10 Red Flags That Are Common From Unreliable HVAC Companies

October 19th, 2021

The last thing anyone wants is to be swindled by someone they trust. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the warning signs of unreliable HVAC services. HVAC maintenance should provide for your needs, not create more or completely ignore them. 

tech that works for HVAC companies

When choosing an HVAC repair service, you should know what you’re getting yourself into and who will be performing the necessary repairs. That’s why we’ve provided a list of ten red flags that are common in unreliable HVAC companies. Familiarizing yourself with these warning signs will help you distinguish who’s here to help and who’s possibly attempting to take advantage of you. 

1. No License

The HVAC company you choose must hold the proper licensing for the trade. Licensing binds a company to the regulations legislated by local authorities. In the U.S., anyone can register a company by paying around $100 and filing a single form. Ensuring that your HVAC service is appropriately licensed not only means that the company is legitimate, but also means that the technicians have the proper training to work on gas-powered equipment.

2. No Insurance

HVAC services that aren’t properly insured put you at risk. Non-insured contractors and HVAC companies also indicate a lack of consideration and care for the general safety of the customer. Most importantly, if one of these companies is uninsured, you’ll be responsible for paying out for any injuries or damage to your property. 

3. No Work Permit

Obtaining a work permit for HVAC maintenance can only be accomplished by licensed contractors and services. If you’re asked to get the work permit by your HVAC service, then your hired contractor may not be licensed.

4. Lack of References

Even the youngest companies establish themselves by carrying a list of referrals to give potential customers. An HVAC company or contractor that lacks referrals may be a scam. A legitimate company will be able to provide customer references and testimonials and offer guarantees in the case of unsatisfactory work.

5. Bad Reviews

Reviews are an invaluable resource for potential customers of any company. Reviews on the internet will help you decide whether or not to hire an HVAC company. While some companies have no reviews, there is even more incentive to research that company before hiring them. And if you see bad reviews, then buyer beware. 

6. One-Person Company

A one-person company may not be able to provide adequate services. Certain types of repairs require more than one licensed technician, so a one-person show likely won’t perform these tasks. In addition, one-person companies can’t guarantee around-the-clock service for their clients, which can put you in a pickle if you ever find yourself in an emergency.

7. No Uniform

Uniforms represent the fact that an HVAC company has invested in a professional appearance. This indicates their dedication to the service and shows that they have legitimate expertise and experience. A contractor or service without a uniform can be a serious red flag.

8. No Website

Online presence is paramount for legitimate businesses that want to indicate that their service is professional. Websites also normally list certifications, license numbers, merits, reviews, and the services offered. Beware of a company without a website.

9. No Social Media

Having a social media presence is very important for any small business. It provides an opportunity to show off your work and helps build your brand and grow your customer base. A lack of a social media presence can be a warning sign that the business may not be legitimate or could even be in financial trouble.

10. Advanced Payment or Cash

If you’re asked to make a hefty down payment or pay for all services before they’re even rendered, then it’s wise to tread carefully. It’s all too easy for illegitimate services to scam you or not feel obligated to do good work. The best HVAC companies will typically offer a free estimate for their services, then let you decide through with the service. 

Are You Looking for a Reputable HVAC Service?

Island Comfort shows our certification and licensing information directly on our website. Our expert technicians have years of experience with HVAC maintenance, and our reviews speak for themselves. 

Whether you need standard maintenance, repairs, or would like to check out our website, you can count on us to lend you a helping hand! Contact us today!   

4 Reasons Why an AC Tune-Up Can Help You Save Money

October 12th, 2021

An AC tune-up is much more than an opportunity to learn more about the operation of your unit. Reputable AC services make it their mission to ensure that your air conditioner remains fully functional. Likewise, they make sure to help your AC to exceed its projected lifespan. An air conditioner tune-up will not only keep your unit running smoothly but will save you tons of money in the long run!

tech doing an AC tune up

The sweltering heat of Hawaii can cause major inconveniences to the proper operation of your system. That’s why it’s so important to schedule regular maintenance! By doing so, you’ll ensure to make the most out of your AC investment. The workload of air conditioners in Hawaii can potentially cause problems for your HVAC unit and your wallet if you don’t schedule regular maintenance.

