Month: March 2020

Technician Helps Woman With Overloaded Orange Tree

349 Alex De La Fuente Oranges Inside - Technician Helps Woman With Overloaded Orange Tree

Service Champions technician Alex was in the backyard of a
Hacienda Heights home checking the water heater when he struck up a
conversation with the homeowner about all her trees.

She had lemon trees, and almond tree, and an orange tree.
She mentioned the last one was dropping oranges in and around her pool, and it
gave Alex an idea for a Good Deed.

“I can help you with that orange tree,” Alex said, and then
he spent about 30 minutes picking oranges off the tree.

It relieved the weight on the tree so it would stop dropping
oranges in the pool.

But Alex wasn’t done – he also got out the pool scooper and
cleaned out the oranges that had fallen in the pool.

The homeowner was very appreciative and ecstatic that Alex
had taken care of this problem.

Together, Alex and the client picked out the good edible
oranges and put them into bags so she could give them to her family and friends
as gifts. And she gave Alex a bag as a thank you for his help.
That’s another outstanding Good Deed for Free – thanks
Alex!

Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

Don’t Make these Common Pluming Mistakes

March 30, 2020

Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

Technician Helps Woman With Overloaded Orange Tree

March 31, 2020

Superior air conditioning service in San Joaquin Hills comes from Service Champions. We are the HVAC contractors homeowners trust most for exceptional results in home comfort, reliability and overall savings.

We love making your home better through superior heating and air conditioning. Plus, making appointments with us is simple. You can speak with our call center representatives. They find the right service at a time best for you. We communicate with you each step of the way. You will know who your specialist is and when he or she arrives. Plus, your specialist comes in a fully stocked company van, so he or she can complete your service in one visit.

Every service is exceptional and our technicians are experts. We promise your complete satisfaction.

Install Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

When do you need new air conditioning service in San Joaquin Hills? The average air conditioner lasts about 10 to15 years, but you might need a replacement before then. This includes homeowners who:

  • Resized their homes
  • Are generally unhappy with their AC
  • Pay too much for cooling
  • Have recurring repairs

HVAC technology has come a long way. Today’s air conditioner can do more for your home comfort than ever before. Plus, you have choices to personalize your unit. For example, if indoor air quality is a priority, we offer air cleaning systems such as:
These systems work alongside the air conditioner and require almost no extra maintenance. Best of all, they neutralize 99.9 percent of all airborne particles and germs. It is a highly efficient method to air cleaning.

When selecting a new air conditioner, work with a technician. Your new unit should be measured and fitted for your home alone, so that it delivers the exact air conditioning that you want and need.

Repair Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

Every air conditioner needs repairs at one point or another. It’s an excellent way to restore safe, efficient and reliable cooling. Repairs help your unit stay clean and healthy. Plus, they extend the service lifespan of your cooling equipment, so you can use it longer.

To keep service costs low and to protect the AC unit, be sure that you know when you need repairs and to call as soon as you can. Procrastinating on repairs allows problems to spread, causing complications, high service costs and permanent damage.

Any behavior out of the ordinary signals the need for technical help. This includes:

  • Foul or bad odors
  • Irregular cycles
  • Loud noises
  • Inaccurate temperatures
  • Loss of control
  • Higher energy bills

What kind of repairs might you need? Common AC repairs include those for:

  • Clogged condensate lines
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Air duct leaks
  • Troubled thermostats
  • Stalled blower motors

Repairs often happen because of buildup. In order to minimize buildup, change out the air filter every few months. A clean air filter removes up to 50 percent of all airborne particles and germs, keeping your home air and HVAC equipment as hygienic as possible.

Choose Service Champions for Air Conditioning Service in San Joaquin Hills

Service Champions wants to make your home better through outstanding air conditioning service in San Joaquin Hills. You can always count on us for:

  • High quality services
  • Expert technicians
  • Friendly call center representatives
  • Genuine parts and tools

No matter what you need or how you want to elevate your home, choose our experts. We have smart and practical solutions that work for you and we always provide our undivided attention.

To meet your specialist, please click here to fill out an appointment form.

Leland Smith

Don’t Make these Common Pluming Mistakes

Don’t Make these Common Pluming Mistakes

AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

March 25, 2020

When faced with a gurgling toilet or slow draining sink, it’s easy to try and attempt to fix it yourself. It’s often believed that do it yourself, or DIY, fixes can save money and time; but in reality, they often lead to a headache, lost money, and extensive repairs. Your plumbing system is a complex maze of pipes that is best left to the experts. Just like every homeowner, you want to take the best care of your home and potentially see a return on your investment. This is why we’re warning you to not make these common plumbing mistakes.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

Though it seems so easy to go to the store, buy a container of Drano, or any other chemical drain cleaner, and dump it down your drain; we are begging you to not do this. The use of liquid drain cleaners is on the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners often make. Though marketing magic says chemical drain cleaners are a good solution, they’re not. In fact, they can have long last negative effects on your home’s plumbing system. These chemical solutions emit harmful fumes, can cause chemical burns on your skin, and potentially corrode your pipes. If you’re thinking of using a chemical drain cleaner to clear your drains, please don’t and call us instead.

