Posts Tagged ‘Captiva FL’

What Does My Air Conditioning Service Agreement Cover?

AC Repair

Proper maintenance on your A/C by a trained professional will help give you peace of mind.

The answer to this question is met with another question. What type of program do you have? There are many different types offered on the market today. There are pros and cons to each program. I will cover two of the more common programs offered and my thoughts on each.

Semi-annual preventative maintenance program.  This program includes two a/c checks per year. The program by nature goes through the system to make sure everything is clean and operating properly. The scope of this program is to identify any minor problems prior to them becoming major problems. The pros of this program are you have a professional looking at your system twice a year. The program by nature will give you a true picture of what type of condition your system is in. It is much like preventative maintenance you do with your vehicle. There are also discounts offered when enrolled in this program on any additional work that may be required. It is also the least expensive program available. The cons: it is not going to cover repairs as they arise.

Air Conditioning maintenance and repair program.  This type of program includes the items stated above but also has some repairs built into the price of the program. This may sound like a good thing at first but there are some inherent problems with this type of program. Let’s start with the pros. As stated it will cover some repairs. You may stop me there and say but wait, the name implies that it is an a/c repair and service type program, how come all repairs are not covered? The fact of the matter is there is a very long list of things that are not covered. To name a few: electrical lines, refrigerant lines and plumbing lines are not covered. It also excludes repairs due to corrosion, abuse and water issues. It also does not cover humidistat, thermostats, electrical service equipment, circuit breakers or panels. The big con for this program is it usually is three to four times the price of a maintenance only program. The pro side is that some items will be covered.

As you can see there is a bit of a difference in the two programs. I believe that the best choice is the semi-annual program. But that’s just me… I guess that’s why they make vanilla and chocolate.

Download our Service Agreement here for more details.

Thanks for reading,

Bryan Hayes

Electrical Safety for Older Adults

SAMSUNGElectrical safety is important to me, so I’d like to help spread the word.  You’ve probably heard me mention the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in the past, or you might even know of it without my help. Did you know that older adults (65+) are at a higher risk of being injured, or worse from home fires? The reason behind this are cooking-related fires, electrical malfunctions and failures that are associated with lighting and heating equipment. Identifying these causes and understanding how to avoid them is the surest bet at prevention and maintaining a safe environment, especially if someone lives alone.

Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your home free of electrical hazards.

  • Keep your electrical panel easily accessible; don’t block it with furniture or put things in the path that allows you to get to it. If there is an emergency, you can quickly reach it to turn off power
  • Replace fuses and circuit breakers with proper sizes and amperage; make sure your panel is properly labeled. It also helps to upgrade your breakers to AFCI Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters which can detect an unintended electrical arc and automatically shut off power
  • Electrical outlets should not buzz, crackle, be warm, or overloaded with appliances; test your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI outlets) once a month
  • Regularly check wires, cord and plugs for wear and damage; extension cords are only meant to be used temporarily
  • Install and check smoke alarms regularly

You can find additional information and some very helpful videos at http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

 

Heating Tips for Cold Weather

Dog with Fur HatI know that everyone is talking about the cold snap expected to hit us tonight and tomorrow. And of course, just as we turn our heaters on for a night, we’ll be back to running our air conditioners by the end of the week. As many of you will be turning the heaters on for the first time this year, or maybe even longer, you’ll quickly notice the smell of burning dust spreading through your home.

It’s best to do this in advance if you can, this way you can avoid having to endure the smell while you and your family are home. Once you turn the heater on, open your windows for a brief period of time and you should get rid of that smell very quickly. Now, heating bills can add a significant punch to your budget. There are a few things that you can do to avoid cardiac arrest when you receive your next bill. You don’t need to turn your home into an inferno. Turn your thermostat to the lowest and most comfortable temperature that you can bear. This move will definitely help reduce your bill. Dress warmer while you are at home: put on socks and long sleeved shirts, sleep under warmer blankets, etc. Turn that heater off when you are not at home. If you’re busy or tend to forget to monitor your thermostat, get a programmable one – these have a proven track record of helping people reduce their energy bills. There are many affordable options out there. In addition, pay attention to your water heater and reduce the temperature on its thermostat to see even more savings on your energy bill. Close doors and windows to avoid heat loss. Covering windows with curtains and blinds also helps retain heat in your home. Annually inspect your home for sources of air leaks and address them promptly.

And lastly, look for other sources of heat in your home and take advantage of them. Did you use that oven to make that delicious family dinner tonight? When you’re done cooking, leave the oven door open to let some of that heat into your kitchen. Now if you have small children or someone else who might be tempted to explore the open oven, you may want to look for other sources of heat. Also if you leave that stove door open, make sure your stove is fitted with anti-tipping device. Taking a hot shower? Leave the door to the bathroom open and allow some of that heat and steam to spread to other parts of your home.

