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Preparing Your Home for the Cooler Months Ahead – Inside and Out!

As the dog days of summer are quickly coming to a close and we begin to turn our attention all things fall, there is much to look forward to. From apple picking to corn mazes, from chunky sweaters to boots, and lest we forget, all things pumpkin spice, the signs and symbols that tell us another brilliant New York autumn is just around the bend are plentiful. While we rush fill our weekends with adventures to the countryside, football in the den and hearty meals in the Crockpot, we must also carve out time to care for our homes. Winter will quickly sneak up on us and if we haven’t taken the time to adequately prepare, our homes will surely let us know.

Starting on the outside of the home there are a number of tasks that we should address before the snow begins to fall. Take time to tend to your landscaping by cutting back plants, raking leaves and trimming bushes and trees. Pay special attention to those trees that look as if they could be vulnerable to losing branches in a wintertime storm, especially if they are close to the house.

The fall is also an excellent time to do a final walk around your property before the snow covers everything to look for areas of the roof and siding that could be susceptible to leaking. Patching a weak spot in the roof or caulking cracks in the siding that have crept up on you over the summer can be all it takes to keep moisture out of your home during the winter months and interior water damage at a distance.

Finally, if you have an exterior air conditioning unit, make sure you cover it to protect the unit from the elements. Patio furniture, grills and other outdoor summertime staples should also be either stored inside or at the least, covered to ensure that they are in excellent working order when spring once again knocks on our door.

As we wrap up the work on the outside of our homes and move inside, we can start at the very door we use to enter the house. We want to check the quality of the seal between the door and the frame to ensure that it is not cracked or dried out. Seals that are showing signs of aging are an invitation for heat to escape and energy bills to soar. To fight back against energy loss, simply replace the seal around each exterior door, as well as the windows to help keep your home airtight and reduce your heating expenses.

Autumn is also an excellent time to schedule annual routine maintenance for your furnace, as well as changing the air filter. Regularly having an expert come into your home to clean your furnace will also allow you the opportunity to ask questions, share concerns and get a timeline for when you may be likely to experience problems. This will allow you to budget for repairs as well as have any issues addressed before they escalate and you find yourself without a heat source in the middle of a long winter’s night.

In just a few weekend hours, spread out over the course of a couple of weeks even, you can have your home, both inside and out, ready to take on another New York winter. With this maintenance behind you, there will be plenty of time for stress-free evenings and weekends in front of a roaring fireplace while surround by the ones you love.

Too Much Stuff? How to Get Your Garage Organized & Decluttered.

Do you ever feel possessed by your possessions? Does it almost feel as if you’re a slave to your stuff? Have you ever wanted to put an end to that cycle and take back your space? Your life? If so, then it’s time to organize. Here are some strategies to help you purge what you don’t need, better organize what you do and live a simpler life that provides you with more leisure time.

It can be hard to resist the allure of a great deal and for many of us, the psychology behind that way of thinking has led us to continuously buy more than we need and consequently, overcrowd our homes. It is never too late to break these habit loops and make a conscious decision to declutter and simplify both your home and your life.

Regardless of the size of your home we suggest that you start with an overall plan and then begin tackle the project one room at a time. Do you want to reduce the amount of clothing that you have? Perhaps scale back on the holiday decor that is taking up valuable real estate in your garage, basement or attic? Clean out the toys in the kids’ rooms? Whatever your goal may be, begin to visualize it and then get to work.

Now that we are close to summer’s end, perhaps the garage is a great place to start. You’ll want to take inventory of what you have in order to determine what you want to keep so it is best to pull it all out so that you can see everything. While this may be a bit overwhelming for some, it is a necessary part of the process. From here it is time to have an honest conversation with yourself about what you really need and want to keep and what you’re willing to part with.

Separate your items into three categories in different areas of the garage and first decide how you want to free yourself of your unwanted possessions. Anything that is irreparable, unusable or simply junk should be thrown away. As for everything else, if you have the time and patience, organizing a garage sale, either at your home or virtually through Facebook or some other electronic venue can bring in some additional cash. If you’d rather just be done with this part of the process, there are a number of organizations that will take your gently used and unwanted belongings and many will even offer you a tax-deductible receipt.