Our specialists have created a list of the top four reasons an AC tune-up can help save you money! Familiarizing yourself with these benefits will serve as a reminder of why AC maintenance is an integral part of saving money!

1. Expect Lower Utility Bills

The costs of electricity bills in Hawaii can reach unthinkable heights given the almost year-round heatwave. Such heavy demand can cause many issues with your unit, including an increase in kilowatt usage. These increases in energy consumption can lead to monumental electric bills. 

Although your HVAC unit most likely runs constantly, your system may have to work even harder if it isn’t in optimal working condition. This will drive up your electric bill even more. Regular tune-ups will keep your unit functioning properly and save on  energy consumption.

2. Enjoy a More Comfortable Indoor Climate

When your AC is working optimally, it’s much easier to reach the desired indoor temperature. Dirty or clogged filters, leaks, damaged components, and other malfunctions can lead to unwanted indoor temperatures. This is why it’s so important to schedule regular maintenance from a certified professional.

3. Extend the Life of Your AC

The expected lifespan of an air conditioner ranges from 10 to 15 years. This age range is only obtainable when the system receives proper maintenance regularly. If you don’t take good care of your unit, it will die much sooner and you’ll be left having to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a brand new system. Be sure to schedule regular maintenance annually or even every six months to ensure that your system lasts for its projected life expectancy.

4. Ensure The Functionality of Your AC

In Hawaii, it’s imperative to have a fully functional air conditioner year-round. Many people experience periods of the year without a working AC because they fail to schedule a regular AC tune-up. If you want to remain comfortable in your home all year and not feel the effects of a dysfunctional AC, it’s best to rely on a local expert technician for regular maintenance. A certified specialist will always be sure to inspect and assess every aspect of your unit and provide you with an itemized list of what needs repairs.

Does Your AC Need A Tune-Up?

No problem! Island Comfort is a family-owned, certified, professional AC service that has been lending a helping hand to the communities of Oahu and Kauai for years! Our licensed and expert technicians have experience in all facets of AC maintenance and would love to show you why we are considered a five-star service! Contact us today for a tune-up!   

Attic Insulation: How It Improves the Efficiency of Your HVAC System

October 5th, 2021

Homes with attics often experience issues with their HVAC system. Don’t worry—this may not be the result of a damaged or dysfunctional unit. More often than not, insufficient attic insulation is the culprit in the inefficiency of an HVAC system.

House attic insulation and renovation. Drywall construction

Why Isn’t My Insulation Working?

Poor attic insulation makes it more challenging to cool your house to a specified temperature. This often results in the increased wear and tear of your HVAC system, causing critical malfunctions, system failure, and increased electric bills as your unit works overtime to heat your home adequately. Proper insulation will trap indoor air and provide a more comfortable indoor climate.

What Are the Best Types of Insulation?

Choosing the right type of insulation for your home is the first step in improving the efficiency of your HVAC unit. There are four different types of insulation, all of which vary to some degree. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these variants and choose the one that sounds like the best choice for you! 

Blown-in Insulation

Blown-in (loose-fill) insulation is easily adjustable to any shape of attic space and its parameters. This form of insulation is a favorite among homeowners and is relatively simple to add to your home. HVAC technicians can blow it into open or inaccessible areas, making it easier to install than other types of insulation.

Rigid Board Insulation

The roof shell, headers, and slabs beneath the ground make for perfect places to install rigid board insulation. This type of insulation does a phenomenal job of slowing the flow of air and humidity, thus keeping your home’s temperature comfortable. HVAC techs must properly install rigid board insulation to ensure maximum coverage.

