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Foundation House in Sonora

We got a call to come out and give an estimate on a home that had been using swamp coolers to cool for the past 20+ years. Customers wanted to put in a traditional ducted system for heating and cooling. The home is 3 bedrooms plus a man-cave type room and then the kitchen/living/dining are all open concept. There is multiple occupants and an infant in the home so the ability to operate each room at its own temp was very intriguing to the customer. Also, the kitchen had a finished basement under it so ductwork would have needed to go through their basement area to feed kitchen.

Problem: Swamp cooler doesn’t keep up after 95*. Swamp cooler brings in smoke from forest fires, pollens, dust, smog. Difficult to get ductwork through crawl space. Several occupants that would like zone control per room.

Solution: We installed a 5 zone Mitsubishi ductless mini split giving them zone control for each room as well as the living room. With whisper quiet technology they don’t have to worry about noise. This cleaned up air quality in the home and offered a solution to get around the basement as there is no ductwork.

This house was on foundation but it was actually built out about 5’ on the back side of the home. We installed special track pieces to hide the refrigerant lines and keep a nice clean look all the way to under the home.

The front side of the home was all brick and we needed to be able to put a unit in the room, so using an interior wall we where able to mount the head unit and pop out the back into the closet of a bedroom next to it. We ran the refrigerant line down the inside of the closet in track so its well hidden and cant be damaged, then dived under the floor and out to the outdoor unit.

The out-door we set on the back side of the home, on a prefabricated sound damping pad. Electrical came all the way from the other side of the home, through the attic and out the back side to the outdoor condenser.

Another professional install in the books….

19 Essential Tips for Surviving Severe Allergies in Angels Camp

Allergies. Ugh. Just the word alone sends some people into a sneezing frenzy. There are numerous allergy medications to help people who suffer from seasonal allergies, but that’s not your only line of defense. Here are 19 tips to not only survive, but also thrive, during allergy season.

Self Care Tips

  1. Keep your sinuses clean using a nasal irrigation system. Severe allergies don’t stand much of a chance when you regularly clean your nasal cavity and your nostrils with a saline solution. Doing this daily – or even twice a day during allergy season – makes a big difference.
  1. Leave your shoes at the door. Wearing shoes inside your house tracks allergens everywhere you walk. Instead, create a space near your front entrance where you can leave your shoes.
  1. Wear a mask anytime you’re cleaning your house or working in the lawn.
  1. Take a break from your house after you finish chores. It’s normal for dust and other particles to remain in the air for a while once you’re done cleaning. Run an errand, go out to eat, or visit with a friend for a few hours to help prevent your allergies from flaring up.  
  1. Make your bedroom a pet-free zone. This is the best way to protect yourself from pet dander, a source of severe allergy problems. If you can’t bear the thought of Fido and Fluffy slumming it in the hallway, wash your bed linens more often.

Cleaning Tips

  1. Get rid of the clutter. Piles of boxes, unworn clothing, and undusted trinkets are a haven for dust mites (and even cockroaches), which produce allergic reactions in many people.
  1. Use household rags only once, especially if you use them to dust. When you use cleaning rags, use hot water when you wash them to clear out any allergens that may linger in the fabric.
  1. Get rid of mold immediately. If you see mold on any hard surface, use detergent and warm water to wipe it away. Allow the surface to air dry completely. If you have mold on your shower curtain, toss it in the washer (or toss it in the trash if you can’t wash it). You can enjoy a nice fabric shower curtain with a cheap liner, and just replace the liners as needed.
  1. Wash your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases weekly in hot water, and dry on the highest temperature setting available on your clothes dryer. If you have a kid with severe allergies, also wash any stuffed animals she sleeps with.  
  1. Use a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to clean your carpets and furniture at least once a week. The HEPA filter helps reduce the number of allergens in the air. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and replacing your HEPA filters regularly.
  1. Skip shampooing your carpets. It may seem counter-intuitive, but moisture left in your carpet after it’s cleaned can cause an increase in mold and dust mites.
  1. Don’t forget your patio. Often, dust from your front porch or back deck is tracked inside as people come in and out of your home. Regularly cleaning those areas means fewer allergens in your house.

