Get Ready for Cold & Flu Season with a Whole-House Humidifier

The kids are back in school (hopefully you parents are enjoying some quiet time) and the holidays are fast-approaching. You know what else is fast-approaching? The cold and flu season, in part because children often bring home various illnesses from school.

One of the best ways to attack the problem is by addressing the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home. IAQ is about more than just home air filtration. The change in seasons means the air is getting drier. Studies consistently show viruses, like the flu, spread more easily when the air is dry. Call Mast Heating & Cooling to learn more about adding humidity to the air in your home. We feature whole-house humidifying systems by Trane and Aprilaire.

As important as the health benefits are, adding humidity to the dry winter air has several other advantages:

★ Reduce static electricity shocks
★ Help eliminate dry nasal passages and scratchy throats
★ Protect valuable belongings like furniture & artwork
★ Keep wood floors & woodwork from getting too dry and cracking

Listen, Mast knows this sounds a little strange. We just spent months complaining about the summer humidity. But it’s just as important to know our indoor winter air is often too dry. The ideal indoor humidity for comfort is 40% to 50%, which usually requires some form of added humidity.

There can be a problem maintaining the ideal humidity in your house because of our cold Michigan winters. As the outside temperature gets colder, you may have to lower the indoor humidity to avoid condensation and even ice, on your home’s windows. When you see condensation on your windows, there is a good chance you also have moisture inside your walls and in the attic. That’s bad and could result in the growth of mold and rotting wood.

This table is a good guideline for humidity levels based on the outdoor temperature:

  • OUTDOOR TEMPERATURE
  • 20℉ TO 40℉
  • 10℉ TO 20℉
  • 0℉ TO 10℉
  • -10℉ TO 0℉
  • -20℉ TO -10℉
  • Colder than -20℉
  • MAXIMUM INDOOR HUMIDITY
  • 40%
  • 35%
  • 30%
  • 25%
  • 20%
  • 15%

Humidifiers can often be installed with advanced air filtration systems like the Trane CleanEffects™ to further improve your indoor air quality. It uses a series of filters. The pre-filter removes the larger particles. The remaining particles are trapped when they pass through a series of electrically charged fields in a second filter. The patented CleanEffects system is the most efficient on the market since it doesn’t get clogged and reduce airflow to the air handler.

Mast Heating & Cooling is your HVAC and IAQ authority for Holland and Grand Rapids, MI. Let us help keep your home comfortable and healthy this winter. Call now to learn about whole-house humidifiers and other ways to improve your indoor air quality. Mast has been committed to keeping you comfortable since opening our doors in 1956.

What does SEER and AFUE mean?

So, have you been doing research on replacing your current comfort systems with a new furnace or air conditioner? If so, it’s likely your head is spinning. You have the A-F-U-E number and the S-E-E-R rating. All the information out there can be confusing. Let’s see if we can sort it out for you.

AFUE Stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, which is one of the best and easiest tools to use when choosing a new furnace. The number measures the efficiency of a system over a season, which gives homeowners a good idea of the general operating costs. The rating tells you how much of the fuel consumed goes toward generating heat. A furnace that rates 80 percent AFUE will use 80 percent of the fuel consumed to generate heat for the home. The other 20 percent is lost, usually up the chimney.

In general, higher AFUE-rated equipment means lower operating costs over the lifetime of the system. High-efficiency systems generally have special features allowing them to run at lower speeds, consuming less fuel and extending service life.

Now let’s go to the other side of the HVAC equation, air conditioning. Now we’re talking about the SEER rating. It stands for (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Similar to AFUE, the higher the number, the more efficient the new AC unit is and the more money you will save on your utility bills. You should know the SEER rating is based on a high temperature of 83 degrees. Depending on local conditions, high temperatures routinely hotter or cooler, the rating may need to be adjusted. The Mast AC repair experts for Grand Rapids will make sure you get a fair comparison of different central air conditioners.

Now let’s go beyond the raw numbers. As important as the efficiency ratings are, even a brand-new furnace or air conditioner won’t operate efficiently if:

  • The installation is done incorrectly
  • Ductwork isn’t sized correctly
  • There are leaky or uninsulated ducts
  • Routine maintenance is ignored
  • Home is not insulated properly

It’s why you need to depend on Mast Heating & Cooling, the heating and cooling experts for Grand Rapids and Holland, MI. Since opening our doors in 1956, we have made your comfort our top priority and all of our work is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Prepare Your Home for a Cold, Wet Fall Season

Is that a sigh of relief we hear? That’s right, autumn has officially arrived meaning the worst of the heat and humidity is behind us. At least until next year. For many, this is the best time of year with the cool crisp mornings and the spectacular color show nature gives us every year. Michigan, with its lakes and forests, has some of the best fall colors in the country.

