Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Frigid Forecast for Florida

Thursday, 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!

Landscaping Tips Provide Energy Savings

Monday, July 30th, 2012

 

Proper landscaping is a natural and beautiful way to keep your home more comfortable and reduce energy bills. A shaded air conditioning unit is one way in particular that you can reduce your energy bills. Shading your outdoor unit allows it to cool your home easier, increases the efficiency of the unit and reduces your energy consumption. A shaded unit requires up to 10 percent less energy to operate than an un-shaded unit and shaded air can be up to six degrees cooler than air in direct sun.

Here are some helpful tips when landscaping around your air conditioning unit:

  • Do keep your air conditioning unit out of direct sunlight. If it gets too hot your air conditioning unit will have to work harder and overtime this will shorten the life of your compressor. A cooler unit is also more efficient.
  • Don’t plant anything that will block the access panel where the unit needs to be serviced.
  • Do keep 2-3 feet between whatever shading you have and your unit so that it is accessible for maintenance and repair.
  • Don’t build anything above your air conditioning unit, like a deck or porch.
  • Do take care when shading your air conditioning unit to allow enough space around it so that the hot air emitted from the condenser can flow away from the unit easily.
  • Don’t plant shrubs or trees so thick that they block the flow of air to the unit.
  • Do leave at least two feet clearance around the equipment and at least five feet above it.
  • Do keep area around a/c unit free of any loose dirt or sand. This debris can splatter on your unit when it rains, and when it’s dry outside; the unit will be sucking up all the dust around it.
  • Do plant trees near your unit. Trees will provide shading and cooling. According to the Department of Energy, “Just three trees, properly placed around a house can save between $100 and $250 annually in cooling and heating costs and deciduous trees planted on the south and west sides will keep your house cool in the summer.” (Note: Daytime air temperature can be 3º – 6º cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods.)

 

Have questions? Contact us on our Ask An Expert web page. Don’t Sweat! Call Bayonet!

Source:  U.S. Dept. of Energy 

www.energysavers.gov
http://www.greenyour.com

 

Stress Free Travel

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Stress Free Travel

 

Before you leave for vacation this summer make sure your home is safe and ready for your return.  Below is a list of tips to help you plan ahead and be prepared when it’s time to leave on vacation so that you can enjoy stress free travels!

 

  • Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery or have a neighbor collect them for you.
  • Don’t leave a message on your voice mail or post on your social network site (i.e. Facebook) that you will be out of town.
  • If you have pets, plan ahead and make arrangements at the kennel or with a neighbor to take care of them.
  • Turn off all the lights so you’re not wasting electricity. Although it is a good idea to have several lights set on timers to give the appearance that people are home.
  • Unplug any fixtures and appliances that will not be used such as computers, chargers, TVs, etc.
  • Turn the ringer volume on your phone down so someone outside can’t hear that it’s going unanswered.
  • Set your air conditioning system to a higher temperature so it won’t cool your home unnecessarily. However, don’t set it so low that you’ll come home to a hot humid house. Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperatures higher while you are away, saving money in lower utility bills, and then restore temperatures to a comfortable level before you return home. Some models even offer vacation mode, so you can come home to a nice, cool home!
  • Before you leave make sure you check all appliances and faucets to make sure they are off. If you have a leaky faucet, have it fixed before going on vacation. Even a drip can cause an increase in your water bill. That’s not a fun surprise to come home to.
  • Turn off the water to your washing machine. While you are away your washing machine hoses can break causing flood damage to your home before you are able to do anything about it.
  • Empty garbage cans and recycling bins.
  • Make sure dishes and laundry are clean before leaving. Don’t leave damp towels lying around.
  • Lock all doors and windows, especially the ones between your home and garage. For extra security, place a bar in the frame of your patio doors.
  • Don’t leave valuables in sight of doors or windows.
  • Take care of your houseplants. Leave directions with a neighbor or cover plants with plastic bags; this becomes a make-shift greenhouse that helps keep moisture in.
  • Inform a neighbor when you are leaving and returning and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
  • Lastly, leave your neighbor a phone number where you can be reached and an extra key in case of an emergency.

