Things to Check Before Calling an A/C Repairman

Things to Check Before Calling the AC Repairman

by kittyasmith 6 Followers 

You Are Not Alone

Central Air Conditioning systems are one of those modern day conveniences that many find they just can’t live without. The thought of calling a repairman fills us with dread. 
Before I married my husband who is a Mechanical Contractor, I found myself in need of the AC wizard. My air conditioning was suddenly cranking out ice cubes and I could not get my thermometer above the Antarctic setting. Is there really such a thing as an air conditioner working too well? 
The first guy that showed up at my door performed whatever voodoo magic he deemed necessary and things seemed to be all right with the world. Not so, I soon realized, as the temperature began to rise. Welcome to the Sahara.  Back on the telephone and another repairman appears the next day. I guess the first guy only dealt with  cold climates, because a new guy was sent to fix the first repair.  
The second guy, who I call the Wrecker, must not have liked being relegated to the warmer climes, he was a bitter, mean man. The Wrecker  called me outside to the condenser unit which he had scattered about in pieces. He  grabbed onto the fan looking part and started yanking it up and down! The Wrecker is telling me that the bearings are bad because, as I can plainly see by his alarming demonstration, there is no play in the shaft. I will need a new unit.
“Whoah! Put the brakes on it Buddy,” I tell him. Just put it back together.  I have a little experience when it comes to bearings. It seems that I [...]

By |July 11th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

What are the risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor?

What are the risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor?
    What are the risks of hiring an unlicensed contractor? 

Finding a contractor who holds proper license or registration credentials is an essential step for many home improvment projects.(Photo courtesy of Adam Burke)


Date Published: Jan 07 2013

by Angie Hicks

Dear Angie: What are the risks if I hired a remodeling contractor who is not bonded or insured? – M.K., Santa Maria, Calif. 
Dear M.K.: Hiring a contractor who is not bonded, insured – and licensed, if applicable – is a risk you don’t want to take.
Let’s talk about the importance of insurance first. Contractors should carry two types of insurance: liability and worker’s compensation. As a homeowner, these protect you in two ways. First, liability insurance will protect you in the event the contractor causes damage to your home. What if, say during an upstairs bathroom remodel, your uninsured contractor was doing work that caused the bathtub to crash through the floor? If you think your homeowner’s policy would cover you, think again. It likely won’t, unless you’ve purchased additional coverage for in-home employees.
What if the contractor had an employee on the job at your home who was injured on your property but the contractor didn’t carry worker’s compensation insurance? Your homeowner’s insurance policy might help cover the cost to pay that worker’s claim, after you meet your deductible, but that claim could result in an increase in your rates and make it more difficult for you to get insured in the future.
Bonding is often confused for insurance, but there is a notable difference. A bond is intended to act as a guarantee that the contractor will perform the work as he or [...]

By |January 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

HVAC Tax Credit 25C: Approved 2013

A Primer On The 25C Tax Credit
By Charlie McCrudden | January 3, 2013  |

 The retroactive reinstatement of the 25C residential energy tax credits for 2012 have a lot of homeowners and contractors trying to remember the details of this federal incentive that last expired on December 31, 2011.

An eligible taxpayer (homeowner) may claim a tax credit for up 10% (up to $500) of installed costs of  a variety of qualified energy efficient retrofit improvements to the HVAC system, insulation, roof, windows, and doors, or hot water equipment of their primary residence. While the total amount a homeowner may claim for all qualified retrofit measures is $500, the amount a homeowner may claim for each type of retrofit measure or equipment installed is subject to individual caps. See below for details.
HVAC Equipment Details
Depending on their individual tax situation and eligibility, a homeowner may qualify for tax credits equal to 10% of the costs (up to a $300 limit) for installing a high efficiency central air conditioner, heat pump, or hot water heater.
A homeowner may also qualify for tax credits equal to 10% of the costs (up to $150 limit) for installing a qualified furnace or hot water boiler. A smaller tax credit of 10% of the installed costs (up to $50 limit) is available for installing a system with an advanced main air circulating fan.
What Is Considered a High Efficiency Unit?
A split system central air conditioner must meet or exceed 16 SEER and 13 EER; package system central air conditioners must meet or exceed 14 SEER and 12 EER.
An air source heat pump must meet or exceed 15 SEER and 12.5 EER and 8.5 HSPF, in order to [...]