While there is much to like, this year you could be turning on the heat a little sooner than normal. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting it’s going to be colder and wetter than normal, so you have to be prepared. Now is the time to call Mast Heating & Cooling to schedule your all-important furnace tune-up. The benefits of routine maintenance are well established:

  • More efficient operation means lower utility bills
  • Your home will be more comfortable
  • HVAC systems will last longer

While maintenance is super important, no heating or cooling system lasts forever. There can come a time when maintenance is a losing proposition. Replacing your old system can often make more sense than another expensive AC repair or furnace repair. Right now, Trane has a special offer to replace that old air conditioner using R-22 Freon™ refrigerant. Call Mast to learn the details.

We understand the upfront cost can be scary, but an AC or furnace replacement can actually make your monthly budget look better. Because of increased efficiency, new units can cut your utility bills by 30% or 40%. Imagine everything else you can do with that money when you cut your monthly expenses? Not to mention the reliability and peace of mind that comes with new heating and air conditioning.

So, breathe that sigh of relief and enjoy the crisp fall weather. Just don’t get so distracted by nature’s beauty you forget to call Mast Heating & Cooling to make sure you are prepared. You know autumn will be followed by another Michigan winter. The last thing you want is an emergency furnace repair or furnace replacement when the family is gathered at your house for the holidays.

Let Mast Put a Little Luxury in Your Life

Mast Heating & Cooling believes everyone deserves a little luxury in their lives. What are the luxuries you enjoy the most? A special bottle of wine? One of those fancy adjustable mattresses? A swimming pool? Mast thinks there’s something else you can move to the top of the list. Radiant floor heating and radiant snow and ice melt systems

What exactly is radiant heat? It’s the same principle as the warmth you feel on your face from the sunshine streaming through the window. The sunshine isn’t warming the air. It’s warming the objects in the room, including your face. The most common form of radiant heat in homes is hydronic radiant heat, meaning a system of pipes installed under the floor carries warm water. The water is most often heated by a high efficiency boiler.  The heat radiates from the floor, warming other objects and transferring the heat to the air. Radiant heat comes with many advantages:

  • Different rooms can be set to different temperatures
  • There are no noisy fans or blowers
  • No blowing air carrying dust & allergens


For many people those advantages are secondary. What they like is the feeling of luxury. The floor under your bare feet is always warm, no matter how cold the Michigan winter is outside. Additionally, radiant heat is generally more efficient than forced air heating because there is no heat loss from the ductwork.

A radiant snow melt system uses the same principle. The buried pipes or electrical elements give you a heated driveway, parking lot, and sidewalks. Imagine the feeling of being able to hang up that snow shovel permanently or never having to worry about whether the snow blower will start. In addition, snow melt systems make your property much safer, and reduce the likelihood of facing slip and fall liability lawsuits.

If you’re among the lucky ones who already have radiant heat, do not believe the myth that they don’t require maintenance. While there are not fans and blowers and changing filters, the boilers require regular maintenance for safe operation and water treatments are necessary to prevent corrosion. It’s easy to let the maintenance slide because radiant systems run so quietly you tend to forget about them. Ensure your total comfort for the winter with this important service.  

Call Mast Heating & Cooling now to learn more about the ultimate luxury of radiant heating. Just one more way Mast has been keeping you comfortable since 1956.

 

Happy labor day!

To paraphrase the words of the late Johnny Olson:

“Come on down, the job is right!”

Johnny was the famous studio announcer on the “Price is Right” game show in the 70’s and 80’s. Maybe our parody of his “come on down” catch-phrase is a little weak, but we’re trying to make a point. On this Labor Day, many people are questioning the job they have now and whether it will provide for their future. As we celebrate the American worker, Mast Heating & Cooling wants you to know our industry is a great career choice, and is in great need of talented people.

We’ve heard the well-established reports about the shortage of skilled workers and it represents a great opportunity to make a career for yourself without a four-year college degree. Additionally, you can start without being saddled by thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Most entry level HVAC technician jobs require one or two years in a trade school.

Mast invites you to tell us about yourself by filling out an application on this website. If you have the right “stuff,” you can become a member of an amazing team. Our employees, both in the office and in the field, are the lifeline between the company and our clients. As a result, Mast has a great employment package to attract the right candidates. What we need from you is a strong work ethic, and a clean background check and drug test.

What you receive is the chance to work with the top HVAC company in Southwest Michigan. Mast has been serving our clients heating, cooling, and marine HVACR needs in Grand Rapids, Holland, and all points between since 1956.

Along with all the other benefits comes job security. Working in HVAC is virtually recession proof. How can we be so sure? For one thing, consider the growing trends of energy efficiency and pollution reduction. The industry is already dealing with the phase out of older refrigerants because of environmental damage. It’s going to take skilled air conditioner technicians to upgrade and replace the millions of units already in use.  

So really, listen to what Johnny Olson used to say to the studio audience; come on down and check us out and you just might find the right job for you. When you learn more about the benefits Mast employees receive, chances are you will be pleasantly surprised at the life and the future you can build for yourself and your family.

Mast Comfort Club Brings Peace of Mind

It’s human nature to think the bad things are always going to happen to someone else. Mast Heating & Cooling hears it all the time when we talk about routine HVAC maintenance and the advantages of joining our Comfort Club, “It’ won’t happen to me. I’ve never had a problem with my heating or cooling system.”

