Fully Insured Exemplary Heating and Air Conditioning Company in Sonora, California..
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Proudly Serving The California Counties Of Tuolumne & Calaveras
Welcome to Performance Based heating and Air, are you interested in fewer breakdowns? Longevity of equipment? Energy consumption? Comfort? Then I encourage you to read some of my home page and navigate through the site. There is Facebook and YouTube available from here as well.
WHAT WE DO
We specialize in Service/Repair, Installation of new equipment, Duct design and installation, Change outs, Mini splits, New construction(Although rare, I’ll explain below), Renovations, Add-ons, Heat load calculations, Evaporative coolers, Gas furnaces, Heat pumps, Package units.
THE PRICE SHOPPER
Have you ever gone to different dealerships to buy a car? Or found something on eBay or amazon that costs less then everywhere else? Maybe even scored a deal with something lightly used for half price? Well I can honestly say I sure have, and I’ll do it again I’m sure. This is what many people call price shopping, and I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it. That car that you shopped around for, that toaster, coffee pot, refrigerator, washer & dryer, well these things are plug and play items, so no matter where you buy them they are all going to be equal. The same car sold at 6 car lots is the same car and it doesn’t matter which lot you buy from, so it makes total sense to buy from the one offering the best deal. That toaster just plugs into the wall and you’re good to go. But buying a heating and air conditioning unit? Well it’s a different story! This system has to be put together, and while it might seem like an easy task, it takes real talent to install a system that performs at manufacturer specifications. If you are looking for a company to install a system for you, please continue to read down below as I will lay out what makes a Contractor good. Whether you use me or someone else at least you will have enough information to make an educated decision. But first let me talk about service/repair work, and a few things to watch out for.
I charge a $90 service call fee, meaning the minimum payment is going to be $90. I do not charge $90 per hour, meaning if it takes me 3 hours to figure out what’s wrong it’s still $90. Parts replacements are all flat rate prices, so once I know what’s wrong I will tell you what it costs to repair. The $90 service call fee is tied into the repair cost if a repair is needed, so if a contactor is bad the repair cost would be $225 TOTAL. If you decided to not do the repair it would be the $90. I accept checks, cash, and credit cards.
I am a N.A.T.E(North American Technical Excellence) certified technician, I hold 6 certifications. I am NCI(National Comfort Institute) certified, I hold 4 certifications. Both are nationally recognized HVAC certifications. I am the only certified member listed in the entire Motherlode for both entities. That’s like saying I’m the only ASC mechanic in the Motherlode. Kind of shows the quality of the HVAC field in our area.
I have been to so many training classes, have years of schooling and continue on a daily basis to study the HVAC trade, a student of the trade if you will. And I have resources at my fingertips with hundreds of years of collective experience I can tap into, none of them are local. There just isn’t any good information to be found on this mountain; everybody I have met uses rules of thumb and bad practices.
I won’t turn anybody loose to work for my company without proper training or shadowing; my brother is currently training with me now and will not be in a service van by himself until completing 1 year of training with me. I don’t believe that a customer should pay for someone’s education by allowing them to practice on their equipment. The problem with service technicians learning on your equipment is they become what we call in the industry professional parts changers; they don’t know what’s wrong so throw a few parts at it to find out. If they can’t fix it they’ll punt and try to sell new equipment. And do you think that the company they work for is going to say anything about a technician with higher service call tickets? No! As a matter fact they encourage it. You won’t get that here, if I can’t diagnose the problem I won’t change a part without telling you what I found. And if you’re willing to go with me when I look at your system I encourage that too, you’re more than welcome to stay the entire time, ask me any questions you want, doesn’t bother me a bit.
Be aware of the sales tech, this is the guy dressed up as a technician but pitches sales, beware of the maintenance contract it’s just a way to practice their sales every 6 months. Beware of maintenance or service call fees that are too low, that is just a gimmick to get their foot in the door then they gouge you with repair prices or sell you things you don’t need to make up for the low fee they used to get in the door. Understand that the HVAC industry has turned into big time sales and they are smarter than you!
INSTALLATION OF NEW EQUIPMENT/WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CONTRACTOR
Let’s start with what a new installation should look like.
1. Sit down and talk with customer to figure out what their needs and wants are!
2. Run a static pressure test on current system to see how much air the duct system is moving and whether there needs to be corrections made before installing new system.
3. Talk about the job, the design, the installation practices, NOT THE EQUIPMENT! The equipment is only as good as the install, practically all equipment, aside from one option or another is the same. If the contractor is telling you all about the equipment, the warranties, how long they been in business, and not about the technical aspects of the job, it’s because they don’t know what they are doing. Period! Any good tradesman will talk to you about the install, any good sales man will talk to you about the equipment.
