Potter Heating Cooling & Plumbing Blog: Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Welcome to Our New Blog

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

At Potter Heating and Cooling, we’re dedicated to helping our customers enjoy the best in home comfort from affordable HVAC services. But we want to do more, and that’s why we’ve started this new blog on our website.

You probably don’t know the technical details of your home’s heating and cooling systems, and that’s fine. It’s why you have professionals like us to help you when you need it. But a bit of knowledge can do marvels for improving your home comfort, lowering energy bills, and understanding when you need our professional services.

On this blog, you’ll find posts about the best ways to manage your indoor comfort, how to recognize when you’ve got a heater or AC that needs repairs, details about how your HVAC system works, seasonal reminders for when it’s time to schedule maintenance, and much more. We’ll also share industry information with you as well as a range of tips and tricks.

If you need more than a few blog posts to help you out, you only need to contact us to schedule the quality service that will take care of you. We hold ourselves to a higher standard.

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Welcome to Our New Website

Thursday, April 6th, 2023

It’s 2023 and we have a fresh new look! This complete refresh and redesign of our website is part of our continuing dedication to making life easier for our customers in Brighton, NY and the surrounding areas. If you’re already one of our customers, you’ll still get the same high quality service you expect from us. If you’re new—welcome! We want to be your go-to company for all your comfort needs. Bookmark our site so you can reach us quickly the next time you need us.

This new site contains more detailed information about the many services we offer, as well as a blog that we will regularly update with advice, trade secrets, and special notifications. Everything here is designed to help you get the most from your home comfort systems.

To learn more about how iMarket Solutions, the company behind our new website, can expand your presence on the web, visit www.imarketsolutions.com

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Avoid These Top 5 Mistakes With Programmable Thermostats

Friday, January 13th, 2023
Adjusting a digital thermostat

Programmable thermostats can be a game changer when it comes to home comfort. Especially in upstate New York where we deal with rowdy temperature fluctuations that have caused many a resident to say, “Go home, Rochester, you’re drunk.” It could be 4°F below zero one day and 45°F the next.

But are you using your programmable thermostat to the best of its ability? With heating and cooling technology getting smarter by the minute, we now can control our programmable thermostat from anywhere. But there are several mistakes homeowners are making when it comes to their programmable thermostats. Avoid these mistakes to get the most out of your heating system this winter:

  • Setting A Higher Temp to Warm House Quicker

Brr. It’s cold out there. And when you came home from work, it’s cold in here too. But stay away from the thermostat, she knows what she’s doing. Setting the temperature higher than normal will definitely make you feel warmer, but it will not happen faster. The thermostat does not have control over the speed at which your house heats up – that has everything to do with how well-insulated your home is and how efficiently your ducts are working. What it will do is make you increasingly warm and cause your furnace to spend excess energy warming your house. If you need to warm up quickly, your best bet is to throw the kettle on, wrap yourself in an extra layer and wait for the temperature to increase as scheduled with a cup of tea in hand. To allow enough time for your house to warm up from your programmed setback temperature, program the temperature change for an hour before you arrive home from work.

  • Keeping Heat at a Constant Temperature

Oh, no, no, no. The biggest energy waster. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust your home’s temperature according to when you are home. You can and should set the temperature for what works best for your family’s comfort and financial situation. Your home temperature should be set cooler during sleeping hours and when household members are at work or school. Comfort is relative, but it’s generally agreed that 68°F to 70°F is a comfortable temperature for awake hours, while 64°F is preferable for sleeping and while away from the home. A programmable thermometer allows you to set these temperatures for the times you prefer and saves you money on your energy bill to boot.

  • Turning Off The Heat Entirely

A rookie homeowner’s mistake. Thinking they’ll save money by turning off the furnace when traveling during February break, only to discover the delights of a burst pipe upon their return. Big Oops. The beauty of a programmable thermostat is that you can set the temperature much lower than usual – without turning it off entirely – when you leave for extended periods. Use a setback temperature of about 60°F or slightly lower while away.

  • Installing Thermostats In Bad Locations

Your thermostat should be installed on interior walls away from direct sunlight, windows, and heat sources to allow for accurate readings. Thermostats also need to receive sufficient airflow – so avoid placement of bulky furniture directly in front of or below. This ensures that your furnace is getting accurate readings so that it can function properly.

