Expert Advice on Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning in Maine

Expert Advice on Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning in Maine

Recent Blog Posts

Summit Natural Gas Expansion

You’ve probably heard the buzz.

If you have friend in Falmouth, Cumberland or Yarmouth they may have mentioned that Summit Natural Gas is coming to provide gas service in 2014. Summit won the bid last year as town councils stated that Summit’s experience, saturations commitment and pricing help make their decision. The total expected economic impact of the large project is more than $20 million annually!

Not only is summit getting excited about homeowners’ being able to save up to 50% on their heating bills, they are also offering top rebates for converting. This is in addition to Efficiency Maine rebates making the deal even sweeter.  Later in another blog, we’ll run some scenarios to explain how the rebates and tax credits can benefit you.

  • Summit Natural Gas of Maine will provide up to a $1,500 rebate to residents who purchase a high efficiency boiler or furnace and water heater.
  • Summit Natural Gas of Maine will provide up to $750 for an Efficiency Maine Home Energy Audit in conjunction with six hours of air sealing to make homes more energy efficient.
  • Residents enrolled in the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may receive up to $4,000 to convert to natural gas.

See Summit Natural Gas rebate form here.

As Neighborhood meetings are well underway and homeowners are excited but wanting to know what to expect. Pine State will be following closely and working to provide as much information as it comes available. We recommend that if you live in one of these towns that you log on to Summit’s website and submit your email for their newsletter.

Just as we have been working with Unitil and Maine Natural Gas, we are excited to work with Summit to help homeowners experience the energy savings associated with Natural Gas. Our system engineers can work with you to determine your needs and make the right choice to see if a conversion will benefit you. As heating contractors with a focus on energy efficiency, we are not swayed by oil, gas or propane. We want to provide the right solution for you which may even be different than your neighbor.

Now is the time to get educated about your options and to learn what steps you’ll take once the gas line is on your street. Pine State will be holding meetings at our office and hopefully in your town to discuss options, efficiency and process.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call with questions!



Posted in Community, Heating, Renovations, Tax Credits |

Bosch Greenstar Boilers

Pine State Services is excited and proud to announce that we are an official Accredited Bosch Contractor! Choosing an Accredited Bosch Contractor (ABC) to install your Bosch product gives you an Additional One-year Extended Warranty on all products eligible for the accredit program. Only Accredited Bosch Contractors can offer the One-Year Extended Warranty. Accredited Bosch Contractors are Trained & Accredited by Bosch Thermotechnology.

With only 2 ABC contractors in our area, it’s a title we’re proud to show off.  We truly stand behind Bosch Heating products. They deliver outstanding efficient boilers. Now with an extended warranty exclusive to our customers, we really have a lot of positive things to share!

On this blog we want to showcase Bosch’s Greenstar Condensing boiler. The Greenstar boiler by Bosch is small in size but big in features. It is ultra quiet, space saving, environmentally friendly, uses modern condensing technology, and offers a superior industry warranty. All at a great price!

But more importantly it will keep your home warm and comfortable. The Greenstar is available in two models-combi for space and tankless water heating or the space heating model which can be used with their domestic hot water tanks. The Greenstar is Bosch quality and innovation at its finest.

Bosch’s Greenstar boiler is 95% AFUE efficient which means it qualifies for Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program. You get $500 back on the installation and you qualify for $150 Energy Tax Credit. With Pine State’s $300 web coupon for new install projects, you’re looking at a combination of $950 in savings! Add that to the amount of fuel you’ll be saving year after year and this boiler just makes sense.

But don’t take our word for it! We’d love to introduce you to customers in your area that have also purchased this boiler and you can hear from them why they are so impressed. Our new showroom/training center is almost re-built and then you’ll be able to once again visit our office to experience efficient heating and cooling systems first hand. We believe you need to be educated thoroughly about your heating options and a showroom is the perfect place to share that information. Please contact us with any questions.

Customer Testimonial:

“Hi Lee,
The guys who were out here today, Mark and another fellow, did another great job. I just wanted to let you konw how much I appreciate that everyone from Pine State who has come out to our house has been incredibly polite and patient. They leave everything clean and work hard the whole time they are here. They work around my kids and pets and mess and just focus on getting their work done. If you ever need a customer testimonial, please let me know!
Bosch GreenStar with 3 zones of heat

Bosch Greenstar with 3 zones of heat

Another Customer Testimonial:

“Thanks Lee,

Beau was outstanding and John was quite good as well.  They did an excellent job and you have a very strong reference here should you want to use us.