Make Sure Your Work is Permitted

Oftentimes, homeowners remodel their bathroom or update their plumbing to increase the resale value of their home. But, if you try to DIY these upgrades, it could have a hugely negative effect. If you were to try and make upgrades and changes without the proper permitting, you could significantly lower the value of your home. If you want major work done to your home—think re-piping or a remodel—it’s best to call the experts to preserve the value of your home.

Not Turning Off the Water

What’s the first thing you should do when working on your plumbing system? The answer is shut off your water. Though this may seem obvious, a lot of the time, it’s not. If you fail to turn off the water before conducting any plumbing work, it could result in a small flood, a huge mess, or incredibly leaky pipes. All of which are costly to fix.

Improper Use of Thread Tape

Another common plumbing mistake is the misuse of thread tape. Teflon tape, or PTFE thread, is easy to use, easy to find, and unfortunately, easy to mess up. When using Teflon tape to seal a pipe or fitting, make sure you’re wrapping it clockwise around the threading. If sealed incorrectly—i.e. counterclockwise—the tape will unwind, defeating the whole purpose of it in the first place. If you want to do something simple, like change out a showerhead, here are the proper steps:

  1. Use white or pink Teflon tape. This tape is made specifically for pipes carrying water.
  2. Wrap the tape clockwise around the threading. Make sure the last wrap is facing left.
  3. Screw on your fixture and make sure not to tighten too hard.

Over Tightening

Believe it or not, you can screw a pipe on too tight. This is one of the most common plumbing mistakes homeowners make. When screwing something into place, it seems logical to tighten it as far as your wrench can go, but this does more harm than good. When homeowners tighten something too hard, they run the risk of cracking the pipe or fitting. Additionally, over tightening could lead to cracked porcelain—if you’re fixing a toilet, leaks, and even floods.

Don’t DIY, Call Service Champions

If you’re dealing with any plumbing issues, call us! Service Champions Plumbing, Heating and AC is here for all your drain needs. Reach out to our friendly call center representatives or click here to request an appointment online.

Leland Smith

5 Signs You Need AC Repairs

woman-using-fanWith everyone spending extended amounts of time in their homes, your home comfort levels are going to be even more important than usual. Staying at home is certainly going to be a lot harder if your air conditioning system isn’t working. That is why you want to make sure that you are keeping your AC unit in the best possible shape it can be in.

Whether you have a central air conditioner or a heat pump AC system, maintenance and repairs are going to be the services that you should always be on top of scheduling to keep your home cool and comfortable. And while maintenance does make a hugely positive difference, it won’t stop every potential AC repair in Homestead, FL. That is where our trained and experienced HVAC technicians are ready and willing to help.

Being able to discern if and when you air conditioner needs a repair service is going to be more beneficial than you might realize. So, let’s take a look at five signs that will warn you that your air conditioner needs service from a professional technician.

1. Your air conditioner emits loud, strange noises.

Your central air conditioner shouldn’t make much noise and a heat pump should run silently. If you are hearing any odd noises coming from your air conditioning system, such as screeching, squealing, hissing, clanging, or any other sounds, don’t brush it off! Noises like these are all indicators of a problem that needs to be fixed.

2. The air in your home is dusty.

When you turn on your air conditioner, can you see the air as it flows out of your vents? This isn’t normal and is likely a sign that there is a large amount of dust and debris built up within your ductwork. If your ductwork is over-filled with dust and dirt, it can impact your airflow and your home comfort but decreasing your indoor air quality. Having your ducts cleaned and checked for any leaks is best to deal with this issue.

3. The airflow from your vents is weak or barely there.

This may be caused by a couple different issues. Weak or nonexistent airflow can be caused by leaky ductwork or by a blower fan that is no longer operating. In either case, running your AC system and never having the conditioned air reach you is a huge waste of money, and can be harmful to your AC unit too.

4.  Your energy bills skyrocket when you run your AC unit.

The last time you checked your utility bill at the end of the month was it far higher than it should have been? If so, it is likely an indicator that your air conditioner is struggling to do its job. Don’t just grit your teeth and bear the higher costs; have a technician come by to identify the issue.

5. Your air conditioner is short cycling.

Does your air conditioner turn on and start a cooling cycle, only to shut down a few minutes later? This doesn’t mean that it is cooling your home faster than normal; instead it means that your AC unit is short-cycling. Short-cycling is a problematic pattern that reduces your comfort, costs you money, and harms your AC in the long run.

When your air conditioner isn’t working right, contact Air On Demand to get the comfort you need.

This post appeared first on AironDemand.com

How to Repair Central Air Conditioners

DIY or Professional Central Air Conditioner Repair?