At Potter, we know the value of efficient heating and cooling. If your furnace is struggling to keep pace with the heating demands of your house, or you are unconvinced your thermostat is giving accurate readings, we have several options that can help. From radiant in-floor heating to zoned and ductless mini-split units, there are many ways we can improve your home’s comfort.



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Winter Emergency Preparedness For Your Home and Family

Friday, January 13th, 2023
Model house with scarf

Buffalo, NY gets its fair share of extreme winter weather every year, but the catastrophic, unrelenting nature of a late December storm knocked the region to its knees as the Christmas weekend kicked off. Rochester’s location further out from Lake Erie spared us from massive snow accumulations, but not from high winds, deep chill, and power outages. But who’s to say we will be spared by the next one? Now that we’ve seen the devastating impact of a Bomb Cyclone, what can we learn from Buffalo’s experience so that we can be better prepared?

No stranger to severe winter weather, even Buffalo couldn’t weather this storm. According to the Washington Post, several factors came into account making the storm deadlier than most:

  • Residents of Buffalo are desensitized to extreme weather, but the storm was a once-in-a-lifetime, uncharacteristically intense Bomb Cyclone.
  • The storm occurred on the last payday before Christmas, a day many were counting on to shop for the holiday.
  • A travel ban in Erie County was not announced until just before 9 am, after the morning rush. Many did not heed the advisory already in effect. The storm picked up rapidly only 40 minutes after the ban was issued leaving many stranded.
  • Roads became impassable and emergency services could not reach people who needed help.

Preparing for winter involves some levels of emergency preparedness – we know to keep our ice scrapers accessible in our cars, the gas tank always filled above the halfway mark, we keep baskets of hats and gloves by the door, and a bucket of rock salt at the ready. Many of the steps you may have already taken – improving insulation, sealing windows, and annual HVAC maintenance – will help keep the heat in should temperatures drop and/or the power goes out. But there are further steps we can take to ensure the safety of ourselves and our families in the event of a true winter weather emergency. Looking at Buffalo, we not only must be prepared for extended power outages but should also have a plan for handling insufficient emergency response resources, travel bans, and impassable roads – for cars and pedestrians.

One Major Takeaway

We saw in real-time just how imperative it is to heed travel advisories ahead of a storm. Advisories are precursors to an all-out ban that allows emergency personnel, hospital workers, and other frontline workers to get to their jobs safely. We want these folks to safely get to their places of employment so that the people we know and love can be tended to if they require emergency assistance. There is also the matter of chronic patients needing care, babies to be born, nursing home residents to care for, and so many others. Avoiding travel during an advisory allows frontline workers to get to their stations and workers coming off a long shift to get home safely.

Heed the advisories. They are not merely suggestive. Don’t wait for a ban.

Knowledge is Power – Weather Terms to Know

The Red Cross instructs us to pay attention to the advice and information provided by local media and governance. It’s important to know the difference between a “warning” and a “watch.” According to the Red Cross:

A WATCH meansBe Prepared.

A WARNING meansTake Action.

Winter Storm WARNING: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours.

Blizzard WARNING: Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or greater, plus considerable falling or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile, expected to prevail for three hours or longer.

WIND CHILL Temperature: How cold people and animals feel when outside. As wind increases, heat is carried away from your body at a faster rate, driving down your body temperature and making you feel much colder. The wind chill temperature is not the actual temperature but rather how wind and cold feel on exposed skin.

Winter Storm OUTLOOK: Winter storm conditions possible in the next two to five days. Stay tuned to local media for updates.

Winter Storm WATCH: Winter storm conditions possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. Review your winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Weather ADVISORY: Winter weather conditions expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous but not life-threatening if you are cautious.

Advanced technology means we can get information as it develops right to our phones. Sign up with New York Alert to receive emergency alerts and stay in the know.