 

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Christmas Lights and Safety

xmas lightsThe holidays are on everyone’s mind, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in calling it my favorite time of the year. Now that Thanksgiving has passed, everyone is putting up their beautiful trees, and the more dedicated of us are stringing up those bright, colorful lights around their properties. So this is that time of year for me to talk electrical safety again. So, how many Christmas lights can you plug into that one receptacle on your lanai?  Perhaps some of you are familiar with the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? (I just can’t resist the reference). Even though Clark Griswold’s intentions to make everything perfect for the holidays were good-natured and sweet,  but his idea to turn his house into a Christmas light extravaganza that forced the local power company to switch on their auxiliary nuclear generator – not so much. Clark boasted that he had used 250 strands of lights with 100 bulbs in each one totaling a 25,000 bulb display inferno that only added to the disastrous holiday scenario that didn’t quite go as well as Clark had intended. Now, with proper electrical expertise and good planning, it’s possible to create such enormous light displays, but before you get ahead of yourself and create a situation where your circuit board is overwhelmed or you create unsafe electrical conditions in and around your home, keep in mind this: You can only put (3) 100’ strands of lights on each 15 amp plug – that’s it.  Note: most of your receptacles are a minimum of 15 amps.  It’s the safest way to go. Now if you do decide to go all out and plan out and extravagant holiday display, you might want to give me a call before you do that.

Happy Holidays from your Sanibel Air and Sanctuary Island Electric team!

As always thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric  company on Sanibel, FL.Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

October is the Month for Fire Prevention Week

Beach House PDFSince I just often talk about electricity and safety a couple in my articles, I want to highlight that this is the month of the annual Fire Prevention Week which took place October 6-12, 2013. Their goal is to raise public awareness with this year’s theme being “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” to emphasize that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home, and to teach people how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.

Here are some interesting facts about home fires:

  • In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
  • Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires.
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
  • Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

I encourage everyone to take the time to talk about these causes with everyone in their families. All of these accidents can be avoided through education and proper use. You can find additional information at http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Preparing Your Heating System for Cooler Weather

fanIt’s looking like we are on track for a few cooler nights this week.  Aside from a couple of chilly nights last year, we’ve definitely enjoyed some great weather here on Sanibel and Captiva islands. But, I’m not a meteorologist and my forecast only goes 10 days ahead, so I’m going to assume that we are definitely in for at least a few less than comfortable days this winter. Fortunately, we live in a place where we are only briefly forced to run our before we can forget that we even have them for the rest of the year.

I always like to offer some helpful tips in this department, because once you turn them on for the first time this season, you’ll quickly realize just how long you haven’t turned it on as the smell of burning dust spreads through your home. So before you do this, pick a mild day and open your windows for a brief period of time, giving your heater a chance to run before the colds hit. You should get rid of that smell very quickly. This way you will avoid having to turn it on for the first time just before you and your family prepare for bedtime and be forced to endure the smell as you fall asleep.

If you run into any trouble where your heater won’t turn on, blow hot air, or you smell an abnormal amount of burning dust, turn your heater off and call your service provider.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

While you’re away, humidistats can help you save

ThermoI’m not making it up when I say that this is one of those inexpensive ways to save money. Installing a humidistat in your home is particularly important when you tend to spend a lot of time away from it. If you hadn’t considered it yet this summer, please do and here is why. Just like a thermostat, a humidistat turns you’re a/c system on and off depending on what the settings and what the environmental conditions are. While the thermostat’s “trigger” is temperature (your home’s temp rises and it turns on), the humidistat’s does the same thing with humidity. Since it’s more important to control the climate in your home while you are away, rather than the temperature (there’s no sense in cooling the space if you are not there to enjoy it), the humidistat runs your a/c system until the air inside the conditioned space is below a certain humidity level. So, why is it important to control that climate? If you simply shut off your air conditioner or set it to a higher temp, the lack of air circulation and rise in humidity combined can lead to the growth of microorganisms like mold. Running the air conditioner alone while cooling a large and unoccupied dwelling in Florida in July can also cost you quite a bit of money and be rather inefficient. By running your system to combat humidity, the humidistat can and will save you money on your electric bill, it will run your a/c system more efficiently sparing it the needless wear and tear and help extend the unit’s life. If you haven’t considered it yet, please do. It really is a great device that is inexpensive to install. The savings you incur will offset the cost of the device in a very short amount of time.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

