Episode #002 - Wondering about your A/C? In this episode we visit with Adam A. Acevedo. Adam has been in the Heating & A/C business for 20 years. For the last 7 years he has been licensed and running his own business…(https://youtu.be/NIfYCp0kzRE)
Episode #002 REN Podcast Transcription (Adam A. Acevedo)
Jason: Alrighty, hello everybody. This is Jason Reynolds, and here we are with The Real Estate Now Podcast. And today I've got Adam Acevedo; really excited to have him on today. He actually owns his own HVAC business here in town, and he is the go-to guy for myself and a lot of my other allies in the business. So, today I asked Adam to jump on in, to be with us today. So without further overdue, I've got some questions. But Adam how are you doing today?
Adam: Oh, doing pretty well; another day in the A/C business.
Jason: Yeah. Awesome. Can you elaborate a little bit more on, you know, we talked before we started recording, about the name of your company? How long you've been in HVAC business? And how long you've owned your own company here in the area?
Adam: Sure, sure. Well. First off, I am the second generation licensed air conditioning contractor - been in the business my whole life, going on 20 years now. I had my own license and owned my own business for roughly seven years now. So my company is Adam A. Acevedo Maintenance Services. I, kind of, wanted to be a little unique and make sure nobody could, you know, mistake me for...
Jason: ...for anybody else.
Adam: ...for who I was. Yeah, yeah. So, I put it up there Adam A. Acevedo as the beginning of it, so that everybody would know it - it was me. That being said, I couldn't deny anything, on the flip side. So, you know. Got to own up to everything.
Jason: So, was it your dad who was originally in the business and got you involved in it?
Adam: Yes, that's correct. Yeah, my dad's been in the business for over 30 years and he is a licensed air conditioning contractor, who's at the end of his career. You know, kind of, toning it down and more geared towards retirement and phasing out of the tough grueling work of the being an air conditioning contractor. I tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart, it's a tough job.
Jason: So, what was the earliest you were working on HVAC unit?
Adam: Oh, the earliest I learned how to do brazing and minor electrical work was when I was 17 years old.
Jason: There you go. OK.
Adam: Yeah, 17, sure was.
Jason: You've been doing it a while.
Adam: Yeah, my whole life. Yeah, exactly! 37 now and 38th birthday just around the corner. So, 20 years, for sure.
Jason: Perfect. Well, I wanted to jump on a few questions and kinda pick your brain. It's a lot of questions, you know, I've had. And I have asked you, but I know a lot of other people are curious about too. So I'm gonna jump through some of these questions. The first one I have is, you know, air filters. Being a real estate agent, I've seen perfectly maintained air filters that look like they are changed every week. And also ones that are just clogged like none other. So, you know, can you elaborate on how often you recommend it and does it actually impact life at unit? (3:20)
Adam: Oh, it definitely does. Definitely impacts life and maintenance to the air conditioning in the key. Number one maintenance you can do is the air filter. My recommendations are checking them every thirty days and changing as needed. If it is a situation where it needs to be changed, you know, bimonthly or sometimes it's the situations that it needs to be changed biweekly, even faster, you know. So, excuse me, every other week or every other month -that's what I meant to say. But, you know, checking them every 30 days and then change them as needed as always is a good practice. I tell everybody: "you want to make sure you get a decent grade filter." The pleated somewhere around MERV 7 is the standard equipment protection grade. And that's ideal from servicing stand point.
You know, it's definitely something that's right in the middle, protects the equipment. It'll definitely filter some of the air. A lot of people have higher need with allergies than what we have, so they upgrade the MERV rating, which is a little higher to accommodate allergy protection and things of that sorts. It's everybody's independent needs, so checking them on a regular basis every 30 days, change them as often as needed. Once dirty, they have to be changed. And then, of course, pick a good quality filter which, at the minimum, I would go with equipment protection at a rating of MERV 7. And then, of course, if you need more then get a higher MERV rating on the filter. I wouldn't recommend any less than that, because the standard would be the equipment protection is what you're looking for.
Jason: OK. Is this, in terms of MERV rating, when I am going to Home Depot or Lowes... looking for filters, is this somewhere on their box? (5:37)
Adam: Yes, exactly. It stamped on the side. It's the Minimum Efficiency Rating Value, MERV, and they scale anywhere from zero to, I think, I am not sure, to be honest with you, but maybe fifteen, something like that. You definitely want to, depending on your needs, you can adjust, but it you can make sure you checking them regularly to know how often you need to change them. And then go with at least Minimum Efficiency of 7 for equipment protection. If you need more - more. I won't recommend any less. Some people, you know, if they are out of your filters and they have cheaper one there - it's gonna be maybe MERV rating of 4. Use that as maybe as a temporary solution. But 7 is pretty good number to go with. Home Depot is ideal. The True Blue brand is what I recommend. They come in three pack for around 8.97.