Okay, maybe you do have a drawer full of 4-leaf clovers, but the numbers prove you can’t go through life depending on good luck to prevent the need for air conditioner and furnace repairs. There are a lot of good reasons to invest in joining the Mast Comfort Club. Watch this now to learn more about our maintenance steps. 

These are three of the most important:

  • Saving Money:
    • Dirt & normal wear & tear cause systems to run inefficiently
    • A professional tune-up saves you money in two ways
      • Reduced utility costs
      • Fewer expensive repairs
  • System Life:
    • Properly maintained components last longer
    • Regular tune-ups mean a system doesn’t have to work as hard
  • Warranty Benefits:
    • Manufacturer warranties are important to protect your investment
    • Some warranties require documented routine maintenance to remain valid

When you join the Comfort Club you will receive numerous benefits:

  • After hours fees are eliminated
  • 2 Seasonal checkups (air conditioner & furnace service)
  • Free air filters
  • Priority service if you do have an emergency

When it comes to HVAC in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and all of Western Michigan, life has changed a lot in a relatively short time. Not too many decades ago, home cooling consisted of opening another window and waiting for the weather to change. In many homes, you had nothing to worry about as long as you had enough firewood to get through the winter.

No one is saying those days were better, but now we depend on the convenience and comfort of central heating and cooling. When equipment breakdowns happen, our homes can quickly get very uncomfortable. Or in the case of a Michigan winter, downright dangerous.

No HVAC company can completely eliminate the risk that you will need air conditioning or heating repairs, but membership in the Mast Comfort Club will help turn the odds in your favor. Call Mast Heating & Cooling right now to find out how easy and cost effective it is to get peace of mind.

Mast is a True Wizard of HVAC Installations

Ding, dong, the wicked old inefficient air conditioner is dead. Long live the new, high-efficiency air conditioner!

Congratulations on your decision to upgrade, but just as Dorothy found out on her journey to Oz, it takes a whole team; brains (Scarecrow), heart (Tinman), and courage (Cowardly Lion), to be successful.

So, don’t forget about the other important part of your decision: Choosing the right company to do your new HVAC installation.

Mast Heating & Cooling firmly believes installation day is the most important day  when it comes to the long-term performance of heating and cooling systems. It’s critical you choose a company like Mast with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Why the analogy to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”? Just like the trip to see the great wizard, it takes everyone working together to make sure your HVAC system works to its fullest potential.

Your brand-new air conditioner or furnace is the star (Dorothy). The installers are the scarecrow, tinman, and the lion making sure the journey is a success. A poor installation means a new system won’t reach its full potential. Even after spending a lot of money on new heating and cooling systems, you could still be wasting money on high utility bills, and living in a home that isn’t as comfortable as it should be.

A proper replacement or new home installation starts long before the workers show up at your house. Our technicians and comfort consultants will use their brains to help you choose the right systems for your home. Only proper system sizing can assure the conditioned air will reach the various parts of your house.

We often find systems which were improperly installed. Many times, it’s because the installers were cutting corners to try and save money or get the job done in a hurry. It won’t happen with Mast. Our experts have the courage to show you how the job needs to be done correctly.

Too many HVAC contractors take the system out of the box, hook it up, turn it on, and go home. It takes heart to go the extra step to guarantee your comfort. Mast installers will balance and calibrate the heating and cooling systems to make sure they are performing as efficiently as they were designed to. The extra steps can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs and early replacement.

You can depend on Mast, your heating and cooling experts in Grand Rapids, Holland, and all points in between. We will use our brains, courage, and heart to make your HVAC installation day a success. And soon your house will be so comfortable all you will want to say is, “There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home…. There’s no place like home.”  

Hot Water Storage Tanks

Bigger is better! How adding a storage tank can make a difference

The days are getting shorter, and soon our thoughts will turn to the approaching winter. Hydronic radiant floor heat is the inherently efficient and luxurious way to heat your home. If you are one of the lucky ones to enjoy this great heating solution, gain even more advantages with one call to Mast Heating and Cooling to learn about adding a domestic water storage tank, especially if it is time to replace your traditional water heater.

The hydronic professionals at Mast Heating & Cooling believe it makes sense for all hydronic radiant systems to use dedicated boilers with a domestic water storage tank because of these great benefits:

  • The domestic water storage tank has up to three times the capacity of a traditional water heater  
  • It is well insulated to prevent heat loss  
  • Because it’s made of stainless steel, it will last a very long time
  • The water tank is used for storage only.

Unlike a traditional water heater, a domestic storage tank doesn’t have its own heat source, so it eliminates an appliance to care for. The water in the tank is heated indirectly by the boiler you have in place for your radiant system, which is a much more efficient system in most cases.

Mast sells and installs with precision high-efficiency boilers and storage tanks by NTI. They stand behind their products—backed by 40 years of service and experience.

