Welcome To Our 'Homes That Perform' Blog

Properly Trained Technicians 'Do It Right The First Time'!

Posted by John Sims on Mon, Jun, 26, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

When it comes to air conditioning systems recent studies of refrigerant charge TechTraining.pngand airflow revealed that as many as eight out of ten A/C systems have incorrect airflow, and seven out of ten systems are incorrectly charged; that means there's good chance yours is 'draining your pocketbook' and shortening the life of your equipment.

What Most Homeowners Don't Realize: It starts with understanding how your current system was likely installed. It’s unfortunate, but 90% of new systems are installed poorly; so you only have a 10% chance of getting your original system installed correctly. They may be operating, but do you know at what level? Today, more than ever, folks are looking to get the most out of each $1 and the least amount of hassle.

At Sims Heating and Cooling, our employees receive continuing training so they are up to date on the most recent and advanced techniques in the industry. 91 percent of consumers prefer a certified HVACR technician over a non-certified technician to service their heating and cooling systems. It is no surprise that consumers want a job done right the first time. Call-backs are not only expensive for us and inconvenient for you, the customers. They can undermine our relationships with you which work hard to establish. 

nate-certified-100.pngSims' technicians are factory trained and certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and are able work on systems from the past and those of tomorrow. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an organization we use for the training.

A NATE-certified technician will do the job right the first time. (Of course, that doesn't mean we're perfect)

WHO IS NATE? (From their website)

North American Technician Excellence (NATE), headquartered in Arlington, VA, was founded in 1997 and is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE is the only technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the HVACR industry.

NATE is the nation’s largest industry-endorsed, non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. Candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in 11 specialty areas: air conditioning, air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating, hydronics gas, hydronics oil, commercial refrigeration, light commercial refrigeration, ground source heat pump and senior efficiency analyst.

WHAT DOES NATE DO?

NATE offers certification tests for installation and/or service in one or more specialty areas. NATE certification tests represent real world working knowledge of HVACR systems. Developed by a committee of industry experts nationwide, 

Simply put, while there are many qualified technicians in the field, many more are needed. It is still necessary to raise the bar for the good of the industry and NATE must continue to set the standards and certify the knowledge base for quality HVACR technicians.

NATE-certified technicians provide the assurance of continued quality service, installation, enhanced system performance, and energy efficiency. 

Tooting Our Own Horn!

Even though we take great pride in being a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, we want remind homeowners that we work on all makes of equipment, from residential to large commercial.

We send our people to training so that they are up to date on the latest ideas and techniques. We also do in house training and back up the knowledge with the latest service instruments. We feel there is no one in the area that knows more about our industry, or is better prepared to serve the customer than ourselves.

Our employees receive continuing training so they are up to date on the most recent and advanced techniques in the industry and we utilize state of the art diagnostic equipment and tools to provide you with the best service available

Do not let an inexperienced, non-certified technician put your home or business at risk.

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Topics: A/C Systems, AC Repair, How We Work

Step By Step Installation Of A New Central Air Conditioner

Posted by John Sims on Fri, May, 05, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

If you've never experienced the purchase and installation of a new air conditioner, this will help you understand what to expect when you do; it's not something you do every day. On the day of your central air conditioner installation, expect a process similar to what’s listed below. Of course, the actual steps may vary a little, based your particlar situation.

Keep in mind, no matter how good of an air conditioning system you purchase, you'll be disappointed without proper installation.

Let's take a look at the step by step process:

  • If your local government requires permitting for the HVAC work, either we'll obtain the permit or you can chose to take care of it. In most cases, we do it. 
  • Disassemble and remove the existing air conditioner. 
  • Install new duct systems or performs duct modifications or  repairs. 
  • Prepare the installation site. For homeowners, this involves setting a concrete pad outside to support the air conditioner or making sure your existing one is level. 
  • Your new outdoor unit will be positioned correctly. The contractor will install it and secure it to the site. You don't want it to turn out like this one. It will shorten the life of your system. 