If you’ve owned a home for several years, chances are you’ve had the dreaded AC breakdown, and chances are even better that it was during the sweltering heat of summer. Handling air conditioner repairs is a job for a professional – we don’t advise that even seasoned do-it-yourselfers do more than basic cleaning and maintenance on central air conditioners.

Your central air conditioner has two units, the condenser and the evaporator. Your condenser is sitting outside, on top of a concrete slab. Inside your home, usually in the attic is your evaporator.

Let’s look at some of the common issues that will cause your central air conditioner to malfunction, the repairs necessary to fix them, and what you can do to help.

  • Condenser isn’t running: First, check to be sure there’s no problem with your power source. Check for blown fuses or tripped circuits. Then, make sure your thermostat is set to a level that would cause your air conditioner to kick on – lower the thermostat five degrees to ensure that the problem isn’t just a faulty thermostat. If neither of those fixes works, please give the friendly professionals at Howard Air a call – the problem could be a faulty motor or compressor.
  • Insufficient cooling: Check your thermostat – this is always a good first step. Then, check your air handler outside to make sure the fan blades are spinning and the vents are not clogged with debris or dirt. It could also simply be that your unit is too small or not functioning optimally – we can recommend an upgrade to a unit suitable for your space.
  • No cooling: There are a few things to check here. Lower the thermostat, then check to ensure that the condenser isn’t dirty. If the condenser needs cleaning, make sure to shut off power to the unit before proceeding. Then, clean the coils and fins. Make sure to keep grass, leaves, and debris as far from the condenser as possible – as the fan pulls air through the metal grating, it will pull that debris as well. If that doesn’t help, it’s time to give us a call. We’ll check your refrigerant and replace parts as needed.
  • Evaporator needs cleaning: Remove the taped insulation and pull off the access plate. Then use a stiff brush to clean the underside of the evaporator. Beneath the evaporator is a tray that helps to pull condensation away. Make sure the weep hole isn’t clogged, and use a small amount of bleach to prevent future fungus growth in the tray.

Following a basic maintenance plan including the cleaning elements described above can go a long ways towards preventing air conditioning breakdown, but eventually even the most carefully-maintained air conditioners require service. Your AC unit works hard for many months to keep you and your family cool and comfortable in the summer months. Like all appliances, it contains moving parts that will eventually wear out and components with a limited lifespan.

Howard Air – Serving all of Phoenix and surrounding cities.

When it’s time to maintain or repair your central air conditioner, we want to help. Howard Air has more than 30 years of experience as the best heating and air conditioning business in Arizona. Let us do a performance audit on your current system, provide comprehensive maintenance, or repair elements that have worn out over time. We look forward to working with you!

This post appeared first on Howardair.com

How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost?

woman contemplating HVAC maintenance cost

When you’re trying to run a business, HVAC maintenance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, “out of sight and out of mind” is a philosophy that can come back to haunt you when it comes to your HVAC equipment.

The simple truth is, many heating and/or air conditioning problems can be prevented with regular HVAC maintenance plans.  HVAC maintenance will certainly save you money over the life of your equipment. However, you probably want to know how much HVAC maintenance costs up front.

That’s not a simple question to answer, in spite of what you may have seen in articles that try to provide “average” HVAC maintenance cost. The numbers in those articles are nationwide averages, and labor costs can vary greatly from one region to another. Also, they typically represent costs to maintain a single residential split system, which may be very different than commercial systems. What’s more, the averages don’t take into account the different type of service plans that you can purchase for your business (covering repair labor & parts).

In this article, we’ll explain the types of HVAC maintenance plans (also called HVAC service contracts or maintenance agreements) and what’s included, so you can determine the value you’re getting for your money. That’s a much more useful way to evaluate and compare commercial HVAC maintenance cost and make the best decision for your business.

HVAC maintenance cost: the secret to comparing service contract prices

Before we get into the types of contracts and what they cover, here’s something important you should know. Ultimately, your HVAC maintenance cost is based primarily on the time it takes to do the work. So, if you get a price that looks too good to be true, we always recommend doing the math to see what you’re really getting:

  1. Take the contract price and divide that by the vendor’s hourly labor rate. That tells you how many hours of service you’ll get.
  2. Divide that number by the number of planned service visits.
  3. Divide again by the number of pieces of equipment you have.
    That tells you how much time this vendor plans to spend on servicing each equipment item. You might be very surprised to learn that they are figuring on 4 minutes per equipment item! At that point it’s pretty obvious if you’ll really get the service you’re paying for.

Preventative maintenance plan

WHAT HVAC PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE COVERS

This is your basic contract that includes a specific number of scheduled visits each year to thoroughly inspect, test, tune up and clean the components of your heating and air conditioning systems. This is the least expensive type of HVAC maintenance contract. It may or may not cover the cost of minor replacement parts such as belts and filters.

WHY DOES HVAC MAINTENANCE COST VARY?

