Air source heat pump rebates for commercial spaces

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCNC) has expanded its air source heat pump rebates to commercial/non-residential buildings to help support the Commonwealth’s clean heating and cooling initiative. Businesses, non-profit organizations and public buildings that plan to install fewer than 20 single head heat pumps or 20 tons of cooling capacity are now eligible to participate in this exceptional rebate program.

Air source heat pumps offer clean heat

The program provides residential rebates of as much as $2,500 and commercial rebates of as much as $12,500 for small-scale air source heat pump rebates. Additional rebates may be available for public, non-profit and affordable housing organizations, as well as income-based rebates for owners that qualify.

Unlike previous program rules, system owners will apply for these rebates directly. To apply, the system owner will need to provide the paid-in-full receipt, within 90 days of system installation.

If you run a large commercial operation, you’re not out of luck! You can also apply for rebates under the Commercial Scale Air Source Heat Pump Program. This program is designed to support multi-family buildings, businesses, non-profits and public projects installing more than 20 units or more than 20 tons of cooling capacity. For these large installations, rebates of up to $93,750 are available. Additional funding is also available for non-profit, public and affordable housing projects.

These programs offer an exceptional opportunity to replace old, inefficient heating and cooling systems with money-saving, reliable and quiet year-round heating and cooling options. They also offer a cost effective option for switching from oil, propane or traditional electric heat to a cleaner, more efficient heating and cooling technology.

If you would like more information about air source heat pumps, or about how you can participate in MassCEC’s Air Source Heat Pump Rebate program as either a residential or commercial client, please give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911. We’ll fill you in on all of the program details, and help you learn about qualifying options for clean heating and cooling for your home.

Photo Credit: 401K 2012, via Flickr.com

Mitsubishi Announces New Warranties For Its Heating and Cooling Products

Mitsubishi Extends Warranty Coverage

Mitsubishi Extends Warranty Coverage

Great news for consumers! Mitsubishi has upgraded its product warranties for all of its heating and cooling products for systems installed after April 1, 2015. Some systems installed by Mitsubishi Diamond contractors can qualify for warranties as long as 12 years!

M-Series Warranty
Mitsubishi’s M-Series Warranty provides 12-year parts and 12-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system meets the following requirements:
• Installed by a Diamond Contractor in a residential single-family owner-occupied home
• Registered by the installing contractor through the Extranet within 90 days of installation
Boston Standard Company is a Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer.

Mitsubishi’s M-Series Warranty provides 10-year parts and 10-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system meets the following requirements:
• Installed by a licensed contractor in a residential single-family owner-occupied home
• Registered through the MitsubishiComfort.com site, within 90 days of installation

Standard 5-year parts and 7-year compressor warranties are available to the original owner for all other circumstances.

P-Series Warranty
Mitsubish’s P-Series Warranty provides 12-year parts and 12-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system is:
• Installed by a Diamond Contractor in a residential single-family owner-occupied home
• Registered through the Extranet within 90 days of installation
Again, Boston Standard Company is a Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer. When you work with us, you’ll get the best available warranty coverage for your Mitsubishi heating and cooling systems.

Mitsubish’s P-Series Warranty provides 10-year parts and 10-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system is:
• Installed by a licensed contractor in a residential single-family or commercial application
• Registered through the MitsubishiComfort.com site within 90 days of installation

Standard 5-year parts and 7-year compressor warranties are available to the original owner for all other circumstances.

S-Series Warranty
Mitsubish’s S-Series Warranty provides 12-year parts and 12-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system is:
• Designed by a Diamond Designer using Diamond System Builder™
• Installed by a Diamond Contractor in a residential single-family owner-occupied home
• The Diamond Contractor has completed the MEUS authorized S-Series (PUMY) or CITY MULTI training course
• MEUS Extended Warranty Process report is completed and approved by MEUS

Mitsubish’s S-Series Warranty provides 10-year parts and 10-year compressor warranty is available to the original owner with provided the system is:
• Designed by a Diamond Designer using Diamond System Builder™
• Installed by a licensed contractor that has completed the MEUS authorized S-Series (PUMY) or CITY MULTI training course
• MEUS Extended Warranty Process report is completed and approved by MEUS

Standard 1-year parts and 6-year compressor warranties are available to the original owner for all other circumstances.

