HVAC Contractor - Blog Posts by Tag

The Key to Finding a Reputable HVAC Contractor

The Key to Finding a Reputable HVAC ContractorThe search for a great HVAC contractor for your home can seem daunting, but it’s pretty simple once you know what to look for. We understand the need for proper heating, cooling, and other needs, which is why we’ve come up with a few simple questions for you to ask:

Do the Contractors Keep Up with Industry Knowledge?

We’re not talking about basic industry knowledge — they all have that. What you need to check on is how well the company keeps up with changes in technology and techniques.

What Does Their BBB Listing Look Like?

The first thing you can check out about a company on the Better Business Bureau website is their rating. This is a great indication of how they conduct business. But, also pay attention to any customer complaints and how those were handled.

Are They Properly Licensed and Bonded?

The industry is full of rules and regulations that must be followed in order for an HVAC company to remain in operation. Proof of proper licensing and bonding is always available upon request to ensure that you’re working with a reputable organization.

What Do Their Referrals Say About Them?

First and foremost, you want to obtain a random sampling by choosing a letter or two from the alphabet and asking to see referrals where the last name match those letters. Then, reach out to these people and ask about their experiences in terms of time completion, quality, and other service details.

Is Their Contract All-Inclusive?

When the time comes to employ an HVAC contractor for any job on your home, you want to make sure that the contract covers a variety of information. You’ll obviously want a company to provide a cost and timeframe for completion, but you also need to know how they’ll handle problems that may arise.

For more expert advice on selecting an HVAC contractor for your home, or any other home comfort questions, reach out to the incredible professionals at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been making homeowners happy in the North San Diego area with more than 100 years of combined experience.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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3 Things You Should Stop Doing to Your San Marcos A/C

3 Things You Should Stop Doing to Your San Marcos A/CAir conditioning is one of the best features of a modern home, especially in areas like ours that experience hot summers. It’s easy to take it for granted until it stops working. Here are things to stop doing to your A/C so that it stays in good working condition longer.

No Energy Audit

Poor insulation and air leaks make your home hotter and add to your air conditioner’s workload. This not only reduces comfort but can also decrease the life span of your A/C.

Have an HVAC contractor perform an energy audit to determine any changes you should make to your home. Your contractor can also determine whether your current A/C unit is the right size for your home’s cooling needs. Undersized systems struggle to keep a home cool, and oversized systems suffer because they cycle on and off too frequently.

Forgetting to Change the Filter

The air filter keeps debris off system components and keeps your indoor air cleaner. Clogged air filters lead to dirty air conditioners, reducing airflow vital for normal system function.

Remember to change the air filter every month. Ask your contractor which filter type is best for your system and for your lifestyle needs. If you own pets or have someone in the home who has allergies, you need a filter that can efficiently trap dander and other allergens without decreasing airflow to your A/C.

No Regular Maintenance

Neglecting maintenance for your air conditioner can lead to small, easily fixed issues turning into bigger problems. Your air conditioner works hard and needs professional maintenance at least once a year before each operating season. During the maintenance visit, the service technician will clean the coils and other parts that can cause the system to malfunction if left dirty. He or she will also check refrigerant and make sure all components are operating correctly.

For more information about things to stop doing to your A/C, contact the home comfort pros at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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5 Ways to Protect Your A/C Unit From Theft

5 Ways to Protect Your A/C Unit From TheftAir conditioning systems are a popular target for thieves because the condenser coils and refrigerant lines contain copper that’s worth a few hundred dollars when scrapped. Air conditioners are often placed out of public view for aesthetic reasons, so it is easy to quickly strip the system and carry the valuable portions away. By protecting your A/C unit from theft with the following suggestions, you can avoid the high repair bills associated with the crime.