Armed with a collection of what you plan to keep, you will want to ensure that you organize these items in a logical manner so they are easily accessible when you need them. Clear plastic totes are a great way to do this for seasonal items and they are relatively inexpensive and easily procured. For your tools and other garage necessities, most hardware and home improvement stores offer a number of options to neatly display these items on a wall-mounted system. This allows your floor space to be free of clutter and makes it easier to maintain.

With the garage now an organized showpiece of minimalistic consumerism, you have the know-how and confidence to move on to the next room. As you tackle and work through each room, apply the same techniques discussed here and in no time you’ll feel both as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and that you’re living in a completely new space.

Check Out Our Updated, Streamlined Website

At Family Danz, we’re all about the comfort of our customers. That’s why we try to offer all the services you need to make your house a home, including heating and air conditioning, home heating oil and plumbing. Our goal is to help you get virtually everything you need under one roof – from a company that strives to treat their customers like family. With that in mind, we updated our website so that it’s easier to navigate, helping to ensure you find just the right products and services for your particular needs.

When you visit us, you’ll be able to choose from three easy tabs at the top of the page. From there, you’ll be able to click into a streamlined listing of our products and services, helping you locate exactly what you need. Each of the main pages quickly directs you to any special offers we have available, as well as quick links to pages you need the most, such as emergency repair or fuel delivery. Our mini-sites make it simple for you to look around and discover all that Family Danz has to offer.

Heating & Air Conditioning

  • Heating
  • Air Conditioning
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Commercial HVAC

Home Heating Oil

  • Fuel Oil Delivery
  • Oil Furnace Services

Plumbing

  • Bathroom Plumbing
  • Kitchen Plumbing
  • Hot Water Heaters
  • Tankless Water Heaters
  • Additional Plumbing Services

To learn more about the services Family Danz offers, please feel free to contact us at any time by calling 518.427.8685. We will be more than happy to assist you with any of your home comfort needs.

Family Danz Recipe Corner: Need Some Comfort this Winter?

Try this tasty mac & cheese!

When winter weather strikes in the Albany area, there’s nothing better than comfort food to help weather the storm. And when we think of comfort food, one of the first things that come to mind is good old macaroni and cheese. Delicious on its own or as a side, macaroni and cheese is tasty, comforting and the perfect dinner on a snowy evening. But did you know you can easily make mac and cheese right in your slow cooker? It only takes a couple of hours, and is super simple to make. We’re sharing this recipe courtesy of the Delish website – we hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 24 oz. evaporated milk
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • In your slow cooker bowl, combine all ingredients, seasoning to taste with the salt and pepper.
  • Cook on high until the pasta is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 2-3 hours.
  • Begin checking pasta for doneness after two hours, then every 20 minutes after.

Comfort food in your tummy is good; home comfort is even better. Family Danz can help you stay cozy all winter long. Simply call us at (518) 427-8685, and we’ll be happy to assist with your winter heating needs.

Keep the Hot Water Flowing with a Tankless Hot Water Heater

We’ve all been there. Just a couple of minutes into enjoying a steamy shower, then – the hot water disappears. And… the rest of the shower is spent under a Nordic waterfall! Nobody likes running out of hot water, but did you know you don’t have to? Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, rather than heating a whole tank of water, so you can count on a hot shower every time! Even more importantly, though, a tankless hot water heater can help you save energy – and money on your utility bills.

