Blog - PECO Heating & Cooling

Saving Energy While Heating Water With A Tankless Water Heater

Water Heating Can Be a Tankless Task

Traditional water heaters, even if they are running right, have built-in inefficiencies. You would never keep a pot of boiling water on the stove 24/7 to make your coffee or tea each morning. That’s sort of what’s happening in your water heater tank—whether you’re at work, or away for the weekend, your water heater is burning energy all day, every day to keep a big “pot” of water ready for the next time you want to use it. Going tankless addresses this wastefulness by only heating water on demand. It is also a much smaller unit, saving on space. This is a big deal since water heating is the second most expensive energy guzzler in most households.

How It Works

When you turn the handle for hot water in a traditional system, pre-heated hot water travels through pipes to the tap. In a tankless system, cold water is carried to the unit and is circulated through a series of coils called a heat exchanger and sent directly to the faucet. The system only heats the water that you need—you save on your electric or gas bill and reduce your carbon footprint!

Gas Versus Electric

Electric on-demand tankless systems produce lower flow rates than gas-fired units due to lower BTU production. The most powerful home electric system produces 125,000 BTU, while outputs from gas systems range from 120,000 to 199,000 BTU.  Electric water heaters are more compact and can be complicated to install, requiring (3) 50 AMP double pole breakers and circuits run to supply the power. Your home’s electrical panel and service AMPs must be large enough to supply the additional 150A required to run the electric tankless water heater. Most homes only have 200A service. Gas tankless heaters are larger and will require installation of additional gas lines and PVC venting (exterior tankless only need gas and water lines). Gas water heaters are more efficient than electric, and the price to install is about the same.  There are more restrictions for installing electric tankless than gas; however, because electric tankless is limited to the power supplied to your home.

How Much Is Not Enough?

Typically, tankless units provide hot water at a rate of two to five gallons per minute, depending on the model and temperature of the groundwater. For simultaneous demand for showering, dishwashing and clothes washing, be sure that the new system you purchase will cover your needs. Tankless water heaters can cost significantly more to install compared to an electric tank water heater, but it will also produce energy savings that may result in the unit paying for itself in 10-12 years or less. Also, they will last longer—warranties for most tankless systems are for 20 years compared to 8-10 years for tank systems. For more information about installing a tankless water heater system in your home, call PECO, your home service heroes. We’re a family-owned business and take great pride in offering high-quality home repair with even higher quality attention to our customer’s needs. We’re available 24/7 and service  Oconee, Pickens, and North Anderson counties. As well as being licensed plumbing contractors, we also install, maintain and fix heating and cooling systems. We can fix or build anything that moves gas or water through your house and we even repair and remodel homes, including doors, minor drywall, and painting. If you’re thinking of going tankless, call the experts at PECO today at 864-639-2424 or request an appointment online.

The Costly Air Conditioner Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Keep your Air Conditioner Running Smooth in the Dog Days of Summer

Long, scorching days and warm evenings tell us the dog days of summer have finally, fully arrived. Another thing that tells us? The steady, smooth whirr of your air conditioner. Unless your AC unit is balky, noisy or just not pumping out cool air like it used to. Then summer, especially in upstate South Carolina, becomes unbearably stifling, humid, and even unhealthful. Not to mention a drain on your budget when you have to finally break down and fix it. So, what can you do to make sure you keep your cool in the hottest months of the year?

Change that Filter

On average, the air filter on your heating and cooling system becomes saturated with dirt and dust after 1 month. This not only increases the amount of dust in your house, but it makes your unit work harder with weaker output. Replacing a dirty filter can improve AC energy use by 5 to 15%—and might even make you stop yearning for winter!

Dirty Fins and Coils

Your AC’s evaporator coils work as a heat exchanger—refrigerant inside the coil evaporates as heat is absorbed. The fins enhance the heat exchange process. Layers of dust and dirt bog the system down by up to 40%, costing you more and more money to get to a temperature you can live with. It is recommended you get your coils and fins cleaned at the beginning of the summer and then check for buildup throughout peak season. Though it is possible to DIY this task, it is probably best to give it over to professionals who can check for other key issues.

Maintenance Free—Not!

