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Robert Hoffmann

Robert Hoffmann

This is a blog about Hoffmann Brothers Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. I am Robert Hoffmann, the owner and President of Hoffmann Brothers. I am a licensed Mechanical Engineer with many years of experience in HVAC, Mechanical Contracting, & Plumbing.

Posted by on in Heating
Like getting an oil change in your car, regular air filter changes prevent expensive problems. Maybe you were always an overachiever. Your type A personality shines in school, work, and PTA meetings. If you’re exceeding the recommended MERV rating for your furnace filter using this mindset, you’re not doing yourself or your Chesterfield, MO heating system any favors. A perfectionist wonders about illnesses caused by dust in the air. What about breathing in airborne contaminants? Surely a higher MERV value from an expensive filter makes the most sense? In fact, the real danger is neglecting to change an air filter regularly. A clogged air filter damages your heating system, costs money, and sacrifices your comfort. Here’s a list of the real problems caused by a dirty furnace filter. #1 You’ll be cold. A clogged air filter reduces the airflow through your heating system. Less recycled air moves across your filter, to...
Your air conditioner works hard during the hot and humid Clayton, MO summertime. Even when the heat index soars to dangerous levels and the air quality turns red, your cooling system hums happily. It keeps your interior temperature consistent with a preprogrammed thermostat and your indoor air clean with a pleated filter. Consider these steps to give your air conditioner a winter vacation. It will come back relaxed and refreshed to work hard again next summer. Protect the Outdoor Unit of Your Air Conditioner Perhaps the most recognizable, and audible, component of your cooling system is the outdoor condensing unit containing a condenser, compressor, and refrigerant lines. The outdoor condenser works in tandem with the indoor evaporator coils, fan, and ductwork. However, it’s most susceptible to damage in the winter due to exposure to the elements. A waterproof cover or hardtop shelter protects the condenser from snow, falling ice, and debris....
Many homeowners in Brentwood, MO with a gas furnace worry about carbon monoxide leaking into their home. Since winter is just around the corner, now is the time to ensure your heating system will perform safely. Here are the causes and solutions for carbon monoxide in your home. Causes of Carbon Monoxide in Your HomeBesides your furnace, sources of carbon monoxide include gas-powered dryers, oven ranges, stoves, and water heaters. The burning of natural gas is not completely efficient. Undesirable byproducts include carbon monoxide. The key is controlling the amount of gas emitted and restricting it to a safe level in your home. Causes of carbon monoxide leaks from your furnace include improper venting, a cracked heat exchanger, and an inefficient unit. Inefficient furnaces transfer less heat energy into useful and desirable warm air for your home. Besides wasting money on energy, they can cause carbon monoxide leaks. Solutions to Carbon...
Your thermostat makes the transition from air conditioning to heating quite simple. The button for cool, heat, or off is self-explanatory. But it’s important to understand what’s similar and different about your cooling and heating systems before you flip the switch in your Belleville, IL home. The ways they differ are opportunities to be prepared prior to the heating season. What Air Conditioning and Heating Share Establishing common interests is critical for a successful relationship. In the same way, your air conditioner and furnace share components that make them successful in maintaining temperature in your Belleville, IL home. The thermostat, ductwork, air filter, and fan serve both systems. Where Air Conditioning and Heating Differ The differences between cooling and heating systems are the items to check out as you transition to heating. Here are four critical differences. 1. Humidity Levels: The right humidity level is important for comfort, health, energy use,...
On a Friday night in Jefferson County, MO, the choice of what to have for dinner and which new release to rent will probably be trivial by Sunday breakfast. Your choices in geothermal loop fields are far more impactful, on the scale of 50+ years. The underground piping of geothermal systems is often guaranteed free from leaks for 50 years and expected to last twice this time. You don’t need to be anxious about the right choice in your geothermal install for a few reasons. First, the durability and ease of maintenance is in fact a positive attribute. You’ll reap the efficiency, energy savings, and comfort benefits of your geothermal heating and cooling system for years to come. Second, your application will dictate which of these options is best. The size of your property, landscaping details, actual Jefferson County, MO HVAC requirements, and installation costs normally make one a clear choice....
When you’re keeping your Chesterfield home cool for the summer, you still want a hot shower. A geothermal heat pump and a standard hot water heater are a perfect match to reap summertime energy savings. Here’s a look at the process that makes them so compatible. The Need to Know Facts of Geothermal Hot Water HeatingThe geothermal heat pump still does its traditional job. Supplemented by electricity, the pump removes heat from inside your Chesterfield home. The system accepts hot return air and distributes cold supply air to the ductwork. Instead of simply transferring heat to the earth through the closed underground water solution loop, some of the waste heat moves to your hot water storage tank. Like the earth in the traditional geothermal model, your hot water heater becomes a new heat sink. When no additional energy is needed to heat up the contents of your storage tank, your hot...