Please do use the same CC for the final payment and thanks again for a prompt and excellent job execution.

Best Regards,


Tech gurus will enjoy the Greenstar specs and features shown below:


  • Wall mounted-no floor space required
  • Easy to install-hydronic manifold and integral pump make installation quick and easy
  • Fully modulating fan with 5 to 1 turndown for optimal combustion efficiency
  • Combi models provide space heating and tankless DHW flow rate up to 4 GPM
  • Superior Warranty-10 Year full/limited lifetime heat exchanger warranty and Limited 5 –years (oh wait-6 years with our accreditation!) parts and labor.

Design Features:

  • Al-Si heat exchanger Each unit features an ASME approved Al-Si heat exchanger constructed of advanced Magnesium-Aluminum-Silicon alloy – offering increased flexibility versus traditional stainless steel. They are equipped with highly durable heating blocks that are corrosion resistant and designed to optimize clean burning combustion over an extra large surface area, which requires minimal servicing and reliance on spare parts during the boiler’s lifetime.
  • Plated stainless steel heat exchanger All Greenstar Combi boilers are equipped with a high-strength stainless steel secondary exchanger and burner with double passage – ensuring consistent temperature output based on demand. The DHW hot water temperature control limit of 140°F helps prevent scale build-up within the heat exchanger.
  • Full modulating fan assembly A full modulating fan automatically increases or decreases its speed according to the amount of gas coming into the boiler depending on the heat demand. This process, called modulation, prevents the boiler from either having too little or too much air in the unit for optimal combustion – ensuring high efficiency.

Product Specs:

Greenstar Combi 100

Performance Specifications

Fuel NG/LP
Input Maximum (MBH) 100.8
Input Minimum (MBH) 34.6
DOE Heating Capacity (MBH) 89.4
Net I=B=R (MBH) 79
AFUE 95.0%
DHW Flow Max (ΔT at 72°F) 2.65 GPM
Water Volume 0.952 Gal. (3.5 L)
Technical Data Technical Data
Weight (without packaging) 110.2 Lbs. (50 kg)
Dimensions (w x h x d) 17.4″ x 33.5″ x 13.9″
Minimum Recommeded Pipe Size 1″
Supply Tappings 1″
Return Tappings 1″
Domestic Hot Water Supply ¾”
Domestic Cold Water Supply ¾”
Gas Connection Size ¾”
Vent Size 2″ – 3″
Vent Material PVC / CPVC / PP
Combustion Air Size 2″ – 3″
High Altitude Capability No De-Rating up to 6,000′
Gas Pressure Minimum w.c. NG 3.5″ – LP 8″
Included Package Contents Included Package Contents
AI-Si Heat Exchanger
3 Speed Grundfos Integrated Pump
Integrated Expansion Vessel 3.17 Gal (12 L)
FW200 Weather Compensation Control
Heatronic III – Control PCB
Hydronics Manifold Bracket with NPT Connection
Twin Pipe Flue Adapter
Tank Sensor -
System Supply Sensor
NG / LP Conversion Kit
Condensate Trap Drain Hose



Posted in Heating, Renovations, Tax Credits |

How to keep your pipes from freezing.

As an Angie’s List, “Super Service Award” winner, we are privy to some great articles written especially for our customers from other great plumbing and heating companies across the country. With the weather being so cold and causing a lot of freeze ups, we thought this was a perfect article to share.  Please contact our office if you have questions about your heating or plumbing pipes or if you suspect you may have a freeze up.

Click the link to go direct to Angie’s List Articles to read this and other great articles or see below.

How to keep your pipes from freezing.

Date Published: Jan 09 2014
by Texas Plumbing Diagnostics

Most people are aware that when water freezes, it expands. That’s why your forgotten can of soda in the freezer exploded. When water freezes in a pipe, it will expand in the same way.

If it expands enough, it will burst, water will escape, and serious damage may occur. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water in a day. But this is one disaster you can prevent by taking a few simple precautions.