Many people treat their AC and heating system as if it is a self-cleaning, self-maintaining unit, which is just not true. Over time, the life-blood of your unit, refrigerant, escapes and is dispersed outdoors, putting a strain on your system and your budget. A technician can determine if your system is low on refrigerant and add more if needed, getting your unit back on track and making your home or business way more chill.   

As you can see, staying ahead of repairs is the best way to avoid costly, inconvenient fixes. At PECO Heating and Cooling, our Planned Maintenance Agreement, will keep your heating and cooling systems in excellent working condition all year long. Twice each year, we’ll come to your house and perform maintenance that will give you a  reliable system you can depend on. We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services.

If you need help with just about anything in your home, we have the tools and knowledge to give you professional, top-quality craftsmanship and get you through the dog days. Why are they called dog days, anyway? The Romans noted that in the summer, the sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, the brightest star and part of the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. They thought Sirius gave off extra heat, making summer hotter! To keep the dogs at bay all summer long, call 864-639-2424 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.

Choosing the Right Size HVAC System for Your Home

If you’ve ever looked on the internet for tips on choosing the right size HVAC system for your home, you know it can be confusing! Often there are a number of different calculations and formulas – but how do you know which is the correct one to use? It is best to have an HVAC specialist visit your home as we have found those formulas or calculations can’t take into account your lifestyle and the TRUE energy efficiency in your home.   We have used the Manual J calculation and there are limitations to the software.  Many times we have found it to undersize the appropriate tonnage for a home. 

Some clients enjoy their homes icy cold while others like a typical 72 degrees for summer and the same for winter. Older clients have different needs than those with families and active lifestyles.   Some homes have vaulted ceilings and large windows; ductwork is under or oversized…parameters manual J can’t calculate.

Home Air Conditioner

Can’t You Just Use Square Footage to Choose an HVAC unit?

While there are certain charts out there that will give you a general idea of the best HVAC size, they’re based only on square footage and don’t take the other variables addressed by the Manual J calculation into account. If you were to compare two homes with the same square footage, one may have less energy-efficient windows, more people living in the home, and older insulation – factors which could significantly alter the BTU recommendations. Even though the homes are the same size, they could have completely different energy needs.

A reputable HVAC company will take all these things into consideration, look at your existing system, lifestyle, home age, etc and make suggestions for energy efficiency (i.e. attic insulation), air filtration and more.  Changing any of these parameters can help you save energy passively and perhaps reduce the required tonnage of your system.

Still having trouble deciding which size HVAC system is right for you? Give us a call, and one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians can help you choose the perfect system for your home.

8 Cool Cost-Saving Tips to Reduce Your Air Conditioning Bill This Summer

With warm summer weather on the way, it’s the perfect time to look at some effective ways to save on your air conditioning costs this summer. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners spend a combined $29 billion per year in cooling and energy costs – and much of that could potentially be reduced with a few easy tricks and tips.

1. Invest in an automated thermostat

Smart thermostats are one of the best investments you can make when it comes to reducing your cooling costs. They allow you to regulate the temperature of your home when you’re away and control it remotely. Program it to have a higher temperature (only 3 degrees above or below your comfort level) when you’re away from the home, then have the cooling kick on once you’re home. Over time, you’ll definitely see the savings add up!

2. Turn your thermostat up

Often people think turning their air conditioner off while they are away and turning it on when they come home will save money.  It doesn’t work.  When the system is off (in either heating or cooling cycle) the entire house and its contents ejects the heat or cool temp into the room until they reach equilibrium – walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, appliances, etc.  When you return home and turn your thermostat at your ideal temperature…all those items listed much reach that temperature first…before you feel it.  This is called heat transfer….This means your system could run for 8-10 hours straight on a very hot or cold day before you are feeling it versus cycle on and off for a total of 4 hours during the day to maintain the temperature.  For older more inefficient systems it could run longer and risk damaging critical components like the compressor and motors. Its best to set your thermostat to a higher temperature when you leave the house only 3 degrees above your comfort level, then down to a cooler temperature when you get home will save more money than having the AC unit cycling on and off throughout the day.