By |January 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

Howard Air Earns 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Howard Air Earns Esteemed 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award
for the 7th year in a row!
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Howard Air has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.
 “It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List FounderAngie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Howard Air earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on
Angie’s List
“We use Angie’s List to assess whether we’re doing a good job keeping valued customers like you happy. Please visit in order to grade our quality of work and customer service.
Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 550 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. More than 1.5 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain unlimited access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, and the Angie’s List complaint resolution [...]

By |January 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

How to Choose a Heating System for Your Scottsdale Home

The temperatures we’ve been experiencing as of late have left many to wonder, “Is it really fall?” Soon enough it will be winter and the chilly temperatures will be an everyday occurrence. Is your Scottsdale heating system prepared to handle extended periods of use? Whether your furnace or heat pump is on its last leg, or just isn’t delivering the energy efficient results you expect, an upgrade may be a good idea. In fact, you can save money on monthly heating costs and benefit from improved indoor comfort.
But, what system type is right for your home?
How does it work?
A furnace uses some type of fuel, most often gas or oil, to produce heat within the furnace’s burner. Once the heat exchanger is fully heated, the blower disperses the heat through your air vents.
How efficient is it?
Furnace efficiency is measured by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The higher the AFUE percentage, the greater the level of efficiency a system has. Gas furnaces tend to be more efficient than oil furnaces, although Trane offers models ranging from 82.7-96.7% AFUE.
Heat Pump
How does it work?
Rather than burning fuel to produce heat, a heat pump simply takes heat from the air and uses electricity to pump it from location to location. In the summer it works reversely to pump hot indoor air to the outside to cool your home, and ultimately replaces your air conditioner.
How efficient is it?
Heat pumps typically have higher efficiency levels than furnaces, which are measured by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). A higher factor equates to higher energy efficiency. Trane systems offer efficiencies as high as 9.2 HSPF.
Now is a great time [...]

By |December 10th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|

Why You Should Have Scottsdale Heating Maintenance

As Thanksgiving nears this week, it is becoming more evident that fall is fully underway. Cooler temperatures have already made an appearance, and many were forced to turn on the central heating systems in their homes as a result. Soon winter weather will be here and your heating system will get more use. That is why now is the ideal time to allow a Scottsdale heating repair company to perform preventative maintenance on your furnace or heat pump. Why? Because…
It saves you money.
When an HVAC professional performs maintenance, your furnace will be cleaned, inspected, and fine-tuned for best operation. This allows your heating system to operate at maximum efficiency, which therefore means that less energy is used. When you use less energy, you save significantly on your monthly heating bills!
It prevents breakdowns.
Your heating system has likely sat unused for many, many months. As a result, there may be issues present that you are not aware of yet. As time passes and your system is used, the issue may progress and lead to the need for costly Phoenix heating and air repair. An experienced technician will catch these problems during maintenance and prevent the need for repair, or even premature system replacement.
It improves indoor air quality.
So it’s been a while since you used the heating system in your home. Can you imagine how much dust, dirt, and other particles have settled within? When you turn on your heat for the first time this season, the blower inside your furnace will circulate these particles through your home for your family to inhale. During maintenance, your technician will thoroughly clean your system to prevent this from happening.
It’s a safety precaution.