Both plastic and copper pipes are susceptible to freezing. Pipes freeze for a combination of three reasons: a quick drop in temperatures, poor insulation and a thermostat that is set too low.

Water pipes in warmer climates may be more vulnerable to winter cold spells, since the pipes are more likely to be located in unprotected areas outside of the building insulation. Homeowners can be proactive by determining whether they have any plumbing items that need protection, and then ensuring that they provide that protection.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold outside air to flow across the pipes.

Research at the University of Illinois has shown that wind chill, the same cooling effect of air and wind that causes the human body to lose heat, can play a major role in accelerating ice blockage, and thus, bursting water pipes.

When is it cold enough for pipes to freeze?

Homeowners should be alert to the danger of freezing pipes. Any time temperatures dip to 32 degrees, pipes may freeze, especially when wind chill is a factor.

Tips to avoid frozen pipes

• Know where the water cut-off valve is located in your home. Make sure that every responsible person in the home is aware of its location.
• Remove, drain and carefully store hoses used outdoors.
• Keep garage doors shut if any water lines are located inside.
• Seal all openings where cold air can get at unprotected water pipes. As stated above, it’s especially important to keep cold wind away from pipes.
• Pipes in attics and crawl spaces should be protected with insulation or heat. Pipe insulation is available in fiberglass or foam sleeves. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
• During freezing weather, leave cabinet doors open under kitchen or bathroom sinks (especially if they are located against an outside wall) to allow warmer room air to circulate around pipes. You can also place a small lamp with an incandescent bulb near the pipes. Be sure to remove anything flammable from the area to prevent fires.
• Let faucets drip slowly to keep water flowing through pipes that are vulnerable to freezing. If the dripping stops, it may mean that ice is blocking the pipe. Keep the faucet open to assist in pressure relief.
• Heating cables and tapes are effective for freeze protection. Follow manufacturer’s directions closely when using these products.
• Exterior pipes and hose bibbs (outdoor faucets) should be drained or enclosed in 2-inch insulation sleeves.
• When weather is very cold, keep thermostats at the same temperature day and night. Lowered temperatures at night may contribute to colder attic temperatures and thus, more vulnerable pipes.

What to do if your pipes freeze

If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, the water in your pipes is probably frozen. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Make sure the faucet is open, and never stand in water while operating an electric appliance. Do not use a blowtorch or any open flame to thaw a pipe, to prevent fires.

If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house. Leave the water faucets turned on. Again, make sure your family members know where the water shut-off valve is and how to operate it. Then call a plumber to help.




Posted in Frozen Pipes, Heating, Plumbing | Tagged , |

Efficiency Maine and Federal Tax Credits

Please use this blog as a reference for understanding Federal and State tax credits.

Efficiency Maine Summary

Brochure explaining:

Heat Pump Water Heater

Tax Credit Amount: $500

Form to print:


Federal Summary

Ductless heat pump Federal tax credit

(expires 12/31/13) 100% $300


Gas, Oil, Propane Water Heater tax credit

Tax Credit Amount: $300


Energy Factor ≥ 0.82 OR a thermal efficiency of at least 90%.


Electric Heat Pump Water Heater tax credit

Tax Credit Amount: $300


Energy Factor ≥ 2.0


Central Air Conditioning (CAC) tax credit

Tax Credit Amount: $300


Split Systems:

SEER ≥ 16

EER ≥ 13

Package systems:

SEER ≥ 14

EER ≥ 12


Gas, Propane, or Oil Hot Water Boiler tax credit

Tax Credit Amount: $150


AFUE ≥ 95


Natural Gas, Propane or Oil Furnace tax credit

Tax Credit Amount: $150


AFUE ≥ 95


Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit:


More Detail:


How customer should apply for these rebates on their taxes:


Efficiency Maine List of Rebates:



Posted in Tax Credits |

Central vs Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioning is the process of altering the properties of air (primarily temperature and humidity) to more favorable conditions. More generally, air conditioning can refer to any form of technological cooling, heating, ventilation, or disinfection that modifies the condition of air.

Air conditioning systems have been around for decades and they continue to improve. Air conditioners have always been notorious for using large amounts of electricity, but efficiencies have improved considerably in the past few years.

