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What You Should Know Before You Replace Your A/C

Are you considering whether or not your air conditioner could stand to be replaced/? Maybe your A/c has quit working as efficiently, or you’re after a more energy efficient unit and and you think now might be a great time to get a replacement.  Or, maybe you’ve never thought twice about your A/C and have no idea what you should do.

Whatever your reason for considering upgrading your air conditioner, you’ll want to be prepared with the correct information before making a decision. Check out this handy post to ensure that you are making the right choice when it comes to A/C replacement.

Advice Before Replacing Your Air Conditioner

Advice Replace Air Conditioner

Still Have Questions? Call Us Today!

If you’re still unsure whether a new air conditioner is right for you, we can help. At Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air, our goal is to save homeowners money with better energy efficiency, exclusive savings on services, as well as financing and rebates. We don’t want finances to stand in between you and your comfort at home! Call us today to get in touch with an A/C expert to learn more about the variety of options you have when it comes to upgrading your home’s cooling system: 650-856-3400.

From Around the Web: X Excellent Infographics About Home Improvement

For many individuals, a home is one of the biggest investments they will make in their lifetime. That’s why it is so important for homeowners to understand their home improvement needs, including yearly maintenance and repair concerns.

We at Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating, and Air know how important it is for you to get the information you need to protect your home and keep it running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. That’s why we’ve put together a list of informative infographics that help you better understand your home improvement needs.

Top Home Improvement Infographics

Whether you are a brand new homeowner or you’ve lived in your house for decades, it’s important to understand your home improvement needs. Use the infographics below to educate yourself on basic home improvement:

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

The U.S. Census Bureau gathers important data about the improvements that U.S. homeowners make to their homes. This infographic gives you more information about the top improvements that U.S. homeowners are making and how much they spend each year on home improvement. If you are planning your home improvement budget for the year, this infographic will give you a better idea of what most homeowners choose to focus on and how much you can expect to spend.

United States Census Bureau – Home Improvements

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack

Before investing in home improvement projects, it’s important that you consider your return on investment. Though any home improvement project may make your home a more comfortable environment, some projects are more worth your while because they tend to provide a higher resale value when you are ready to sell your home. This infographic gives a nice breakdown of the projects that will end up paying you back in the end.

Home Improvements That Pay You Pack

 

Drab to Fab: Home Improvements for Less than $1,000

Want to make some improvements to your home without breaking the bank? This infographic offers some awesome tips for affordable home improvement. It gives a simple breakdown of the costs for different improvements you can make in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. It also provides some general tips for saving more money on your home improvement projects. This is a great infographic for the budget-conscious homeowner.

Home Improvements for Less than $1,000

 

Want to find more great, informative content on home improvement topics? Each month, we update our blog with interesting posts on home improvement, HVAC, and energy efficiency topics.

 

4 Best DIY Accounts to Follow on Twitter

The DIY community is all about sharing their tips and tricks for tackling any project big or small. From how-to blogs to inspiring imagery, there is no short of great DIY content on the web. One of the best places to find informative and inspiring content on the latest DIY trends and fun projects is on Twitter. Though there are many DIY-focused Twitter accounts, there are a few that we follow regularly for new ideas, helpful information, and fun inspiration.

Best DIY Twitter Accounts

Whether you’re looking for a how-to video for crafting, a blog post with home improvement tips, or just home design inspiration, you can find it all on Twitter. Here are just a few of our favorite DIY Twitter accounts:

DIY Inspired

@DIYInspired

This Twitter account is brought to you by DIY and craft blogger, Dinah, from www.diyinspired.com. On this Twitter account, she shares links to her blog content which offers tips, tricks, and advice on DIY craft projects. She also shares links to inspiring Pinterest boards as well as helpful DIY craft how-to videos. If you love to get crafty and you are always looking for new ways to improve your home décor, this is a great Twitter account to follow.

DIY Network

@DIYNetwork

The DIY Network is known as the home improvement how-to network, and that’s exactly what it provides – information on how to do just about anything around your home. Their Twitter account offers updates and behind the scenes looks at all your favorite DIY Network programming like Tiny House, Big Living and Building Off the Grid. The social media account also offers links to informative content about how to tackle DIY projects around your home.

Lifehacker

@lifehacker

Lifehacker is a different type of DIY resource than the rest. This Twitter account shares fun and informative articles on all the best tips, hacks, and how-to’s for your home and general daily living. This site covers everything from simple tricks that make using a digital scale easier to answers to life’s biggest questions, like, should I exercise on an empty stomach? This diverse resource is great for those who like learning neat little tips and tricks for making life easier. Just beware of any HVAC hacks!

This Old House

@ThisOldHouse

This Old House provides a wealth of informative content on home improvement, home repair, renovations, and other DIY projects. The Twitter feed is full of great content on everything from how to grow your own garden to affordable upgrades for your home. This is a must-follow account for anyone who is a fan of This Old House programming, or any homeowner who likes to learn more about how they can make affordable and lasting improvements to their own homes.