  • Have your HVAC contractor secure your A/C unit to a thick concrete base during installation. Not only does this help eliminate theft, but the base also helps keep your system level for proper operation and separates it from nearby plant growth that could interfere with the system’s airflow.
  • Have your HVAC contractor install an A/C alarm on your system. An A/C alarm attaches to either the power supply or the refrigerant lines and notifies you or your security company if it detects a loss of power or a refrigerant leak, both of which may indicate an attempted theft.
  • Prevent easy access to the A/C unit. If it is located in your back yard, consider fencing in the yard and using a locking gate. If fencing your yard is not an option, consider fencing in the A/C unit itself, making sure the fenced area is large enough to maintain proper airflow to the system.
  • Install bright, motion-activated lights to discourage nighttime thefts, and consider adding an inexpensive security camera to prevent thefts during daylight hours. Make sure the camera is not easily accessible to prevent thieves from damaging it.
  • Install a cage around your A/C unit. Heavy steel cages are available from many suppliers or can be easily fabricated and are one of the best ways to protect your A/C unit from theft or damage. They surround the entire A/C unit and can easily be opened for system maintenance.

For more tips about protecting your A/C unit from theft, talk to the HVAC professionals at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We serve the entire San Diego area, as well as the southern Riverside County.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Is Preventative HVAC Maintenance a Good Investment?

Is Preventative HVAC Maintenance a Good Investment? Preventative HVAC maintenance is often overlooked, but this annual investment is essential for homeowners who want to maintain proper comfort levels in their Vista home. It’s a fact that regular maintenance will minimize your expenses in the long-run.

Investing in the Life of Your System

To keep your system in top shape, you should schedule preventative HVAC maintenance at least twice a year. Have a professional service your system once during the spring and again in the fall to prepare your air conditioner or heating system for the seasons ahead.

At these appointments, your HVAC professional will tighten belts, lubricate electrical connections, clean your system and ensure that everything is in good working order. This visit will help you catch potential problems before they become costly repairs, while extending the overall life of your system.

Lowering Your Energy Costs

Preventative HVAC maintenance can lower your energy costs by helping your system run more efficiently. However, some DIY maintenance tasks can help improve your system’s energy efficiency as well. Make sure to change your air filters once a month, and adjust your thermostat seasonally to further lower operating costs.

Keeping Your Home Clean

Your HVAC system circulates air through your entire home regularly. A dirty system will circulate dirty air and may cause a variety of health and comfort issues related to poor indoor air quality. Change your filters regularly and schedule annual HVAC maintenance to keep all of your system parts clean. This is a smart investment for both your health and your home.

Contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule your preventative HVAC maintenance in the Vista area. We offer an annual maintenance plan that includes discounts on air-quality products, repairs and replacements, which can all add value to your investment.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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You Should Expect Good Customer Service From Your HVAC Pro

You Should Expect Good Customer Service From Your HVAC ProWhen hiring a heating and cooling contractor, you want to know you’re receiving the best possible level of customer service and care. Good HVAC companies know there’s more to a successful client interaction than knowing how to install, repair, and maintain heating and cooling equipment. Here are a few qualities you should look for when hiring an HVAC professional:

  • Communication skills – Good HVAC contractors address you by your proper name and title when they greet and interact with you. They do this whether they are communicating verbally or in writing. When on the job, they use your name as appropriate when speaking with you. They are mindful of their tone and language, and use courtesies like “apologies” and “thank you” when necessary. Once your initial issue is resolved, they ask if there is anything else they can help you with.
  • Honesty – Your contractor is transparent. Once your problem has been assessed, he or she tells you what they can and can’t do to fix it. They let you know exactly how they plan to resolve the issue, what you should expect, and you will need any follow-up visits. If they are unable to repair the problem, they are honest enough to tell you.
  • Empathy – A customer-focused technician will allow you to vent about your issue without interrupting. He or she makes an effort to put themselves in your shoes to better understand the situation from your point of view.
  • Efficiency – Your HVAC technician is skilled and knowledgeable. He or she knows how to fix your issue, and is committed to resolving it in the most efficient way possible. A great technician’s goal is to get the job done right, the first time.
  • Commitment to delivering value – The best HVAC contractors strive to add extra value to their customer interactions. They understand your needs and offer value-added solutions to save you money.

Make sure you’re getting the best HVAC customer service for your heating and cooling maintenance and repair. Contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Looking for An HVAC Contractor? 5 Tips To Find The Best

Looking for An HVAC Contractor? 5 Tips To Find The BestWhen your HVAC equipment fails, it’s natural to want to get it repaired right away. But before rushing into anything, take a few deep breaths and go through these important tips about hiring an HVAC contractor.

