I will contend that 99% of the mechanical contractors in the HVAC business cannot provide you with any services that require deviating from the norm (if it doesn't come in a box with a brand on it, they can't sell it.) I also contend (from a lot of inquires to customers) that most HVAC contractors sell one of 3 things in order: new equipment based on a lot of hype, marketing and something unique to America called "brand recognition" (meaning they are selling your preconceived notions about a brand name), service contracts for at least $300 a year and inflated prices on parts in addition to those service contracts. It is better to spend $500-600 every few years on routine repairs than $300+ every year or every heating and cooling season.
G&S Mechanical Services is an unincorporated business organization that contracts to do service and repairs on mechanical, controls and electrical systems of heating, Air conditioning, and refrigeration and anything that you are willing to pay us to work on that is within our capabilities.
There was a time in America where most business was done by trade or contract by individuals who specialized in their trade or trades. We have gotten away from that and moved to big corporate America running this country, including the service industry. There has been a recent move in this country by major service industries buying up all the little companies until there are no "mom and pop" businesses left. 9-11 hasn't helped this any.
I am not a member of the Better Business Bureau, they repeatedly contact me asking for their dues ($300+ a year) in exchange for a favorable review. I cannot support an organization that just takes your money and does nothing else. I am also not a member of any contractor organizations because they just ask for money in exchange for acknowledging your existence. They don't seem to care how good you.
In the realm of HVAC the small businesses and companies are being bought up by companies like Blue Dot, Encompass, ARS, and others. On a past Dateline NBC expose' ARS was the only company who recommended replacing the customer's equipment (a 10 year old Trane unit) for a cost of $8,000 without even checking to see if there was anything wrong with it. All the others either tried to sell or did add refrigerant (it was always 2 pounds low).
Our goal is to provide you with the best service that we can possibly give you or your company while keeping any unnecessary costs to a minimum and providing the most return on your investment and repair costs. While we may be unincorporated we still need to charge fair market value for repairs. My understanding of corporations is that they can "loose" money for a certain period of time before they must go bankrupt. If we loose money I don't eat.
While so many companies try to make repairs by replacing equipment, we repair equipment by fixing what is wrong and recommending any repairs or modifications that are necessary for optimum performance and changes that will make your system work better. While there are times to replace heat pump or air conditioning equipment we try to avoid it. In the last 6 years we have replaced about a dozen if that air conditioning outdoor or condensing units, A few more compressors, 1 heat pump and 1 oil furnace. I don't even keep thermostats on the truck because we replace about 1 or 2 a year. Too many people are persuaded to think that not only is the thermostat the heart of the HVAC system but it is the system.
I have seen a trend where too many homeowners will call the local utility company (here we have BGE Home) thinking then they are getting the next best thing to god working on their equipment or the engineer who operates the nuclear power plant (I actuallly talked to him once to give HVAC advice). I am here to say that just because the local utility works on your equipment doesn't mean that it will work better than if we work on it. It just means that you can put it on your electric bill over the course of months and if you don't pay it off in a timely manner they can shut you off, we can do that too and give you a better rate without holding you hostage. The same goes if you are hiring a well known big name that hires outside contractors to do HVAC. You are not getting the combined knowledge of everyone who has ever worked for them or the engineer who operates the nuclear power plant.
I have been tinkering with things as long as I can remember. Before I took on this trade in 1995 I have been working on electronic medical equipment and before that other electrical and electronic equipment. I fix my own car and truck when it breaks and try to keep it from breaking. I have been told I have a photographic memory while I am not sure of this I do try to remember everything I see or hear. I have been accused of watching too much TV or Movies. I try to have the patience to do research when I go to bed at night I will spend a lot of time reading catalogs and manuals for the next days job, so I am on the job even when I am not working.
There is some new technology available in HVAC or some revisions of old technology that has new names. I can tell you from experience that it is not enough just to have this new technology, but you must have it made to work. For example electronic variable speed fan motors a.k.a. ECM motors are a great idea, however they must have controls to make them function. I can help you get the most out of your system. Programmable thermostats are a neat idea and can save you money on energy consumption, however they will not make a non functioning system function and will not improve performance if there are already problems.
My thoughts on 410A a.k.a. Puron: a big scam. My thoughts on alternate refrigerants (hydrocarbon blends): All the alternate refrigerant in the world (even if it is free) will not make a system that is malfunctioning, start functioning. All the alternative refrigerant in the world will not stop leaks, any more than free fuel would make your car get better mileage!
I do a weekly internet Call in Talk
show called Cooltalk.
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Scott Meenen N3SJH
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