As Spring has sprung, the time where we’ll be needing to turn on the air conditioning in our home is getting closer.
If you’re still using inefficient, noisy window units, now is a great time to upgrade to central air conditioning! AFC offers expert installation of top-quality, energy efficient central air conditioners from some of the best brands in the business including York and Honeywell.
All of our central air conditioning installation and service are backed up by our AFC Comfort Guarantee. Our affordable Comfort Plans help keep your new central AC operating in tip-top shape while helping shield you from large repair bills thanks to coverage of many parts and labor costs.
AFC can also help with financing as we are an approved contractor with the National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF).
Do you already have central AC in your home, now is the time to contact us to schedule its annual maintenance tune-up. Our licensed and experienced service technicians will make sure your air conditioner is functioning optimally, drastically reducing your energy costs. In addition, a tune-up allows them the opportunity to detect and repair any issues which could potentially cause your AC to break down.
Central air conditioners make your home comfortable in warm weather by circulating cooled air through the system of supply and return ducts. The air is cooled by refrigerant in the evaporator coil of the central AC system.
The cooled air is delivered from the AC via supply ducts and registers. As the air grows warmer, it returns to its source with the help of return ducts and registers that bring it back to your central air conditioner, where the cooling process starts again.
Upgrading your home’s central air conditioning may be a good idea. The average life expectancy of a central air conditioning system is 15 years. A new AC offers an array of benefits, including being compatible with today’s smart thermostats and smart home technology.
Here are some reasons that you should look into replacing your central AC system.
Your central air conditioning isn’t performing well. How did your AC do last summer? Was it able to keep your home cool with ease? Did it break down? Is its energy usage increasing and driving up your energy costs? If these issues are a problem for you, it’s time to start planning its replacement.
Your cooling needs have changed. By increasing your living space with a home addition or finishing off an existing area such as an attic or enclosed porch, you could be straining your central air
conditioning system past its cooling load limit. If you have done these or are planning on adding to your living space in the future, now is the time to upgrade to a new air conditioning system to meet the new demand for cooling.
Your AC uses R-22 Freon refrigerant. R-22 Freon production and importation were banned in the United States at the end of 2020. If your air conditioning system uses R-22 Freon, this can have a big impact on your cooling costs. Due to the laws of supply and demand, prices for R-22 Freon have skyrocketed. As supplies continue to dwindle, R-22 Freon prices will only going higher. A new AC will end this costly problem.
Are you ready to add central air conditioning to your home or upgrade from your current AC? Get a FREE estimate from AFC!
Whether you are installing some new lighting, updating wiring, or doing a major renovation in your home, you need an electrician you can trust to do the job properly and to the highest standards for safety.
That’s where AFC comes in! Our team of electricians are all licensed, experienced, and insured. All of our electrical work is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.
As you consider an electrician for your project, here are some important things to know and ask about.
There are two classifications for electricians.
Master electricians have successfully passed a standardized test and possess at least two years of experience as an electrician. These experts understand the National Electrical Code inside out, plus any modifications made by your state. As such, they can competently plan, design, install, and maintain electrical systems for your project.
Journeyman electricians have not yet qualified for a master’s license; however, they are licensed by the state. Journeymen electricians are to work with a master electrician in some states. Laws mandate that a journeyman electrician cannot design electrical systems. They can install wiring and equipment.
Absolutely. Any electrician (or other tradesperson) who won’t offer an estimate is raising a big red flag.
Our electricians will go over the scope of your project and what needs to be done, and provide you with a FREE, no-obligation estimate.
Some electricians do based on the needs of the clients in their market, or their own interests. If you have specific requests for your project, such as electrical work for home technology or electric vehicle charging station installation, ask about their knowledge and experience in that area.
Definitely. As a good rule of thumb, electricians should have general liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation insurance. For electrical work for a home renovation, for example, it is recommended electricians should have a minimum of $500,000 in their general liability insurance coverage.
Any electrician who is afraid of having their references checked is not an electrician you should trust. Qualified electricians will gladly have references on hand for you to call. When contacting the reference, ask them about the project, the scope of the work, how the electrician handled problems that arose, and how the work has held up.
Money is an important topic to discuss. Your electrician will need to know what you can afford for the project and can help you to manage your costs. For example, they may be able to direct you to a local lighting supply company that has a better selection than the big box stores. While you may not save money, you may save time and hassle as the electrician can handle picking up the fixture and make sure that everything that is needed to do the installation is on hand.