The Importance of Having Shade

treesYou know, I’ve had this thought that occurred to me recently. Just the other day I was grilling on my back porch and thinking about how hot it was. So then I thought, is my memory just deceiving me, or did it really get hotter in the recent years? I then thought about the days before Charley, and I know it seems like it was a long time ago, but I remember August 13th, 2004 like it was yesterday. It was the day that Mother Nature reminded us that she’s the boss and brought us that hurricane. I have a great deal of memories that flood my mind when the topic comes up.  One of the most vivid of all though is in the following weeks how hot it was.  After power was restored we received a great deal of calls indicating that there must be something wrong with their air conditioner.  It just isn’t keeping up anymore.  We ran call after call and came across the same issue.  We finally came to the conclusion that the lack of shade created by Charlie’s tree pruning had a huge effect on how our air conditioners ran.  Another thought is that with a great deal less trees to block the sun from hitting the ground, buildings and streets more heat was absorbed and stayed around a great deal longer.  Remember that canopy of trees along Periwinkle Way just after Casa Ybel Rd?

I spend a great deal of time suggesting that my readers do things here and do better insulate their homes, use curtains on the southern-facing sides of their homes to prevent unnecessary heat from entering. Well, trees also play an essential part in blocking the unnecessary heat around our properties, this was especially true in the days before air conditioning. The City of Sanibel has done some great work with the Periwinkle Way Restoration Project to help restore much of the flora that had been lost and I’m once again seeing the canopy return in parts over the our city’s arterial road. It’s not completely restored yet, but it’s nice to see shade on the bike paths again.

So, have you lost trees around your house after Charley? It’s never too late to replant. It may not give you much now, but in a few years it will bring its rewards.  There are some fast growing shade tree options out there that can bring desired results in a shorter time period. Just nothing exotic or invasive please.

As always thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Surge Protection

outletSince we appear to be stuck in the never-ending the rainy season, and this week was a good reminder what that feels like, I think it’s always a good time to talk about surge protection. You may or may not be surprised by this, but the number one cause of downtime for your central cooling system is not refrigerant related. The most common cause is actually electrical with the average home experiencing over 300 surges per year.

For those of us who live on Sanibel, we know that it’s a constant battle for our power company to keep the grid in good working order. Many major home appliances, including our air conditioners, rely more on solid state electronics to operate than ever before.  While the luxury of it all might be very convenient, it still comes with a price. These controls are also more susceptible to power fluctuations than ever before.  So to reference the title, the way to protect your expensive investment is to use surge protection.

Surge protection can be achieved through many different ways.  You can buy those little surge protection strips for your pluggable appliances and most stores. However, for the larger stuff such as your air conditioner, you are would need to have an electrician install an inline surge protection on the electrical feed. If you really like the idea, you can even take this one step further and have a surge protection system installed for your entire house. That will cover all the circuits in your home.

As you may already know, I like talking about saving money. Surge protection is an additional cost of course, but spending some money now can definitely save you from spending significantly more and the hassle later. Consider that an investment.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

 

Sanibel Air’s Family Sponsors Fishing Tournament

Last year’s winning photo of Bryan Hayes, co-owner of Sanibel Air Conditioning, Inc. and his son Daniel as they show off their 26.5 inch catch

Last year’s winning photo of Bryan Hayes, co-owner of Sanibel Air Conditioning, Inc. and his son Daniel as they show off their 26.5 inch catch

Sanibel Air Conditioning, Inc. is doing it again – fishing for a good cause. Co-owner Bryan Hayes and his son Daniel, 12, are returning again this year as a Silver Sponsor to defend their first place title in the Panther Baseball Alumni Club’s annual fishing tournament. And, to strengthen the team, co-owner Todd Hayes and his son Tyler, 7,  and daughter, Isabella ,6, will also be joining the fun.

The tournament is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 7, 2013 and raises money to support the Cypress Lake High School baseball team; paying for club’s operations including insurance, supplies and college scholarships for student athletes. The tournament will be held at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., closing at 4 p.m. with a live weigh-in and results ceremony.

Last year, the father and son team took first place the tournament. Their winning catch weighed in over 6.5 lbs and at 26.5 inches long, beating out the second place winner by just two ounces. They chose to donate their $1,500 first place prize to the baseball program. The tournament raised $8,000 for the program. That was first time that the two participated in a tournament together, and decided to stick with the new tradition.

“We had such a great time fishing last year, and winning it together will be something that we will both cherish for the rest of our lives,” said Bryan Hayes, co-owner of Sanibel Air Conditioning. “Our family loves fishing and it’s an added benefit of being able to do something that you really love and for a great cause. And when we get to do this with our kids, and teach them the value of support in or community, that is the best lesson and experience that they get to walk away with.”

Sanibel Air was started in 1988 and has maintained their promise to provide the best local service around for over 25 years. Sanibel Air is highly active in its community, and participates or contributes to several charitable causes throughout the year; some of their primary contributions are coaching youth sports, monetary donations to the Sanibel-Captiva Lions and sponsoring the Crackerfest that promotes clean water initiatives.