Archive for the ‘New Systems’ Category

The Best Time to Purchase an A/C System

One of the best and most frequent questions our technicians receive in the field is “When is the best time to purchase an air conditioning system?”  If you’re in the market to replace your Flower Mound air conditioning system, you might be tempted to hold off on investing in new HVAC equipment until your A/C is on its last legs or for the change of seasons and extreme temperatures.  However, waiting for either of those things to come to pass will likely work against you. The key to receiving the best price for a new A/C system in Lantana and beyond is to understand the cyclical nature of the industry.

It would be easy to think that, because Lantana HVAC companies are busy as bees installing new systems in the Summer, it’s the best time for competitive prices, but that often isn’t the case. In our last Blog entry, we introduced you to the so-called “Shoulder Seasons” – those times of the year edging into the more demanding Summer and Winter months for HVAC companies such as Southern Comfort Mechanical.  In Texas, those seasons are late Autumn and early Spring.

 

 

Why, you may ask?  These times of the year are beautiful – perfect for getting out of doors, opening up your home for fresh breezes and saving on your energy bills.  Simply put, it’s not a time of the year you’re completely reliant upon air conditioning to regulate the temperature of your home.  It’s also when your Southern Comfort Mechanical Technician has the most time to spend with you to examine your options when buying a new A/C system.  During peak seasons, that time is at a premium and ultimately you end up competing not for a better price but for the first available system installation date for your Corinth area home.

 

 

In early Spring and late Fall, the industry itself experiences lower volume.  The various manufacturers offer promotional sales and preseason discounts during those times to engage consumers year round.  This means Southern Comfort Mechanical can work with you to select a quality system that is optimized specifically for your Flower Mound home at a price that can’t be matched during the peak Summer and Winter months.  In other words, the best time to purchase is when you can take your time and make an educated purchasing decision with the help of qualified professionals.  Call our office today to discuss these great deals and to schedule your free air conditioning estimate.  Our office staff is standing by at (972) 420-1700.

Why Your Address Matters

In our last blog post, we discussed the evolving HVAC industry on a more global level, but there are local initiatives that continue to change and to affect Southern Comfort Mechanical clients in Corinth, Flower Mound, Lewisville and beyond.  The changing regulatory environment is not just some broad-reaching future issue — there are immediate down-home implications for your new equipment purchases that you should be aware of.  So, how does your location, or more specifically, your home address and city come into play?

Almost every city in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and some smaller enclaves have established municipal codes that exceed what is required at the state level.   Typically, you learn more about your cities unique code requirements during the installation of new equipment, which is a two-part process:  obtaining the Permit, which is required before any major HVAC installation is completed, and completing the Inspection, which is performed after installation and ensures that your system is configured up to code.  Most commonly, inspectors are examining your system for proper installation of your HVAC components and that system safety measures have been taken:

  • Duct work is free-hanging, accessible, not compressed, sealed and with appropriate clearance.  The B vent is the the correct size and direction.
  • P-traps are insulated, primary and auxiliary drain lines properly leveled, and float switches (if applicable) installed to prevent drain pan overflow.
  • Gas line is made of appropriate material (flex or hard pipe) and has the proper amount of clearance,  and a sediment trap installed to capture debris that could potentially cause the gas valve to stick open or cause system issues.
  • The condenser is installed on a concrete base and is level, has the correct breaker size and electrical wiring throughout.
  • Freon locking caps are installed.  (Note: This a newer requirement you may not be familiar with – this prevents refrigerant theft, the accidental release of Freon, and discourages the dangerous practice of “huffing” this toxic and potentially lethal gas.)
Freon locking caps prevent theft, protect the environment, and prevent the abuse of Freon as an inhalant.

Freon locking caps prevent theft, protect the environment, and prevent the abuse of Freon as an inhalant.

While those items are fairly standard, you should be aware that your local jurisdiction may have additional requirements.  Here’s the list of some local, notable additional requirements.

Flower Mound heating and air conditioning code requirements include completion of a heat load calculation prior to installation.  The heat load, known as a Manual S, is an in depth measurement of the heat loss or heat gain that is unique to your home.  A measurement of your walls, windows, roof and other factors are taken and a calculation within proprietary software is then made to determine the amount of heating or cooling needed to maintain the desired temperature and humidity in your home.  The heat load calculation ensures that we are installing appropriately sized equipment for your home.  Additionally, all breakers to your Flower Mound HVAC system must be labeled in permanent marker.

Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village and Frisco heating and air conditioning codes require Carbon Dioxide detectors be present in the home when new HVAC equipment is installed.  Southern Comfort Mechanical feels strongly about the safety of our customers so we apply this potentially life saving precaution to all installations, even if not explicitly required under local code.