Jason: That's not bad.
Adam: Yeah, good value on the market. No reason to not change your filters when you got something that value at Home Depot easily accessible.
Jason: OK. Taking that and jumping into one thing that's the craze now - a smart thermostats. Whether that's the Nest or, you know, all the kinds are out there. In your opinion, working in HVAC business, do those truly make a difference, in terms of energy cost or is it matter of how you use it? Is it worth the money, in your opinion? Is it more like a tech gadget? (7:00)
Adam: Yeah, in my opinion, it definitely, it pays for itself. Not only in the utility saving you're able to control it from your smartphone. The Nest is actually was the industry leader on the smart thermostats. They are learning thermostat, that actually ...
Jason: Can tell if you are home or not, right?
Adam: Exactly. It'll tell if you're home or not. It'll tell your preferences of heating and cooling when you're away, when you're home. So, it definitely does have energy savings, for sure. On top of that, you know, you are able to control it from your phone. You don't have to get up in the middle of the night to turn it on, or turn it off. Grab your phone from the nightstand and there you go. So, very convenient. Yeah, and the Nest, like I said, they are the industry leader, they have been around for years. They, I think, on their third generation Nest thermostat now. Which, they are pretty common and really available, so everybody’s switching into the Nest thermostat.
Honeywell has a good line which is not as fancy as a Nest. But they are all WIFI capable and so Honeywell PRO - LINE T6 would be something that is a little bit less expensive than a Nest, but definitely a good buy as well - The Honeywell PRO - LINE. They’re definitely worth the money, they're definitely convenient. So, I always do highly recommend them.
Jason: So, one question I had with smart thermostats. One thing I always think about is: "OK, if I get a smart thermostat, I leave the house for, say the workday, for eight hours. And so, it allows the temperature to fluctuate, so the system doesn't have to be on." So, one thought I've always had is: "well, is it using just the same amount of energy?" Because, when I come home, it's gonna be on for maybe 30 minutes cooling the house back down to the level I like vs, you know, over the 8 hours maybe being on an increments. So is it still cheaper doing if off while you are gone? (8:53)
Adam: Well, I'd never recommend just leave it in completely off, because the amount of energy you can have it used on the heavy low, that has been built up is gonna be pretty high cost, cause everything is running at 100% and revved-up trying to cool down that temperature. Then, of course, you got the comfort factor, which gonna take half an hour, an hour sometimes.
We get really hot days, it's gonna take an hour plus, and so in the meanwhile you are unconformable. So, I always tell everybody: "maintaining certain temperature, throughout the day is ideal." Maybe you want to raise it up maybe to 80 - 82 degrees. Something that is a not nearly as hot as keeping it off all day. You come home and it' 90 degrees in your home, I mean you definitely gonna have that…
Jason: Yeah, you don’t want to be home...
Adam: Right, the recovery time is gonna be affected and then, of course, the machine is running at a 100% trying to cool it down. I tell everybody: "maybe raise it up 80 - 82 degrees, as the constant temperature throughout the day." I that way, when you get home, you crack it down to 72 or 75, whatever you like and the recovery time is gonna be shorter, it's not gonna be as much of a load on your air conditioner. It's gonna be able to be more comfortable and not run it at a 100% struggling to catch up when you come home at 6 o'clock in the evening.
The constant temperature throughout the day, but raising it not too, you know, don't keep it at temperature you're comfortable at, raise it up to maybe 80 degrees, 82 degrees. Something like that would be ideal.
Jason: Got you. OK. So, then, you know, going more into systems. And this next one, I am sure we could talk for hours on. But if you could just give a general overview of the types of systems, in terms of gas vs. electric vs. a heat pump. More specifically, what for you has been more efficient for the area we're in, being in Metroplex, in Texas? (11:02)
Adam: Sure, well, we'll start with gas. Gas is my preferred choice of heating system. When it comes to heating, I prefer gas. Secondly, would be heat pump, which is definitely more efficient then just all electric heating. So, if I had to rate them, I'd rate them as from efficiency standpoint would be gas, secondly - heat pump, thirdly - all electric system. So with that being said on air conditioning side, I always recommend the air conditioning at least 16 SEER rating or above. That gives you some efficiency across the board for your air conditioning mode. So that way, the air conditioner can be paired with gas furnace, heat pump or all electric furnace.