3. Window coverings

If you have a lot of sunlight beating on your home throughout the day, it could be heating up your interior. Installing some blinds or curtains will help keep the heat out during the summer and keep heat in during the winter – contributing to energy savings all year round!  Awnings work great as well

4. Install a ceiling fan

According to the National Resource Defense Council, using a ceiling fan during warm weather can make a room feel up to 10 degrees cooler, plus it uses 10% less energy than a central air conditioner. You can also improve energy efficiency by installing a smart ceiling fan that schedules when your fan turns on and off.  This is because of heat transfer again.  Since cool air is blowing across your skin, you feel cooler.

5. Turn off the AC at night and open the windows

If it’s a cool night, you can turn your AC off and open the windows to cool your home down. Be sure to close the windows and drapes or blinds as soon as you wake up to lock in the cool air.

6. Close your chimney flue

Leaving your chimney flue open isn’t much different than leaving a door or window open, so if you have a chimney, be sure to close off the flue during the warm summer months. Doing this simple trick can save an additional 10% on your air conditioning costs.

7. Check your windows for energy efficiency

Heat loss and gains through windows are responsible for approximately 25-30% of residential heating and cooling costs. You can have an energy audit done, or you can simply go around your house and feel for where you feel air coming through around windows and doors. If you have leaks, you can apply caulk to the cracks (or have us do it) to create a fresh seal that will prevent your cool air from escaping. If you have an older home with single pane windows, you may also want to consider installing more energy efficient windows.

8. Have your vents and ducts serviced

It’s important to keep your vents opened and unblocked of clutter/furniture to make sure your AC system is running as efficiently as possible. Blocked vents make your AC system work harder than it has to, leading to higher energy bills – and may even cause damage to your AC unit over time.  Many people think if they close the vents or shut doors this saves energy.  It is best to leave doors and vents opened and if you have 2 systems, make sure they are both running.

Ducts should also be checked for cracks, as escaping air may also cause your AC to run less efficiently. Additionally, keeping your vents clean is important to your health, as dirty vents can harbor bacteria and microorganisms that can affect your health.  Having an Air filtration system with MERV11 or MERV16 5” pleated filter system will keep your system and ductwork clean. UV lights can kill bacteria, mold, and mildew. Investing in a planned maintenance agreement can ensure that your HVAC system stays clean and running as efficiently as possible all year long.

Get Your House Ready for Your Vacation with these 5 Tips

Just because you’re away on vacation doesn’t mean you don’t stop thinking about or needing to take care of your house. Here are 5 tips to make sure your home is safe from electrical issues while you are gone.

Unplug

Even when your devices are turned off, they still use up power and electricity and could be subject to surges and shorts. By unplugging your devices, specifically things like your TV, computers, lamps, and more you will save money on electrical use and protect from any potential fire hazards. Unless you want a stinky mess when you come home, you probably should leave your fridge plugged in, but you could always turn down the settings slightly.

Hot Water Tank

Another way to reduce your costs and power usage while you are away is to turn down the temperature on your water heater. Even though you are not using your hot water while on vacation, the water will cool on its own which will kick in the heating process of your tank. Most hot water tanks have a setting on them called ‘vacation’ or ‘away.’ Simply find the temperature knob or panel, and set it to the vacation temperature which is usually just above the pilot setting. Why heat your water when you won’t be using it?

Temperature Settings

Don’t leave the temperature turned up high or the AC turned on at all when you are away. If you’re traveling in the winter, you will have to leave the heat on, but the temperature can be much lower than if you were at home to keep your pipes from freezing and bursting. As well, if you are away in the summer, there is no need to keep your air conditioning on at all. You can cool your house down again when you come home. If you have pets you can’t take with you, consider having someone else look after them at their home.

Programmable Lights

At night, we want some lights on in our house, so it looks like people are at home. There are devices we can get so we can program our lights, inside or out, to come on at a particular time. Timed lights will work to reduce our electrical costs. You could also look into smart lights, either builds or fixtures which you can control from your smartphone and turn on and off wherever you are.

Check-In

Lastly, have a friend, family member, or neighbor check in on your house every few days while you are away. Someone walking around your home and property could notice a problem before it becomes severe. Some insurance companies require that someone check on an empty house for the coverage to still be valid in case of an emergency.

How to Decide Whether to Replace or Repair Your HVAC System

How to Decide Whether to Replace or Repair Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is malfunctioning; how do you know whether it’s worth repairing or if it should be replaced altogether? While we can certainly give recommendations when we take a look at your HVAC system, here are a few guidelines you can keep in mind to determine which choice is right for you.

