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We currently have a boiler that's approx. 50-60 yrs old and we are looking to replace it with new efficient unit. Can someone contact us to set up a time to meet so we can get an estimate?


I am looking for some estimates on (outer) Air conditioning unit. I am available after 5pm for scheduling the consulation!


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Heating - Heating Questions
1.20 Real Estate Investment-Contractor suggested Vinyl Flooring in Kitchen instead of Carept. Ground Level Basement?

Q. Hi All, The property manager suggested vinyl flooring in the kitchen of a 1 bedroom apartment instead of current old carpet. I understand it is easier to clean and might look better however will it not be less warm in the apartment as a result if I replace it with vinyl flooring instead fo a new carpet? Also, carpet is around $2/sq ft including everything. what is an average simple vinyl flooring price per sq ft? The structure is a little unique - the apartment in question is a ground level basement. I heard if floor is not lifted carpet is better for the reaosn mentioned above (heating) but not sure. how can I tell if it is lifted or not? (The unit will be rented out soon, it's a rental business) THANK YOU, Neil


1.20 Why is my air conditioning not working on my central heat and air?

Q. My heat works and my air conditioning does not. Would anyone know why. Do these units need freon to work? Thanks for your time. Oh, wanted to ask also. Is there a switch or something that I might have to switch on / off?

A. If you have a combined heating/air cooling system, you have to have a separate air coolant compressor and heat dissipating fan/radiator located on the outside of your home. This unit has a separate electrical supply which has a 'trip' protective switch (red button) which might have been "tripped" due to some 'glitch', and which needs to be pushed to reset the switch.

1.20 What is the difference between air conditioning and air recirculation?

Q. Air conditioning costs more but what exactly is the difference between the two systems? Is air recirculation effective at cooling or heating the vehicle interior on hot or cold days?

A. Air Recirculation and/or the Max A/C button do the same thing. They close off the vents that let fresh air into the car from the base of the windshield. Air Recirculation should be combined with A/C usage, which is why on some cars (older domestic US cars in particular) it's labled Max A/C. Air Recirc setting helps the air conditioner system by recirculating already cooler air through the system, rather then trying to take warmer outside air and cool it down. You can use it with heat, but on some cars (older Japanese and German cars in the US) they aren't set-up to run the A/C compressor in defrost mode. Any moisture at all will cause your windows to fog, ALL OF THEM, unless you also turn on the A/C button too. A/C doesn't really cost much more then 1 mpg on most cars. For me personally, I'll use A/C whenever I can. My comfort is worth more then 1 mpg.

1.20 Why do my heating and air conditioning units come on at the same time?

Q. I have central air. I turned my heater on for the first time yesterday and it seemed to work just fine. I felt the air coming from the vents and it is warm. The temperature reached the set temp on the thermostat. The problem is that my air conditioning unit also comes on. I don't think this is normal. Can someone please tell me why this is happening? Thanks.

A. It may be a heat pump. An easy way to tell is to look at the thermostat. If it has an emergency setting, it is a heat pump. For more info, check out the heat pump page at my source.

1.20 How often do air conditioning units need to be charged with freon?

Q. We have been having terrible problems with our central air conditioning unit. Our house is about 8 years old and we have a zone system (separate heating and cooling thermostats for upstairs and downstairs). For the past 2 years the unit is not cooling the house properly (heating works fine). We had the dampers replaced 2 years ago and I know the dampers are fine. We have had several repair technicians look at the unit. They always recharge the unit with more Freon (3 times in 1 summer) after claiming to fix a leak. This past weekend again a repair person claimed that we had an internal leak in the unit. He said that he had plugged the leak and then he charged the unit with Freon. Not only did this not work (our house continued to get hotter from 73F to 85F while AC was running all day) the pipe coming from the unit outside our house was all frozen over with ice (all the way to where the insulation started). Any suggestions or help will be appreciated. Thank you.

A. A system only needs to be charged once, when it is installed. If it gets a leak, the leak must be repaired, and verified that it is repaired with a vacuum test. It is a laborious process, and some homeowners would rather just juice up the machine each year than spend the funds to get it repaired. Some units have leaks that can never be identified. There are lots of fittings, small bends in the coils, and hundreds of feet of tubing that need to be traced with an accurate tool. Many Tech's don't have access to this tool, and rely on soap bubbles to identify leaks. Contact the manufacturer of your unit, and have them recommend a competent company in your area. If it is the company that you've been using, explain that they have not fixed the unit. For very hard to find leaks, there is a product available that can be added to the refrigerant similar to "Stop Leak" for your auto radiator. This product is rather spendy, about the same price as five pounds of refrigerant, but if you are charging your unit each season, it would be worth the investment. Contact the company that "repaired" the leak last time, and ask how the technician verified that the leak was repaired, and how he verified that the charge was correct.

1.20 What is involved in installing Air Conditioning in a single family home?

Q. We live in an old 1950's house and currently have central heating, which my husband installed in our home a few years ago. Is it possible to add air conditioning, as well. Can anyone help out with advice or how it would work and what the cost would be? Real answers, please...no trolls!

