Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company Part II

heating, air conditioning, certified

 

Why You Should Always Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company

Part II

 

Welcome to the Part II of our look at why you should hire a licensed air conditioning company.

More on Knowledge

Professional have their Ducts in a rowDuct work is one of the most important parts of your air conditioning system. Professional ducting is essential to you home’s efficiency and clean, healthy air quality. Improper duct work will increase the risk of air leakage, mold, and an overworked system. 

System types. HVAC systems work differently depending on where you may live. When it comes to air conditioning systems weather, climate, humidity and the size of your home are very important factors to consider. A local, licensed technician will know and understand these factors and how they affect your system and air quality.

Warranties and Guarantees

Warranties. Protect yourself, protect your warranty!  Manufacturers may void the warranty if an unlicensed technician works on your system.  A qualified technician will gladly display his or her license number and will not hesitate to provide it immediately upon request. When in doubt, ask!

Guarantee. If you are a do-it-yourself-er or are thinking of hiring an unlicensed technician, consider this – Not only will your system’s warranty potentially be void, work not done by a professional does not come with guarantees. Your air conditioning system is one of the most expensive components and vital organs in your home. Licensed air conditioning companies offer guarantees.  In addition, bonding is required by most licensing boards prior to application. We will discuss bonding and what it provides for your peace of mind further in part III.

Before calling the number that you see on the sign that just popped up at the end of your street, weigh the risks! In Part III we will discuss the importance of insurance, bonding and additional risks involved in not hiring a license air conditioning company.

 

Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company Part I

heating, air conditioning, certified

Why You Should Always Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company

Part I

We’ve all seen these “bandit signs” out there promoting a discounted service.  We came across this one the other day for an AC company and it brings to mind some horror stories of people out there offering cheaper. As we have seen time and again, cheaper is often not cheaper or better.

As a homeowner, hiring a technician to work on your air conditioner is a reality that will have to be faced at some point. It is important to hire a licensed technician to work on your system. Below are a few of some important factors to consider when deciding who to hire.

Training and knowledge.  

Licensed air conditioning technicians have the experience, advanced training, and certifications. In contrast, unlicensed individuals lack the knowledge to protect your investment. They cut corners by not going through the proper training and licensing requirements. Not having the certifications saves them money, consequently costing you money in the end.

Size Matters!  Licensed technicians understand this! Bigger is not always better! Installing the wrong sized system is a common problem. An air conditioner does two important jobs: temperature control & removing moisture. Removing moisture requires the system to operate for a prescribed amount of time. An oversized air conditioner will not run for the adequate amount of time to permit moisture and temperature control. Over the course of a day, an oversized air conditioner will have more start-ups and shutdowns.  Consequently, this will result in reducing the lifespan of your system. Your system will lose energy efficiency and moisture is left in the air.  Moisture leads to mold and is a serious concern.A licensed air conditioning technician will possess the training, the tools and knowledge to ensure the system for your home is correct.

Refrigeration levels.  When you hire an unlicensed person, often times the system will have incorrect amounts of refrigerant levels from the start. This will affect the performance of your system, result in higher utility bills, and unnecessary wear and tear on your system, thus reducing its lifespan. Refrigerants are dangerous, care must be taken when handling them. Licensed technicians are trained to determine the correct levels and have the knowledge to safely work with them.

 

Look for Part II soon.

Preparing an Outdoor AC Unit

An outside air conditioning unit, often referred to as an HVAC unit, is a lifesaver during hot summer months. During the winter, you may want to winterize the unit to protect it against cold weather, snow and ice. Winterizing the unit also protects it against rust damage. A few protective measures can keep the air conditioning unit in your real estate investment in top working condition.

Find the air conditioning circuit near your unit. Usually, it has a plastic or metal lid that covers the electrical circuit. Open the lid and flip the switch to turn the unit off. This prevents the unit from turning on during an unusually warm winter day, keeping water out of the unit that could potentially freeze.

Wash the air conditioning unit with a hose to remove bird droppings, dead bugs, dirt and dust. Remove leaves, small branches and grass clippings from the unit. Allow the unit to dry completely.