If you haven’t experienced the luxury of warm floors during the winter, you should talk with the Mast comfort consultants about adding it to your home as part of a remodeling project, or to that new dream home you’re building. While you’re at it, you might just as well add a radiant snow and ice melt system to your driveway and sidewalks! Wouldn’t it be great to get the show shovels and snow blower out of the garage?

Mast Heating & Cooling—your HVAC contractor for Grand Rapids, Holland, and points in between—providing customer service since 1956.

 

Mast Heating & Cooling Gets the Job Done Right – Satisfaction, Guaranteed!

best hvac grand rapids

The picture on this page says it all. The handshake represents the way Mast Heating & Cooling does business. Since 1956, the emphasis has been on honesty, integrity, customer service and customer satisfaction.

Those promises are what set us apart from our competitors. It doesn’t matter if you are spending a lot of money (new radiant flooring in Kentwood, MI) or a little money (a routine furnace repair in Grand Rapids), you will receive the same respect and prompt service. Solving your problems and making you comfortable are our top priorities.

From the boss’s office, to the front office, to the technicians doing the work, our staff is welcoming and friendly. Mast will make sure you, the valued client, are comfortable with the entire process.

Every home, person, and company is different. At every step of the way our goal is to make sure we understand your needs and how to meet them for you. Our guarantee of 100% satisfaction extends to repairs, replacements, and upgrades.

A review from Chelsey, a recent client:  I was blown away when they were able to fit us in using the commercial crew only 2 days later! (As a side note, I’m 9 mos pregnant, and that string of 85+ degree days was BRUTAL, so I was SO thankful for this.) The installation crew of two came at 7:45am (right on time), and were out of here and all cleaned up by 10:45am. So efficient.

Mast doesn’t shy away from the tough challenges, in fact we welcome them. Our comfort consultants and system designers have a proven track record of successful retrofits. We have updated HVAC systems in very old homes or buildings that might scare away other contractors.

Our same satisfaction guarantee extends to our commercial clients. Mast has years-long relationships with several commercial customers. They know our technicians and installers will do the job right. Large buildings, small offices, and college campuses are among those who have trusted Mast for all of their heating and cooling needs.

We understand you can choose among many HVAC contractors serving Grand Rapids, Holland, and all of Western Michigan. All we ask is you do the research. Ask the others if they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee? How long have they been in business?

Then call us so we can tell you what sets us apart from our competitors. Mast Heating & Cooling, where your comfort is always the top priority.

 

Troubleshooting Your Air Conditioner

troubleshoot AC problems

The sun is setting earlier and rising later. It means fall is on the way, but first we have to make it through the heat and humidity of the dog days of summer.

It’s not easy, especially if your air conditioner isn’t doing its job and your home feels more like the steam room at the spa.

Before you call Mast Heating & Cooling, let’s make sure you really do need an air conditioner repair. There are some common-sense things to check on your own.

Start by taking a close look at this troubleshooting video segment we put together. It will walk you through several steps to make sure the repair call is necessary. Take the time to watch it and it could save you from having to pay for an emergency service call.

Our Mast technicians handle HVAC issues in Grand Rapids and all of Southwest Michigan. They have these suggestions to go along with the video.

Make sure to take a close look the thermostat. The new electronic and programmable devices are wonderful pieces of technology, but they are more complex. It’s possible someone set the wrong time or temperature while trying to program it.

If you have any doubts about the correct settings, pull out your owner’s manual to confirm everything is correct.

Please make sure all of your filters have been changed recently. Mast can’t emphasize enough how much a dirty or clogged filter can affect your air conditioner’s efficiency. If you let this go, it will shorten the life of your central air conditioner.

If at this point your system still isn’t cooling the house, then it’s time to call Mast for an AC repair. The technician’s first priority is to determine if the air conditioner can be fixed and how much it will cost.

There are times when repairs are a losing proposition and you are better off thinking about an air conditioner replacement and installation. Mast is proud to carry Trane air conditioners, the industry leader for performance and reliability.

Don’t let the dog days overwhelm your central air conditioner. Life is too short to spend sleepless nights, tossing and turning to find the cool side of the pillow. Call Mast Heating & Cooling and we’ll have your home cool and comfortable again in no time.

All Aboard for Comfort During Your Boating Excursion

marine hvacr

The 4th of July has dawned cool and clear. The sky is a bright blue. Part of the reason you have a big smile on your face as you lead the family onto your 38-foot Bayliner for a beautiful day on the lake.

The first order of business is stowing the food and drinks in the refrigerator. What…you say the fridge isn’t cold and it’s not working. Well that’s a pain.

Back to the car to get the cooler. It’s big and will take up lots of space on the boat, but there’s really no choice. We’ll just fill it with ice from the ice maker. You’re kidding me. It’s not working either. What has gone wrong.

After a run to buy bags of ice, you’re finally ready to cast off an hour later than planned. That’s okay, it will still be a great day on the lake and you can deal with having to use the cooler. The only problem will be if you catch lots of fish. There may not be enough ice to keep them cold.

