Posts tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

Mistakes Homeowners make when replacing a furnace or air conditioning unit

Home Service Corp. replaces furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners, and electrical.Purchasing a new heating, cooling or air quality system for your home is one of the most important buying decisions you and your family will make. Before committing to such a large investment, it’s important to do your research and ask some serious questions so you can avoid making the following mistakes:

1. Choosing an Unqualified or Unlicensed Contractor

Picking the right contractor could be the most important part of the furnace or air conditioner buying process yet most people don’t ask enough questions to make sure the contractor is properly qualified and experienced for the installation. Be sure to check with your community to be sure the contractor has the proper license and that the Technicians are certified by the manufacturer and the North America Technician Excellence testing group (www.natex.org). Also that the company has appropriate liability and workman’s compensation insurance.

2. Getting Only One Estimate

When you’re shopping for a new gas furnace or central air conditioner, you should always get more than one estimate. Select two or three contractors with excellent reputations in your area. Ensure that each estimate is written on a proper form and always take the time to review and compare the quality of the equipment and warranties offered. Does the estimate include the removal of old equipment and materials? Are permits included in the estimate?

Be sure to pay attention to the Sales Consultant  or Technician to see how knowledgeable and professional they are. How long have they been in the business? Did they explain all of the rebates that are available for your system? Your experience with the Sales Consultant could be a good indicator as to what type of service to expect from that contractor later on.

3. Always Going for the Lowest Price

You should always select a contractor that promotes the quality of their installation service and equipment at reasonable rates, rather than just picking the one that offers the lowest price. The lowest price does not necessarily mean the best value. For example, the less expensive contractor might not offer valuable services such as 24-hour emergency response or maintenance and service agreements after the installation. Other items may also be missing from the quote.

4. Thinking Price is the Only Factor

The purchase price should not be the only important factor in your decision. The noise level of your new system is something you will have to live with every day, while the energy efficiency of the system will determine how much your heating or cooling costs will be (energy efficiency is determined by the SEER ratings – be sure the Sales Consultant fully explains what these numbers mean). Choosing the right product for your lifestyle and length of time you will be in the home will allow you to live comfortably and save money.

5. Ignoring the Fine Print in the Warranty

It is important to fully understand the warranty that is being provided by each contractor. You should always inquire if the warranty covers parts only or both parts and labor. Also ask if there any extra charges above and beyond the warranty coverage, such as an after-hours service labor charge. Always ensure that the contractor provides you with a written warranty form for your records. Some contractors only have in house warranties which are only as good as the contractor or as long as he is in business. Be sure to select a contractor that has been in business for at least 10 years, which means they are more likely to be in business to honor your warranty.

6. Forgetting to Ask About Insurance

The contractor you deal with should always have public liability and property damage insurance. If sub-contractors are utilized, the contractor should also have the proper liability insurance. If the contractor isn’t insured, you could be held fully responsible for any damages to the equipment or your home during the installation process as well as any medical costs if an installer is hurt on the job.

Always make sure the contractor has coverage for their employees with workman’s compensation insurance. Are all the employees drug tested and are their backgrounds checked?

7. Making Too Big of a Deposit

If a deposit is required, it should never be more than 25% of the total job and all payments should be made directly to the company named in the contract.

8. Not Asking for References

Reputable contractors will be more than willing to provide you with the names and addresses of customers they have done work for. Ask neighbors, family, friends and co-workers their opinion of any contractor they’ve used in the past. Also check the online reputation of your contractor.

9. Believing Your System Will Never Break Down

In case something goes wrong with your system, it’s always a good idea to make sure that the company you choose has after-sales service capability. Inquire if they have a full service department and ask how many service vehicles they have on the road. Do they respond to calls after 11 p.m. or on weekends? How quickly can they be there if you have no heat?

10. Lack of Proper Training or Instruction

Most contractors have a habit of installing the furnace or air conditioner and then leaving without explaining how to properly operate or maintain the system. This leaves you, the homeowner, with the task of trying to figure out exactly how to reset electronic thermostats and replace furnace filters (which can become quite costly if not done properly). Be sure you receive operational instructions and a person to contact when you have questions.HSC installs new furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and electrical

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

Cider Time?

We have just passed from summer into fall and the change in weather confirms it. The kids are back to school, cider mills are open, and the football season is in full swing. Our days of 90+ degrees have ended for another 9 or so months, the baseball season is quickly winding down, and the shorts and flip-flops are put into the back of the closet. The maple trees are showing their color and the others will be soon. This morning there was frost on the grass in our backyard. So why am I discussing the weather and the season change?Home Service Corp. your full service heating company

Well, it’s that time of year to have your furnace, humidifier, and air quality equipment checked out. Your furnace will be running very soon if it isn’t already providing warmth for you and your family. It has set idle for the past several months with the exception of the blower and although it started up when you cranked up the thermostat, it may not be running at its peak performance. “What does that mean” you ask? If your furnace isn’t running at its peak performance, it may be in need of a repair or it may need to be adjusted to assure you are using the least amount of natural gas possible. The National Comfort Institute tells us that even a newly installed furnace does not operate at peak performance without proper adjusting and testing at the time of installation. A furnace that has been installed for several years will need to be checked to assure your money savings that furnace promised. Our NATE certified technicians can check and adjust your unit to keep it running at its peak.

