Tag Archives: a/c repair

How to Choose an Air Conditioning Company and What to do Next?

8 Nov
ac repairman

You should have a list of good service providers  so that it is handy when you need them including a good A/C Company.

At some point we all need to call on trusted professionals to help us solve the day-to-day issues we all face in our daily lives.

You may need a dentist, a veterinarian, an auto mechanic, a day-care provider, a doctor, a plumber, a financial planner, an electrician AND someday you will certainly need to call upon the A/C repairman (or lady) to pay a visit to your home or business…

So, how on earth do you know whom to call upon? Do you look at the sticker that’s 8 years old and fading fast on your equipment? Do you ask your neighbor who they’ve used in the past? Do you (ugh) Google “cheapest ac repair”? Do you look in the yellow pages (what are those!)? Do you try to fix the darn thing yourself?

The truth of the matter is this; all the above are commonplace – we’re going to share a few cold-hard-truths with you.

Four Fast Facts!

Fact #1
The Internet is where more and more people are doing their research and shopping nowadays. Yes, every single method mentioned above (neighbor referral, Google, the sticker, etc.) brings the A/C repairman to your door BUT how do you know you found a good one?

Do your homework!

When searching online or perusing a website be sure to read the reviews; especially any “bad” ones and learn how any issues were resolved. No company is perfect and it’s nice to see to err is human because even the best companies can have an unexpected situation arise leading to a less than perfect experience. Does the company respond to negative reviews? They happen. It’s just how business goes. And for goodness sakes please never Google “cheapest” anything, just search for “ac repair” or “air conditioning repair” so you don’t get someone advertising they are the cheapest. Need we say more?

Fact #2
Not all A/C (HVAC) companies do things the same BUT the good ones will give you what you need to make an informed decision. Once you’ve narrowed it down and decided who you’ll call; all you need to do now is pay close attention to the following BEFORE and AFTER they arrive at your door:

Before they arrive at your door…
• Were you greeted professionally over the phone or called back in short order?
• Is their license number posted on their website? It better be!
• Did they disclose any trip charges? Be wary of “FREE” estimates!
• Did they offer an appointment “window”? Did they call you if they have a delay?
• Be wary of “telephone diagnostics”; some issues are commonplace while others aren’t
• Be wary of “telephone estimates” especially if you’re price shopping (don’t buy on price)

DING DONG – the A/C repair man is at your door…
• Did he arrive in a “marked” truck? Busier HVAC company’s trucks are wrapped / painted
• Did he arrive “on time” or really close? Yes, you’re hot and he’s rushing to get to you
• Is their license / contractor number clearly displayed on their truck? It better be!
• Some park in the street or your driveway. Either is OK but watch for any vehicle leaks
• Did he introduce himself to you and SMILE? You’re having a bad day – let’s smile!
• Did he slip on some little booties over his shoes? Your better companies will do this
• Does he have a pre-printed inspection form? Did he look “inside and outside”?
• Does he answer your questions in a way that’s not condescending BUT easy to follow?

If you “feel” comfortable with your A/C technician and you don’t feel pressured by a salesman, then you’ve probably got one of the “good guys”. Sure, there are some bad actors giving the good guys and our industry a bad name BUT there are good guys out there.

Fact #3
Just because your system is “older” doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. There are some things to consider such as expense of repair or refrigerant type or efficiency ratings BUT if you’ve got yourself one of the “good guys” then he’ll usually help you keep the ole girl running if she can be repaired reasonably. If not, you’ll be shown replacement options that are modern, sized appropriately, more efficient and carrying very good warranties.

Fact #4
Your relationship with the A/C company doesn’t stop with the repair or replacement unit! Be sure to ask for or listen to them about their Maintenance Agreement. Shameless plug here because ours is a great value but in all seriousness, even if you choose a company other than RDS Air Conditioning please be sure to do the following after your repair or replacement:
• Get every piece of paperwork and save for your records
• Be sure permits are pulled if needed
• A good A/C company will register warranties for you
• BUY the maintenance agreement whether repaired OR replaced – seriously…
• Ask about any available rebates?
• Bake you’re A/C technician some cookies. Just kidding (but who doesn’t like cookies!)