AC Leaning2.png

  • The conditions may be right for you to replace both indoor and outdoor units at the same time, in some cases you may elect not to replace the air handler when you have a new outdoor unit installed. 
  • Connect the indoor and outdoor units by determining the appropriate size for refrigerant lines, drain piping, and electrical lines. These components link the parts of the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. 
  • Check the thermostat to the central air conditioner. You may have a new thermostat installed or continue to use your existing unit. 
  • Pull a vacuum to remove contaminants from the refrigerant lines and charge the new central air conditioner with refrigerant. This is a crucial step in a proper installation. 
  • Start up the new cooling system and check temperatures at the registers/vents. 
  • Perform a complete installation inspection to ensure the installation was done correctly and the system functions properly.

AND, any questions you have before or after the installation are only a phone call away.

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If you're thinking about upgrading your air conditioner, I hope this helps you do your homework

Topics: Installation, AC Replacement, Best Value, How We Work

Why Home Automation And An HVAC Contractor Are A Great Combination

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Mar, 24, 2017 @ 13:03 PM

In the case of my company, we also have the added component of being an Qualifications-Do-I-Need.jpgelectrical contractor. Let's face it, technology is changing at break-neck pace. It's hard to keep up!

In the last few articles we've talked about the benefits of home automation/security delivered by It called the CÔR™ Home Automation system which is an additional product line from Carrier. 

Today, you can have remote access to your thermostat, lighting, home security and more right in the palm of your hand; so you can manage temperature, smoke alarm, locks, and indoor/outdoor cameras. That's everything in our 'wheel house'; we service and install them all

Sims has grown to provide mechanical and electrical design, service and installation to residential, commercial and health care facilities throughout South Central Michigan. We have the qualifications:

License Number: Mechanical 71-03646 / Electrical 61-12005 / Boiler 31-0993-1B Bonded & Insured

In a article we wrote a few years ago called "6 Really Good Reasons You Should Get To Know An HVAC Contractor!" I wrote about how HVAC contractors are unique; they repair, emergency services, maintenance, and installation. Essentially, they provide solutions for all 6 Reasons mentioned.

It's in a homeowner's best interest is build a relationship with an HVAC contractor during the life of homeownership. After a quick review of the 6 reasons, we believe you'll see why it's in a homeowners best interest to get to know and trust a credible HVAC contractor for the lifetime of homeownership.

When you take into account that you spend 90% of your time indoors, makes you realize how important it is to have your HVAC system, electrical system and maybe your home automation/security system performing at the optimal level all year round.

Our goal is to convince every homeowner to establish a relationship with a credible, high-quality HVAC Contractor. A company you can count on and trust whether you chose us not.

We Can Add 2 More Reasons

2 more reasons should be added for making the case for Sims Heating And Cooling: 1. Home automation/security and 2. electrical.

Cost of establishing one(next to nothing) vs. Cost of not having one. Our goal is to build a one-to-one relationship with homeowners in the Battle Creek area

We hope you pick us!

 

Topics: Maintenance, How We Work, Home Automation

In Search of Credibility and Trust

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Feb, 17, 2017 @ 13:02 PM

It's human nature to make the best buying decision. No one wants to make the Trust.jpgsecond best buying decision or have regrets. In this day and age, it seems difficult to determine who or what sources are credible and who you can trust. I thought I'd address that.

It's why companies like Angie's List and Home Advisors exist. Nothing wrong with these guys, we just want to point this out. And, just because a website, TV or radio ad claims "we're the ones to trust" doesn't really mean anything to you if you've never done business with them before.

I know there are plenty of choices out there when it comes the heating and cooling services. At Sims Heating and Cooling, we don't claim "we're the ones to trust or say on our website, we're your "favorite heating and cooling contractor". Our business philosophy is to provide the best buying-decision information possible.

Here's 4 ways we hope to establish our credibility with you and earn your trust:

1. Our "Education Center" contains a very extensive amount of beneficial information to deliver our mission statement.

The Sims Heating & Cooling Mission: Educating homeowners about achieving 'Ultra' Energy Efficiency & True Comfort with the highest level of Safety and Health.

We've tried to answer every possible question homeowners have asked and ones they haven't even thought of. We want you to avoid the regret, "I wish I would've known that"

2. Our FREE monthly email filter change reminder is a way for us to connect with you before we ever step foot in your house, or maintaining our long term relationship with homeowners. Dirt is the #1 problem for your heating and cooling system and it takes one simple filter change on a regular basis to solve it and avoid all sorts of problems. There's a lot of value!

