Austin Air Companie Blog

AC Freon Leaks 2017

June 26th, 2017

Serving Katy, Texas area: Freon leaks in your air conditioning system pose a big challenge now and in the foreseeable future. Part of the problem can sometimes be a missed diagnosis, because what seems as a system low on Freon in fact could be something else entirely different. Some problems with your air conditioner can mimic that of a system being low on Freon when in fact the system isn’t low on Freon at all. To make matters worse the required amount of refrigerant needed for a modern AC system could be anywhere from 6 to 20 pounds of refrigerant. This isn’t something that should be guessed at.

Freon Sale Katy, Texas

Guessing Is Not Diagnosing An AC System

Guessing only leads to more guessing. This is why proper diagnosis (in person) is key and why inspection of your air conditioning system by a professional licensed HVAC contractor is necessary to getting the results of what you are looking for to begin with. If a system is thought to be low on Freon and the system is charged with additional Freon this additional Freon in many instances can cause the system not to work under heavy heat conditions and it’s not likely to help at all under low heat conditions either. You see when an AC system is under heavy heat conditions, the refrigerant expands. There is only so much room in your air conditioner. If the system is over charged with refrigerant it won’t work right just as much as if the system were under charged, not having enough refrigerant to operate properly.

Air Conditioners Do Not Use Up Freon

Air conditioning systems are designed to be perfectly sealed systems. If the system is leak free it can run forever without any fuss of needing to recharge Freon into the system. The problem is that as an air conditioner ages it can be susceptible to forming leaks sometimes due to poor servicing methods and some times due to just normal wear and tear. Most often the Freon leaks form within the equipment itself. Some times these leaks are repairable and sometimes the leaks are not repairable and may require some equipment to be replaced with new equipment to repair the Freon leaks properly.

Many times I get called out on systems that I have never been to before. Because I have no records of the system in question I can give you several options as a way to get to the point of repairing your system, there isn’t always a ‘one size’ fits all approach to these kinds of problems. Obviously in order to even get to this point the system has to be properly diagnosed to even know that it is low on refrigerant to begin with.

AC Freon Leaks Should Be Repaired Properly

If you have had to recharge your AC system before, there is a good chance the air conditioning system probably has a Freon leak. But even that is not certain if you are a victim of poor servicing methods. The problem with refrigerant leaks is that the best cure is repair the leak. The bigger problem is knowing where the leak is. This many times comes by way of experience and knowing where many leaks typically form with in your AC system. It’s not always that easy to find really small Freon leaks. If you are not certain where a leak exists and you replace only part of the AC equipment only to later find the system low on Freon again, there could be a good chance you made a repair for nothing or you just have an aging system that keeps springing refrigerant leaks. That’s what makes this difficult and why I am writing this blog right now.

Adding things to your system that don’t belong in your system to begin with to find Freon leaks or try to repair them with snake oil additives is not advisable because you are now placing things in your refrigeration system that shouldn’t be there to begin with. I have methods to find leaks that don’t involve adding things to a system. It is the better way to do it with better long term results. Obviously every method doesn’t result in success every time. In time conclusions can be drawn from my own experience and previous invoice records of a given property. Yes, there is more than one reason for a service invoice.

Importance Of AC Service Records

Service records play an important role of keeping your system properly tuned with the right amount of refrigerant your HVAC system needs to perform properly. This is why it is not a good idea to jump from one AC company to another. If servicing is poor at one company, it is likely to be no better at another. This is why you should hire a pro to service your HVAC equipment.

I can give you several options to get to the bottom of system performance issues as well as provide you with options to get that leak free AC system you are looking for. Then as you need service, the service records look to keep you further informed in regards to refrigerant charges and whatever else your system has needed previously in the way of repairs.

As of 2017, there is no such thing as a ‘better’ refrigerant all of them are expensive, and all of them require systems to be leak free. The old way of doing things was merely to recharge the system, but due to the continuing rising costs of refrigerants this option is not a viable long term solution. You must be looking at ways to find and fix those Freon leaks, regardless of what type of refrigerant your system uses.

Thank you for visiting with me today.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 22 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

How Does A Home Warranty Really Work?

June 7th, 2017

Home warranties have mostly evolved into an elaborate system of cheating for your money. It is hard for even me to believe that it was ever intended to be what it has evolved into. Profitability of home warranty companies at historic highs clearly demonstrate they are nothing more than money trees to enrich those who you think are going to do you a favor at some point in time in the future. The future comes, the premiums are paid, the truth is far from reality. The video below is over 40 minutes long, but for such a complicated subject it has to be, to get the full point across. The content of the video is different from the content of this blog post.

You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Part of the problem is that the fees paid for various coverage haven’t kept up with inflation. Certainly, there are a myriad of ways in which an appliance or fixture fails within the home, not to mention a myriad of ways to fix, repair and in some cases replace the appliance or fixture. The problem is that time tends to cook the goose more often than not, and coverage that you thought was there was never there to begin with.

Home Warranty White Lies

However, the home warranty advertisements used to attract new home owners paint the coverage as something it is not and hide the contract with all the loop holes until after you send in payment, fully relying on you to take the step to actually read a contract that is likely filled with lawyer speak a week or longer from when you send in payment for your premium. I have embedded a video above to demonstrate what a home warranty company sent me. (The video is different from the content of this blog post, the video is not scripted I go thru various aspects of the brochure and prove things in a non scripted manner.) The video is over 40 minutes long as this subject is quite complex. I think the video does a good job of showing why home warranties are not what they appear to be and they have to be this way in order to sell the policies.

I have been in the HVAC business for over 22 years. I have worked for companies that worked for home warranty companies, so my knowledge of their ways is based on my experience. Currently (2017) I DO NOT do work for any home warranty company because the methods / cost / payment methods for work involved do not measure up to reality. I can help you outside the realm of a home warranty. (Katy, Texas Area) I can repair your system / install new equipment if that’s what you decide with guarantees and warranties that have nothing to do with a home warranty. If you’re so inclined to read further I am going to try to explain to you how the home warranty company operates behind the scenes.

The home warranty you choose is it’s own separate entity (typically) just like any contractor they may send you. The contractor is merely looking for work and looking to get paid for that work. The home warranty company has gotten the work by offering flashy and mostly gimmicky services that appear like a steal (service work, parts and labor for nothing, except a small service fee). So there are plenty of people that are persuaded because of this… like a bug to a bug zapper. Bzzzt!

The Advantage Of A Home Warranty

The only advantage a home warranty company offers to a contractor is that the contractor is given a steady flow of customers without having to waste money on costly advertising. But the only way the contractor makes any real money is to find a deniable clause within the contract you were deceived in taking out from brochures that typically says: ‘Your appliance is covered regardless of labor or parts cost. If your appliance can’t be repaired, we’ll replace it.” — watch the video, it’s there.

Home Warranty Scam

Something for nothing is a scam, no big surprise there. No HVAC company on this planet would last very long putting in HVAC systems for less than $200, while the home warranty company rakes in millions of dollars in premiums and pays next to nothing in claims. If you don’t believe this is how it works, watch the video I’ve embedded above. Where does the home warranty profits come from? CEO pay? Home Warranty worker pay? They can afford to buy out other home warranty companies too? Yeah, think about that for a good hard minute or two.

You think the home warranty contractor is coming to fix your system without any fanfare, because you… like most people didn’t read the lawyer speak contract that was sent to you after you sent your money in. Imagine the horror when you find out this is not the case. Yes, you are probably at this blog right now because you are at a turning point in your life. It is a good possibility none of this is your fault. Your home may have been sold to you with a home warranty. It happens everyday a home is sold in Texas. Some home owners probably never use it, this is part of where the big profit of a home warranty comes from… unused policies.

When it comes to the home warranty contractor denying a claim the home warranty company tends to be fine with it because they make money too by paying less claims except the flat rate the contractor receives. Certainly you could request another contractor, but there is nothing another contractor is going to do if they can’t repair a system for $50 or less. Why would they take a loss the other contractor was not willing to take?