You can trust the licensed, skilled electricians for your home’s electrical service needs! Contact us to learn more.
There isn’t a spot in your home, indoors or outside, that cannot be enhanced with propane appliances.
Propane’s versatility, energy efficiency, and reliability are unmatched by any other energy source. With expert propane appliance installation and service, along with dependable propane delivery from AFC, you can enjoy the benefits of propane in your Central Maine home!
Your propane appliances will be installed by our licensed, skilled service technicians and all of our propane appliance work is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.
Here are some of the ways propane can make your home better.
You can’t beat propane for fast, even, efficient home heating. Today’s high-efficiency propane furnaces and boilers boast efficiencies of up to 98%, which means that for every dollar you spend on propane, almost all of it contributes towards heating your home, with only two cents lost in combustion. You’ll cut your energy costs from the moment your new propane heating system is turned on!
Heating water is the second-largest energy expense in a home, behind only home heating and cooling, and it typically takes up 20% of annual energy bills.
Propane water heaters offer unparalleled comfort while drastically reducing your energy costs. With a 40-gallon propane storage tank, you can get the same amount of hot water in an hour as what is provided by a 50-gallon electric model!
Are you looking for additional comfort and convenience, but with significantly lower energy bills? A propane tankless water heater provides endless hot water on-demand while saving you money in the process! This revolutionary appliance can reduce your water heating costs dramatically.
From summer storms to winter nor’easters, power outages can make life at home anything but easy. At best, they are a major inconvenience; however, at worst they can be quite hazardous.
A propane whole-house backup generator allows you to power your HVAC system, refrigerator, electronics, essential home medical equipment like CPAPs, and more so you and your loved ones stay safe and comfortable.
If you’re looking for a gas source to power your cooking, propane is the best solution because it’s a secure, reliable energy source you can use regardless of whether your neighborhood is served by a gas utility.
Propane cooking provides many advantages, particularly the precise and instantaneous temperature control that helps you cook your food to perfection. In comparison, electric ranges can be considerably slower in terms of heating up and cooling down. Moreover, since propane ovens generate heat with more moisture than their electric counterparts do, roasts and turkeys are far less likely to dry out!
Propane is an invaluable asset both within and outside your home. For instance, propane grills are easy to light up in minutes instead of the tedious half-hour it takes for a charcoal fire to ignite. Furthermore, they provide precise temperature control allowing you to cook various foods perfectly!
Let propane elevate your outdoor living with its range of amenities, including pool and patio heaters, deck and patio heaters, firepits, insect traps, outdoor lighting systems, even an elegant fireplace. Propane helps you make the most out of every moment in your backyard.
Not only is propane fantastic for whole-house heating, but it can also be utilized to make any unheated or underheated spaces functional throughout the year. Whether you need to heat up workshops, sunporches, garages, or sheds, propane space heaters offer superior efficiency and comfort compared with electric heaters.
Doing laundry can often be a boring, tedious task that we all want to get done as soon as possible.
Speed up your laundry routine with a propane clothes dryer! Not only does these get your laundry 25% faster than a comparable electric one, but its moister heat also creates fewer wrinkles and prevents wear. Put simply: you’ll have fresh clothes in no time AND less ironing to do when it’s all said and done.
Become an AFC customer for dependable propane delivery so you can enjoy the comfort and convenience of propane appliances for your Central Maine home!
Choosing a new water heater can have a big impact on your home, your comfort, and your budget. Water heating is the second-largest user of energy in your home behind heating and cooling, accounting for about 20% of your home’s energy costs.
AFC can help you make sure that you get the right water heater for your home. We sell top-quality water heaters from the best manufacturers such as Rinnai, Bradford White, Buderus, and Oventrop. Our water heater installation is done by our team of licensed service technicians and in-house plumbers.
We also provide water heater repair and maintenance services, and our affordable Comfort Plans help protect your water heater. All of our work is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.
If your water heater is getting on in years, now is the time to get in touch with AFC to begin planning for its replacement. You don’t want to wait for your water heater to fail before you decide to replace it. You will not only be rushed into making an important decision during a stressful time, but you may also have to deal with the hassles and costs of cleaning up water damage is your water heater’s tank fails.
Corrosion of your tank from the inside out thanks to sediment buildup inside the tank is the most common cause of water heater failure.
