Reasons to Sign an HVAC Planned Service Agreement

planned-service-agreement

Signing up for an HVAC Planned Service Agreement (PSA) may seem like a significant commitment. But as with many contracts, a PSA could save you money, provide exclusive deals, and allow you to rest easy knowing your yearly maintenance is covered. Read on to learn why you should sign up for an HVAC Planned Service Agreement.

What are Planned Service Agreements?

A Planned Service Agreement is a contract with your HVAC provider in which you pay a set fee for ongoing maintenance. It often includes a heating system tune-up in fall and air conditioning system maintenance in the spring. With a PSA, you may receive priority service, which can save you time and discomfort if you need to call your technician for an emergency repair.

Benefits of Planned Service Agreements

Your home HVAC should be serviced at least yearly. Regular, professional maintenance can improve energy efficiency, prevent untimely breakdowns, and extend equipment life. With a Planned Service Agreement, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your maintenance is covered in an umbrella fee. You won’t miss annual tune-ups because you can pre-schedule service calls, which saves money.

An annual maintenance contract is only as good as the company backing it. Make sure you sign up with a reputable, trusted contractor, like Heating & Cooling Two. There are many reasons to choose our company. As a family-owned and operated business, we’re committed to offering you the most energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions to keep your home comfortable. Whether you want to upgrade your equipment or simply need a technician to evaluate your HVAC system, we are here for you.

What Our Maintenance Packages Include

Our professional staff can perform pre-scheduled HVAC maintenance on all of your heating and cooling equipment including furnaces, air conditioners/heat pumps, air exchangers, boilers, humidifiers, and fireplaces. We’ll help you choose which Planned Service Agreement works best for you:

Our Platinum Package includes:

  • Furnace tune-up
  • Air conditioning tune-up
  • Filter replacement
  • Humidifier tune-up
  • Air exchanger tune-up

Our Gold Package includes:

  • Furnace tune-up
  • Air conditioning tune-up
  • Filter replacement
  • Humidifier tune-up

Our Silver Package includes:

  • Furnace tune-up
  • Air conditioning tune-up
  • Filter replacement

With a Heating & Cooling Two maintenance package, you’ll receive special discounts on labor and products. It pays to have a PSA. When you purchase one of our Planned Service Agreements, you’ll benefit from:

  • $50 off a service call/diagnostic fee
  • 10 percent discount on service repairs
  • Discounted refrigerant
  • Lower rates on accessories
  • Improved equipment safety, capacity, and efficiency
  • Lower utility bills
  • Extended equipment life

At Heating & Cooling Two, we care about our customers. Our vision is to lead with honesty and integrity, offering cutting-edge solutions to each individual, family, or business. We strive to provide amazing service, innovative products, and home comfort solutions—all at a price you can afford. Check out the other deals and rebates we offer to all of our customers.

Contact us to sign up for your own maintenance contract.

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Tips to Prepare Your HVAC System for Fall

tips to prepare your hvac system for fall

Some people worship the fall season. From cozy fashion and bonfires to delicious food and football, there are many things to look forward to. But before you pull out your plaid scarf and go traipsing about in the leaves, prepare your HVAC system for the cold. If you don’t know where to start, follow these six steps:

  1. Replace your HVAC filters. You should be replacing your filter every three months, at the very least. For those with a dog or cat, we recommend checking the air filter every 60 days, but if you have more than one pet or suffer from allergies, you may benefit from changing the filter every month. You can easily purchase filters online and have them direct-shipped right to your door.
  2. Turn the heat on to test run the system before the cold sets in. This will warm up your heating unit so it doesn’t have a hard start on a crisp autumn day. If it works properly, you can move on with your fall festivities and breathe a sigh of re-leaf. But if not, just call us, and we’ll get it fixed in no time.
  3. Seal air leaks with caulk and weather stripping to prevent cold air from seeping underneath doors or leaking through gaps in the windows. If you increase your home’s energy efficiency, you could save money on utility bills.
  4. Clean the outdoor condenser unit of debris to ensure proper airflow and prevent leaves from getting inside the unit. Vacuum the vents throughout your home with a hose attachment so the dust, dander, and pet hair that may have accumulated there don’t get further inside your ductwork or into your equipment.
  5. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries if needed and buy new ones if the alarms are more than 10 years old.
  6. Schedule a maintenance checkup to avoid costly and untimely repairs. Your technician will check for damage or loose components, clean the boiler or furnace, measure combustion efficiency, lubricate moving parts, perform a safety check, test ducts, and make recommendations for improvements.