It’s Worth the Cost of Repairs if:

  • If your system is less than 10 years old. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the typical HVAC system is expected to last about 10-15 years. If your unit is less than 10 years old does or does not have manufacturer’s parts warranty, it’s most likely more cost-efficient to have it repaired. Over 10 years old? You’ll most likely want to have it replaced to save on repeated service calls.
  • Your ductwork is the issue. Many times, issues with your HVAC system can be caused by problems with your ducts. It’s estimated that about 10-30% of your HVAC system’s air leaks out before it reaches the interior of your home, so having your ducts checked for any leaks or gaps can save you money on energy costs and help your system run more efficiently.
  • You’ve had regular maintenance performed on your HVAC unit. If you’ve kept up with regular maintenance on your HVAC system, this can reduce demand service calls and save on your power bill monthly. Regularly cleaning the unit of dust, pollen, animal hair, dirt, and debris should ensure that your unit doesn’t fail before it’s time. We recommend having your HVAC system serviced twice a year; spring and fall are a great time to get your system ready for your heavier heating and cooling needs during the summer and winter months.

It’s Worth the Cost of Replacing if:

  • Your unit is over 10 – 15 years old. As mentioned above, at this age, your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan, and that means the chances of it having repeated need for repairs goes up. As the components in your HVAC begin to age and malfunction, it’s generally cheaper to simply replace the entire unit than to pay for repairs every season.
  • You notice higher energy bills when you use your HVAC. As HVAC units age, they become less energy efficient and must work harder to keep your home heated and cooled. If you notice that your energy bills have been rising, it may be worth replacing your older unit entirely.
  • Your HVAC system isn’t keeping your home comfortable. If your system isn’t able to keep up with the demands of your home and you’re continuously noticing that rooms aren’t as comfortable as they should be, it may be time to replace your HVAC unit.

Are you still having trouble deciding whether you need a repair or replacement? You can do a quick calculation to see what would be more cost-effective. Contact us for an estimate for HVAC repair, and then multiply that number by the age of your system in years. Then, check that price against the price of a new unit. If it’s more than the cost of a new unit, then it’s best to replace it. If it’s less, and the system is under 10 years old, it’s probably best to repair it. If you’re still unsure, our skilled technicians can provide expert advice on whether your unit should be replaced versus repaired. Give us a call and we’ll come out and take a look!

Lennox Sponsors HGTV’s 2019 Smart Home!

We regularly work with Lennox smart home products, so we’re very excited to see that Lennox is sponsoring HGTV’s 2019 Smart Home in the Dallas suburb of Roanoke TX! Using some of the most innovative smart technology, HGTV’s smart home showcases how automated HVAC systems can deliver unsurpassed comfort and convenience. Learn more about some of the high-quality HVAC products used in the home below!

XC25 Air Conditioner

The XC25 is one of the finest air conditioning units that Lennox makes. It’s incredibly energy efficient and has been designated as one of the most efficient Energy Star certified products of 2019 with an efficiency rating of up to 26.00 SEER, allowing you save hundreds of dollars on electricity costs yearly. The XC25 can easily be combined with solar roof modules for even more drastic cuts to your utility bill. As a nice addition, it also has SilentComfort technology that reduces sound levels to 50% quieter than that of a standard air conditioner.

SLP98V Gas Furnace

The SLP98V has Precise Comfort technology that allows it to keep the temperature distributed evenly throughout your home at the exact temperature you like. Say goodbye to cold spots around the home! It has an industry-leading energy efficiency of up to 98.7% AFUE, as has also been named one of Energy Star’s most efficient products of 2019. Like the XC25, it also boasts the SilentComfort technology and is up to 10x quieter than competitive models. With AirFlex technology, you can adjust the airflow in your home to best match your lifestyle and home design. It can also be paired with the iComfort S30 Ultra Smart Thermostat for the most precise comfort.

iComfort S30 Ultra Smart Thermostat

The iComfort only needs to be programmed once, and then you’ll never have to think about it again! With adaptive technology, it adjusts the temperature within your home according to your schedule. It actively monitors your HVAC systems and can alert you to any issues that may arise, as well as when it’s time for routine things like a filter replacement. Keep track of your system’s operation and performance with it’s daily and hourly reports via the web portal, or simply check out the monthly report that’s automatically emailed to you. It’s compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and the Apple Home Kit.