 

 

 

Sources:     www.hotelfun4kids.com

www.chatelaine.com

Energy Saving Tips For Summer

Monday, July 16th, 2012


Cooling your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home.  Typically, 43 percent  of your utility bill can be attributed to keeping your home cool!

 

No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining your equipment.  Here are some simple tips to help you save energy in your home.

 

  • Combine proper equipment maintenance  with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, and you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling. Every degree over 78 is money in the bank!

 

  • Set your thermostat as low as is comfortable in the cooler winter months and as high as comfortable in the summer months.  Invest in a programmable thermostat to take one item off of your to-do list. Programmable thermostats can divide the days into 4 different time periods so that your home is comfortable when you’re there, and saving you money when you’re not. You can even set up different schedules for each day, or even access the thermostat from your smart phone, to truly customize your life.

 

  • Clean or replace furnace or a/c filters. We recommend monthly filter changes if you use the  store-bought filters that you place in grills. Dirty filters can cause your system to increase its run time and may even cause damage to the system.

 

  • Clean warm-air registers as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes. Your system needs air flow to work properly and can not cool what it cannot circulate!

 

  • Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing; when replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

 

  • During hot days, keep window coverings closed during the day to prevent solar gain.

 

  • Long-Term Saving Tips.  Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment.  For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  The current minimum is 13 SEER for air conditioners.  ENERGY STAR models are 14 SEER or more.

 

Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

Debby Damage: Things to Know

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Debby’s floodwaters damaged many homes. Among the casualties are many, many outdoor air conditioning units. For some of these homeowners, there’s a more serious issue that they haven’t considered yet.

Back in March, our codes changes. These are the codes that govern the replacement of units in existing homes. From the 15th of March forward, the counties have decreed that permits cannot be pulled unless the units match and provide a SEER of 13 or higher.

For many homeowners in the wake of Debby, this will mean that the entire system will have to be replaced. How can you tell if you need to replace the whole system? You will have to do some homework. Take the time to educate yourself so no one will lead you astray. Go to the arhi.org website. Click the consumer link. Type in the model of the inside unit of your aair conditioning system. Look for 13 SEER matches. If you can’t find the match, the odds are pretty good that you will have to purchase a new system to be code compliant. Make certain your insurance agent allows for that! If you need help, email or call Eric or Cathy at 800-535-4505; both of them are on the site daily and would be happy to look up this information for you anytime. Or email in your model number to kris@bayonet-inc.com and I will look it up and let you know!

Another change is that your AC contractor must run a heat load calculation to affirm that your unit is the right size for your home. If you’ve added on to the home, upgraded windows, added insulation, or made other changes, don’t be surprised if the size of your AC changes too. You will be glad in the long run, as it will lead to greater comfort.

Our estimates are always no cost or obligation. Make sure you don’t pay too much. After a tragedy like Debby, we’re here to help our neighbors. Don’t sweat, Call Bayonet!

 

 

Devistating Debby

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Debby has devastated our home county of Pasco. Bay News 9 reported that the Anclote and Pithlachascotee rivers met. This surpasses the 100-year flood plan. Many people have lost so much, and many will be facing insurance battles when they rebuild. The blogs this week will feature some things to keep in mind when you’re considering contractors. Remember that tragedies like Debby can bring out the “Storm Chasers,” the here-today, gone-tomorrow contractors you will wish you’d never met.

If you need help with your ac or plumbing, we’re here to serve as always. If you need a service we don’t offer, try going to Asktheseal.com for a reputable contractor that you will bee sure is licensed, bonded and insured. Using a Seal verified contractor also protect you because they verify that felons and sex offenders aren’t on the payroll or in your home.

Please be safe and we hope everyone can return home soon.

 

 

Watch for AC replacement tips Friday!