How A Home Warranty Works

You see how the home warranty works is that the contractor sets up a flat repair rate with the home warranty company. In most cases it’s around $130 to $150 per call plus the contractor keeps the service fee that you pay. So in most cases the contractor is supposed to fix your HVAC system for around $190 and rarely over $230 no matter what the parts cost or what is wrong with your system except routine maintenance. Currently if the unit needs Freon they can charge you for that too. If you think you will get away with zero costs this day and age with a home warranty forget it. If your system requires a large part like a new coil, the contractor charges for code requirements, duct work modification and Freon to name a few. The home warranty company will typically supply the new coil. Realize without the code requirements, duct work and Freon fees the contractor would be replacing your coil for the same $190 to $230 what ever their agreement is with the home warranty company. No HVAC company could work this cheap and stay in business.

Imagine you call the home warranty company they send the call to contractor xyz. You typically have no say who they send you. Sure you might be able to request a different one but with flat rate of $190 or so you aren’t getting nothing any better by asking for a different contractor. The different contractor is likely in the same boat. They have to be, because often times these contractors are pitted against one another by the home warranty company.

Realize that flat rate includes drive time, parts (not counting refrigerant). If the part costs $250 or more, the HVAC company is expected to eat that loss, not the home warranty company. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. So what would a company do in this situation? Find a way to deny the repair… rust, pre-existing condition, mismatched system, improperly installed, lack of maintenance, building code violations and the list goes on and on. The company the home warranty sends you either turns the call into a profitable endeavor for themselves or you receive a big fat denial all the while you sit and stew in the heat.

You could ask for a second opinion in this case, but it would require you to sit for another day maybe as long as a week potentially typically in the dead heat of summer.

You see it’s a numbers game with the home warranty company and they pit one contractor against other contractors… not in ways that benefit you… only in ways that benefit the home warranty company.

The home warranty company is in business to collect premiums. They are not in business of paying out claims. So they pit the contractors against one another… the cheaper contractor wins out. The cheaper that contractor is to the home warranty company the more calls the cheaper contractor will get. The cheaper contractor is cheaper for the home warranty company… not cheaper for you. Hopefully you now clearly see this charade for what it is.

Home Warranty Insurance

A contractor is cheaper not by processing claims and installing new equipment… Oh no get that thought out of your head. It’s an elaborate shell game. You are almost guaranteed to lose at this game. If you don’t believe me scroll up and watch the entire video I embedded to this blog post. People often times call a home warranty insurance against the unexpected things that might break in your home.

I have some news for you. The home warranty companies in Texas are NOT offering you a contract of insurance. They say this right on the application form. They have to, it’s the law of the land. There you have it, home warranties are not insurance in the state of Texas. This is very important watch the video and pay attention when this detail is discussed. It’s in the video embedded toward the top of this blog post.

High Part Costs Lead To Home Warranty Denials

Due to inflation and changing product cycles of HVAC equipment repair part costs continue to escalate, but yet the price of home warranties for the most part remain quite cheap. You can as demonstrated in the video acquire a home warranty (bare bones coverage) for $350. This isn’t going to cover much and it’s unlikely it will do you much good, based on the reviews I went over in the video above. This is why your Home Warranty, no matter what name is behind it will not live up to your expectations for long. The longer it takes for you to realize this the more money you will have wasted on premiums paid for nothing. It is far wiser to put this money into a separate account, add to it annually and then hire your own contractor to repair things and pay for these things from the separate account. This will give you far more control in who you choose to let into your home.

Watch the video, the proof exposed speaks volumes. I couldn’t put it any simpler terms than this. If you have a denial that you think is in error and bring this to the attention of your home warranty company, do not be surprised if they come back with: “We don’t cover this or that, if you had read your contract you would know this.”

What they don’t tell you is: “LOL. We fooled you. We got your money… too bad for you.”

I hope you stumbled across this blog post and video before making a serious mistake. However, I realize we are all capable of making mistakes. I won’t hold it against you, I promise. I am here on this planet to help you after all, regardless how many mistakes you make along the way. The idea here is that you learn from them. I can’t help you if you are unwilling to take my hand and listen to my advice. People tend to learn the most by experience. I am no different in this regard. I have over 22 years experience in HVAC systems for your home. How long do you have to make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past?

I don’t work for any home warranty company. I work for you. I will give you your best options to put you on the best course for success. You merely ask questions and then pick the option that works best for you. If something goes wrong you have a skilled person to call. You will know I will be coming to your home. You know I am skilled in what I do, You know I will show up on time, You know that I work everyday. You know that I will not bash your equipment brand. No, a real pro would never do that. (I have fixed every brand on this planet at one point or another in my illustrious career, it is pointless to bash brands when they all break.)

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 22 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

Air Conditioning Myths Exposed

May 29th, 2017

The air conditioning business is a difficult and challenging business. However, the perception of this is often clouded by what appear to be large repair bills for what is done as a repair or in some cases a prevention check up or tune up.

Writing an air conditioning blog such as this gives me a better ability to possibly shed some light on this often terse subject but there may be those who might prefer video and so I enclose the video on this subject below. However, the video is not scripted. I merely talk freely about various myths in the HVAC industry and give you some personal background information as well. So I give you the choice here to either read this entire document, watch the video or both if you prefer. You can subscribe to my Youtube channel here.

Air Conditioning Service Katy Texas

A HVAC business is a service business and typically this is how a HVAC company should be graded is based on the service they provide. Service means different things to different people but in the HVAC world, service is attached to your own personal comfort in your home. The longer you have to wait the worse the service should be graded. Your Time: what is the value you place on it?

If someone is going to argue about what it cost, they often refer to the price of the part and maybe how much time someone spent putting it in. But this is not a true reflection of the ‘service’. If you thought the price was reasonable but service took hours and hours of missed appointments or reschedules hunting for the part and so on… is this service? There are a myriad of ways to do things but a HVAC company can’t remain in business by being classified as a ‘parts company’. Without service, parts don’t do much good. If every time you call and get voice mail you should easily realize this point.

If you had to wait a few days to get your unit ‘serviced’ you sacrifice your time for a perceived value of who ever you use. Maybe you don’t know that there is anything better? Often times you can not compare equally the service from one company to another. You only know what you have experienced to be true. This is why I track my own statistics. These statistics tell me that roughly 80% of the time I will have your system repaired with in 3 hours from when you call me. Not a time window as to when I can get around to it. But this time window is common practice in this industry and sometimes this window could be up to 6 hours wide.

If the time window is not that wide let’s say an hour wide… the hour that is given to you could be hours away from the time you call. Is that really one hour service? Not in my book.

To be in the HVAC business from my perspective is to give you some insight and give you a few causes of concern on my end. What it takes to run a HVAC business. First off, advertising is rarely considered as one of my true costs. In nearly all cases it is one of my largest costs. There are no guarantees with advertising, it is a black hole most of the time and quite easy to waste money on it because most people hate advertising because they are pestered with it constantly from one extent to another.

AC Advertising Costs

As I say in the video… the advertising budget no matter how big or how small can determine the health of a company. Many cases HVAC companies use gimmicks to get their foot in your door. As laid out in the video I embedded in this air conditioning blog post any advertising budget is spent long before any results are known. If a small company like mine spends $15,000 or more in advertising over the year and receives no business from that advertising that is a huge mistake. My window (through out the year) to make the money necessary to remain in business fluctuates with the weather and in many cases the health of the economy. Air Conditioning is seasonal, I rarely get a call for AC in the winter just as much as I rarely get a no heat call. But yet I still have bills to pay for the company during this time period.

My Best Air Conditioning Customer

My best customers are home owners. Because they have a vested interest in where they live they are more likely to make improvements to their homes. The problem is that home ownership in America is at the lowest level since this statistic was recorded.

Currently this level is some where around 60 to 62% and can fluctuate wildly from one neighborhood to the next. So you can see how easy it is to waste money on advertising my business. It’s a challenge to say the least. The other part that shrinks my potential customer base is due to the Home Warranty market. The home warranty is rarely worth anything and is a subject that I won’t get into in this blog post other than to show that it decreases the size of the customer base I am trying to reach thru costly advertising that everyone hates. (They call it junk mail.) Your home warranty decides for you who you have to use for service thru them, the choice is not yours to make.