You can control and monitor your system with your smartphone (Android and Apple compatible) and with the Smart Away mode, your thermostat can detect your location using your phone’s GPS to adjust your HVAC system to be more energy efficient when you’re not at home. You can also balance the temperature and humidity using the “Feels Like” feature to create the temperature you want to feel. It’s also a great choice for allergy sufferers; the iComfort’s Allergen Defender will monitor the air quality and pollen levels in your area according to zip code and automatically turns on the fan to clear your home’s air when levels are high.

iHarmony Zoning System

The iHarmony Zoning system allows for room to room temperature control for iComfort integrated equipment. Used in combination with other Lennox equipment, you can redirect airflow to have heating and cooling wherever you’d like it in your home. It can also help you use less energy and cut costs by up to 35% when used with a programmable thermostat. The iHarmony allows every family member to have the ultimate comfortable space and can be controlled remotely with your smartphone.

Lennox MPB Mini-Split Heat Pump

The MPB is an ideal option for small spaces and add-on rooms where it isn’t practical to extend or install ductwork. It’s incredibly energy efficient with efficiency ratings of up to 24.50 SEER and 11.50 HSPF and has inverter technology that adjusts motor speeds based on outdoor weather and temperature conditions. The MPB is also very quiet, allowing you to enjoy optimal comfort without additional noise.

Pure Air S Air Purification System

Unlike many air purification systems, the Pure Air S filters out particles, germs, and odors, giving you the ability to combat the 3 main household air contaminants. The Pure Air S removes 99.9% of mold, spores, pollen, dust and pet dander, as well as 90% of flu and cold viruses, infectious bacteria and other microorganisms down to 0.01 microns. In addition, it removes approximately 50% of household odors and volatile organic compounds from sources like cooking fumes, pets, cleaning supplies, paint and more. Its smart features allow it to monitor the life of the filter as well as its purifying UVA light, so you don’t have to! When it’s time for a replacement, it will send a notification to your iComfort thermostat. The Pure Air S system doesn’t produce any ozone byproduct and actively works to reduce ozone, giving your home the healthiest, freshest air possible.

Want to learn more about any of these great smart home products, or would like to have them installed in your home? Give us a call today and we’d be happy to discuss the best products for your heating and cooling needs.

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Get Smart About Thermostats!

Smart thermostats are great for so many reasons; they add convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency to any home. If you’ve considered adding one to your household, you may have discovered there are a lot of options available. How do you choose the right one? We’ve compiled a list of four of our favorite thermostats that we personally install in our clients’ homes. They have amazing functionality, look attractive, and offer all the features you’d hope to see in a smart thermostat.

Lennox iComfort E30

The E30 is our top choice for smart thermostats. It’s innovatively designed, offers great features, and makes it easy to save money on energy bills without having to sacrifice your comfort. The E30 has a “Feels Like” setting, which takes the temperature and humidity into account, allowing you to have your home feel exactly how you like it. It’s a great option for those with asthma or seasonal allergies; it has the ability to monitor the air quality and allergens in your zip code and will turn on the system’s fan to keep your home’s air clean. If you have a whole-home humidifier, the E30 can be set-up to work with it to keep your home’s air moisture level optimal. You can control your home’s temperature from anywhere with a smartphone; it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, or Echo Dot

In terms of energy efficiency, the E30 offers a number of innovative features. It features a Smart Away mode that works with your smartphone’s location to adjust your home’s temperature based on whether or not you’re at home, and Schedule IQ technology that adjusts temperature settings to match changes in your routine. A convenient One-Touch away mode allows you to override your regular programming schedule with a single touch, setting back your heating and cooling set points to help you save energy; it’s Smooth Setback Recovery setting allows you to automatically adjust your heating and cooling start time to keep your house at the exact temperature you like. Additionally, the E30 provides handy performance reports that show you the history of your system’s operation and performance.

Honeywell Lyric T6

The Lyric is a great economical option for those who like the fancy features of more expensive thermostats but want to save on costs. While it’s a fraction of the price of others, it offers many of the same features – and it works with everything. The Lyric offers complete connectivity with your mobile device, allowing you to control it from anywhere; multiple smartphones can be linked, giving your whole family the ability for remote temperature control.