Three hours later you’re still smiling, sort of. The sun is now beating down. The cool morning has given way to a sweltering hot and humid day. There’s not a breath of air moving.

The decision is made. Let’s turn on the boat’s air conditioner to cool the cabin down and get off the deck for a while. Wait, why isn’t there any cool air coming out of the vents. Don’t tell me the AC is broken as well.

Thankfully, that’s when the alarm goes off and you wake up. It was just a bad dream.

Sure, it’s not likely all of those things will happen at once, but why gamble on ruining your holiday boat excursion? The nightmare is a good reminder to call Mast Heating & Cooling, the marine HVACR system experts for all of Western Michigan.

Our expert technicians can handle repair and maintenance on all brands of marine refrigerators, icemakers, and air conditioners. If it turns out you need replacements, talk with the Mast comfort consultants about our complete line of products:

    • Air conditioners by MarineAire and Cruise Air
    • Marine refrigerators from Nova Kool and Adler Barbour
    • Icemakers by Uline (plenty of ice to keep drinks & fish cold)

So instead of the nightmare scenario, your holiday turns out like this. A couple hours of relaxed cruising and fishing. Some lunch and cold drinks straight out of the refrigerator. An afternoon playing board games with the family in the air-conditioned cabin. And the highlight of the day, going back to shore and watching the fireworks from inside the nice cool cabin, not having to worry about mosquitoes or other pests.

Make it all possible by calling the HVAC experts for Holland, Grand Rapids, and the surrounding area, Mast Heating & Cooling. Mast is the largest marine HVACR business in the Great Lakes area. Our goal is to keep you cool and comfortable, whether it’s in your home or on your boat.

Filter Change Is Critical to System Performance

Remember how hard it is to breathe when you have a cold? Or your sinuses are blocked because of allergies?

It’s the same thing when you operate your air conditioner with a dirty or clogged air filter. When your AC can’t breathe, it can’t keep you cool.

Mast Heating & Cooling, your HVAC expert in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kentwood, and surrounding area, wants you to know filtering your air is especially critical as the calendar rolls over to summer. Grass & trees are growing and giving off pollen. There’s dust in the air from agricultural activity and summer storms.

It’s not just us telling you how important furnace filters are. Check out these tidbits from the Department of Energy Website:

  • Replacing filters is the single most important maintenance task

  • Will ensure efficiency of your air conditioner

  • Dirty filters obstruct air flow

  • Clean filters reduce energy consumption 5% to 15%

Shopping for filters can be confusing. There are many types and a wide range of prices. You will also see a number for a filter’s MERV rating. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. The scale goes from 1 to 16.

The traditional filters, fiberglass or pleated, will remove dust particles, but primarily just the larger ones. Mast recommends going a step further. Talk with our comfort consultants about the Trane CleanEffectsTM filtration system.

CleanEffects is really a series of filters. The pre-filter removes the larger particles. The remaining particles in the air then pass through a series of electrically charged fields and they are trapped in a second filter. The patented filter is the most efficient of any on the market since it doesn’t get clogged and reduce airflow to the air handler.

The performance of the Trane CleanEffects™ system even surpasses HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters that are used in many hospitals to prevent the spread of germs. Furnace filters should not be confused with an air purifier. While the two systems can often work together, they are separate processes. Filters remove particles from the air. A purifier uses a process, ultraviolet rays and negative ions are among the best, to sanitize the air. It can kill the germs & bacteria, not merely filter them.

Call Mast Heating & Cooling to make sure your air filtration is right for your house. And don’t let your air conditioner cough and wheeze its way through summer because you forgot to change a dirty filter. If it becomes a habit, you could soon be writing us a check for a new air conditioner. Let us help you take care of all your service, maintenance and replacement needs.

Vacation Checklist Should Start With Home Protection

Let’s check in with an imaginary Michigan family, Pete and Carol and their lovely children Murray and Tanya. After a year of planning they are leaving home right now for a two-week vacation.

Pete spent days organizing his tackle box and tying new fishing flies to catch a big lunker.

Carol went shopping and bought a new tennis racket. She has vowed this will be the year she masters her backhand.

Murray carefully packed up his digital camera and telephoto lens. He’s looking forward to taking some wildlife photos while hiking.

Tanya loves to read and has stocked up on new books and plans to read while at the pool and working on her tan.

But there are more questions. Who took care of the air conditioning before they left? Who checked all the faucets and toilets for any sign of leaks? Who shut off the water to the washing machine? Who made sure all unnecessary appliances were unplugged?

Mast Heating & Cooling, your HVAC provider in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kentwood and surrounding areas, wants to make sure when you leave on vacation, you’re not forgetting about the home you are leaving behind. You need to make sure it will be in good shape when you return.

Here are some of the most important things to put on your pre-vacation to-do list:

 

  • Air conditioning tune-up:

 

You do not want your AC unit to stop working while you’re gone. Imagine what the buildup of heat and humidity would do to your houseplants or the pet goldfish. Get the tune-up before you leave home. The simplest way to deal with maintenance and tune-ups is to join Mast’s Comfort Savings Club. Click here to learn more.