ENERGY STAR offers a number of benefits to choosing a tankless hot water heater for your home. Some of these benefits include:

  • Endless Hot Water: As mentioned above, tankless water heaters only heat the water you need as you’re using it. So you won’t have to wait for a tank of water to heat up.
  • Space Saving: You won’t have a large water tank taking up space in your home when you go tankless; these water heaters are small and wall-mounted. There are even models designed for outdoor installation.
  • Longer Life: According to ENERGY STAR, tankless water heaters offer up to 20 years of usage. Additionally, you don’t run the risk of leaky tanks (and the subsequent water damage.)
  • Energy Savings: Tankless water heaters are efficient, and can save the average family of four nearly $100 a year compared to a gas storage water heater. And, the more efficient the model you choose, the greater the savings – choosing an ENERGY STAR certified model can save you an additional $20 a year.

If you live in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga or the surrounding areas and need to choose a tankless water heater for your home, give Family Danz a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different tankless water heater products and services we offer, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Family Danz Will Keep You Warm This Winter

Winters in the Albany area mean lots of snow and freezing cold temperatures. You rely on your home’s heating system to keep you warm no matter how frightful the weather outside gets. That’s why you need a heating contractor who can help with any heating need you might have. At Family Danz, we’re pleased to offer our customers in Albany and beyond complete heating services.

When you work with Family Danz, you’ll get a wide range of heating services for your home. We offer our customers heating repair, heating maintenance and heating system installation. We offer a range of heating products to choose from, including gas and oil furnaces, gas and oil boilers, oil to gas conversions and ductless heating. What’s more, we offer 24/7 emergency repairs, even on holidays.

Plus, you can count on Family Danz for quality home heating oil, too.

At Family Danz, when we say we’re full-service, we mean it! We’re pleased to offer our customers premium quality fuel oils in addition to our array of heating services. We strive to maintain competitive fuel oil prices. Our daily heating oil price is prominently displayed at the top of our website, so you’ll always know the cost. For customers looking for a greener alternative, we also provide Bioheat®, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement made from a diverse mix of resources, such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats. And, discounted budget and prepayment plans are available with automatic deliveries.

Family Danz Heating & Cooling offers premium heating products and service, all while keeping your comfort and safety top-of-mind. We strive to provide for your heating needs unlike any other home comfort company, and we promise that you will be 100 percent satisfied after purchasing our products or services. Family Danz can help you stay cozy all winter long. Simply call us at (518) 427-8685, and we’ll be happy to assist with your winter heating needs.

Can Ductless Heating Help Your Home’s Efficiency?

If your home’s heating costs are on the rise this winter, yet your furnace is relatively new and in good shape, there may be other factors in your home that are causing inefficiency. It has been an extremely cold winter so far, and that undoubtedly means you’ve likely been struggling to keep your home as comfortable as you’d like. Did you know that ductless heating could help you stay comfortable and maintain better efficiency?

Even though it’s been around for some time, many people have never heard of ductless heating. The premise is simple – ductless systems use a heat pump to either heat your home or cool it, without the need for additional ductwork. So for situations where ductwork is either impractical or impossible, a ductless system can save the day.

Where can I use ductless heating to improve my home’s energy efficiency?

If you install a ductless heating system in your home, that doesn’t mean you should stop using your furnace. The thing to remember is, ductless heating can provide very targeted heating to your home. That means, if you have a space in your home that’s been built on, such as an addition or sun porch, or a space that’s been renovated into living space, like a basement or attached garage.

Often, the house’s heating system can’t provide adequate warmth to these spaces, and the home’s HVAC system becomes unbalanced. This is why you may feel cold spots in your home, especially in those new or renovated spaces. Of course, your contractor can provide you with the best answers, but many times ductless heating can help restore the balance – resulting in better comfort and improved energy efficiency.

When you’re ready to learn more about how ductless heating can benefit your home, Family Danz Heating & Cooling can help. Simply give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different options for ductless heating and cooling, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Family Danz Recipe Corner: Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry sauce is a staple at most Thanksgiving feasts, and most of us are familiar with the jelly kind that plops out of a can! But this year, why not put a new spin on your cranberry side dish, with this tasty cranberry chutney recipe from Allrecipes.com? The addition of other fruits, spices and a bit of zing will make this dish be the standout at this year’s festivities.