CITY MULTI Warranty

Mitsubish’s CITY MULTI Warranty provides 10-year parts and 10-year compressor warranty coverage to the original owner provided the system is:
• Designed by a Diamond Designer using Diamond System Builder
• Installed by a licensed contractor that has completed the MEUS authorized CITY MULTI training course
• MEUS Extended Warranty Process report is completed and approved by MEUS

Standard 1-year parts and 7-year compressor warranties are available to the original owner for all other circumstances.

Extended warranty coverage is available at no additional cost to you when you work with a certified Mitsubishi Diamond Dealer like Boston Standard Plumbing. Our staff is trained and certified in the products we sell, so that we can give you the best possible product and the best available warranty coverage on your heating and cooling equipment.

For more information about the new warranty plans available through Mitsubishi, or any Mitsubishi heating and cooling products, call us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 anytime. We’ll be happy to arrange a consultation and let you know how you can lower your heating and cooling costs, save money on the installation and extend the warranty protection on your Mitsubishi heating and cooling equipment.

Photo Credit: Mitsubishi

Happy World Plumbing Day 2014!

Happy World Plumbing Day 2014!

Happy World Plumbing Day 2014!

If you’ve never heard of World Plumbing Day, it’s a special day set aside by the World Plumbing Council to draw attention to the important role that plumbing plays in sanitation and health. Currently, about 3 million people each year die from preventable water-related illnesses each year. The majority of deaths occur in children under five years of age.

In the US, we have access to reliably clean, safe and abundant water. Sanitation is the other half of the safe-water equation, and we also enjoy some of the most sanitary living conditions in the world – thanks to our strict plumbing and building codes.

For nearly ten years, global organizations like the World Health Organization have been working to bring clean drinking water and improved sanitation to areas of the world where access to these necessities are limited. We tend to think of water-related sanitation as a third-world problem, but every year, we receive many reminders about the dangers that lurk in our own high-quality water supplies.

Legionnaires Disease was first identified in Philadelphia in the mid-1970’s. It is a form of bacterial pneumonia that thrives in treated water systems like cooling towers, air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, fountains, spas, humidifiers, icemakers, and hot water tanks.

Although we associate Legionnaires Disease with massive outbreaks, as many as 18,000 cases are documented each year in the United States, mostly among individuals. Aerosolized water in hotels, cruise ships, grocery stores, office buildings and public spaces spreads the bacteria. Aggressive changes to plumbing, heating and cooling codes, and procedures for treating and cleaning water-handling and storage systems now discourage major outbreaks of Legionnaires and other similar water-borne illnesses.

Clean, safe drinking water and high-quality sanitation form the basis of our modern society, but even in 2014 in Massachusetts, we still struggle with removing contaminants like lead from our water. According to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, as of September 2013, nearly 2% of “high-risk” homes in Massachusetts still contain lead in the water in unacceptable levels.

At Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating, we take the safety of your plumbing seriously. Whether we work on your home heating, cooling or plumbing systems, you can rely on us to keep your water-handling systems clean and safe. If you have any concerns about the safety of your plumbing, heating, cooling or water-handling systems, contact us for help. We can help identify and remove lead-containing fixtures and water lines, the chief source of lead in residential tap water. Call us anytime at (617) 288-2911 and let us help you maintain your major residential heating, cooling and plumbing systems safely.

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Photo Credit: shortsands, via StockXchng

Best Way To Clean Your Toilet? Read This!

Best Way To Clean Your Toilet?  Read This!

Best Way To Clean Your Toilet? Read This!

No one likes cleaning the toilet. Let’s face it; it’s an unpleasant job. The in-tank toilet cleaning products might seem very attractive, especially if you’re looking for a way to save time and avoid having to clean the toilet. Boston homeowners should consider this when selecting toilet-cleaning products: not all toilet cleaners are created equal, and what saves time might end up costing you more money in toilet repairs and wasted water.

Most toilets use a flapper mechanism to flush material into the waste pipe. Tank based toilet cleaners, which include very harsh chemicals, tend to deteriorate the flapper valve of a toilet, reducing its life expectancy by as much as 75%. A leaking flapper valve will increase the amount of water being consumed by the fixture and will reduce or eliminate any water-saving the toilet design might otherwise offer.