By |November 21st, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|

Scottsdale Heating Experts Offer Tips For Relieving Fall Allergies

While the first signs of fall for some may have been cooler temperatures or the slight changing of the leaves (as much as you can have in the Sonoran Desert, that is), for others it was the discomfort of allergy symptoms. Fall allergy season isn’t typically as much of a problem in Arizona as in the spring, but this past summer’s above average rainfall and extreme heat will prove differently this season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the city of Phoenix ranks #75 on the list of the worst cities for fall allergies this year which is up from its spot at #91 last year1. While there is little you can do to alleviate discomfort outdoors, you shouldn’t have to suffer in the comforts of your own home. Check out these solutions for fall allergies courtesy of your local Scottsdale heating experts!
Schedule an HVAC Check-Up: An annual service agreement not only ensures proper care of your system, with energy efficient and money-saving benefits, but can also improve indoor air quality. During inspection, an HVAC professional will clean your unit to prevent accumulated allergens, viruses, and bacteria from being circulated through your home when the furnace or heating system is in use. Additionally, your service technician will also be able to identify if mold may be present in your system, which could allow mold spores to be distributed through your air and inhaled by your family.
Clean Your Space Weekly: It might not seem like much, but cleaning your space regularly is a great way to eliminate airborne particles which could irritate your allergies. For example, dusting surfaces and vacuuming carpets can help significantly as these sources are ideal [...]

By |October 24th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|

Howard Air recognized by APS for the second year!

Howard Air is honored to be selected by APS as one of the top 10 contractors of Arizona again for the second year in a row!
There are over 2,000 HVAC contractors in the valley and to be recognized for their dedication to replacing 1,000′s of inefficient systems each year with energy-conscious systems is their mission. 

By |September 15th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|

5 Tips for Preparing your Home for Fall in Scottsdale

Fall is a beautiful time in Arizona. The summer heat dissipates and locals can step outside and enjoy outdoor activities without fear of overheating. In addition, your air conditioning Phoenix systems will get a much-needed break and your heating system may even get some use. The onslaught of cooler weather and the impending fall allergy season leave locals with a lengthy to-do list in preparation. Check out these tips for preparing your home for fall:

Seal Energy Drains-While there may be many sources of energy drains in your home, common sources include air leaks around your window and door frames. Inexpensive weatherstripping and caulking can be purchased at your local home improvement store and installed to close off these leaks. You will experience savings on your energy bills as a result!
Inspect Smoke Alarms- Your home likely has multiple smoke detectors, and you may even have a carbon monoxide detector for added protection. Fall is a great time to inspect these safety devices and change batteries if need be.
Improve Air Quality- Did you know that Trane offers whole home air purifiers to remove 99.98% of allergens from the air? This can be a life saver during the irritating fall allergy season and is great for those with asthma. Your carpet is home to large amounts of allergens and respiratory irritants (despite vacuuming regularly). Consider having them cleaned this fall and breathe easier!
Change Air Filters- Your heating system uses a filter to trap airborne particles from being expelled into the home. When these filters become overly dirty, they can clog the system and reduce energy efficiency. This costs you in inflated energy expenses. Check your filters every month and change them regularly. Call [...]

By |September 13th, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|

Choosing A Trustworthy Phoenix Air Conditioning Contractor

This summer has been the hottest on Arizona record. Unfortunately, this has left many locals seeking air conditioning repair and maintenance services to keep their systems in tip-top shape. Unfortunately, finding a trustworthy contractor isn’t always easy. If you are in need of service for your system, there are a few things to keep in mind when seeking out the best Phoenix air conditioning companies. Be sure to consider each carefully. After all, choosing the wrong contractor could cause you to pay for costly products and services that you don’t need, or to have your system serviced by unknowledgeable technicians who could cause more problems than you currently have.
Ask for a Referral
The best place to start is by asking your friends if they can refer someone. Who better to trust than your friends and family? Chances are that they can direct you toward (or away from) a contractor whom they have dealt with in the past. Of course, not everyone’s experience is the same. While someone may have had a negative experience, another may have had a positive one. Be sure to do your own research on the contractor before making a decision.
Check Them Out Online
Visit a contractor’s website for more information on their products and services, and to better gauge their level of professionalism. Does their website have customer reviews? Video reviews from real customers are great to see. Additionally, are they a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, Angie’s List approved, or a Factory Authorized Dealer? Do they have NATE certified technicians? How long have they been in business and are they properly licensed and insured?
Ask For a Second (Or Third) Opinion
Whether you are in need of [...]

By |August 21st, 2012|Blog|Comments Off|