Prepare Ahead of a Storm

  • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and keep backup batteries in an easy-to-access location.
  • Have a plan and instruct your family about alternate warming locations, safety procedures, and where to find emergency supplies.
  • Obtain food, water, and medicine well before a winter storm outlook turns into a watch or advisory. Be sure to have nutrient-dense food on hand that does not require a heat source for cooking.
  • Prepare a Go-Kit: three+ days of supplies for each member of your household that can be carried if your home is no longer safe. Keep blankets, boots, extra warm clothes, and first aid supplies in your vehicle.
  • Prepare a Stay-at-Home Kit: For each household member, have on hand two+ weeks of warm clothing, blankets, outerwear, one gallon of bottled drinking water per person per day, first aid supplies, medicines, shelf-stable food, extra batteries, and flashlights.
  • Check air intake and furnace venting systems and have a plan for removing snow and ice obstructions if necessary.

Safe Heating During Winter Emergencies

It’s best not to wait for an emergency to make sure your heating system is working efficiently, especially when the outdoor temperature and wind chill reach record lows. If you haven’t yet, schedule your yearly furnace and HVAC maintenance so that your furnace is functioning optimally.

In the event of a power outage during extreme cold, the rule of thumb is to keep warm air in and cold air out as much as possible. Fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are both significant dangers during winter storms and power outages, especially if emergency services are unable to reach your home. Call 9-1-1 and evacuate at the first sign of light-headedness.

  • Stay inside and heed any advisories or warnings that go into effect.
  • Avoid wasting heat by closing off rooms that are not being used.
  • Place towels and blankets in cracks beneath doors.
  • Close all window curtains, shades, and blinds for added insulation.
  • Eat and drink non-caffeinated, hydrating beverages to fuel your body and keep it warm.
  • Layer loose-fitting clothing and avoid perspiring and overheating.
  • Follow safeguards when heating your home with a wood stove or fireplace and make sure proper ventilation is occurring.
  • Do not attempt to heat your home with an oven or stove used for cooking due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, generators, grills, and camp stoves should only be used outdoors.
  • Avoid using candles as they increase the risk of fire.
  • Gas furnace vents should not be blocked by a snowdrift or any other obstructions. At least one death during the storm in Buffalo has been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to this.
  • Follow all safety instructions when space heaters are in use.
  • Keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from any heat source.

Our best advice for managing extreme cold is to ensure your furnace is in top working order and that your insulation and ductwork can efficiently support your furnace’s extra effort during the cold snap. Then if your power goes out, your home will retain heat longer and keep cold air from sneaking in. From all of us at Potter Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, stay warm and safe this winter. We will be here when you need us.








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The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Thursday, December 8th, 2022
Adjusting hot water heater temperature

Traditional storage tank water heaters have reigned supreme over the past several generations. The design of the storage tank water heater has not changed significantly since its invention by Philadelphia native Edwin Rudd in 1899. Though the materials and heating methods have changed, and though technology has made them more energy efficient over time, the general concept of a cylindrical tank of water made warm by a heat source has remained relatively unchanged.

Enter: The Tankless Water Heater

AKA, the on-demand water heater. Rather than storing heated water, a tankless version uses sensors to determine when hot water needs to flow. Like their storage tank cousins, there are gas and electric-powered models of tankless water heaters. Both types use different heating elements to heat the water as needed. With electric models, there might be more than one heating element and with gas, the sensors detect a flow of water and ignite a burner.

Benefits of Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Unlimited Hot Water Supply – Rewind it back to your grade school years. Did you get wise to the fact that the last one up had the misfortune of taking a barely warm shower before school so you set your alarm to get up before your siblings or parents? With a tankless water heater, the early bird doesn’t catch the worm, everyone does. The last one up will no longer be impacted by a storage tank’s limited water-holding capacity. As long as your water heater is sufficiently sized for the number of people and water-using appliances in your household, the hot water will always flow.

Better Efficiency – Tankless water heaters only heat the water that is needed, as its needed.

Storage tank water heaters on the other hand are constantly refilling and heating water, whether or not you need it. That means you are using and paying for more energy than you necessarily need. The Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) of tankless water heaters is 98% compared to 60-70% for storage tank models. This means that 98% of the energy being used is going toward its intended purpose: heating your water.

Cost Savings – Better efficiency means savings on your energy bill. There are federal and state programs to provide funds for income-eligible households to allow them to make energy-efficient replacements. There are also rebates available for most people who make the switch to energy efficiency.

