Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 14, 2014

Why get an A/C or heating tune Up? $$$

There are several reasons why you should get a tune up every year. Since HVAC is the number one consumer of energy in the home, a tune up is designed to save you money. Many times a technician can catch small problems before they become big ones. For instance, if your system is a little low on refrigerant a technician will catch that during the tune up. If you let your system run too long without  the required amount of refrigerant you risk burning out a compressor, costing thousands of dollars. It is cheaper to add refrigerant than to replace a compressor.

Many times your technician will catch small electrical problems as well. For instance, a contactor gets worn out and stuck in the off position, (this only seems to happen on the hottest days of the summer or in the dead of winter.) Your system will not cut on and you are HOT! During a tune up an experienced technician will let the homeowner know when the contactor is starting to wear out, giving you the option of replacing it before it causes too much discomfort. Replacing the part during a tune up is cheaper than having to pay an extra service fee to get it replaced when it goes out. You have the comfort of knowing it will not go out on the hottest or coldest day and save money.

Other than catching small problems before they become big ones, keeping the coils clean is the number one way to keep your unit in tune and running efficiently. Cleaning the coils allows maximum air flow through out your system, in turn, keeping you comfortable for less $$$$. Coil cleaning also allows for maximum unit life. It is the number one best way to keep your unit from completely failing prematurely and needing to be replaced.

Safety is another reason to tune up your system twice a year. Heat exchangers crack and leak carbon monoxide into the house, or wires can get chewed by little critters.

Anytime is a good time to get a tune up. However, early spring is the best for A/C and early fall for heating. In the spring and fall we can usually schedule your tune up at your convenience. When summer and winter hits, the whole industry gets slammed, and it is harder to get a tune up scheduled conveniently.

Tune ups now cost $79 per unit at Simply Service Company. This gets you a complete system check and coil cleaning (if required). Everything from refrigerant pressures, heat exchangers, electrical components, duct work, and air filters will be checked. Now, Simply Service Company is offering a free plumbing inspection when you purchase a tune up!!!!  Get your plumbing system checked for free. You will not find this deal anywhere else. Call today (615) 306-0375 ask for Jarratt

What does $79 get me?

   Spring

  • thermostat test
  • air filter check
  • refrigerant pressure test
  • condenser coil cleaning
  • evaporator coil cleaning
  • duct inspection
  • low voltage electrical test
  • high voltage electrical test
  • blower motors, fan motors, and compressor amp test
  • drain line cleaning/flush

  Fall

  • thermostat test
  • air filter check (not a replacement)
  • refrigerant pressure test on heat pumps
  • condenser coil cleaning on heat pumps
  • evaporator coil cleaning on heat pumps
  • electric heat inspection on heat pumps
  • heat exchager inspection on gas furnaces
  • burner cleaning on gas furnaces
  • duct inspection
  • low voltage electrical test
  • high voltage electrical test
  • blower motors, fan motors, and compressor amp test

If we find any parts that are bad or not up to factory standard we let the homeowner know about them first before replacing. If the unit is low on refrigerant we let the homeowner know first before adding any freon. Please call if you have any questions.

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 14, 2014

Repair or Replace?

I get asked this question often, “Should I repair my unit or replace it?”

Well, like so many things in life, it depends. As an HVAC contractor, you might think our answer is always going to be “replace” so you can buy new equipment, but that’s not the case. Sometimes it does make sense to repair a piece of equipment, even if it’s older or if the repair is costly. First, let’s talk about when you probably should consider replacement:

If you have a standing pilot furnace or an air conditioner that is built before 1992, it’s time to consider replacement, even if you’re not facing a repair. The reality is that your furnace is around 65% efficient and your air conditioner is 8 SEER or less. The amount you can save in utility costs will help pay for the cost of a new unit and it’s not a matter of if, but when you will find yourself facing a costly repair. Take the time now to research and plan for replacing your unit so you have the time to make an educated decision instead of being rushed because you don’t have heating or cooling.

You have an out of warranty compressor that has failed in your AC or cracked heat exchanger in your furnace. Replacing either of those components is the equivalent of a heart transplant. We do heart transplants for people because we love them and they have value outside of just the cost of the procedure. Machines do not and you shouldn’t spends thousands of dollars repairing the core of an older system that includes lots of other components that are likely to fail or leak within a few years. While making this repair may be less costly than new equipment it is not a decision that I would recommend for the reason I stated above. It’s just not a good investment. Take this opportunity to get new equipment that will save you money in both utility costs and repairs – after all, new equipment comes with new warranties and higher efficiency. Air conditioners also come with environmentally friendlier refrigerant which has begun to cost much less than the R22 that exists in most air conditioners today.
So those situations are almost always going to be a “Replace” recommendation, but what about when it’s not so obvious?