The number of scheduled visits will depend on the age and condition of your equipment, as well as your usage conditions.

For example, older equipment may need more frequent monitoring to catch failing parts before they cause breakdowns and additional damage to the system. And, commercial AC systems that run 24/7 year round (and in some cases in harsh conditions such as a restaurant kitchen) will need more care than a small residential system that’s only used for a few months in the summer. Obviously, this impacts the cost of the plan.

Also, the size of your system (and number of equipment items requiring service) is a factor that impacts the HVAC maintenance cost.

For example, if you have a 50-ton AC system, that may require changing 20 filters, servicing several compressors, and checking numerous electrical connections and belts. That’s much more labor-intensive than servicing a 2-ton rooftop unit for a small store or office.

Another factor is the type of system you have. For example, a complex VRF system is a great choice due to efficiency, quiet operation and zoning capability, but they may cost somewhat more to maintain than a traditional split system.

To learn more about getting a contract that’s tailored to the specific needs of your business, read this helpful guide: HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contracts: How to Find The Right One For Your HVAC Infrastructure.

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HOW TO COMPARE PRICES

Here’s an important thing to know: not all basic maintenance plans cover the same tasks. When you’re shopping and comparing HVAC service cost for preventative plans, ask for a list. Here’s a resource that can help you compare:
The Ultimate Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Full labor plan

WHAT FULL LABOR PLANS COVER

In addition to basic HVAC maintenance visits, a full labor plan also covers all the labor that’s needed for any repairs you may need. Labor for system replacement may also be included. This plan does not include the parts needed to make repairs.

WHY DOES HVAC MAINTENANCE COST VARY?

It’s the same story as a preventative maintenance plan: the system size and complexity and the number of items requiring maintenance will all drive up the price. However in this case where additional labor is factored in for repairs, there are a couple of additional issues that may impact your HVAC maintenance cost:

  • Is your equipment easily accessible? If it’s tough to get to the components requiring maintenance and repair, it takes more time and therefore costs more. We frequently deal with this problem in New York City, where space is at a premium and HVAC equipment is often jammed into tight spaces.
  • Is the vendor located nearby, or do they frequently service your area? If the vendor always has trucks in the area, they don’t need to factor travel time into your contract price. If they have to travel a distance to you, you will pay for that.

Full coverage plan

WHAT FULL COVERAGE PLANS COVER

A full coverage contract may be a good choice for you if you don’t want any surprises. This is the most expensive type of HVAC maintenance contract, because it covers not only basic maintenance and labor for repairs, but also includes the parts. However, it can save you a great deal of money if you need expensive repairs. A full coverage plan is like an insurance policy, and is a great way for you to budget for HVAC expenses since they are predictable.

WHY DOES HVAC MAINTENANCE COST VARY?

In this type of contract, important factors impacting your price include the age and condition of your system, and its life expectancy. While these factors may impact the number of maintenance visit you need, they also increase the likelihood of expensive parts failing. Since this contract covers everything, you’ll pay more for coverage of an older system that’s more likely to need major work.

Is HVAC maintenance cost worth the money?

When you are comparing prices for HVAC maintenance plans, this is probably the question that’s in the back of your mind. What is the benefit you’ll be getting for your money?

Here’s the short answer:

  • Fewer expensive equipment breakdowns that disrupt your business
  • Longer equipment life
  • Lower energy expenses
  • Better predictability for maintenance expenses and ability to plan for equipment replacement

Read this related article to learn more: Air Conditioning Maintenance Doesn’t Cost. It Pays.

The post How Much Does HVAC Maintenance Cost? appeared first on Arista.

Steam: Natures Disinfectant

We’ve discussed the power of steam frequently on our blog. Many segments of the market around the world have embraced steam cleaning and sanitation for it’s immediate, and powerful cleaning performance.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the science behind steam, how high heat, when used properly it can reduce bacteria and viruses inactive in seconds.  Dry vapor steam cleaning is an economical, eco-friendly, and effective form of cleaning, and we’re finding that these cleaners are particularly useful to the healthcare, hospitality, and facility management markets.

Dry vapor steam produces vapor with as little as 5% moisture content at temperatures of 290°F/143°C. It does this by reheating and compressing regular steam so that more heat can be held with less water content.  When released, dry cleaning systems can produce a powerful stream of steam that quickly removes substances such as stubborn grease, oil, dirt, and other residues. It also uses the heat to destroy the cell structures of viruses and bacteria, all without any need for chemicals.

In a variety of industries, dry steam is used to sanitize and clean production environments. It’s also used for cleaning small parts, tubes, switches, sensors, moving parts, and areas that can’t be reached with cloths or most other cleaning tools. In facilities, dry steam is used to clean, sanitize, and disinfect hard and soft surfaces.  Everyone knows the household steam cleaners for carpets. Imagine that power many times over.