Save Space – Imagine what you could do with that corner of your basement if you were to remove that bulky 50-gallon water heater. More storage? An extra bathroom? An extra seat at your basement bar? Tankless water heaters take up to ⅓ less space than storage tank heaters and some can even be wall-mounted, leaving you with extra floor space.

Longer Lifespan – We’ve all been there. It’s dead of winter, the sun hasn’t yet come up, and a hot shower is the only thing standing between you and a good day. But the water just doesn’t seem to want to move past tepid and feeling warm becomes a thing of the past.

It’s time to replace your water heater.

Even with regular flushing and maintenance, a typical water heater will give you ten years max. With a tankless version, you get twenty. TWENTY! That’s double the lifespan.

Potential Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters

Installation Requirements – Switching from a storage-tank water heater to a tankless version requires additional costs and steps that may not be the most convenient when it’s an emergency replacement. Tankless versions typically come with bottom-mounted water connections rather than on top, so a plumber will have to extend the existing pipes. You also may have to have exhaust ventilation installed to allow for the exhaust to ventilate. Your new tankless model might be okay with a ½ inch gas pipe, but you likely will need to replace it with a ¾ inch pipe to accommodate a more powerful burner. At Potter HVAC, we will walk through all of this with our clients who want to make the switch to tankless so that there are no surprises.

Higher Up Front Costs – As with any new installation, especially energy-efficient ones, there will be more of a cost upfront than the more standard models. Tankless heaters are slightly more expensive, plus you may have some additional installation labor and materials costs.

Insufficient Hot Water – If the size of your tankless heater does not properly account for the number of people and appliances that use hot water in your household, the unit will be unable to supply the needed volume of hot water. An experienced HVAC professional will make absolutely sure you get the right size to meet your needs, so no one is left in the cold.

At Potter HVAC, we know you need a reliable water heater, no matter which type you choose to go with. Hot showers and clean laundry and dishes are not luxuries, they are essential to the comfort and health of your family. Whether you’re looking for a new water heater or need repairs for your existing one, Potter Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing is here to help. We offer a wide range of services for both tank and tankless water heaters, so we can find the perfect solution for your needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.




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Multi-Zoned Heating & Cooling Explained

Thursday, December 8th, 2022
Thermostat in a house icon, showing cold and warm weather.

Do you or someone you love like to slap a note onto the thermostat that reads something like…

Do not turn up the heat unless you answer yes to all of the following:

  • Are you wearing pants, socks, and long sleeves?
  • Can you see your breath?
  • Do you pay the bills?

We feel your pain, whichever side of the note you’re on. But if you’re finding yourself at odds with your cohabitants over the comfort level of your home, it may be time to consider a zoned heating and cooling solution.

What is Zoned Heating and Cooling?

Zoned HVAC systems allow precise temperature control in one or more rooms. They provide the ability to split your home into separately controlled temperature zones. With the ability to set and adjust temperatures in each zone, multiple people in a home can enjoy their preferred temperature while improving overall energy efficiency. Temperatures can be set to reflect the needs of each space. Less frequented rooms can be adjusted accordingly, meaning you only consume the energy needed to warm or cool rooms when in use. A household can make significant gains in energy efficiency through the reduction of its HVAC system’s output.

There are several options on the market when making the switch to a zoned HVAC system. They can be added to any home, either integrating with or replacing your current system. A professional HVAC company will assess whether your home will benefit from a single or multi-zoned system. They will also determine if a zoned system can be integrated into your existing ductwork or if a ductless version would be a better solution. No matter which option you and your HVAC service provider go with, these all-electric zero-emission systems heating and cooling units give you more control, improved comfort, better energy efficiency, and money saved.

Single Vs Multi-Zoned HVAC Systems

There are a variety of benefits provided by each type of system. A decision for one or the other will be based on your overall needs. Does your entire HVAC system need a revamp? Do you have just one space to tackle? A reputable HVAC company will help you decide what will benefit you most and walk you through the processes, costs, benefits, and potential downsides of each.