Household Tips

  1. Avoid scented soaps, cleaners, and detergents. Fragrance-free products are better if you have severe allergies.
  1. Use dust-proof covers on your pillows and on your mattress to keep dust mites out.
  1. Take down curtains or horizontal blinds used as window coverings. Roll shades are best because they don’t trap dust or allergens.
  1. Reduce moisture in damp basements by regularly using a dehumidifier. Make sure to keep the unit clean and keep the water bucket empty.
  1. Filter the air inside your home. Mitsubishi Electric cooling and heating systems use a sophisticated multi-part filter system to reduce allergens from the air as it circulates within a room.
  1. Keep your windows closed. If temperatures start to rise, turn on your air conditioner to keep your severe allergies under control.
  1. Evaluate the types of flooring in your home. Carpet traps allergens; you’ll have fewer reactions if you switch to vinyl, tile, or hardwood floors. When choosing rugs, opt for small rugs that are easy to throw in the washing machine.

Performance Based Heating & Air works with allergy sufferers every day to find the HVAC system that’s best for you. In addition to the filter system, you can add an anti-allergen filter to your HVAC unit. This filter, available on select Mitsubishi Electric cooling and heating systems, helps trap dust, pollens, mites and other particles that plague allergy sufferers. With regular cleaning, these filters can last up to 10 years! Download a Product Guide to learn more.

Has Your Heating & Cooling System Kept Up with the Times?

Over the past couple of decades, advancements in technology have radically changed, well, most everything. We no longer communicate the same, work the same, socialize the same, study the same, or even drive the same.

So, why are we trying to heat and cool our homes the same?

What are the Limitations of Most HVAC Systems?

Most traditional heating and cooling units installed in homes across America are designed to heat homes only when temperatures remain at or above freezing. Many also have limitations when it comes to cooling homes in temperatures that regularly soar above 100 degrees F, especially in very dry climates.

Traditional HVAC units are also considered “disposable” items. In other words, they aren’t made to last. They’re designed and manufactured to give the homeowner a couple of decades of service — at most — undergoing a critical failure somewhere around the 15 to 20 year mark, at which time repairs are more costly than replacing the unit. Replacement HVAC units typically cost between $6,000 and $12,000 (or more), a hefty investment for something with such a limited lifespan.

Both of these issues are significant for those living in Northern California, where temperatures regularly dip into the teens and consistently soar well above 100 degrees. Property values and labor costs are also high, meaning more expense when it comes to repairing and replacing those aging heating and air conditioning units.

What Heating and Cooling Solutions are Available for the Modern Homeowner?

You don’t carry your flip phone from 2009. You don’t use Windows Vista anymore, and you’ve likely swapped that massive desktop tower for a sleeker, more portable laptop or notebook. So, why are you stuck with that outdated HVAC system?

Performance Based Heating & Air (PBHA) recognizes that technologies have changed, and they’re offering homeowners the chance to get away from outdated HVAC systems and into the next wave of heating and cooling technology.

Why Mitsubishi?

There are only a scant few heating and air conditioning systems on the market that offer the latest advancements in HVAC. Only one provides top-notch back-end support by self-manufacturing their own parts and unmatched quality control measures and customer service. That’s why PBHA chooses to specialize in Mitsubishi Electric ductless solutions. Mitsubishi tracks every part they make and sell on their heating and cooling units. This allows them to quickly and positively identify any design or manufacturing issues, so that parts, and hence their HVAC units, are continually improving. This attention to quality keeps Mitsubishi ductless systems at a staggeringly low 8% failure rate.

Why Ductless Heating & Air?

But quality isn’t the only thing PBHA loves about Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling solutions. Perhaps an even better selling point is the ability to heat and cool via zones, instead of a one-size-may-or-may-not-fit-all heating and cooling system.