With 7-day flexible scheduling, you can program it to work with your schedule throughout the week; if your schedule changes, it’s easy to adjust the setting remotely using the app. The Lyric also features geofencing capabilities and smart alerts that let you know when you need your filter changed. It can be integrated with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, and Apple HomeKit. It also comes in a Z-Wave version for control and automation of other smart devices within your home.

Emerson Sensi Touch

The Sensi Touch is a little simpler than the previous thermostats, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It allows you to easily control your home temperature from anywhere using wifi, and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKits. It also offers convenient geofencing. Named the “Best Overall” smart thermometer of 2018, it has an attractive HD color touchscreen display with backlighting that makes it easy to use in low light. You can set up smart alerts to let you know when extreme temperature is on the way, or when humidity changes are detected, and it conveniently receives automatic software updates, so you’ll always have access to the latest features as they’re released. The Sensi also sends you usage reports, allowing you to monitor your heating and cooling run times, as well as receive energy saving tips, product news and more.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is aptly named; this thermostat learns and adapts to your schedule – in only one week! The Nest makes it easy to save energy based on your lifestyle and needs. Nest also has voice control capability with Alexa and Google Assistant and can be set up to track your smartphone location, adjusting the temperature of your home to fit your schedule. An independent study showed The Nest was able to save people an average of 10% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills, effectively paying for itself in under two years. Our company has experienced a high failure rate with these thermostats however, the Lennox or Honeywell is the best option. They work with everything and the Honeywell even has a Z-Wave version.

Get Smart About Thermostats!

Now that you know about our favorite smart thermostats, the only question is, which one is right for you? If you’re interested in installing a new smart thermostat or would like to discuss which one would fit your needs best, give us a call! We’re happy to go over the different features in more detail and find the perfect thermostat for you.

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Ethical Considerations in the World of HVAC

Ethics are an important topic in any industry. As a company, behaving ethically is essential from the standpoint of continuing to stay in business. Customers, vendors, or even employees who feel the business is behaving unethically are not likely to stick around. By behaving ethically, a business ensures that they build trust and relationships with those they work with, whether they’re customers or colleagues. Unfortunately, in the world of HVAC, many companies don’t behave as ethically as they should, making customers wary of hiring such services.  We’ve identified a few of the biggest ethics offenses in the HVAC industry that cause customers to lose faith in the service.

HVAC

Disclosure of Pricing

Many customers like to know how much they can expect to spend on maintenance or repairs. While costs aren’t always completely foreseeable, especially in cases where the problem isn’t clear cut, it’s important to have full disclosure with customers about any increase to the quoted price. Good ethics involves giving customers the chance to decide if they want to incur greater costs. It’s also important to explain what the additional costs are for and why. Too often, services are performed without any discussion of the necessity, leaving some customers feeling like they’re in the dark about what was actually done. No customer wants to deal with bait-and-switches, over-pricing, or lack of communication. These things understandable cause a lack of trust in the company’s services and ultimately made lead to a loss of business.

HVAC Misdiagnosis or Non-Diagnosis

HVAC systems are highly technical, meaning customers depend on skilled HVAC technicians to properly diagnose any issues they’ve been experiencing. Thorough diagnostics aren’t just for the technician to determine the nature of the problem – they also allow customers to understand what’s going on with their equipment. A good diagnosis should include an easy to understand description of the problem, and the technician should be willing to spend time explaining the issue and address any concerns the customer may have. This not only allows the customer to make a more informed decision regarding their equipment, but it also builds further trust between the customer and the technician.

When dealing with older HVAC systems, it may be necessary to inform customers that the system is at risk of future failure. This can be a difficult conversation with some, as they may feel you’re trying to oversell. It’s important to explain the potential risks however, as the unit may fail in the near future, leading to an angry customer. As with any difficult conversation, clear, open communication will help customers feel more at ease with the information and allow them to make an informed decision.

Other Ethical Issues

If there’s a need to change the product specifications, this should always be discussed and agreed to by the customer – they shouldn’t have to find out after the work is done that the equipment installed isn’t product or level of quality they were expecting. Employees that are work on commission or other types of profit sharing can also cause unethical behavior, as it sends a message that the bottom line is about profit – not customer service.

