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Brad Dworkin
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What Causes My Air Conditioner to Freeze Up in Las Vegas and Henderson NV

If your air conditioner has ever frozen up you know how much of a hassle it can put on your day and comfort. To minimize the chances of this happening and to understand why it occurs, we have written this resource for home owners. For those with frozen and non-operational air conditioners, we are available for repairs around the clock. Give us a call today at 702-489-5500 to schedule an appointment.

What Causes My Air Conditioner to Freeze Up?

Considering that air conditioners run during hot summer days that can exceed one hundred degrees in Las Vegas, Nevada, you would expect that the last thing they would do is freeze. However, that is precisely what extreme heat and strain on an air conditioning unit will cause.

Since air conditioners pass air through an AC coil in order to cool it, they also absorb a lot of debris. A properly running unit will have a cool coil which passes air into the home. Whereas a unit which has had its coils clogged with debris will freeze up completely and air will not be able to pass through it.

Freezing can also occur because of clogged air filters, damaged ducts which don’t allow a proper amount of air to flow out of the AC unit, and refrigerant issues. Without enough refrigerant an AC unit will have lower pressure, extra moisture, and a higher potential for freezing. Another possibility, although this doesn’t happen as often, is an overfill of refrigerant which causes the unit to not effectively move heat.

While freezing can occur sometimes merely because an ineffective unit is being overworked, it is mostly caused by another impending problem on the system as listed above, or by a mechanical problem. Clogged lines in air conditioning units for example are a mechanical problem which may result in freezing, as would be a kink in a liquid line, a malfunctioning valve, or a blockage somewhere in the unit.

If the fan which takes cold air passed through the coil and circulates it into the home’s ducts is not working, it will cause the cold air to cool the unit extremely to the point where it freezes as well. By the time this happens due to a system malfunction, a lot of damage can occur to a unit. That is why it is recommended to maintain units annually which covers an intensive check of all components, as well as a tune-up. If you’re interested in learning more about our annual maintenance plans then give us a call at 702-489-5500.

Symptoms of a Frozen Unit

If your home is no longer being cooled but your unit is on, or if it shuts down, it may be caused by freezing. Sometimes ice will be visible within the unit but it isn’t always something that one can see without first opening it.

When ice is not visible within the unit, you may be able to hear it occasionally. It will sound like ice falling down and hitting metal, as that is what happens in some units when they freeze and continue to run. Before a unit completely malfunctions due to freezing you may be able to catch it early on if you notice a significant change in the temperature of your home.

If anything seems off with your air conditioner it is always best to turn it off and call our technicians at 702-489-5500. This will insure that an AC unit with an issue doesn’t keep running for hours and days before it completely freezes over or breaks down.

Preventing Frozen AC Units in Las Vegas

In addition to annual maintenance, there are other steps you can take to prevent your unit from freezing over. This includes keeping mulch, dirt, and other debris away from the unit so that it does not clog it. As well as spraying it with water once a month to make sure that it always remains clear. When cleaning an AC unit with water it is important to not spray water inside, but rather just on the sides. And do not use pressure. Simply run water over the sides.

Keeping filters clean, as well as changing them regularly every few months is another great way to prevent your unit from freezing. This insures that the pressure within the unit is stable and not thrown off by a clogged filter.

During the day you can also set your thermostat to cool the house less, if no one is home. In addition to putting less strain on the unit and extending its life-span, it will also lower monthly energy bills.

Frozen AC Unit Repair

If your AC unit has frozen in the Las Vegas or surrounding areas, we can help. Our team is experienced in getting frozen units back up and running, as well as determining what caused the system to freeze in the first place and fixing it so that it doesn’t occur again.

Give us a call today at 702-489-5500 for more information and scheduling.
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Pre Summer Tune Up For Air Conditioning Units in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV

Since AC units are built to last ten or more years, home owners sometimes take that to mean that they won’t break down no matter what. That is not necessarily the case, since manufacture life expectancy rely on proper installations, regular maintenance, and inspections. AC units that are properly maintained can and do often make it well past their life expectancy.

Good Maintenance Habits for Home Owners

HVAC system should have their air filters changed every month during active use to allow the system to run at the right pressure, free of contaminants. An air filter which is not changed can develop mildew and other growths, as well as become clogged and result in less air pressure as well as bad air quality. Not changing an air filter on time can also cause allergies to worsen for those that have them. Essentially, air filter swaps are the easiest way to maintain an HVAC system and can be done by anyone.

