When it comes to your Air Conditioning system (especially in Florida) it is really important that you stay on top of your maintenance and you are working with the right company. There are plenty of companies out there, a lot of them are great, but you do have to be aware.
In this blog, we will be discussing a few Air Conditioning tips.
As I wrote in my last post, like most people, I love a good deal. It is, however, important to know how to read through some of the offers that may be misleading. For example, I repeatedly see coupons for competitors that include a free lb of refrigerant with their annual “A/C Tune-up” (A name I dislike and feel should be left for vehicles and not A/C systems.) This is frustrating to me. Your A/C should not need refrigerant at annual maintenance! If it’s low on refrigerant there is a problem. Either something wasn’t tightened all the way or there is a leak. It’s a trick to get you to think you are getting more value when you’re not.
Generally, preventative maintenance is just that. It’s a service to maintain the health, efficiency and maximum performance of your A/C unit. Think of it as your annual check-up or physical with your primary care doctor. You don’t go to that appointment sick. It’s to see where you are at health-wise, to be sure all is up to snuff and make changes if necessary. Check back next week to learn about Diagnostics!
What is a diagnostic appointment and how do you know if you need it?
A diagnostic appointment is for when something is not working correctly. There is generally a fee for this regardless of what company you use. If a company says there is not a fee, you can be pretty sure they will just work it into the repair bill some other way once they got you hooked on the word “free.” Compare this to your sick visit to the doctor. Something is wrong and you need it diagnosed and recommendations on how to get better. (Note: we offer a free diagnostic with the repair for new customers. Why? Because we are confident that once we help you out the first time, you will find the VALUE you get with us and find that we are worth what you pay for.
Whether your A/C died completely or you know you will be needing a new A/C soon due to age and condition, getting quotes can be daunting. How do you know how many to get? Who can you trust? How do you know what’s good and what’s not? Here are a few pointers to help make the process less stressful.
- Get at least 3 quotes to compare equipment options and pricing.
- Call reputable companies with good ratings online and who have been referred by people you know, like and trust.
- Give each company at least 30 minutes to an hour to quote. Do not accept sight unseen quotes. Each install is different and should be assessed individually. There are a lot of factors involved in pricing a job such as location, wiring, sizing, bringing specs up to code, etc.
- Compare apples to apples. There are builders grade (cheaper) units and there are more expensive units. What you choose will depend on your budget and needs. What are you getting for your money?
- Research brands. Keep in mind there are good and bad reviews on all equipment. Look into brands that stand behind their equipment. Consider what the warranties include.
- Fall and Winter months are the best time to buy an Air Conditioners. Not only is demand less during cooler seasons, but there tend to be more incentives.
How often should you change your air filter in your house?
- Single Family Households should change the filter at least every 60 days.
- Single Family Households with multiple pets: we recommend you change the air filter every month.
- Homes with Whole House filters (ranging 4-5” thick at the air handler) should change the filter every 6 months to a year.
- Change filters more frequently in the summer months when A/C usage is higher.
- Note: Each house is different and may need filter changes more or less frequently. The type of filter needed may vary as well. Ask your Proficient Air technician for a free assessment of your filter needs at your next preventative maintenance.
Set a calendar reminder on the timeframe you need to change the air filter so you don’t forget!
Commission vs. Hourly/Salary Paid Employees
When hiring any service company, be sure to ask if their employees are paid on commission. If they are, you run the risk of being sold something you don’t need. Proficient Air employees are paid hourly or salary. We educate our customers about all their options so they can make the best decision for them. We offer solutions to problems they are having and don’t try to upsell to products/services they don’t need.
Buying a new home?
Did you know that Proficient Air offers pre-purchase inspections?
It’s common for us to get a call from a poor new homeowner who just found out after the purchase that the A/C has a major problem or that their ductwork is full of holes.
They thought that if there was a problem, surely the home inspector would have picked it up. Not necessarily. Many times, if the A/C turns on, it passes inspection. There are some inspection companies who are more thorough and I’m not bashing home inspectors here. But this is a common issue. Since A/C and ducting can be a large investment, it’s worth getting a pre-purchase inspection.
We know what to look for. If the unit is in good shape great! But if not, that can be some major bargaining power in your purchase.
We love sharing tips with our customers to keep them educated of what’s going on in the industry. We love being able to help our customer out with all their HVAC needs! Why choose Proficient Air? Because we care! Call us today if you have ANY A/C questions (727) 386-2732.