AC Repair owensboro – 8 Tips For Choosing a Reliable AC Contractor
Life can be hard … and expensive. It’s crazy enough out there without worrying about getting ripped off or having someone take advantage of you. But it happens – and we’re sad to say, there are some Owensboro HVAC contractors who are guilty of shady business practices. Most of our customers have, at one point or another, had a contractor or some fly-by-night company do something that left them with a bad taste in their mouth. So how do you avoid it? We’re here to help. First off, it helps to be honest. We totally think you should call us. There’s no point in pretending otherwise. This article is, at least in part, our way of reminding you that we are a premier Owensboro air conditioning service, and we come with a few things that separate us from the competition. As a One Hour franchisee, we get access to exclusive training and all the latest technology. That means our teams are never in the dark. We’re well equipped, well-prepared and always ready for anything. We also adhere to the strictest standards in the industry. We back up our work with a 100% one-year satisfaction guarantee. Our customer service commitment is the stuff of legend, and as we’re fond of saying: We are always on time – or you don’t pay a dime! Okay, now that we’ve plugged ourselves … The rest of this article isn’t a sales pitch. If you follow all the tips in this article and you end up with another company, we’re happy for you, and we wish you the best. That could happen – only YOU can decide who is right for you. So we’ll take away some of your risk factors. We’ll give you some great advice. And when you’re done, you’ll know how to cross the ne’er-do-wells off of your list of Owensboro air conditioning service providers. Read LOTS of online reviews. They work, and they’re an absolute diamond mine full of information. You may have to sift through a lot of information, but, as Scully and Mulder might say … The Truth Is Out There Where To Start GoogleYou can’t go wrong with a Google search. It’s the fastest, and arguably the most reliable. Of course, because Google knows everything, you’ll also have a lot of information to look through. The best thing about Google is probably the fact that their reviews are unfiltered. That means that no business can pay Google to have something negative suppressed. So if a company has great reviews on Google, it’s a fair bet that no one has really had a bad thing to say. If you’re considering a specific company, you can also specifically search for them in conjunction with some “red flag” words like “scam,” “ripoff,” and so on. Yelp(Pro Tip: Yelp was recently criticized for allowing a climate of “good review payola” to come into being) Yelp is a great resource, of course. Despite the fact that they’ve been occasionally criticized, they’re also the world’s largest collator of reviews, which means that you’ll get a lot of easily sortable feedback to look through. Everyone ElseEveryone else is our favorite. That mean’s the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Porch, and other websites that help you find contractor referrals. Angie’s List, as a for instance, has had over three million unique visitors reading their swarm-sourced audits and reviews. A note on those reviews: don’t be immediately put-off by a review that isn’t perfect. It’s important to remember that sometimes, a contractor can go out of their way to please a customer, and still get an undeserved mediocre review. Don’t just look at stars – read why the stars were given. If a red flag gets thrown up, you’ll know it. As with anything else in life, your instincts are critical. 2.Always Check Their Papers That sounds like a line from a spy novel, doesn’t it? However, it’s true. If you’re dealing with a contractor who is unable, unwilling, or even just reluctant to show you all of their paperwork – licenses, certifications, insurance, etc – then you should find a new contractor. Immediately. We’ve heard too many tales of a customer choosing an Owensboro AC Repair company based on incredibly attractive prices, only to find out down the line that the amazing deal they found was, in fact, too good to be true. They lived to regret that decision, and we helped clean up the mess. Look, everyone loves low prices. That’s a gimme – but we work hard to strike a balance between low and fair. No one is out there beating our prices and also providing our level of competence and service. If you’re looking at a contractor whose prices are far below the average, you could safely assume that they’re cutting corners or engaging in questionable practices in order to keep their own costs low. Which questionable practices, you say? Well, we can’t name names, obviously, but we’ve known of regional companies and the occasional Owensboro HVAC technician who has gone without insurance, used a borrowed truck, skimped on tools, passed used equipment off as new, uses substandard materials, or failed to renew their certifications. That’s just for starters. You’ve got to be careful out there. Make sure anyone with whom you speak has: Comprehensive insurance, covering their personnel, their work, and your home while it is a job site. All the correct licenses as required by their state or county, as well as a surety bond.Certifications from organizations like NATE and the EPA to prove that they’re actually qualified, and not just a DIY handyman playing professional. Everything Gets Written Down The HVAC industry is unique in that, unlike workers in most fields, we’re hesitant to give quotes over email, chat, or phone. That’s not because we’re dishonest, as a group. It’s because heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is an extremely complex field in which to work. Technicians in this field are a combination of