When visiting a local store or calling for service, we all hope we are not getting taken to the cleaners. We would all hope that all local companies build their business on integrity and honesty. Unfortunately, in the competitive air conditioning industry, espeically here in Brandon, Florida, we sometimes find that ac companies are simply trying to make a quick buck on the backs of unsuspecting homeowners, many of which are elderly.
A recent Today Show report shows that this is not only a local problem. Either dishonesty or incompetence led several ac repairmen to quote high charges for a minor and easy fix.
Make no mistake, it’s getting warmer in Brandon, Florida. Our seasons usually go from winter straight into summer-type heat and this year is no exception. With highs in the 90’s this week, there is no doubt you will be running your air conditioning unit all day and night to stay comfortable. Comfort is one thing, but it certainly comes at a price. Rising temperatures means a spike in your energy costs, and with gas at almost $4.00 a gallon, we all need to find ways to cut back on our spending. Here are few ways to cut costs on your air conditioning bill:
- Change your air filter. One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to save some money on a/c costs is to change your air conditioning filter monthly. Dust and debris builds up in your ac filter, forcing your air conditioning unit to work harder. If you replace it on a regular basis, your energy costs will decrease.
- Add a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. You can regulate your home’s temperature by setting the thermostat a few degrees warmer while you are at work, then setting it to cool down before you get home. There are some great models on the market including The Nest, which we are certified in installing.
- Tune-up your air conditioning unit. Routine maintenance on your home’s hardest-working appliance is a necessity here in Brandon, FL. In addition to changing your filter, a licensed AC tech will clean unit parts that are best left to the professionals. To keep your Brandon ac unit in tip-top shape, it is recommended that you tune-up your air conditioner twice a year.
- Keep your blinds or curtains closed. Using window blinds or shades can block up to 65 per cent of the heat that would otherwise come in through your windows. If you are not in need of light in a particular room, or at certain times, this little tip will certainly save you money on your cooling costs.
- Replace your old air conditioning unit. If your unit is over 10 years old, it may be time to think about replacing it. Replacing an older unit with an Energy Star qualified model could cut cooling costs by 30 percent.
This question is asked by many of our customers during our hot Brandon, Florida summer months.
The following guidelines will help you make an informed decision as to which is best for your family:
If your AC is 5 Years Old or Newer: In most cases the best advice is to simply fix the unit. Nearly all manufacturers provide a 5 to 10-year warranty on the compressor and other parts. Some also provide a 5 or 10-year warranty on the air conditioning condenser and evaporator coils. If you are not sure if you have a valid warranty just call ACE Heating & Cooling (Brandon, FL) and our technicians will diagnose your problem and then contact the manufacturer to determine if your air conditioning system condenser is still under warranty for any particular part, it’s that simple.
Air Conditioning Systems over 5 years of age: When the air conditioning system compressor fails and the compressor is out of warranty we suggest replacing the entire air conditioning unit. Typically units over this age did not come with a 10 year warranty on the compressor as those types of warranties started just a few years ago.
ACE Heating & Cooling technicians will diagnose your system and contact the manufacturer to determine if any warranty is still available. Keep in mind that the replacement compressor for your air conditioner will typically only carry a 1-year warranty and the cost of the replacement compressor for your air conditioning system is normally at least ½ to ¾ the cost of a brand new air conditioning condenser unit.
Many of the other parts, other than the coils, that fail on your air conditioner are usually low enough in cost to warrant a repair instead of replacing the unit at this age.
Air Conditioning Systems over 8 year of age: Unless the part is less than $200.00 we suggest considering replacing the air conditioning unit. At this age the air conditioning condenser system may continue to be prone to more failures and with increased efficiency of the latest air conditioning systems you could save hundreds off your utility bill.
Air Conditioning Systems over 12 year of age: We suggest considering replacing the air conditioning condenser unit, typically you can expect to save up to 50% in operating costs simply by increasing the efficiency rating of your air conditioning condenser unit with a new indoor evaporator coil. Newer air conditioning systems that are available today are much more efficient and economical to operate than those manufactured 10 years ago.
Other air conditioner considerations: If the air conditioner condenser fan motor fails and the system continues to run unnoticed, it is highly likely that there is hidden damage present. Your air conditioning system compressor depends on the air conditioning system condenser fan to remove the heat from the condenser unit and when the fan fails it puts a huge amount of heat, wear and tear on the compressor. The air conditioning compressor is similar to your car engine; overheating can damage both.
Even if you rent a apartment, townhouse, or a home in Brandon FL, you can make a big difference, too! These tips will show you how to be more energy efficient and save energy, money, and reduce the risks of global warming. If there are things you can’t change on your own, share these tips and encourage your landlord to help you make a change for the better.
- Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use 75% less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year!
- Considering purchasing a room air conditioner? Consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model. They use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models. In the winter, be sure to insulate room air conditioners from the outside with a tight-fitting a/c unit cover, available at your local home improvement center or hardware store. This keeps heated air from escaping outside. Alternately, you can remove the window unit in the winter months to prevent energy losses. Be sure the window unit fits tightly in the window so outdoor air is not getting in.
- If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat with its four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs. Proper use means setting the thermostat at energy-saving temperatures without overriding that setting. You should also set the “hold” button at a constant energy-saving temperature when you’re away or on vacation.
- Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home’s energy consumption, accounting for 15 percent of household electricity use. Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off. Electronics equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR helps save energy when off, while maintaining features like clock displays, channel settings, and remote-control functions. Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use (like your cell phone charger!). Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
- A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath. With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead. To avoid moisture problems, control humidity in your bathroom by running your ventilating fan during and 15 minutes after showers and baths.