At the same time, the technician can check the operation of your humidifier. Your humidifier provides moisture into the home for more comfort at a lower temperature, reduce static electricity, protect furniture, and keep your family healthier. The filtration system will be checked along with other indoor air quality equipment you may have installed.

If you have a boiler, we can check it out and adjust it for peak performance. Our technicians are well trained on the operation of boilers and there special controls. There are many energy saving techniques for your boiler which will save on your gas bill and provide better comfort.

HSC Your full service plumbing, heating and electrical company.If the technician finds something that needs to be repaired or something that would provide benefit to your family’s comfort, he will give you a quote before he does the work. While he is at your home, be sure to ask him how you can save money on this call and future services.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

A New Heating & Air Conditioning Idea

We have been asked by customers if there was a way to cool and heat a family room addition on the back of their home. Maybe they just had a duct from their home system or a wall heater without air to provide comfort in that room. Now they would like to have air conditioning and an upgraded heating unit. We have just the thing for them. It’s a ductless split system or as it’s called in the industry, a mini-split unit. These units are compact and very energy efficient. Mini-splits have been used in Europe and Asia for decades so the technology is well beyond the first generation of product. They come in a variety of capacities to meet the needs of your room or rooms. Did we say room or rooms? Yes we did. They are capable of cooling and heating as many as eight rooms at different temperatures and on different schedules.

Ductless Heating & Cooling System

But you say, “I don’t want some big ugly unit in my room or rooms and I definitely don’t want a bunch of units sitting in my backyard.”  The indoor units are small and come in a variety of shapes and designs. Some can mount in the ceiling or high on a wall. Some are like a baseboard unit and some can actually have artwork on the front of them. All the piping, wiring and other “stuff” is enclosed within the units. The outdoor units are thin and very compact with some able to be wall mounted so they don’t junk up the yard. When you have multiple rooms to heat and cool, a single outdoor unit can usually handle it.

If it’s a room that you sleep in or a family room where you watch television, you want a very quiet system. These are very quiet systems which won’t interfere with your daily activities. There is another great feature for the homeowner; there is no wall thermostat to clutter up your room or rooms. These units have remotes which can be stored in a drawer out of the way when you don’t need to change the temperature or fan settings. When you have a unit cooling and heating multiple rooms you can also have a master or central control to manage your comfort.

Mini-Split Indoor Unit

Are there other locations that these systems could provide the comfort you are looking for? The answer is yes! These systems are often used for older two or three story homes which were built without air conditioning and baseboard heat. The second or third floor can be cooled and heated with each room having individual control. Finished basements are another great application. Homes originally built on slabs with baseboard heating are regularly cooled with these systems. These units are also used in many commercial applications.

There are several manufactures of these units with different capacities and designs so we can find one that fits your needs. Call us today for a quote to solve that area of your home that is too warm in summer and too cool in winter.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

What is that big thing in Joe’s backyard?

Lately we have been receiving calls from customers asking what that big thing is in their neighbor’s backyard. There used to be a cute little air conditioning unit (which made quite a racket when it ran) but that’s gone and there is this new big box unit of some sort out there.” What’s going on?” They ask.

Let me explain what has happened in the heating and air conditioning industry over the past few years. We have had a tremendous amount of change within the industry.

First the efficiency of both the furnaces and air conditioners have had a substantial increase. So what has happened, you ask? The furnaces actually have decreased in size with most of them less than three and half feet tall. They have new types of components such as an additional heat exchanger to capture more of the heat for your home rather than it going out the flue pipe. The blower motors are a much newer technology which run quieter and use far less energy than the older motors. Just like your car, the controls to operate the furnace are more complicated and require much more knowledge on the technician’s side and computers (circuit boards) run the furnace for even more safety and energy savings.

Let’s move on to that big box in Joe’s backyard. Believe it or not that is Joe’s new air conditioning unit. Often the units are 50 – 100% larger than the older unit it replaced. If you went into Joe’s home and looked at his furnace and ductwork you would see that the inside portion of the air conditioning system (the indoor coil) is also much larger than the old one. There are several reasons for this. First the new efficiency standards cause the physical size of the units to be much larger. Next because of increasing electrical costs many homeowners are electing to install units with even greater efficiency to reduce the electrical operating costs. So the unit grows larger. An additional reason is in the phase out of the long used refrigerant, R-22, and the introduction of the refrigerant (R-410A) which has replaced it. It also contributes to increase in side of an air conditioning unit. Although they do not contribute to the size of the unit, most have computer controls (circuit boards). Additionally, some will have variable or stepped capacity to save energy but once again it does not add to the unit size.

With homes being tighter, causing less air change from outside, the quality of the indoor air has become increasingly scrutinized.  Many new products have been introduced to humidify the air, clean the air, and replace the inside air efficiently. These can really improve the health of your family especially if a family member has airborne allergies or asthma. Depending on your needs these can be added to an existing system or included on a new system.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.