Follow one of the many rules of thumb to determine if repairing or replacing makes the most sense for you. Consider replacement if the equipment is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy and repairs will cost more than a third of replacement. So, if your furnace is 15 years old and you’re facing a $750 repair, you should probably replace the unit. Keep in mind that you can also take this opportunity to improve your home comfort and lower your utility bills – in other words, don’t just settle with Single stage 80% furnace and be done with it – consider things like multiple staging, 95% efficiency, and variable speed blowers to maximize your savings and your comfort. Below is a chart that oversimplifies things a little bit, but gives you an idea of what you can expect.

Repairvreplace

The best option is to have a highly trained and qualified technician give you an honest assessment of your equipment. Some 10 year old equipment needs to be replaced due to lack of maintenance or a poor quality installation. Some 20 year old equipment looks and works like new because it’s been well maintained. A technician knows what to look for and what they’re looking at. If you live in a beautiful newer home but are still stuck with builder’s quality HVAC equipment which has made your home uncomfortable and your utility bills higher than they needed, it might be time to replace your equipment, even if it does have some life left to it. Every situation is different, everyone’s needs are different. Let us help you determine what makes the most sense for your situation.
Some other considerations to help with your decision include knowing how much you could potentially save by replacing your older, less efficient equipment with new high efficiency heating and air conditioning. One tool for that is http://www.hvacopcost.com/ where you can plug in the age, size, and efficiency of your existing equipment, where you live, and what you might replace it with. Try it yourself, you might be surprised by how much you can save.

The government has also put together some helpful Replacement guidlines here: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers

At the end of the day, repairing or replacing your HVAC equipment is a decision that only you can make based on your financial, comfort, and environmental needs. If you’re not sure what’s right, maybe you would like a free in-home analysis and estimate of your existing HVAC equipment. Give us a call or drop us a line if you have any questions.

 

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 13, 2014

When Is It Time to Call Me in the Winter?

Sometimes fixes to HVAC units are simple and can be performed by the homeowner.

I’m happy to come see you anytime, but to save a couple of bucks, check out this short list of tasks you can do yourself to save time and money.

– Make sure the thermostat is set to an economical but comfortable temperature.

– Make sure the blower motor is running and check to make sure the ON/ OFF switch on your furnace is set to ON or AUTO.

– Make sure you have fresh filters and you change or clean them monthly.

– Make sure your floor vents are not blocked by furniture and check all supply vents to make sure they’re open and blowing air.

– Remove the drafts- drafts from doors, windows and other home designs can waste anywhere from 5- 30% of your home’s energy usage. Be sure to cover up drafts in the home by placing towels under the doors, and sealing off windows.

– Reverse your ceiling fans in your home- While most believe that fans are only used for cooling, they don’t realize the improvement that they can have on heating efficiency by putting that same fan that cools, in reverse. By putting the fan in reverse, warm air that rises is pushed back down toward the ground making living space warmer and reducing energy use by around 10%.

If you’ve done all this and your energy bills are still too high, it is time to call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll do an entire energy audit for you!

 

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 13, 2014

Prepare for Winter

Temperatures have started to tumble and winter is just around the corner.  Now is the time to make those cheap fixes to bring down the heating and electric bill.

Getting your home ready for winter can be time consuming but in the end can save you some major money.

Most houses have a cumulative air leak the size of a refrigerator door and less than 10% of that comes from windows or doors. Trouble spots to seal include holes in the attic or basement.

Also, check your HVAC system and the duct work. About 20% of that hot air blowing through is lost due to leaks and poor connections.

One of the most important things the homeowner can do is change the filter regularly.

Another easy idea: insulate your hot water tank and water pipes and just turn down that thermostat.  You can save 2% on your heating bill for each degree you lower the thermostat.

OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll come do an inspection for you!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 13, 2014

Winterizing Your Home

If you winterize your home, you’ll be better prepared for the cold temperatures that Mother Nature will throw your way. The three most important tips to buttoning up for winter include sealing air leaks, adding insulation and having your furnace serviced.

1. Sealing air leaks

  • Check your window frames outdoors for cracks between the frame and the exterior of your home. Seal them with silicon caulk.
  • Look for places where cables, wires and pipes enter your home. If they’re too large to caulk, use expanding foam to seal them. Check your dryer vent, as well, which can often be a place where small cracks may form.
  • Check your attic during the day. If you can see any light coming in from the flues, vents or chimney, you probably have air leaks. If they’re around the furnace flue or a chimney, use metal flashing or fireproof sealers to close them up.

