BEWARE of Phone Scams! Real News for You…

February 12th, 2014

Yesterday, something disturbing happened to one of our customers. She received a call from another AC company telling her that a technician was in the area and they could schedule a tune up for her.

That in and of itself isn’t disturbing. I get those calls at my home all the time. It was what happened next that was shady, misleading, and fraught with scam. When the customer informed the phone caller that she had an agreement with Bayonet, they caller lied and said that we sold or subbed out our maintenances to them. This is completely false.

To borrow an adage: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If Bayonet didn’t pay this company to perform a maintenance and they sent a tech out to your home, why would you assume they want to be out there for free? Two reasons: either it is a scope and scam or they’re preparing to set you up for a “unplanned service event” which could lead to them telling a customer that their system required replacement or repair.

I wish I could get every person with an air conditioner to read this blog, but I can’t. For the time being, please take the initiative to contact YOUR service provider and schedule your maintenances. If someone has resorted to telemarketing to get a foot in the door, it is not a good sign. Make sure you check their references, BBB accreditation, and license with the state. Far too many people get ripped off every day. And don’t even get me started thinking about the technician this company sent to the home. Where did he learn AC? Was his background clean? Was he scoping out the home for a theft? Anything can happen and often does in this field. That’s why every Bayonet Technician has an Ask The Seal background check and certification. No one enters our customers’ homes without it.

We will be pursuing this company to the fullest extent of our abilities. I want to personally thank the customer for calling us to verify the story. Please use caution…I would hate to see this happen to you. There are a great number of reputable AC companies in business today. Companies that do the right thing and make a fair profit for reasonable work. But there are also companies who are less than inline with moral standard who prey on the good people who trust in them. Don’t be taken in by a scam.

This is why our technicians don’t sell equipment as many companies do. Our consultants act as a second set of eyes, making sure equipment isn’t replaced when it isn’t in the best interest of the homeowner. We believe in doing the right thing. No matter what. It means that we don’t have as many replacements as other companies in the area, and we’re okay with that. We can sleep at night, knowing we’re doing what’s right for the company, the employees and most importantly our customers in the long run.

So, to quote one of my favorite teachers of all-time, Mr. Angelo Rescinti, “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”

Is Maintenance Right For Me?

January 24th, 2014

Maintain your AC unit? You bet! It’s an important appliance and often the most neglected one. Until it breaks. Then, it’s elevated to an emergency situation in most Florida months!

It’s a fact, most Floridians don’t want to live here without AC. These past few weeks, no one has wanted to be without heat either! For a few short hours, it was actually colder here than in some parts of Alaska! Brrrr!

Customers are getting more and more educated every day. At the same time, many don’t realize the importance of regular maintenance. Here are a few reasons maintenance is important.

1. Most AC equipment manufacturers are now requiring proof of your regular maintenance to keep your parts warranty valid. If that’s not reason enough, nothing is! It’s important to protect your unit and your wallet with regular maintenance!

2. You an extend the life of your unit. When dirt and debris build up on your coils, your unit has to work hard and through increased resistance to satisfy cooling demands. Anytime the unit has to work harder than its intended purpose, it takes time off of its useful life. We all want our units to last for at least ten years. Regular maintenance ensures that it does.

3. Less down time. With regular maintenance, small problems can be caught and addressed before they become large problems! Parts do wear over time, and statics show they give up on the very hottest day of the year. Not really. I’m kidding, but it certainly seems like that is the way of it!

4. Bayonet has an awesome MVP plan. All joking aside, Bayonet really rewards MVP customers. Any repair we make for a customer with an MVP automatically has a 5 year guarantee. Yes, you read that right. We will keep that repair solid for 5 years as long as you are an MVP member.

Need more reasons why MVPs are great for your AC unit? Call 800-219-3485 to speak to our amazing, friendly, and knowledge office staff today. Get an MVP….your AC unit will thank you!

Bayonet Gives Back!

November 4th, 2013
Metropolitan Ministries logo

Metropolitan Ministries logo

As we approach the holiday season, I realize that there are so very many things for which we should be thankful. As a long-time employee and the blog writer here at Bayonet, I’m so thankful for my job, the people I work with every day, and for our customers and vendors and partners.