This is partly the reason for my Katy Air Conditioning Repair blog because this is more or less a low cost way for me to reach my customer who is in most cases searching for me, and give them insight about various things they probably don’t realize. If you understand that you are buying more than just a ‘part’ or a ‘piece of equipment’ then the value of what I mean to you is increased.

I don’t run a gimmick based business so I have to do it this way and often times people discover me after they have made mistakes in who they have used to perform AC repairs as well as new AC system installations in Katy, Texas and some surrounding areas.

I view this job as more or less a part time job. What I show in the video demonstrates this the best and shows what I do in my spare time. I am always working on something. I tell you these things to show what you are getting if you decide to use my air conditioning repair service. My work ethic is second to none. Another reason for the video is that anyone can say anything on the internet I don’t want to appear like I am just beating my chest here. Information is only information if provided accurately. Ultimately it’s your decision who you use or don’t use. I can’t be all things to all people. I am one guy that does the work of 5 people on nearly any given day.

Licensed HVAC Technical Experience Required

It has to be that way because I am at the top of the pay scale. This is what 22 going on 23 years of experience has done for me. If you use another company you are still paying those same 5 people with typically much worse service than I provide every single day. How much is your time worth?

There have been some instances where customers have felt like what I offer is that it’s my way or the highway. You have to realize my methods work. If what you want is known to fail or have more problems than what I offer how would you know that? In many cases when these things occur I am offering you protection from yourself. You have to trust someone don’t you? Realize if you put your faith in a gimmick or a certain system configuration there is nothing guaranteeing you success in that. Success meaning a working system that works year in and year out with rarely a hiccup.

Realize I didn’t get to where I am over night. It took me 22 going on 23 years. Do you have 20 plus years to make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past? This is the other part of the ‘service’ or ‘cost of the service’ that you are paying for no matter who you use to service or repair your air conditioning and heating system.

All AC Brands Break

I come across systems every year installed by others that have bashed other brands only to put in another brand and that brand has problems that they can’t fix. You see this blog is more about experience in doing rather than just someone merely typing in worthless words that mean nothing. I am the one who will actually come to your home if you live in the Katy, Cypress or Richmond, Texas areas. If a company can’t fix an AC system they put in, then you must ask yourself why are they in this business?

So the next question is: How do you know the HVAC company you chose knows how to fix the equipment they installed? Are they posturing? Are they salesmen? How do you know?

The bigger HVAC companies like to paint a picture of trust thru costly TV ads that are often embellished in more cases than not. Realize they have huge advertising budgets. Potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do you honestly think they can provide a free estimate without having to charge you in some way for it? It’s easy to spot a Gimmick when you know what to look for.

Let me tell you how they do it. They send you a salesman. The salesman is there to paint you a rosy picture if you do this or that. In most cases the rosiest picture is replacement of your current HVAC system. Because as it turns out the salesman is praised more for selling than for providing service. It is unlikely to know the difference between a salesman and a technician because in many cases they are one in the same. Paid on commission. The more they sell you the more they make the more praise they get at work. Service is an afterthought or an illusion.

How could that be? Volume. The big companies have to have volume or leads to run because it is a numbers game. There are a certain number of calls that go no where. If you have commission based pay the techs and salesmen are relying on that volume so they can make money or in some cases something to do. A salesman paid on commission will not stay at a company that doesn’t have enough leads to go around. This is why the ‘free estimate’ exists. There is nothing ‘free’ about it. It will suck the time out of you not to mention the high pressure to buy something.

The problem with this structure is that when it gets HOT your AC regardless of age, is more prone to breaking down. Because of the gimmicks these larger companies have they often times get more volume than they can handle when it gets HOT. So you know what they do? They shut off the phones. They have more work than they can handle. Now you have a glimpse into how I survive. It will always get hot. They call it summer. There is no gimmick in that. Service is Service regardless of the weather. Ironically it doesn’t matter what I say here it will continue on just as it always has. The ones left out in the pasture with all the heat may find their way here. Is it you?

The HVAC companies of today will say and do almost anything to get you to sign up and have them do the work. Truth is rarely found anymore. If you came here looking for something flashy, turn around. The truth sucks. There is no perfect air conditioning brand. They all break… every single one. If there was a perfect brand that never broke down I wouldn’t be here right now. Ironically I have put in hundreds of pieces of equipment yet I have time to write a lengthy blog and produce a video about it (myself). So what is the excuse of the bigger companies? Gimmicks.

All you can do is minimize this risk by using someone like me. A licensed AC guy that does it all… let me tell you right here the biggest part of my business is repairing systems often times installed by other companies. I do sell equipment and install it but this is a small part of what I do. I do not bash equipment brands. They all break. It’s more important that I can fix any brand when it does break, because that is a much larger market than just trying to sell new equipment on every call I run. Realize in some cases it is better to replace than repair. This is often decided based on age of the system as well as the condition of it. I am not here to waste your money, I am here to guide your path so that you might avoid the many pitfalls others make.

I have installed hundreds of pieces of equipment over the years with warranty issues typically running a tight range of 1 to just over 2%. In other words 1 or 2 pieces for every 100 I install. Industry average is 25 to 30%. You will never hear me brag about installing 1,000’s of pieces of equipment. My goal is quality over quantity. Service available everyday should that need arise.

You see the maintenance check up ads every where you look right? After making the video embedded below about air conditioning maintenance myths exposed I thought to myself… well what if these people had a maintenance check done? So I then asked myself the next logical question… if people are getting these checks done how in the world am I finding all this equipment with so much trash and fuzz in it? The equipment should be clean right?

AC Manufacturer’s Do Not Repair Units – I Do

I frequent AC forum boards in which home owners post questions and one particular topic came up about calling an ‘Authorized Dealer’ sometimes this might be ‘Factory Authorized Dealer’.

These terms more or less mean a licensed HVAC contractor. But some manufacturer’s like to make fancier sounding words to possibly show their clout in the industry in one way or another. The problem this has caused is that some people think for whatever the reason is that this ‘Authorized Dealer’ or ‘Factory Authorized Dealer’ for whatever brand you have is who you need to call to get a free warranty fix because these people work for the manufacturer of the brand of equipment you have. Uh, no that is not how it works. Sorry to break your piggy bank, but the HVAC Manufacturer’s — none of them are required to provide a professional to come to your home to fix your unit for you.

There is no money changing hands from the manufacturer to me to fix their branded equipment. All they do is provide the part to me, when you have followed the terms of the part warranty (this is up to me to decide in some instances due to condition of the equipment in some instances the manufacturer may decide). The part warranty on the equipment of ANY manufacturer can be revoked if the terms of the warranty are not followed. Refrigerant is not considered a part and is not covered by any warranty what so ever.

There is no warranty for: improperly installed equipment, equipment removed from one location and put in another location or equipment that was purchased via the internet among other restrictions.

If you have an extended labor warranty thru the Licensed HVAC contractor you had install the system the labor warranty would go thru this HVAC contractor. Extended labor warranties are purchased typically at the time the unit is installed. These extended warranties cost extra money and require annual maintenance records to remain valid.

Extended labor warranties may not cover all costs to repair your system. It depends greatly on what is wrong with the system. While extended labor warranties do not cover maintenance they also typically do not cover refrigerant. So just because you have a valid manufacture part warranty and a extended labor warranty does not necessarily mean there will be no costs to repair your system. It depends on what is wrong with it.

Authorized Dealer or Factory Authorized Dealer typically means a company signed up for an agreement with a manufacturer of ‘XYZ’ Brand equipment. Typically these are non compete type agreements meaning they only offer the one brand they signed up for. If it’s a larger company they could offer more than one brand if their sales are large enough to cover the brands offered. Manufacturer’s typically do not want to be offered along side other brands. If you had a product to sell would you? You can call this ‘pay to play’ if you want. It’s business and dog eat dog if you will.

None of this matters if you don’t have an extended labor warranty. I work on and more importantly can fix any brand. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC contractor (TACLB28416E), there is no magical step higher than this. Once you can fix every brand out there then there is no step higher than that. The only question after that is if the equipment in question is worth fixing. Your mileage and advice received will vary. You came here to make a smart decision right?