Holding ourselves to the strictest level of codes across the board helps ensure that as additional jurisdictions add to their city code requirements, we have already met that need for your installation.

 

What is Preventative Maintenance and Why do I Need It?

 

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We know that as a homeowner in the Flower Mound, Corinth, Lantana, or Lake Dallas area, you’ve invested a great deal in your HVAC system. Even if you’re not homeowner, there’s probably been some time or another when your air conditioning system has failed you. In the Texas heat, this is no joke and it’s definitely no fun. So what’s the vital key to keeping your home’s heating and air conditioning system healthy? It’s simple, really. Regular preventative maintenance. But what does preventative maintenance actually entail?

When you schedule a maintenance call, we’ll send one of our licensed and certified HVAC technicians to your home to do an overall comprehensive cleaning and analysis of your system which includes the air conditioner or heat pump, the furnace, the evaporator coil, etc. While they’re doing this, they’ll make sure that everything is operating and running properly while also making sure that nothing needs to be replaced or repaired. In most cases if something like an air filter needs to be replaced, this is the time to do it and your A/C service tech will take care of replacing items such as these.

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Another important part of a maintenance check-up is a safety check. Your technician will check your system to look for any safety concerns such as cracks in your heat exchanger or gas leaks. This is an extremely crucial checkpoint as carbon monoxide leaks could be severely harmful to you and your family and in some cases, even fatal. If you have a CO detector, the tech will also check that to make sure that it works accordingly and that there aren’t hazardous levels of gasses in your home.

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Once all that has been checked, your technician will clean any parts or components of your HVAC system that you can’t do on your own. If any air conditioning repairs need to be made, your technician will either complete them during this visit or schedule a time at your convenience to come and fix any issues found during the maintenance check.
If you have any questions at all about your HVAC system or anything related to it, don’t hesitate to ask your technician. They are trained to help you and answer any question you might have in great detail and with helpful suggestions. You can also always call our office at 972-420-1700 if you have any questions about your heating and cooling system.
At the end of your maintenance check-up, you will receive a report written up that will review and summarize what the visit entailed and what the technician did if any repairs or replacements were made at that time.

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Through our Comfort Club maintenance program, you can get regular inspections on your air conditioning and heating units. And At Southern Comfort Mechanical, if you’re a Comfort Club member, we’ll always remind you of your bi-annual check-ups–one in the spring (before it gets too hot) and one in the fall (before it gets too cold). We save our customers money in the long run by doing maintenance work on your units and keeping your systems working efficiently. When you use our service plan, you also get discounted prices if you should require an air conditioning or heating repair anytime throughout the year. If you’re not a Comfort Club member, please call us before you get stuck in the heat this summer! Use this coupon if you’re a first time customer with us to receive $16 off of your precision tune up!

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Giving Back

There are a million charities out there but choosing the right one to give back to and finding the one we are most passionate about is always a struggle within our own hearts.  A cause that reaches us deeply and should honestly reach everyone, is helping the Flower Mound veterans get settled back to their normal lives after combat.  Whether it be the veterans on our own staff and families or the veterans in our own Lantana community, their personal choice to fight and protect our country, is so brave and should be the model this country is built on. That is a sacrifice! As we are coming upon Memorial Day, we have chosen to give back to two local heroes. We are thankful that these heroes were able to make it back on American soil.  Now it’s our turn to return the favor.

Helping A Hero, the 2nd largest nonprofit organization builds homes for our severely wounded heroes, that were injured during the War on Terror. Recently, a home was built in Lantana for Staff Sgt. Johnnie Yellock II. SSgt. Yellock is retired from the U.S. Air Force after sustaining leg injuries in Afghanistan. Southern Comfort Mechanical was able to purchase and donate furniture for his new home, including a cocktail, nesting and console tables, all provided by Décor to Your Door. A ceremony honoring SSgt. Yellock is being held tomorrow May 21 at the Shops of Highland Village from 6-9PM. Come out and pay tribute to him and all of our local veterans.

We were also able to provide Flower Mound veteran and resident , who was injured in Iraq, by installing his (2) brand new  Trane XL18i systems. With our highly skilled air conditioning install crew willing to give a helping hand, we were able to install the high efficiency Trane systems at minimal cost and help this veteran save on his future electricity bills.

Shane Dendy, our lead technician, is also a veteran. He served in the Navy as Engine Man 3rd Class Petty Officer in the engineering department. He was a vital part for our country and is a vital part of our team.  God Bless America and thank you to all who have served.

