Thursday, February 21, 2013

That Price is Too Good To Be True?

Beware of Too Good To Be True Tune-up Prices

These days we all get in the mail, hear on the radio, and watch on TV commercials these ridiculously low priced ads for heating and cooling tune-ups.  Really, what can you expect for a $39, $49, or even $99 Tune-up?

It simply costs more than that in overhead just to send a well trained technician to your home.

Some companies can do it at a loss, and then make it up once they are in your home by charging you extra for each little thing that will need to be done.

When was the last time you bought anything of quality and value and paid next to nothing for it? It is a very rare occurrence if ever, correct?

Bottom line: A professional and thorough tune-up will cost more than $99.00. Be sure your tune-up is being performed by a N.A.T.E. (North American Technical Excellence) certified technician. The tune-up should include extensive inspection and cleaning of components, electrical and safety tests, refrigerant charge verification as to a correct charge, and a static air pressure test to verify the performance of your ductwork. If any issues are found after the cleaning and inspections; your/the technician will have solutions for you to consider.

Is the company advertising a tune-up and giving you an inspection.  Think about your car.  You pay each year to have an inspection.  At the inspection, the inspector examines your car and tells you of the problems that you have to pass inspection.  The inspector does not change your oil, put air in your tire, clean your car.  He inspects it.  If you get a tune-up on your car it can mean that the throttle body was cleaned and spark plugs changed and many other items.

Remember: There is a difference between an inspection and tune-up. 

Remember ask what that inexpensive tune-up includes and ask questions before hand if you are not sure if they are offering an inspection or tune-up.  To be a victim of the low price tune-up that gives you a less than superior inspection of your system with lots of expensive add on items to get the superior tune-up that you are accustomed to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When Do I need a New Heating and Cooling System?

When Do I need a New Heating and Cooling System?  All Seasons Heating and Cooling hears this a lot in our business. Most customers are not sure when they should consider investing in a new heating and cooling system. This answer is not as hard at it appears.  Several factors play into making a good decision about when to replace your heating and cooling system.

Several “Rules of Thumb” that are helpful to determine if it is time for a new system:

1.  Your system is older than 10 years.—Why is this important to you?
  • The Manufacturer Warranty has expired which means you pay for the part and the labor now without any help from the contractor or the manufacturer.
  • Systems available today are more efficient than what was available when your current system was purchased.
  • Today’s systems are also geared toward providing more comfort than before.  There are now choices of heating and cooling equipment that can deliver more even temperatures throughout you house,  decrease humidity in cooling season which increases your comfort, modulating furnaces that deliver even temperatures to your space without over heating you, variable speed blower motors that can help eliminate drafts when the system start up while saving you money every month, and communicating thermostats that make our lives easier in that we can control and schedule our systems from our smart phones if we want to. Indoor air quality products that help us breathe cleaner and healthier air.

2.  If you have a repair that needs to be completed on your older system to keep it operating consider the “4K rule”. Take the cost of the repair(s) multiply it by the age of the equipment and if the number comes out to be more than 4000 (4K), you should seriously consider replacing the system versus if the number is under 4000 just making the repairing.

  • A simple example: The repair is $500.00 and the system is 10 years old, 
    • Math:  500.00  X   10  = 5,000 this is more than 4K You should consider replacing the system.

We all understand that in today’s economy, there are other factors to consider. Money, timing, and those unexpected needs take priority.  The last thing any homeowner wants to do is spend $6,000.00 and up on a new heating and cooling system. We all take for granted the comfort in our home and allow it to take a backseat to other needs and wants but when your system is not working it becomes an emergency.

3.  Ask yourself this; what am I paying for my utility bills? Is my electric bill high? If you have gas, how high is that bill? Would I like to lower these bills without having to turn down my thermostat? New high efficiency systems can definitely lower your operating costs.

If you keep on patching your old system and hope and pray to get another year out of it; you are most likely wasting money. Your older system is costing you money just to operate and even more money to maintain. The money you are spending to keep it going could easily be going toward a new system that will save you money.

A heating and cooling system, usually, consists of an outdoor unit, indoor unit, a thermostat, and your duct work. When any of these components fail, you have a problem. If you purchase brand new high efficiency equipment and do not have your duct work inspected, you are taking a serious risk. If your house was uncomfortable before you bought new equipment; it will still be uncomfortable afterwards with your new equipment if you have issues with your duct work.

Your air delivery system (duct work) is a key reason for uncomfortable rooms in your home, not your system. The wrong sized duct means not enough or too much air being delivered to a room. If your house has pretty even temperatures throughout; then your ducts are most likely sized correctly. You still want to have them inspected for tightness, condition, and support.

A new high efficiency system installed with good duct work by a professional company that takes their work seriously will give you years of trouble free equipment, lower operating costs, and enjoyed comfort you never thought was possible.

Yes there are systems out there that are 15 to 30 years old and still operating. This is not the norm and those folks are most likely paying far more than their share in operating costs.

When should you replace your system?

  • when it starts costing you money in repeated or expensive repairs
  • you have excessively high utility bills 
  • you demand more comfort 
  • you can afford to replace your system. 

Plan to replace your system before it starts to let you down.  If you plan to replace your system even though it is still operating and it is over ten years old; you will be ahead of most folks that just wait until it breaks.  Why not plan for its replacement when you can take your time with no pressure and have time to secure the funds needed without the panic and inconvenience?

Sinking money in an older system is not a good solution.  Explore your options by calling All Seasons Heating and Cooling to schedule a free quote for a new heating and cooling system (757-421-9790).