Batt Insulation

You’ll most likely find batt insulation in homes aged 10 to 50 years. Batt insulation consists of large and puffy insulation sheets that are easy to install in walls and attics. Although this form of insulation is inexpensive and adheres to any homeowner’s budget, it also maintains its efficiency for decades.

Spray Foam Insulation

There are two forms of spray foam: open-cell or closed-cell. Both forms of insulation serve to avoid thermal loss, seal humidity, and serve as an air barrier. This type of insulation is also known to maintain its value for years.

Benefits of Attic Insulation

Not only does proper attic insulation ensure the comfortability of your home, but it also provides many other benefits. These benefits include lower electric bills, better indoor air quality, less wear and tear to your HVAC, and an overall safer home structure. 

When air escapes through your attic, your HVAC senses that it isn’t meeting the desired indoor temperature. Your system must then work overtime to keep the temperature constant, resulting in significant increases in energy consumption and higher electric bills.

This escape of air and the resulting overworking of your HVAC can also lead to more wear and tear on your unit that will require repairs from services. Avoid this by insulating your attic and maintaining the warm air you essentially pay your HVAC to produce!

Your air quality also improves with better insulation. Unfiltered air contains dust, dirt particles, dander, pollen, bacteria, and other substances that can be harmful to your health. Avoid this by adequately insulating your attic, thereby preventing the unfiltered circulation of contaminated outdoor air with your filtered indoor air. 

Proper insulation will also reduce heat and moisture damage to your home. It avoids and erodes water vapor so that the structural integrity of your home remains uncompromised. This insulation also prevents mold and mildew growth!

Do You Need Professional Assistance?

Whether you require an HVAC service for routine maintenance, repairs for your HVAC system, or a professional to install sufficient attic insulation, Island Comfort has you covered! Our technicians are pros when it comes to the best attic insulation and have years of experience providing homeowners with the insight and services they require to keep their Hawaii home comfortable year-round! 

Discover our story and give us a call at (888) 781-0364 after reading up on why we’re recognized as a five-star service! 

6 Common Reasons Why Your AC Is Not Turning On

September 28th, 2021

You’ve invested in an air conditioner, so it’s only right that you get what you’ve paid for. It can be extremely frustrating to have a dysfunctional AC, let alone one that refuses to turn on. But don’t worry! There are many common reasons that an air conditioner won’t turn, and many of these problems have simple solutions. 

ac tech

With the help of our team, we’ve compiled a listing of all the reasons for why your AC may not be turning on, as well as both standard and complex solutions to your problem.

1) Clogged Air Filter

Changing your air filters is extremely important when it comes to the proper operation of your AC unit. Clean air filters ensure proper airflow. When dirt, dander, hair, dust, or other materials accumulate, the airflow becomes restricted. When your air filters are dirty, the humidity that’s normally absorbed from your home freezes and covers the coils with layers of ice. This can cause a need for immediate AC repairs. The best way to avoid this issue is changing your air filters regularly and cleaning your home frequently. 

2) Tripped Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers were designed to shut off when they receive or detect an electricity overload. Breakers often trip when too many appliances are used at once or when a single appliance is old and uses too much electricity. When the circuit breaker trips, your AC won’t turn on. The best way to avoid this is to be conservative in your electricity and appliance usage.

3) Dysfunctional Thermostat

The thermostat for your unit serves as the control panel and acts as the most integral part of your system. If your thermostat is outdated, blank, broken, or needs batteries, it can prevent your AC from turning on. Some of these problems have simple solutions like replacing batteries or running a diagnostic test. However, in some instances, your thermostat may need to be replaced.

4) Faulty Motor

If you’ve experienced strange noises coming from your AC before it turned off completely, the issue may be a faulty motor. Capacitor tests are great at determining whether or not your motor still has some life in it. However, these tests are best left to those that are qualified in air conditioner repairs.