Single-zone Heating and Cooling Systems

Serving only one area or room of your home, a single-zone HVAC system is a simple solution that requires lower installation costs, less maintenance, and fewer repairs down the line. A single unit provides one thermostat to control the cooling or heating of one area. A single-zone unit is great for

  • House additions that are not connected to the rest of the home’s HVAC system.
  • Supplemental temperature control is needed in an under-served area of your home, such as attics.
  • Air condition a garage or workshop without decommissioning a window for the summer months.
  • A smaller home, such as a cabin or mobile home.
  • Small finished rooms in attics, basements, or garage lofts

Your HVAC service provider will determine the size and capacity of a single zone system needed for your space and whether you have adequate airflow to distribute the warm or cool air throughout the space. That’ll depend on the capacity of the system you’re considering. Just ensure you have adequate airflow with fans to distribute the air throughout your home.

Multi-Zone Heating and Cooling Systems

A multi-zone HVAC system sections a home into separately controlled temperature areas. With their own thermostats, multi-zone systems control the temperature in two or more zones.

Multi-zone HVAC systems allow you to cool or heat multiple rooms in a home. Multiple units are dedicated to their own rooms or areas with either a remote central thermostat or independent control panels for each “zone.” They can be installed as the primary HVAC system in a new home build, integrated into a home’s existing ductwork, or ductless versions can replace existing HVAC systems. Multi-zone HVAC systems are great for

  • Large or multilevel homes
  • Rooms throughout a home with differing heating or cooling needs, such as kitchens, bedrooms, or guestrooms.
  • Old houses where installing new ductwork may be more trouble than it’s worth and mini-split ductless versions are best.
  • Larger home additions, such as in-law suites
  • Finished multi-room attics, basements, or garage lofts
  • Homes with extra tall ceilings

Your HVAC service provider will help determine if a multi-zoned HVAC system is right for your home, how many you need, which areas to install, and whether you will benefit more from ducted or ductless units.

Benefits of Zoned Heating and Cooling

Enhanced Comfort

A single or multi-zoned HVAC unit will provide more comfort no matter which version you choose. Splitting your home into temperature-controlled zones provides more control to each member of your household without negatively impacting the heating bill. Rather than having to set an entire house to one temperature, and parts of the home getting too much or too little heat or cold air, temperatures can be set in each area on an as-needed basis. The notepad used for thermostat warnings can instead be used to write daily mantras or love notes. Everyone wins.

Energy Efficiency

No longer pay to heat or cool a room you are not using and save on your utility bill every month. Zoned HVAC systems use electricity, also contributing to less reliance on fossil fuels and even more savings on your bill.

Better Control

Switching from a traditional HVAC system to a multi-zone system provides better temperature control for each room and allows for improved accuracy in every part of your home.


Everyone’s temperature preferences can be accommodated with multi-zoned HVAC systems. Customize temperature in bedrooms for better sleep, home offices, and workspaces for improved productivity, and account for major outdoor temperature fluctuations depending on where you live. Comfort is personal to everyone, and with multi-zoned HVAC systems, comfort can be customized unlike ever before.

Is Zoned HVAC Right For Your Home?

At Potter HVAC, we have the knowledge, skills, and years of experience to determine the best heating and cooling solution for your home and budget. We can help you determine whether you will need ductless mini-splits or if we can integrate the zoned units into your existing ductwork. We will help you explore all of the zoning options available to you, based on your budget, square footage, age of home, and current HVAC setup. Are you ready to make the switch to zoned heating and cooling? Let’s get you comfortable!




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Energy Efficiency – The Benefits and Resources to Get You There.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022
Couple sitting on couch with kids in background

There is no better time than now to start looking into ways to improve your energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is a win-win for everyone. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that “energy efficiency could deliver a reduction in annual energy-related emissions of 3.5 Gt CO2-eq (12%) compared with 2017 levels, delivering over 40% of the abatement required to be in line with the Paris Agreement. Combined with renewable energy and other measures, energy efficiency is therefore indispensable to achieving global climate targets.”

But it isn’t just the environment that’s set to benefit from reaching the energy consumption goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. The benefits are multitudinous: from cost savings, overall health and well-being, better air quality, and increased energy access.