A. You want to start with what you have that is very familiar to you but you haven't described it enough. Is it a forced hot air system with duct work and is the duct work insulated? If this is the case then the process is to install an "A" coil above the furnace and below the plenum that distributes air to the various ducts. This is connected to a condensate drain, and two refrigeration lines that are also insulated. The refrigeration lines connect to an outside unit called a condenser. The condenser has to have electrical power attached to it. The refrigeration lines must be vacuumed out with a vacuum pump and then the refrigerant has to be transferred to the appropriate levels in the now closed system. The cost for this work will vary depending upon where it is done and the going rate in that location. The cost of the equipment will be more static but depend upon the capacity of the unit and this depends upon the size of the house.

1.20 How do I dispatch people?

Q. I work for a heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, and roofing company, and I dispatch about ten people on seven calls a day, and it is exhausting. I take the call (or whoever is in the office does) and gather the customer information. This includes name, address, phone number, city, zip code, how they heard about us (commercial, radio, referral, repeat, etc.), what type of problem they are having (heating, electrical, plumbing, or roofing), what exactly is going wrong, if it is an estimate on a new unit, a service failure, what time the customer called, what date the customer called, when the customer would like the technician to come out (we try to always book them between twelve and four, and save the early times for customers with no other option). The salesman then takes the inbound call sheet over to the dispatch log. I probably should have mentioned that each call sheet has a preassigned number (e.g. 20090001, 20090002, etc.). They match the invoice number on the inbound call sheet to the number on the call log which contains the invoice number, then a place for the sales rep to fill out the rest of the customer information, including customer name, technician assigned to customer's zip code, type of call (hvac, electrical, plumbing), date of call, date scheduled, time of call, time scheduled (am or pm), time completed, revenue collected, and if it was entered into quickbooks, and then if the invoice was given to the technician. This is all if the customer wants the work done on a future date. If the customer wants the work done that day, the sales rep goes ahead and calls the technician assigned to the customer's zip code. He then fills out the call log like normal. Once they have done all that, they give the call sheets to me. I then enter all the information into quickbooks and print out two work orders. I put the call sheets into a plastic sleeve and put those in a binder starting from the lowest work order number to the greatest. Then I put the work order in Steve's folder who gives them to the correct technician. The technician's go out and do the call and collect the money unless it is a credit card. Then I call the customer, get their credit card information, and call the credit card company and charge their card (I am honest enough to be trusted to do this). The checks are deposited every day at the bank after they have been entered into quickbooks. Most of the technicians are paid by salary. I broke my windshield the other day (coincidentally trying to deal with stress from this job), and a company with similar problems came out to fix it, and I was very interested in how they overcame them. The people on the phone took my phone number, name, car type, and schedule me for 12 to 4 pm. the technician who gets paid by the job came out, fixed my windshield, entered some information into his blackberry and connected it to the safegear thing and printed out his receipt and was on his merry way. I called the company (safelite), and tole them all this, and they said to call the corporate office between eight and five, which I will do tomorrow. but fellow workers, will you please help a struggling business and let me know how you dispatch people or how we could improve? Is there any company that has software for this??? PLEASE!

A. Whew, your employer owes you big time for some mental health counseling. The really big firms around here in the midwest use a system that is identical to law enforcement. They carry a small walkie talkie and have radios in their big box trucks. I had a young man check out my heat pump just last week and I could hear the dispatcher talking talking talking. It was a woman and she'd been doing it a long time that was obvious from my first contact. Except she gave him the wrong address and he was driving around for a while until I called her back, she then radioed him right away and I had a delay of maybe ten minutes. We have quite a few one man operations around here and they are Good. The one husband of a friend that I know just gets by with a cell phone, but you don't want to face something like that you have way too many people running in and out. Here's a suggestion: check out temporary employment agencies and ask them what kind of system they use? You might even find a better job who knows? Community colleges have wonderful courses on Business Communication, check them out if you have time and if your employer will pay for all or part of it. This is tax deductible as it's to improve your performance on your job. Then, get online and check out different software companies, there are tons out there who really need the business. A local Nerd would also jump at the chance to get a system customized just for your firm. You really have a situation and I sincerely hope you get some kind of help and soon. Oh, I also know of what you call service plumbing firms in the Miami/Tampa/Cape Coral/Fort Myers areas. These people are really with it but they're in trouble now because the hotels are sitting there empty especially this time of year. Maybe you could check with some hotels or housekeeping managers as to what kind of system they use, but it would depend on how big and busy your area of the country is. Okay, there's lots more but this will keep you busy thinking and maybe alleviate some of your stress. Good Luck!

1.20 Any Air Conditioning experts out there?

Q. Hello. we are installing a Diesel Generator for running our house. We are off grid. We are buying a Cummins 15 KVA/12KW Prime Power Generator. This generator can supply 23 Amps per phase in the standby mode with a PF of .8 With the normal set up, we can run only 3, single phase 18,000 BTU ACs, one on each phase. I read somewhere that by installing Power factor Capacitors, we can install more than one AC on each phase. Do you know anything about that? Is it an easy task or do I need to get an engineering degree for this? I'm some what comfortable with doing electrical work and can do minor calculations as well. Any help would be really appreciated. Greetings from Iran

A. HVAC Tech.: You need an electrical engineer to solve this problem as it does not fit into Heating, venting, or air-conditioning.

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