Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley - September 2019 | 845-256-6158


Usually, I fill this space with stories and updates from my own life. But in honor of Labor Day, I wanted to use this opportunity to thank my employees. It's because of their dedication that we can continue to provide the best service possible to our growing family of customers. In our front office, Sandi and Nick keep our team organized and functioning at the highest level. My son, Nick, has been with Aire Serv of the Mid- Hudson Valley since I began the business, and I can rely on him to do nearly everything. Sometimes he’s running parts to our technicians in the field, and other times he’s fabricating ductwork. He’s also vital to dispatching our technicians and scheduling service and Advantage Plan members' maintenance appointments. Sandi is our go-to on the phones. She answers the phone, schedules appointments, follows up with clients, and confirms upcoming appointments. Sandi's friendly voice is our main line of communication with customers. Without her dedication, we wouldn’t have nearly as much daily client communication as we do. Out in the field, four technicians join me in serving our clients. Recently, I’ve been working with our newest employee, Jonathan, who, at the time of writing this, has been with our company for only a few weeks. Whenever a technician joins our team, no matter how much expertise they have, I work with them to bring them up to speed on Aire Serv's style of customer service. I want to make sure they are receiving training that’s going to best serve our clients. But don’t take Jonathan’s short tenure as a signal that he’s a novice. He’s originally from Florida and has extensive experience with air conditioning repair, maintenance, and installation. We’re excited to see him grow with us. Bryan is another one of our newer technicians, having been with Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley just over six months. He’s been working with Tom, our most tenured employee, to get a feel for our company’s style and craftsmanship, but his dedication to this craft has quickly enabled him to take on service calls of his own. Dave is our second most-tenured technician. He’s been with our company for the past two years, and he does most of our service and maintenance repair calls. Dave has a knack for educating people about their HVAC systems, and THANK YOU! Honoring My Dedicated Employees This Labor Day

Your Aire Serv team (from left to right): Jonathan, Bryan, Rich, Dave, Tom, Nick with Elf, Sandi, and Jim.

we appreciate all that he has brought to our company in just the two years he’s been with us.

And last, but certainly not least, our most tenured employee is Tom. For the past five years, Tom has been a consistent professional in the field. As a business owner, I believe it’s so valuable to know you have a guy like Tom on your team. I admire the way he mentors the newer employees, and his consistency is unparalleled. Rich rounds out our full-time employees. As our comfort advisor, Rich spends whatever time is necessary to determine a client's needs and wants for a new system, provides them with options, and secures an installation date for them on the calendar. The bridge Rich builds between our clients and us is a great asset. Finally, I can’t write a thank-you article about my employees without mentioning my wife, Andrea. She edits this newsletter each month and takes care of our company’s payroll. I know our employees appreciate that part of her job, but I will forever be grateful for the support she gives in addition to her full-time job and volunteer work. I feel incredibly grateful to have a team like this supporting our business and our customers. And it gets even better because Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley is growing! We are always looking for additional team members with a can-do attitude who enjoy helping people. If you know someone who would be a great fit, give us a call.

To our team members, thank you for your continued dedication. I'm so proud of all you do for our customers.

–Jim Serra

845-256-6158 1

STAYING CONNECTED How to Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World

If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. Remember Your Rituals Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. Make Every Moment Count As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same

room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship.

Hug It Out Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!


You may be planning one last summer vacation or still searching for the perfect beach, but it’s time to start thinking about protecting your home from the cold, snow, and frost. In between applying another layer of sunscreen and reaching for a popsicle, call Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley to schedule your annual heating system tuneup! The best time to prepare your HVAC system for the months of chilly weather is when you’re still sporting shorts and flip-flops. You don’t want to be sitting in your living room with winter jackets on because the heating system broke down.

unit. Without a proper inspection after a particularly stormy season, you’re taking a gamble each day you turn on your heat.

Regular inspections and tuneups ensure you solve issues quickly, before they can turn into costly and dangerous damage. In addition, technicians can inspect and clean your system, suggest enhancements to save you money and energy, and provide a prognosis for the remaining life of your unit. A heater’s airflow, fan controls, electrical connections, burners, safety controls, gas line, and drainage systems should all be inspected for signs of damage. When conducting an inspection or tuneup, our technicians rely on data from past inspections and observations to offer you advice on your heating system. If you establish a base of data with Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley by regularly scheduling heating system inspections, you can be better prepared to make decisions about repairs and, if necessary, a total replacement. It’s never too early or too late to start gathering that data! Schedule your heating system tuneup with Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley by calling 845-256-6158 and be prepared when the weather turns cooler.

Not using your heating system during summer means that you may encounter a slew of problems when you finally turn on your heat this fall. Natural disasters can cause flooding or water damage, prompting mold, mildew, and moisture to grow on or near your HVAC 2

WHAT DOES THIS WIRE DO? The Pieces That Make Your HVAC Unit Hum

Each piece of your HVAC system is designed to keep your home at the ideal temperature, and when one component fails, it can cause a chain reaction down the line. At Aire Serv of the Mid- Hudson Valley, our technicians are experts when it comes to these components, but it’s a good idea for homeowners to know a little about them too. THE CAPACITOR The reason your HVAC unit chugs along day in and day out without so much as a groan from your home’s energy supply is because of the capacitor. This piece provides energy to kick your HVAC unit’s motor on and off when the system tells it to do so. This is vital to your unit because running an HVAC system takes a lot of energy from your home. Without the capacitor, your unit's compressor or fan motor won't run. THE HEAT EXCHANGER Regardless of the type of furnace your home has, it comes with a heat exchanger. This component heats up the air from your home, and the blower sends the warm air through your vents. It's vital but it can also be a very

dangerous component, because the heat exchanger can develop carbon monoxide leaks. This odorless, colorless gas is deadly. Regular HVAC maintenance is critical to avoid a problem, and monitoring the health and life of your carbon monoxide detectors could be the difference between life and death. (Our technicians can help with this, so give us a call if you suspect problems with your carbon monoxide detectors.) THE CONTACTOR The contactor is a high- voltage switch, part of the outdoor section of the air conditioner or heat pump. When the thermostat calls for cooling or heating, magnetism closes the high-voltage switch to turn on the compressor. Contactors are very durable pieces, but they can fail after years of working hard to keep you cool. At Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley, our technicians are experts on every piece of your unit. If you believe your HVAC system has a failing or damaged component, schedule your appointment by calling 845-256-6158.


NEVER FORGET 9.11.2001

Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.

• 1 cup sugar • 1 cup fresh basil leaves INGREDIENTS

• 6 cups frozen mixed berries • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS 1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with one cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve.

Inspired by Good Housekeeping




392 Masten Rd. Pleasant Valley, NY 12569

Jim Honors His Employees INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 845-256-6158 |

How to Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World

Tune Up Your HVAC System Before You Turn On the Heat


Little-Known but Important HVAC Components

Basil Berry Sorbet


Honoring the Canines of 9/11



In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16 hours a day searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.

After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help:


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