I come highly rated for a reason. I ONLY do it RIGHT! With 22 years experience and growing what exactly would you expect to find in a blog written by the person who would be coming to your home? Sorry, I don’t do gimmicks. Remember? I told you the truth sucks.

If you’ve read this far good for you. I love it when people educate themselves. Knowledge is power and if it saves you from making even 1 mistake in your lifetime it was time well spent. I hope your summer is comfortable, at the end of the day this is what this profession is all about. COMFORT.

About the author of this blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 22 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie

832.475.6895

“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

www.austinairco.com

 

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

Air Conditioning Problems

May 1st, 2017

Air Conditioning Problems Katy, Texas

The single most common reason why my AC company exists. It seems that everyone chases around after that perfect elusive brand that is without worry of breakage. The gimmick of all gimmicks… an Air Conditioner that never breaks down. Every AC brand breaks down. So what can you do? You must find someone you trust in the area in which you live. This is not a do it yourself business.

Repair Any AC Brand*

I’m in the AC business. My business only exceeds by being able to fix or repair any Air Conditioning brand, sure I design systems & install them too, but that is only a small portion of my business, many people would rather live by mistake then to do what is deemed by me as doing it right. If you live within my service area of Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas and you call me it is unlikely I will ask you what brand of air conditioning equipment you have. [*Some limitations or restrictions may apply.]

Why does this matter? Because I want to fill you in on a topic that is often used by salesmen in general to sell you new equipment and more importantly a brand that is ‘supposedly’ better than what you have. I have given this the term that I call ‘brand bashing’. Your unit broke down so it is inferior to the brand I carry.

How convenient. Comparing a new machine to one that is broken? Are people really this naive? Not you… You wouldn’t be reading this / watching videos about such topics would you?

Manufacturer’s of Air Conditioning Systems

Did you know that there are only 7 manufacturers of Air Conditioning and Heating equipment? But there are a plethora of different brands and even more in differences of models among those brands? You wouldn’t be able to use them all in your lifetime. So you are going to pick one model of these based on a NAME?                                                Hello? Do you see a problem with that?

Ok, so let’s name them shall we? (in no particular order)

York

Carrier

Trane

Ruud

Lennox

Goodman

NorTek

I bet you recognize a few of those names. Those are the manufacturer’s. They are the one’s responsible for all brands, makes and models available today in the Air Conditioning and Heating market. Now let me make your head spin a little and name some off brands that just pop into my head that are also made from the same manufacturer’s I just named above in no particular order….

Generic Air Conditioning Brands

Rheem, Ducane, Heil, Tempstar, Ameristar, Payne, Bryant, Amana, American Standard, Arco Aire, Grand Aire, Maytag, Gibson, Frigid Aire, Aire Flo, Armstrong, Day n Night, GMC, Daikin, Comfort Maker, Cobra, Coleman, Whirl Pool, Kenmore

There could be a few more but even my head is hurting after all of that. So what’s my point?

Easy really. If there was ONE. Just one perfect brand among 7 different manufacturer’s then why are there so many? It is like anything else you buy.

But you know what I often hear in the field? Oh, I’ll by anything but brand xyz?

Which brings me to another point… If I go to a home that already has the common preferred brand and it’s broken, there is no fan fare about brand. Realization of a gimmick is different from impression of something that is advertised as being better. When in fact it is not. They all break.

I Need An Air Conditioning Solution

So then what is the solution? Me. Certainly this won’t help you if you are outside of my service area. But if anything this gives you clues as to who you need to search for in your area. Someone like me.

Your other option is to look extensively at the maintenance AC men of the world and throw the dice. (You see the tune up ads everywhere you look right?) You may get lucky, you may waste a lot of time, energy and possibly money. There’s about a 40% chance you will find anyone really that good in larger companies and the face they send you will likely differ every time you call which will only decrease the odds out of your favor further.

If you call me on the other hand… it is me who will come to your home. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth?’ Well can you imagine what this does to your poor AC system?

Put the trust of your HVAC system in the hands of a pro (one pro) and don’t look back. ( I am a licensed HVAC contractor a technician in this state is merely registered with the state and must work under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor.)

Your comfort is my business and my job. That is a tough order to fill right? If it’s not a tough order to fill then you probably have a lot of time to waste and love being uncomfortable in your own home huh?

The truth doesn’t pay like a flashy gimmick seems to. Ah the world we live in. You’re smarter than all that nonsense or you wouldn’t be here. It is by no accident that my company comes highly rated. If the AC brands I installed were inferior how could my ratings as a company be that high?

If my work wasn’t that good how is it that I answer my own phone?

If my work wasn’t that good how is it that more than 50% of the calls I receive are repaired within 3 hours of receiving the call?

If I wasn’t the one doing the work and typing this how could I say the above comments?

Try me and you’ll find out what many of your neighbors already know.

About the author of this blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

 

Austin Air Companie

832.475.6895

“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

http://www.austinairco.com/Pages/default.aspx

 

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

My Bedroom Does Not Get Cool Enough

October 2nd, 2016

This problem is more common than you think and this problem magnifies itself thru various times of the year. Shoulder seasons can typically be the more challenging times of the year to get comfortable in a bedroom at night.

AC shoulder seasons in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston can extend for several months before summer as well as several months after. This problem is directly related to the design of the air conditioning system. The air conditioner can not control temperature in a room that it was not designed to control. (The thermostat that controls the system is in a different room.)

The opposite of this ‘My bedroom does not get warm enough’ can be addressed at the same time. System control integrated with design defeats temperature problems when addressed properly.

Air Conditioning Design

If you have the above problem in which your bedroom rarely stays comfortable and it’s been determined it’s no fault of the air conditioner, then you likely have what is called a HVAC Design Problem. It is the invisible flaw until AC system performance is put thru heavy loads or heavy loads in one room with no system control.

Design of your HVAC system determines how well it will perform in various areas of the home given certain attributes (loads) and the temperature you are attempting to achieve. HVAC Design for the most part is an invisible attribute and more often than not rarely thought of until long after the problem is discovered. Most people, when replacing their AC system think of replacing a box with another box when the AC system breaks. Everyone is different when it comes to what they deem as comfortable or uncomfortable which is another attribute with which to contend with. The HVAC retrofit (service) market is inherently slanted toward ‘just replacing a box’ and because of this design of the AC system is rarely addressed.

Proper design for AC in regards to control of the system can get quite complicated as well as ratchet up installation costs. Much of this can be decided when it comes to how long you plan to stay in the home and how much you have budgeted to make your home a home by making it comfortable not only to sleep but also entertain guests. To grasp this a little easier is that control is temperature control in more than one area of the home. While this sounds simple, it is more complex for your HVAC system to do this properly because the area in which you are trying to cool or heat maybe much smaller of an area of the home such as a bedroom.

The more control you have of your HVAC system along with proper design and installation, the better your system will provide you the comfort you are searching for. If your air conditioner suffers from a design flaw, there is but one option to fix it and that is to redesign it. Home builders build. Rarely do you find HVAC design a top priority in the home builder real estate market. This is what separates the retrofit AC pros from the builders. A professional HVAC company is built around ‘quality’ AC system installations and not ‘quantity.’ Service for life and not a badge of how many HVAC systems that were installed. Different mindset, requires different thinking.

New Air Conditioning System Installation

The Installation and design of an HVAC system determine the performance, longevity and overall satisfaction of the AC system. Customer service after the sale is the final part. When I install a HVAC system, I install it with the intent of coming back and servicing that AC equipment when that need arises. In fact, I do the same thing if the home owner decides to only replace one piece of their HVAC system.

You see this isn’t only about what I want, it’s about what you want. However, there are limitations to everything. The consumer of today has more knowledge available to them than ever before, that is the other part of this blog is to inform you that you have more choices in regard to home comfort than you may be aware of. I am an HVAC Solution provider. I can give you options (choices) and recommendations based on your budget as well as what kind of comfort you are looking for to cool and heat your home. Communication is key for you to get the kind of comfort you are looking for your home.