We want to make sure your home will stay cozy when the air gets crisper than the harvest from the apple orchard. If you run into any unexpected problems when preparing your HVAC system for fall, schedule service with our trusted professionals. Our qualified technicians will repair your equipment so you can get back to everything you love about autumn. Tell us your favorite fall tradition in the comments below!

Contact us to learn more.

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Why Should I Get a Home Energy Audit?

how important is a home energy audit?

How important is a home energy audit? That depends. How important is it to eat healthy while you exercise? You don’t want to waste the effort you put into your morning walk or yoga class by eating a double bacon cheeseburger with onion rings. With a home energy audit, you can increase your home’s efficiency so the air that your HVAC system conditions doesn’t go out the door.

Why Should I Get a Home Energy Audit?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home efficiency assessment can save you money and improve indoor comfort. What you pay for a professional energy audit depends on the company and size of your home, but the price could be worth it if it saves you money in the long run. You can save up to 30 percent on energy bills by making energy efficiency upgrades.

What is a Home Energy Audit?

A home performance assessment is like a checkup appointment for your house. An energy auditor examines the exterior of your home for leaks and then does a room-by-room examination inside. They’ll inspect the attic for proper insulation, examine HVAC, survey the duct connections, check the filter, perform a blower door test for airtightness, and evaluate lighting. An energy audit may include a thermographic scan to assess temperature variations throughout the home and spot heat leakage. Lastly, they’ll review past utility bills to make recommendations based on their observations and your home’s history.

Who Do I Contact for a Home Energy Audit?

If you don’t know how to find a professional auditor, ask your local government energy office or your electric or gas utility for recommendations. Consult the Residential Energy Services Network directory for local certified energy raters and auditors.

When Should I Schedule a Home Energy Audit?

Most Minnesotans spend significant amounts of money heating their home in the winter, so it’s a good idea to get your home checked before the cold weather sets in.

How Do I Prepare for a Home Energy Audit?

Before a home energy auditor arrives, make a list of existing problems you notice in your home, such as condensation or drafty rooms. Obtain copies or summaries of yearly energy bills from your local utility. Be prepared to answer questions about your daily behavior, like what you set the thermostat to in different seasons and what rooms you use the most. Your answers could help them determine ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption.

What Do Home Energy Audits Have to Do with HVAC?

A lot. You could waste all the conditioned air your well-serviced HVAC equipment produces if your home isn’t airtight. Instead of slapping a Band-Aid on the issue, get to the root of the problem. Small improvements can make a world of difference, and you could save energy without making permanent upgrades.

A home energy audit won’t burn away fat or make up for calories you eat, but it could save you money. At Heating & Cooling Two, we care about your pocketbook and indoor comfort. We offer AEROSEAL® duct sealing so you can make sure your home maintains its airtight efficiency. We also provide countless resources for you to keep your system running smoothly, including furnace and A/C tune-ups, replacement units, and filters.

Contact us to learn more.

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How Much Does a New Air Conditioner Cost?

how much does a new air conditioner cost?

Not all of us are loaded or have a rich grandma. When the time comes to replace an air conditioner, one thought runs through every person’s mind: “How much will this cost?” We’re here to answer that question and ease your mind.

Whether you’re replacing your existing system or installing a new air conditioner, the investment can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider, such as equipment life, energy usage, quality, reliability, warranties, and convenient features.

But let’s cut to the chase. According to HomeAdvisor.com, most homeowners spend between $3,750 and $7,220 on their air conditioners and installation. HomeGuide.com supports this statistic, reporting that the national average cost for equipment and the whole installation process is around $4,700.

Determining Factors

On average, homeowners spend anywhere from $1,200 to $2,200 on their air conditioning unit, excluding installation. Factors that influence the cost of purchasing and installing a new air conditioner include the size of the unit, seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), ductwork, and installation labor rates.

