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Home Warranty Companies; Good or Bad

Posted on: April 27th, 2015 by Rob Horton No Comments

Home Warranty Companies; Good or Bad

Many people are using Home Warranty Companies these days. When a seller of a home sells to a buyer, it is becoming a common thing for the seller to purchase a home warranty. This seems to help the transaction along very well, because after the buyers home inspection, the home warranty would seem to fill in all the gaps so that there is little that could go wrong for the buyer. Well this is not entirely true, many times the home inspector may skip some of the HVAC tests because of the temperature, or lack of training, or it is even possible that the inspector could miss something. IF the inspector misses something, and the HVAC equipment is bad, the condition may be considered pre-existing, and the home warranty company may NOT cover the repair. This is something important to be aware of. Make sure to read your contracts. Here are some more things with home warranty companies that seems to perplex people that have them. Once a Contractor has been selected by the Home Warranty Company to take care of your issue, realize they are not the Home Warranty Company so on one hand, they are on your side! At the same time, when a contractor is called out, from a warranty company, they also have a responsibility to make sure they take care of the Home Warranty Company’s interests also.  So the contractor has to balance the interests of each party.  As such, there are many criteria for the service call that are changed, that would be different had the contractor been called by a customer directly. One is that sometimes a contractor may want to recommend to you that a new system be installed, maybe for a benefit to you for energy savings, rebates available, or maybe we see that you are going to have multiple repairs done, and so often that you would have to consider adopting your service Tech because he will be making so many trips.  That was a slight exaggeration, however from the perspective of the Home Warranty company, they want to repair the system as economically as possible; and replace only if absolutely necessary. These type of situations we would expect to be obvious, but sometimes people do not think all of the way through, especially with an unforeseen incident. Another commonly misunderstood item seen is concerning leak checks. Part of the procedure used for leak checking for home warranty companies is to add refrigerant charge to the unit if it only needs a little refrigerant, then watch and wait to determine if a leak is severe. A customer can always pay for an electronic leak check, but the home warranties do not normally like to do them until it is determined the leak rate is over somewhere around 2 or 3 pounds a year. A third common misunderstanding happens when a customer gets a new piece of equipment, and then drops their home warranty. If something goes wrong, you may have a parts warranty on the parts, but the labor is not covered by the installing contractor, it is covered by the warranty company until you have not renewed. When a contractor does work through a warranty company, the warranty company is only paying for the raw labor for the job that is done for you, and miscellaneous parts.  So, if you do not renew you are on your own with the labor, which could be pricey.
Home Warranties are not for everyone, we have seen them really help some people out that needed them, and we have seen times that Home Warranties kept people from getting the system they probably would have purchased. The most important thing to remember if you have one is, when you let them lapse, you are back on your own.
P.S. Did we mention Read your contracts… 🙂



Keep it running!

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by Rob Horton No Comments

As the temps have dropped, we have had some calls from customers asking what the best settings are for their systems.  They have asked if their system should be running non stop.  And many more questions.  Let me make some statements to help.

1.  Anytime you know temperatures are going to drop below ten degrees you should shut off any set-back settings on your programmable thermostat.  Go to your thermostat and set the setpoint and hit “HOLD“.  This will keep all of your setbacks from happening.  This is important because when your contractor designed your system, he should have used 5 Degrees(Here in Indy) as the coldest average temperature here.  That means if your system is designed correctly, your system should run continuously at 5 Degrees outside to maintain a temperature of 67 Degrees in your home.  That is often a surprise when we explain that to customers.

2.  Another thing we were able to tell a very few customers, when the big ice storm came was since there was a great possibility of power outages it was a good idea to bump up and raise your temperature even a few degrees in case of a power outage, it would buy you some time before your house would get dangerously cold.  We get very concerned when a house gets near the low forty’s.  But if the power is out the fifties is a scary place.  We had about four customers who had power go out and one who had frozen pipes burst.  Remember even if your thermostat says 50, there might be a wall that is already near freezing with pipes inside.

3.  Lastly, anytime we get near dangerous temperatures, Check your filters! Don’t be concerned that your system is running non-stop; that is what it should be doing.

‘Till next time



Fall is Here! Get your system Checked

Posted on: September 28th, 2013 by Rob Horton No Comments

Temperatures are starting to drop, it is about time to turn on your Furnace, or your Heat Pump.  Before you do, it is a good idea to have us come out and look your system over.  If your gas furnace is less than 10 years old, it has many safeties on it that will keep it from running “usually” if it is unsafe.  However it is still a good idea to have it checked out.  And we recommend ANYONE who has a gas furnace to have a carbon monoxide detector in either their living room or their bedroom.  Now concerning Heat pumps; many times people turn on their a/c’s in the spring to find that their compressor has went out during the winter.  You have three things you can do to avoid that happening with your system.  One, have us come out and check out your system, including the refrigerant charge to make sure you didn’t lose charge over the summer.  Number two, change your filter!  In the cold months, if you don’t change your filters, you cook the windings in your compressor.  Lastly, “be careful” and do not get burnt doing this, but once every few weeks during the winter it isn’t a bad idea to touch quickly the copper suction line which may get VERY hot, to make sure it is warm.  If it is ever cold or room temperature in the winter while the system is running, something is probably wrong, and you need to give us a call.  Enjoy the leaves turning.  See ya in Church.

Replacement Refrigerants, Good or Bad?

Posted on: August 24th, 2013 by Rob Horton No Comments

With summer in full swing, many customers are realizing that the government’s actions in reducing the amount of R22 refrigerant that can be made by the manufactures has really raised the price of R22 refrigerant.  So the question has become:is it okay to use the R22 replacement refrigerants? In short we say no.  Let us give you just a few reasons. It isn’t compatible with the refrigerant you have left (say your system holds 5 pounds, and you need 2) the three you have has to be recovered.  Then 5 pounds of the new stuff has to be put in.  If the contractor does put it in “on top” not only is it illegal, but voids any possible warranties you could have.  It cannot possibly work efficiently as two different chemicals made to do specific jobs have been mixed (think bleach and ammonia)

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