valve. (Call us or check your boiler’s manual for specific instructions.)

Still having boiler problems? Contact Tom Fricker!

At TF Complete Heating & Cooling, our HVAC team has extensive boiler maintenance and repair experience. If none of these troubleshooting steps brought your heating back online, the issue may require a professional. Contact us, and we’ll fix the problem promptly and correctly.

We also recommend you consider protecting your boiler with a Complete Heating Plan. This affordable coverage ensures you receive priority emergency service and FREE annual heating maintenance. Routine maintenance will keep your heating system running efficiently and dependably for years. And if you should need a boiler repair, your service plan includes a 15% discount on any repair or diagnostic fee.

Have you scheduled your annual boiler maintenance yet? Fall is an excellent time to get it done. Reach out to the Tom Fricker team to request service.

mail Contact us today to schedule a routine maintenance visit. If you need an emergency repair, please call our office right away at 508-507-6702, and we will get to your home as soon as we can.