Another good habit for home owners is to occasionally wash their AC unit down with a hose. It is never advised to direct water directly into the unit, but rather to use it to wipe off dirt and dust gently. Insuring that mulch, dirt, and other debris are not too close to the unit to dirty it during storms and wind bursts is also important. Likewise, home owners should also keep plants and other objects away from their unit. Keeping it clear at all times will insure that it has to work less without having extra heat inside the unit due to it being bogged down with debris that acts as an insulator.

Maintenance Steps for Las Vegas and Henderson, NV HVAC Technicians

Just like home owners have good habits to follow in order to keep their HVAC system in shape and running, HVAC technicians have their own comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities to make sure that AC units go well beyond their life expectancy. At A-Tech Heating and Cooling, our technicians make it a priority to complete all of the steps below and much more to insure excellent AC service and reliability all year long:

Pressure and coolant level inspection
Thermostat sensor testing to insure proper operation (non-digital)
Critical wire and connection inspection
Inspect the evaporator coil (if necessary)
Inspect the condenser and motor fan system
Add lubrication to fan motor if necessary
Inspect compressor amps and capacitor readings
The general steps outlined above are a few of the steps that technicians at A-Tech Heating and Cooling know by heart, and engage in vigorously during pre-summer tune ups for HVAC systems in Las Vegas. It’s without doubt that home owners which keep their AC units maintained, as well as get them tuned up before the peak season for them arrives, they will reduce unnecessary repair and replacement expenses down the road.

An AC unit is an amazing piece of technology which can bring comfort and reliability to your home, but it can also become a burden if not properly taken care of throughout the years. What do you do in your own home to insure that your AC does not fail during a hot summer day? If you don’t engage in the proper AC unit habits and getting it maintained, then you may be waiting for a problem to occur. At A-Tech Heating and Cooling, we believe that the best way to fix an AC unit is to avoid having it break down at all. For more information on our pre-summer tune up or to answer any questions you may have, give us a call at 702-489-5500.

The A-Tech Heating and Cooling Approach

At A-Tech we know that a clean running AC saves its homeowner money on their energy bill, as well as in the lowered repair and replacements down the road caused by improper maintenance. As much as our pre-summer tune up is designed to insure that the system runs effectively and well past its life expectancy, our technicians are also dedicated to lower your energy bills by making sure your AC unit draws as little power as possible.

A well running AC unit can be a comfort not only to the home owners and residents within, but also to the wallet every month when bills come around. If you’re interested in lowering your AC energy bills this summer, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help: 702-489-5500.
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We've won the 2015 Best Of HomeAdvisor Award!

Why? Because we exemplify quality work practices, premier service and are a valued resource for homeowners. For more details, click here.

Want to learn more about my business? Visit my page on homeadvisor.com by searching for A-tech heating Cooling LLC.
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How Does NV Energy Smart Grid Benefit Customers in Las Vegas and Henderson NV Part 2

Among NV Energy’s priorities for their smart grid plan stands cyber security, privacy, and reliability. Because of their focus on perfecting the architecture of NVEnergize, they have taken many steps to ensure that such priorities are met with outstanding design. Beyond providing metering and billing solutions which bring down operating costs for both consumers and NV Energy themselves, of which savings are also passed down to consumers annually, the company is focused on long-term reliability.

In terms of security, customers will be glad to know that NV Energy’s Cyber Security Plan incorporates not only the most secure of engineering practices but also a comprehensive budget for further security investments. The cyber security plan has also been approved by the Department of Energy, and involves continuous third party security auditing.

When it comes to privacy, NV Energy has got it covered as well. They take the privacy of their customers very seriously as a whole company, whether it be for their analog metering service or their new smart grid, and are dedicated to keeping their data secure at every stage. NV Energy is so invested in privacy that they are known for adding security protocols well beyond those which are state mandated. Essentially, NV Energy leads not only meters into the future, but the privacy of customers as well.

A truly important priority of a smart meter, is for it to be effectively smart and accurate. The meters that NVEnergize utilizes are definitely accurate considering that their energy measurement is controlled by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Due to the precision available in smart meters, their measurements are more refined than conventional analog meters. During manufacturing of meters, they are also tested with the compliance standards of ANSI. 5 percent of tested meters are also tested after shipment, to insure that the deployment strategy maintains the same accuracy of the equipment.

