Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Common leak spots for air conditioners.

One of my most common spots that I find leaking is the indoor evaporator coil. If you find that you are having to add refrigerant every year and that addition is more than a pound, you might want to have a professional check the system. As stated above the indoor coil is a common spot, however, sometimes we find that the systems are left without caps at the condenser too. This is also a likely spot to have refrigerant leaking.
If your system takes R-22 refrigerant, you may want to consider that this refrigerant is only going to be manufactured until the end of this year and this means that it will become very expensive because the only refrigerant that will be available will be recovered from old systems and returned to like new condition. Leaks on R-22 systems will likely cost a lot more next year.
Sorry for the bad news, but knowing about this now may help to avoid a more costly repair in the future.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just What Do I Need a Home Warranty For?

I am a contractor that does a lot of home warranty service calls. I have many people ask me this question. Since I am a service provider for a home warranty company, I could be considered biased. I don't think that I am but that is not what this article is about. Home Warranties, at least the company that I work for cover all of the home's mechanical devices. Obviously this is a long list of things that could and likely will fail in any given time. Your responsibility is to pay the premium which can be aout $500.00 to $1,000.00 annually and each service call placed you must pay a service fee of about $55.00 to $100.00. I have had many customers tell me that they have had two or three service calls a year and some have been substantially expensive repairs. As a rule, I think they are a very good deal. I know from my end most of my sevice calls range from $150.00 to $350.00. But let's say that your furnace goes out and needs to be replaced. They will replace it for just your service fee. This saves your budget. You will have to assess this for yourself, however, I can't see how this doesn't work in the homeowner's favor. On the other hand, the home warranty company has to make money so it must work out for their benefit as well. Let me end this article by saying that all home warranty companies are not as good as the one that I work for. In fact I deny taking calls for most of the others since they are too much trouble to deal with and they seem to want to deny as many calls as possible. This is not the case with the one I deal with. There you have it. My very opinionated opinion.

Clear the air about the tax credit

First let me state the obvious. This tax credit should not be so ambiguous, but it is so I will attempt to set the record straight. A furnace must be 95% efficient or better and an air conditioner must be 16 SEER or better. A heat pump must meet 15 SEER or better. Now I realize that these terms are not familiar to most people so I will attempt to explain them. Seasonal energy efficiency rating or SEER. This is the rating of energy that is used in order to cool or heat depending on whether you have an air conditioner or heat pump. Note here that just because a piece of equipment has a particular SEER rating, does not mean that it makes the rating by itself. What I mean is that each piece of equipment must be referenced through the site to find out which pieces coupled with others meet that rating. Saying this another way by giving an example: I can take a 16 SEER condenser and pair it with a perfectly matched cased coil made by the same company but it will not reach 16 SEER unless it is paired with a variable speed blower unit. Therefore, even if I sell you a "16 SSER" system it will not reach 16 SEER unless I install a variable speed blower unit as well. These things have to be approved through the ARI website and matched up. Don't try to do this yourself. It is hard enough for us professionals. Call a pro and they should be happy to pair up a system for you or better yet, call me and I can help.