In this particular blog post we are going to cover the difference between split systems, understanding that, budget, environment,  and needs determine which type of system to install.

Split-system air conditioners come in two forms: central and mini-split. In both types, the inside-environment (evaporative) heat exchanger and fan is separated by some distance from the outside-environment (condenser) heat exchanger and fan.

In central air conditioning, the inside heat-exchanger is typically placed inside the central furnace/AC unit of forced air heating system which is then used in the summer to distribute chilled air throughout a residence or commercial building. These are usually large and placed in a basement or attic.

A mini-split system or ductless system (Learn more about Mitsubishi Ductless Systems) typically supplies chilled air to only a single space, and thus are sometimes referred to as split-system single-zone air conditioners. Most mini-split systems are flexible and can have multiple heads attached to the condenser allowing you to cool more than on space.

Mini-splits allow design and installation flexibility in that the inside wall space required is reduced and the compressor and heat exchanger can be located further away from the inside space, rather than merely on the other side of the same unit as in a PTAC or window air conditioner.

Central air systems are more difficult and expensive to install in existing homes so we usually recommend the mini-splits systems for home owners in Maine. They are efficient, quiet, easy to install, you are able to cool only the space you are in at the moment and also can be a heat source.

Mitsubishi Mini-Split Ductless Systems are:

  • More energy efficient than traditional HVAC Systems
  • Use only the exact amount of energy needed to maintain comfort
  • Are up to 40% more efficient than window units

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating systems are dramatically more efficient than traditional HVAC Central Air systems. Utilizing INVERTER-driven compressors, the systems automatically adjust to changing conditions to deliver ideal comfort while only using the energy that is needed. No more. No less.

As a result, systems are up to 40% more efficient than standard window units for cooling and our heating performance is far superior to traditional heat pumps. All this technological innovation means you reduce your energy consumption and can save money on your energy costs while enjoying the comfort of your home.

Why pay to cool/heat your home all year long when you only live in a few rooms at a time? With Mitsubishi Electric, you can actively condition the rooms you live in; the other rooms simply turn off or setback. Zoning your home to how you live using Mitsubishi Electric allows you to save energy while maximizing your personal comfort.

Call our email our office today to speak to a System Engineer to find out which system is best for your needs.

Posted in Cooling |

Mitsubishi Ductless Air Conditioning & Heat Pump Systems in Maine

“It’s quiet, it’s efficient…you don’t even know it’s there.” –Evelyn Kennedy.

Pine State Services is a Diamond Dealer for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating systems. Our team is certified by Mitsubishi to sell, install and service their products. Our status as Diamond Dealer entitles our customers to an exclusive 7 year extended warranty thru Mitsubishi.

We are proud to install Mitsubishi’s Ductless cooling and heating systems for the Greater Portland, Maine area. The key benefits of Ductless Technology include:

  • Save energy and money with ductless systems that use 25% to 50 % less energy to heat and cool your home.
  • Year-round comfort from a single heat pump system that provides both air conditioning and heating, eliminating hot and cold spots in your home.
  • Allergen filtration reduces germs, bacteria and viruses while absorbing odor-causing gases to give you cleaner, healthier air.
  • Ultimate comfort control in the palm of your hand to set cooling or heating mode, temperature and fan speed in each room (optional wall-mounted controls available)
  • Low cost, easy installation that is quick, simple and inexpensive.
  • Versatile design options to fit any room or application.


  • America’s #1 selling brand of ductless cooling and heating technology.
  • Top choice among contractors and consumers.  The most trusted brand for reliability, service and support
  • Highest quality HVAC as rated by contractors
  • Only ductless manufacturer offering monitoring and control of systems, at anytime, from anywhere with optional RedLINK technology.
  • Systems with an I-see Sensor scan the room for hot and cold spots and automatically adjust the temperature.
  • Products capable of using a single condensing unit to support heating or cooling for up to eight rooms.