Thank you for reading. We try to bring you good and useful information so you can be a better-informed consumer. Call on RDS Air Conditioning for any of your repair or replacement needs. We work hard to be good at our trade and provide you service so good you’ll refer us to friends, family and coworkers.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

How Long Should My Air Conditioning System Last Before Needing to Be Replaced?

25 Feb
air conditioners

To make your ac system last as long as possible, follow these guidelines…

SWFL is a unique area with a subtropical climate and many of our residents are here seasonally.

When it comes to an air conditioning system, many individuals who live up north have the same expectations for their ac systems here in Southwest Florida.

We are often asked, “how long should my air conditioning system last”?

That is a question that can’t be answered simply because there are many variables that come into play:

  • How old is the ac unit?
  • How often is maintenance performed?
  • How often do you change the filter?
  • Do you keep debris away from the outside unit?
  • How often does it run?
  • As soon as you hear a noise or problem, do you get it fixed or let it go until a breakdown happens?
  • Is your ac unit the correct size for the space (not oversized or undersized)?

In SWFL, the average ac unit is running about 3000 hours a year and that will rack up many miles quickly. There are some really good thermostats on the market that feature apps that you can download to your phone to control the temperature from any location.

For example, if you are away from home, you can increase the temperature and when you know you are going to return, open the app on your phone and decrease the temperature to make your home cooler by the time you arrive.

This will save on electricity and the amount of time your ac unit is running. To answer the question how long should your ac unit last before it needs to be replaced? On average is between 8 to 14 years.

In SWFL, ac systems don’t last as long as they do up north due to our sub tropical environment plus chemicals from salt-water, sulphur and farming (many communities are built on old farmland).

To get the most life out of your ac system and to try to make it last as long as possible before having to be replaced:

  • Change the filter on a regular basis – Tip: when you change the filter write the date on the side of the filter facing out so you can easily keep track of the last time it was changed.
  • Regular maintenance – Tip: It is a good idea to sign up for a maintenance agreement so that your ac system will be serviced twice a year.
  • The size of your unit – Tip: Have an HVAC contractor install your ac unit since they can help you decide on the best unit to fit your needs and space.
  • Have problems fixed in a timely manner – Tip: As soon as you hear a noise or detect an issue, call an HVAC contractor to fix it. Letting a problem go on can cause more damage over time.

The life of your ac unit depends mostly on you and how you care for your ac unit once it is installed by having regular maintenance done and having problems that arise fixed right away.

RDS Air Conditioning is ready to help with all of your air conditioning system needs. We install new ac systems in residential and commercial buildings, perform ac repair, ac maintenance and we have many customers in SWFL who depend on us to keep their ac systems running at full capacity.

We also offer a comprehensive maintenance package. Give us a call to get started (239-313-9174). Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Buying a Previously Owned Home? Is it Cool Enough?

18 May
welcome to Florida sign

If you are moving to Florida and buying a home consider this…

We all know Southwest Florida is like living in paradise. We have beautiful beaches, blue skies and wonderful winter weather.

Did you know that 1000 people move to Florida each day? And according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates, Southwest Florida is one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation.

On the flip side, there are many people moving out of Florida each month so this adds up to a lot of people coming and going. All of these people need someplace to live and many will purchase a home.

If you are planning to purchase a previously owned home in Florida there are the usual questions:

  • When was the home built
  • How old is the roof
  • Inspections for plumbing, electrical and structure
  • Check for any leans on the home (make sure deed is free and clear)
  • Bug and rodent inspection
  • Ask about water system and quality
  • Flooding info
  • Zoning
  • Wetland info

It is also important to inquire about the a/c unit. A new a/c unit could be a big expense (if a new unit is needed) so make sure to have the a/c unit checked as well.

If a home is 10 years old and has the original a/c system ask about maintenance history and cooling efficiency but better still have it checked out.

An a/c system may seem fine but you can’t really tell unless you have a professional take a closer look. After the expense of purchasing a home, adding or upgrading furnishings it would be unsettling if the air conditioning unit failed and you had to add the expense of installing a new one.

If the a/c unit is old and in need of repair or replacing, that is something you can use to negotiate when making an offer to purchase a home.

Call RDS Air Conditioning if you would like us to check out an a/c unit before you purchase a home or for maintenance or repair. We install, maintain and service all residential and small commercial a/c units.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

10 ways to keep cool when going to sleep if you have no air conditioner

27 Aug
woman sleeping in bed with no ac

Nothing beats an a/c unit working at full capacity…but if you are ever caught in the heat with no a/c these tips can help you stay cool.