Have you ever been miserably cold in one room, while your family members complain that they’re roasting in another area of the house? Is your home constructed in a way that makes ductwork difficult or impossible? Perhaps you’ve added rooms to your home and your current unit isn’t up to the added stress.

Did you know that most homes are equipped with HVAC systems that are too large? This means the unit kicks on and off too frequently, never quite getting the building comfortable, while driving up energy bills significantly.

Ductless, zoned heating and cooling means several things:

  • All your rooms are perfectly comfortable, all the time.
  • You can adjust for areas of the home or building that aren’t used frequently, keeping energy costs down.
  • Family members can enjoy different temperature settings when there are both cold-natured and hot-natured inhabitants.
  • If your home construction inhibits or prevents ductwork, you can still have an amazingly cozy home.
  • You don’t have to have separate heating and cooling units. Mitsubishi Electric ductless solutions both heat and cool in one unit.
  • These units are quiet! If the constant chugging and churning of your heating and air system drives you mad, a ductless unit by Mitsubishi operates quietly, efficiently, and effectively, never bothering your TV watching and phone conversations or interrupting your peace of mind.
  • Ductless systems are ideal for those with chronic allergy conditions.
  • Heating and cooling room additions is literally a breeze!

Performance Based Heating and Air is a family-owned-and-operated company in Angels Camp. Don’t pay too much. Don’t trust a shady, fly-by-night HVAC tech who only wants your hard-earned money. Don’t believe that all units are created equally, or that a good unit will serve you well if installed by a hack!

Call PBHA in Angels Camp today to see how ductless is the way of the future for you, your home, and your family! 209-591-5168

6 Ways to Know You’re Being Conned by Your Heating & Air Technician

It’s too easy for everyday homeowners to fall victim to a heating and air conditioning scam. Their goal is to get your hard-earned money, but we’re here to help you protect it. Here are a few ways to identify a con by your heating and air technician.

“You’ll See an Improvement in a Few Days”

Almost every replacement part on a heating and air conditioning unit should start working immediately. Unfortunately, scam artists tell you it will take a few days to get better. And then when you call back saying it’s not better… you find out they took your money and ran off.  

If you need a part replaced on your HVAC unit, stand and watch the old part being removed and the new part being replaced. Before you use a company, read their online reviews. If they’re going to scam you, chances are they’ve scammed others before.

“You Need a New One”

Yes, parts go bad. But a common con is to show you a perfectly good part and say it needs to be replaced. How do you know if the part is really bad and needs to be replaced? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your home’s HVAC system heating and cooling properly?
  • Is the unit making strange noises? Or is it noisier than usual?
  • Is there a strange smell coming out of your vents?

If the answer is no to all of these questions, it’s a red flag. If the technician tells you one of the parts, like a compressor, is bad… do a quick Internet search and see what the signs are. If you’re in doubt, get a second opinion before giving them any money.  

“I’m Calling from (Company Name)”

If someone contacts you from out of the blue, even if they’re from a reputable company you’ve heard of, it could be a scam. Con artists target the HVAC industry by using the names of honest companies and gaining access to customer homes with the promise of a free inspection.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up and call the company yourself to verify the information. And if a technician comes to your home in an unmarked vehicle, feel confident that you’re about to be scammed.

“You Need a Bigger Unit”

Bigger isn’t always better. Some sneaky technicians will recommend the biggest unit they sell without considering the size of your building. The purchase price is more expensive, and it’s more expensive to install. What they don’t tell you is that an oversized unit is also more expensive to run because it will turn on and off too often, running inefficiently while driving up energy costs.

Before you upgrade to a larger unit, ask how they determined the unit size necessary for your square footage. If they can’t provide you with a formula, look for a different technician.

“You’re in Luck! I Have One in my Truck.”

Everything seems okay until the technician finds a bad part in your HVAC unit, and he just happens to have a used replacement in his truck. This is a scam. Quality technicians won’t install a used part in your unit because there’s no way to guarantee it will work for an extended amount of time. Used parts can put a strain on other parts of the unit, they reduce efficiency, and they usually stop working after just a few weeks. If a technician has a used part on his truck, it’s because he took it off another client’s unit (because it wasn’t working).

