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Summer 2013

What to Look for in an HVAC Contractor

A broken air conditioner in the summer can be a major inconvenience. Before hiring a contractor for repairs, though, you should know that you’ll be getting reliable, professional service. Here’s some advice for finding the right contractor to fix your air conditioner this summer.

1. Do Your Research: Be sure that your contractor has the proper licensing and insurance requirements for your area. Have the basic information about your system available before contacting a contractor. This information can help expedite the repair process.

2. Referrals/References: Don’t underestimate the value of others’ experiences. Ask associates for referrals, and always check customer references. There are plenty of resources online as well that offer reviews of services. Don’t pick your contractors at random.

3. Don’t Feel Rushed: When you’re having repairs done, don’t think that it should be an in–and–out process. Your contractor should inspect the system thoroughly and discuss the necessary steps with you. If you get the feeling that your contractor is more interested in a quick fix than quality service, shop around.

4. Don’t Agree to Anything Over the Phone: It doesn’t matter what the problem sounds like. A contractor cannot diagnose a problem or give an accurate estimate without first visiting your home. If your contractor starts to tell you what the issue is and how much it will cost to fix it before inspecting your system, it’s time to continue the search.

5. Get It in Writing: Even with a reliable contractor it is important to get an agreement down on paper. Be sure that information about start/finish dates, the name of the contractor performing the work, and payment plans are included. If problems arise with your service, this written agreement can save you a lot of headaches.

It’s easy to find a contractor in your area, and making sure that you are hiring a fully qualified, well–reviewed one does not take much time. You may want to get your AC fixed as quickly as possible, but don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Follow these simple guidelines and make sure that you’re getting the professional help you deserve.

Have you heard of ductless air conditioning?

Ductless mini split air conditioning systems are not new and have, in fact, been around for a very long time. They offer homeowners several very important benefits and they are a great option in a couple of unique applications.

How Ductless Min Split AC Systems Work

First and foremost, ductless mini split systems actually offer both cooling and heating. Having one convenient system to heat and cool your home is an important benefit for homes that don’t have a lot of space for two different systems.

As their name implies, ductless mini split air conditioning systems don’t use ductwork to provide cooling or heating in your home. Instead, they use wall–mounted units in each room or area of your home. These units are sleek and can be installed so that they are out of the way. Each unit circulates the air inside of its area and either cools or heats it—depending on the needs of the homeowner.

Each wall–mounted unit is connected to a single outdoor condensing unit through a series of electrical wires and refrigerant tubes. In cooling mode, the wall–mounted units pull air in, extract the heat from the air and the push the newly–cooled air back into your home. The refrigerant carries the heat to the outside unit where the heat is exhausted.

Benefits of Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless mini split air conditioning systems have a number of very attractive benefits. First, they are ideal for renovation projects on older homes or building that don’t have the necessary attic, wall or floor space for bulky ductwork. They can be mounted on the wall where they provide highly efficient cooling and heating.

Second, they avoid the energy loss that is commonly associated with ductwork. As your cooled air moves through ductwork it naturally absorbs heat through the walls of the ducts. This is an unavoidable inefficiency of traditional forced–air systems and heat pumps. But with ductless mini split AC you can avoid that.

Finally, they also offer home owners zone control. Zone control is when a homeowner can adjust the temperature of certain parts of their home independently of each other. With a traditional central AC system, you have to cool your entire home to stay comfortable, even if you’re only using a couple of rooms. But because ductless mini split AC systems have multiple units in different areas of the house, you only need to run the units that are in the areas that you’re using.  This allows homeowners to potentially reduce the amount of energy that they use to cool and heat their homes.

If your current air conditioning or heating system has started to need more frequent repair or if it has stopped working entirely, it probably wouldn’t hurt for you to check out ductless mini split air conditioning systems. If you’re getting ready to build a new home or renovate a historical building, a ductless mini split AC system could be a good fit.

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