  • Size: Air conditioning size is measured in tons, but not the weight kind. “Ton” refers to the air conditioner’s ability to cool your home based on square footage. For example, a 1.5 ton air conditioning unit will cool a 600 to 900 square foot home. The more tons, the higher the price of the air conditioner. A two ton unit will likely cost around $3,000, while a five ton unit can cost up to $6,000.
  • Energy Effiency: SEER ratings measure a system’s cooling output throughout a season in relation to the total energy consumed. Higher SEER ratings will save you more money in the long run, but energy efficient air conditioners will cost more up front.
  • Ductwork: Installing ductwork is labor intensive. The larger your house, the more ductwork is needed, thus raising the price of installation.
  • Installation Labor Rates: Contractors charge installation at different rates, but in general, the longer it takes to install a unit, the more your bill will be. Installation is typically as much, if not more than, the equipment cost because of the materials required and the price of the technician’s work.

Residential vs. Commercial

The cost of commercial air conditioners varies based on the same factors as residential cooling systems. You can expect to pay more the larger your building is, the more complicated the system, and the higher quality the equipment. Check with your commerical HVAC contractor to determine what would work best for your building.

Heating & Cooling Two offers high efficiency Bryant air conditioners and a variety of hot deals to save you money. Bryant unit prices top out around $2,200, and typical Bryant units offer a 10-year standard parts warranty if registered within 90 days. We provide financing options with convenient monthly payments and flexible terms and residential rebates from your local utility.

Request a free estimate or contact us for more information.

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How to Protect Your HVAC from Storms

There are many ways to prepare for rain besides an umbrella and rubber boots. Debris, flooding, and lightning could all do some serious damage, so it’s important to protect your HVAC system. Learn more on our blog.

There are many ways to prepare for rain besides sporting an umbrella and rubber boots. Debris, flooding, and lightning could all do some serious damage to your home, so it’s important to protect your HVAC system. Before the storm unleashes its rain of terror, take the necessary precautions to safeguard the investment you’ve made in your home’s heating and cooling system.

Debris

During a storm, debris like fallen leaves and shingles, pine cones and needles, and twigs and branches can get stuck in your air conditioner and ruin the motor. Invest in a cover to protect equipment from ice and windblown debris. You could also use plywood or a tarp with safety straps. Just make sure to remove the cover before you turn the cooling system back on after a storm.

Flooding

Electrical and refrigeration connectors, couplings, and fittings can become disconnected during a storm and damaged by water. Wires between the outoor unit and home could short out if they are frayed and exposed to the elements, causing electrical damage. Blown fuses, burnt capacitors, and fried compressors are expensive to repair and replace.

Make sure your HVAC units have been installed above flood level on an elevated platform with at least three feet of clearance. Nearby gutter downspouts should be pointed away from the outdoor unit so it doesn’t sit in a pool of water. This is also important to protect your home’s foundation from moisture intrusion and basement flooding, which could jeopardize your indoor units.  

Lightning

Lightning is quite striking to watch until it causes a power surge. Before a storm, turn off the breakers to disconnect power from your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace, and install a surge protector if you don’t already have one. A surge protector will automatically turn off your HVAC system if there’s a spike in power.

Extreme power fluctuations can damage an air conditioner’s capacitor, which in turn can ruin the compressor and put more wear on the unit. So don’t be shocked if a power surge shortens equipment life.   

After the Storm

After the storm blows over, you’ll want to check for damage before turning your HVAC units back on. Schedule repair or replacement with a professional HVAC technician if there are problems. Heating & Cooling Two can install a new furnace, air conditioner, or other HVAC accessories for your home or business, should you need it. We’re prepared to help you maintain indoor comfort no matter what weather rolls through your area.

Heating & Cooling Two can bring the calm before and after the storm with regular HVAC tune-ups and emergency service. Contact us to learn more.

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Do I Need a Whole House Dehumidifier?

High moisture levels can make your home susceptible to mold, insects, high utility bills, and poor indoor air quality. Read our blog to discover the benefits of a whole house dehumidifier.