Work Less, Make More

TR_XV20i_Air Conditioner - LargeIf you have been researching for a new HVAC system for your Coppell home, by now you should know that high efficiency air conditioning systems will give you the most bang for your buck. How exactly do high efficiency systems work? How much will they really save you? Is the government regulating this too? All of these questions are answered and more!

Variable speed condensers and furnaces maintain a consistent temperature with maximum efficiency by making minor, continuous adjustments all day long. With minor adjustments, the temperature in your Coppell home never fluctuates more than a couple of degrees, evenly distributes air and the humidity stays at which you set it to. During winter here in north Texas, you don’t want the humidity in your home to be more than 35-45%. Also, your output capacity and operating speed are lowered, therefore saving you money and energy on your electricity bills. With the Coppell home energy costing an average of 9.5 cent per kWh, you can save up to $564 per year just by having a higher SEER rating on your complete air conditioning system. The new 2015 minimum efficiency regulated by the government is 14 SEER, but to get the best deal, and eventually have your HVAC system pay for itself, you should look for a system of up to 18 SEER or higher. Tired of hearing your old clunker kick on? Not a problem anymore. They are just a little bit louder than the humming of your refrigerator. No worries about waking the baby!

So whether you are looking to replace you’re heating and air conditioning system now or in the near future, be sure to stay up to date with the latest and greatest equipment. Southern Comfort Mechanical is not only here to help you pick the perfect A/C system for your Coppell but we make sure you are comfortable every step of the way. After all, “Comfort Is Our Middle Name!”

Extra, Extra! The Cost of R-22 Expected to Double in Price in 2015!

If your air conditioning system is still using the old R-22 refrigerant and you’ve been band aiding it for the last few summers, you may want to consider replacement for many reasons. Repair, efficiency, government regulations and the price of rising refrigerant are all major factors. Southern Comfort Mechanical, serving Lantana and surrounding areas, is here to help you make the correct long-term decisions when it comes to your home and your air conditioning and heating needs.

Repairing your older HVAC systems can be a hassle for many reasons including: the part has become obsolete, specials order parts that may take days to arrive, constant repairs and expensive refrigerant leaks. (See chart below) As of now, R-22 is costing upwards of $75-90 a pound; that cost will be increasing even more as they are limiting production of it. In 2014 they produced and imported 51 million pounds and in 2015 they are only releasing 22 million pounds. And as of 2020, it will be non-existent. Southern Comfort Mechanical only uses clean, straight from the factory refrigerant. If you think you are getting a really good deal on it, chances are they are using recycled refrigerant. DO NOT use recycled refrigerant in your air conditioning system. That is just asking for your system to be compromised.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has rolled out their new regulated standard efficiency. As of January 1, 2015 here in Texas it is required to have a minimum of a 14 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) for both air conditioning and heat pumps. Be sure that when shopping for new equipment you keep this in mind. You may think you are getting a really good deal from other local Flower Mound companies, but if it’s not up to the SEER rating, you are getting robbed.

There are many factors to consider when you are looking to replace your HVAC system, including cost. With the cooler weather and winter right around the corner, now is a great time to take advantage of Trane’s special offers. Now through December 15, 2014, Trane is offering 0% interest for 60 months on qualifying systems or up to $1000 cash back. The cost of rising refrigerant and new government standard are now two major considerations. Southern Comfort Mechanical is here to answer all of your questions and guide you to making the right investment for the future of your home. Schedule your free estimate today by calling 972-420-1700.

 

Scare Tactics: The Other HVAC Company

What makes Southern Comfort Mechanical stand out from the rest of the Lewisville heating and air conditioning companies? Many things! Locally owned, always speak with an owner, small company with little to no overhead and the list goes on and on. Our customers are happy with us and we make them customers for life. Unfortunately though, some heating and air conditioning companies out there aren’t as friendly. They will try to sell you things you don’t need; parts, equipment, and even put you and your family in danger.

Recently, a new Dallas customer called us out to check their furnace. Another Lewisville company had been there and told them they needed a new furnace but the customer (thankfully) wasn’t sold. When Jason Fraser, owner, got there he immediately realized that the other HVAC company had shut off their gas! Yes, you heard me right. The other company even went so far as to shut his gas off telling him keeping it on would be a danger to him and his newborn child.

We ended up doing some duct work for this Dallas customer, nothing that requires a city permit. However, the competitor saw our trucks there and called Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR) and tried to have our company shut down! They were so mad because they thought they didn’t get the job, they were willing to jeopardize our company and their name by filing a false claim.