4. Do a manual J load calculation to determine size of equipment needed
5. Do a manual D duct design to ensure new equipment is not stressed out and can move enough air.
6. Check refrigerant levels with superheat and subcooling
7. Check combustion analysis to ensure unit is heating properly and safely
8. Do a duct test and permit if required
9. Manual RS, commissioning of your work, testing to insure it is doing what you designed it to do. At the bare minimum, MAKE SURE YOU MAKE THEM DO A STATIC PRESSURE TEST. This is a very simple test to check if airflow is correct. Most equipment is designed to run at .50 and it says it right on the nameplate. Without the right airflow your system is going to be stressed out. If they don’t know what this test is, or can’t do it, RUN very fast.
10. I will discuss this stuff in more detail further down the page, now that you have this knowledge don’t tip your hand, let said contractor come in and talk to you about the job, let him get comfortable and do his sales pitch. THEN ask him about these things mentioned and see what he says! If he doesn’t know then you are not talking to a tradesman you’re talking to a sales man. It’s your money you’re spending, but I highly recommend finding another company. Sales men go to school to learn how to sell not install.
So how do you find a Contractor to do this job for you? Well you can start with 3 bids, but honestly you may not find anybody that knows what this stuff is if you did 10 bids. There is a lot of good Contractors out there don’t get me wrong, but we are badly out numbered. You can ask for references, check yelp, YP(yellow page reviews), Angies list, ask your friends, or even 3B ratings? Sure these are all great resources, but I’ve seen many of these very companies fail miserably installing equipment, and nobody knows because they don’t do any kind of testing to confirm their work. One might think that if someone has their contractor license they must know what they are doing, but in actuality the contractor’s test is hardly a test of knowledge. You need not prove HVAC competence to get an HVAC license! And those reviews your reading, well they likely came from awesome customer service!
Let me reiterate the price shopper. When looking for a contractor remember HE is the last person on the assembly line, HE is the one that puts it all together, and boy does that job matter. You can start off with a Porsche and end up with a lemon, and the likelihood that with all your research and prepping it still happens is high, very high!
In 2015 I tested approximately 350 units for proper airflow, meaning that they were moving manufacture designed airflow, 1 unit passed, a handful of about 10 came close. The rest failed miserably, and that means those units energy efficiency isn’t at design either. Stressed out equipment breaks down more frequently, doesn’t live as long as it should, leaves customers with comfort issues and noise issues, and increases run times which increase energy consumption. It’s bad, really bad! And these are from companies with rave reviews, been around for decades.
Let’s talk about equipment brands because of course we want the best, the most reliable, so which one is it? I might burst your bubble but they are all the same! The equipment doesn’t matter, the installation and everything attached to that equipment matters. A good contractor can take any equipment and make it work great. But like I said before it takes real skill to do it right.
Good contractors are in high demand, the time, money and effort used to do a good install is considerably more than those contractors that slap it in. While my prices are often higher than the hacks price, he is making more on the job than me because I use quality products and don’t cut corners, and my time there is ultimately a lot longer than his. The homeowner and the equipment are the real losers in this scenario. The real danger in having a contractor work/install your equipment is not paying too much, but rather paying too little. This is why I don’t do work for many general contractors or new construction, these jobs go to the lowest bidder and I’m not willing to compromise my morals to meet someone’s bid. It costs what it costs to do it right.
So what consists of a good install? Or maybe I should say what do I do that is different than other HVAC companies?
1. Once I know what the customer wants and we have agreed upon the price and work I start with a heat load calculation of the home. This is a measurement of the exterior and sometimes interior of the home. R-values for insulation in walls, doors, windows, siding, and attic are calculated. As well as how the sun hits the home, the size of the windows, and what kind of blinds you have. This information is loaded into software which determines what size equipment I need to install. This calculation is done with ACCA approved software, not some phone app or piece of paper.
2. Next we do a manual D duct design, using the information from the heat load calc we now know how big the ducts need to be to accommodate the airflow for the size of equipment you need. Without these being done it’s all a guess! You might have been told it works off of square footage but that is a big fat lie. A 2000sqft home built in 2010 would never need the same size air conditioner as a 2000sqft home built in 1960
3. Next I compare my heat load calculation to the equipment being installed, because it’s supposed to be 12,000btu per ton, but equipment doesn’t really delivery that. A 3 ton system may only delivery 33,000 out of the 36,000 it’s rated for. This is called manual S. Yes they have a manual for everything but you will be hard pressed to find a HVAC contractor that knows this.
4. We live in a dry climate, so we can run lots more air through an air conditioning system then a humid place. It’s rarely understood by other companies and even more rarely done, but I consistently design systems that push 550cfm per ton. Industry standard is 400cfm per ton and almost all of the systems in the motherlode that I tested are closer to 275-350cfm per ton. This is where that static pressure test needs to be done; it’ll tell you if your system is operating well or not so well.