With this thankfulness in mind, Bayonet is launching Bayonet Gives Back, a campaign to reach out to the community we serve during this season and give back a little bit to some people who might need a helping hand. Today, we launch our inaugural Thanksgiving food drive.

Our company provides jobs for over 130 people in Pasco, Hillsborough, Lake, Pinellas and Hernando counties and serves thousands of people within those areas.Our new construction division will be trying to out donate our service division in a food drive to benefit the Metropolitan Ministries Thanksgiving Tent Drive in our areas.

We’re recruiting help from our customers! You can drop of two non-perishable items to our Hudson or Orlando branch to receive a coupon for money off of your next service call or you can give two items to your service tech at the time of your service call and he will take the discount off of your invoice immediately.

We are blessed to be part of a family here at Bayonet, and we want to unite as a family and reach a hand to those who need it at this time of year.

Won’t you join us in helping Metropolitan Ministries reach their goals?

And…by the way…thank YOU for being a customer! We sincerely appreciate your business.

Sincerely,
Kris Blankenship

When You Call for AC Repair In Tampa: Choose Wisely!

May 1st, 2013

Air conditioners break and need repair in Tampa and across Florida; it is a fact of life. Today AC isn’t a luxury—it is a necessity. But when an AC or Heat Pump breaks, who do you call? Hundreds of AC companies are licensed in Florida, but how do you choose? We have some tips for the savvy consumer!

-If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. AC Repair companies in Tampa often run advertisements that say “FREE” tune up or offer a low cost tune up. If you are searching for a great deal on a cheap repair, you should know that the motive of many of these companies is to find something wrong with your AC unit so they can write up a huge repair bill or sell you a new system.

-Check References! Before you call an AC company to make a repair, check their reputation. Thanks to the Better Business Bureau and Google, checking in on customer experiences is easier than ever. Look for companies with many reviews and mostly favorable ones. In the AC repair industry, especially in Tampa, there will always be people who are hard to please. Look for companies who have a mixture of good and bad reviews but have responded to the bad ones in a personal and timely fashion. If every review is a glowing one, they might be fabricated to make the company look better than they are.

-Are they licensed and adequately insured?  Take a moment and look at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s website and make sure that the company is licensed to do work. Using an unlicensed contractor is a dangerous game. Your homeowner’s policy could get hit with the claim if an unlicensed contractor is injured on your property! Just to repair an AC unit in Tampa, a state license is required! Bayonet’s AC license number is CAC058062 and the plumbing license number is CFC042998. Both licenses are held by the company’s owners. Make sure the license holder isn’t someone the company has hired to “rent” the license, leaving virtually no responsibility on the owners or technicians, as it isn’t their State license on the line if a complaint is filed.

-Repair or Replace? Many AC companies want to push the AC replacement over the AC repair. If your system is using R410a refrigerant and is under ten years old, a company pushing to replace your system instead of suggesting an AC repair should warrant warning bells! R22, commonly known as Freon™, is being phased out across the country. Additionally, the Department of Energy has mandated that all AC systems sold in the US must meet a minimum seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of 13. So if your AC system is in need of a repair in Tampa or anywhere in Florida, use this as qualifying criteria: 1.Is my AC system older than 10 years? 2. Does it use R22 refrigerant? 3. Was it less than 13 seer when I bought it? If you can answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, you might be a candidate for a new system; but if you can answer “no,” you are a likely candidate for an AC repair instead.

-Who’s going to complete the AC Repair? The technician arrives at your home. Hopefully, he or she is driving a company vehicle with a logo and hopefully he or she is wearing a uniform. But who is it really? Use a company like Bayonet Plumbing and AC which is Ask the Seal Certified. What’s that mean? It means that every employee who enters your home or deals with sensitive information-like your credit card number-has been background checked by a third-party company.  AC repair is one of the most popular trades taught in penitentiaries. Where did you AC repair technician get his experience?

The bottom line is simple, Tampa: Don’t Sweat, Just Call Bayonet for AC repair you can trust.

Keep Your Cooling Bills Down This Summer

April 26th, 2013

The thermometer is beginning to creep higher in the Tampa area. It calls to mind the end of school, the beginning of beaches and vacation season, but it also finds residents closing those windows at night and running the air conditioning all day–and all night.