If you want the therapeutic benefits of a steam bath, you can go to a day spa. Your home doesn’t have to be a sauna in the summer. High moisture levels can make your home susceptible to mold, insects, high utility bills, and poor indoor air quality. Read on to discover if you need a whole house dehumidifier.

How does a whole house dehumidifier work?

A whole house dehumidifier works in conjunction with your home’s HVAC system to draw air in through the ductwork, remove moisture, and circulate it back throughout the home. Depending on the unit, a whole house dehumidifier follows three basic steps to take water out of the air:

  1. A fan draws humid air over a cold coil.
  2. The coil removes moisture from the air through condensation.
  3. Condensed water is expelled through a drain pipe.

Why should I install a whole house dehumidifier?

Homes these days are built very tightly, sealed off from the elements for protection and to conserve energy, but this means that moisture will build up more rapidly and air can become stagnant. The EPA recommends you keep your home at a relative humidity level between 30 and 50 percent. If that’s not enough to convince you, check out these reasons to install a whole house dehumidifier:

  1. In humidity, your body’s natural cooling process is slowed as moisture sticks to your skin, making you feel uncomfortable and clammy.  
  2. Moisture-heavy air can worsen symptoms for those with allergies, asthma, other respiratory problems, or a compromised immune system.
  3. Damp, heavy air bogs down your air conditioner and may cause your cooling bills to spike in the summer.
  4. Excessive moisture can damage your home, warping paint, wallpaper, and furniture.
  5. Damp areas are more susceptible to mold growth and rot and may produce a mildew smell.
  6. Many insects are drawn to moist areas. A humid home is a welcome space for spiders, dust mites, and beetles.

The benefits of a whole house dehumidifier

Low humidity levels allow you to raise the temperature to save money on cooling while also staying comfortable and extending the life of your air conditioner. With a whole house dehumidifier, you won’t have to place portable units all over your home or empty their tanks daily. Hidden from sight, whole house dehumidifiers will eliminate musty odors and dry the air in your bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and more.

Heating & Cooling Two has all the HVAC accessories you need to stay as cool as a cucumber. Our Bryant air conditioners can run in conjunction with whole house dehumidifiers for maximum cooling efficiency and ultimate home comfort. Contact us for more information or a free estimate.

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The Future of HVAC

We may be far from devices that can read minds, but HVAC technology has drastically improved since the first air conditioner was invented in 1902. Learn about the future of HVAC.

We may be far from devices that can read minds, but HVAC technology has drastically improved since the first air conditioner was invented in 1902. Efficiency, affordability, convenience, and the environment are among the top concerns driving these advancements. From redesigned equipment to new applications, the future of HVAC is looking sharp.

Smart Systems

Manufacturers are producing HVAC equipment that can communicate information about efficiency, report historical performance, and self-diagnose issues for the homeowner. Carriers are launching efficient air conditioners made with environmentally friendly refrigerant and high SEER ratings for maximum cooling and a reduced carbon footprint. Other innovative systems include:

  • Geothermal heat pumps, which circulate warm and cold air from the ground through a series of connected pipes to heat and cool homes.
  • Hydronic infloor heat, which uses water to warm the floor as well as the air for maximum efficiency. Unlike a forced air system, radiant heat is hidden from sight and reduces hot or cold air pockets.
  • Dual fuel heat pumps, which automatically switch between a heat pump (powered by electricity) and furnace (fueled by natural gas). Duel fuel systems use the most cost-effective power source depending on the season.

Smart Technology

Technological innovations are shaping the way we live, especially with the rise of the Internet of Things (loT). The Internet of Things is used to describe the idea that everyday objects are connected and controlled by Wi-Fi. Just like home automation is used for home security or to control smart appliances, digital tools and internet connectivity can maximize HVAC efficiency.

Programmable thermostats tied to a Wi-Fi system allow homeowners to control their heating and cooling through apps on their smartphone and manage energy use remotely. Some smart thermostats are designed to detect potential problems, send filter change reminders, alert the homeowner of an error, and power down the system to prevent further damage.