The average life expectancy of conventional storage water heaters with a tank is eight to 10 years. How long your water heater will last depends on several factors, including how well it has been maintained over the years.
Here’s how to find out how old your water heater is if you are not sure of its age:
Look for the water heater’s serial number. It is usually located on top of the unit. It will start with a letter followed by a series of numbers. The letter indicates the month in which it was manufactured (“A” for January, “B” for February, etc.), with the immediately following numbers being the year. So, if your water heater’s serial number starts with “H14,” the “H” is for August, and the “14” is for 2014, meaning that your water heater was manufactured in August of 2014.
Age isn’t the only factor that determines whether you need a new water heater. If your water heater is exhibiting any of these issues, it’s time to give AFC a call to talk replacement.
Replacing your old water heater is an outstanding opportunity to make a smart investment in your home and your comfort by choosing a propane tankless water heater.
By investing in a propane tankless water heater, you can save up to a lot on your monthly water heating bills compared to an electric model! Not only will this help reduce energy costs, but it’s also an environmentally conscious option that helps protect our planet.
With a conventional storage water heater with a tank, the only hot water you have is what’s in the tank. And that water is heated and reheated all day and all night, so you have hot water when you need it. That consumes a lot of energy.
A tankless water heater, on the other hand, only heats water when you need it, slashing your water heating energy use dramatically. Also, it keeps heating water for you as long as you need it!
Are you ready to replace your home’s water heater? AFC is here for you! Set up your free estimate today.
If you are looking to add heat pumps to your home, you are making an outstanding investment in energy efficiency and comfort!
However, heat pump installation is not a do-it-yourself project. AFC is a Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor. We sell, install, and service top-quality Mitsubishi STAR heat pumps. Our licensed service technicians are trained by Mitsubishi so you know that your heat pump will be installed properly according to manufacturer’s instructions and standards.
Safety is a major consideration when it comes to choosing professional installation. Because installing heat pumps involves electrical work as well as working with refrigerant, you can be assured that our professional installation work will be done to meet all codes and to the highest standards for safety.
Proper installation of heat pumps is essential to ensure that they operate at their best possible energy efficiency. Incorrect installation could cost you thousands in unneeded energy costs over the life of your heat pump.
Another reason that professional installation is important is that, unless your heat pump is installed by a professional, the warranty for it will likely be voided. That can cost you a lot of money down the road.
There is so much more to heat pump installation than the actual installation. This is where the training and expertise of AFC’s licensed service technicians make the difference.
The first step is to do what is called a Manual J Load Calculation on your home. This calculation involves measurements and tests to determine your exact needs when it comes to adding heat pumps to your home. Factors that enter into the calculation go beyond the square footage of your home. They include:
Heat pump installation is not one-size-fits-all. Any installer who does not do a load calculation or says you don’t need it is wrong.
Our service technicians’ training and experience also mean they know how to install the heat pump properly and make sure that it is running as it should before they leave.
It depends on whether you are adding heat pumps to your home or replacing existing ones.
If you are replacing your old heat pumps, part of the work involved includes replacing the pad on which they sat. The ground will need to be leveled and a new, composite pad installed.
Heat pumps need to sit higher off the ground than a central air conditioning unit because they need to be kept clear of snow and ice and allow the heat pump to drain properly.
Don’t take a chance with this big investment in your home. Contact AFC for a FREE estimate on your heat pump installation.
When you think about your home, what do you think of?
You may think about that one particular window that lets in beautiful afternoon light. You may think about the fireplace that gives you cozy warmth and a place to hang the Christmas stockings. Or perhaps you think about the kitchen, where family and friends gather for holidays and just hanging out.
What you may not think of is your home’s HVAC system that keeps your home comfortable and safe all year round. AFC is here to take care of all your HVAC installation and service needs.
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning: the systems responsible for providing warm air in winter, cool air during summer, and ensuring a balanced temperature all year round. Whether it’s a home, apartment complex, or commercial building, HVAC is essential to creating an indoor atmosphere that maintains comfort throughout any space.
HVAC systems generally operate on the same principle. They take in the fresh air and use technology to adjust it to whatever temperature is desired.
There are several options for home heating, including furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps.
The most common equipment for whole-house cooling are central air conditioning systems and heat pumps, also referred to as ductless mini-splits.