Here are just a few of the benefits all people will experience:

  • Increased household disposable income
  • Improved access to clean energy sources and reliable appliances, especially for those living in emerging economies
  • Reductions in air pollution
  • Better health outcomes

In a nutshell, the climate and our health and quality of life are all at stake. So what can we at Potter HVAC do to help? We can take measures to improve the heating and ductwork systems in your home to have more positive impacts on your indoor air quality and comfortability. With improved energy efficiency, we can save you yearly costs on your heating and cooling bills, provide consistent heating and cooling throughout your home, and what’s more? You will stand to benefit in even more significant ways. The IEA has reported that with more comfortable indoor air and better ventilation, there is a reduction in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and allergies. In response to better health, there are significant gains in mental health as well.

Behind these energy improvements are significant costs, often upfront, that the typical homeowner may not be in a position to cover. And that is why both New York State and the U.S. are providing incentives for people to improve their energy efficiency. Here’s what you need to know:

Inflation Reduction Act – Energy Incentives

In August of this year, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) laid out the most substantial incentives for improving energy efficiency, the likes of which have not been seen in the U.S. possibly ever. The Inflation Reduction Act is projected to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030. According to CNET, American homeowners “stand to receive up to $14,000 for energy efficiency improvements”, and that does not include the solar tax credit that has also been increased. Not only will upfront costs be covered by rebates, but hundreds of dollars per year could also be saved by homeowners each year, depending on where they live and how much energy their household uses. The IRA includes $370 billion for energy climate programs, which have major incentives through tax credits and rebates, incentives that will go directly to homeowners who replace furnaces, boilers, and water heaters with high-efficiency electric options.

The bill also includes $9 billion in total energy rebates, including $4.28 billion for the high-efficiency electric home rebate program. To the average homeowner, these cost savings will look like this:

  • a rebate of up to $8,000 to install heat pumps
  • a rebate of up to $1,750 for a heat-pump water heater
  • a rebate of up to $1,600 to insulate and seal a house
  • a rebate of up to $2,500 for improvements to electrical wiring
  • For homeowners who don’t qualify for rebates, a tax credit of up to $2,000 to install heat pumps.

All the rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act, which cover new electrical panels to heat pumps, add up to homeowners saving up to $14,000, all while making their home more energy efficient and lowering their energy bill yearly. Further, the solar tax credit, which was expanded to 30% from 26% of the total cost, can provide even more energy savings.

NYS Energy Advisor – Rebates and Savings

The energy rebates and tax credits from the IRA are likely not going to be available until the latter half of 2023 and early 2024. So if you plan on making some major changes, like installing geothermal heat pumps or fully integrating air-source heat pumps into your ductwork, we can start the planning process now for the coming year. But if you are interested in making changes now, or need updates sooner, there are currently programs at the state level that will continue to be available at least until federal programs become available. Here is what New York State currently offers:

NY Energy Advisor makes energy savings more accessible to all New Yorkers. They provide income-eligible families and owners of affordable housing with a customized list of energy programs and services in New York State, such as:

  • Help to pay monthly energy and fuel bills
  • A free home visit with an energy professional to help you identify available energy-savings opportunities
  • No-cost, clean energy offerings—like solar power

At Potter HVAC, we offer NYS Clean Heat rebates on ductless mini-splits up to $1000 per ton.

Improving the energy efficiency of your home is a smart investment and with the assistance available from NYSERDA, we at Potter can offer a range of smart energy solutions that align with the programs available in NYS. We will help you identify areas in your home that are driving up energy costs and can provide assistance in completing energy efficiency improvements for a healthier, more comfortable home.

It all starts with a consultation from us, conducted by trained and experienced contractors, which will give you a thorough look at where your home is wasting energy. We can’t wait to help you achieve better energy efficiency in your home. Schedule a visit with us today.

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Making the Switch to High-Efficiency Heat Pumps

Monday, October 24th, 2022

Heading into the colder months in upstate New York, now is the time to make sure your home heating equipment is ready to run. Beyond replacing filters and vacuuming vents, annual maintenance and routine cleaning are imperative. And further, with energy costs on the rise, now is the time to start looking into energy-efficient options. The newest, cleanest heating and cooling method on the market is heat pumps. Heat pumps are an outstanding high-efficiency heating option as they use electricity to transfer heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer without the need for a fuel source. Traditional sources of heat can rack up high energy bills in the winter months. Whether you need to refill propane tanks or suffer from inconsistent temperatures throughout your home, a heat pump can solve all of these issues.