  • Save energy while improving comfort.  Mitsubishi electric cooling and heating systems offer efficient individual room control with allergen filtration
  • Mitsubishi Electric INVERTER-driven compressor technology ensures the unit uses only the exact amount of energy needed to heat or cool an area by automatically sensing and responding to changes in an area, making it 40% more efficient than standard window units
  • Options include wall-mounted indoor units, ducted units that disappear in your ceiling, or even a floor-standing unit
  • Remote or wall mounted controllers available

“I could control the rooms I use the most.  My bills were as low as $75…before it was typically $300.” Richard Lostrilito


  • Sophisticated multi-part filter system to remove contaminants such as allergens, viruses and bacteria from the air as it circulates within a room
  • Hybrid catechin filter absorbs odor-causing gases
  • Blue-enzyme filter reduces germs, bacteria, and viruses, and helps trap dust, pollens, mites and other particles plaguing allergy sufferers


  • Received the GREEN PRODUCT award for energy efficiency, resource efficiency, health, and comfort
  • The systems use an environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant that lessens impact on the ozone
  • 83% of the system components are recyclable
  • Tax credits available for 14 of the energy saving Mitsubishi systems


  • Can usually be installed in a day
  • No ductwork required means no big mess interrupting your life or costly remodeling expenses


  • The compressor speed is controlled, changing speeds according to cooling or heating needs of your room in order to maximize efficiency vs old systems that start and stop repetitively, wasting energy
  • i-see sensor automatically detects the temperature of troublesome regions near the ceiling and floor, making adjustments based on ambient temperature readings
  • The unmatched heating H2i technology can heat your space effectively even when temperatures are down to -13 degrees F
  • Hot start technology provides hot air from the start with no drafts
  • Indoor and outdoor units operate quietly.  The indoor unit can operate as low as 19dB, quieter than a human whisper. 



Call our office to speak to a System Engineer and find out how a Mitsubishi Ductless System can keep you comfortable this year.




Posted in Cooling, Heating |

Converting to Gas Heat

Everyone is talking about gas….My coworker, my cousin even the Governor….How do I get on board?

Many home and business owners are at wits end with the cost of heating their homes and workplaces. There are two things we can all do; use less fuel or use less expensive fuel. Currently natural gas is 35-50% less expensive than #2 heating oil. This alone can greatly impact the cost of getting through Maine’s long winters.

But not everyone can access natural gas. The first step is to contact your local Utility to determine if you have access to it. Click to be connected to Unitil or Maine Natural Gas. If you find you do have access give us a call. If Natural Gas isn’t an option don’t despair… LP or Propane Gas, Natural Gas’s cousin, another clean burning fuel that comes from the same source is available to most all Mainers. We can help you with a source for LP through our partnering fuel supplier.

Unitil: Portland, Westbrook, South Portland, Scarborough, Biddeford, Lewiston/Auburn

Maine Natural Gas: Gorham, Windham, Brunswick, Freeport and Bath, Topsham & Pownal

Both fuel’s biggest attributes are their clean burning characteristics. This allows us to use high efficiency equipment that lowers your overall consumption of fuel because of it’s 95%+/- efficiency. LP or Propane gas is also at a very competitive price and can be used for all the same appliances as natural gas.

So remember, strive for a lower fuel price, lower consumption rate (fewer BTUs) or best of all, both! Give Jim or Lee, one of our experienced Systems Engineers a call at (207) Why-Wait. (207-949-9248) You are welcome to email us at for more assistance on finding out what the best option is for your home or business .

Posted in Heating |

Is it really necessary to have your furnace cleaned annually? Really?

Why Preventative Maintenance Is Important

Any way you look at it, preventative maintenance is a smart investment.  Manufactures, contractors, independent publications and homeowners all agree… if you’re looking to save money on utility bills while extending the life and efficient performance of your Home Comfort System, then Preventative Maintenance is your answer.

Your heat source and air conditioner are like your car – each is a mechanical system that requires consistent and regular maintenance.  You change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles because it helps keep your car running safely and reliably.  Much like your car, your heat source and air conditioner must be cared for throughout its life in order for it to continue keeping you comfortable inside your home efficiently and effectively.  If you were to get in your car and drive it for 2,500 hours at 55mph, you would put 137,000 miles on your odometer and changed the oil 45 times.  Well, the average family “drives” their home comfort system an average of 2,500 hours per year… at full speed!  With all that stress put on your comfort system, you can see why it’s a good idea to have your heat source and air conditioner tuned up at least once a year.