If this can happen to us, a competing air conditioning company, imagine what could happen to you, the innocent customer? Please be weary of anyone trying to sell something you don’t think you need. Southern Comfort Mechanical is here for you. Honesty and integrity is our middle name. We offer free second opinions on new equipment, free estimates on new equipment, and free service calls with repairs. You work hard for your money, don’t throw it away on something you don’t need. We serve Lewisville and surrounding areas and are available 24/7.

R-22 Versus R-410

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R-22 Versus R-410

R-410a, R-22, set, hike! No, they aren’t football plays; although they sound like it. They are two different types of refrigerant. “Freon” as some people call it is essential to making your system run and cooling your home. Although they do the same job, they are made of different properties and one has been deemed harmful to the environment.

R-22 is a type of refrigerant that has been around since the 1950s. Recently the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that R-22 is depleting the ozone layer. Due to that, the government has tightened their regulations and the cost of R-22 has skyrocketed and will continue to do so. What does that mean to you as the consumer?  It means higher prices, “hard to find” parts which are necessary to keep your old system running, and possibly going days without air conditioning.  Chances are if your unit if 11 years or older, your system is still running on the old R-22 Freon. Sure a pound or two here and there isn’t going to break the bank, but repairing a leak in the system and continually charging the system can cost a lot.

R-410a is now used to replace R-22.  It works the same, but it is not harmful to the environment should it leak into the atmosphere. It’s also much cheaper, half the cost and will continue to drop as R-22 rises. What you need to know is that you can’t put R-410A into an R-22 air conditioning system.  If your system runs on R-22 and you are continuing to charge it year after year, you need to think about replacing the system.

So whether you are considering replacing a part or your entire system remember, R-410a is the way to go. Not only will you save money on refrigerant, you will also save money with a more efficient system and lower utilities and help the environment.  Southern Comfort Mechanical is here to help you in your decision while being environmentally friendly. We only install R-410a complete systems, we use energy efficient parts, and we recycle everything. Little things do count and we are proud to do our part!

Gooooo Green!

 

 

Dog Days of Summer Are Here!

Summer break is finally upon us. Whether you are a native Texan or you’ve just moved here, it’s always good to have a quick refresher on heat-surviving tips. If you have outdoor pets, make sure they have plenty of water and a shaded area. If you can, let them stay indoors from 10 am to 6 pm. If they must stay outside, be sure they don’t bed near the condenser or urinate on it. It can get clogged with pet hair and dog urine will void any warranty you have. Make sure to keep if free of pet hair, pollen and bugs.  Keep a bottle of ant spray and check your condenser regularly, as ants can loosen electrical components and cause your system to fail. And, as ALWAYS, never leave a child or pet in a hot car, even for just one minute.

Should you have issues with your air conditioner, take advantage of our June money-saving offers. For ONLY $69 you can get a service call PLUS one pound of FREE Freon! Government regulations have really upped the price of Freon, so this is a good chance to get your system topped off and keep cash in your wallet. Anyone can take advantage of this offer!

As always, we are offering $25 off to new customers only with any service repair. Coupon must be presented at time of service and is not valid with any other offer.

Also, as Trane TCS dealers, we have exclusive offers that we can pass the savings to you! We are offering special financing through Wells Fargo for 15 months with approved credit on Trane qualifying systems. Give us a call today at 972-420-1700 to schedule your service call or estimate!

 

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Tax Break on Energy Star Equipment! One Weekend Only!

May is National Home Improvement Month. It also hosts a very important sales tax break. Texas shoppers can get a break from state and local sales tax on purchases of certain energy-efficient products. The 2013 ENERGY STAR sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. (after midnight) on Saturday, May 25 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27, 2013 (Memorial Day).

The products qualifying for the exemption are:

  • Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
  • Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Programmable thermostats*

All qualifying products will display the Energy Star logo on the product or its packaging. Only the products listed will be eligible for the exemption. Other products not on the list are not eligible even though they may have an Energy Star designation.

PLUS – Save even more money with Trane rebates! Factory rebates from Trane include up to $1250 cash back or take advantage of special financing for 60 months with approved credit on qualifying systems through May 31st. That said, you could get a new system for a fraction of the cost!

If you are interested in purchasing a new system, please give us a call at our office at 972-420-1700. Southern Comfort Mechanical is here to serve all of your “going green” needs!

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* ENERGY STAR specification of programmable thermostats was suspended on December 31, 2009; however, any existing stock of ENERGY STAR labeled programmable thermostats offered for sale by retailers is still eligible for the exemption.

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**The Wells Fargo Home Projects credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Financial National Bank, an Equal Housing Lender. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 01/06/2016 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 12/31/2017.