Radient Heating Installations, Central Massachusetts

Why radiant heating could make you love your bathroom

People who have lived in older houses have all experienced the mid-winter chill that comes from stepping barefoot on the cold floor of a bathroom during the middle of the night. Hot air rises and the hard tile floors can be the hardest spot to warm up during a January night.

That’s where radiant floor heating packs the biggest wallop. We install water pipes under the floorboards or tile floor that is connected to a boiler. The water carries the heat through the pipes and it heats up the floor itself. We recommend using it with hardwoods or ceramic tiles, as those materials will retain the heat.

The beauty of the system is that the heat stays low where people need it the most, as opposed to other heating systems that mostly heat the air. Unlike other heating systems, there’s no hot stove or radiator that could burn a person, and people with allergies don’t have to worry about pollen or other allergens being distributed into the air.

Radiant floor heating can be installed in any room, but it’s much more economical to place it in new homes and expansions, as opposes to tearing up floors to retrofit existing rooms. Any covering that insulates the floor, such as a thick carpet, would lower the efficiency of the heating system, so floor options are limited.

But if you’ve taken one too many steps on cold tiles, or found yourself huddling close to the stove, consider the heating system that tackles your heating needs from the bottom up.

Generac Generator Special 2015

SAVE $200 & Live Life Uninterrupted with a Standby Generator

New England has had it’s fair share of tough weather over the last few years.  During the variety of hurricanes, nor’easters and blizzards, you may have found yourself without power for a long period of time.  Here are a few reasons to invest in a generator for your home you may have not thought of.

  • Keep your furnace running in the cold weather or AC on in the summer. This will prevent pipes from freezing and keep your family, and pets comfortable.
  • Provide you with hot water heating.
  • Keep your sump pump system running.
  • Keep your stove running so you can cook and your refrigerator on so your food will keep.
  • Keep your alarm system on.
  • Provide power for computers, wi-fi and communications.
  • Continue to provide power for medical equipment.

How the Generac Standby Generator works:

When you experience a power outage in your home, your generac generator will detect there is a problem. Within seconds, it will automatically turn on and provide your home with power until the utility is restored, whether it’s 2 hours or 2 weeks.

This works even if you’re not home so you can have peace of mind while you’re at work or away on vacation.

Our Generac Generators also run off of propane or natural gas, which makes it easier to maintain as no manual fueling is necessary.

You can have a generator power your entire home or you can run it for specific appliances. We’ll install your electrical hook up so there’s no need to run extension cords and hope that you have it done correctly.

With the variety of weather we experience all year long in New England, a generator is a worthwhile investment for your home.

Standby generators are also a good investment for your home’s resale value, in addition to saving you money during power outages.

According to a 2014 report by Remodeling Magazine, homeowners across the country can expect to increase their resale value by 67.5 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing a standby generator. The study included the costs of the standby unit (approx 17kW), the automatic transfer switch and other electrical hardware, connecting to existing gas lines, and the mounting pad.

Save up to $200 on a Generac Home Stand-by Generator

Contact us today to get an evaluation of your residential needs for a standby generator.

Five tips to get your A/C running at it’s highest efficiency

Air conditioning systems require regular maintenance to keep them working at highest efficiency, whether they are window units or central A/C.

The inner components can collect dust, dirt, and mildew, which can lower their operating efficiency and your home’s air quality. Check the manual that came with your unit and follow basic procedures to keep it working properly. Here are Five Tips to get your system working properly:

  1.  Make sure the air conditioner is installed at least two feet away from foliage and 10 feet away from your dryer’s vent. Trim foliage and clean up nearby debris to minimize dirt near the condenser unit. If you have an outdoor unit for central air, do not surround it with shrubs or solid fencing.
  2. Clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter every month during regular use. If you have dogs or cats indoors or if you live in a dusty area, you may need to change or clean it more frequently.
  3. Be sure the drain line of your central air unit isn’t clogged with mold and mildew, which can cause water to back up into the home. Pour a cup of bleach into the line’s access hole each spring. If a clog occurs, place the nozzle of your wet/dry vacuum over the line’s opening to suck it out.
  4. Wipe off the housing when it becomes dirty and then remove it. Sweep any debris away from the inner components with a paintbrush. If the aluminum fins are bent, contact a repair person to adjust them.
  5. Contact a service technician yearly to inspect the condenser and evaporator coils which may require chemical cleaning. The technician can also check the motor and electrical components to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
  6. If you have questions about proper air conditioning maintenance or to schedule an Air Conditioning Tune-Up, Lowell, Nashua NH, Burlington MA, Chelmsford MA from the All Season Comfort Specialists, call Wilson Brothers today!

