2017 Quality Home Comfort Awards: Repeat Customer, Repeat Quality

Providing a quality HVAC system installation, and staying in touch brings customers back in times of need.

Multiple QHCA winner Tim Bruce knows the value of staying in touch with satisfied customers. When he and his team at General Air Conditioning, San Antonio, Tex., last secured a Quality Home Comfort Award, in 2015, it was for work performed for a previous customer who was happy with their history of fine installation and service. This time around, the happy homeowner was another long-time customer of the company. After installing and maintaining the system in their first home, they continued to use General Air for maintenance when they moved to a new home in the Texas Hill Country just outside of San Antonio.

With the purchase of the new home, they received a home warranty/protection plan and when the existing system began to need repairs, the warranty company would send out their own contractor to do the work.

The customer, Mr. Olszanowski, was not pleased with the repair or replacement options he was offered, and he wasn’t happy with the
workmanship he received from the warranty company. In addition to improved quality of service, he wanted a new HVAC system that would meet six conditions:
1. It would be quieter than the old system.
2. It would save money on electricity and qualify for a utility rebate of $900.
3. It would save money on propane.
4. It would improve air quality.
5. It would cool the house evenly between the two levels.
6. It would be reliable and backed up by a reliable service company.

Following a load calculation, the General Air team determined that the existing, 5-ton system was excessive, and a 4-ton system would be sufficient. Bruce suggested a Trane dual fuel system, variable speed communicating heat pump and gas (propane) furnace with two modulating zone dampers and controls, Trane PerfectFit media filter, and a REME UV air purifier.

“Then, we explained the benefits of zoning with a variable speed compressor, so that only the areas of the home that needed heating our cooling would be heated or cooled and the compressor would slow down or speed up to match the requirements of the zones,” Bruce explains. “Finally, we introduced the concept of dual fuel, to reduce the use of propane in the heating season and rely on the heat pump to heat the home most of the time and have the propane available for the coldest nights of the year.

Indoor Air Quality
To meet Mr. Olszanowski’s air quality preferences, the 5-in. Trane PerfectFit Media filter would keep the indoor components clean and help clean the air along with RFG’s REME UV Purifier to kill germs and bacteria in the house. The home was commissioned according to ACCA Manual J8 standards, using the ACCA-approved Manual J load calculation program. Air delivery was tested using equipment by Enalasys.

Standards Never Waiver
Tim Bruce and his team proceed with every project with the belief that a quality air conditioning system is one that is durable, reliable, provides even temperature throughout the house when heating or cooling, contributes to indoor air quality, and is quiet.

“A great air conditioner does all that, plus it uses the least amount of electricity or fuel. No one wants one that uses the most energy, right? The system should be affordable,” Bruce asserts.
Olszanowski praised the team’s workmanship and how well the system was working.

“He was very pleased with the even temperature in the house, something they could not achieve with their old system,” Bruce relates. “The equipment operated much, much quieter than the old system. He expressed that his son’s room used to sound like an airplane when they were trying to cool the upper level of the house.”

The thermostats Bruce selected use Trane’s Nexia smart home technology, and are connected to the customer’s smart phones as well as their voice activated Alexa device, which makes changing temperature settings possible by a simple voice command.

“The thermostats also allow us to monitor the system operation and send us alerts if there were a problem, via Nexia Diagnostics,” Bruce says.

Great Energy Outcome
Mr. Olszanowski was happy that General Air also helped him obtain the energy benefits he was seeking.

“He said he received his $900 utility rebate as a credit against his eclectic bill, so he did not have to pay the utility for several months,” Bruce says, “and he was really please that his propane bill dropped from five refills per season to one, saving him $2,000 per year.”

Financing a Breeze
Tim Bruce doesn’t miss much when completing a sale. Financing was easily accomplished through Wells-Fargo.

“We offered Wells-Fargo Financial financing with zero down, zero interest for 60 months, with 60 equal payments of $300 per month to the net annual out-of-pocket expense, for an $18,000 purchase was actually incredibly small after all the energy savings. Financing can make a great system affordable for everyone,” he claims.

In addition to General Air’s first-year maintenance agreement and labor warranty, Trane offered a registered warranty, which gave the customer 10-years on parts and 12-years on the compressor, in addition to a 100% money-back performance guarantee for the first year.

Congratulations to Tim Bruce and General Air Conditioning, for another fine example of Quality Home Comfort!

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