Check contractor has a valid license

The State of California requires that home contractors have a valid license, so before selecting a contractor check that the company is licensed. If the contractor is not licensed do not consider them, it’s illegal to be unlicensed.

Expect a proper home evaluation

Modern HVAC systems are complex and must be carefully designed, sized, and installed to work efficiently. When hiring an HVAC contractor you should expect them to spend time checking your existing equipment, ductwork, and measuring the rooms properly. If they don’t do this but recommend major alterations, it’s a sign that they may be taking you for a ride.

Provision of detailed written estimates

Your contractor should provide you with a detailed estimate of the work. When equipment is to be replaced, ask for specific details regarding the brand and model the contractor proposes installing. Always obtain three estimates and be suspicious of any particularly low or high estimates.

Check references

Once you have received your estimates, and before hiring an HVAC contractor, ask for names of recent customers and phone them to verify that they were happy with the quality of the work. This essential step will give you a good indication of the contractor’s reliability.

Sign on the dotted line

When you are replacing HVAC equipment it is wise to insist that both you and the contractor sign the proposal or a written contract specifying in detail the work the contractor will be doing. Ensure this includes specific model numbers, schedule of work, and warranty conditions. This important step in hiring an HVAC contractor will protect you in the event of any dispute.

If you live in the North County or San Diego area, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc on (760) 295-5014. We will give you a free estimate and honor our pledge to serve our customers with integrity, objectivity, and competence.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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8 Common HVAC Terms And What They Mean

8 Common HVAC Terms And What They MeanWhen dealing with contractors or technicians regarding your HVAC, it is always better to know what you’re talking about so you can optimize the value of paying an expert to come work on your system. Here are 8 common HVAC terms and what they mean:

Control

A control will be a temperature-control device likely found on a wall inside your home. It contains sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of your heating and cooling system. Some controls are programmable and allow you to set different temperature levels to optimize your comfort during different parts of the day.

Packaged System

All components of an air conditioning and/or heating system are located in a single cabinet. This all-in-one system is installed beside or on top of your building.

Refrigerant

A substance that manifests a cooling effect. It is commonly used and is found in most air conditioning systems.

Allergen

A substance that causes an allergic reaction. Common allergens include pollen, pet hair, dust, dander, mold, mildew, tobacco smoke, lint, fungus, bacteria, and cooking grease.

Compressor

The heart of an air conditioning system, it makes up a part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor keeps a steady pressure to allow the refrigerant to sufficiently flow with the correct quantities.

Thermostat

A device usually found on a wall inside your home that controls the temperature. It has a system of sensors and relays that monitor and control the temperature of your home.

BTU

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. One BTU is equal to the amount of heat given off by a single match. In your home, it represents how much heat is given off when fuel is burned for heating and also how much heat is lost from your home during cooling.

HSPF

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, and it refers to the efficiency of your heat pump throughout an entire heating season. The higher the number, the more efficient your unit.

For more expert tips about HVAC terms and abbreviations, please contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Thinking About a New A/C? Take the Plunge and Enjoy These Benefits

Thinking About a New A/C? Take the Plunge and Enjoy These BenefitsWe’re only halfway into the cooling season – do you feel confident that your A/C will get you through the summer? If you’ve been feeling concerned about your system’s ability to perform efficiently and effectively, it may be time for an upgrade. Here’s a simple guide to knowing when you should replace your cooling equipment, and how you may benefit from doing so. Continue reading “Thinking About a New A/C? Take the Plunge and Enjoy These Benefits” »

Searching for an HVAC Contractor? Don’t Despair, With These Tips

Searching for an HVAC Contractor? Don't Despair, With These TipsFor some reason, many people have a tendency to make things harder than they need to be. Take searching for an HVAC contractor, for example. Yes, making the right choice is very important, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Simply follow these tips and the task will be over before you know it: Continue reading “Searching for an HVAC Contractor? Don’t Despair, With These Tips” »