As referenced by the EPA in a document called “Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Curriculum for Early Care and Education” (.PDF), Steam can be identified as terrific “green” cleaning tool for sanitation and disinfection. Among many references to steam, it concludes that “Some devices can be used to disinfect; for example, machines that apply steam to surfaces. These devices are very effective, work quickly, and use no chemicals.”

Furthermore, in a research report appearing in the Virology Journal, entitled “Inactivation of the novel avian influenza A (H7N9)virus under physical conditions or chemical agents treatment” (PDF) Novel Avian Influenza virus was became completely ineffective at 100°C/212°F in one minute. Dry vapor steam solutions are generally producing much higher temperatures, 290°F/143°C, which reduces the time needed even further to inactivate the viruses.

With dry vapor steam cleaning, you don’t need to use chemicals to clean equipment because of the technology’s low moisture content. Any residual steam evaporates quickly, leaving equipment dry and ready for immediate use. Use it to clean and sanitize a variety of surfaces in your facilities.

Goodway offers a variety of industrial dry steam systems, all producing high temperature superheated steam.

Next Steps:

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

Patching Together A Good Deed For Free

March 18, 2020

Service Champions Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning knows how to make your home HVAC right. We have the best AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano, so that your cooling is once again healthy, clean and reliable. It’s all part of our commitment to making your home absolutely comfortable.

Many homeowners fear making repairs, but they are important. Repairs help restore energy efficient cooling while protecting and extending the lifespan of the AC unit. This means you can enjoy reliable cooling for longer on less.

Service Champions technicians are experts. Each:

  • Passed background checks and drug tests
  • Trains every year for 150 hours with a master technician
  • Is courteous and professional
  • Completes your repair in one visit

You’ll know who your specialist is before service. Plus, we always arrive in a fully stocked van. There are no delays or hidden fees. We promise your total satisfaction.

The Right AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

Depending on the symptoms, the repair you need differs. However, there are some common AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano, including those for:

Frozen evaporator coils

The evaporator coils are kept in a dark box. These coils consistently dip to low temperatures and are prone to condensation. Because they are constantly covered in water, they can and often do freeze. Further complications arise when the coils are dirty and buildup, essentially, freezes into place. This negatively impacts cooling and energy efficiency.

You might have frozen evaporator coils if the AC unit itself feels cold, see or smell microbiological growth or have inaccurate cooling.

Clogged condensate lines

The condensate line system consists of the lines, drip pan and pump. When water drips off of the AC unit, it collects in the pan. Then, the pump pushes water from the pan into the lines. The lines empty water out at an external location. This keeps cooling safe. However, because the pan is open, debris easily combines with water, creating a thick mixture that has trouble traveling through the lines. As a result, homeowners need AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano for clogged condensate lines.

Stalled blower motors

Blower motors are motorized fans within the air duct system. These fans push and pull air in and out of the house and HVAC equipment. When blower motors stall, air cannot and does not move. As a result, even though the air conditioner might work, air is stuck and we never feel cooling.

Blower motors stall for a number of reasons.

  • Corroded wires
  • Broken fan blades
  • Obstruction
  • Buildup

You likely need AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano for stalled blower motors if you cannot feel air coming out of the vents.

Prevent AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

If you want to prevent AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano, we recommend scheduling air conditioner maintenance once a year before the summer. It is an excellent way to successfully eliminate up to 90 percent of all future repairs and damages.

Homeowners who schedule maintenance for their air conditioner routinely experience:

  • Healthier and cleaner equipment
  • A longer lasting system
  • Better indoor air quality
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • More accurate temperature
  • Reliable performance

Maintenance delivers comprehensive care before repairs have a chance to begin. It is the best way to protect your air conditioner and save long term.

Service Champions for Top AC Repairs in San Juan Capistrano

Service Champions Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is the only Diamond Certified HVAC provider for Orange County. We are the experts homeowners trust for exceptional technical care and superior customer service.

For AC repairs in San Juan Capistrano you will love, please complete the form linked here.

Leland Smith

Food and Beverage: Keeping Production Safe From COVID-19

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been responding to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and has now spread to almost all countries across the world.

FDA Stance on COVID-19’s Impact on Food and Beverage Production

The Food and Drug Administration has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus outbreak and its influence on all the supply chains that the administration oversees. Among a large amount of misinformation that has been spread about the COVID-19 virus, the FDA provides clear guidance on the virus’s effect on the food and beverage industry. In a press release dated February 27, 2020 Stephen M. Hahn M.D. Commissioner of Food and Drugs from the Food and Drug Administration states:

“We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.” The beverage production industry falls under the same guidelines for the impact of COVID-19, at this time there are no reports of human illnesses spread through beverage production.[2]

Hygiene Practices for Food and Beverage Production

Although current reporting from the Food and Drug Administration states that the COVID-19 virus has not shown the ability to be transported through food and beverage preparation, it is still important for producers to practice good hygiene and maintenance plans. The food and beverage industry still remains susceptible to foodborne illnesses like the Norovirus, the Hepatitis A virus, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli (E. Coli).