At Potter HVAC, we love helping homeowners solve efficiency concerns and with the integration options and variety of heat pump types, we can help you find the right solution for your home and budget. You can check out how a heat pump is different from a traditional furnace here. Today, let’s take a look at the types of heat pumps available and how we can get them into your home.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

There are three main types of heat pumps: air-to-air, water source, and geothermal. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside your home. During the heating season, heat pumps move air from the outdoors into your house. During the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from inside your house to outdoors. Because they transfer heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can much more efficiently provide comfortable temperatures for your home. No fuels are needed to burn and far less energy is consumed. For our purposes, we will talk about the air-to-air and geothermal options available.

Two Types of Heat Pumps

Air-Source Heat Pumps

The most common type of heat pump used in homes today is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. Air-source heat pumps have been used for many years in the US, but are relatively new for locations that experience subfreezing conditions during the winter. Now that air-source heat pump technology has improved, these heat pumps offer significantly improved heating methods in these colder regions.

To cool a home during the summer, the same process is done in reverse, extracting heat from inside the home and moving it out. To heat or cool an entire home, Air Source Heat Pumps can be integrated with existing ductwork. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in mini-split heat pump versions. Mini-Split Units can be installed separately from ductwork to control the temperature of single rooms within a house. Air-source heat pumps are more affordable to install than ground-source (geothermal) air pumps and far more efficient and cost-effective than traditional HVAC units.

Ground-source or Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pumps work in much the same way as Air-source heat pumps, but they use underground pipes to extract heat from the ground to warm a house in winter and reverse the process to cool a home during the summer. Ground-source heat pumps are extremely reliable, long-lasting, and require very minimal maintenance.

They have the ability to heat and cool entire homes with such high efficiency, that they can completely offset monthly energy costs. Ground-source heat pumps have more requirements (sufficient lawn space, landscape, and subsoil, for example) and up-front costs associated with their installation. Although this is the case, many feel the upfront costs and planning are worth it because of their low operating costs.

They take advantage of consistent ground temperatures and have a number of other benefits. They can reduce energy use by 30%-60%, adequately control humidity, and are extremely durable and far more reliable than traditional systems. If you have the right lot size and quality for a ground-source heat pump and are concerned about the associated costs up-front, NYS has current incentives for making the switch and the Inflation Reduction Act will provide incentives in the very near future.

What are the Benefits of Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps are one-and-done heating and cooling systems. With less maintenance required than traditional HVAC systems, a reduction in your electricity and energy consumption overall, and better dehumidifying ability than standard air conditioners, it’s clear to us at Potter HVAC that Heat Pumps are the heating and cooling way of the future. And the future is now. With clean heat rebates from NYS available at up to $1000 per ton on Mini-split heat pumps, we can get you set up with a clean energy solution at a price that will fit your budget.

We can’t wait to assist you in determining which style of heat pump will work best for you. We will take a look at your up-front budget availability and the location and size of your lot, home, or business to figure out the type of heat pump that best suits you. Now is the time to look into equipment replacement or schedule an annual maintenance visit, before the cold really sets in. At Potter HVAC, we are experts in providing heat pump installations and energy efficiency services for your home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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What Sets Us Apart

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

There are a lot of HVAC companies out there. A close look at the statistics shows that there are 122,638 nationwide options for home and business owners looking for HVAC professionals. It’s hard to stand out in that crowd. Yet year after year, our customers come back to us, knowing that of that large number, we are best suited for the job.

So we asked… why is that? What sets us apart from the competition?

After reflecting on our processes, our organizational standards, our staff, and our service offerings, we think we might have found the answer.

We Think Big, But Work Small

Our company operates like a large company. We keep high standards regarding our work, our staff, and our practices. That means we have all the professionality and top-quality training for our staff that you might find at some of the largest companies in the nation.

So why not go with one of those companies? As much as our standards match the big guys, they often get lost in the rigmarole of their bureaucracy and can’t help individuals, families, and businesses on a personal level.

