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10 Questions Homeowners Need to Ask

Friday, January 6th, 2012

At Staley, we are committed to ensuring you experience the best possible heating/cooling solutions while saving on energy costs that we actually compiled 10 valuable questions to consider before contracting ANY work to be done by ANY certified professional.

  1. Should any property be damaged during a repair or installation, ask the company if they carry General Liability Insurance of at least $1,000,000.
  2. If a technician experiences injury on your property during a repair or installation, be sure the company carries Worker’s Compensation for all employees to protect yourself from any resulting liability.
  3. Determine the mode of advertising for the business. We have found that successful contractors not only have listings in telephone directories for convenient contact, but typically have websites with extensive information regarding their company with contact ability via email.
  4. Ask how long the technician has been doing work in this particular field and for the company they work for. Thus, Staley has been in business for 25 years and guarantees not only to complete your job, but to be there should any other needs arise.
  5. Assess whether or not the company is trained to perform work in homes built before 1978, or any other structure that may contain lead paint. In order to complete work safely, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that contractors must be trained in “lead-safe” work under the RRP rule (Renovation, Repair and Painting). Concern for this is critical since risk to the homeowner and worker related to lead paint dust and/or fines for non-compliance are at stake.
  6. Testimonials say it all. A good company will not only include a list of past customers with the same work to be done but provide their contact information to you the same day you request it. After all, at Staley, we know just how valuable repeat clients and referrals can be.
  7. Ensure that the kind of work to be done is licensed or registered with the city, county, state or perhaps a Building Permit is acquired prior to the work to be done. You can rest assured that Staley goes above and beyond to meet or exceed code requirements with all the necessary permits.
  8. In this day and age of technology, it is imperative to be up-to-date on all training and certifications because systems advance so rapidly. Make sure that any technician you use has current technical training and certification for the job being proposed on your home. That any equipment estimates are done off a manual J load calculation to insure properly sized units for better efficiency.
  9. Insist a firm price be determined on the work being considered for your home. Unlike some other contractors, Staley typically works with “fixed-price” agreements since our years of expertise allow us to determine rates accurately BEFORE the work is completed. In rare instances, should we come upon unknown situations that could increase costs, we will provide you with a “not to exceed” estimate so you are aware of the worst case scenario before the job is done.
  10. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, make certain the contractor is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a true mark of professionalism and stability with any kind of business. It is also important to investigate how they handle any complaints with the BBB in the past as well as determining how they resolve these situations. Staley has been a member of the BBB for 13 years with A plus rateing and reports obtained will show the few client complaints we did incur were all resolved satisfactorily and promptly.

 

Maintenance Tips

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Keeping your heating and cooling systems in good working order means your utility bills will be lower, your home will be more comfortable, and you’ll need to call for repairs less often.

Maintenance Scheduling

Schedule a maintenance service call before the heating season starts. If there are any problems with your system, it’s better to find out before it’s freezing outside! Do the same for your cooling system before sweltering season begins.

Filters

Replace your heating and cooling air filters every month that they’re in use. Operating your system with old, dirty filters means energy is wasted and your system may even be damaged. While you’re at it, check and clean the filters in your home’s air cleaners and humidifiers.

System Checks

  • If you have a forced air heating system check your furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. Vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there. You should also check fan belt tension, and lubricate fan and motor bearings.
  • If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
  • Bleed hot water system radiators at least once a year.
  • Don’t keep clutter near your furnace. It’s a fire hazard, and may keep your system from operating efficiently.
  • To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system, keep the heating registers and vents throughout the house free of dust, dirt, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once a year.
  • Listen for odd sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, get in touch with your service professional so you can head off problems before they become serious.
  • In winter months, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.