- Make sure all air registers are clear of furniture so that air can circulate freely. If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall.
- During cold weather, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.
- Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available. Rinsing dirty dishes before loading your dishwasher uses a lot of water and energy. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly clean dishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off — the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest. To make the most efficient use of your dishwasher’s energy and water consumption, run the dishwasher only when enough dirty dishes have accumulated for a full load.
- Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately. Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Depending on the clothes and local water quality (hardness), many homeowners can effectively do laundry exclusively with cold water, using cold water laundry detergents. Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $30 annually (with a gas water heater). Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
- Don’t over dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads. Learn more.
- It’s easy to over dry your clothes, if one setting is used for various fabric types. Try to dry loads made up of similar fabrics, so the entire load dries just as the cycle ends. Many dryers come with energy-saving moisture or humidity sensors that shut off the heat when the clothes are dry. If you don’t have this feature, try to match the cycle length to the size and weight of the load. A dryer operating an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to $34, every year.
- The lint trap is an important energy saver. Dryers work by moving heated air through wet clothes, evaporating and then venting water vapor outside. If the dryer cannot provide enough heat, or move air sufficiently through the clothes, they will take longer to dry, and may not dry at all. One of the easiest things you can do to increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before each and every load. This step also can save you up to $34 each year.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_tips_renters10 to view original article.
American Home Shield Contractor Quality Bonus program. With a network of more than 11,000 independent contractors, American Home Shield, a leading national provider of home warranties, launched the program in July of last year and set in motion an unprecedented effort in the home warranty industry to reward contractors for providing quality customer service.
“I’m very proud of the work we do, and appreciate the positive feedback from customers we’ve served. We work hard to provide outstanding service on every call we make, and I appreciate this recognition from American Home Shield,” says Chris Myers, President of ACE Heating & Cooling.
ACE Heating & Cooling was founded in 2002 by Chris Myers and provides air conditioning maintenance, repair and replacement for both residential and commercial customers throughout East Hillsborough, including Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk, Ruskin, Riverview and Sun City Center. “We send technicians, not salespeople, to build long lasting relationships with our customers.”
“We want to thank ACE Heating & Cooling for its continued commitment to providing outstanding customer service in the Tampa Bay area,” said Dave Quandt, senior vice president of field operations for American Home Shield. “Our customers depend on us in the event that a covered system or appliance breaks down – and our contractors have an important role in ensuring they have a positive service experience.
“We survey our customers after they receive service from each of our contractors, and they consistently said that they would recommend ACE Heating & Cooling to their friends and family. That’s great feedback and we’re proud to recognize Chris Myers and his team of employees.”
In all, American Home Shield awarded nearly $1 million to local businesses across the country as part of its Contractor Quality Bonus program. Six first-place winners in each trade category (appliances, electrical, garage doors, HVAC, plumbing and pool/spa) earned a $25,000 bonus — and Chris Myers said he’s determined to come out on top in this year’s Contractor Quality Bonus program.
“We had high standards before this program started, and we’re building on the momentum from this award to raise the bar even higher. We’re going to do our best to come out at the top of the national standings this year. Customer service is our top priority, and it shows,” said Myers.
A full list of award winners can be viewed online at AHSBigScore.com.
About ACE Heating & Cooling
ACE Heating & Cooling is a locally owned and operated full service residential and commercial heating and cooling company in Brandon, Florida. We specialize in giving options to our customers. Whether in need of repair, maintenance or a replacement unit, ACE will not only provide technical expertise, but outstanding customer service. For more information, visit our website at www.brandonac.net. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
About American Home Shield
American Home Shield helped found the home warranty industry in 1971 and remains an industry leader, servicing 1.4 million customers across 49 states. The Memphis-based company operates three customer service centers, employs over 1,700 employees and has a national contractor network made up of over 11,000 approved, independently insured home-service contractors. American Home Shield is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands, one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s brands include TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.
With a network of more than 5,100 company-owned and franchise locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s high profile brands are TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 27,000 corporate employees and a franchise network that independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands serves more than 8.5 million customers every year and holds market-leading positions in residential and commercial lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home service contracts, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com or http://twitter.com/ServiceMaster for more information about ServiceMaster.
What can I do before calling someone to service my system?
Air conditioning systems are usually complex networks of equipment that ought to be serviced by a certified professional. Nonetheless, in the event your Heating and air conditioning is not working, you can attempt a few simple procedures, that may remedy your problem, before contacting a service professional. Unless you feel comfortable performing any of these types of tasks, however, don’t hesitate to call an Air conditioning contractor.
- Make sure your filters are clean.
- Disconnect and reconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
- Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
- Open supply and return vents and make sure there are no obstructions
- Check your thermostat settings.
- Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
What is a heat pump?
Air movement from point A to point B
A heat pump is a device used for either the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs.
A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32º Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump. Continue reading
What goes into installing a new system?
It’s all about duct-work
Putting a new system in a home that has not had central air and heat before will require the installation of duct-work, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system, however, is the duct-work. Continue reading
Efficiency and cost savings
We understand that purchasing a heating or air conditioning system is no small matter. However, if your existing system is old, in need of repair or simply inefficient, purchasing a new unit, one which can be as much as 60% more efficient than a system purchased just 10 years ago, can offer long-term benefits.
Rather than continuing to pay for ongoing maintenance and costly monthly bills, invest in a new system today that will save you money for years to come. Continue reading
Making sure your Florida Air Conditioning System is working properly is vital especially during the hot summer months. The comfort of your family rests upon a machine that most Floridians take for granted until it’s not working properly and you need AC Repair. Here is a little background on how your cooling system works: Continue reading