Smart Service

Technicians can gather more statistics on how a furnace or air conditioner is running using high-tech diagnostic tools. With more information, they can predict when equipment needs maintenance and avoid unexpected breakdowns. Training and installing processes have also become more streamlined. Virtual reality allows technicians to train online in a risk-free environment and can be used to show clients how an HVAC system would look like in a new construction project.

Smart Living

HVAC accessories to regulate indoor air have become increasingly popular. Products such as air purifiers and air exchangers can reduce VOCs and allergens and improve ventilation. This not only makes air quality healthier for building occupants, but also protects the HVAC system from dust and dirt that would otherwise build up and damage equipment.

Sneak Peek

In the future, expect to see many of these advancements even further refined to offer more HVAC solutions for homeowners and businesses alike. Even now, companies are designing units that can custom-serve homeowners while minimizing their environmental impact. Engineers are harnessing solar energy, wind power, heat-producing appliances, and ice to heat or cool more efficiently.

Heating & Cooling Two is committed to providing the most technologically advanced, safe HVAC equipment and accessories. We offer a variety of hot deals, rebates, and financing options so you can stay comfortable and be kind to the environment without jeopardizing your hard-earned savings. Contact us for a free estimate.

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Should I Set My HVAC Fan to Auto or On?

HVAC fan

It’s amazing how hard it can be to choose between two options. Most heating and cooling systems allow you to set your HVAC fan to run periodically or continuously. The Auto and On settings are there for a reason, but which one is better? Read our blog to make an informed decision.

On

The fan setting controls the blower motor, an important component of your HVAC system that distributes air throughout your home. Setting your fan to On means it will run continuously regardless of the temperature. This disperses air more evenly throughout your home. In addition, the blower motor won’t have to start up over and over again. Startup puts stress on the motor and may decrease its lifespan.

A fan pulls air through your system’s filtration or UV light system, so leaving it on may improve air quality for those with allergies. But with the fan always on and circulating air through the ductwork, you’ll lose more of the conditioned air your system creates.

Overall, setting your HVAC fan to On will cost you up to $50 dollars a month in electricity. Since it’s pulling air through the filter on a constant basis rather than periodically, you’ll have to check and replace the filter more often. That, combined with increased duct leakage and equipment wear, makes it more expensive in the long run.

AUTO

Setting your HVAC fan to Auto is the most cost-effective option. Your fan will work with the heating and cooling system, running as often as needed. When the thermostat reaches the temperature setting, the whole system will turn off, blower included. With your blower fan cycling in various intervals, less air travels through your filter, so you won’t need to replace it as often.

Request service from our expert technicians if your blower motor goes out or you have any other HVAC trouble. We are here for you. Heating & Cooling Two offers a wide range of programmable and non-programmable thermostats that are easy to operate and give you complete control over your home’s heating and cooling. Rely on our energy efficient air conditioners to keep you cool this summer regardless of what fan setting you choose. We provide filters and other accessories that you can order through our secure online store. Contact us for more information.

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Common Air Conditioning Questions

common air conditioning questions

Why is my air conditioner not working? This question brings up over 150 million results in Google. Sifting through them for solutions is a snoozefest. We dove into Google’s related searches to find the most common air conditioning questions. Read on for insight from our expert HVAC technicians:

Why is my air conditioner leaking?

If your air conditioner is leaking water, it may indicate a clogged condensate line, rusted drain pan, or broken pump. A small amount of water under your condenser on the outside unit is normal on hot or humid days. But it may also mean you need to replace your air filters or recharge the refrigerant.

Why is my air conditioner freezing up?

Improper airflow or low refrigerant can cause the evaporator coil to freeze up and thaw when the unit turns off. What looks like leaking water may actually be melted ice. Check to see if the filter needs replacing and schedule service with your HVAC technician if the problem persists.

Why is my air conditioner blowing warm air?

After you confirm that all your supply vents are open and your thermostat is set to a cooling temperature, check your air filter. Dirty filters are the most common causes of heating and cooling problems. If replacing it doesn’t solve the issue, have an HVAC technician inspect the fan or blower motor or assess if your home needs a larger unit.

Why is my air conditioner so loud?