I work 362 days a year. I know what you’re thinking… ‘that’s impossible’. I originally thought that myself. But because I install AC systems myself I have the ability to correct many installation problems upfront during the installation where as an installer may just view this as another ‘job’… if it doesn’t work the company will send someone else to fix it. (Hopefully) Air conditioning replacement is typically a once in 15 year thought when done right. Those reasons are what makes me able to work 362 days a year. It is extremely rare that I must go back to an installation, due to a problem and in many cases if I do they are typically only minor problems depending on how much of the HVAC system was replaced.

If you choose me (Austin Air Companie) I work for you, this isn’t just a job to me, this is my profession and my career. I don’t run a gimmick of the month service which is how I am able to give you the best service available. My AC service is worth what you pay for it. Technician roulette wheels with varying opinions among techs only goes so far. I say this from my own personal experience… yours may be different.

Air Conditioning done right is a 15 year appliance (national average). Certainly I can get busy, there are a good many of AC companies posing as professionals that are not. I have found that it’s easier to take a hands on approach rather than pass it off to someone that likely doesn’t have the experience and skills that I possess let alone the attitude to do the job as it should be done.

Air Conditioning Temperature Controls

The way air conditioning is designed for many homes is to put the control (thermostat) in main living areas. Temperature swings from one room to the next can be upwards of 5 to 10 degrees or more. Some of this depends on location of the room(s), how many people or other loads that are in the room. [Loads are considered heat loads as your air conditioner operates by removing heat.]

The cheapest way to resolve this problem is to live with what you have. So if you are here thinking there is some magical method to solve this problem I am here to tell you straight, there is not. The cheaper you try to fix this the more likely it is you will create additional problems up to an including the destruction of your HVAC system. I am here to do the job right, if you want snake oil you will have to look elsewhere.

Temperature controls also known as thermostats, are what is used to cycle your air conditioner on and off. These are merely elaborate switches that turn the HVAC system on or off. Most air conditioning systems are either on or off single speed air conditioners. If you live in a humid climate like Katy, Texas and your goal is comfort then you will probably be best advised to consider a 2 speed air conditioning and heating system with dehumidification functions.

HVAC Zoning: An Air Conditioning Dream

Putting cooling or heating where it is needed within your home. Comfort. You know that fuzzy feeling you feel on a brisk autumn day. Imagine that everyday all year long in the favorite room of your home.

Remember what I said earlier: ‘different mindset, requires different thinking’. Due to energy costs your budget may not include cooling the whole home as cool as you would like it in the bedroom, unless the home’s foot print is very small then you probably wouldn’t need zoning. HVAC Zoning for sure isn’t for everyone it is a choice and design enhancement to obtain more comfort and make your HVAC system performance the best it can be.

The thought behind zoning is to put ‘conditioned air’ where you are at in the structure. (In this example: your home.) The idea is that you can only be in one room at a time. Thirty three percent of your life will be spent in the bedroom. (eight hours divided by 24.) The lack of a good night’s sleep can effect your entire day.

By making your bedroom more comfortable via zoning can make other rooms perform better in heat waves by closing the zone to the bedroom when not in use. The capacity of the system under this scenario would then be provided to supplying comfort to other occupied areas of the home. Because people are creatures of habit and often go to bed the same time every night the thermostat for those zone(s) can be programmed easily to control temperature without much thought or fuss.

Another way to think about zoning is your home’s plumbing and electrical systems. You have more than one faucet in your home right? More than one light switch? These are other examples of zoning that reside in your home already, to help you understand what zoning is. Just realize that zoning an HVAC system ‘properly’ is a bit more complicated than electrical and plumbing systems.

Proper HVAC Installation

I emphasize the word ‘properly’ because there are many zone systems as well as basic AC systems that do not work the way they should. Design means everything and in some cases a zone system may not work for what you want to do. This is the definition of a true professional in which you are sold a solution to your problem and not just selling something to be selling something. If you catch my drift.

I hope this blog post eliminates some confusion with this very common problem as well as highlights your ability to go about correcting this problem to your satisfaction. Remember this is an advanced problem, there is nothing ‘basic’ about it. If you don’t go into it with the attitude of doing it right, it very well could be very costly with little to no help solving the actual problem.

Problem solving by definition should be to solve the problem ‘without’ creating additional problems. Otherwise you’re likely buying ‘snake oil’ to one degree or another.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

R22 Freon Production Ban

September 10th, 2016

Oh that pesky little government is at it again… LOL. Certainly I’ve heard it all when it comes to politics in general. But you’d be surprised to know that the laws effecting R22 Freon production now (2016 and beyond) were finalized and signed by the USA in 1987 via the Montreal Protocol and ratified in 1988. The Montreal Protocol has been amended only 4 times since 1987. This agreement was an international agreement that has been signed by 197 countries.

Freon Production Ban Time Line Chart

Freon Time Line Chart

So why are you just now learning about this now if it happened in 1987? Part of it was to give time to come up with a new refrigerant to replace the old bad one. There are many refrigerants, all with varying properties to one degree or another. Some refrigerants make poor choices due to flammability concerns, others may not distribute oil thru the system properly and cause reliability concerns in regards to the break down of the system compressor. There are many more concerns than these but to keep this short I will stop there.

R22 Freon Replacement

As of 2016 there is no ‘approved’ drop in replacement for R22 Freon for high temp application otherwise known as Air Conditioning. Choosing an unapproved refrigerant will void ‘ANY’ manufacturer warranty, increase utility cost to run the system, reduce capacity of the system, cause the system to not cool properly in heat wave conditions, cause the compressor to fail prematurely due to improper oil return to the compressor.

As of 2016 there is only one proven refrigerant for the future and the name of this refrigerant is R410a. It is sometimes improperly referred to as Freon or a more popular proper trade name it is called Puron. R410a refrigerant is not a drop in replacement for R22 Freon. Refrigerants can not be mixed and work properly, nor can you use R410a in a air conditioner that was designed for R22 Freon, it simply will not work ‘reliably’. The AC system must be replaced with equipment designed to work with R410a. Air Conditioning systems are engineered and designed to operate with a specific refrigerant. For reliable operation of the AC system one must know what they are doing and use the appropriate refrigerant for the system in question.

There are many unscrupulous vendors and those that claim there are some refrigerants that can be used to replace R22 Freon. When it comes to the high temp air conditioning application these claims are false. The nature of a con game is something that will ‘easily’ solve a problem. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying… “if it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.” But yet people over and over again fall for these snake oil AC repairs.

The notion behind these so called remedies is by giving you a cheap price up front. The system may run for a few months if you are lucky and probably not much longer than a year depending on a multitude of factors like loads on the equipment, line set length, age of the equipment, the heat load the system is running in and so on.

Residential AC Compressor Problems

When doing things improperly to save money up front the end result is most often a dead compressor or a AC system that will not cool properly during a heat wave as well as high utility bills. The money you supposedly saved up front will dry up in no time when it can’t perform properly during a heat wave. The more you run the system during a heat wave the more likely you are to burn up the compressor (*If you run the machine with an improper refrigerant*) due to a lack of oil return to the compressor crankcase. (The compressor will seize up under this scenario.)

Your AC will not work without the compressor. That is a major component so now you’re most likely looking at a new air conditioning unit when this part fails.

An air conditioning system (just about any brand) is a 15 year appliance when installed and maintained properly. If you decide to play games with it, try to cut corners, try to reverse engineer things like using the proper virgin refrigerant the system was designed for as well as proper installation procedures it is unlikely to make it past even a few years without some significant problem.

There is special equipment required to be able to install an air conditioner properly. If you use an unlicensed person to install your system there is a good chance they don’t have the proper equipment to install the AC system properly. How will you know for sure that they do or don’t have all the tools and materials needed to install the AC system?

An improperly installed air conditioning system is the last kind of mess you want to have to deal with in your home. There are good reasons that manufacturer’s require licensed HVAC contractors to install the system in order to offer any warranty on the HVAC equipment.

You know what the cure for doing it wrong is? To do it over again. You don’t want to do that do you? These words are intended to help you avoid making a serious mistake.