5. I have to special order all kinds of stuff because our supply house doesn’t carry it. High performance evaporators, 20” ducts, 20” adjustable 90’s, R8 silver backed insulation, 20×36 filter grills. All the things needed to design and build a performance HVAC system.
6. I charge air conditioning systems using superheat and subcooling; this is the only way a system should be charged. Most techs use pressures, which is absurd and leads to under and overcharging and damaging of equipment.
7. I use a micron gauge to make sure the system doesn’t have any leaks. A micron gauge reads from -500 up to 1000 in increments of 10. Most companies don’t even own one and just use their refrigerant gauges which read -500 to 1000 in increments of 500. There’s just no way to pick up a small leak reading increments of 500.
8. I braze with nitrogen, this is not very well known either, but without it burned metal flakes will form inside your copper lines. So what I’m saying is when copper lines are welded without nitrogen being purged through the line, metal flakes will form and contaminate your system. They will mix with the refrigerant and move around the system. This is a great way to plug up your metering device and cause premature failure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpqxbc9XQ5Y
9. Ducts, by far this is the biggest problem I see in the field, any turns more than 45* get metal adjustable 90*s so the ducts don’t kink and decrease circumference and airflow. On average I use 20 adjustable 90*s per duct system. Very time consuming but imperative to meet the airflow budget. Ducts are pulled tight, strapped loosely, and laid on attic floor if in an attic to keep conduction loss down. I DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE. Duct tape loses its adhesive when heating, if you have duct tape holding your ducts together they will eventually come apart if they haven’t already.
10. I use mixing boxes/plenums for air returns and distributions. Many systems are built with ducts going right into the furnace or coming right out of the evaporator. Horrible design and once again is another airflow problem.
11. Again, the only guy around that is combustion analysis certified by NCI and Jim Davis. I check to ensure system is burning fuel safely and efficiently. I can check water heaters too.
If you can find a company that does some of this stuff you’re way ahead of most, but it may seriously take ten estimates before anybody talks about this kind of technical tradesman ship. If you’re interested in having me do it give me a call, best is to have this as a plan to do it in the off season as installs like this take about a week and I just can’t do them in the dead of summer or winter.
If you’re looking for Home performance, I have spoken and done some work with Tom Danielsen www.buildhomesgreen.com
out of Angels Camp. He is a general contractor that knows more about HVAC than any of the HVAC contractors. I promote his business 100%. Great guy does fabulous work.
He also follows the same practices I follow for HVAC installation.
Heating Ventalation and Air Conditioning Repairs and Installations
Reasons For Selecting Performance Based Air And Heating
Do you need to install an air-conditioning system in your house? Maybe you would like to do something beyond having a few air-conditioning units in the windows. Numerous homeowners will call an HVAC professional who can install a central air and heating system that will keep the house cool during the summer and warm during the winter. The information that follows will demonstrate to you why the best decision you can make to meet this objective is to work with Performance Based Air & Heating.
An HVAC company is able to install a broad range of equipment that has been designed to change the temperature inside your house. The equipment can be used in corporations and large businesses as well, and has been designed for maintaining the air’s equilibrium inside the building that it’s installed in. It can be quite inexpensive. For single family homes it can cost just a couple thousand dollars, while a building may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a good idea to compare the various companies that are available and what they have to offer when it comes to this kind of service. As you are doing this, look for a reputable business offering great pricing.
Air Conditioning Sonora
One of the main reasons individuals call an HVAC company is to get an air-conditioning system installed. There is a wide range of various types, including ones powered by propane, gas, electricity, and those transferring thermal energy. They all can be installed within a fairly short period of time. However, it is recommended for you to get the project start before summer approaches. That will provide you with enough time to assess the various companies that are available, get several bids on the cost, and finally make the best decision. However, you might also want to call one of the businesses that performs repairs on existing HVAC systems that you are having problems with or had installed recently, or an older unit that came with the building or house you have purchased.
Air Conditioning Repair Sonora
The AC unit giving out is one of the more common problems you can have with any air-conditioning and heating system. There are a number of reasons why it can happen including problems with the motor, coolant or filter issues. At times it isn’t a mechanical issue but relates instead to the ducting system transferring cold air to various areas. Over time blockages may form and need to be cleaned. However, most of the problems are usually something that is electrically related. There are also a couple of other reasons for contacting a company that performs air-conditioning repairs. For example, if you didn’t have a backup system for keeping your workers or family cool. For repairs and installations, choosing a Performance Based Air & Heating company that is recommended by so many people is something you can’t really can’t go wrong with.
AC Repair Sonora
Whatever AC repair company you contact should have plenty of experience in handling all of the major issues that relate to air-conditioning units, no matter what their size is. If you had one installed recently, you could just need to contact the company that performed the installation for you and make use of the warranty. A majority of companies will give you six months minimum of parts and repairs that you aren’t required to pay for, which allows you to get your new system up and running again. However, in a larger building the problem might be with the furnace if it relates to its heating system.
