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Air Conditioning Tune Up

You may be wondering if you need an Air Conditioning Tune Up and if you do, why. Simply put “efficiency”. During the course of the spring, summer and fall seasons our outdoor units (condenser coils) get dirty. During its operation the fan draws air across the coils and along with it, a host of particles. Everything from grass clippings to cotton wood. Those particles restrict the air flow through the condenser thus reducing the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Maintaining your air conditioners efficiency doesn’t end with the condenser coil. The evaporator coil for example could also plug up with dirt. The results of a dirty evaporator coil could lead to ice build up and complete system failure. The Evaporator is equipped with a condensate drain line, if that line were to become plugged your drain pan would most likely overflow potentially causing water damage to the electronic components of your furnace.

Having a Precision AC Tune Up performed on your system will not only reduce your energy usage but also save you money by eliminating small problems before they become big problems. To learn more about our Precision AC Tune Up click here.

Water Heater Installations

There is a common misconception among many home and business owners in the State of Michigan that only plumbers can install water heaters. The fact is that in Michigan, HVAC contractors also have the ability to install water heaters. And in my opinion HVAC contractors are more qualified to do so. When installing water heaters all contractors must comply with mechanical and plumbing code in order to ensure the unit is safe to operate. Many plumbers do not have the required license to install gas lines or the vent for natural gas and propane water heaters. If an unlicensed/unqualified  installer lacks the knowledge to make the proper connections there could be deadly results.  A properly installed vent insures that your water heater will not leak carbon monoxide in to your home or business. A properly installed gas line insures that no natural gas or propane leakage occur. If your in need of a new water heater contact a qualified licensed HVAC contractor.  You can search the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes here and search under mechanical license(71) for a qualified installer.

80% Furnace Phase Out

In 2007 the President signed into law the Energy Security and Independence Act. This gave the Department of Energy(DOE) the ability to regulate regional standards of furnace and air conditioner efficiencies. On Oct 27th 2012 the DOE released the new efficiency standards. Here in Michigan and most northern states, effective May 1 2013 it will become illegal to sell or install a furnace rated below 90% in efficiency.

What does this mean for you? Well if you currently have an 80% furnace that is nearing the end of its life, after May 1st you will be forced to upgrade to a higher efficient model. Where this becomes a problem is locations where it is difficult to install the new style of vent that protrudes through the sidewall of your home instead of a chimney. The higher efficient units also condensate, thus the need for proper drainage is required. Bottom line is that if your furnace is in a poor location for the updated models your going to have a much higher upfront cost to upgrade.

If you have been telling yourself “lets just get one more year out it”. You may want to rethink that decision and pull the trigger on a new 80% furnace before its too late.

Call us at 517.327.6086 for a free proposal.

Update: Jan 17 2013

Good news it appears that the DOE has rescinded the regional standards of 90% efficient furnaces and the May 1st 2013 deadline until the DOE can restructure its rules. So for now if you want to purchase that 80% furnace after May 1 feel free to do so.

Furnace Tune Up. Do You Really Need It?

The simplest and easiest answer to that is YES you need to perform regular maintenance on your furnace. The question really is, why?  First and foremost you should always have your furnace serviced by a licensed mechanical contractor. These professionals posses the required skills and tools of the trade to safety ascertain the condition of your furnace. Using a qualified professional will help keep you and your family safe.

There are two parts to a furnace tune up, cleaning and testing. During the cleaning portion of the tune-up the dirt and dust should be removed from the upper and lower compartments. Furnaces are being manufactured with the latest technology which usually mean lots of circuit boards. Dust has the uncanny ability to cause all kind of problems for a furnace. The motors on a furnace are air cooled, if the dust and dirt are allowed to plugs the pathways the motors will overheat and fail. Dust on a circuit board causes the contacts between components to be diminished which can cause furnace failure. Dirt and rust particles can accumulate and plug the burners, this would result in delayed ignition (mini explosions in the combustion chamber) or complete failure to ignite.