The comfort in your home or lack thereof can wreck havoc on your finances. It is a financial decision and one you should not take lightly. Do it right the first time.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I gave you some valuable insight in this AC blog topic to help you with this challenging problem regarding R22 Freon and the change over to R410a Puron. Remember R22 Freon is going away. It is not coming back. It is in your best interest to upgrade your system by replacing it with an R410a engineered air conditioner.

If you have a Freon leak in your evaporator coil you can replace the evaporator coil only but under this scenario you would continue to use virgin R22 Freon. As time gets closer to 2020 there ‘may’ not be any R22 Freon available at any price. There is no way to know for sure what will happen until it does. Using non compatible refrigerants is not recommended under any circumstances.

The days of recharging an air conditioning system are pretty much over. The refrigerant leak(s) must be found and repaired.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @
www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

A Better Air Conditioning & Heating System

September 3rd, 2016

Typically when you think of discussions about what makes one AC system better than another, the subject often gets turned into discussions about particular brands or manufacturer’s of said air conditioning equipment. This discussion winds up being anything productive as it is rarely about what is important to you and the comfort you will obtain for your home. Getting on the this brand is better than this brand band wagon is not going to help you any in my opinion. So then what is the best air conditioning system when it comes to addressing real issues in regards to your comfort not to mention indoor air quality? I like to call this: ‘The Devil Is In The Details’!

Note: This article is to describe what is better from a whole HVAC system approach with functions and benefits of this kind of HVAC equipment. These HVAC systems are not piece meal type systems. The whole HVAC system replacement approach has additional benefits other than what is discussed here. Never underestimate the importance of a great HVAC installation as well as a HVAC company known for repairing such systems, regardless of whether you are replacing one piece or the whole HVAC system all at once. There is no substitute for great service.

Humidity Control & Dehumidification

In a humid location like Katy, Texas it’s amazing that more HVAC systems in this area aren’t geared for controlling humidity better than what they do. The problem is that single speed air conditioning systems ‘over cool’ the air and cycle off too quickly in cooler weather to combat this problem properly. The AC system is controlled by temperature and nothing else and due to single speed operation of the system most of the time the unit cycles too soon to really control humidity in the home much at all.

Better humidity control will make you feel much more comfortable at higher temperatures than you would without it. What makes this problem so difficult to address is that humidity is independent from temperature. In a humid climate like Katy, Texas it can be humid even when temperatures dip below typical cooling temperatures. If it’s 75 degrees outside and 80% or higher humidity that is not very comfortable. With a 75 degree outside temperature your indoor single speed AC system isn’t going to run long enough to make you feel as comfortable as you could be in high humidity. The humidity levels in your home can easily be greater than 65% RH (relative humidity).

Did you know that RH readings of 60% or more inside your home can cause mold growth under the right conditions? Mold growth can contribute to an assortment of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. Humidity is something that is very important to your health as well as your comfort. You can test this yourself by buying a humidity meter for your home. Realize this reading will fluctuate just as much as temperature does during the various seasons of the year.

Whole Home Dehumidification Systems

This type of dehumidification system is a separate system that works with your current HVAC system. It has a separate control and it’s only job is to dehumidify the air in your home. This ultimately would be the best way to control humidity in your home. The problem with this option is cost. Part of this cost is the system itself, maintenance of that system and operational costs. It is estimated that running this type of system in a humid climate can add an additional 30% to your monthly electric bill. If you have two HVAC systems in your home that can get pretty costly of a consideration.

The real advantage to a whole home dehumidification system is that you could add it to your existing HVAC system without replacing any of that equipment. Over time operational costs and maintenance costs may become prohibitive for many home owners to consider this option.

HVAC Systems With Dehumidification Control

Humidity control with these systems is probably not the proper term to use. As I said earlier in this blog post, humidity in the home is a complex problem to solve because humidity is independent from temperature. So in many respects humidity control via your HVAC system is derived via an assortment of varying degrees of options or choices.

Some single speed AC systems can offer a degree of dehumidification control depending upon the furnace that the AC system is matched with. However, in my opinion it is very little difference than what you would have via just a single speed air conditioner and basic thermostat control. Part of the issue with this is ‘over cooling’ already mentioned. Because a single speed air conditioner delivers full capacity every time it turns on. During cooler and humid periods humidity control with this system would prove futile in most situations.

Multi Speed HVAC Systems

You see your air conditioner is really a dehumidification device. It is dehumidifying the air every time it runs. However, it is mostly controlled by temperature alone. Over capacity will cause the unit to cycle more and not run long enough to dehumidify the air. By installing a multi stage HVAC system or multi speed HVAC system you get better humidity control just by the way these particular HVAC systems run most of the time as opposed to a single speed AC system.

There are 2 speed air conditioners, 2 stage air conditioners, 5 speed air conditioners as well as variable speed air conditioners. The 2 speed and 2 stage AC variety more or less operate in first speed or first stage before enabling second speed or second stage. While running in speed 1 or stage 1 the system is running at a reduced cooling capacity which causes the system to run longer. This reduced cooling capacity could vary from 50% to 60 or 70% of the overall capacity of the HVAC system. Because the AC runs in this first stage most of the time it will run longer and dehumidify the air better than that of a single speed AC. The more speeds or stages the AC has the better it will control variations of the load of the home, the longer the system will run which in turn reduces and controls humidity better.

Dehumidification of these multi stage HVAC systems is included in normal operation of the unit when it cycles as well as a band of control via the thermostat controller of the system in question.

Indoor Air Quality & Air Filtration

Another benefit with these dehumidification enabled HVAC systems is that you get the best comfort for your home as well as better indoor air quality. You could add better filtration to one of these systems and attack the indoor air quality on both fronts… moisture content of the air as well as dust particle filtration. This is the best and proper way to address indoor air quality concerns.

If you suffer from allergies, asthma or other air quality problems I have the solution for you. Not all indoor air quality solutions are created equal. Over the years many IAQ systems have come to market that produce ozone. It has since been determined that ozone in any amount is not good for you and over time can actually make your symptoms worse.

Many times within the HVAC industry, solutions are often given by treating a symptom rather than addressing the real problem. I often refer to these as gimmicks bent on selling you something without really do much for you or putting the interest of selling you something just for the sake of selling you something ahead of what your true goals are. You would probably get more mileage out of chasing your own tail.

I go to the extent I go, to show you the right way to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Stay in the loop and subscribe to my You Tube Channel here. The solutions I offer are solutions that work. Why would you want anything other than that?

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I helped you understand things more clearly in regards to finding comfort options for your home. As always, I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this air conditioning blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

Air Conditioning Service

August 16th, 2016

Air conditioning repairs, AC service or new AC equipment installations require the magical little word called ‘SERVICE‘. Without that word you’re in big trouble if a problem develops with your AC system. What does that word mean to you?

This little word ‘service‘ is what in many ways separates one AC company from another. Now all things aside some people view service differently than others. Maybe due to household schedules or whatever. However, your AC system whether new, a few years old or even a decade old or older can break down at any time. Brand of the equipment doesn’t matter all that much in most cases.

Weekend, Night time, Holiday, etc. An air conditioner doesn’t know time like you or me. So why is this important?

If you buy a new HVAC system and it breaks down, your best option to repair it is thru your installing HVAC contractor, because this is who you bought the system thru. It would be a ‘HUGE’ conflict of interest to let another HVAC contractor repair your HVAC system that was installed by another.

If your HVAC system is older and out of the manufacture warranty envelope then it only matters to what degree you trust the HVAC provider that you are calling.

Any HVAC company you use should be licensed and insured and the license number should be displayed on all invoices, advertisements and both sides of the front quarter panel of the service vehicle that comes to your home. (This is Texas law.)

HVAC System Problems & Conflicts of Interest

So why then is this a conflict of interest to have Company ‘B’ work on a new HVAC system installed by Company ‘A’?

Because lets say you have two companies without mentioning names… you have company ‘A’ and company ‘B’. Company ‘A’ installed your new HVAC system.