Central air is a beautiful thing…Push a button and your home cools down rather quickly. But… What happens when you have no a/c unit or one that is broken?

How can you keep cool in the sweltering heat?

Here are 10 ways to keep cool if you have no a/c:

1. Buy a hot water bottle, fill with water, freeze, then keep the water bottle close by to stay cool all night.

2. Use cotton sheets on your bed plus wear loose fitting cotton pajamas as both promote ventilation.

3. Use a damp sheet or towel as a blanket.

4. Sleep alone. When you sleep next to another person their body generates heat which will only make you feel hotter.

5. Drink water before going to bed to stay hydrated.

6. Take a cool shower before bed which will wash away sweat and reduce your core body temperature so you can go to sleep feeling nice and cool.

7. Keep the lights off to reduce heat in the room.

8. Hang a wet sheet in front of an open window so as the breeze blows through, it will cool down the room.

9. Sleep on a bamboo mat or straw bed as these raw materials do not retain heat.

10. Buy an air conditioner or have your broken a/c unit fixed.

If you are tired of dealing with the heat or an a/c unit that isn’t cooling properly or would like to upgrade from your current air conditioning unit, there are some things to consider before deciding to purchase a new a/c unit.

Make sure you really need an new a/c system. Often, your current a/c unit can be repaired to help you put off the expense of buying a new one.

RDS Air Conditioning can often repair your existing a/c unit and if a new system is needed, will help you choose the most cost effective and proper air conditioning system to fit your needs.

Call RDS today to have your a/c system repaired, replaced or for routine maintenance.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Tips for Choosing a Reputable Contractor to Fix, Maintain or Install Your A/C Unit

3 Jan a/c repairman

The average high temperatures in Southwest Florida range in degrees from the 70’s to 90’s depending on the time of year. Of course, temperatures are on the higher end in summer months.

Most homes in Southwest Florida have some type of air conditioning unit to help them stay cool but air conditioning units do not last forever and do need maintenance and repairs over time.

Who do you call when your a/c unit is in need of repairs or routine maintenance is due?

Not all contractors are created equal. Choosing the wrong contractor can be a nightmare. So, how do you know when you have a reputable contractor on your list of companies you call when you need a product or service?

Use these guidelines when choosing a contractor to maintain, fix or install your a/c unit. The contractor you choose should:

  • Be licensed as this shows they went through the licensing process which includes knowledge testing and competency.
  • Own a stable company and has been in business for a number of years.
  • Have a professional appearance (their employees, truck and equipment should be organized and clean).
  • Be available so when you call them. Someone either answers the phone or calls you back in a timely manner.
  • Have a great reputation in the community so that you know they are trustworthy.
  • Work hard to provide excellent customer service.
  • Do honest repairs and will only recommend what is necessary.
  • Offer a comprehensive maintenance plan to keep your a/c unit running efficiently.
  • Have a nice website where you can learn more about their services, engage with their social media and leave feedback.

It is a great idea to have a relationship with a good contractor before your a/c unit needs repairs because then you won’t have to scramble and choose someone quickly.

Remember, regular air conditioning maintenance will help keep your a/c unit running at full capacity which will extend the life of your unit plus decrease electric bills.

RDS Air Conditioning services Southwest Florida for residential and small commercial air conditioning needs. They have an excellent reputation and meet all of the criteria listed above for a reputable contractor. RDS offers a cost effective comprehensive a/c protection plan plus a maintenance agreement.

We are a Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

What To Look For – Air Conditioning Maintenance Agreements

14 Oct
Choose the right a/c maintenance agreement

Having an a/c maintenance agreement can save you money and prevent a/c down time.

It has happened to many of us. Your air conditioner breaks down after business hours, at night or on the weekend.

You find yourself waiting for a repairman in unbearable heat, and paying an exorbitant amount for service in overtime or off time.

One of the biggest benefits of some maintenance agreements include no astronomical overtime charges. If you have the right contract, you can get more benefits than you may think.

Different air conditioning companies offer different services and benefits in their maintenance agreements.

What to look for in a Maintenance Agreement:

– Frequency

Some individuals, especially those returning after being away for the season, opt to have their air conditioning equipment serviced once a year. More frequency, such as semi-annual maintenance, can keep your equipment always clean and running at full capacity.