“Geo” means earth and “thermal” means heat. So “geothermal” signifies earth heat. But geothermal technology can also be used for cooling, and it’s not difficult to translate into your Kirkwood home. Let’s take a look at geothermal cooling as an alternative to traditional air conditioning. How Geothermal Cooling Works Watch a video here about What is Geothermal? Even on a barefoot Kirkwood summer night, the earth’s surface may not feel cool. But the temperature beginning at four to six feet below the surface remains constant year round. The earth at this depth is relatively colder than the surface in the Kirkwood summers. Of course, you’re not going to move underground to stay cool. Instead, geothermal cooling allows you to harness the earth as a free heat sink and condition the air in your home. The traditional way to cool your home is producing cold air from the evaporation and condensing cycle...
Many well-meaning homeowners in Des Peres, MO fall for a common air filtration trap. The most expensive, highest-rated air filters are not necessarily right for your home. In fact, some high-end filters are detrimental to your HVAC system. Here’s a look at why boosted filtration is not always best. The Function of Air FiltersOne or more air filters are likely connected to an indoor air handling device in your Des Peres, MO basement. The air filter removes dust and debris from the return air before it is conditioned, blown, and recirculated back to your supply ductwork. Removing airborne contaminants protects the mechanical components and surfaces of your blower, evaporator coil, and heat exchanger. It also reduces the amount dust in the interior air you breathe and lessens the amount that settles on your household surfaces. To learn more about what is best for your Des Peres home call Hoffmann Brothers at...
In our DIY culture, YouTube likely has so many instructional videos for your air conditioning issues. Promising products stock the shelves of Home Depot from rudimentary duct tape to insulated flexible ductwork. Before you pick up a speedy HVAC install kit for $100, here’s a guideline for DIY versus professional air conditioning tasks for your St Peters home. DIY Air Conditioning Tasks Check out and replace air filters. Note the appropriate size from your air handler and the MERV filtration level from your manual. Some filters are designed for monthly replacements and others last up to three months. If you are unsure what type of air filter your St Peters, MO home takes, call Hoffmann Brothers at 314-664-3011. Program the thermostat. You know your home and family best. The factory settings may not suit your preferences and needs change due to the hot St Peters, MO summers, vacations away, houseguests, and...
Conserving energy and saving money is a win-win. And it’s possible in air conditioning. Consider a programmable thermostat for your air conditioning unit to save both the environment and your utility dollars this summer. Even if you have an existing digital thermostat tied to your HVAC system, you may not be using it optimally. The best approach is to set up an automated temperature cycle. Here are the steps: 1. Learn about your thermostat. Determine which type of thermostat you have. If your control panel is a non-programmable dial, consider an upgrade. If you already have a digital programmable thermostat, check the manual or plug the model number into YouTube. Obtain the manual directions, follow a video walkthrough, or call your HVAC installer. An experienced HVAC company should be able to help with any brand, make, and model. 3. Jot down a 5-2 or 5-1-1 program that works for your family....
Athletic trainers tell us interval training is one of the best exercises. It gets your heart rate up, burns fat, and motivates you to give it your all in the next set. In the same way, your air conditioning system isn’t always running in the summertime. And that’s a good thing. Temporary breaks increase the longevity of your cooling system and decrease the dollars you spend on cooling in your month to month utility bills. Your air conditioning unit runs until it achieves your thermostat set point at any given time. A deviation from the actual versus set point temperature sparks your cooling system to turn ON until the ambient temperature meets the programmed temperature. The reason the actual temperature continues to increase, and your air conditioning unit continues to turn ON to cool it down, is cool air escaping and warm air entering through the cracks, walls, and windows of...
Even if you don’t have children enrolled at the popular St. Louis school district, you’re probably familiar with Charles Lindbergh. He gained fame for the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Remarkably, Lindbergh completed the journey in a single-engine plane. Lindbergh Schools serve the Crestwood, Sunset Hills and South County areas. In these areas there are many two-story homes with a single air conditioning unit. In fact, a variety of factors determine whether one or two units are best. Consider these important variables in the air conditioning equation for your two-story home. The Existing Cooling System in Your Two-Story Home Your existing cooling system relates to the age of your home. Many older two-story Sunset Hill homes contain a non-zoned system. Therefore, two smaller sized units service each floor. Homeowners adjust the upstairs and downstairs temperature independently, without tweaking the thermostat constantly and wasting energy on an unoccupied...
Automatic bill pay can be a dangerous concept. Sure, it’s convenient for some items like a monthly vitamin delivery through Amazon. You know exactly how quickly you run out of a 30 day supply, you benefit from a subscribe and save discount, and you score free shipping. Not to mention the convenience of never running out of your multivitamin. The Cable and HVAC ConnectionHowever, auto-pay in the cable business starts to get tricky. It’s easy for your premium network package to expire, your monthly DVR rental fee to change, or your teenager’s on-demand movie use to get out of control. In addition, competition for business often allows a cable customer service representative to quote lower rates to keep your business. Like your cable bill, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your utility bill. Start with the energy source for your HVAC system. Many homeowners have a gas powered...