3. We are a Carrier Dealer - Becoming a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer is no easy feat. Only those expert heating and air conditioning dealers who meet our highest standards and closest scrutiny–not only for their technical expertise, but also for their business practices and customer service quality—earn the Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers distinction.
The Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer seal of approval means we've met the rigid criteria for quality. In fact, Carrier offers you a 100% satisfaction guarantee when you purchase your Carrier equipment from a Factory Authorized Dealer. It's your sure sign of an air conditioning and heating system dealer that will provide you with superior products, intelligent insight and the ultimate service.

4. What others say:

Sims Review.png

 

Are we perfect? No, we make mistakes, but if you know us, we bust our butts to make it right. 

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Topics: Best Value, Service, How We Work

Replacing Your Air Conditioner With The Same Size May Not Be A Good Thing

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Apr, 22, 2016 @ 12:04 PM

The topic is Load calculations and HVAC equipment specification best practices. I'll begin by using a quote in a study conducted by PATH (Partnership housebtu.pngfor Advancing Technology in Housing) Their report was called Uniform Protocol for Energy-Efficient Remodeling of Existing Housing

“the fundamental problem is that 99% of trades will just bid the same size unit (HVAC) as they are taking out. They don’t go through the analysis needed to properly size the unit based on the loads, duct configuration, etc. Most old systems are already oversized. This ensures that the new system will be too.”

They go on to state:

Very few HVAC contractors use assessment and replacement practices (such as deriving consistent load calculations and duct requirements with ACCA Manual J and Manual D analyses) for every job prior to recommending changes. Standard best practices include the calculation of the room-by-room thermal load of the home to provide an accurate basis for sizing replacement HVAC equipment and ducts. This is particularly important since units are often oversized and ducts undersized or otherwise inadequate. Survey respondent reports and team experience indicate, however, that load calculations are rarely done in HVAC replacements.

Common practice is to replace with units of the same rated output or higher, leading to short-cycling, excessive duct noise and leakage, and early equipment deterioration as well as high energy bills due to low unit efficiency in short-cycle operation.

A further widespread HVAC specification deficiency is the improper matching of air conditioner compressor/ condenser units with indoor coils or air handler/furnace units. Each outdoor unit can be matched with a wide variety of indoor coils, but many choices are inappropriate and inefficient in specific climates due to unbalanced latent vs. sensible heat capacities. In other common cases, an attempt to save money by upgrading only the outdoor unit or by using a cheaper replacement indoor coil inevitably leads to inefficient operation as well as degraded capacity. Many HVAC contractors have inadequate understanding of the relevant principles of unit specification and merely keep using the same wrong choices without analysis, assuring that the replacement unit’s nominal SEER rating will never be approached and causing major long-term losses in energy efficiency. The required knowledge is available and readily learnable.

2 Organization That Keep Us Up To Date With The "Best Practices" 

nate-certified-100.pngNorth American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an independent, third-party organization that develops and promotes excellence in the installation and service of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment by recognizing high-quality industry technicians through voluntary testing and certification. Our technicians have passed the rigorous testing necessary to qualify as NATE Certified Technicians.

acca-logo.pngThe Air Conditioning Contractor's Association of America is the heating and cooling industry's leading trade organization. ACCA members adhere to a standard of ethical best practices that is your assurance of quality and professionalism. Sims Heating & Cooling Service Inc. is an active member in good standing with ACCA.

We're proud of the team members that where our name!

Topics: AC Replacement, Proper Sizing, How We Work

Can You "Trust Your Mechanic" (Contractor)?

Posted by John Sims on Mon, Feb, 22, 2016 @ 12:02 PM

I ran across this article and it caught my attention. It is common place for Trust4.pnghomeowners to have a similar distrust with contractors as they do with mechanics. Chances are they've heard from friends or some TV expose on the news about getting "ripped off". You hear similar stories in our industry.

As a contractor who has been in the area for a long time, we are always working to overcome those fears and concerns of being 'ripped off' homeowners have if they've never done business with us before.

Here's some of what the article " Can You Trust Your Mechanic":

"If a mechanic says your car isn’t running properly, you’re entitled to a simple explanation. In most cases, he or she should be able to explain the problem in detail, in terms that you can understand."