800-498-5373 or 978-433-5373 

What to do About Ice Dams

Those Icicles Can Spell Trouble!
This unusually cold and snowy winter
has all the ingredients for disaster to develop
on the roof of your home!

Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look pretty, but they can cause lots of problems.  Icicles can foreshadow the formation of ice dams along the eaves – thick ridges of solid ice that can tear off gutters, loosen roof shingles and cause water to back up and leak into the house.

Here’s how ice dams form.  Snow collects on the roof.  Ice accumulates along the eaves.  If heat is escaping through the roof or if the sun is shining on the roof during the day, the ice begins to melt.  Lower night temperatures re-freeze the ice into thick blocks in gutters and along the eaves.

What can be done to prevent or remove ice dams?  Here are some tips:
1)  Pull off snow on the roof with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground.  Take off at least the first four feet of snow from the edge of the roof toward the peak.  If you have a flat roof, you made need to remove all the snow to prevent a roof collapse.
2)  Be careful when attempting to remove ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel.  That can cause damage to the roof or gutter.  Don’t throw salt on them either, as the salt can damage plantings below.  Instead try this:  Fill the leg of discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melt. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.
3)  There are oversized “tablets” made of ice melt that can be tossed onto the roof to stimulate melting of snow and ice.
 
4)  If you are already experiencing a leak in the roof, take a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is seeping in.  This cold air will freeze the water in a manner of minutes.
Next winter, before the snow arrives, you can take the following precautions:
1)  Equalize the roof temperature by attaching heated cables to the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern.
2)  Ventilate eaves and ridge.  A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and provide at least one square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
3)  Be sure your attic hatch is sealed or your whole-house attic fan is covered with weather stripping to prevent heat from escaping from the attic.
4)  Make certain that any ducts connected to kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents lead outdoors through either the roof or walls … never through the soffit.
5)  Add insulation to the attic floor which will keep the heat where it belongs – in the house and not escaping through the roof.
6)  Check the flashing around the chimney and dormers.  Be sure to use steel flashing held in place with unbroken beads of a fire-stop sealant.  Don’t use canned spray foam – it isn’t safe!
7)  Be sure that you have fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts.  They should be covered with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.
8)  Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant.  Look for spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from air flow.
Resource:  This Old House www.thisoldhouse.com

Holiday Heat Saving Tips from Wilson Brothers Heating & Cooling

The holiday season is upon us.  You may be wondering how you can save a little extra on your energy and heating bills, whether you’re traveling or hosting family.  Here are a few tips from Wilson Brothers to help you keep a few extra dollars in your pocket this holiday season.

Hosting:

  1. While hosting guests at your house you may feel the need to crank up the heat for them.  The opposite is actually true.  Before guests arrive in your home, drop your thermostat by 2 degrees and allow your guests to “naturally” heat your home.
  2. Turn down or turn off the heat in the kitchen.  You’re likely to have the stove and oven cranked all day.  Consider turning off or turning down the heat in your kitchen.  Let your food prep help to heat your home and this will also keep you more comfortable while cooking.  Once you’re done cooking, open your oven door and let the heat of the oven out (if it’s safe to do so, be careful of pets and little ones).  This heat will keep your kitchen warm for additional time after dinner.
  3. Burn smartly.  If you plan to have a fire or run your wood stove, turn down that heat! The fire is fueled by the air in the room, so once the flame is out, your furnace works overtime to replace that warm air.
  4. Make your thermostat work for you.  Programmable thermostats are your best friend all year long, but can be especially helpful during the holidays.  Program it to be lower when no one is home and when you’re asleep.
  5. Use the sun wisely.  Open your shades on the windows that get sun.  You’ll be amazed as to how much this can warm up your home!

Thermostat Installation, Heat Savings Heat Pump Installation, Hot Water Heater Installation, Westford MA, Chelmsford MA, Lowell MA, Nashua NH, Dunstable MA, Groton MA, Ayer MA

Traveling:

  1. Thermal curtains and insulation.  While you’re planning to be away, your house won’t be inhabited so it will make it more difficult to keep it warm.  By insulating doors, drafts and leaks in your system before you leave, you’ll keep your empty home warmer and more efficient.
  2. Turn down that hot water heater.  If no one is home, you’re hot water won’t be running.  Turn your hot water heater down to low or “vacation mode”.  Just remember to turn it back up when you return and a few hours before you jump in the shower.
  3. Turn down your thermostat but not too much.  We live in New England, we know storms, power outages and sudden cold snaps happen. Turn your thermostat down to 58-60 degrees.  This will keep your house warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing.
  4. Have a neighbor keep an eye out.  If the weather is expected to make a turn for the worse while you’re away, have a neighbor turn your heat up in case of a power outage.
  5. Turn off all space heaters.  This is the number one cause of fires during the winter.  Leaving a space heater on while you’re away can result in your home being a lump of coal when you return.