Air flow is a primary issue. Dirty screens become clogged with debris, which blocks air flow. Better air flow makes for more efficiency, healthier air and lower utility bills.

– Level of Service

Some companies offer status as a priority customer, preferences with maintenance and service, plus discounts for additional systems. Different discounts on labor and parts may apply for additional systems at the same location as well as no overtime labor rates.

– Humidity

When your air conditioning system isn’t working at full capacity, or stops working altogether, heat and humidity build quickly.

Air conditioning systems not only cool a home or business, they also remove humidity. Mold and mildew thrive in high humidity. High humidity, mold and mildew can cause damage to furniture, electronics, cabinets and more.

— Addition to Property Value

Besides prolonging the life of your unit, some agreements are transferable to a new owner, something you can offer if you wish to sell.

– Specific services to look for in a quality maintenance agreement:

  • Cleaning of outdoor a/c coils
  • Cleaning of indoor evaporator coil
  • Cleaning and flushing condensate drain line
  • Placing anti-bacterial tablets in drain pan
  • Lubricating motors and contactors if needed
  • The checking of electrical connections, overall operation of equipment and power consumption on outdoor unit
  • Checking for proper temperature drop (cooling) and thermostat operation
  • Visual inspection of equipment
  • Replacing or cleaning air filters
  • Discounts for additional systems at same location.
  • Discounts on labor and parts for service calls and repair plus the waiving of overtime rates.
  •  Agreements should include all material needed to complete these tune-ups.

Some companies, such as RDS Air Conditioning, also offer a more comprehensive A/C Protection Plan. This can include parts and labor in the event of a breakdown, and if the system requires replacement, the unused balance will be credited to use towards a new unit.

RDS Air Conditioning specializes in servicing, repairing and installing a/c units for residential and commercial clients.  Maintenance Agreements are semi-annual and affordable. Serving Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers.

RDS Air Conditioning is a Certified Florida Contractor. Lic. #CAC1816713. Don’t settle for less, Use RDS!

Think You Need to Buy a New A/C Unit? Don’t Get Hot Under the Collar, Keep Your Cool!

7 Jun
air conditioner

A new a/c unit is a big expense but don’t make that purchase until it is absolutely necessary.

June 21, 2014 is almost here and we will soon be enjoying the sweltering days of summer, or maybe not.

Most of us do not find comfort in 90 degree weather unless we are spending time at the beach or by the pool.

When you are home and your air conditioner either stops working or is not working properly, the heat from the lazy days of summer can become unbearable.

Replacing an air conditioning unit is a big expense but is eventually necessary as nothing lasts forever but before you purchase a new a/c unit, be sure the old one truly needs to be replaced.

Here are some signs that your current a/c unit may be ready to retire:

  • Temperature inconsistencies – Some rooms in your home are too warm while other rooms are too cold.
  • Your a/c unit is over 10 years old – The average life of an a/c unit is about 10-15 years.
  • Your electric bill is increasing – Your air conditioning unit is becoming less efficient.
  • Too much humidity in your home – Your a/c unit is probably not be working properly.
  • Excessive repairs – Your a/c unit keeps breaking down and needs frequent repairs.

At RDS Air Conditioning, we find that very often, an air conditioning unit can be repaired rather than replaced.

An honest and knowledgeable a/c service provider will tell you when it is time to get rid of your old a/c unit and install a new unit in your home and when it is not worth trying to make repairs.

Whenever you purchase a new air conditioning unit you can expect:

  • To save money right away. You will notice a decrease in your electric bill as an efficient running air conditioning unit uses less energy.
  • You will also notice that all rooms in your home will cool more evenly (as long as the duct work is correctly installed).
  • You will only have to concern yourself with changing the air filters and having your a/c unit maintained twice a year and not deal with break downs or worry about repairs.

Everyone who owns a home with an air conditioning unit and lives there for a length of time, will eventually have to purchase a new unit.

The key is in knowing when your a/c unit truly needs to be replaced or when a repair can hold off that purchase for another year or two. Don’t spend the extra money on a new a/c unit until it is truly necessary.

At RDS Air Conditioning we will never tell you to replace your a/c unit unless we feel it is absolutely necessary. We even offer an a/c protection plan to maintain your a/c unit and if it ever breaks down and needs to be replaced, we will reimburse the unused balance.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!