electrician, plumber, HAZMAT chemical handler, and general contractor – in addition to being an HVAC technician. Because a cooling system is such a complex beast of a machine, and because every home is shaped differently, every job is different. So every cost will also be different. We’re protecting our consumers by insisting on coming out in person to see the site before we give any kind of firm commitments. If you call and get an easy, concrete phone estimate, mark it down as a red flag. That shouldn’t be how this works. When you get a lowball phone quote, it almost guarantees that you’ll end up with a contractor who either does a handshake deal or wants the terms of the estimate to be vague. That way, they can hit you with surprise fees once the job is underway and it’s too late to turn back. Of course, that only works once, but those companies don’t care much for repeat business. If you’re not the patient type, don’t worry. We’re the quickest Owensboro air conditioning service in the region – one hour, every time. Let us explain how this should work: A good HVAC technician will quickly arrange a time to come see your home. They’ll take a thorough look at the problem, and then, on the spot, you’ll get a written repair quote that covers every detail of the proposed job. We always provide you with the most accurate quote possible. Old school? No thanks. We talked earlier about ongoing training, and about the latest technology. In this industry, they aren’t toys. We’re not talking about a faster smartphone, we’re talking about equipment innovations that will save you money, increase your comfort, and last for years longer than the old stuff. But that doesn’t stop the old school techs from rehashing their glory days. And while experience is great, it isn’t everything. You have to have experience and an innovative spirit. No Owensboro HVAC contractors are going to come right out and tell you that they haven’t kept up with the newest advances in the HVAC field. If a contractor is very confident on a specific 5-year-old model, he may try to sell you on that just to make his life easier. You’ll lose out on better SEER ratings, better filters, UV decontamination, pest control, wi-fi thermostats, and a hundred other useful innovations because you’ve chosen a contractor who values age over evolution. The best companies can provide both. Hold out for that. How do you know? Do some research and ask lots of questions. Right off the bat, this will let you vet their customer service skills, which could save you a headache down the line. Ask them questions about your current equipment, about what you might want, and about what is available to you. If they recommend equipment because it’s the cheapest and easiest to install, reconsider whether they have your interests at heart or their own. If they recommend the most efficient units, and the accessories best suited to your home based on a conversation they’ve had with you, you’re probably in good hands. If they are prepared to talk to you about tax incentives, manufacturer rebates, and specials they can provide through dealer relationships, you’re definitely in good hands. Oh, and don’t be shy. If you’re worried about offending someone, remember – we work for you. Don’t go with the lowest bid. You may have figured this out already, but the lowest bid is never going to be the best bid. In any industry, there will always be some lunatic out there undercutting everyone’s prices, no matter what they have to do in order to accomplish that. A depressingly large percentage of our new business comes from helping customers out of a jam that began because they had an hvac repair or installation performed by someone more interested in a quick buck than a quality experience. In fact, we can’t even count how many times we repaired an air conditioner that was less than two years old. These guys in their borrowed trucks, with their shoddy workmanship, are costing you money, and we hate to see that. So look at all of the tips on this list. Try to figure out which contractors provide the most value for the money. That’s who you want. You’ll never find a genius in the bargain bin; that’s where the crooks live, unfortunately. However, with that said, don’t fall for the highest bid, either. Somewhere in the middle of any contractor’s list is the Goldilocks candidate; the one who is just right for you. Ask friends and family for a referral. Almost all of a good Owensboro HVAC company’s business is going to come from repeats and referrals. That’s the nature of this industry. You have people in your life who have probably had their own run-ins with AC repair. Get their advice, get names and numbers, and add those names and numbers to the list you compiled when you searched for contractors online. The great thing about referrals is that they come from people who have nothing to gain from you, in most cases. They’ll be able to tell you how satisfied or furious they were when the job was done, and they’ll be able to tell you if they paid a fair price. Word of mouth is the very best form of advertising, after all. Here are a few questions to ask your friends and family: Did the contractor(s) come out to do a home audit, load calculation, and repair estimate if you need a new system?How close to the written estimate was the final bill?How closely did they keep to the projected schedule?How professional, polite, and neat were the contractors?Did they clean the job up each day as they finished? Then reach out to those contacts, and ask them the questions we recommended above. We’re confident that you’ll feel equipped, by then, to make the most responsible decision for your home. And of course, we hope you choose One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning Kentucky for all of your heating and cooling needs. Call us today at 270-826-9998!