To insure that meters are not only tracking accurately, but also reliably, a sample of them are tested while they are in use. This sample of meters is removed from the customer premise, and replaced with a brand new meter, while the installed meter is tested to verify continued accuracy.

NV Energy has partnered with the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) to test their installed meters. During testing, UNR utilized the National Institute Standards and Technology’s (NIST) to test NV Energy’s smart meters against ANSI standards. UNR established that both smart and analog meters were running accurately, and they also developed an in-house testing program for NV Energy to use over the years as they would continue their accuracy verification on running meters.

The Benefits of NV Energy’s Smart Grid Deployment

NV Energy has made it clear that they intend to educate their customers about the NVEnergize program so that everyone benefits from its energy bill saving goals. NV Energy introduced, and continually introduces, the NVEnergize project to customers using events in their service territory. These events present the concept of NVEnergize, as well as its benefits and installation plans in certain communities. Then within 30 days of planned meter installations, NV Energy provides further information to customers.

A week before smart meters are installed, NV Energy calls customers to update them with the date of the upgrade. Finally, the day that NV Energy arrives to remove the old meter and install a new one, they will knock on the door of the homeowner to make them aware of their presence. Although being home is not required for this upgrade, homeowners that are home will be alerted that their service will be interrupted briefly during the upgrade.

After the installation is complete, NV Energy goes the extra mile to collect surveys which measure the satisfaction of customers. Furthermore, some installations are field audited to maintain the highest level of quality possible both. Essentially, NVEnergize is designed to have a simple deployment process which educates and notifies homeowners of the upcoming changes and how to make use of their new NV Energy reporting account, but it is also designed to continually improve both customer satisfaction and field operation.

Myths About NVEnergize

AS with any program, NV Energy’s smart grid has a plethora of myths around it. One such myth is that NV Energy will be able to control appliances in your home through their smart meters. This is not possible since the meter only measures electricity passing into the home and does not have access to the power panel in any way, shape, or form. Another myth is that NV Energy will develop pricing that is based on the home’s electricity usage time. While NV Energy will use this information to adapt better and avoid power outages due to stress on their systems, they have made it clear that time of use rates will not be implemented.

Also, due to smart meter’s connectivity to a data-center, some speculate that it will be used for surveillance. The truth is that smart meters record just as much information as analog meters, which is essentially just how much electricity is used and when. This information is then transmitted to a data-center so that customers can access their account’s reporting through nvenergy.com. Another myth about smart meters is that they will increase energy consumption which is not true since the meters transmit data an average of three seconds a day.

The Biggest Benefit of NV Energy’s Smart Grid

Unlike other private sector upgrades which end up raising the price for the end user, NV Energy’s smart grid has been funded using various grants as well as direct federal funding. This means that energy prices won’t go up for customers because of the upgrade. In fact, energy prices will be lower as a direct effect of the efficiency made possible by smart energy data being available to customers and NV Energy.
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How Does NV Energy Smart Grid Benefit Customers in Las Vegas and Henderson NV Part 1

NV Energy has begun rolling out a smart grid system called NV Energize throughout their northern and southern Nevada service territories. This system is essentially an upgrade on energy meters and will be provided to NV Energy customers free of charge.

In fact, the Department of Energy has agreed with NV Energy’s smart grid approach to saving consumers money on energy bills and has awarded the company further funding. The total project cost of NVEnergize comes in at a total of $303 million dollars, and the total federal share comes in at $138 million. With such a heavy investment from NV Energy, various grants, and the Department of Energy itself, you might be asking yourself just what exactly is NV Energize and what benefits does it offer?

How Does NV Energize’s Smart Grid Benefit Customers?

NV Energize is a combination of new and exciting technology, ranging from intelligent meters to effective reporting software, which is designed from the ground-up to give customers more choices and control over their energy usage and billing. After customers have their new smart meters installed, their meters will communicate directly with the NV Energize data-center to relay important energy information along with critical status updates.

Unlike cell phones and other devices which require power at all times while running, NVEnergize’s smart meters communicate with the data-center 48 times a day and then enter a sleep mode. Each transmission (which uses RF signals) lasts a fraction of a second, and smart meters end up only transmitting around 3 combined seconds a day.