If your AC unit is 10 years old or older, it likely uses R-22 refrigerant. The refrigerant is being phased out because of environmental damage and the cost is skyrocketing. It could make your tune-up more expensive and you may want to talk with Mast about replacing your old air conditioner.

 

  • Surge protection:

 

Thousands of dollars. That’s how much damage one lightning strike can do to delicate electronics, including your HVAC systems. Since summer vacation season is also prime storm season in the Great Lakes Region, don’t start your travels before talking with our Mast comfort consultants about surge protectors to guard your house. They not only provide lightning protection, but also guard against summer brownouts, blackouts, and other voltage surges.

 

  • Buy a programmable thermostat, or use the one you have:

 

A programmable thermostat makes going on vacation easy-peasy. Program it to maintain a constant, energy saving, temperature while you’re gone. A good range is from 78 to 82 degrees.

Then, since your thermostat is connected to your WiFi, you can use your smartphone to turn the AC back down when you’re on your way home. The house will be nice and cool when you arrive.

Mast features thermostats from Trane and Honeywell. Trane’s programmable thermostats work in conjunction with the Nexia home automation software. Just download the Nexia App to your mobile device and you are in control of your home, no matter where you are.

Honeywell, a leader in systems control technology, offers several models. There are thermostats with touch screens and some are even voice controlled.

Mast Heating & Cooling really hopes things turn out well for imaginary family. Hopefully they will return home to find nothing happened. Call us today to avoid that kind of gamble.

 

FAQ’S on Marine HVACR

Summer is the time when everyone wants to get away for the weekend. We’re always hearing about trips to a cabin, usually at a lake and the trip may include time on a boat.

For others, it’s a trip to the boat because the boat is their cabin. It shouldn’t surprise you, especially with Lake Michigan so close, a lot of folks use their boat as a 2nd home.

Mast Heating & Cooling should be your first call for any marine air conditioner needs. You won’t find another HVACR (the ‘R’ is for refrigeration) company in Holland, Grand Rapids, and surrounding area with more marine expertise.

While many of the principles are the same, boats do have unique heating and cooling needs. Here are just a few of the questions we hear from boat owners.

Why should I make sure my boat has adequate ventilation?

The short answer is for some of the same reasons your home needs ventilation, but even more so because boats are always in a wet environment. The reasons include:

  • Reduce humidity levels below deck when the boat is left unattended
  • Keep the air from getting musty because moisture and humidity are trapped in the boat
  • Help electronics and fabrics last longer by maintaining a drier climate

Do I need a boat air conditioner?

Mast can’t really answer that question for you. It’s one you have to answer for yourself. You know how uncomfortable it can be on the boat when it’s hot and humid. Our point is you may not need an air conditioner, but it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy having it.

Mast features marine air conditioners by MarineAire and Cruise Air. Both are recognized as industry leaders. There are models to fit every size and type of boat. Mast can help you determine what size is best for you and design your custom system from top to bottom.

The refrigerator on our boat stopped working. Can you help us?

The answer is absolutely yes. Our technicians are trained to service all brands of marine refrigerators and ice makers. If you need a new refrigerator Mast features a complete line from Nova Kool and Adler Barbour.

Ice can also be critical when you’re using a boat as a 2nd home. Not only to keep your drinks cold, but to preserve those Walleye and trout. Mast carries a line of marine icemakers from Uline to complement your refrigerator.

Whatever your question, rest assured our technicians will answer it for you, or find someone who can. In the last half-century, Mast Heating & Cooling has built the largest marine HVACR business in the Great Lakes area. Another way of saying you can count on us to keep your weekend boating getaways cool and comfortable.

Ditch the Ducts! Ductless HVAC is a Hot Topic

Some HVAC industry analysts call ductless heating and cooling the wave of the future. They say someday soon most new homes won’t have heating and cooling ducts.

Mast Heating & Cooling doesn’t think that’s far-fetched. Just think about the excitement over ductless mini-split heat pumps. Some call them ventless air conditioners, but with heat pump technology they can deliver heating AND cooling directly to specific living areas.

Traditional central systems have kept homes comfortable for decades, but they come with inherent drawbacks. The ducts are often the weak link. Mast technicians have found duct problems are mainly responsible for uneven heating or cooling.

Mini splits can supplement your central system to solve the problem. They deliver conditioned air through an air handler typically mounted high on a wall. It’s more efficient because moving heated or cooled air through all that ductwork can reduce efficiency by up to 30%.

As many as four air handlers can connect to one outdoor condenser. Each has its own thermostat and can be set to a different temperature based on personal preference, eliminating the hot and cold spots.

Imagine the peace in your house when these ductless heat pumps end the thermostat battle. No more complaining about it being too hot in one room and too cold in another.

Mini splits are the perfect choice for your new office or media room in that converted attic or garage. You can heat AND cool those areas without connecting them to your central system.