The guidance from the CDC’s message on the COVID-19 outbreak was to focus on good hygiene practices when preparing, packaging, and serving food. The greatest risk to the food and beverage production industry from the COVID-19 virus is workers and employees contracting the virus while at work. Outbreaks at manufacturing sites quickly stall production and disrupt supply chains.

Preparing for and Preventing the COVID-19 Virus

As the COVID-19 virus outbreak spreads across the United States, it is important for food and beverage production industries to plan, prepare, and take preventative action now to protect their employees and communities. The following are steps that the officials and health experts at food and beverage companies can take.

  1. Review, update and implement emergency operation plans (EOPs). Emergency operations plans are the standardized practices and drills that facilities plan to enact in the occurrence of significant risk to employees and the community. These emergency operation plans can be either a strict policy or a flexible emergency template. Either way, EOPs are an essential emergency practice that should be verified and even rehearsed in the face of growing COVID-19 virus risk.
  2. Monitoring plan for signs and symptoms of sick personnel. Infected personnel showing up at work is the quickest and most likely way for the COVID-19 virus to spread within food and beverage industry production plants. Companies throughout the industry need to both monitor and prepare plans of action for personnel who exhibit any flu-like symptoms.
  3. Establish procedures for employees who are sick with any illness to self-quarantine. Procedures for employees in each company will be different, and essential personnel should be identified at each facility. In the case of employees exhibiting flu-like symptoms, there needs to be a method to get them into self-isolation or quarantine.
  4. Perform routine environmental cleaning. Plant cleaning, sterilizing, and maintenance procedures should already be in place at the facilities within the food and beverage industry. It may be necessary to increase the frequency and intensity of the maintenance and cleaning plan at plants in order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.
  5. Create plans to communicate accurate and timely information across the organization. Information and honest reporting of maintenance practices, COVID-19 response plans, and health statistics are the keys to fighting the spreading of the virus and to keeping key personnel informed.

Overall Effect of the COVID-19 Virus

Food and beverage production companies have overall not been spared by the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Volatile stock market response to the virus outbreak has caused financial insecurities while the health impacts of the virus have created the potential for lapses in the manufacturing, production, and distribution aspects of businesses. The Food and Drug Administration has stepped its monitoring and enforcement of regulations aimed at quality control and keeping workers safe. It is the responsibility of leaders in the industry to enact prudent measures to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 resources from CDC include:

For more information from the CDC, visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

[2] https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-supply-chain-update

Next Steps:

Read how to Strength Food Safety and Production Efficiency

Check out Goodway’s Food & Beverage Processing Cleaning & Sanitation Equipment

This post appeared first on Goodway.com

Technical School vs. College: How HVAC Professionals Can Earn More Than College Graduates

Getting a college degree is expensive and causes many students to take out student loans, work multiple jobs, and rely on their parents for financial relief. These high costs have caused future students to take a second look at their career plans. For these students, technical fields like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are a smart alternative to expensive college degrees — and for good reason. HVAC professionals can become successful while spending much less money and much less time in school.

To understand the financial consequences of a traditional college education versus technical HVAC training, there are a few things one must consider: the average salaries of college graduates compared to the average salaries of HVAC professionals; the cost of education; and the potential of going into debt. Read on to learn more about why the HVAC field can be an attractive path for students looking to earn a living without going into too much student debt. 

Earning Potential of HVAC vs. College Graduates 

The average annual pay for an HVAC technician in the United States is $49,234. Annual salaries can be as high as $74,000 or as low as $24,500, but most range from $39,500 to $56,500. This is impressive, as 51.1% of HVAC technicians have a high school diploma or less, while 42.6% have an associate degree or some college education. HVAC salaries have the potential to greatly increase over time as technicians gain real-world experience and skills that make them invaluable to their employers. 

To understand the merits of HVAC jobs, it’s important to compare the average annual earnings of HVAC professionals against the salaries of those who have received some college with no degree, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees. The data below comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and was collected from full-time and salaried workers over 25 years of age:

  • Some college with no degree: $802/week or $40,100/year
  • Associate degree: $862/week or $43,100/year
  • Bachelor’s degree: $1,198/week or $59,900/year
  • Master’s degree: $1,434/week or $71,700/year
  • Professional degree: $1,884/week or $94,200/year
  • Doctoral degree: $1,825/week or $91,250/year

The True Cost of a College Education

From an early age, many Americans are taught that a college education is the only logical step to take after receiving a high school diploma. And while there are many benefits to attending a university, it’s not for everyone. That is especially true today, when a college diploma has the potential to send students into debt they will be paying off, in some cases, for the rest of their lives. 

Approximately 44.7 million US students have taken out student loans — and 71% have debt to pay after they leave school, typically during a repayment period of 10 to 30 years. The average college student graduates with $31,172 in student loan debt, and the average monthly loan payment for graduates is $393. 