You Need a Tune-Up Every Season

Tune-ups are absolutely necessary to keep your heating and air system running efficiently, but you only need one tune-up every year. In areas with extreme climate fluctuations, an air conditioning tune-up in the spring and a heater tune-up in the winter isn’t a bad idea. But some companies recommend a tune-up before every season. That’s four times a year (some recommend even more), but it’s completely unnecessary when the unit is in good working order.

When it comes to identifying a heating and air conditioner con, take advantage of modern technology. Easy access to the Internet can help you investigate companies before they arrive, and it can also help you know what symptoms are and aren’t legit. Don’t underestimate the power of perhaps the least technological tool of all… your instinct. If a situation doesn’t feel right, for any reason, reschedule and get a second opinion.

Have you encountered a heating and air technician that was a con artist? Let us know in the comments.

How Much Does a Ductless Heating & Air Conditioning System Cost?

Quality is important in a heating and air conditioning system, as is knowledgeable and experienced installation, the type of unit you choose, and where it’s installed in the building. But almost all consumers want to go into the selection and purchase decision armed with very specific information: “What’s all this going to cost me?”

Knowing what to expect when it comes to home projects is an important part of the process. If you’re considering a Mitsubishi ductless heating and air conditioning system, this handy guide will help you determine the cost.

Starting Prices for Ductless Heating & Air Conditioning Units

The prices below are starting prices… this is the lower estimate of what it will cost to purchase one of our ductless heating and air conditioning units.

  • Single zone systems start at $2,700 and go up to about $5,000
  • 2 zone systems start at $5,000 and go up to about $8,500
  • 3 zone systems start at $7,000 and go to about $10,500
  • 4 zone systems start at $9,000 and go up to about $15,000
  • 5 zone systems start at $11,000 and go up to about $17,000
  • 6 zone systems start at $13,500 and can go up to about $20,000
  • 8 zone systems start at $16,000 and can go up to about $25,000

Important note: if your home would normally require two HVAC systems, then you’ll want to consider a 6 zone system or an 8 zone system for your ductless heating and air conditioning unit.

What Could Affect the Cost

The cost to install a ductless heating and air conditioning unit could vary depending on a few factors, including:

How difficult it is to install the unit could change the cost. If your attic is small or difficult to access, or if custom parts are required during your installation, it could increase the cost of your new HVAC unit. Another consideration is the age of your home; if you own a historic home and want to tie your new heating and air conditioning system in… it could increase the cost. Ductless heating and air conditioning companies not only charge for parts, but they also charge for labor. Jobs that require more labor will be more expensive.

The size of your home. The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is used to measure the energy used for heating and cooling. The amount of energy used to cool a square foot of your home is roughly 25 BTUs, so multiply the number of square feet in your home by 25 to get the base BTU measurement. If your home has ceilings over eight feet tall, multiply the base BTU amount by 25%. That will help determine the exact cost to install a ductless heating & air conditioning system in your home.

How many zones you want in your home. With a Mitsubishi ductless HVAC system, you have the option to create zones for all of the rooms in your house. This means that some of them are on, some of them are off, and there can be different temperatures in each room. This adds up to huge energy savings but can increase the cost of installation.

Remember the Energy Savings

Zoned temperature controls that are possible with a Mitsubishi ductless heating & air conditioning system add up to significant energy savings when you get your utility bill each month. Our customers usually save about 50% on their electrical bill in the summer, and 60% on their electrical bill in the winter for those who use a standard heat pump for heat. If you use propane in the winter, expect a 25% savings.  

When you compare the installation costs of a ductless heating & air conditioning system from Performance Based Heating & Air to a conventional HVAC system, the numbers are very similar. But when you add in the energy savings, there’s no question about what makes the most financial sense. Questions? Ready to get your quote? Contact us today!

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Schedule a free consultation

Schedule a free consultation!

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