Your home’s heating and air conditioning systems are controlled by thermostats. A programmable or smart thermostat can help you get better control of your heating and cooling, making it more efficient so you can keep energy costs down while keeping your home comfortable.
There’s another component that is often a part of an HVAC system: indoor air quality equipment. These include air cleaners that help rid your indoor air bacteria, spores, viruses, pet dander, and odors. There is also indoor air quality equipment to control the humidity levels in your home, whether you need to add humidity or remove it.
AFC can help make the air in your home cleaner and safer with our indoor air quality equipment services, including iWave air cleaners and Aprilaire humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
Your HVAC equipment is a major investment in your home’s value, as well as the comfort of you and your loved ones. Taking care of it helps protect that investment.
It is recommended that you get annual maintenance tune-ups of your HVAC equipment. Regular, professional maintenance helps to keep your HVAC equipment running at its peak efficiency, meaning your energy costs are better controlled. These tune-ups give the licensed, skilled service technicians at AFC the chance to detect and fix problems before they get worse. This helps prevent not only breakdowns and repair bills, but also prevent excessive wear and tear that can shorten your HVAC equipment’s life expectancy.
Our affordable Comfort Plans give you peace of mind because your HVAC equipment gets annual maintenance, and many parts and labor repair costs are covered. Also, all of our HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair work is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.
You can trust AFC for your HVAC installation and service needs. Contact us today for a FREE quote!
The mention of frozen pipes can strike fear in the heart of Central Maine homeowners.
Frozen pipes can burst and cause water damage in your home, leading to expensive repair and remediation costs. AFC’s plumbing service is staffed with plumbers who are all licensed and experienced and are here to help if you end up with frozen pipes.
We’re also here to help with information that can help you avoid frozen pipes, so you have peace of mind.
The best way to stop your pipes from freezing is knowing what to do.
Even with prevention, extreme cold can lead to frozen pipes. The first thing to do is not panic. You may be able to solve your frozen pipes problem without them bursting and leading to damage in your home. Here are some steps to take.
Whatever your plumbing needs are, AFC’s team of licensed, experienced plumbers can take care of you! Contact us for a FREE estimate.
If you own a business, you know that keeping operating costs under control is essential for your bottom line.
AFC is here to help with our commercial HVAC services. We sell, install, and service commercial HVAC systems. Our team of service technicians, electricians, and plumbers are all licensed, skilled, and experienced.
If you are wondering about the state of your commercial HVAC equipment, here are some things to consider.
The Department of Energy recommends replacing your commercial HVAC system every 10 years to maintain maximum efficiency. While today’s systems are usually pretty durable, their parts can begin experiencing wear and tear after that amount of time has passed.
An older HVAC system is vulnerable to breaking down more often, especially if it has not received regular, professional maintenance. That can drastically impact its ability to regulate the temperature in your commercial space. Not only will this diminish comfort for those using the space but can have a marked effect on productivity and workplace safety as well.
Ultimately, replacing your machine might end up being less expensive than continuously paying for repairs. A good guideline to follow is that if repairs are costing more than half the cost of replacing your HVAC system, replacement is the more cost-effective solution.
Utility bills can vary drastically depending on the season. But if you notice an ongoing increase in your energy costs each year, then that may be a cue to upgrade your commercial HVAC system. As any machine starts wearing down with age and usage, so does HVAC units. That’s especially true if they have not been getting annual tune-ups!
Investing in a new unit now could save some hefty expenses later as inefficient systems guzzle up more electricity than necessary. Let’s say your current commercial HVAC system is 12 years old. By upgrading to a new, Energy Star-certified system, you could cut your heating and cooling energy costs by 20% or more!
The quality of air in your office environment is largely dependent on the performance and upkeep of your commercial HVAC system. This is especially true during sultry summer months when humidity becomes more threatening to interior air quality. When properly maintained, a well-functioning A/C unit can provide crisp, clean air consistently. When your business’s air conditioning system is older and/or not properly taken care of, it can reduce the quality of air by raising humidity levels and permitting dust buildup to accumulate, as well as mold and mildew growth.
Another way age can impact your commercial HVAC system is that if your air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, it likely uses the refrigerant R-22. The production or import of R-22 is now prohibited in the U.S. The supply of R-22 is limited, and with that dwindling supply comes skyrocketing costs for it. Replacing your commercial A/C could save you thousands of dollars simply by no longer needing to use R-22.