Customers will be able to access the data that their meters transmit daily by visiting nvenergy.com. In fact, customers will be able to see their projected monthly bill for the month based on the current monthly energy usage and previous monthly habits before their billing cycle is even complete. Furthermore, customers will have access to not only tracking energy usage, but also setting weekly energy alerts to stay on top of your costs.

In addition to the savings that customers will gain by becoming mindful about their energy bill and everything that goes into it which could be lowered, they will also have passed on reduced energy costs each year from NV Energy. Since NVEnergize will provide NV Energy with critical information which will help them determine where power outages occur, how to make their network more reliable, and restore power even faster, their operation costs will also be lowered. These savings in their operation costs will total a net $25 million dollars a year for customers, which will evenly be passed onto them each year.

Since customers and their energy meters will be much more connected to NV Energy through the smart grid, they will be able to link to custom support, control operations, system operations, and other features much more quickly and easily than ever before.

Home owners which also have smart thermostats in their home will be able to have them connected to their NVEnergize account from which they will be able to program their thermostat settings to accommodate for peak need and electricity prices. For example, when the home owner and residents are away at work and school their home can use less heating and air conditioning, and then an hour before the set arrival time of the family the HVAC system can be utilized regularly again. Such responsive energy usage will ensure that electricity is used when necessary, and not for doing something such as cooling a home in which no one is in for 8 hours a day.

Arguably one of the greatest benefits which NVEnergize makes possible for customers is the experimentation of their Dynamic-Pricing program which uses all of the data from smart meters to develop time-based rate programs. Instead of home owners having to pay significantly different monthly bills, such as in the summer or winter, NV Energy’s advanced grid system technology allows for year-round HVAC savings and demand response. At this time NV Energy has enrolled approximately 5,000 customers for their 2-year dynamic-pricing trial, but the other one million customers can rest assured that this trial is likely to end in success and dynamic-pricing will likely become available for them as well within the next five years.

How Do Customers Get Their Smart Meters?

NV Energy customers will be notified via telephone or mail of the date that they should expect their meter upgrade installation. During the day of your meter’s installation you will either receive a notification from a contracted Scope representative, or directly from an NV Energy representative, with the ringing of your doorbell or a knock. You don’t have to be home during the upgrade process but NV Energy and Scope representatives want to make you aware of their arrival since your service will be disconnected for a few minutes during the upgrade.

After the upgrade is complete, a door hanger on your front door will notify you of the upgrade status. If an appointment is required for the upgrade because further information or access to the meter was required, a note will be left on the door hanger.
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New Changes to HVAC Systems Rating  in Nevada

On January 1st, 2015, a new Federal Regulation went into effect that raised the minimum SEER efficiency rating for air conditioning heat pumps and central air condition units. These regulation effects home owners across the nation, especially in Arizona, where split-system air conditioners installed after January 1st, 2015 have to meet applicable SEER requirements.

A Little History behind the SEER Rating Standard

The SEER Rating Standard is a measurement of energy efficiency of HVAC systems, and was created by the US Department of Energy in 2008. The minimum SEER standards differ by state for HVAC systems depending on temperatures and weather conditions. Because of this, Arizona and other Southwestern States have had their SEER rating minimum raised to 14 on Packaged Unit Air Conditioning and Heat Pump systems, as well as split systems.

Why Does the Government Regulate HVAC Efficiency?

Federally regulated SEER efficiency ratings insure that consumers have a continuously higher quality of life. Increasing efficiency minimums of HVAC systems insures that installation and running costs are cut down for home owners, and provide them with the best comfort possible. Not to mention that raising the minimum efficiency of HVAC systems across the nation will lower the costs of natural resources as well as lower their depletion rates.

The SEER rating actually stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This ratio is calculated by dividing the output of a unit, such as its cooling ability, by the amount of energy that it has to use. Higher SEER ratios indicate that less energy is required to run a unit, and this is based on the market and the average energy ratings.

The most recent IECC agreement has energy requirements for three different portions of the U.S., which are the Northern, Southeast, and Southwest states. In fact, the regulations that went into effect in 2015 were the first regulations to be split across geographic portions. The great part for home owners about splitting the SEER rating standards is that some in the north won’t require as effective cooling units, while people in the south will require them. This makes it easier to keep HVAC costs lower for everyone across the nation.