2. Adding insulation

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 16 inches of insulation in the attic. If you can see the tops of the floor joists, you need more. Fiberglass batt and blown-in insulation are relatively easy to install and dollar for dollar, might be the best way to winterize your home. Insulation lasts for years and stops the transfer of heat between your attic and living spaces.

3. Servicing your furnace

Having an HVAC professional clean and adjust your furnace or heat pump not only will lower your heating bill, it also will provide greater safety. The technician will clean the burner and check both it and the heat exchanger for cracks, which can leak carbon monoxide into your home. Checking the ductwork is another component of annual maintenance. Leaks can drive up your heating bill by as much as 30 percent and backdraft carbon monoxide into your home.

If you haven’t scheduled a furnace tune-up yet to help winterize your home, just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll do it for you!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 1, 2014

Tips for improving the air quality in your home

When you think about home safety, you probably think about smoke detectors or child-proof cabinet locks and not necessarily about the quality of the air you breathe.

But you should.

We Americans spend a lot of time indoors, especially in the fall and winter, and indoor air can be full of pollutants, allergens, bacteria and germs, which can lead to respiratory conditions and the flu.

The air inside your home can actually be two to five times dirtier than the air outside.

Here are some ways to improve the air quality in your home:

* Install an air purifier to help minimize the germ interaction in the air and prevent illnesses, such as the flu or common cold, from spreading.

Air purifiers can help those with asthma or allergies, too, because they remove dust particles from the air — not to mention particulate matter from cigarette smoke.

Some experts even go so far to say that increased indoor air quality can help prevent asthma from developing in toddlers with intolerance to smoke, dust, pet dander and other allergens.

* Make sure your HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) equipment is well-maintained and functioning properly.

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a homeowner’s highest priority. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants such as mold, viruses and dust particles throughout your home. So, it’s extremely important to have an HVAC expert (like me!) examine the system.

* Cut down on mold growth by controlling the moisture level in your home.

To do this, correct any water leaks or standing water; remove standing water under cooling coils or air handling units; replace washing machine hoses with steel mesh lines; move large objects away from the walls to provide good air circulation; use exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchens and laundry rooms; properly install and maintain humidifiers; replace wet or visibly moldy insulation and carpet materials; and have dirty ducts cleaned by a trusted professional.

OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll come inspect your place and let you know what needs to be done!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 23, 2014

Preventive Maintenance for Your Home

Here’s another article that has some good overall preventive maintenance tips for your home. I’m guessing there’s at least one of these things you’ve never done!

Don’t want to do them yourself? Don’t want to even read this article? Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll help where I can!

 

Just like your car, your home systems and appliances all need periodic maintenance checks to make sure they’re operating safely and efficiently. A professional preventative maintenance program can help homeowners when it comes to the upkeep of their heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical system, and most major appliances. Having professional preventative maintenance services performed is key to ensuring tasks are done right and can save you time and money in the long run.

 

Air Conditioning

— Check filters every month. Clean or replace as needed.

— Keep the condensing unit free of debris. — Trim shrubs and plants near condensing unit to ensure proper air flow and circulation.

— Bent condensing unit fins can often be easily straightened with a fin comb.

Washing Machine

— Inspect cold and hot water supply hoses for cracks and deterioration.

— Look for signs of water or oil leakage.

— Check to make sure the machine is level, and adjust it, if needed, by turning the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Dryer

— Clean the lint screen after each load of clothes has been dried.

— For gas and electric dryers, check and tighten supply connections.

— Check to see if the dryer is level; if it’s not, the drum may vibrate and damage the unit. To adjust the level, turn the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Water Heater

— Drain and flush sediment from tank twice a year.

— Check pressure-relief valve once a year to make sure this crucial safety device is not clogged.

Overall

Take advantage of annual preventative maintenance agreements to make sure appliances and systems get a thorough inspection by a qualified professional.

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 23, 2014

Tips to Choose the Right HVAC Contractor

Did you see the July 10, 2012 NBC’s Today Show undercover investigation segment on air conditioning repairs? 

Me either – I was working! But I read about it (below.) I’m glad I don’t live in New Jersey – for lots of reasons – but I know there are some less than honest HVAC contractors around here. I’m glad I’m not one of them!