Pine State’s 32 Point Inspection and Tune-up!

We thoroughly evaluate your system and make sure it’s ready for a busy heating season.

  •     Thermostat Checked
  •     Clean Replace or Inspect Air Filters
  •     Inspect Evaporator Coil
  •     Clean Evaporator Drain
  •     Tighten Electrical Connections
  •     Measure Temperature Differential
  •     Check Fan Blades
  •     Fan Relay Checked
  •     Unit Wiring Inspected
  •     Ductwork Checked
  •     Condenser Surroundings Evaluated
  •     Lubricate Fan Motors
  •     Check Start and Run Capacitors
  •     Check Start Relays
  •     Inspect Blower Wheel
  •     Measure Voltage and Amperage
  •     Monitor Refrigerant Level
  •     Inspect All Controls
  •     Check Heat Exchanger
  •     Clean and Adjust Burners
  •     Clean and Adjust Pilot Assembly
  •     Monitor Gas Pressure-Adjust if Needed
  •     Unit Disconnect Inspected
  •     Check Operation of Sequencer
  •     Clean Condenser Coil
  •     Check Flue Piping
  •     Clean Heat Exchanger
  •     Monitor Flue Draft
  •     Heating Elements Tested
  •     Clean Flame Sensor
  •     Check Gas Piping
  •     Written Evaluation and Recommendations


Benefits Include:

  • Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs
  • Improve Your Equipment Efficiency
  • Improve Dependability

  Discount on Repairs Service and Parts

  •     Discounts on Installation of New Equipment
  •     Courtesy Reminders for Tune-up Scheduling

HVAC systems-Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind?

The old but true cliché “out of sight, out of mind” is often the reason for neglected maintenance guidelines for your HVAC system. HVAC systems are usually installed where they aren’t seen, such as in a section of the basement, a closet, on rooftops, or in mechanical rooms, making them easy to be neglected. The systems are simply taken for granted, until they fail. Decreased efficiency, utility overpayment, discomfort, loss of productivity, eventual premature replacement, and higher repair costs are the result.

Just because your HVAC system is out of sight, does not mean it should be neglected. Getting your HVAC system checked twice annually is just as important as changing the oil in your car every 3,000 miles.

What should I expect my licensed technician to do during a preventive maintence visit?

(Some of the basics) checking system functions, safety controls, and adjust the operating sequence where appropriate.

Have cleaning and inspection at least two times a year on your HVAC equipment to ensure proper performance and savings.

 Winter – Fall: Furnace/AC Clean & Check

  •      Check & adjust thermostat
  •     Install gauges & check operation if needed
  •     Check  evaporator conditions
  •     Clean & adjust all safety controls
  •     Clean burners and controls
  •     Clean & adjust pilot assembly
  •     Adjust burner for efficiency (air & flame)
  •     Check for gas leaks in furnace
  •     Lubricate moving parts
  •     Check fan controls & ignition start up
  •     Check furnace for cracked heat exchanger
  •     Check temperature rise
  •     Check all wire connections and electrical parts
  •     Check condensate trap & drain lines
  •     Check outside condensing coil & condition
  •     Inspection on ductwork & design
  •     Inspect filters


Summer – Spring: AC Clean & Check

  •     Check & adjust thermostat
  •     Install gauges & check operation
  •     Check evaporator superheat
  •     Check  evaporator conditions & light cleaning
  •     Inspections of blower wheel and conditions
  •     Check & Clean primary condensate drain lines
  •     Check voltage & amperage to all motors w/ meter
  •     Lubricate moving parts
  •     Check compressor amperage & voltage
  •     Check outside condensing coil & condition
  •     Check for proper refrigerant charge & possible leaks
  •     Check belt & tension if needed
  •     Check all wiring connections and electrical parts
  •     Inspection on ductwork & design
  •     Inspect filters

Above are just some of the basics of what a technician should check on your HVAC system. Depending on what type of system, there may be other required items that need to be checked. Extra costs may apply for deep cleanings on your HVAC systems. Some companies state they have a 15 to 18 point check list, but this may be a play on words to repeat their items in different meanings or terms, to make you feel you’re getting the best bang for your buck. A standard time to complete a basic PM is 1 hour minimum per system. Some visits may even be up to 2 hours or more hours depending on the degree of cleaning and the type of maintenance work needed. This is also a time for you to ask questions about your system and bring up other issues that might need to be checked.