5) Dirty Condenser Lines

Another reason why your AC isn’t working may be due to dirty condenser lines, which get dirty the same way that air filters do. Condenser lines can be cleaned by locating your condenser unit outside of your home, lifting the lid, and using a wet or dry vac to get rid of the debris inside. Make sure to turn off the power source that feeds electricity into your AC before doing this. If this sounds too dangerous or complicated for you, contact a professional

6) Dirty Evaporator Coils

The same dirt, dust, dander, and hair can build up on your evaporator coils just as they come together in your filters or your condenser lines. Your AC is full of components that are likely to accumulate debris. This build-up can be the reason why your unit won’t turn on. You should schedule regular AC maintenance to ensure that your air conditioner is operating at its full capacity.

Do You Need Additional Assistance With Your AC?

No problem! At Island Comfort, we pride ourselves on extending our services to the local community members of Oahu and Kauai. You’re not in this alone. If your AC isn’t working and you require the expertise of one of our qualified technicians, contact us today!

High Electricity Bills And Other Signs Of AC Refrigerant Leaks

September 21st, 2021

AC refrigerant leaks pose many problems for homeowners. One of the most inconvenient problems is an increase in costs associated with electricity bills. But there are also health risks, potential air conditioner malfunctions, and other harmful implications associated with coolant leaks.

tech checking for AC refrigerant leak

An AC refrigerant leak often warrants immediate repairs from a qualified technician. But before scheduling for repairs, it’s important to recognize the signs of a refrigerant leak. These leaks can be hard to identify, which is why we have composed a series of indications that your system is leaking coolant.

Join us as we provide insight regarding signs of refrigerant leaks and help you to understand how these symptoms impact you, your loved ones, and the functionality of your AC.

High Electricity Bills

When the cooling component of your AC isn’t operating as it should, it can cause your air conditioner to work overtime. This increases kilowatt usage and ultimately causes an increase in costs associated with your electric bill. Take some time to compare your previous electric bills with your current ones to determine the difference in costs. Have your most recent bills skyrocketed and you have noticed any of the following signs of a refrigerant leak? Then it may be time for AC repairs.

1) Long Cooling Cycles

The duty of refrigerant in the cooling process is to absorb the heat from inside your home and expel it outside. When a leak is present, coolant levels deplete. When a system’s refrigerant levels get too low, it takes longer for your AC to cool your home. This will cause your system to work harder and longer than usual to reach the desired temperature. You may also find yourself constantly lowering the thermostat simply for your home to reach the previously desired temperature. 

2) Hissing Noises

Hissing noises are typically a result of cracks or holes in the coils that circulate refrigerant. If the coolant in your unit is leaking through a relatively large hole, these hissing sounds could develop into a larger more prominent gurgling sound. Any noises emitting from your air conditioner should be taken seriously and checked out by a  qualified AC technician

3) Frozen Evaporator Coils

The most common sign of a coolant leak in your system is the formation of ice on your evaporator coils. When inadequate refrigerant levels circulate through your evaporator coils, the coils will not sufficiently absorb heat. This will cause the condensation on the coils to freeze and could result in a complete breakdown of your AC system, causing expensive repairs. It is highly recommended to monitor your evaporator coils regularly. If ice is forming, you may have a refrigerant leak.

4) AC Failing to Distribute Cold Air

This is undoubtedly the most apparent sign that your AC is leaking refrigerant. When your unit is failing to distribute cold air, check all vents to determine if the issue is constant and present among all vents. If the air emitting from all vents is not cold, you may have a coolant leak.

Do You Have A Refrigerant Leak And Require Repairs?

Don’t worry! If you live on Oahu or Kauai, you’re in luck! Island Comfort has been providing the members of our Hawaiian communities with the AC services required to repair refrigerant leaks for many years. If you have questions, comments, concerns, or require the service of one of our qualified technicians, contact us today! One of our specialists would be happy to assist you and provide you with some tips and tricks to avoid refrigerant leaks in the future.