Your new AC system is now broken and you call ‘A’ but they are closed, don’t answer their phone, goes to voice mail or maybe after hours call service in which you sit on hold for who knows how long only to be told after waiting on hold –that an on call person will call you back in some cases hours later. Say What?

So you think… not clearly due to the excess heat in your house, that you’ll just call another company that services HVAC equipment. Company ‘B’ answers the phone not realizing they are a 3rd party to your otherwise inoperable dilemma. Say they come out diagnose the system for you, charge for labor and other things not covered by your manufacture warranty. They leave, the system works for awhile then breaks down again.

You now decide to call company ‘A’ back. After investigating the system Company ‘A’ determines someone else has been working on it and decides to take the brash approach of denying a warranty claim on your otherwise new AC system. You are in a bad position to say the least.

Unresolved AC Technical Problems

Another common scenario to this is Company ‘A’ the installing company of your new or fairly new HVAC system is called back during normal business hours, they make a repair to the AC unit under warranty terms of the installation charge for labor or whatever charges aren’t covered by the warranty of the AC system.

The AC system works for awhile and then breaks again OR the AC system doesn’t work at all still or worse than before. Part of the reason some of these HVAC companies exist is to replace HVAC systems with no service or technical department to repair the systems they sell. A good deal is a bad deal in short order.

Sometimes they may brag about how many HVAC systems they have installed. But they never mention how many of them they still service? You see the problem with that? QUALITY over quantity OR QUANTITY over quality. Which would you want?

A parts changer is defined as changing parts without proving the part has actually failed. A guess is a guess. Guessing will not fix or repair too many air conditioning systems. Believe it or not you will pay for it one way or another. Why not do it right the first time?

Katy, Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor

This is what I am (Licensed HVAC Contractor), you can’t run a HVAC company in Texas (legally) by any other means. If you hire someone working under another license (commonly AC Technician) your recourse for AC problems that develop with your system goes thru them. If it is a ‘side job’ installed by a technician it is unlikely the warranty covering that system is worth the paper it’s printed on.

I take the HVAC contractor thing to the next level in that I do all my own HVAC installations and AC repairs. I don’t use Technicians, Subs or Installers. I have found I can offer much better quality when I’m fully involved in any project whether it is repair, replace or SERVICE! (It is actually me writing this blog – Ray Austin. No one can be me, but me.) Subscribe to my You Tube Channel here.

Side Job AC Installations Warranty Void By Manufacturer

There are little disclaimers within the warranty limitations that protect manufacturer’s from unlicensed, unskilled people from selling, installing and or servicing equipment.

Improper installation is not warrantable just as much as purchasing equipment over the internet. If you have to resort to such methods imagine how much trouble you are going to have if your AC equipment fails unexpectedly?

Side jobs are done in cash. A technician doing a side job doesn’t want any documentation because if his boss finds out he faces immediate termination from his regular job. You can’t hide a side job from a licensed HVAC contractor. If you don’t have any documentation of installation how do you expect to be covered by a Manufacture Warranty?

Every piece of AC equipment made has unique model number and serial numbers that are attached to the HVAC license that bought it. If there was no HVAC license present at the time of sale, the warranty is virtually worthless in most cases. A technician license is not a valid license in and of itself. In Texas, a valid HVAC contractor license is gold in color, a technician license is white.  A technician license is merely a registration with the state. Send in your $20 and boom! You are now a AC technician too? Ironically it doesn’t mean much without EPA certification. The more you read here, the more you will learn.

No Licensed HVAC contractor worth their ‘salt’ is going to warranty or install an air conditioner that you bought over the internet. You buy it, you install it and warranty it yourself.

A new AC system install a few years old with problems and you’re calling a HVAC contractor that didn’t install it? What do you suppose this Licensed AC Contractor is going to think when he sees the equipment in question?

Why aren’t you calling the HVAC contractor who installed it?

Just for fun, I’ll tell you a few likely titles of this made for home movie:
“NO WAY OUT!”
“That’s Going To Cost You”
“No Where To Hide”

Professional AC Repairs

This Air Conditioning blog is designed to help you make wise decisions when it comes to your choices regarding comfort decisions for your home. I hope you attained this information before making a costly mistake.

All is not lost, costly mistakes are lessons, provided you learn from them and don’t repeat them. An HVAC system is, by a national average, a 15 year appliance and in some cases can last even longer when installation and maintenance is done properly and adequately. Notice I didn’t mention a brand name here, brand bashing is not professionalism by any stretch of the imagination.

Nothing is perfect in an imperfect world. AC Equipment that I’ve installed myself has failure rates within the warranty period that run in a tight range of 2-3% annually. Most HVAC companies have new equipment failure rates often 8 times or higher than this figure. In some cases this may be due to a lack of maintenance by home owner, improper installation, improper diagnosis or out right incompetence. Please choose your HVAC contractor carefully and wisely.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope your day is comfortable!

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on AC & Heating
for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

Air Conditioning Problems

August 3rd, 2016

Nothing can make the alarm bells go off in your head more than AC problems in the summer time. Just the mere thought of this will probably gives you chills clear to your spine. Even worse is if you just recently had an AC repair and you live in Katy, Texas where the heat is enough to make you wilt after viewing the weather forecast.

If you are a home owner living in or near Katy, Texas area with air conditioning problems this blog is for you. You have found the right place. I am a Licensed HVAC contractor. It’s important that I describe who I am so you can understand the difference from what my company provides as opposed to most of my competitors. Unfortunately not all HVAC companies are created equal. This might be why you are here anyway.

I am what is known as a ‘working’ Licensed HVAC contractor. This difference is that I don’t use AC technicians, sub contractors or even installers. I do all of the work myself. The benefit from using one person is that the person that services, repairs and installs knows your system better than having multiple service people repairing or replacing your system. This will typically give you far less hassles, better service and less down time.

This is what it’s all about right? Convenient, easy, dependable, professional service when you need it.

Home Air Conditioning Mechanic

You see, I am a unique victim of the financial crisis that hit U.S. shores over a half decade ago. I started my HVAC company during this time and in many cases what I have done is to go against the grain rather than with it, some may call this ‘disruptive’ because I have found that by doing things right and doing them well by myself, I can deliver a much greater longer lasting product when you decide to have me install a new HVAC system. Without me in the equation your odds are probably close to 40% success rate.

Certainly, I also repair many AC systems too, but if the system is old and has had many people working on it over the years you have to be realistic in that they don’t last forever. From a national average standpoint the average life of an AC system is 15 years.

Now just because your system may be this old or older doesn’t always mean you are forced to replace it. After I inspect your system I can give you recommendations and then you can decide what you want to do from there. In some cases a repair may be all you need, but this has to be assessed in person. I am not here to play guessing games.

From those looking at my HVAC Company from the outside in, even professionals with in the industry view this as impossible for one man to do everything up to and including new system installations. What can I say? I have a lot of trade secrets that I have developed over the years and I am extremely efficient at what I do and in many cases I run circles around my competition due to this fact.

Am I perfect? No, I’m human like anyone else. My failure rates typically hover in a range of 2-3% on equipment that I’ve installed myself. Failure rates on repairs can be higher but older equipment doesn’t last forever so you can’t really count that with a straight face. I only deal in reality, not fantasies and fairy tales. The failure rates I talk about above are failures within the warranty period of the equipment that I have installed myself.

From a normal run of the mill HVAC company perspective they strive for failure rates of no more than 25%. So in other words, if you’re not using me as your HVAC service provider your HVAC equipment failure rate could be 8 times higher or worse! These HVAC companies deem this standard failure rate as ‘ACCEPTABLE’! Say what?

AC Repair

In Katy, Texas during the summer there is really no job I do more than repairing AC systems. Pretty much any age, any brand and repairs ranging from electrical problems like breaker keeps tripping to compressor will not start or AC is blowing hot air, low cooling or no cooling. In some cases I have found some of these problems related to poor HVAC maintenance services.

AC Services that you paid for earlier in the year to get your AC checked or tuned up. You have to realize that if the AC maintenance is not done properly it makes not one bit of difference how much you paid to have it done. Most of these AC technicians doing this kind of work may not be as skilled as you think they are.