What Happens if I My HVAC System Doesn’t Meet the Rating?

Many Federal Regulations of such a scale, such as raising the minimum ratings of HVAC systems, have a grace period to begin complying with it. With this SEER Rating Standards regulation, distributors and dealers will continue to be allowed to sell and install units that don’t meet the Federal Standard for another 18 months from when it was passed.

Although installing an HVAC system below 14 is possible and legal until the grace period runs out, it is not recommended since they are already outdated in terms of efficiency. Running an inefficient HVAC system for years and years often exceed the running costs of investing in an effective unit from the start. Furthermore, some HVAC technicians continue to install older systems to get rid of their inventory, so it’s extremely important to ask for the SEER Ratings of any system they install.

The Importance of SEER Rating Component Matching

Contractors use different components, sometimes even ranging across different manufacturers, so it’s extremely important to match components that will pass the rating. Missing rating standards on HVAC systems can cause various problems ranging from condensation to lower efficiency.

To help insure that home owners get the best rating possible from their systems, licensed contractors in Las Vegas use the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute directory to match indoor and outdoor components. This database allows searching for model numbers of units that can be matched together to find the most efficient combination.

Las Vegas HVAC System Cost Difference

As with all higher-end systems, higher efficiency ones will also come with a higher price. The good news however, is that the savings efficient systems provide pay for themselves within a few years. Better systems not only have higher efficiency that meets the new SEER ratings.

Benefits of Hiring a Licensed HVAC Contractor

Unlicensed contractors aren’t required to stay in touch with recent regulations and their knowledge and skills are also unproven. When it comes to keeping your home running in tip-top condition, as well as not having your HVAC system’s warranty voided by incorrect installation, it’s beneficial to hire a licensed HVAC contractor.

At A Tech Heating and Cooling we are familiar with all of the HVAC regulations in Nevada and are ready to pass on the efficiency savings to you, which will pay back for years and years.

To hire a licensed and insured contractor in Las Vegas, give us a call at 702-489-5500. We can help you further with the SEER Ratings when it comes to picking to units, as well as installing and troubleshooting them.
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How Do I Choose the Right Residential HVAC Contractor  Las Vegas ?

Choosing the right residential HVAC contractor is an important decision for home owners who want the most reliable and quality service for their home. Researching residential HVAC contractors in Las Vegas is paramount to guarantying quality materials, background checked and experienced technicians, and warrantied work.

Having been in this industry for over a decade, we put together this resource so that home owners can pick the right contractor without worries.

Eliminate Unlicensed HVAC Contractors

Any individual in the USA can call themselves a “contractor” of any sort just by merely being available for hire. That means that you shouldn’t let the term “HVAC contractor” fool you. What you’re really looking for is a contractor that is licensed in his field.

Licensed HVAC contractors have to pass standardized tests to insure that they are knowledge and capable of working with critical systems in the home. Whereas an unlicensed contractor’s work and quality might vary from one to another, licensed contractor work is much more consistent. This means that if you had your air conditioner installed by one company, and another company comes to repair it a few years down the line, the work and system is easily understood by the repair contractors.

Furthermore, many counties have their own contracting work laws which require that workers are licensed in their electrical, HVAC, or similar field. A home owner who is discovered to have hired an unlicensed HVAC contractor may be held liable for fees and other penalties arising from the contractor’s work.

Licensed HVAC contractors in Las Vegas also have the benefit of maintaining the warranties of the HVAC system being installed. Most manufactures, unless otherwise waived in writing, will not honor a warranty if their system was installed by an unlicensed HVAC contractor.

Ask for Insurance

A licensed contractor is a liability for any home owner unless they are insured as well. Without insurance a contractor cannot guarantee the safeness of their system and work. In addition to checking for an HVAC contractor’s business insurance, you will also want to make sure that they have a worker’s comp plan.

Licensed and insured contractors that get hurt on the job, but do not have worker’s comp, can actually claim worker compensation from the property owner.

Review the Contractor’s Contract

Although the word “contractor” comes from the idea that the employee is doing contract work for another individual, you’d be surprised at how many contractors don’t have legal documents ready to sign. If you call in to get a quote from a contractor, ask if they have a contract for the work they offer. If they don’t, don’t even bother with having one written up since it’s clear that they haven’t been legally professional in the past.