"This sort of thing has been going on for years. Dealers and repair shops are, for the most part, honest because they want to get repeat business. There are, however, some folks out there who take advantage of customers who are not automobile savvy. I have seen this at dealers, major chain repair shops and independent mechanic shops."

"In another case my father, who did all of the work on his cars, replaced the brakes on my mother's car. Seeing that the car also needed tires, he then drove the car to a major department store auto center and selected tires. He was told that it would take about an hour to get the tires installed. After shopping in the mall for about an hour, he returned to pick up the car and was informed that he also needed brakes! My dad, knowing that the car had only been driven less than 5 miles since he installed new brakes, turned to the customers in line behind him and said 'Leave here, these people are crooks.'"

"The point is that unless you have a good relationship with the shop, always beware. Just like with doctors, a second opinion can be helpful as can the recommendations of family and friends."

"In the end, you can avoid headaches by using your network of friends to find a local mechanic with whom you can build a relationship."

We don't tell you "We're the Ones to Trust"! We hope you get the 'gut' feeling about us. It starts with our website content which helps you educate yourself on as many topics as possible.

Building a relationship with homeowners for the life of their homeownership is our primary goal - It's why we created the Monthly Email Filter Change Reminder, It's FREE.

Topics: Maintenance, Air Filters, Emergency Repair, How We Work

Angie's List 'Fair Price Guarantee'

Posted by John Sims on Wed, Jan, 27, 2016 @ 14:01 PM

Recently, I happen to notice the TV advertising by Angie's List offering a new service in 2016. They were introducing their "Fair Price Guarantee". Another term businesses use in advertising is the "best price" guarantee. When you think about it what exactly does that mean?

Here's what they say on the Angie's List website:

Fair Price Guarantee

If you buy from Angie’s List and the price exceeds the Fair Price Range for the service and location – you have the option to exchange the service for a new one, or receive a refund for the amount exceeding the Fair Price.*

What does “Fair Price Range” mean?

Angie’s List has years of transactional data on prices of offers and purchases for local services from which we have developed the “Fair Price Range”.  The Fair Price Range is defined as a price between 0 and the 75th percentile of all member-reported prices within the member’s local area for substantially similar service based on comparable materials by similar service providers.

If the “Fair Price Range” is based on a member’s local area, how is the “local area” determined?

Angie’s List tracks service provider offers and member’s purchases via zip codes and then groups zip codes into markets.  The purchase price will be compared to all member-reported purchase prices for substantially similar services in the market that you are purchasing in.

FairPrice.png

Now we have nothing against Angie's List and the services they provide in the marketplace. I wanted to share with you my take on this subject.

As a leading HVAC and Electrical contractor that services the Battle Creek area, we certainly don't want to overcharge you because we'd like to build a lifelong relationship with you. On the other hand, you don't want to underpay and not get the results you hope for either. That's not a good situation.

We recommend every homeowner establish a relationship with a credible HVAC contractor. Obviously, we hope you choose us.

"Fair pricing" doesn't necessarily take into the account (apples to oranges) the following questions:

  • Was my furnace the right size when originally installed?
  • When it is installed do you get the energy efficiency advertised by the equipment manufacture?
  • Were other issues exposed or diagnosed that affect performance, comfort or indoor air quality that need to be corrected?
  • Was your existing ductwork effective and efficient - distributing the air correctly?

Out of curiosity, I Googled,  "FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICE DEFINITION". Here's what came up:

A fair and reasonable price is the price point for a good or service that is fair to both parties involved in the transaction. This amount is based upon the agreed-upon conditions, promised quality and timeliness of contract performance.

'Fair pricing' to us means taking into account each one of the questions mentioned above; plus, my company making a making a fair profit for us to perform at the highest level and continue to stay in business to service you.

Boils down to the gut feeling of trust to do it right the first time at the stated & agreed upon cost and you enjoy the results for years to come (we are there for those years). Buying a replacement furnace or air conditioner is a large investment and a decision you make maybe once in 15 - 20 years based on some average for a zip code area doesn't make sense to us.

I hope this helps you when you are confronted with this decision. If you'd like a FREE estimate click here.

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Topics: Best Value, Furnace Pricing, How We Work, Best Price

Solving Problems In Your Home, Begins With Identifying Them.

Homes That PerformPatCLICK HERE to take our 'Online Comfort Evaluation' for your home. We'll email you information to help you solve many common problems.
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