Save Money and Stay Cool

Summer is here and the temperatures across the country have started to rise. For some of us, it is a welcomed change from the cold winter. However,  it also means that expensive cooling bills are on their way and the fights over the thermostat in your home and for some our workplaces.

When it comes to controlling temperature, even small adjustments can have big impacts. For every degree, you adjust your thermostat to, results in about a 3% savings. If your cooling bill is $200 during the hot summer months, that equals about $6 per degree per month. The key to adjusting your thermostat is to still keep the space feeling comfortable. This is where the use of air circulating fans come into play.

Don’t believe the myth that standard air circulating fans do not cool the air and that the only way air can be cooled is with some type of refrigerant added to the mix. What air circulators do is make your body feel like it is being cooled. Think of it this way. Imagine you’re outside on a hot day and there’s no breeze at all, it’s going to feel really hot. But if there’s a slight breeze, it will feel cooler. The air temperature has not changed, but the moving air passing across your skin gives your body the feeling that it’s cooler. There are scientific formulas that could explain this, but for this example, we need to agree that air blowing across our skin makes us feel cooler. By creating an artificial breeze in our homes or workplaces, you can set the temperature higher but still feel comfortable.

An added benefit of using fans is that they distribute the cool air from an air conditioner vent evenly throughout the cooled space. Almost all homes and workplaces have areas that are normally warmer than the other areas. Using fans will distribute the cool air more evenly from room to room within the space. This will take stress off your HVAC unit so that you will not have to run it longer than it needs to just to get that one area cool enough to feel comfortable.

Air circulating fans use electricity, so how much do I really save? Fans do use electricity, however, the amount it takes to operate a fan compared to an air conditioner is a great deal less. An average fan uses about 40 watts. A typical household air conditioner will use between 1000 watts for a single window unit that can cool 1 or 2 rooms to 3500 watts for a central air unit. If using an air circulating fan allows you to raise the thermostat 3 to 4 or more degrees that could mean your air conditioning units operates about an hour less a day, which can add up over the course of a month or over a hot summer.

Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company Part III

heating, air conditioning, certified

 

Why You Should Always Hire a Licensed Air Conditioning Company

Part III

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

Insurance

Insurance and Bonding.  There are risks involved when repairing or replacing an HVAC system. Because of that, you need to be protected. A licensed company will have the right state and local licenses. Additionally they will be bonded and insured.

An important factor in choosing the correct company is insurance coverage. Liability and coverage for your home, property, as well as your family, are provided by hiring a licensed company. Your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover work done by an unlicensed company.

Bonding provides protection on top of a company guarantee. A surety bond is provided to cover job incompletion, poor workmanship, improper permits, or if a technician does not pay workers or vendors.  Most licensing boards require that contractors are bonded before applying for their license.

Permits Rules and Regulations. Local professionals know the latest requirements for your area. There are a number of rules and regulations, such as building codes, inspections, and permits required that HVAC companies must follow when installing or repairing a unit. The average homeowners are unaware of these requirements, however, a licensed company will know and follow them. Hiring the right company will reduce the chance that you’ll run into problems.

Involved Risks!

Here are just a few examples of just a few things that could happen if you do not hire licensed air conditioning technician.

  • Down the road, you decide to sell your home not knowing the proper codes or not having filed the correct permits can be an expensive issue. This will result in extra expense and delay the sale of your home.
  • You could have a fire due to faulty wiring.
  • Drain lines and float switches not installed to code could cause flooding and damage to your system.

Would your insurance cover it if not done by a licensed professional? Do you want to take that risk?

Continued Service

With a licensed company, you’ll have a peace of mind that any HVAC service you need will be done effectively and efficiently and they will offer continued service. Oftentimes, the person that offers the “best deal” quite frankly does not survive in the long run.  Unlicensed technicians cut corners and lack the skills and expertise to get the job done correctly. Some of them even moonlight as magicians.  When something goes wrong they disappear!  Instead, choose a licensed company that provides long-lasting solutions, and are there when you need them.

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.