Avoid Large Down Payments

Contractors that require more than 20% down payment for their work are likely not financially stable enough to complete a job, and purchase materials, without the home owner paying for it first. If your potential contractor’s quote is too large, the best step is to look for another residential HVAC contractor.

Determine if the HVAC Contractor is Residential Based

Although some companies work primarily on commercial projects, they may sometimes be contacted by residential home owners and they will pick up the project if they are slow. The downside to working with a company that mostly works on commercial projects is that they are used to buying bulk systems, and sourcing a lot of their work with sub-contractors.

Home owners that hire a commercial HVAC company for their HVAC needs in Las Vegas will likely experience higher costs due to the company’s overheads. Companies that work on residential and commercial projects equally or are mainly focused on providing home HVAC services will often have the best rates.

Research the Contractor’s History

Whether you’re looking to hire an individual contractor, or an HVAC company, you should research their previous history.

Researching a small contractor is a matter of asking for at least three references. With larger companies, you can look them up on the Better Business Bureau and similar sites to determine if any negative complaints have been filed against them in the past.

Hiring individual contractors should also prompt the home owner to conduct a background check. When hiring companies on the other-hand, proof that the employer completes their own background/drug checks should be present.

The right HVAC residential contractor will also continue their technical training, whether it’s an individual or a company with multiple employees. By asking your desired contractor just a few questions you’ll be able to determine just how much training they complete as well as their previous work history in the area.

Understand the Contractor’s Policies

Does your contractor have a promptness, refund, or damage policy? Also, will they use cover affected work areas to protect your belongings from becoming dirty or damaged? These are the sort of questions you’ll want to ask your desired contractor to make sure that they are the right fit for your home and its assets.

Get the HVAC Quality Work You Deserve!

At A-Tech Heating and Cooling, we’ve been in the HVAC industry for over a decade and are also bonded and insured. With our professional technicians, you can expect a professional experience that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you have a question or inquiry, give us a call at 702-489-5500. We also offer free no-obligation quotes and never charge overtime on nights, weekends, or holidays.
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Reason To Hire Licensed HVAC Contractor In Las Vegas

Hiring a licensed HVAC Contractor is highly recommended for any heating and cooling needs in Las Vegas. Although it may seem like a license isn’t important, there are a variety of reasons why this is never so.

Licensed Contractors Are Held to a High Standard of Quality

Any person can claim that they are experienced in HVAC systems and begin contracting work by advertising their services. Because of this, an unlicensed contractor could literally be anybody with quite possibly just a rudimentary understanding of HVAC systems.

Licensed HVAC contractors in Las Vegas have to pass HVAC certifications that prove their ability to work on HVAC systems safely and providing reliable services. Furthermore, a HVAC-licensed contractor can work on a system, and another contractor can work on the same system years down the line and still understand how everything comes together.

Unlicensed contractors have their own way of doing things, which aren’t held to the same unified industry standards for HVAC operation, maintenance, and safety.

Since licensed HVAC contractors are also bound by various government and certification associations, they are guaranteed to deliver a professional service. A licensed HVAC contractor that misleads their clients or makes a mistake will be held accountable for their actions. Clients that hire HVAC contractors on the other hand are openly not held as accountable. Because of this, many local government websites and resources recommend to not only check for a license, but verify the license number using an online resource or phone number.

HVAC Systems Are Essential to Your Home’s Comfort and Investment

An HVAC system runs every day, all year round. It’s critical for these systems to run effectively and reliably, so that they don’t drive up running costs or breakdown.

Compromising on HVAC installation, repair, or maintenance costs by hiring a unlicensed contractor is asking for trouble. An unlicensed contractor may not properly tune an HVAC system for example, and within a few years it can rack up hundreds of dollars in electricity bills opposed to what it should be costing to run.

However, a barely noticeable problem that causes your HVAC system to run below its performance standards is the least of your worries with an unlicensed HVAC contractor.  System safety, personal safety, worker safety, and warranties are much bigger problems associated with hiring unlicensed contractors.

Unlicensed Work Voids Manufacturers’ Warranties

Manufacturer warranties dictate that their warranties are voided if an unlicensed contractor performs the work. In the even that your HVAC system ever needs a repair or replacement that the manufacturer should cover, they will not be able to do so even if the system was installed properly.