The total student loan debt in the US is $1.52 trillion, and an average of $2,858 in student loan debt is accrued every second. Many student loan borrowers are still paying their loans back after they have reached retirement. However, those between the ages of 35 and 49 have the most outstanding student debt at a collective $548.4 billion.

College vs. HVAC Training Costs

College tuition costs have skyrocketed in the past 50 years. Many students pay more than double what their parents paid to attend college.

 In 1971, the average cost for a semester’s tuition, fees, and housing at a public four-year university was $8,730 in 2019 currency. Today, that average cost is $21,370. This is a 145% increase many households struggle to afford, as household income has only increased by 28% in that same period.

HVAC jobs can be attractive to parents who cannot afford to send their children to Ivy League schools. But these jobs are also appealing to high school graduates who want an affordable degree that lets them enter the workforce with a high earning potential soon after graduation.

An HVAC certificate typically costs anywhere from $1,200 to $15,000, depending on where you get it from. Many technical schools or community colleges offer HVAC certification through programs that can last anywhere from six to 24 months. 

Those looking to jump into HVAC with hands-on experience can also receive their certification through apprenticeship programs, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for a length of about three to five years. An apprenticeship program usually involves home-study work combined with on-the-job training from an HVAC employer. 

Like college students, HVAC students should expect to pay additional fees for housing and textbooks and supplies. This can cost about $5,000 to $10,000 annually — a cost that is doubled or even tripled for students receiving the traditional college experience at a university. 

What Is the Average HVAC Salary in Each State? 

While there are many employment options for HVAC professionals, the HVAC technician role is one of the most common. To get an idea of how much HVAC professionals can make in each state, we’ve collected annual salary information for HVAC technicians in the US.

Annual Salaries for HVAC Technicians in the US 

This data comes from ZipRecruiter, and is based on salary estimates in job postings for HVAC technicians in each state. 

  • Alabama: $43,930
  • Alaska: $49,234
  • Arizona: $46,822
  • Arkansas: $44,351
  • California: $48,861
  • Colorado: $46,702
  • Connecticut: $49,617
  • Delaware: $46,586
  • Florida: $41,212
  • Georgia: $44,096
  • Hawaii: $49,376
  • Idaho: $49,234
  • Illinois: $43,125
  • Indiana: $45,709
  • Iowa: $45,532
  • Kansas: $45,157
  • Kentucky: $45,489
  • Louisiana: $45,423
  • Maine: $44,525
  • Maryland: $49,882
  • Massachusetts: $53,429
  • Michigan: $42,871
  • Minnesota: $46,457
  • Missouri: $42,690
  • Mississippi: $42,676
  • Montana: $49,234
  • Nebraska: $49,664
  • Nevada: $49,234
  • New Hampshire: $52,450
  • New Jersey: $46,784
  • New Mexico: $43,532
  • New York: $53,873
  • North Carolina: $38,051
  • North Dakota: $49,234
  • Ohio: $45,749
  • Oklahoma: $45,554
  • Oregon: $46,478
  • Pennsylvania: $46,643
  • Rhode Island: $47,210
  • South Carolina: $46,435
  • South Dakota: $46,674
  • Tennessee: $46,234
  • Texas: $44,052
  • Utah: $45,981
  • Vermont: $49,234
  • Virginia: $48,159
  • Washington: $48,965
  • West Virginia: $47,663
  • Wisconsin: $44,922
  • Wyoming: $49,234

What Do HVAC Professionals Do? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC jobs include the following responsibilities: 

  • Installing, cleaning, inspecting, testing, and maintaining HVAC systems
  • Installing wiring and other electrical components 
  • Discuss system malfunctions with customers and recommending maintenance
  • Repairing or replacing defective systems and worn parts 
  • Keeping work and repair records 

What Are the Benefits of Entering the HVAC Field? 

HVAC mechanic and installer jobs are expected to grow by 13% through 2028. Much of this growth is expected to be caused by commercial and residential building construction, as well as the demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems such as solar and wind turbines. Additional growth stems from developing technology, internet-connected appliances, and more: 

  • New technology needs skilled technicians. Every HVAC system has an expiration date. Most systems only last about 15 to 20 years even with regular maintenance. HVAC professionals will always be needed to upgrade existing systems and replace them with new systems.  
  • Smart, internet-connected appliances are always in development. Devices connected to the internet of things are making their way into homes and businesses all around the world. Smart HVAC systems are no exception, and HVAC professionals will need to be on call to install and troubleshoot smart technology.
  • Green energy is expected to be in high demand to address climate change. To lower their carbon footprint, many companies are turning to green energy and green HVAC systems. HVAC professionals will be highly sought after to replace outdated systems and bring buildings into the 21st century. 
  • Americans demand temperature-controlled residential and commercial buildings. The US is the world’s biggest user of air-conditioning systems, with almost 90% of households having some type of AC system installed. HVAC professionals will always be needed to install, maintain, and repair these systems. 