That’s why we work small. We work on the individual level to accommodate a wide host of different expectations. We work with different budgets, different-sized buildings, and different-sized families and staff.

For all the organizational standards we have as a company, we don’t feel like one of the big guys. We have a small business flavor that helps our clients identify with us and makes them know they are in capable hands.

Quick Response Teams

When an HVAC system goes down, a timely response is critical. Too many times, families and businesses are put out by long wait times and slow service calls. Other companies are guilty of this because to minimize their expenditures, they will often wait until multiple service calls are concentrated in a single area to not send valuable few crews too far out of their service path.

That’s not us. We have multiple professional crews that are ready to launch at a moment’s notice. The size of our team provides the flexibility to cover multiple service areas. This means that no matter where you are – a crowded neighborhood or a town with only one gas station – we can respond quickly.

Our quick responses are also built on our dependability. We act fast. We perform well. This service has built trust between our clients and us and we continue to work hard to maintain that trust.

Our Clients as Individuals

Our penultimate service is knowing our clients are more than names on a sheet of paper. We see our clients for who they are. Sometimes we are servicing a small business. Sometimes we are servicing a family that has lived in their home for over 80 years. Sometimes we are servicing a young couple worried about their first winter in their first home.

These are the stories of our clients who shared their stories with us and confirm why we work so hard to provide the best service. By operating big but working with personable service and providing quick response teams, we are happy to stand out in the crowd.

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Your Home Versus Winter: Early HVAC Maintenance Help You Survive the Cold

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022
Man adjusting thermostat

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

There is a lot to enjoy about winter, but having the cold seep into your home without proper HVAC maintenance is not one of them. A neglected HVAC system leaves your house open to cold conditions. Not only is this uncomfortable for you and your family, but the cold can cause lasting damage to the structure of your home.

By getting a professional overview of your HVAC system, the winter won’t leave any permanent detriments to your home.

Our professionals provide a thorough walkthrough of your home system. To make sure your HVAC’s functionality is optimal, we perform in-depth tasks including:

  • Monitoring unit for cracks and other damage
  • Cleaning burners and purifying ignitors
  • Inspecting of all components for electrical fidelity
  • Gauging the efficacy of blower units
  • Synchronizing thermostat readings
  • Fixing any kinetic functionality
  • Checking fuel and electrical component

These tasks as well as our experience with the complexities of HVAC units can provide a solid buffer against the winter chill. However, the benefits of a fully maintained HVAC system can sometimes be surprising. Read on to learn about the many ways your home will be enhanced with a fully maintained system.

Lower Your Utility Bill

A poorly maintained HVAC system spends valuable energy working extra hard to stave off the cold. This leads to a lot of wasted value and ultimately leads to higher utility bill costs. High-functioning, well-maintained systems don’t waste as much energy. That efficiency means you are spending less over the winter months for heat that you’re not using.

Extends Lifespan of HVAC System

One of the worst things for an HVAC system to do is break down in the middle of a winter storm. The damages can be tremendous and surviving the sub-optimal temperature is something no family wants to deal with. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system extends the lifespan of a unit. In fact, pre-winter maintenance can sometimes alert homeowners to catastrophic failures, giving households enough time to fix (or sometimes improve!) the lifespan of their units.

Make Your Home Comfortable Temperature

The most obvious benefit of a well-maintained unit is the comfort an HVAC system can provide. Warmth and proper circulation are essential when living in low-temperature areas. Extended exposure to winter months can put a great strain on neglected units, giving the indoors a poor resistance against the outside elements. However, cared-for units will give your home or business much-needed warmth until the summer comes.

Reduces HVAC Repair Costs

Something homeowners may not recognize right away is the long-term savings early maintenance can have on the wallet. Early caught problems in the HVAC system can mean less overall damage to crucial units. When the damage is lower, owners don’t have to shell out as much money to fix units that are on the verge of being unrepairable.

Be First In Line

As you can imagine, the winter is busy for professionals qualified in HVAC maintenance. The urgency of winter problems means that many professionals are tied up which makes the line to get serviced longer and longer. Early HVAC intervention means you can expect shorter wait times and will be in front of the line before disaster strikes.

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