Have a happy and safe holiday from all of us at Wilson Brothers!

This isn’t Your Grandparents Heat Pump! Today’s Technology Means This Heat Pump Delivers Efficiency Even in New England!

Heat Pump Installation in Central MA

For every dollar of electricity you use on a heat pump, you get back $2 to $4 of heat. Now that is real energy efficiency! You see, a heat pump doesn’t “make” heat – it extracts heat from the outside air.

A great example of a one-way heat pump is your refrigerator. It removes heat from the air inside the refrigerator and moves it to the coils on the back or bottom of the refrigerator. A heat pump uses the same principle – extracting heat from the air and moving it to where it is needed. The winter air holds heat, even when the outside temperature gets down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Here’s how: when it is 47 degrees outside, an air-to-air heat pump extracts three units of energy for each unit of energy they consume. At 17 degrees, it extracts two units of energy for each unit of energy consumed. When the temperature dips even lower, that’s when your fuel-eating furnace kicks in.

Heat pumps are reliable. In fact, studies show that after 20 years of operation, more than half of the heat pumps were still working. Of those that were removed, less than half were for mechanical failures. The rest were for other reasons, such as upgrading to a newer, more efficient model or a different size.

Another reason to install a heat pump is that it “morphs” into an air conditioner in the summer. Instead of moving the heat inside, it reverses operation and collects the heat from inside the home and moves it outside. A heat pump is ideal for homes without ducts. No need to spend money to install ducts for central air. Your heat pump will provide cool air while saving energy and money.

Mitsubishi Heat Pump, Ductless Heat Pump, Energy Efficient, Pepperell MA, Methuen MA, Lowell MA, Billerica MA, Townshend MA, Nashua NH, Tyngsboro, Westford MA, Littletone MA, Nashoba Valley MA

Heating and cooling your home accounts for about half of your home energy use. Installing a heat pump is an easy way to take a bite out of your energy bills while maintaining year-round comfort.

Five Reasons to Install a Heat Pump:

 

  1. Save money on energy year-round.
  2. Get air conditioning in the summer without ducts.
  3. Beautify your home by getting rid of window a/c units.
  4. Help the environment by using less oil or gas.
  5. Enjoy whisper-quiet operation and all-season comfort.
  6. Get a FREE ESTIMATE from Wilson Brothers today for more information about installing a heat pump and to set up an appointment for a no-obligation estimate.

    Heat Savings MA | Heat Pump Installations Pepperell, Westford, Lowell MA, Nashua NH, Littleton MA, Chelmsford MA, Groton MA, Ayer MA, Shirley MA, Leominster MA

What is the Mass Save Heat Loan?

Participating lenders offer 0% loans up to $25,000 (depending on the utility and the lender) with terms up to 7 years! To qualify for this type of loan, you must have a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment and install qualified energy efficiency measures recommended by a Mass Save representative.

You can get a loan from participating banks for zero interest to install energy efficient systems! No interest at all! And … it isn’t as complicated as it might sound!

Simply call Mass Save at 866-527-7983 and request a Home Energy Assessment. There is no cost or obligation. A Mass Save representative will go to your home and check windows; doors; attic, wall and basement insulation; and light fixtures and will give you a comprehensive report with recommenda- tions on how you can save energy and money.

The following energy efficiency improvements are eligible for the HEAT Loan Program:

  • High Efficiency Heating Systems
  • Central Air Conditioning/ Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
  • High Efficiency Domestic Hot Water Systems
  • Solar Hot Water Systems
  • Attic, Wall, and Basement Insulation
  • 7-Day Digital & Wi Fi Thermostats
  • ENERGY STAR® Qualified Replacement Windows

Once your Energy Audit is completed you will receive a Heat Loan Intake Form which you will need to review and sign.

The staff at Wilson Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning will help you to navigate through the application process and provide you with a list of participating lenders. We are available to answer any question you may have about the proper equipment to install and the Heat Loan Program process.

Visit the Mass Save website to learn more about this program, available to residential customers of National Grid, NSTAR Electric and Gas, and Unitil or call Wilson Brothers at 978-433-5373 or 800-498-5373.