Don’t Get Blown Away This Hurricane Season

June 18th, 2014

Hurricane season is upon us here in Florida, and with it lots of rain, wind, and bouts of flooding. And while a disasters are always a possibility, keep in mind we don’t always have to get hit hard to feel the effects of the ‘canes.

One thing that is often overlooked during hurricane season is your A/C unit. While we tend to remember to board our windows, sandbag our doors, and put valuables in a fire/waterproof safe, we often forget that there is a large, expensive appliance just waiting to be destroyed by the gale force winds.

So how exactly do you protect your HVAC unit in times of wild weather?

  1. If you have a window unit, unplug it entirely. Bring the unit indoors and seal the opening.
  2. Turn off your A/C unit before the storm, including the circuit breaker, to avoid electrical shocks if flooding should occur.
  3. Cover your outdoor unit with a tarp, wood panels, or both to keep it as safe as possible from water, dirt, and debris. If high winds are predicted, consider investing in a pair of hurricane straps and batten down the hatches.

Once the storm has passed, portable A/C units can be placed back into their original locations. For the outdoor units, remove the protective covering, inspect the units, and check the base. Should flooding occur, call a professional like Bayonet to ensure that no damage has been done to the electrical portions of the unit.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for a safe and hurricane-free season, but better to be safe than sorry!

Looking to Buy a Home? What You Need to Look for in Plumbing

May 14th, 2014

Spring and summer are the most popular times of year to purchase a new home. The weather is better for moving, homes show better with lots of natural light, and a summer move won’t disrupt a child’s school schedule.

Buying a new home is exciting but it can also be an extremely stressful process. Not only are you making a large financial investment, but you also don’t know the ins and outs of a home simply by looking at it from the outside. One of the most often overlooked items is the plumbing of a home. Plumbing is often an afterthought and if things aren’t immediately wrong during the inspection, you probably won’t see a problem until a crisis occurs.

We want to prepare our readers who may be looking to purchase a new home with a quick checklist of things to look for as you house hunt.

  1. Check the Water Heater. Things to look for include the size (a family of four requires about a 40 gallon tank), the age, the condition, and the location. Look for mineral deposits, rust, and corrosion. Note any issues and bring them up to your inspector/realtor.
  2. Lead Pipes. If you have children, you should avoid homes with lead pipes. Any home built prior to 1998 is at risk for lead pipes. Be sure to check and make a conscious decision regarding the risks associated with lead pipes.
  3. Waste Management. How and where does the waste from your plumping go? Is it to a sewer? A septic tank? If it’s a septic tank, ask the following: where is it located, how often has it been serviced, and how old is it?
  4. Test the Waters. Does the main shut off valve work? Test that when you shut it off, no water sources work. Make sure that there are no major leaks.

None of these necessarily mean that the house is not suitable for purchase –just be prepared and negotiate accordingly. If you need help with estimates or inspections, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Upcoming Events

April 16th, 2014

Florida is a destination for many conferences, symposiums and events due to the great weather, easily accessible airports, and abundant hotel accommodations. We enjoy going to as many conferences as we can so that in order to consistently bring the best service and knowledge to the table for our customers. We attend everything from HVAC, to building, to green initiative symposiums.

Here’s a list of upcoming events in and around Tampa Bay that peaked our interest!

May 31-June 3 2014 – Odors & Air Pollutants 2014

Every two years, the Odors and Air Pollutants Conference brings together environmental professionals from around the world for a showcase on odors and air pollutants management. This important event educates practitioners, facility owners and operators, researchers, and public administrators about current odor issues, regulatory requirements, and methods for analyzing problems and finding solutions. 

The 2014 conference is designed to foster informed decision-making and encourage the use of effective innovative technologies. The conference’s technical program stresses real-life experiences and lessons learned. 

June 22-24 2014 – Every Building Conference & Expo

Description: The most comprehensive education conference in the industry. Expert-led sessions offer the opportunity to increase knowledge, build skills, and earn continuing professional development credits while addressing the topics and issues that are vital to your success.

The latest innovations and technology solutions from the industry’s best resources. 400+ exhibits from leading manufacturers and suppliers give you one-stop access to the full range of products and service offerings to help you save money, add efficiencies, and increase property values.

We look forward to sharing more events as they are scheduled and continuing to deliver the best service we can!

An A/C Unit is Only as Good as the Duct System

March 19th, 2014

The coveted summer months have finally arrived and that means sunshine, hot temperatures, and fun in the sun. It also means that you are turning on your air conditioning units and will be running them regularly for the next few months. One of the most commonly overlooked areas of air conditioning units is the duct work that pumps all that ice cold air into your home – the ducts. Without a solid duct system in place your unit will not function at maximum performance, ultimately costing you money in added energy costs.

So, what are the most common problems with ducts?

Problem: Dirt, Dust and Debris. Dirt and debris from outside can make their way into your home by getting pulled into the unit and then into the ducts. Likewise, the dust that naturally exists in your home can be pulled into the vents and circulated throughout the ducts.

Solution: Professional Duct Cleaning. Outsource this – attempting to clean your own duct work is dangerous and will likely cause more problems than it will solve.

Problem: Leaky Ducts. The ducts are not properly sealed. Various studies have concluded that anywhere from 10-30% of the cooled air is lost as a result of leaks. Improper sealing is generally the cause of leakage.

Solution:   Get them tested. Bayonet can come out and evaluate and test the quality of your duct work and, should there be issues, make recommendations on how best to address them.

Making sure that you have a fully functioning A/C unit and well maintained and constructed ducts will help lower energy costs, increase performance, and keep your home cool as a cucumber this summer!

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.