The Second part of a furnace tune up consists of testing and adjustment. During testing, a qualified technician can determine if specific components are prone to failure or if the unit is operating at peak efficiency. The heat exchanger can be tested for carbon monoxide leakage. Safety devices, controls, wires and venting can all be inspected to avoid future failure. Necessary adjustments can be made keep your furnace running safety and efficiently.

This service should be performed once per year.  Usually in the fall but it’s […]

Confidence

Everyday I take a few moments and try to figure out how we can make this company better than our competition. When I do that I tend to put myself in the position of our consumers. What does the typical consumer want? Some days it hits me square in the face, some days I draw a complete blank. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with some very smart colleagues regarding this very topic and I believe that the consensus from that discussion surrounded “consumer confidence”. Simply put consumers want to feel confident in their choices when it comes to the products and services they acquire. While this certainly isn’t a new theory by any stretch,  achieving it seems to be the goal at hand.
So how can Friendly Heating & Cooling, Inc. gain consumer confidence? I believe that good pricing, quality products and good service are some of the key factors when gaining consumer confidence in the HVAC field.  To date, we currently provide some of the best prices around. The products we use are in my opinion some of the best out there and good service has always been our primary function. But are these enough for the consumer?

NO. I don’t believe they are. I also believe that consumers want better warranties from the products they purchase and the companies they employ.  The industry standard has been 30 days labor 1 year parts from the date of installation, well that just isn’t enough to feel confident when your in need of an HVAC repair.  So today I am happy to announce that Friendly Heating & Cooling, Inc will be extending the standard warranty to provide our customers a 3 Year Parts and Labor […]

ipad for HVAC? II

Last February I optimistically opined on the usefulness of Apple’s iPad in the HVAC industry, wondering whether a technician or salesperson could use this devise to make their job easier. Well almost a year later and numerous hours of testing, tweaking and waiting for updates I can confirm that for us, its about 95% perfect.
By now most people already know about the iPad and the potential. But lets face it if it weren’t for the applications and their developers the iPad would be no where as useful.. Taking that in mind, in this post I want to cover the applications we use on a daily basis for our HVAC business.
The calendar, this application is native to the iPad and may be our most valuable. Without a good calendar, appointments would be missed, addresses lost and customers angry. Currently we are syncing several Google calendars to the ipad. Using Google calendar gives us the ability to sync across multiple devices with multiple calendars. A change to a calendar is made at the office and within seconds the iPad is updated with the new information as well as every other device connected to that calendar. Certainly faster than the old days of a phone call, a pen that hardly works and more paper to ink up.
Speaking of pen and paper one of our biggest needs was the ability to invoice our customers electronically on the job site. Since the iPad will also run iPhone apps I acquired invoice2go. To my surprise it was exactly what we needed. This app gives you the ability to customized the look and feel of invoices and estimates using their desktop software. The UI is clean and simple and […]

iPad for HVAC?

On Jan 27th Apple introduced the new iPad and when I caught my first glimpse I found myself intrigued and excited. As I continued my barrage of refresh button bashing along with my constant jumping from twit.tv to gdgt.com to engadget.com a wave of disappointment appeared as I realized that this iPad was simply a bigger, faster version of the iPod touch. No multitasking, no camera and no flash support. Yep it’s an iPod touch alright. All I could think at that moment was Apple fail.
Well a few weeks have past, and looking back I may have been too harsh on the iPad. While I still do not agree with Apples distain for flash, I was willing to take another look at this device without all of the fanboy/media hype surrounding what this device could be and concentrate on what this is and how can I use it in my HVAC business.
As most HVAC contractors know the presentation of information for potential customers is vital to success. Imagine yourself at a residence, you have completed your measurements, you sit at the table ready to discuss all possible options for their project and you pull out the iPad. Right then and there you could perform a manual J load calculation.  One home button click, a finger tap and your customer is now viewing photos from your past projects. Another few taps and they are viewing product literature. Easy access to the web for those times when you don’t have every answer. Complete your proposal, sign and email a copy directly to the customer with a few key strokes.  All that’s left is to access the calendar on the iPad and schedule the project.  Clean, efficient and […]

Bypass or Steam: Which one are you?