What Types of HVAC Jobs Are Available? 

HVAC professionals have many different career options in the field, including the following: 

  • AC technician: An AC technician ensures the temperature is comfortable in homes, businesses, hospitals, and other locations. They may need to be on call in case of emergencies, like AC systems dying in the heat or summer or the cold of winter. They are typically employed by companies that specialize in HVAC. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $55,000
  • Automotive HVAC technician: An HVAC technician ensures AC and heating systems work properly in vehicles. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $48,861
  • HVAC engineer: An HVAC engineer ensures HVAC systems are properly installed. They also may evaluate system performance and recommend repairs. Some engineers also design HVAC systems for new construction. This position usually requires a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or a professional engineering license. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $82,047
  • HVAC installer: The HVAC installer installs new systems in homes and businesses. They must have a thorough knowledge of how HVAC systems work, and must also have the physical skills to install complicated systems in both new and existing construction. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $46,178
  • HVAC mechanic: HVAC mechanics are usually on call to assist with HVAC system repairs in case a system breaks down. This position can involve some travel and a lot of troubleshooting skills. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $50,261
  • Refrigeration technician: A refrigeration technician ensures that refrigeration and cooling systems are working properly in homes and businesses, including commercial kitchens and even grocery stores. They must have a thorough knowledge of how these systems work, as they may need to perform repairs or even upgrades. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $55,143
  • Solar technician: Solar-powered energy is becoming more common throughout the country. Solar technicians specialize in the installation and repair of solar panels on roofs, patios, and other areas for homes and businesses. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $50,305
  • Wind turbine technician: These technicians specialize in repairing, maintaining, and even installing wind turbines in areas looking for alternative energy sources. This is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, and is expected to grow 57% from 2018 to 2028.
    • Average annual salary in the US: $49,511
  • HVAC service manager: Service managers oversee HVAC department operations, whether for an HVAC company or the maintenance department of a company. They usually manage other HVAC technicians and assign specific jobs and duties.
    • Average annual salary in the US: $71,575
  • HVAC supervisor: An HVAC supervisor typically oversees HVAC system installation and repairs, making sure they meet safety requirements. They might also authorize the purchase of HVAC equipment. This position may require a bachelor’s degree. 
    • Average annual salary in the US: $72,997
  • HVAC business owner: This position is much broader than the others mentioned above. HVAC business owners might have years of experience working as HVAC technicians, and owning a business allows them to use those skills in a very unique way — with a very high earning potential. 
    • Average annual salary in the US varies greatly. 

How much you earn in an HVAC position also depends not only on where you live, but also how willing you are to pick up new skills and stand out from the crowd. And while the amount of training and education you receive are imperative, so is actually being in the work environment, practicing your skills on real HVAC systems, and honing your craft through hard work. 

How to Become Licensed or Certified in HVAC

HVAC Certification Programs 

An HVAC certificate program provides students with the basic training they need to repair and install refrigeration and heating systems. Students will learn how to understand motor controls through applied physics and technical mathematics. 

Course work in an HVAC certificate program typically involves learning necessary safety procedures, learning how to use essential tools, and learning to read blueprints. Students will also learn HVAC theory and design, helping them understand heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems from the inside out. 

EPA 608 Certification

The US Clean Air Act requires HVAC technicians to pass the Environmental Protection Agency’s 608 Certification. The cost for this certification can vary between $20 and $150, depending on whether you choose to take the Type I exam or the Universal exam. Additional resources like study material can incur additional costs, though they are relatively low. 

  • Type I: For servicing small HVAC appliances.
  • Type II: For servicing or disposing of high- or very high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and MVACs.
  • Type III: For servicing or disposing of low-pressure appliances.
  • Universal: For servicing all types of equipment. It includes the Type I, Type II, and Type III exams. 

Optional HVAC Certifications

Some HVAC certifications can look impressive on a job application, but aren’t necessarily required to be an HVAC technician. 

  • North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
  • HVAC Excellence
  • The National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC)
  • The Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES)

HVAC Licensing Programs

In addition to certificates, HVAC professionals are required to be licensed in 35 states. These licenses are relatively  inexpensive, but most must be renewed annually. The initial licensing fees can cost anywhere from $75 to $300, with additional exam and application fees. Renewals usually cost around $50 each year. 

Individual State HVAC Licensing and Certifications 

According to The Refrigeration School, the following 35 states require HVAC technicians to possess certain licenses or certifications: 

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington 
  • West Virginia

HVAC College Degrees

If you want to enter the field of HVAC but are looking to make a little more money down the line, an associate degree in HVAC technology might be a good option. However, these degrees are much more expensive than certification programs or apprenticeships, costing anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 for a two-year program. Some colleges also offer bachelor’s degrees in HVAC, which can last for about four years and cost about twice as much as an associate degree. 

This post appeared first on HVAC.com

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