 

 

Maintenance is more important than you might think…

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

It’s a harsh reality, but one that has hit home recently. Take care that it doesn’t hit your home. Manufacturers are tightening up on regulations when it comes to warranties!

When you purchase a car, you know that you must change your oil every 3,000 miles. If you don’t and your engine is damaged, your warranty is void. It’s your responsibility, and it’s in the manual. Guess what: air conditioning manufacturers are invoking the same policy on your air conditioning system and heat pump.

They’ve said for years that they could request maintenance records for warranty claims. Over the last 15 years, we’ve never had them requested. Until last month. It began: our claims for parts that to us should have been a no-questions-asked warranty claim were marked “pending additional documentation.” The manufacturers requested that we provide the maintenance records for the systems with claims dating back to the installation date. For one customer, this wasn’t a problem, as they’d been an MVP member since we installed her system. For the other, the story doesn’t end so well. Bayonet didn’t install the system, it wasn’t registered properly, she had no maintenance records, and, in the end, the manufacturer denied the part failure claim, leaving her with a bill.

Maintenance is not only the key to longevity and minimizing system failures, it will also protect you from being caught in this uncomfortable situation. Bayonet’s MVP program is designed to make it easy for you to keep your warranty intact and your system in great shape. As an MVP member, you will enjoy two AC maintenance visits per year, one plumbing maintenance visit, and many other benefits. You’ll enjoy no overtime rates, no matter when you need service (even holidays). Plus, there’s the small detail of the 5-year warranty on any repair we make while you’re an MVP member. So, protect yourself, your system and your warranty: become an MVP today.

To clarify: all manufacturers are cracking down on all systems, whether you have an extended warranty or a manufacturer’s part warranty, we’ve had maintenance record requests and some manufacturers are making it commonplace that the records must be submitted with any part claim.

Regular maintenance not only protects your warranty, it also keeps your system running at its best. This can help keep your power bill low in these hot months! Dirt accumulates on the coils and reduces the efficiency of the system. Bayonet’s techs clean both the indoor and outdoor coils as part of the maintenance, restoring the efficiency and keeping the system from working too hard.

Use this blog to help you save money: show it to your tech and he will take $10 off the cost of an MVP contract. (But, please, don’t combine with other coupons!) Don’t Sweat: Call Bayonet!

 

“My AC is Low on Gas”

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

It’s such a common problem when the weather heats up like it has this past week. We hear it all the time, “my system is low on gas,” or “my freon is low again.” If your system “uses” refrigerant, you have a larger problem!

Here’s what you need to know: air conditioning systems aren’t like a car; they don’t burn gas to operate. Your air conditioner is a closed loop, it cools the air by changing the refrigerant inside the copper coils from its liquid state to its gaseous state. In its liquid state, R410a and R22 are very cold. In the gaseous state, both chemical compounds are hot.

It’s your compressor’s job to compress the gas back into the liquid and pump the gas from the outdoor unit, where the heat is released into the air to help cool the gas back into liquid form, back through the copper lineset and into the air handling unit that is usually located inside your house. The air handler brings the warm air in through the returns and draws it across the cold coil to cool it, conditioning your home.

So, should your system need gas?

No, it shouldn’t, not unless there’s been a leak or a technician adjusted your charge. Refrigerant is costly. An improper charge makes your system work harder than it has to, increasing run time AND your power bills.

Getting really low on refrigerant can cause your system to freeze up. That can cause many different problems. First of all, it will stress the compressor as it tries to pump and can’t. Then, the system will shut down, then the ice will melt–rapidly. When that happens, the water can’t be contained by the drain lines as they can’t handle so much water. This leads to water in your home, on your ceiling, or on your floors, which is never good!

So, if you think your system isn’t cooling well, maybe it’s time for a tune up. If you’re told that you need to add refrigerant, be careful! Many companies will offer a tune up for a ultra low price just to find things wrong with your system and get a repair. Our precision tune up specials are located in the promotions section of our website and are very thorough and competitive. Preventative maintenance is the best way to prevent leaks in the system. Thorough cleanings are the only way to keep the corrosion in the environment from wearing away the metal and allowing your coils to spring leaks. Besides, the unit will be more efficient when clean!