Proper humidification of your home is vital for its well being as well as for your own.  We all know that with proper humidification we can alleviate dry itchy skin and bloody noses. We also can reduce the symptoms of the common cold as well as our susceptibility to sinus infections.  Proper humidification can also prevent hardwood floors from cracking, buckling and separating.  It will reduce static electricity and help to preserve wood furniture.  Humidification is essential for good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
The best way to achieve proper humidification is with a whole house humidifier. These devices connect to the duct of your home and add humidity throughout the day generally during the heating cycle of your force air furnace.  There are two main types of whole house humidifiers.  Flow through bypass and steam.
Flow through bypass humidifiers operate by injecting water evenly across a specially designed pad.  The hot supply air from your furnace passes across this pad taking with it water vapor to be distributed throughout your home by your supply duct.
 
 
 
Steam humidifiers operate by creating steam within the the humidifier and injecting it into the supply or return air duct where it is distributed.
 
 
 
I posed the question “Which one are you?”  What I meant by that comes down to efficiency. The Flow through bypass humidifier is non efficient when it comes to water usage. As its name describes, the water that is not distributed as vapor, flows through to be drain away.  The steam humidifier is extremely water efficient, nearly 100%.  However in order to generate that steam, this humidifier requires a 120v circuit to operate.  As whole house humidifiers go, it is electrically non efficient.
So which one are you? Do you […]

Contractor Vs. Equipment: What drives your decision?

Goodman, Amana, Lennox, Carrier, Bryant, Trane, Heil, American Standard and the list goes on. If your in the market for a new heating or cooling system for your home, how do you sift through the myriad of equipment out there today? You can spend hours online rifling through reviews, technical specifications and consumer opinions. You may come away from that experience with a greater knowledge and a solid decision on what equipment  is right for your home. Or if you’re like most, you can walk away more confused than ever. Reviews rarely give anything but the basics. Technical specifications are what they are, technical. And consumer opinions can be your most valuable information or your worst enemy. Let’s be honest it’s a crap shoot.
My advice is to forget about equipment. I know that might sound crazy but what you may or may not have found during your fact finding mission is that many of the furnace manufactures are owned by only a few parent companies. For example Trane & American Standard or Carrier, Bryant and Heil or Goodman and Amana. There you have it three separate companies manufacturing over 11 different brand named equipment, with little deviation in technology among them all. So at least for now, forget about equipment.
Take your time and research your local contractors. Hit up a few web sites, check out the Better Business Bureau, talk to your friends and neighbors, Google them up and look for reviews, you might even call your local mechanical inspector. Inspectors deal with contractors on a daily basis. They might not be able to recommend a contractor outright, but they should be able to give some insight on their past projects. It is absolutely […]

IAQ and UV lamps

Lets talk UV lamps:  UV lamps can be used inside the return air duct or just above the evaporator coil to kill bacteria and mold spores that tend to gather where its damp. Two schools of thought on this. 1) They work great. 2) They do more harm than good. Where I stand on this is that they seem to do more harm than good. While UV-C can kill unwanted particles on the evaporator coil it can also deteriorate the plastics used inside the drain pan voiding the warranty of many products. Many manufactures also claim that UV can kill particles in a moving air stream. This in most cases isn’t quite accurate. Multiple passes of the air stream is required to kill the unwanted particles. While doing this UV-C lamps typically produce ozone. Ozone is an airborne toxin that effects lung tissue causing respiratory problems.  Combined with the fact that yearly replacement of the UV bulbs are required. I would seek other ways to improve your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) If you have any questions please contact me at 517.327.6086

By |February 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments