The best heating and cooling system for a home differs from house to house, and from family to family. And the HVAC industry is very different from that of even a decade ago. Given recent advancements in technology, there are more options available to homeowners than ever — at every budget level.
However, too many options and choices can sometimes overwhelm a homeowner. That’s where we at Robies love to help. Whether you’re purchasing an heating and/or cooling system for the first time, or replacing an older system, our team wants to help you through the process armed with the knowledge you need to make the right decisions.
What are the options? Let’s start with…
Central Air Conditioning: These systems use coils to transform warm air into cool air. They require outdoor units and installation of ductwork — if your home doesn’t already have it. Today’s cooling systems use environmentally friendly refrigerants and are designed to operate at low electric consumption — you’ll immediately see the difference in your Eversource or Cape Light Compact bill. For central cooling systems, we install only Carrier. After all, their founder invented air conditioning…and this company has consistently stayed head and shoulders over other manufacturers in quality and dependability.
Ductless Mini-Splits: This is a type of cooling system that does not require the installation of ductwork. There is an outdoor unit, and one or more indoor units. They’re all connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring. With ductless, you can cool an entire home — or just parts of a home. And your outside views are no longer obstructed by window air conditioners! Here, we usually recommend ductless air conditioning from Mitsubishi. The reason? It’s all about the quality of the components…you just won’t find anything comparable.
Gas Furnaces: Recent technology advances make these systems very quiet and super-efficient…greatly reducing your monthly National Grid bills. They can run on propane, too. Like for central air conditioning, for furnaces we are proponents of Carrier — the quality of their equipment is simply superior. Some Carrier furnaces are 98.5% efficient!
Oil Furnaces: Oil furnaces are not quite as efficient as gas furnaces — but they can make sense as replacements for existing oil furnaces. Today’s models will still save you money on your fuel bills, and they do run cleaner. There are several companies which make fine units; we’ll help you select based on your specific needs.
Boilers: A boiler heats water, then distributes it throughout the home to radiators, which disburse the generated warmth into a room. Different models can operate using gas or oil. Again, there are several companies which make fine units; we’ll help you select based on your specific needs.
Ductless Mini-Splits: Yes, we covered this in the Cooling section above, but we want to point out that certain models are capable of heating your home — or parts of your home — as well. A ductless system can be perfect for small and medium-sized homes, antiques, or for heating an auxiliary space like basement, attic, sunroom, garage or even an outbuilding. As we mentioned earlier, Mitsubishi is our manufacturer of choice here. We want you to thoroughly enjoy your new unit, and the odds of that are highest with Mitsubishi.
Heat Pumps (“central” style): Not to be confused with the ductless units described immediately above, which are also a type of heat pump, these components require ductwork (as do furnaces and central a/c) to both heat and cool the entire home. In other words, a furnace isn’t necessary! They’re often best suited for well-insulated, or smaller, homes. However, some of our customers combine them with a furnace to give themselves a “Hybrid Heat” system — for the ultimate in energy efficiency and comfort.
Radiant Heat: A boiler sends the warm water into transfer pipes and plates located in the sub-floor of a house. This warms the floors and disperses heat throughout the living spaces. Radiant systems can run on either gas, oil or electricity. We will usually combine components from several top manufacturers to provide an optimal level of comfort.
Geothermal: This unique home heating method uses the heat of the earth’s underground water. More expensive to develop (for one thing, a deep well will need to be dug) but very cost-efficient to operate. The equipment is highly specialized; one of our management team will help you understand the pros and cons and plan out the system for you.
Air Quality Enhancers:
Your family’s health and safety is paramount, of course. Adding an air quality component to your HVAC system can make a world of difference in reducing mold, mildew, dust, bacteria, viruses and pet dander. Some of the specific air quality enhancers which Robies installs include air cleaners, air purifiers, media filters, humidifiers, energy recovery ventilators, UV lamps, humidifiers and dehumidifiers. We install IAQ (indoor air quality) components from AprilAire, Halo-LED and Carrier. Check out our more detailed explanations to learn more about your options.
Programmable thermostats have been around for decades, but “smart” controls are a newer invention. Many of the functions of the older programmable thermostats, such as heating or cooling your home at the pre-set temperatures during the day and night, are included; but with a smart control you can do much more. You can adjust your home’s temperature, program it, check your equipment and more from anywhere in the world (as long as there’s cell service or wifi). Plus, many of these controls make small adjustments on their own based on several “smart” factors (such as quick changes in the outside weather), so you’ll never have the urge to fiddle with the thermostat again!
Automatic Standby Generators:
Generators have become more affordable recently, and we highly recommend the investment here on Cape Cod where weather often takes a turn for the worse. You’ll never have to go without your heating and cooling systems (and all your house’s other lights and appliances) again. Like every company with which we partner, we chose Generac to be our supplier of generators because they are simply the best-made and the most reliable. They can run on natural or LP gas, feature automatic startup and shutdown, self-test themselves once a week, and can also be controlled with a cell phone, tablet or computer from afar. Weather is so unpredictable here on the Cape, but your comfort and safety don’t have to be!
While advances in technology have made for more comfortable homes, it isn’t as simple as the old days. But whatever your needs may be, always feels free to reach out to the Robies team about your heating and cooling component, emergency generators, or any of the other topics we discussed in this article. You can call us at 800-698-4522 or 508-775-3083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out this online form. One our experienced consultants can help you choose the right system, get routine maintenance, or schedule a repair.
Robies knows Cape Cod (after all, we’ve been here for over 60 years!), our staff lives here, and we understand the unique demands which our weather and our environment place on local homes and HVAC systems. The entire Robies team is trained in today’s technology, and we have the resources and skills to provide an honest evaluation and cost/benefit analysis. We look forward to helping you soon.