A Word on Freon or R22

Recently, the EPA decided to uphold the limits on how much Freon can be made and sold. It contains chemicals that have been proven to be harmful to the ozone layer. So, when that leaks into the environment, it can cause damage to it. Because of the production limits, the price of R22, also known as Freon, has skyrocketed. So, be prepared to pay more for that recharge, should your system require it.

It’s our policy to only charge a system with a leak check. We will identify the leak for you and offer a repair or replacement of the leaking part. Some copper coils can be welded and fixed, but many coils are made of aluminum and can’t be welded. They simply have to be replaced. Sometimes, replacing the unit makes more sense, but we can help with providing the information that you need to make an informed decision.

When you need us, we’re here. So Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

Choosing a Service Company: Things You Should Know

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I spend more than my share of minutes eating up bandwidth on the internet. The internet is a very valuable resource for savvy users. But, it has to be taken with a grain of salt and lots of cross-verification. If you Google a term long enough, you can find an article that says precisely what you want to hear. That’s one of the dangers on the Internet. I’d like to use this week’s blog to address another, much larger danger to consumers. Some of you are loyal customers, and I sincerely thank you. But I’m constantly hearing the stories about good people who get ripped off and taken advantage of by competitors that I wish weren’t out there for people to have to screen.

I’m so tired of it, that I decided to write this blog to give the good people who read it some tools to help! If this blog gets picked up and spread on the internet, maybe it will help someone make a good choice for their family!

Much like Brad Paisley’s hit song, many companies look “so much cooler online” than they are in real life. It is pretty simple to throw together a website that sounds professional, looks professional, and feels professional when in truth the consumer is looking a the website of a guy with one or maybe two trucks who works out of his home.

In this day and age, you really can’t afford to do business with companies like these! Who’s to say that the guy working out of his home is going to be there tomorrow, or next week, or three years from now when you need him to fulfill his warranty obligations? You as the consumer will be left out in the cold–or in the Florida heat.

Here are some things to keep you safe when you’re choosing a contractor:

  • When you do a search, take few moments to verify the address BEFORE you call the company. If they’re working out of their HOME or a residential address and NOT in a place of business, be VERY wary. These are the fly-by-night, low-budget, one-truck wonders that won’t answer the phones on weekends, or holidays, or whenever it isn’t convenient for them. You deserve better than a guy working out of his garage. You deserve a company with a storefront and a staff, and a reputation and guarantees you can trust. Google maps makes this verification really easy by simply showing you the location on a map. Take a minute and zoom in. Can you really drop by the house to meet the dispatcher? Is there a dispatcher? Yikes! When did they incorporate? Look for companies who’ve been in business at least 10 years, but as a rule the longer the better!
  • Open a new window and navigate to myflorida.com. From here, you can click on business and verify when the business was incorporated, who the license holders are, and what kind of standing the business is in with the state. Also, check this link http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/index.html to make sure the business is license to perform the type of work you’re looking to hire.
  • Before you call a company: GOOGLE THE COMPANY NAME. Too often, I hear the horror stories from consumers who get taken by the snake-oil salesmen who prey on the unsuspecting consumers in our industry. Chances are, they’ve been busted before in very public manners, but since it is buried in time, not everyone heard about it. Google the name, read reviews, and search local papers for stories. You might just be surprised what you find.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau, but know this: once a company decides to advertise with them, their rating goes  right to an A+. Better to listen to those Google reviews. They’re often more honest!
  • Ask the company to provide you with a copy of their certificate of insurance. Make sure they carry at least a million dollars per incident of General Liability and Worker’s Compensation coverage. If they don’t know this: any claim that goes ABOVE their limits and happens on your property will hit your homeowner’s policy!
  • Check out AskTheSeal. Is the company verified through them? They verify the license and insurance information for you (but not the specific limits). They also perform background checks on all employees. Sex offenders aren’t forgiven, ever. But, no company can get their seal if they’ve committed a crime against a person (theft, kidnapping, etc) in the past seven years.