The “sting” operation took place at a home in New Jersey, where contractors were called to a home experiencing a problem with its air conditioning system. When they misdiagnosed or misled the customer, they were confronted by the Today Show team about their methods.

Robert C. (Bobby) Ring served as Today’s expert consultant for the segment. Ring is president of Meyer & Depew Co., a contracting business in Kenilworth, New Jersey. He also serves as a member of the national Board of Directors of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the nation’s largest non-profit trade association serving the indoor environment industry.

“I was glad to work with the Today Show to help educate the public about what they should look for in a quality contractor,” said Ring. “I was very disappointed by those contractors who did not seem to be doing the right thing. Overall I think this segment was an important reminder to homeowners that they need to do their homework before they call a contractor. But I also believe it is important to remember that upgrade options are sometimes about improving comfort, lowering energy bills, or solving a long-term problem, not just about increasing the size of the bill.”

ACCA, which develops and publishes the national standards used by professional contractors to ensure quality HVAC installation and maintenance, said the segment was an important reminder during a very hot summer.

“When choosing a contractor, it should not be about which company buys the most prominent search engine link, or has the flashiest website, or has the biggest yellow page ad,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA President & CEO. “While there are thousands of professional contractors who do outstanding service and care about their customers first, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to find them, and that takes a little work.”

First, ACCA says, it is vital that homeowners develop a relationship with the right contractor before their system breaks down. “Find the right contracting business, and sign up for their maintenance agreement program,” Stalknecht says. “This is important for two reasons: One, having your system inspected and cleaned twice a year is mandatory to ensure that your system lasts as long as possible. And two, if your system fails in the middle of the summer, the best contractors in your area will probably be busy taking care of their maintenance agreement customers and they may not have time to come visit you.”

In addition, when a system fails during the summer, and the homeowner does not have an existing relationship with a contractor, homeowners rarely take the extra steps needed to choose the right contractor. “Do it while your system is still working,” Stalknecht says. “Don’t wait until you find yourself stranded in 100-degree heat, feeling pressured to make a decision quickly.”

According to ACCA, the steps to finding the right contractor include:

  •     Get referrals from friends and neighbors. “The best predictor of a contractor’s future behavior is to find out how well they performed for someone you trust,” Stalknecht says.
  •     If your state or city requires HVAC licensing, verify that the contractor is properly licensed. Each jurisdiction has different rules, unfortunately, so you will need to check with the appropriate websites.
  •     Ask the contractor to describe their employee training program. If they’re not able to answer this question, they probably don’t have one, and that’s a red flag.
  •     Verify that the contractor provides a regular maintenance or service agreement program.

If your system requires replacement, ACCA says it’s important to remember that HVAC systems are complex, and a system’s successful installation depends more on the abilities of the installer than the equipment itself. “Replacing an HVAC system is not like taking one box out and putting another in,” Stalknecht says. “It’s a system that is part of another system, the entire building. There are numerous steps that must be taken to ensure maximum comfort and energy efficiency.”

To help consumers make the right choice when installing a replacement, ACCA developed a “Quality Installation Checklist” which homeowners can use to compare bids from different contractors. It outlines the necessary steps and lets the homeowner “score” each bid to show the true value of a proposal. The checklist, along with a number of other articles and online resources for homeowners, can be found at http://www.acca.org/consumer.

“While often hidden from view, when an air conditioning system stops working in the summertime, we suddenly realize how important it is,” Stalknecht says. “Unfortunately, when it’s working, too often we neglect it. Which makes it even more likely that it’s going to stop working! Just like cars, HVAC systems need regular maintenance. Take care of them and they will last a long time. Neglect them and they will leave you stranded when you need them most. The key is to find the right HVAC contractor to keep everything running smoothly.”

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/7/prweb9682612.htm
OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll take care of it for you!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | August 15, 2012

Does Your Dryer Vent Need Cleaning?

Here’s a video from my iPhone showing a dryer vent that is clogged.

If you haven’t cleaned yours in a while – or haven’t asked me to do it for you – yours could look like this.

I can fix that!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | August 12, 2012

Cool Video: Duct Cleaning

Before I started working in HVAC, I never even knew a duct needed to be cleaned.

After a few houses, I saw how no one else seems to know this either.

I videotaped 3 minutes of me cleaning the main supply line of a customer’s house. Once you get past the scary, horror-movie-like appearance of the red whip, you can see how it cleans:

The red whip stirs up the debris and the reverse nozzle on the compressed air blows the debris back to the industrial duty vacuum.

If you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, they probably look like this. I can fix that. (615) 306-0375

 

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