When home owners don’t hire licensed contractors, they are forfeiting the warranty of the HVAC system they paid for, and raising the possibly of an expensive out-of-pocket repair or replacement cost down the road.

One of the most important things for a home owner to know when hiring licensed contractors, is that many of them outsource work to unlicensed workers. It is critical to ask your contractor exactly who will be doing the work, and to see their license number.

A tax receipt or invoice for example will not be enough, you will need to ask for the license number of the worker(s) to be sure that their work is reliable and will not void the manufacturer’s warranty.

At A-Tech Heating and Cooling, all of our HVAC technicians are licensed and we never outsource work to unlicensed contractors. This insures that we maintain a consistent high level of quality for our clients, and that we continue to hold our title of the most reliable HVAC guys in Las Vegas.

Personal and System Safety

In addition to guaranteeing that our technicians are licensed and skilled in working with HVAC systems, we go the extra mile to perform extensive background checks on our applicants. This insures that all home owners have their systems serviced by drug and crime-free licensed technicians.

While background checking our technicians insures home owners their personal safety, guaranteeing license servicing also guarantees them their safety through a safe system. An unlicensed contractor may incorrectly hook up an electrical or gas system, which could lead to a fire or other harmful consequences for the home owner.

By being licensed, A-Tech Heating and Cooling is also able to be insured. This means that on top of our quality guarantee, you are insured against system failures should they ever happen.

Contractor Safety

An unlicensed and uninsured contractor that gets hurt on the job can hold the home owner liable for their injury. Just like employees are entitled to worker’s compensation should they get injured working for a company, contractors are also entitled to worker’s comp should get insured working for a client.

To protect yourself against being responsible for an unlicensed or licensed contractor’s injury, always make sure to ask if they are covered by an insurance policy and their worker’s compensation coverage.

Legal Responsibility to Hire Licensed Contractors

In Las Vegas there are many building and work permit ordinances that have to be issued by the town office in order to legitimize the work. Since unlicensed contractors do not complete this necessary paperwork, any problems or investigations into the work may result in expensive fines.

Most of the time, the home owner is responsible for these fines since they are the property owner and are the individuals who should comply with their government’s rules.
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Benefits of a Home Audit
 
Homes of any size or building style can benefit from an energy audit and energy-efficiency improvements if they haven’t been recently inspected. Although the term “energy audit” may sound like a negative thing, almost as if your house is being audited for bad credit, the whole process is very beneficial for home owners.  An energy audit is more like an investment into a home which pays back in savings over time. 

Just like car owners change their oil every few thousand miles to insure that their engine runs at an optimal level and doesn’t break down, home owners also have to have their homes energy audited once a year to keep running costs low and reduce the need for costly repairs.

The Benefits of an Energy Audit

Since energy audits can identify where heat is leaking in or out of your home (depending on the season), they can save a lot of money. Although the benefit of a lower energy bill is seen by most home owners when they patch insulation where needed, there are other less obvious benefits of investing in an energy audit.

For starters, home owners and other residents will have increased comfort if their home has been properly inspected and taken care of HVAC-wise. In addition to energy audits improving comfort temperature-wise, it also increases comfort health-wise by keeping dust, pollen, and even bugs out of the home. In the fall for example, if heat is leaking out, then it’s also likely that bugs have a way to “leak” in.

Energy audits can also identify problems such as condensation and mold growths long before they develop into costly problems. A lack in insulation, reduced water seals, and other issues can also be spotted during an energy audit.

With rising energy costs each year, lowering your home’s energy-use effectively is a great way to offset the inevitable rise. Energy auditors in Las Vegas seek to save as much energy as possible for home owners, so they don’t just stop at the general HVAC system and insulation. They also inspect and improve the energy efficiency of water heaters, showers, toilet tanks and flushing, appliances, light bulbs, and other energy consuming components.

Should I Get an Energy Audit?
If you live in the Las Vegas area and are experiencing any trouble with your home’s HVAC system, whether it’s the monthly bill significantly changing or a room suffering from drafts, we can help. At A-Tech Heating and Cooling our technicians have over a decade of HVAC experience and they can help you identify and remedy issues promptly, professionally, and affordability.