The phrase cavaet emptor originated in A.D. 1215 but it has never been more relevant than it is today. Buyers, beware. These are trying times and people are often out to make a quick buck. Many unemployable slackers are finding it easier to hang a shingle and rip off unsuspecting consumers than it is to stay gainfully employed with a larger company because they don’t want to play by the company rules. Consumers need to hang on to their pennies and spend them wisely. Make sure you choose a company you can trust who will be there when you need them and will always back up their work with a no-questions-asked money back guarantee.

Don’t Sweat, Call Bayonet!

Thanks for your loyal patronage: Kris Blankenship

Water Quality! Part Two

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

There are several things in life that we take for granted. Water is very often one of them. Each of us uses this vital liquid, the most common substance on earth, everyday. And we rarely think twice about it.

However, the water we use for cooking, drinking, and countless other domestic tasks will quickly catch our attention when there is some sort of problem.

Fortunately, some of the most obvious water problems are also the easiest to solve. The problems in this blog are considered aesthetic and are not considered harmful to health, they do affect the look and taste of the water, and may cause it to be undrinkable by some people’s standards. Addressing these water quality problems is important. Issues such as taste and odor, color, and turbidity (cloudiness) are all aesthetic water problems, and all have relatively simple solutions.

In order to treat these problems, we must first look at their source. Water is known as the universal solvent. Before it reaches a consumer’s tap, it comes into contact with many different substances, such as gases, minerals, and organic matter. Water picks up traces of these substances, and unfortunately, some of them may cause taste, odor, color, or turbidity problems for the consumer.

Turbidity: Cloudy Water

At one time or another, most consumers have encountered water that appears cloudy or foggy. This characteristic is due to turbidity: the presence of finely divided solid particles in water. These particles may be inorganic mineral matter which does not dissolve, or organic matter that has been picked up as the water flows over and through the ground. The particles cause the scattering and absorption of light rays, which gives the water a cloudy appearance.

Whether turbidity is due to suspended organic or inorganic matter, it can cause staining of sinks and fixtures, and the discoloration of laundered fabrics. Inorganic turbidity can have an abrasive effect on plumbing systems and may cause physical wear or erosion on pipes and fittings. Turbidity is most commonly found at taps whose source is surface water from lakes, streams, or ponds. Treatment: filtration and water sanitizing is readily available.

Taste and Odor

Another set of problems that will quickly catch a consumer’s attention is objectionable tastes or odors present in water. These two senses appear to work in unison, which makes it difficult to separate taste and odor.

A common characteristic of water from public systems is the chlorine taste and odor, which is often quite noticeable. Many public water systems treat water with chlorine to disinfect it. Although this is an important step in the treatment of water because it destroys disease-producing bacteria and other harmful organisms that may be in present in water, there is no doubt that excess chlorine from the disinfection treatment step can make the water objectionable. A carbon-based filtration system can address this issue.

In other cases, water with a high mineral concentration may have an unpleasant soda or salty taste, and a metallic taste may be produced by the presence of iron or manganese in water.

Many people have also encountered water that contains hydrogen sulfide gas, which creates an objectionable odor. So-called “sulfur water” not only produces the obnoxious “rotten egg” odor, but is also corrosive to plumbing and can cause the rapid tarnishing of silver. Even very low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide are detectable because of the strong odor.

Various taste and odor conditions are caused by the presence of organic matter in water. Even when the amount of organic matter is very low, unusual tastes and odors such as musty, fishy, or earthy smells may be found.

Whatever your particulat water problem may be, Bayonet can provide a solution. Water can be “cleaned” using a chlorination or hydrogen peroxide based cleansing system, it can be filtered through many different types of media and we are happy to customize our filtration to meet your specific demands.

Don’t sweat, Call Bayonet !

 

Source: www.waq.org