If you use social media to keep up with the latest in home improvement, be sure to follow us on Facebook. We post regular content on home improvement and HVAC topics, as well as company updates and recent promotions to help you save on all of your Palo Alto heating and air conditioning needs.

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

What the Best Home Improvement Pros Do (And You Should Too)

Whether you just bought your first home or you’ve been enjoying your home for many years, one thing that never changes is that fact that you need to work to maintain your home. While some Palo Alto homeowners may hire experts to take on home improvement projects, others take these projects on by themselves to save a little money and make their home their own. Below, we offer some tips from the home improvement experts that can help you make your next home improvement project a success.

Pro Home Improvement Tips

If you’re ready to kick your home improvement projects up a notch, use this list of pro home improvement tips before you start your next project:

  1. Choose the improvements that add the most value to your home.

There’s a good chance that there are a variety of projects that you could take on around your house to improve the look and feel of your home environment. However, most of us just don’t have the time or resources to invest into every home improvement project that we’d like to take on. If you ask a pro, they’ll tell you that the projects worth taking on are those that will add the most value to your home. For example, adding a wood deck provides a higher return on investment than other remodels or additions, so this is a good project to prioritize.

  1. Get the right tools.

Once you’ve decided to take on any home improvement project big or small, it’s vital that you have the right tools on hand to complete the job successfully. Make sure that your home toolbox has the essential repair tools to take on any simple project. Universal toolboxes include basic tools like a screwdriver set, pliers, an adjustable wrench, claw hammer, and tape measure. For more information, check out this article from Lifehacker, which gives you the low down on how to properly stock your toolkit.

  1. If you can’t handle the project yourself, find a good contractor.

It’s important to recognize whether or not you have the knowledge and skillset to take on certain home improvement projects. Not only can working on a project that’s out of your league be dangerous, but it can also end up costing you even more in the long run as a professional will have to come in and fix the mess anyway. For any projects that you have decided you are not able to do-it-yourself, be sure to find a qualified, experienced, and licensed contractor to complete the job. Again, it may require a significant investment to hire a seasoned pro, but if you settle for a bargain contractor, you may end up having to pay even more down the line to correct the mistakes.

Do you like learning about home improvement? Check back on our blog each month for new content on HVAC, home maintenance, energy efficiency, and other helpful topics for Palo Alto homeowners. Be sure to follow us on Facebook so that you never miss an update from Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air.

The Dangers of DIY HVAC Hacks

 

HVAC system installs aren’t cheap – there’s no denying it. Your home comfort is an investment and we understand that when you can save a few bucks, you do what you can. The best ways to save on HVAC costs are to conserve energy where possible and perform routine maintenance on your system to prevent excess repairs. However, many homeowners are turning to the web to find ‘Hacks’ in preparation to DIY their HVAC and results are COSTLY.

We get it – you DIY your brick patio to avoid hiring a landscaper and maybe it isn’t as pretty. But it sure was cheaper. You looked up kitchen remodel hacks and found that re-staining your cabinets could change the whole look – so you did it yourself and LOVED the results. In the era of the internet, there’s nothing you can’t YouTube! This includes HVAC hacks.

However, trying to ‘hack’ your HVAC system or DIY an install or repair could cost you more money, more hassle, and worse yet, your safety. Unlike in the case of a kitchen cabinet re-up or a landscaping venture, HVAC work requires training and licensure because it is complex and risky. There are two major considerations for why HVAC hacks aren’t worth it

HVAC Hacks are not safe.

A big misconception about the HVAC profession is that it is low-risk. In fact, working with high voltage electricity, dangerous chemicals, and in touchy environs such as attics and crawl spaces – we see our fair share of injuries and take mega risks. Homeowners who take on our repairs or installations thinking there’s no risk are overlooking major hazards. Not only could you injure yourself in numerous ways while working on your system, but you will also put your entire family at risk of air quality contamination from a leak of refrigerant gas or furnace fuel.

HVAC Hacks are unreliable.

As you probably know, the internet is packed with erroneous information. Not everyone is trying to scam you with a flat-out lie, but many people produce content believing it is true, and being WAY off. In the HVAC industry, some technicians have produced helpful, accurate content but it is meant to be shared between trained professionals – not to assist homeowners who don’t have the background knowledge to perform tasks safely. Similarly, content not endorsed by a professional at all is 100% unsafe and runs the risk of being entirely wrong. Don’t take that chance.

HVAC Hacks are not cheaper.

First, you will need to purchase a handful of tools you do not already own – HVAC is a specialty that requires specialized gauges and tools. Without these tools, you simply won’t be able to perform your install or repair to code and if you purchase them, you’ll spend a pretty penny (possibly more than you would to have it professional repaired!). Further, if you make a mistake in your install or repair – which is almost inevitable, since you are not trained – you may end up paying more to repair an even bigger issue or replace your system once damage is irreparable.

With the holidays on the horizon, the desire to save a few bucks is completely understandable. However, the financial implications of DIY HVAC hacks are a bit misunderstood and nothing is more valuable than the safety and comfort of your family this holiday season. For tips on HVAC maintenance you CAN perform yourself, check out more of our heating & cooling maintenance articles here.