The upfront costs are lower since there’s no ductwork. The installation is relatively easy. The only requirement is a small hole to connect the air handlers to the condenser. The outdoor unit can be hidden in trees and shrubs up to 50 feet away.

Another amazing air conditioning solution if you have a radiant or boiler heating system is a Unico cooling system.  While this system has ductwork, it is flexible ductwork and can be added to a home without affecting the aesthetics of the room.  

Let our Mast experts show you how Fujitsu mini splits or Unico cooling system can make your home more comfortable this summer.

R-22 Phase-out Means Tough Decisions for Homeowners

We are seeing and hearing some crazy things as the phase-out of R-22 gets closer. Recently, crooks stole more than $20,000 worth of R-22 from a supply company in Tennessee. It’s just one example.

Mast Heating & Cooling wants to make sure the craziness doesn’t come back to “bite you” financially or otherwise.

Since the 1970’s the warnings have been out there that it damages the environment. Starting in 2020, it will no longer be manufactured or imported in the U.S. Already the R-22 price is skyrocketing, and it’s expected to keep going up until the final supply runs out.

The result is a tough question for homeowners. Is it wise to continue repairing and maintaining your old AC unit using R-22? If your air conditioner has a history of leaks or currently needs to have refrigerant added, it’s going to get more and more expensive. You may suffer sticker shock over the cost.

The truth is it could make more sense to invest in R-22 replacement with a new, energy-efficient AC system. Our experience is a refrigerant leak can often be a sign of more serious problems just ahead. Now is the time to talk with our professionals about making the right decision for you. These are some factors indicating it’s time for a replacement:

  • Frequent & costly repairs
  • Energy bills rising (new units can save 30% or more)
  • House is too hot

The phase-out also led to a scary warning from the Environmental Protection Agency. Some bad people are trying to market something called R-22A as a cheaper replacement.

R-22A contains propane and is not approved for use in any home air conditioning system. It can lead to explosions and fires. In at least one case, a fire injured a technician who was working on a system.

Mast has not heard about it happening in our area, but if anyone tries to sell you or convince you to use R-22A in your home air conditioner, you should report them immediately.

R-22 refrigerant is not something you can ignore. The clock is counting down. Trust Mast Heating & Cooling to help you make an informed decision on the best way to deal with the R-22 phase-out. Our technicians are always here for your service, repair, and maintenance needs.

Turn that diploma into an HVAC career

The strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” (the graduation march) are echoing in gymnasiums and stadiums across the country. Our heartfelt congratulations to all of this year’s graduates. Now comes the tough part: turning that diploma into a job and career capable of providing a comfortable future.

This is where Mast Heating & Cooling can help. Our industries have the help wanted signs out to find bright and talented candidates who want to work as HVAC service repair and installation technicians.

Consider these 2015 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding jobs in the heating, cooling, and refrigeration industry:

Annual Median Pay: $45,110

Median Hourly Pay: $21.69

Projected 10-Year Growth: 14% (much faster than average)

One reason for those impressive numbers is a shortage of technical workers in our country. Analysts say it’s a growing trend, which is why so many companies are now hiring. The need among companies like Mast has never been greater.

Many young people believe their only choice is pursuing a traditional four-year degree. If that is your goal, you should do everything in your power to pursue it. But it’s not for everyone. HVAC technicians are proof there are other ways to land a good gig.

Most of our HVAC technicians and mechanics graduate from a two-year program at a trade or technical school. You will be pleasantly surprised at the life and future you can build for yourself and for your current or future family as an HVAC specialist.

There are currently growing trends of energy efficiency and pollution reduction. It’s going to take skilled workers to upgrade or replace the millions of heating and cooling units already in use. Old refrigerants like R-22 refrigerant are being phased out because of environmental damage. Companies will have to hire more trained HVAC technicians to handle the environmental policy changes and new industry innovations. All reasons why Mast believes the future is bright.

Check out the opportunities at Mast before jumping into a low-wage retail job or investing hundreds of thousands of dollars for a college degree you’re not excited about.

To learn more about job opportunities, check out our Facebook page. Make sure to share them with your friends on social media who are also looking for a career.

Go Green—Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Mast’s Help

Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day and Mast Heating and Cooling wants everyone to mark this day by taking a close look at your HVAC systems. In nearly every home they are the largest energy users. They are also a good place to start when talking about trying to use more renewable energy.

There can be a difference of opinion about how serious the problem is, but the science is pretty clear. Carbon Dioxide in the air from fossil-based fuels is helping to create the greenhouse effect.

Using less energy and reducing our carbon footprint are desirable goals. Lots of small steps by individuals can add up to a large impact on the problem.

HVAC systems more than 10 years old aren’t nearly as efficient as what’s on the market today. In fact, a new system can save up to 30% on monthly utility bills, reducing your energy consumption and your carbon footprint. At some point, the cost of repairing and maintaining what you have now makes HVAC replacement the smart choice.