If you can - get gas, if not I'll definitely choose heat pump over all electric and then, of course, on the air conditioning side you want to make sure have at least 16 SEER rated equipment or higher.
Jason: So, do you find that most of the times people, if they have a heat pump it's because that neighbourhood doesn't have gas available? (12:32)
Adam: That's correct, yeah. The gas service is not available to the development or to the neighbourhood and so it's all electric. But you definitely want to go with heat pump, especially for our climate region. We don't have very cold winters and so the heat pump is ideal to operate in temperature between 32 degrees and 65 degrees. It's your ideal operating temperature for the heat pump, which is above freezing. And so the heat pump technology is excellent, it saves the heating costs, the electric consumption of the heat pump is a fraction of what the electric consumption of all electric heating elements that come with the all-electric furnace.
So, you're talking about heating costs heat pump is easily 40% more effective at heating, efficient at heating over an electric furnace.
Jason: OK. Yeah, cause with the electric you just have a glorified hairdryer essentially, right?
Adam: Exactly, exactly. They are energy hogs and you turn it on and you can see your meter just spinning.
Jason: So, I want to move more on to the typical lifespans of system. So, say somebody were call you and get a new system installed tomorrow. I want two different kind of scenarios. If they treat it well and change the filters, get the service per your recommendations. How long do you see it lasting? And then, what's the difference if they just don't ever call to get it serviced, don't change the filters. What's the difference that you could see, in terms of how long they last? (13:54)
Adam: The machines, these days, they are built to always withstand the life of the warranty. Which is industry standard 10 years. Especially, more recently, since I want to say 2010, when manufactures geared up and started really competing for the warranty standard, they all made it at 10 years. So, your new machines should last you about 10 years with proper maintenance. You should be able to change the filter and do some A/C spring maintenance and some heating fall maintenance, and that machine is gonna last you the full 10 years with relatively no problems.
Of course, everything depends on usage and personal preferences and things like that which are factors. Sometimes, people don't use it that much and it may last them easily twice as much as the warranty. Or some people use it non-stop, 24 hours a day, which you gonna have a failure and breakdown because everything mechanical wears out.
Adam: And so, you know, with that being said, you should be able to get the full 10 years out of your heating and cooling equipment, because it has a 10-year manufacture warranty. Even, if there are failure or problems, you don't have to worry about them, because the manufacturers covered you for 10 years for the parts. You know, no one is gonna be able to tell you. Or you need everything brad new, because you can just kindly disagree and say: "I just want the bad parts because the manufacturer warranties it."
Adam: Exactly, about 10 years for the brand new are now. On the flip side, somebody never changes their filter, never does the spring maintenance, never does the fall maintenance, runs it constantly and uses it 24 hours a day. Maybe not 24 but quite a bit. And kind of, I call the scenario like kind of "running it to the ground."
I've definitely seen some of that in my experience and, they are roughly, a brand new machine, that's a brand new will roughly last you around 2 years before you have major mechanical failure. You are talking compressor failure or something to that effect, it's just lack of maintenance and running to the ground basically. I’ve seen it about two years old machines and fortunate for them they were able to get everything what was responsible for the manufacturer to warranty to get that taken care of. But, of course, there are labour charges and certain things that manufacture doesn't cover. Like, the refrigerant loss and installation materials and so, it's still costly.
If something could be prevented by having the spring maintenance done and the fall maintenance done, you know, it'd cost around a 100 bucks a year, you know what I mean. You definitely want to take that into consideration. You know, having them serviced: once in the spring, once in the fall. Roughly around 50 bucks a piece, per service. Just ensure everything is running right, everything is working good. You are not gonna be stuck with any kind of manufacture defect. You don't like that where they gonna say: "Hey, we're not gonna cover that it's lack of proper maintenance."
Jason: Right. Well, great. I think we're running up on, we're coming over 15 minutes now, so I want to respect that time limit. You touched base on getting the service a couple of times a year. So, all this information was great. So, one thing is, for those who are listening, how do they contact you? What's the best way to contact you? Phone, email? (17:56)
Adam: Text is the best way or email. I can be texted any time at 817-366-7749, or you can just reach me via email, just my name firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason: OK, perfect. Well, Adam, we appreciate you taking the time and look forward to you do more business in the future.
Adam: Hey, sounds good. Thank you for calling.
Jason: Right, you bet.