Toilet flapper valves are made of rubber, which cannot withstand the chemicals used in in-tank cleaning products. If you don’t mind replacing the flapper valve every few years, these products may save you a few minutes, but without regular maintenance on the flapper valve, you’ll increase your water consumption and end up spending more on water over the life of the fixture. If you’ve paid more for a water-saving toilet design, you’ll also increase the amount of time it takes to recover the cost of your investment.

The biggest offenders among tank-based cleaners are the slow-release, drop-in tablets that have become so popular. Chemical-related flapper valve failure is not a recent discovery. Toilet manufacturers have known for at least 20 years that cleaning chemicals that are dispensed from the tank will significantly reduce the life expectancy of a flapper valve.

Valve manufacturers responded by making flapper valves that are more durable and better able to resist the damage caused by tank-based cleaning chemicals. That would be good news for consumers, if the companies that make tank-based cleaning products hadn’t also improved their products! Even with improved flapper valve materials, testing revealed that none of the newer materials could withstand a particular type of tank-based toilet bowl cleaning tablet (Vanish).

Consumers also may contribute to increased water usage when they attempt to correct a leaking flapper valve. Replacement flapper valves don’t always come from the manufacturer, which means that the replacement parts may not provide the same water-saving performance that OEM parts do. The results of using an incorrect replacement flapper valve may be somewhat surprising. Using the wrong valve may correct the leaking problem, but it may also double or in some cases nearly triple the water consumption per flush of a low-flow fixture!

The lessons here are two-fold. If you have a water-saving toilet (one that uses 1.6 gallons per flush or less), and it has a flapper valve, consider the use of tank dispensed toilet bowl cleaners carefully, as they have been shown in some cases, to degrade the durability of the flapper valve significantly. Second, if you have a low-flow toilet and you want to replace the flapper valve, choose your replacement carefully! If you can, purchase an OEM flapper valve that’s made specifically for your toilet model. Doing so will help preserve the water-saving quality of the toilet – which may have been the reason you chose your particular toilet in the first place!

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Photo Credit: Family O’Abe, via Flickr

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Setback Thermostats: Are They Worth It?

Setback thermostats, also known as programmable thermostats, are worth their weight in gold. According to the Department of Energy, homeowners spend an average of $2,200 annually on energy bills, including heating and cooling. Aside from the mortgage and taxes, heating and cooling costs are likely to be the largest expenses associated with the home. Homeowners can save about 8% per year (about $180) by using a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling appliances in the home.
On winter mornings, the programmable thermostat can raise the temperature of the home before you wake, making the prospect of getting out of bed more agreeable. You can set the temperature to be anything you like, but you’ll each degree will increase (or decrease) your heating bill by about 3%.
68°F was a standard that was set in the mid-1970’s as being the norm for indoor temperatures in the winter, but some homeowners keep their thermostats set lower – to 65°F or 66°F for the little time they’ll be active before they leave the home on winter mornings. In the summer, consider setting the A/C to 78°F.
How far should you allow the temperature to fall (or rise) in your home while you’re at work? That’s a subject that’s up for much debate. The Department of Energy recommends that you allow the temperature to fall at least 8°F in the winter (or rise at least 7°F in the summer) while you’re away. If you stick with the normal temperatures of 68°F in the winter and 78°F in the summer, you’ll set your thermostat to fall to 60°F in the winter and rise to 85°F in the summer. Allowing the temperature to vary beyond that could save you money, but your heating and cooling plants will work harder to return your home to a comfortable temperature.
The programmable thermostat will enable you to set the system to prepare for your return, and will also enable you to drop (or raise) the temperatures at night. The Department of Energy recommends that you allow the overnight temperature to drop by at least 8°F in the winter and raise by at least 4° in the summer.
Generally, you can find programmable thermostats that will allow you to maintain a separate program for each day of the week. Lower-cost models allow you to program one schedule for the workweek and a separate schedule for the weekend. Finally, some thermostats allow you to program for the workweek and operate separate schedules on Saturdays and Sundays.
Boston Standard Plumbing can help you determine which programmable thermostats will work best for your heating and cooling systems.