There’s also another important environmental cost to consider on Earth Day. Older air conditioners use R-22 refrigerant (also known as R-22 refrigerant) proven to harm the ozone layer in the atmosphere. Starting in 2020, R-22 will no longer be manufactured or imported. There’s already a shortage that is driving the price up. The cost is expected to keep rising making it more expensive to maintain your old air conditioning system.

When you take all the factors into account, replacing heating and cooling systems can often be a win-win situation. You will end up with lower monthly bills and you will be helping the environment at the same time.

Don’t forget about your hot water heater. It’s generally the 2nd largest energy user in the home. Consider replacing your old tank-style heater with a tankless water heating system. It heats the water as you use it instead of keeping an entire tank of water hot at all time. Mast features the Navien Brand.

Mast will not sugarcoat this: a replacement air conditioner or hot water system is a big investment and can be a financial burden. Let us help. Our comfort consultants will help you find every financial incentive available to you.

Financing can also make it easier. It often makes sense to use someone else’s money to pay the bill. Mast has programs and terms to fit all financial situations. In some cases, your energy savings could offset the monthly payments.

Call Mast today for all of your service, maintenance, replacement or repair needs.

Mast Can End Thermostat Family Bickering

Here’s a common conversation we hear about a lot:

She says, “Honey, turn the heat up. I’m out here in the living room reading a magazine. My fingers are turning blue and my nose is cold.”

He responds with, “What do you mean? Are you crazy? I’m in the family room watching TV in my boxers and T-shirt and I’m still sweating all over the place.”

Sound familiar year-round in your home?

Mast Heating and Cooling hears complaints about hot spots and cold spots frequently. Clients complain one room is too hot while another is too cold.

Even with the technological advances in the heating and cooling industry, the problem does happen. There are ways our professional technicians can help you end this seemingly never-ending family feud.

SUPPLEMENTAL SYSTEMS:

Consider adding ductless mini-split heat pumps to supplement your current system. They are also called ventless air conditioners, but using heat pump technology they can be used for heating as well.

As the name implies, mini splits deliver the conditioned air directly to a specific room without going through any kind of ductwork. There can be as many as four indoor air handlers connected to one outside condenser. The indoor units can heat or cool a specific room. Each of them can be set to different temperatures.

SYSTEM-WIDE ZONING:

If, for whatever reason, mini splits are not an option, then system-wide zoning might be a good option as part of your current HVAC system. You can connect multiple thermostats to one control panel. The thermostats control dampers inside your ducts allowing you to direct more or less heating or cooling to specific areas in the home.

Because this is also considered an energy saving improvement, you might be able to write off some of the expense on your taxes. Make sure to check with your accountant as it depends on your location and the specific system you install.

DUCTWORK REPAIR OR MODIFICATIONS:

In some cases, the fault may lie with the ductwork on your central systems. For some reason the proper amount of air may not be getting to some rooms in your house. Mast will test the ducts for leaks and make sure they are the right size for your system.

A central system can lose as much as 30% of its efficiency as the conditioned air is delivered to the different rooms.

If you’re ready to end thermostat warfare in your home, now is the time to get help from our professional technicians at Mast Heating and Cooling—the perfect choice for all of your service, repair, and maintenance needs.

Consider Replacement to Avoid a Bummer Summer

As spring turns to summer, deep inside you know it’s time for an AC replacement. but you’re still procrastinating. You’re scared about the cost of a new central air conditioner. On top of that are all of the competing claims and confusing numbers. It’s hard to figure out which new AC units are the most energy efficient and which manufacturer has the best reputation for reliability.

Make your very first phone call to Mast Heating and Cooling. Our trained professionals will help you sort things out. In order for you to choose us for an air conditioner replacement, we first have to earn your trust and help you make an informed decision about what is best for you.

If your old home AC unit is 10 years old or older, a new central air conditioner is going to be much more efficient. Many times, the energy savings means replacement makes more sense than expensive AC repair.

When shopping, you are going to see things like SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. In both cases the higher the number, the more efficient the new AC unit is and the more money you will save on your utility bills.

There is a difference in how the two numbers are calculated, and Mast can explain which is most important for you. For example, the SEER rating is based on a high temperature of 83 degrees. But depending on your local conditions, the rating may need to be adjusted. Our experts will make sure you can make a fair comparison of different central air conditioners.

You can also look for the Energy Star and EnergyGuide labels on an AC unit. It is generally speaking about 15% more efficient than a standard unit. The cost of a new air conditioner should always be one factor in the decision. Buying the most efficient unit you can afford will almost always save money in the long run. Mast features highly rated and reliable Trane products—one of the most trusted names in the HVAC industry.

Our installation experts will also make sure your new air conditioner is installed correctly. Again, AC installation cost should not be the only factor in your decision. A poor installation could mean your new central air conditioner will perform just as inefficiently as your old one. Mast will be happy to explain how our installers make sure it doesn’t happen in your home.

Yes, it’s a big decision, but summer is almost here and the time for procrastination is over. Let us help you decide which new air conditioner replacement is the right one to make your home more comfortable while saving you money. When you choose Mast Heating and Cooling you can count on us to be there for all of your service, repair, and maintenance needs.