Install foam pipe covers around exterior exposed pipes. Cut the foam to fit the length and diameter of the pipe. The foam covers insulate the pipes and protect them against freezing temperatures. Wrap duct tape around the foam covers to hold them in place.

Cover the HVAC unit with a plastic or vinyl cover. Choose a cover that is waterproof. Some manufacturers make covers that are specifically designed for air conditioners, but you can use any plastic or vinyl covering that fits over the unit.

Wrap vinyl ropes or bungee cords around the air conditioning cover to keep it secure. Make sure the cover is wrapped tightly so it doesn’t blow away in strong winds.

Check your air conditioner once a week to make sure the cover is secure. Brush water, snow and ice off the unit. Remove twigs, pinecones and leaves from the cover.

How to Reduce your Energy Consumption this Winter

A/C, Energy Saving, Heating, Sugar Land

While setting the thermostat to the right temperatures can improve the comfort of one’s home, it is not the only way to do so. Other ways for a homeowner to minimize energy usage and costs, while improving the overall environment inside of his or her home include:

  • Wear warmer clothing and consider setting the temperature to lower than 72 degrees to see more savings on energy bills.
  • Inspect and regularly replace filters.
  • Get an inspection and furnace tune up before the arrival of winter to get the furnace ready for the season.
  • Inspect the home for drafts and leaks. Seal up any cracks, holes or gaps in the home’s entryways, walls, and foundation to prevent thermal energy from escaping.
  • Use weather stripping on doors and windows that are used frequently.
  • Caulk or seal the windows and any unused exterior doors.
  • Set the water tank temperature to 120 degrees to reduce thermal energy costs.
  • Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in to help heat the home.
  • Rearrange furniture so that no one has to sit where there may be drafts coming in.
  • Check all pipes and faucets for leaks. Insulate the pipes by covering them with a blanket.

Prior to the cold weather setting in, homeowners should make every effort to winterize their home. Stop playing with the thermostat and get more enjoyment out of your home by making it as energy efficient as possible.

The Right Temperature for your Home This Winter

For many homeowners, wintertime is the time of year when they are tempted the most to turn their thermostats up to the highest setting possible in order to keep all of those cold drafts at bay. While this may seem like a good idea, it is not. Constantly setting the thermostat to a high temperature during the wintertime will cause a big spike in energy bills. In order to save money and keep your HVAC system from working too hard, here are some ways you can program your thermostat in order to save energy and money during those cold winter months.

Day Time Temperature Setting

Setting the thermostat too high when it is cold outside is the equivalent of tossing money out of the window. The warmer your home is the faster thermal energy will be lost to the outside. The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people inside of the home. 68 to 72 degrees is a temperature range that is not too warm or cool, and is sufficient enough to warm up the home just enough so that everyone is comfortable regardless of the type of clothing they have on.

Night Time and Away Temperature

When the house is empty for an extended amount of time and at night, it is a good idea to lower the temperature to 58 to 62 degrees. When everyone is sleep and less active, there is no need for the heating and cooling system to waste energy when it is not needed as much. That temperature setting is also enough to keep the pipes in the home from freezing when the temperatures outside drop and no one is home.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Older furnaces and heat pumps take longer to heat up the inside of a home. This can cause the home to feel colder than it really is since the appliance is taking more time to heat things up. In order to improve how fast the furnace responds and to maintain the warm atmosphere inside of the home, it is a good idea to replace all older appliances including the furnace with energy saving appliances.

Digital Thermostats

Invest in a digital thermostat to make setting and maintaining temperatures a breeze. Digital thermostats make it possible for homeowners to set their thermostats in advance and not have to worry about setting them again until the season changes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and install the digital thermostat in an area that is convenient for you to reach and away from all drafts, sunlight, furniture, doorways, and windows.

When setting a digital thermostat be mindful of the times that everyone is awake and sleep. Consider programming the device so that it lowers and raises the temperatures shortly before everyone gets up, goes to sleep, or leaves the house. If the home is going to be empty for three hours or more, do not forget to set thermostat to a lower temperature to save energy and money while you are away.