Owensboro KY AC Repair – Prevent Expensive AC Repair With These 6 Simple Tips
We’ve got 6 simple rules for you today, and they can help prevent expensive repairs to your heating and cooling system. Today we are going to talk about Owensboro AC repair needs, and how you can prevent costly visits from HVAC contractors. We aren’t going to be talking about theories, here. These are proven, actionable tips that you can make a part of your regular routine, and they will guarantee lower repair costs over the life of your system. Take a moment to notice that we are promising LOWER BILLS – not zero bills. That’s because we’re not trying to sell ice to Eskimos, and we don’t have any bridges on clearance, either. Over the years, any heat pump or central AC will need a little attention now and again. In and around Owensboro, air conditioning repair can be complex only because Kentucky really experiences all four seasons. We might not get as much snowfall as our friends in New England, but it gets into the 100s in the summer, and the 20s in the winter. That’ll put your system through its paces. Anyone saying they can install a system that won’t need repairs is not being 100% honest. What we can promise is that with the tips we’re going to go over in this article, you can minimize the impact on your wallet, and maximize the performance and longevity of your own system. So what’s our magic method? It’s simple. Follow these 6 easy steps, and watch as your system makes like Old Man River and just keeps rolling along. 1. Air Filters, Air Filters, Air Filters. As the premier Owensboro HVAC repair company, we’ve probably given this piece of advice about 40,000 times. Who knows, maybe more! Still, they say you can’t have too much of a good thing, right? Your air filters are the FIRST line of defense. Like stalwart soldiers of cleanliness, they sit inside your system and collect all the nasty stuff you don’t want floating around; dust, pollen, mold, debris, and even odor-causing muck. However, in order to their job, they have to be clean. And the most common issues that warrant air conditioning repair in Owensboro or anywhere else can usually be traced back to dirty air filters. It’s a ten minute process – less, in some cases – to change all the filters in your AC system, but out of sight is out of mind. What happens when you let this chore go undone for too long? Here’s the short list: Restricted airflowUneven cooling (some rooms won’t cool, or will cool slowly)Short cycling (where your AC turns on and off too frequently)Frozen evaporator coilsDamage to the compressor, blower motor, or other moving parts. And to cap things off, several of those issues can lead to a full-scale breakdown. Suddenly, your search for the right Owensboro HVAC contractor is about a new installation instead of AC repair, and you’re facing a bill with far too many zeroes on the end. The SOLUTION? Change. Those. Filters. If you aren’t sure how, check your owner’s manual, or give us a call, and we’ll walk you through it. 2. The Tune-Up, and Why It Matters We also spend a lot of time telling our friends in the area that they need to keep a regularly scheduled tune-up as part of their HVAC repair and maintenance routing. Sometimes, they take our advice. Sometimes, they smile and nod and then we see them a few months later to fix something that shouldn’t have broken in the first place. Sometimes, they ask us what the heck we mean by a tune-up. Let’s head that last one off and explain it now for anyone who doesn’t now. When an HVAC professional recommends a tune-up, they are talking about a thorough service call that includes a wide variety of tasks designed to unearth any impending problems and correct them. It also restores your HVAC system to peak performance as an added bonus. Some of the tasks include: A hands-on visual inspection.A routine cleaning of the indoor and outdoor unit, including straightening of condenser fins and checking of drain lines.A check (and if necessary, adjustment) on filters, belts, and motors.Lubrication for all the bits that move.A refrigerant level check, and if necessary, a leak repair and recharge. Depending on your system’s condition, there could be more or less involved in the tune-up. It’s the same as having a tune-up on your car when you have the oil changed, except that you only have to do this once a year or so. Of course, it may sound a little suspect for an Owensboro air conditioning repair company to recommend this particular service, which we offer. We get that, and we encourage you to go do some independent research. Call a competitor. Ask anyone you like, they’ll all tell you the same. Tune-ups are one of the smartest and simplest ways to keep your HVAC system up and running for years. 3. Thermostats, and taking full advantage of them. Unless you’re somehow reading this from the 1980s – in which case, take us on a ride in your time machine – you’ve probably got a programmable thermostat. It might be a basic model, or it might have lots of bells and whistles. Guess what, though? We’ve found that no matter how fancy the thermostat, most homeowners aren’t taking advantage of the money-saving features. We hear lots of reasons: Skeptical – “It can’t save that much money, it’s just a way to get me to buy an expensive thermostat.Habitual – “I adjust the temperature manually. I’ve always done it that way, and it works fine for me.”Technically challenged – “It’s too complex. I can’t figure it out, so I just adjust the temperature by hand.” Unfortunately, if any of those excuses sound familiar to you, we can virtually guarantee that you’re wasting money – and probably setting yourself up for repairs. Here’s why: Thermostats are the brains of the operation. They send an electrical signal to the control board and turn the system on and off based on the settings you provide. Right off the bat, we can tell you this, Owensboro HVAC contractors spend a lot of time repairing units because the owner was a frequent manual adjuster. We briefly mentioned “short cycling” earlier, without getting