Certainly there are good reputable AC technicians out there. I was one of them at one point in my illustrious HVAC career, but the odds that you will get a good one are unfortunately quite slim.

Professional Air Conditioning Services

I’ve simply eliminated the fuss and the cuss using a few old wives sayings and applying these sayings to my business model. Maybe you can relate to these…

1. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.

2. Be original in all you do, if you’re any good some will try to copy you.

3. Lucky for you that you can only be you and no one else. (secret sauce!)

Just so you know it is me writing this (Ray Austin), the one who will actually come to your house to fix your AC or replace your HVAC system. You are in good hands, I have been doing this for 21 years as of 2016. So you might be asking yourself how do I do it? Work ethic. In America with hard work and dedication nothing is impossible. If you don’t think Air Conditioning is hard work then I am probably not the HVAC provider you are looking for. I am not running a scam operation here. I use my own name as the name of my company. I only have one last name. Why would I work as hard as I do at something only to destroy it with half truths or bold faced lies?

I’m well aware you are on the internet and so reading isn’t always believing… this is why I go to the extent I go to. To do my best to prove it to you before you even pick up the phone to call me. To my knowledge, you simply will not get this kind of dedication in any competitor of mine. Subscribe to my You Tube Channel here.

Free Air Conditioning Gimmicks

Did you fall for that special word free — Did your eyes light up? We’re humans and consumers rolled into one. But when you go to work do you tell your boss at the end of the week that this week is on you and you’re going to give him your hard efforts for nothing in return?

The HVAC industry is built on gimmicks. These gimmicks are used to make the phone ring. But did you know that a free call to an HVAC company is really code word for “Please send me a salesman.”???

An air conditioner replacement is something you will be lucky to do 3 times in your life time if you are lucky. If you are unlucky you may do it double that number of times. Many people don’t realize the complexity involved in today’s residential HVAC service industry. Let alone the problem of finding a AC contractor that actually knows what they are doing.

A salesmen call is a call in which someone comes to your home to do one thing. To sell you something, they will sugar coat everything, they may tell you your current unit is undersized for the home. How will you know anything different?

In some cases you won’t even realize the HVAC company sent you a salesman. The easiest way to know is if there is no service fee for the call to your home. Why do you suppose? You have to think for a moment. The salesman is paid on commission. The salesman makes no money unless he sells you something. It doesn’t matter one bit what your interests or problems are. The salesman in most cases has only one interest and that is to sell you whatever he can, the more the better for him.

This is the hidden cost of a free service call. They talk you into it and convince you. It’s a cat an mouse game to say the least and many people fall victim to these high pressure sales tactics all too often.

What happens if you have trouble with whatever the salesman sold you? You’re left to get service people of that company involved. Better hope they are as good as the sugar coating the salesman sold you. Yes this adds more people to the equation to find a solution. The salesman is out of the loop, he’s not coming back most likely because he’s paid on commission remember? He would just come back to try to sell you something more… it’s what they do.

Licensed HVAC Service Provider

Now certainly if you call me and want me to pretend to be a salesman I can play along. I’m flexible. But my goal isn’t to just sell you something for the sake of selling you something. My goal is to become your HVAC provider. Solve the problems you have now and be available to solve future problems. If I sell you something and you have a problem with it you pick up the phone and call me. Doesn’t this sound better than the aforementioned way? Do you see the difference?

One guy (Licensed HVAC Contractor) to take care of all your HVAC needs. Sounds too simple right? My way works… Less hassles, better service. I wouldn’t be writing this blog myself in the heat of summer if my way didn’t work. Please choose your HVAC service provider wisely.

Thank you for visiting with me today. I hope I helped you understand things more clearly and above all I hope your day is comfortable.

About the author of this blog:

My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie

832.475.6895

“Your home comfort from A to Z”

Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information and everything AC and heating

for your home visit me at my main website @

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

How To Do Air Conditioning Yourself

July 27th, 2016

You go outside and take a look at your AC condenser, you peer inside see a few parts and say “hmm, this doesn’t look very complicated.” I think I could do this myself.

I can’t tell you how many times a year that I get calls from people who thought they could fix it themselves only to make the repair more costly because they damage something or worse yet spin the unit so far into the ground to the point it is not worth repairing.

I named this subject this way to hopefully warn those who think this way is really a rational way to solving their AC problems. Your home is the most expensive asset you will likely own in your lifetime. You should be more interested in protecting this asset than potentially destroying it. Hopefully I am saving you from the extremely possible nightmare that lies in front of you.

How To Buy AC Equipment Online

Worse still is if you think you can buy the equipment online and then get someone to install it for you. Certainly you can buy the equipment online. This is no secret, but if you have a problem with the unit, if a part fails look at the fine print on the website from which you plan to buy this equipment from. No one installing the equipment for you will warranty anything you bought online, that becomes your burden. When you don’t have the HVAC licensing backing you up you’re in shark infested waters to say the least. A Technician does not have an HVAC license. A Technician has only the ability to work under the ‘SUPERVISION’ of a Licensed HVAC Contractor. A Technician who does ‘side’ work, faces immediate termination from their job in most cases if they’re caught. Why do you suppose? Any person willing to install equipment for you this way is likely not worth their salt anyway. Now think for just a few seconds on how I could possibly know this.

Licensed HVAC Contractors Carry General Liability Insurance

Ah-ha the very important difference between a Technician and a licensed HVAC contractor. What happens if the Technician burns down your home while trying to install a AC system on your property?

What happens if after the Technician installs the system on your property and the AC system does not cool well? Who will take the blame? The Technician will likely blame the equipment and thusly you because you bought it. Do you see the error of your ways yet? Without a HVAC Contractors license backing you up you have no recourse what so ever. You are ‘STUCK’ in a big bad way.

HVAC Manufacturer’s Void Warranty For Purchases Online

Ok, So now prove it to yourself with what I just said: visit the manufacture website of your choice and find out the fine print of the warranty documents they provide: purchases of equipment online the warranty is void. Go ahead and look if you don’t believe what I am putting here. Every Manufacture has an Online purchase policy, it makes no difference which manufacturer’s product you choose.

HVAC Licensing And Building Codes

Ah yes the fine little details to keep your home legal and avoid serious health problems, not to mention damage to your home up to and including burning it to the ground or turning it into a health hazard years later with mold growth. Watch the evening news. There are at least a half dozen stories a year in which a fire originates in the attic of a home. Why do you suppose?

As a Licensed HVAC contractor myself I am required by law to be licensed within the segment of the HVAC market in which I perform work for others. On top of this licensing I am required to carry General Liability Insurance, not to mention commercial vehicle insurance. I am also required to follow current building codes, this type of knowledge and know how is to ensure you get what you are paying for. I am what is called a ‘working’ HVAC contractor. I do all the work, including new HVAC installations. From a quality stand point on the product(s) I offer there is no substitute. I back this quality pledge up with prompt service after the sale should your new system ever need repairs. If you take any other route to accomplish this you are on your own. There is no HVAC company I know of that will stick their neck out on a HVAC installation gone bad. The cure in many cases is to rip it all out and start over. Remember hindsight is always 20/20.

Home Inspections Prior To Selling Your Home

Certainly you had a home inspection prior to buying your home didn’t you? But you think you are somehow going to pull a fast one and when you go to sell this home that others will forgo a home inspection prior to buying it? Certainly you could sell the home to the ugly home buying people, but they will only give you pennies on the dollar for it. So much for your home being an asset.

Realize what I say in this blog post is a ‘popular theme’ these days. Part of my job as an HVAC contractor is to deal with the dirty side of the market and warn those who may be thinking such things. The lure of what appears to be a ‘great deal’ winds up being a great deal of trouble up to and including the loss of your home and maybe effects on your health.

When it comes down to it, all I can do is warn you. In 21 years of doing this for a living, I can tell you it matters not one bit how much I write or warn about this subject. There are always those who must learn by experience rather than by me warning them. Hopefully ‘you’ are not one of them.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas | Richmond, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
832.475.6895
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information on everything air conditioning and heating

for your home visit me at my main website:

www.austinairco.com

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.