The next unavoidable event is the onset of higher power bills. It’s inevitable: no other appliance uses as much electricity as your air conditioner. In fact, in many homes, it can be the cause of up to 60 percent of the bill.

Don’t fret, because Bayonet has some simple tips to help you save money this season!

  • Get a thorough system cleaning. That’s stating the obvious, isn’t it? Almost everyone knows that AC units require maintenance to be efficient. Do you know why? The air passes over a very cold cold in the air handler. As it is drawn across the coil, it cools off, providing the cool air to your home. Dirt and debris can also accumulate on those coils, which minimizes the surface area for the air to contact the coils. When left dirty, eventually it can become so clogged that it will “freeze” coil and put strain on your compressor. If slightly dirty, the system has to run longer to achieve your set temperature level, and the longer that unit runs the higher the power bills climb!
  • BE CAREFUL when you choose the maintenance package! Caveat emptor is an ancient maxim that is quite applicable today. If you see an advertisement for a “tune-up” that is less than about $80, be very cautious. Truly, your system needs to have all mechanical parts checked, all amp draws checked and verified to be within normal limits, a refrigerant system check, both the indoor and outdoor coil cleaned, and a drain line and pan flush. That’s the minimum. Rare is the company that can do all of that for less than $80 in this economy. It should take more than an hour. Be a smart consumer and be sure you get what you need. Many of the companies who offer a dirt cheap “tune up” will be looking for ways to upsell you when they arrive.
  • Set your system to 78 degrees or higher…According to Florida Power, your savings begin to kick in when the thermostat is 78 degrees or higher. You can save more than 3 percent per degree over 78, so while you’re away, turn it up to cash in on some easy savings. If you have pets, no higher than 82, please…
  • If you’re considering system replacement, consider two speed systems! Yes, SEER is where it’s at for savings, but in our wonderfully tropical climate, humidity removal is not to be overlooked. Two-speed systems, especially today’s communicating ones, are especially good at removing humidity. A home at 78 degrees and 50 percent humidity feels like 74 degrees! Now that’s saving money without sacrifice!

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask our experts or email us. We’re here when you need us, so don’t sweat, call Bayonet!

No Fooling! There’s a huge value to your Plumbing Service Agreement!

April 1st, 2013

Many homeowners have become very educated on the value of a regular air conditioning maintenance. Bayonet Plumbing & AC is one of a few companies that specializes in both the AC and Plumbing services. It’s not an April Fool’s joke: your plumbing system needs maintenance too!

The reason for an ac maintenance is based on surface area, really. Dust and dirt collect on those copper coils and keep air from coming into contact with the metal. That makes the system have to work harder when the coils are dirty. There are coils in your indoor AND outdoor unit that use that same air transfer to perform their roles for your comfort. So we all do our part to keep them clean. But, are you neglecting your plumbing?

There is an important appliance that also relies on transferring heat through copper coils: your water heater! IT doesn’t get dirty, right?

Wrong!

The water in our area is very hard. Your water heater came equipped with an anode rod that keep those minerals from caking onto your water heater coils. The rods disintegrate with use. Typically, manufacturer’s recommend replacement of those rods every 18 months. When was the last time you replaced yours? You haven’t? Well, you’re not alone. For this reason, draining and flushing that water heater is vital! All of that sediment and hardness is accumulating around the coil and making your heater work harder than it should to provide your hot water!

Don’t skimp when you could save! Look into a plumbing MVP contract today. In addition to TLC for your water heater, all of your fixtures are checked for leaks, and much more. You will be glad you opted into the program!

Remember: all of out MVP members enjoy discounted rates on repairs, accessories, equipment and priority scheduling on service calls.

 

 

Ozone as an Air Cleaner? Definitely NOT!

March 26th, 2013

Education makes sense. With spring in the air, people begin to suffer from allergies. Thanks to the internet, there is a plethora of misinformation and false claims about products. Bayonet is proud to offer Lennox’s Healthy Climate line of air cleaners. NONE of the Healthy Climate Products produce ANY OZONE as a byproduct. Most electronic air cleaners emit some ozone.  Mention this blog to take $50 off the installation of an OZONE FREE whole home filter when installed before 1 May 2013.

If you’re considering an indoor air quality solution, read on to learn more about Ozone and why it shouldn’t be your option!