Do you have questions about upgrading your commercial HVAC system? Contact AFC today to set up a consultation.
Heating system problems can strike dread in the hearts of many fearing big repair bills. Don’t give into that worry if you’re in this situation.
Usually, when you take the time to attend to the problem, it’s not as bad as you initially thought and can be fixed relatively easily. However, if you don’t do anything about it and allow the problem to persist, then it will only get worse. This could eventually lead to your boiler or furnace breaking down and much higher bills.
AFC provides expert heating repair services by our licensed and experienced service technicians. An AFC Comfort Plan can help prevent repairs as heating maintenance is included in each service plan. Also, many parts and labor costs for repairs are covered.
All of our heating system service is backed up by the AFC Comfort Guarantee.
Here are some common problems that may need our attention.
Reminder: If you have a no-heat emergency, DO NOT contact us online. Call us any time of day or night for 24/7 emergency service.
Banging or booming. You may not have a problem if you occasionally hear banging or booming sounds while your furnace is operating. This can happen sometimes because of ductwork expanding and contracting. However, there is a potential danger to your home and family if you only hear a boom or bang when your furnace cycles on. This noise is likely caused by a dirty furnace burner which, if not corrected, can damage the heat exchanger. A damaged heat exchanger could result in carbon monoxide leaking into your house. DO NOT try to clean the burner yourself. This is a job for professionals.
Squealing. If you hear this, it might mean that your blower fan belt is wearing out or there is not enough lubrication in other furnace parts. In either case, contact us so we can come take a look. If you ignore the problem, it could cause your furnace to stop working entirely.
Rumbling or rattling. This noise is a sign of a heating system problem that needs to be looked at as soon as possible. It may come from a broken heat exchanger, which can cause carbon monoxide to leak if not fixed. Contact us now for service.
Scraping. The blower fan is the general source of this noise, which happens when it has come loose from its mount. When this occurs, it also causes furnaces to overheat and shut down prematurely, leaving your home colder than you want it to be. If you’re experiencing this, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can service the problem for you.
Electrical or burning smells. If you catch a whiff of something burning while your furnace is running, or if your furnace shuts off randomly, it’s time to be concerned. This could mean that rubber or metal parts in the system are wearing down and beginning to burn. In either case, shut off your heating system immediately and contact us for service.
Noxious exhaust odors or smoke. If you notice either of these smells, it might be an indication that your exhaust chimney is blocked. This can be a partial or complete blockage. If this is the case, deadly carbon monoxide could start to build up in your house very quickly. To avoid any danger, shut off your heating system immediately and call AFC.
Rotten-egg smell. If you smell this odor in your home and use propane, there is likely a gas leak.
Follow propane safety best practices by evacuating the home immediately, then call 911 and AFC.
If your heating system is struggling to provide heat, check the thermostat first. After that, take a look around vents and radiators to see if any furniture or other objects are blocking the flow of heat. If you still can’t figure out the problem, contact us for help.
If your heating system frequently turns on and off, this may be caused by a dirty air filter or faulty thermostat. Check each and replace if needed. If the problem persists, please give us a call.
You can trust the licensed, skilled service technicians at AFC to repair your furnace or boiler properly. Contact us when your heating system needs service.
When gas leaks make the news, natural gas and propane are often inaccurately and unfairly conflated. People often believe that all gases are the same. However, they are not.
Yes, propane can be highly flammable in certain situations. However, leaks within propane systems are extremely rare. One reason many people are making the switch from electric or natural gas to propane is because propane is a safe, clean-burning way to heat your home and water and run many of your appliances.
You can be assured that AFC’s team of trained and experienced propane delivery drivers and service technicians, as well as the licensed plumbers who install your gas lines, will do their work to the highest standards for safety.
If you use propane in your Central Maine home, there is some key propane safety information you need to know. We’ll walk you through that and offer tips that will make you feel confident about having propane in your home.
This is probably the most important fact about propane that you need to know, because this allows you to know if there is a propane gas leak in your home.
Propane is an odorless gas naturally, so an odorant, typically ethyl mercaptan, is added during production to enable people to easily detect leaks. This scent has been most commonly described as being similar to rotten eggs.
The first thing to do is not panic. Follow the below propane leak safety guidelines to protect your home and loved ones.
AFC is dedicated to the safe delivery and use of propane. Please contact us with any propane safety questions you have.