into what it means. It’s when your system turns on and off too frequently. That’s bad for several reasons, but most importantly, 1) it lowers the efficiency of your system by making the motor start up repeatedly rather than settle into a comfortable hum, and 2) it damages the compressor. If you’re doing frequent manual adjustments, you are manually short cycling your own system. So if it’s habit, break the habit. If it’s complicated, give us a call and we’ll help you out. No matter what, take full advantage of the modern thermostat. A few quick recommendations: Program it according to your schedule.Get a wi-fi capable thermostat so you can make changes even when you aren’t at home.Make sure your HVAC contractor puts the thermostat somewhere ideal – where it won’t be exposed to excess heat or cold and will get an accurate temperature read.Pair it with ceiling fans for ultra-efficient performance. Do that, and we promise two things: you’ll see a little less of us, and you’ll see a lot less on your electric bill. 4. The condenser unit should be in a shady place. Your condenser is the unit that sits outside of your home. It’s designed to survive the outdoors, but it’s most efficient when it’s not fighting against serious heat. Since our summers can get pretty scorching at times, you’ll want to locate a shady place for your outdoor unit. But, wait, you’re saying. Our system is already installed, and that thing is right on the south side of the house, getting as much sun as the garden! Now what do we do? That’s easy. You can acquire or build a simple shade for your condenser. Many companies manufacture them specifically for that purpose, or you can create an awning or shade of your own. That can reduce the ambient temperature around your condenser by anywhere from 4-10 degrees. Just enusre you DO NOT block the airflow as it exists the unit. Be sure nothing is closer than 6 feet above the unit ensure the exiting heat is properly dissipated. That, like a well-programmed thermostat, will spell savings on your electric bill. Just as important, it will stave off the inevitable AC repair costs so many homeowners dread by easing the condenser’s workload. Oh, and speaking of the condenser … 5. Keep your outdoor unit clean. Living outdoors isn’t easy, even for a metal box. Wind, rain, snow, dusty dry heat … all of these things attack your condenser throughout the year. It does a lot of the heavy lifting for your system, though – and that means you want to take great care of the outdoor unit in return. That’s because the condenser pumps the refrigerant through your system, and dissipates heat through a basic thermal exchange. You’ll likely have noticed that when your system is running, the outdoor unit gives off hot air? That hot air is coming from inside your house, in a way. If you let the condenser’s fins, or any moving parts, get dusty, dirty, or choked with muck and slime, it can’t do the job of releasing that heat. It gets locked in, instead, and the system can overheat, shut down, or sustain serious damage. But taking care of the condenser is not a complicated prospect, Owensboro – HVAC contractors have it down to a science that the most technically inept folks in the world could manage. In fact, if you’re getting regular tune-ups, something as simple as hosing the outdoor unit off once a month or so will do wonders for your entire system. You’ll also want to make sure nothing is growing near it, falling on it, or getting tangled up in there. Don’t let weeds, bushes, flowers, or even grass grow within a couple feet of the condenser unit. Occasionally, a more serious cleaning may be called for; you can leave that up to your friendly Owensboro HVAC repair experts at One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. 6.Don’t let your vents or returns get clogged, either! Last but not least, we’d like to offer you some advice regarding the most immediately noticeable part of your system – the supply and return ducts. Those get dirty pretty fast, too, if you’re not careful. When they clog, they restrict airflow, much like a dirty air filter would, and they stress the entire system. Your intake register is especially problematic in that regard – as dirt, debris, and dust that gets sucked in through those will circulate through your house or clog your air filters. Giving those registers a simple cleaning once in a while is a simple (and some might say therapeutic) task that improves the air quality in your entire home. Failing to do it leads to air quality issues that can impact anyone in your life with asthma or lung problems. Failing to do so also increases the amount of money you’re spending on energy each month. So don’t think too much. Grab a damp cloth and get the dust bunnies out of your air supply and intake registers every few weeks. It is a great idea to make this a part of your filter change routine. Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble with the slits in your vents and returns, use a butter knife to slip the cloth between them and get everything sparkling. If you’ve let things go too long and it’s particularly grimy, you can carefully remove the vents, give them a super short soak in warm water with dish soap, and then replace them when they’ve completely dried. For our friends out there with pets, pay extra attention – that pet hair can get inside your system and make a nuisance of itself, if you’re not careful. Well, there you have it. Follow those tips, and you’ll only see an Owensboro HVAC repair team for scheduled maintenance and the rare issue that can’t be predicted or avoided. And don’t forget, we are a One Hour company – that means we adhere to the strictest standards, train our technicians on the latest and greatest, and we back everything up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you need help with anything, give us a call. We are always on time – or you don’t pay a dime. If you have questions or need to speak to us, Awesome! We love to help! Call 270-826-9998 for immediate help Have a lovely day and stay cool out there!