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 12-oz. package fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup apples – peeled, cored, diced
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat. Add all remaining ingredients. Return to boil, and then simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Pour mixture into mixing bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce. Cool to room temperature. Serve, or cover and refrigerate. Return chutney to room temperature before serving.

Thanksgiving is all about family.

At Family Danz, we believe in treating customers as though they’re a part of ours. That’s why for emergency repairs, we are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays – because we know emergencies can occur at the most inconvenient times. If you need emergency services, even on Thanksgiving, give us a call at (518) 427-8685. Just be sure to save us the drumstick!

You Can Get Anything You Want from Family Danz!

At Family Danz, Thanksgiving is always a time when we step back and think about how thankful we are for our customers. That’s why we work so hard to make sure we can meet a wide range of your needs. We’re much more than just a heating and cooling company, and nothing pleases us more than being able to keep you and your family comfortable on many different levels.

But maybe you don’t know all the products and services you can get from Family Danz. When you choose us, you’ll get the very best HVAC services and much more.

Learn about what Family Danz has to offer:

Heating: Family Danz is pleased to provide you with complete heating products and services. We are a proud Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealer, so you can rely on us for equipment built for energy efficiency and durability. We offer heating installation, maintenance and repair, offering boiler systems, furnaces and ductless heating made to provide you and your family with optimal comfort.

Air Conditioning: You can rely on Family Danz to keep you cool all summer long, with air conditioning products and services for your home. We offer top-quality air conditioning equipment. What’s more, we’re full-service contractors offering you professional installation, maintenance and repair services. We can help you get central air as well as ductless cooling for your home.

Plumbing: At Family Danz, you can count on us for complete plumbing services and products for your home. We offer hot water heaters, water filters, and water softeners. Plus, we provide the kitchen and bathroom plumbing you need to keep the water flowing properly throughout your home.

Home Heating Oil: For the best home heating oil, trust Family Danz. We provide the best prices available on fuel oil, as well as automatic delivery and budget plans. Our heating oil contains detergents to keep your heating system running clean and at maximum efficiency, too. Additionally, you can choose Bioheat®, a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement. And, we always list our price at the top of our website.

Commercial Services: Aside from the comprehensive residential services we provide, you can count on Family Danz to provide your business with the commercial HVAC necessary to keep it running smoothly. We’re pleased to offer commercial heating and cooling, as well as refrigeration and chiller installation.

Want to learn more about how we can keep you, your family and your business comfortable?

Just give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We will be more than happy to assist you.

No Ductwork? No Problem! Family Danz Offers Ductless Heating.

Do you have a room in your home that you’d like to keep warmer in the winter, but where ductwork might be an issue? Don’t despair – ductless heating for your home may just be the perfect solution. Ductless heating can be installed in places in your home where ductwork is either impossible or impractical, and provides a heating solution that makes those spaces more comfortable.

You may be wondering what, exactly, what ductless heating is.

A ductless heating system provides highly efficient heating designed to keep areas without ductwork as comfortable as those with. Ductless systems provide targeted heating to a specific, single space, but there are multi-unit options available, too. Ductless systems are not only used for heating; they can also help to balance out the climate of your home, and help you increase your current system’s energy efficiency.

Another benefit of ductless heating is how easily they’re installed and how unobtrusive they are. They mount directly onto the wall or ceiling, and blend well with most décor. They require no additional ductwork, and installation can be completed in just a few hours, with no patching or painting required. What’s more, ductless heating operates very quietly, so the only thing you’ll notice is the improved comfort level of your space.

There are many areas of your home that can benefit from ductless heating.

Ductless heating is perfect for areas in your home like converted attics, additions, finished basements, sunrooms and older homes. Outside of the home, there are some ideal commercial uses for ductless heating as well, such as storage rooms, kiosks and off-hours offices. When you choose to work with Family Danz, we’ll tell you about all of your options for ductless heating, and help you find the ideal solution for your needs.

Think ductless heating might be the right choice to help you keep your home warm this winter? Then give Family Danz a call. Simply call us at (518) 427-8685. We will be more than happy to assist you.