We’ve identified a few areas that HVAC maintenance can present ethical issues and cause understandable suspicion about having HVAC work done. At PECO, integrity and ethics are at the cornerstone of what we do. We take every measure to make sure that we act ethically with our customers, from the moment they call us to the moment we leave their home. With our skilled and dedicated technicians, our clear cut pricing, and our priority to customer service, you can feel confident any time you give us a call!

Spring Into Maintenance Season

Spring is the perfect time of year to perform any home maintenance that has been on hold over the winter. The wintertime brings harsh weather that adds wear and tear to your home, most of which isn’t obvious at first glance. To keep your home in excellent condition all year round and prevent expensive repairs, we recommend checking your house from top to bottom to catch up on any maintenance issues. While it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start with spring cleaning and maintenance, we’ve made this handy checklist outlining some of the areas that are hit hardest by the wintery elements.

Spring
  • Inspection – Start by taking a good look around the outside of your home; do you notice any signs of wear and tear? Are there shingles that have shifted on your roof? Gutters that need repair? Check the siding on your house, your door and window seals – are there any areas that look worn or damaged? By giving your house a thorough once-over, you’ll be able to catch any problems before they have the chance to worsen and cause costly repairs. Head inside and check the window and door seals again, noting any cracks or moisture trapped between the panes. Now is also a great time to check your carbon monoxide and fire detectors and change the batteries if needed.
  • Windows – After winter weather it’s likely your windows can use a little attention! If you feel comfortable cleaning them yourself, use a squeegee or soft cloth with a mixture of equal parts hot water and white vinegar to clean that wintertime grime away. Don’t forget the screens; clean them using a mild detergent and allow them to completely dry before hanging them back on your windows. Note any holes in the screens- these should be fixed or replaced prior to summer to prevent any insects from coming into the house.
  • Gutters – Gutters take a particular beating during the winter! Spring is the perfect time to clean any leaves, twigs, or other debris that may have accumulated in them during winter storms. Safely climb a ladder and remove any debris, then run a hose up to your roof and make sure your gutters and have proper drainage and that the downspouts send the water flowing away from your home’s foundation. Also, be sure to check that all the downspouts are securely attached to your home.
  • Hardscaping – Wintertime temperatures can be hard on your driveways and walkways; check all the hardscaping for cracks, chips or other damage. Small cracks can often be repaired on your own, but larger areas may require a professional’s touch.
  • Woodwork – Winter moisture can be tough on woodwork around your home, such as decks, siding, and railings. Spring is the perfect time to power wash and reseal any wood prior to warm summer weather. Note any signs of wood damage that may need to be replaced.
  • Grills – Summertime means barbecuing, making spring the perfect season to prep your grill. For charcoal grills, it’s pretty straightforward- clean out ant ash or grease that may have accumulated. If you have a gas grill, it’s a good idea to check the lines to make sure there are no leaks. Coat the lines with soapy water and turn on the gas. If there are any leaks, you’ll see soap bubbles form at the leak site. Always be sure to keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house and at least 5 feet away from anything combustible.
  • HVAC – Your HVAC system has likely been used a lot over the winter; servicing it in the spring ensures that your system is clean and ready to go for the summer months. This year the pollen count has been extremely high, and pollen is sticky gets into the outdoor and indoor coils.  The last thing you want is to discover you have an issue that needs to be fixed in the middle of a heat wave! The skilled technicians at PECO can quickly help you with all your HVAC maintenance, including cleaning and replacing air filters.  Ask our Service Expert about whole house filtration options.
  • Irrigation – Before you begin watering your garden or yard this spring turn on all your irrigation, checking for any leaks, off-kilter sprinkler heads, or other malfunctions. Doing this will prevent significant water waste and potential water damage to your foundation, woodwork, or other parts of your home.

Hopefully, this list made it easier to know where to start with your spring cleaning and maintenance! If you’re unable to do any of your home upkeep due to time constraints, physical constraints, or lack of proper tools, contact us at PECO! We’re your friendly home maintenance experts handling all types of home repair, from gutters to decks and more. We’ll help you get your home in perfect order and ready to weather another year.