Band-Aids have a place in your home’s first aid box just like HVAC repair has a place in restoring the cool temperature of your home. But adhesive bandages are not always the best option in medicine. And repair is not always the best long-term solution for your energy bills. Let’s walk through the good, the bad, and the ugly of simple versus comprehensive solutions for your cooling system, and how Hoffmann Brothers can help you choose. The Good A Band-Aid can control the bleeding and protect a cut. It’s a simple and inexpensive item available at your local drugstore. In the same way, an air conditioning repair is immediately less expensive than a replacement. It turns your unit back on and pumps out cool air to your home.   The Bad Sometimes a Band-Aid is used to cover a wound that needs stitches. You keep opening the wound, loosing blood, and...
Neighbors have a tendency to keep up with the Joneses. If Mr. Jones down the street maintains an immaculate yard and puts up an extensive display of Christmas lights every year, you might find yourself feeling inadequate if your overgrown lawn and weeds must wait until the weekend. You may feel inferior when you limit your red and green lights to the windows and branches accessible without a ladder.   Here’s an opportunity to beat Mr. Jones inconspicuously but effectively. Your wireless digital programmable thermostat can upstage his traditional model all year long. A backlit décor matched thermostat with a cyclical energy efficient temperature program might work for his house down the street. But your home deserves the benefit of a digital programmable thermostat with wireless features. Basic Features:•    5-2 or 5-1-1 temperature programming for weekday and weekend variability•    Programming requires user to be physically at the unit•    Override requires user...
Awnings, ivy walls, window drafting, attic fans, porches, and basements are somewhat nostalgic ways to get through the heat this summer. Swimming, shade trees, and cool drinks work too. But life as we know it in the modern world requires air conditioning. Air Conditioning in BusinessConsider business hours of operation independent of the season. A vast number of Americans work 8 – 5 jobs in business formal attire. Meetings are rarely cancelled for snow much less record heat. The key to surviving the fourth floor office conference room, wearing a wool suit in the month of July, is air conditioning. In fact, our business laptops and Internet servers depend on cool ambient temperatures year round. Air Conditioning in City LifeModern architecture including high rises and skyscrapers does a great job of sustaining city life. A high population density can be packed into a relatively small square footage for work, home, and...
When the local meteorologist on your television screen presents the forecast, you expect more than just the temperature. Sure, the seven-day outlook of highs and lows helps you make weekend plans on a Monday. However, the daily read on humidity can be telling in the summer months. The hot and humid St. Louis summers separate us from the dry desert heat of the southwest. The extra water in the St. Louis air impacts the “feels like” temperature both outside and inside your home. A whole house dehumidifier has several benefits including cost savings, improved comfort, and protection of valuable home assets. Save MoneyThe lower you set the air conditioning set point, the more energy the cooling system inside your home will consume. Moist air also holds onto heat better than dry air. A dehumidifier may stop the temptation to reduce the temperature set point on your thermostat to cool down. As...
Anyone faced with a medical need for a hip or knee replacement knows the value of the right surgeon. The patient doesn’t start on Google, looking for the best kind of implant. Metal versus ceramic? Polyethylene insert versus metal-on-metal? Instead, the patient looks for a trustworthy and skillful surgeon with years of experience and plenty of patient testimonials. Now, shift to a homeowner who needs a new air conditioning unit. Homeowners who follow the model of the patient get the best outcome in overall price, efficiency, comfort, and long-term durability. You get what you pay for in surgery and air conditioning installation. Instead of comparing the pros and cons of Trane versus Carrier or heat pumps versus air handlers, it pays for a homeowner in the market for a new AC unit to call an expert. A qualified contractor understands the latest technologies, the right fit for the application, and the...

Posted by on in Air Conditioning
St. Louis baseball is in full swing for another exciting season. A radio play-by-play is one of the best ways to live vicariously when you can’t make the game. What do the Cardinals have in common with AC preventative maintenance? Baseball Spring Training and an AC Spring Tune-UpLike spring training before opening day, spring is also ripe for an annual AC tune-up. Before the heat of the summer, be confident your cooling system will maintain set point from its first day in operation until long after back to school shopping. You’ll eliminate an emergency service call to an AC company in the busy season. Spring training stops imperfect batting swings from becoming habits, like spring AC maintenance prevents damage from accumulating over time. Besides cleaning to remove debris from your cooling system, replacing worn components and performing simple part repairs prevent an expensive premature replacement. Remember cleaning and maintenance cost less...
If it were possible to provide homeowners with a single neon flashing warning before HVAC installation, the Hoffmann Brother’s alert would read: “Ensure appropriate duct sizing.” Unfortunately, duct sizing is often left to the fine print. We’ve all been taught to read the fine print before we sign. Your signature is an agreement to be bound by the document terms. It has legal and contractual consequences. Consider the fine print of your HVAC installation. Besides the obvious purchase of a heating or cooling unit from a big brand name like Trane, York, or Lenox, your invoice should include details of the critically important ductwork. Ductwork sizing and installation impacts system performance, cost, and comfort. The ductwork might be buried in the walls of your home, but it’s not invisible or inconsequential. In fact, the ducts of your HVAC system are a component used year-round, whether you are heating, cooling, or recirculating...
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