Although we don’t provide energy audits, we maintain any HVAC system, upgrade them, and repair them. 

How Does An Energy Audit Work?
To provide a comprehensive report of all of the components and areas in a home that can be energy improved, both with their current energy rating and their possible updated rating, energy auditors utilize a wide-range of equipment and techniques. Their equipment inspects the home fully: ranging from walls and windows to insulation and duct work. If anything abnormal comes up through the inspection, energy auditors make a note of it and then diagnose the issue. They also make a note of the solutions the home owner can pick from to solve the problem at hand.

The Biggest Benefit of an Energy Efficient Home
Home owners that have their homes energy audited on a regular basis, and have documents proving the efficiency of their home as well as the work that went into making it save so much energy, do much better on the market. Home buyers are attracted by a home that has had thought put into its energy efficiency, and consistently took less to run than other homes in the area and of the same year.

A home that has been taken care of energy-wise will also indicate to potential buyers that the home owner is responsible and that everything else has also been probably taken care of. So in addition to energy audits boosting your utility savings and comfort in the present, energy efficiency improvement also goes a big way in paying off in the long-run: whether it be long-term savings or having a higher-valued home on the market when it’s sold.

All in all, home owners see an average 10-15% return on their investment into yearly energy audits and improvements. Such an investment helps home owners save more money so they can put it into other places that need it. 
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Phase Out Schedule for HCFCs Including R-22  in Las Vegas Valley and Henderson NV

Almost all air conditioning units running today require a refrigerant cooling solution that contains a significant amount of HCFCs or R-22 (hydrochlorofluorcarbons).  The problem with that however is that by 2020, R-22 will be completely phased out.

In this article we’re going to cover exactly why R-22 is being phased out, how the process will work, and what will happen to HVAC units that require R-22 for their systems to run properly when it is no longer available for purchase.

Since the HCFC phase-out isn’t going to be widely reported on the news and other government channels, many consumers will not be prepared for upgrading their systems by the time. This will leave home owners with expensive R-22 refrigerant purchases or needing to replace their systems with one that does not require such a coolant which is no longer being manufactured.

Why Is R-22 Being Phased Out?

R-22 is a common refrigerant chemical but it is also very harmful to the environment and it depletes the ozone every time it is released into the air. Ozone-depleting chemicals were discovered in the 1980’s and ever since then various international guidelines have been passed to insure that these chemicals are not being used in consumer products.

In 1987 for example, The Montreal Protocol set guidelines for a worldwide phase-out of CFC chemicals that were damaging to the stratosphere. This same protocol also made it illegal for HVAC manufacturers to release CFC into the air.

The Montreal Protocol of 1987 also covered the phase-out of R-12, a refrigerant commonly used in automobiles, because it was also damaging to the ozone layer. In 1992, the Montreal Protocol called for the phase-out of HCFCs, including R-22, so that it is no longer used in consumer products. The U.S. setup a plan that year for the phase-out of HCFCs, that included the reduction of HCFC use by 35% by January, 2004. By January, 2010, the U.S. agreed to reduce consumption of the chemical by 75%. Then by 2015 the consumption has to drop below 90%, and by 2020 it has to drop by 99.5%.

 How Will The Phase-Out Process Work?

Since 2010, HVAC manufacturers are no longer producing AC units and heat pumps that contain or require R-22 for running. They are still allowed to manufacture R-22 for servicing existing systems though. By 2020, or even an expedited 2018, manufacturing R-22 will no longer be possible.  Although there will be substitutes for R-22.

Home owners will not be required to replace or upgrade their current R-22-running systems as part of the phase-out. They just won’t be able to purchase new R-22 for maintenance or purchase new systems that run on R-22 refrigerant.

Maintaining R-22 Systems Past 2020

Although the manufacturing of R-22 will no longer be legal after 2020, consumers will be allowed to use recycled or reclaimed R-22 refrigerant regardless. The quality of the refrigerant and the lifetime it will give AC units is not certain however. A much better alternative to purchasing expensive recycled R-22 refrigerant will be to retrofit an older unit to be serviced with R-410 refrigerant coolants.

The good news for most home owners however is that AC units typically last 6-10 years. So by the time R-22 will not be available for manufacturing and soon afterwards purchasing, home owners will be considering replacing their systems anyways.
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