Furnace Repair Sonora
It can take a fair amount of time to repair an older furnace. Many parts might not be readily available. If it is a newer system, it can often be repaired quickly, especially if they were constructed recently, and require less than one day in order to get things up and running again. Typically a furnace will last for 10 years or longer, assuming you are using one that has has received lots of positive feedback from actual customers. You’ll want to select a company for the installation that uses only the finest systems that are available and comes highly recommended.
Air Conditioning Installation Sonora
To get an air-conditioning unit installed, you will need to hire a professional HVAC company that operates in your local area. As previously mentioned, the time frame you need to take into account is how soon it is going to be before the hot summer months are here. For example, in the northern hemisphere, that would mean contacting businesses in late February, which would allow you enough time to obtain estimates and get a company started on your project. It would give you enough time to get everything installed and functioning, before the months of April and May.
HVAC Repair Sonora
HVAC firms are also able to perform repairs on any kind of air-conditioning and heating unit. It is also recommended to have them perform maintenance on a regular basis, to ensure that small problems don’t turn into larger and very expensive ones. A majority of websites out there will say they provide repair services, which allows you to quickly choose one. You should always obtain estimates from every company you locate since this can end up saving you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.
Heating Repair Sonora
Whenever your heating system breaks, whether you have a central heating system or old-style baseboard heaters, the HVAC company that you call should know how to repair everything exactly so that it functions properly once more. At times it might take a couple of days to order parts if you have an older style unit. Simple heater repairs can be performed as well.
Heater Repair Sonora
Unless you want to buy a new heating system, you may want to consider having the professionals that perform HVAC repairs take a lot to see what the problem is. It may be something simple like a circuit breaker not working right, or it could be a major failure inside the system. You can talk about the particular kind of heating system you own over the phone. They will then let you know when they can be out to figure out what is wrong. It may also be a good time to ask about having an air-conditioning unit installed if you need one.
AC Installation Sonora
If having an AC unit installed is something you really need, you can get one of these kinds of professionals to do it. If you have a large structure, it is strongly recommended you get a central air unit since purchasing individual AC units will cost a lot more. Another thing that is recommended is that you think about installing both central air and heating. At times they can provide you with a much better deal when everything is installed at once. They also can use the kind of equipment that powers both the air-conditioning and heat throughout your home or facility.
Central Air And Heating Sonora
This is the top pick for many individuals upgrading from window-based air-conditioning units and simple heaters since they are a lot easier to operate. Some individuals still burn pellets or wood, and by switching everything to a system that a thermostat controls, it can save you lots of money and time. You will need to call contractors in order to receive estimates, however the end result will be to get exactly what is needed in order to keep constant temperatures inside your house, as long as a competent HVAC contractor performs the work.
HVAC Contractor Sonora
In most cases, these company have decades or years of experience. The combined experience, in fact, of the company owner, in addition to all employees may be several decades worth, which will help to ensure you receive the best service possible. They can work an estimate up for you in terms of how much it is going to cost to have everything install, even if you need to have a furnace as well.
Furnace Installation Sonora
Once you have decided to have a furnace installed, it is likely this decision is based on having a larger facility like an office building or school. It might be mostly an economic decision, and business owners tend to be motivated to consider this particular option due to the reliability factor that is associated with modern furnaces.
Heat Pump Installation Sonora
HVAC Company Sonora
After you receive all of your estimates, you will then be able to make your final decision and select the HVAC company you think can do the best job for you. Your final decision will be the result of taking into consideration the amount of money that is being charge, how long it is going to take, and the kind of equipment they will be installed.
AC Company Sonora
If you just need to have an air-conditioning unit, you can take advantage of this option. There are sometimes sales available form various HVAC contractors which can help you save thousands of dollars. You might also be able to receive personal recommendations from business owners you know, or family member or friends that have used a good company recently that can assist you with an air-conditioning unit. Spending some extra time searching for the leading air-conditioning company for installations and repairs really does pay off.
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Air Conditioning Company Sonora
You want to choose an AC company with a good reputation within the community. It should be a company that has a proven track record in being able to perform good work at an affordable price. Whether you select one of these types of businesses for installing a new central air system and ducting, or a heating system, you can decide which is going to work best for you based on the estimates you get.
For all of the reasons above, you should strongly consider called a Performance Based Air & Heating company that has an excellent reputation. They should be well known for their excellent service, low prices and the guarantee they provide when doing the installation so that you know it will last. They also can perform repairs on your air-conditioning and heating units. They will definitely do their best to meet all of your needs. After they have finished the work, you will definitely be happy you called a Performance Based Air & Heating company, which is a business you can definitely trust.
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