Advice From the Pros

Preparing Your Home For Winter Weather

Preparing Your Home For Winter Weather

Preparing Your Home For Winter Weather

North Texas winters are cold and often icy. We may not have the extreme snow other parts of the nation get, but old man Winter doesn’t skip us entirely. There are still enough Winter weather problems that taking steps to prepare your home makes sense. You may not remember you have a furnace until it is time to heat the house up, and you may have smelled something unpleasant as it gets going. Here are a few tips to start preparing your home for winter weather:

We strongly suggest that you clean your furnace every autumn, but if you weren’t able to get to it until winter this year, it isn’t too late.

Furnace Maintenance

Sediment buildup can cause your system to work less effectively and can eventually become a fire hazard. An inspection and cleaning will keep it working in top shape for years to come.

Another basic furnace maintenance step is replacing the filter. You should know what kind of filter your system uses and how to do the replacement.

We often open our vents to let fresh air in, but now is definitely the time to track them down and make sure they have all been closed again. Winter heating costs add up, and basically at the heart of any winterizing activity to keep costs down, buttoning up the house is the main idea.

Weather-Stripping and Stopping Air Leaks

Weather-stripping and caulk should be used to make sure there are no air leaks. Prime places for leaks are garage doors, windows, and door frames. As part of a seasonal checklist, make sure you look for any damage on these parts of the home and replace as appropriate.

Preparing the Outside of the Home

Freezing water can burst pipes, and damage water systems. Clean out all gutters and disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves. There are also insulated covers you can purchase to keep over your water valves to winterize them.

Insulation Saves Money

Insulate walls and attics well. We can help you if your home is older with getting newer, efficient insulation installed. During attic inspections, it is a good idea to look for and repair any roof leaks. Tree branches are another roof danger that could cause real problems if they become weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house. Take steps to trim them up before they crash through and cause a real winter nightmare.

Insulation isn’t the only thing that may be out of date. Today, there are programmable thermostats that can let you track and remotely adjust your home’s temperature. Again, please give us a call if you have any questions.

 

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HVAC Repairs

Why You Should Hire a Licensed Contractor for your HVAC Repairs

HVAC Repairs

Guaranteed quality workmanship isn’t the only benefit from hiring a professional licensed and insured HVAC company. It may be tempting to hire an unlicensed contractor for heating and cooling repairs, but what happens if something goes wrong? If they cause damage and decide to leave it like that? What if their work isn’t up to code compliance because they haven’t kept up with the licensing exams? It happens often, and we know because we do plenty of work cleaning up what someone else wasn’t able to finish.

If you want the highest quality service possible, hire a licensed contractor for your home and business.

Licensed HVAC Contractors Are Insured

Bonded and insured means that you will be protected in the event of unfortunate events that leave you with issues during a project. It will cover any accidental damage that may occur during the course of a job, and you will be 100% covered. Like most insurance, it doesn’t feel important until you really need it and then it’s a lifesaver.  Hiring only a licensed HVAC company that can show proof of insurance prevents your involvement in any payment disputes. Instead of dragging you and your property into the non-payment issue, the contractor’s insurance company will handle the problem.

Licensed HVAC Contractors Carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance

You have heard horror stories of civil suits brought against homeowners from injuries that someone else sustained while on your property. What you may not realize is that hiring an unlicensed worker that becomes injured while at your job opens you up to being sued. Workman’s Compensation insurance covers on the job accidents so that you aren’t the one they are looking at if they become hurt.

Licensed HVAC Contractors Stay Up to Date on Rules, Regulations, and Building Codes

Building code compliance failures may not even be noticed until long after the work is complete, leaving you on the hook to bring it up to code. Many times, it is during an inspection when putting the property up for sale. This leaves you with last-minute expenses that you likely have not planned for. Hiring a licensed contractor prevents issues like that because a licensed professional keep up to date on codes, permit requirements and are able to guarantee their work.  To obtain a license, a contractor must have a minimum of 3 years of experience (2 of which can be schooling), and they must pass an exam. In addition, an HVAC company must carry liability insurance.

Licensed Contractors Have the Latest Training on Systems and Equipment

Part of hiring a professional company is that we have access to the latest equipment. Not only do we have the latest equipment, we also have the experience and background to safely work on your system. Whenever you need a part repaired, we have the training and resources to know what parts to use and not void your warranty. You can’t always count on that with an unlicensed contractor.

Their Work Comes With a Warranty

We are accountable, we’ve been in business for a long time and we aren’t going anywhere. If you have an issue, we warranty our work and will come back and make it right. The people that stay in this business longterm all eventually get licensed. The unlicensed contractors doing this on the side may be long gone by the time you find you are left in a bad situation. If you find anything wrong with the work we have done – just give us a call, and we’ll come out to address your concerns.

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Variable Speed

Advantages of Single Stage, Multiple Stage or Variable Speed Equipment

Variable Speed

You may have reached this by looking for what the difference is in cost and what someone means when they say staged or variable speed in relation to A\C. Before replacing your unit, let’s discuss what these terms mean in hopes of making a better choice.

Staged – particularly single staged – means that an air conditioning or furnace unit has one speed. All the way ON or all the way OFF. When the temperature sensor trips to meet the programmed number, the unit turns all the way on until it is reached and then turns itself off. A Two-Stage system would be more like a High and Low gear in a car. If your home’s air conditioning unit is 10 or more years old, chances are it is a Single Staged system. They are the least energy efficient because naturally, they can only draw power at one rate- all ON or all OFF.

Multiple Stage equipment is more like changing gears on a bike. They are not as able to incrementally change as a variable speed compressor, but they will have two “stages” – think around 10 “stages” that have different power outputs.  Multi-speed, or variable speed, air conditioners ramp up or down in tiny increments depending on the “load” or how much cooling is needed to get the job done.  These refer to the compressor or blower and its ability to match the needs of the environment as opposed to just turning full on or being off. You only have one system year round, so having a variable speed compressor lets your system appropriately adjust. If the temperature is milder, it may not take as much cooling to get to your set temp, and this translates to savings in energy usage as the machine doesn’t need to run at full blast only.

You should notice a difference in energy usage and sound. When a variable speed unit starts blowing at a slow speed and increases as the heating or cooling needs to increase, it is quieter than what you are probably used to. Also, air is continually being cleaned with a variable speed blower. Single-stage systems will come on more frequently, for less time but with a large power pull when it starts up and runs. It tends to wear out the system earlier due to being hard on working parts to go from 0 to Full Blast and also uses more energy to cycle more often.

Variable speed systems run for a longer period, using less energy and more evenly heating or cooling your home.

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