We are not a typical HVAC company and we hold all our technicians accountable to:

“Do the Right Thing” for the customer.


Peace of Mind: Predictive maintenance will mean fewer system failures and longer life for your HVAC equipment.

Priority Service: Should a system failure occur during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, customers with Preventive maintence programs receive priority service.

Continuity: Many contractors are often able to assign technicians to the specific customers. That way, you get to see and know the same service technician, and he or she becomes more familiar with you and your equipment.

Savings: Preventive maintenance programs typically more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency, less utility over-payment, and contractor discounts. Preventive maintenance program customers receive a discount on all parts and services performed during the entire year.

Posted in Preventative Maintenance |

Winslow Homer Studio Renovations

On September 25, 2012 the Portland Museum of Art opened the Winslow Homer Studio to the public for the first time. One of the most significant locations in the history of American art, the Studio, located at Prouts Neck, Maine, is where the great American artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910) lived and painted many of his masterpieces from 1883 until his death.

Winslow Homer Studio – Southeast Corner, 2012
©trentbellphotography. Click for full size image.

Pine State Services working with Marc Truant & Associates, construction managers and Mills Whitaker Architects had the great opportunity to complete the plumbing and HVAC portions of the Winslow Homer Prouts Neck Studio Renovation. This highly acclaimed project took on the restoration and preservation of the great American Artist Winslow Homers Maine Studio. Beyond a National Historic Landmark, this site will act as a home for several new Portland Museum of Art programs as well as guided tours.

“The opening of the Winslow Homer Studio will be a pivotal moment in American art history. For the first time, visitors will be able to experience the Studio as it was during Homer’s time and discover the actual location where he created his best-known paintings,” said PMA Director Mark H. C. Bessire. “The Studio is truly a cultural treasure.”

Winslow Homer Studio-The Main Living Room: The Story of Homer Family and Winslow’s Daybed, 2012 ©trentbellphotography. Click for full size image.

The design of the plumbing and HVAC called for a heating, ventilation and humidification system that would be efficient, effective, reliable and yet invisible to the visitors of the Studio. Installing a system with all of today’s efficiency advantages yet unnoticeable took critical planning and Pine State Services’ finest craftsmen. The system utilizes Triangle Tube’s Prestige Excellence gas boiler to provide heating and domestic hot water. The system distributes the heating and humidification using two air handlers with hot water heating coils and a balanced and insulated duct system. We were able to make the air distribution blend with the finished spaces by using inconspicuously located grills and diffusers. The new air grills and diffusers were hand selected to feature antique designs and finishes.

Can you see signs of our high efficiency heating system?

Winslow Homer Studio-Fireplace, 2012
©trentbellphotography. Click to view full size image.

The newly restored Studio also includes a full bathroom and new kitchenette. These areas feature bathroom fixtures that have efficient low water flow yet are reminiscent of turn of the century designs. They include a beautiful claw foot tub with classic tub feet and faucet features.

What made the project unique was its attention to historic preservation as well as limited space. All the new mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems had to be located in a newly constructed basement that was built under the newly remodeled 8′x16′ West Addition. With careful design, planning and collaboration between tradesman, the space was able to house these systems and still allow for room to complete ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

Pine State Services is proud of the work we did in helping to preserve such a rich cultural jewel for the residents & guests of Maine. Portland Museum of Art has taken on an imperative and relevant project and succeeded. Congratulations to a job well done!



Posted in Community, Cooling, Heating, Plumbing, Renovations | Tagged , , , |

Basement flooding and sump pumps.

When storms or long periods of rain arrive home owners all hold their breath and hope water doesn’t fill their basement. After months of enduring bitter cold and snow, things finally start to warm up. Rain showers wash away the filth that had been covered by layers of ice and snow. However, with that rain comes a new set of problems. Flooding basements. A flooded basement is a major problem and can be a very costly one too. Here are the issues and some ways to solve them.

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Posted in Plumbing, Preventative Maintenance, Sump Pumps | Tagged , , , , , , , |