The Best Home Improvement Tips from Butler Heating and Air Conditioning

Since 1949, Butler Heating & Air Conditioning has been helping homeowners and families in Dayton and the Miami Valley area get comfortable. Along the way, we have learned some of the best tips for home improvement and HVAC maintenance. This month, we have reached deep back into our blog archives to bring you some of our best home improvement advice for Ohio homeowners.

Top Home Improvement Tips for Dayton Homeowners

Love taking on home improvement projects? Use the tips below to help keep your home safe and comfortable year-round:

  1. Know when to call in a professional.

No matter how handy you may be, there are some home improvement projects that require a professional contractor. If you do not have the experience, knowledge, or skill set to take on certain projects, you may end up doing more harm than good in the end. Not to mention, the cleanup could be costly! Our post, Home Improvement Projects That Require a Pro will help you better understand which projects you should call in a professional to help with. Share this post with a friend who loves to DIY.

  1. Keep up with home HVAC maintenance

Your HVAC system works hard to keep you comfortable year-round. That’s why it is important to make sure that you are keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance to ensure that your heating and cooling systems are running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. We’ve created a convenient HVAC maintenance checklist to help you make sure that your HVAC system is getting the yearly services it needs. You can print the checklist out and place it right next to your HVAC system or share with a friend who may need the reminder.

  1. Understand the HVAC warning signs.

When something goes wrong with your HVAC system, do you know how to diagnose the problem? Learning the warning signs and how to diagnose HVAC issues can help you better understand whether you can fix the problem yourself or have to call in the professionals. Even if you decide to call your HVAC company for help, learning to diagnose HVAC issues ahead of time can give you a better understanding of what parts and services will be needed for the repair. Our blog post, How to Diagnose HVAC Problems teaches you how to recognize common issues with your air conditioner and heater, so that you can take the best next step to fixing the problem.

  1. Learn how to troubleshoot your thermostat.

If you are having a hard time getting comfortable, your thermostat could be to blame. Learning how to troubleshoot common issues with your thermostat helps you gain better control of your own home comfort. We go over some basic thermostat troubleshooting tips in our post, My Thermostat Stopped Working – Help! This article covers how to troubleshoot and fix minor thermostat issues that may be causing trouble in your home. If you can’t find the answer here, you can contact us, and we will send one of our qualified technicians to your home to figure out what’s going on.

  1. Create a home repair budget each year.

It happens to the best of us. Just when we think everything is going fine, the water heater breaks or your AC stops working. Making repairs is a normal part of being a homeowner. However, these repairs can sometimes be costly, and if you are not prepared, you may find yourself in a difficult situation. Make sure you’re ready for whatever comes your way by creating a home repair budget each year. To find out more about why you need a home repair budget or how you can create one, be sure to check out Why You Need a Home Repair Budget for the New Year.

If you want to learn more about home improvement, HVAC, or home comfort, be sure to check back on our blog each month for more informative content. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to stay up-to-date with the latest from Butler Heating & Air Conditioning.

How to Detect HVAC Inspection Scams (& Avoid Them!)

Installation, maintenance and repair of HVAC systems can be an expensive affair. Whether your system fails when it is hot or in the middle of winter, do not just call the cheapest HVAC repair technician or the first one you find. As much as you desire the comfort – especially quickly and affordably – take your time and look for a reputable home comfort expert to handle the system.

Avoid HVAC Inspection Scams

Use these simple tips will help you avoid HVAC inspection scams:
Nothing is free. Avoid providers that request for free tune-ups once you place your initial service call. Any trustworthy company will offer you a free estimate or a free site visit – but businesses need to make money. Scammers are interested in offering free service in order to come up with an expensive sales pitches and up-sells. You don’t need to bother with hagglers.
Trust your intuition. Some HVAC contractors will request a lofty down payment. This should cover spare parts and transport, which is fair. However, If you feel the down-payment is on the higher side, the provider might be taking advantage. Avoid so-called experts who request the entire payment upfront as  they will never deliver on their promises.
Narrow it down. Make a short list of the best 5 local HVAC companies that you need to talk to. Do a simple background check to ascertain their capabilities. If possible, talk to their technicians and gauge their professionalism in handling your unique situation. Settle on one provider that you feel meets your specific inspection needs in a friendly and budget-sure manner.
Know the numbers. Collect at least 3 inspection estimates to make the right decision. This way, you will be able to compare prices with the market rates. Use your estimated budget to weight the available options. Only accept free quotes and estimates for comparisons – don’t pay for a maybe.
Do your research. Unscrupulous technicians target the most expensive parts of your systems. Some inspection contractors will trick you into buying expensive parts and end up not using them in your HVAC units. AC Freon is expensive and unreliable techs will try to up-sell these items to overcharge you in the final bill.
REALLY, do your research. Any HVAC system will come with a user manual upon purchase. Go through the troubleshooting section before requesting for inspection. This way, you will have an idea of any faults that your system may have. This way, any technician will know you have an idea on inspection and repairs of the unit. This protects you.
Lock it in. Before hiring a contractor, you need to have a written agreement. This way, you will both have a scope of work & avoid misunderstanding. Make sure this covers the time the project will take, materials required, and penalties if the timelines and standards are not met. This gives you peace of mind and offers some sense of accountability from the contractor or service provider.
Ask around. If the HVAC provider has a good online presence, check out their ratings and read their reviews. These reviews are written by real clients and can help you make a sound decision. You should be able to tell a genuine review from a paid one. Scammers will always have exaggerated reviews to mislead consumers.
If you’ve done your research, you’ll make the right decision and the rest will be easy. Go with the HVAC contractor that respects your budget, cares about home comfort, and understands your needs. Here in Dayton & Miami Valley, that’s Butler Heating & Air. We’re happy to serve the communities that serve us and our loved ones every day! Contact us for your HVAC needs.