From http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html:

Ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners intentionally produce the gas ozone. Often the vendors of ozone generators make statements and distribute material that lead the public to believe that these devices are always safe and effective in controlling indoor air pollution. For almost a century, health professionals have refuted these claims (Sawyer, et. al 1913; Salls, 1927; Boeniger, 1995; American Lung Association, 1997; Al-Ahmady, 1997). The purpose of this document is to provide accurate information regarding the use of ozone-generating devices in indoor occupied spaces. This information is based on the most credible scientific evidence currently available.

Some vendors suggest that these devices have been approved by the federal government for use in occupied spaces. To the contrary, NO agency of the federal government has approved these devices for use in occupied spaces. Because of these claims, and because ozone can cause health problems at high concentrations, several federal government agencies have worked in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to produce this public information document.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a molecule composed of three atoms of oxygen. Two atoms of oxygen form the basic oxygen molecule–the oxygen we breathe that is essential to life. The third oxygen atom can detach from the ozone molecule, and re-attach to molecules of other substances, thereby altering their chemical composition. It is this ability to react with other substances that forms the basis of manufacturers’ claims.

How is Ozone Harmful?

The same chemical properties that allow high concentrations of ozone to react with organic material outside the body give it the ability to react with similar organic material that makes up the body, and potentially cause harmful health consequences. When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections. People vary widely in their susceptibility to ozone. Healthy people, as well as those with respiratory difficulty, can experience breathing problems when exposed to ozone. Exercise during exposure to ozone causes a greater amount of ozone to be inhaled, and increases the risk of harmful respiratory effects. Recovery from the harmful effects can occur following short-term exposure to low levels of ozone, but health effects may become more damaging and recovery less certain at higher levels or from longer exposures (US EPA, 1996a, 1996b).

Is There Such a Thing as “Good Ozone” and “Bad Ozone”?

The phrase “good up high – bad nearby” has been used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make the distinction between ozone in the upper and lower atmosphere. Ozone in the upper atmosphere–referred to as “stratospheric ozone”–helps filter out damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Though ozone in the stratosphere is protective, ozone in the atmosphere – which is the air we breathe – can be harmful to the respiratory system. Harmful levels of ozone can be produced by the interaction of sunlight with certain chemicals emitted to the environment (e.g., automobile emissions and chemical emissions of industrial plants). These harmful concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere are often accompanied by high concentrations of other pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, fine particles, and hydrocarbons. Whether pure or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health.

Are Ozone Generators Effective in Controlling Indoor Air Pollution?

Available scientific evidence shows that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone has little potential to remove indoor air contaminants.

There is evidence to show that at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is not effective at removing many odor-causing chemicals.

If used at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone applied to indoor air does not effectively remove viruses, bacteria, mold, or other biological pollutants.

If I Follow Manufacturers’ Directions, Can I be Harmed?

Results of some controlled studies show that concentrations of ozone considerably higher than these standards are possible even when a user follows the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

There are many brands and models of ozone generators on the market. They vary in the amount of ozone they can produce. In many circumstances, the use of an ozone generator may not result in ozone concentrations that exceed public health standards. But many factors affect the indoor concentration of ozone so that under some conditions ozone concentrations may exceed public health standards.

Ozone can adversely affect indoor plants, and damage materials such as rubber, electrical wire coatings, and fabrics and art work containing susceptible dyes and pigments (U.S. EPA, 1996a).

What Other Methods Can Be Used to Control Indoor Air Pollution?

The three most common approaches to reducing indoor air pollution, in order of effectiveness, are:

  1. Source Control: Eliminate or control the sources of pollution;
  2. Ventilation: Dilute and exhaust pollutants through outdoor air ventilation, and
  3. Air Cleaning: Remove pollutants through proven air cleaning methods.

Conclusions

Whether in its pure form or mixed with other chemicals, ozone can be harmful to health.

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.

Some studies show that ozone concentrations produced by ozone generators can exceed health standards even when one follows manufacturer’s instructions.

Many factors affect ozone concentrations including the amount of ozone produced by the machine(s), the size of the indoor space, the amount of material in the room with which ozone reacts, the outdoor ozone concentration, and the amount of ventilation. These factors make it difficult to control the ozone concentration in all circumstances.

Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution.

The concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that themselves can be irritating and corrosive.