Older units may be noisy when they operate. But if you hear rattling, grinding, or hissing, your air conditioner probably needs a tune-up. Rattling could be a sign of loose components or an aging compressor motor. It’s also possible that debris like leaves, twigs, or acorns have fallen through the vent on your outdoor unit and are causing the commotion as the machine vibrates. A worn bearing on the fan motor can produce a grinding noise. Hissing or whistling may be a simple ductwork issue but could also indicate a refrigerant leak.

Why is my air conditioner not turning on?

If your air conditioner isn’t turning on, it’s likely the circuit breaker or a malfunctioning thermostat. Set your thermostat to cool or lower the temperature setting. Then, check the circuit breaker. You can also try emptying the drain pan, clearing the condensate line of any debris, and replacing the filter. If the unit still doesn’t work, call your HVAC technician.

Why is my air conditioner tripping the circuit breaker?

If your air conditioner trips the circuit breaker, don’t turn it back on. It may be overheating, drawing more amps than the circuit is meant to handle. A dirty air filter or condenser coils, low refrigerant, or malfunctioning condenser coil fan can cause an air conditioner to overheat. Have a technician inspect your unit to avoid further damage.

Heating & Cooling Two can answer any other air conditioning questions you have and service your equipment so you can rely on it throughout the summer. If you do experience any problems, contact our trusted technicians. We offer energy efficient Bryant air conditioners, replacement filters, and many financing options to fit your budget. Contact us today.

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Air Conditioning Tips to Beat the Heat

air conditioning tips to beat the heat

If you’re like most homeowners, a hot, humid Minnesota summer brings with it some concerns. As the weather gets warmer, your thoughts may become consumed with strategies to survive the heat while saving money on your utility bill. Should you set your home to a tolerable temperature or forego the air conditioning altogether? Whatever your game plan, consider these air conditioning tips to beat the heat:

Get strategic

Want to know how to win at home cooling this summer? The key is not to turn your thermostat way down. Each degree you dial your thermostat below 78 increases energy consumption by eight percent. You can save money if you set your thermostat higher but just low enough to be comfortable.

Clean

A clean home is a healthy home. Dust frequently so dirt doesn’t get into your system and ruin your equipment. Keep registers clear of items like furniture, piles of clothes, and dog beds. Check your filter every month and replace if dirty or clogged. Even minor upkeep like this will improve air quality, help your HVAC system run more efficiently, and extend equipment life.

Go green

Make sure you have efficient lighting and appliances. Install LED lights if you are using incandescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use heat to create light, but LED lights consume very little power and generate less heat in comparison. Energy Star air conditioners use up to 40 percent less energy than other models, so invest in more efficient equipment that will save you money in the long run.

Stay shady

Go green, but don’t let your home become a greenhouse. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 76 percent of summer sunlight shining on standard double-pane glass enters into and heats up your home. Invest in curtains or close blinds to keep the sun from streaming in through windows and doors.

Keep dry

Humidity can make a home feel significantly warmer than it actually is. Use a dehumidifier to take water out of the air and make warm temperatures feel more bearable. Minimize hot showers, baths, and boiling water for cooking. It’s a great time of year to take a cool, refreshing shower and opt for salads over pasta.

Dine out(side)

Dining out may not save you money but cooking outside could. Instead of using your oven or stove, pull the grill out and enjoy the outdoors so you don’t counteract your cooling system. You could also use appliances that generate less heat, like crockpots or electric griddles.

Get smart

A smart thermostat can save up to 15 percent on cooling, or up to $145 dollars a year on utilities. Program your thermostat at a warmer temperature while you are away for a day and then lower the temp if you need when you return. Keep heat-producing appliances like lamps and TV sets away from the thermostat.

Bonus smart hacks:

  • Set ceiling fans to run counterclockwise and produce a wind-chill effect.
  • Seal air leaks with weather stripping and caulk around your doors and windows so cool air won’t escape.
  • Have a technician inspect your ducts to make sure they aren’t leaking and compromising your indoor air quality.

Heating & Cooling Two provides efficient and dependable Bryant air conditioners, programmable thermostats, A/C tune-ups, and a variety of maintenance packages to save you money. We also offer Aeroseal® Duct Sealing so you can be sure you’re not losing cool air or drawing in pollutants from your stuffy attic. Contact us for more information.

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