Resources:

See www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html 

See www.epa.gov/iaq/aircleaners/index.html

Publications

Is your Air Conditioning on your Spring Cleaning List?

March 25th, 2013

With spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner.  A pre-season check of your air conditioning system prior to the summer months can be a real money saver.  When your air conditioner is running well it uses less energy to cool your house, and lower energy use means bigger savings for you on your monthly utility bills.  Air conditioners at peak efficiency will use up to 30 percent less electricity and last years longer*.

 Early air conditioner maintenance can also reveal most small problems that can lead to major, more expensive problems if left unattended. And, if your air conditioner checkup is scheduled for spring, you’ll beat the long waits and higher prices that come with peak season repair visits.  You’ll also be able to schedule a HVAC (heating & cooling) professional to come out when it’s most convenient to you for service.  Wait until later in the summer, however, and you may have to accept whatever appointment is available.

Here are some great tips to consider before turning your air conditioner on for the season:

 

  • Before turning on your unit make sure the condensing unit located outside is not covered up.  This unit needs to draw air into the system in order to have something to cool and blow out inside, but the process will be hindered if it cannot pull enough air from the outside.
  • Clean obvious obstructions such as newspaper, leaves, etc. from around the exterior of the unit.
  • A thoroughly cleaned air conditioning unit will operate at top efficiency.  Homeowners are strongly discouraged from using a hose and water to try to clean it themselves because of the very serious risk of electrical shock and possible shorting of electrical components.  You should contact a licensed HVAC professional.
  • Run your air conditioner for a few minutes now, before you need it.  If you wait until the first hot day to discover it isn’t working, you might be in for a surprise.
  • Change the filters regularly.  We recommend replacing filters every month! Dirty filters restrict airflow, reducing efficiency and worse case, can cause the evaporator to ice up.  Disposable fiberglass filters should be checked monthly and replaced when dirty.  Electrostatic or electronic filters need to be washed regularly and then allowed to dry completely before they are replaced.
  • Be sure all access panels are secure, with the screws in place.
  • Be sure the thermostat is set in the cooling mode.  Just setting the dial below room temperature will not activate the air conditioning if it is set in the heat mode.

*www.gesc.com, “Tips for an Energy Efficient Home”

West Pasco Dixie Softball: Opening Day…come and see us!

March 2nd, 2013

It’s almost spring and that means the beginning of one of our favorite seasons: softball season! Bayonet Plumbing and AC is a proud sponsor of East Pasco Little League and West Pasco Dixie Softball. We’re happy to support the youth of our communities as they grow through sports.

New Port Richey-angels allstars

 

Today, March 2nd, is Opening Day at West Pasco Dixie. The fields are located at 2141 Seven Springs Blvd. in New Port Richey. We will be onsite from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with goodies for those who stop by and say hi! We have a limited supply so find us early!

Here’s an added bonus: everyone who “likes” our Facebook Page this weekend is automatically entered to win a $100 Sports Authority gift card!   Have you already liked us? No problem, just post “Thanks for supporting youth sports” on our Facebook page,and you will be entered too.  We will post the winner’s name on Monday, March 3rd!

Bayonet Plumbing & AC banner at DixieField

Frigid Forecast for Florida

February 28th, 2013

The forecast for this weekend is in! No one in Tampa imagined that we would have to turn the heat on yet again this season! Yet here we are on the brink of yet another cold front.

If you’re like most Floridians, you can’t wait for the sun to start sending the mercury back into the 80 degree zone. Until these cold fronts finish up, there’s someone else getting stressed out by these wild temperature swings: Your heat pump! Maybe it is a good time to revisit this blog post from LAST January: http://www.bayonet-inc.com/blog/uncategorized/is-your-heat-pump-smoking/

technician tuning up tampa ac system

Many customers call us, especially those not used to how heat pumps work, during sub-40 degree temperatures to discuss the operation issue they observe with their heat pump. The defrost cycle can sometimes get loud, it can sometimes get steamy, but it is very necessary to keeping your heat pump cycling.

With all of the switching from air conditioning functions to heating functions, parts can begin to wear quickly. Make sure you call or email to schedule your spring tuneup today! Mention this blog and book a tune up for the week of March 1st and pay only $65 dollars for the tuneup! That’s great savings! So remember, don’t sweat, Call Bayonet!