Home maintenance advice for returning snowbirds

Jim Cloud

We snowbirds are arriving daily and need to accomplish specific maintenance to our homes that have remained vacant and unattended for long periods of time. The major factor has always been our heating and cooling system. We have had a 10-year maintenance contract with the company that we purchased our roof from. If you’ve not had this sort of maintenance done since you bought your roof, or moved in to a new house, you might want to get your roof checked over soon. There are many roofing austin texas contractors available to you, but if you don’t live in Texas, there should still be a number of roofing services more local to you that can help you inspect your roof for any damage. On our roof, we have just had our ninth year inspection and have been confronted with a situation that we believe the residents of our community needs to be aware of. The technician sent to our home was the ninth different person that we have seen from this same company. We have not been able to build a relationship or gain any confidence in the knowledge of these individuals although each has been very personable and easy to communicate with.

Upon completion of our inspection the technician presented his report of findings with pictures of rusty and dirty coils along with a recommendation of replacing a $234 capacitor noted as “bad” on our written copy. This report had a definite suggestion that we would need to replace the entire unit in the near future to prevent coil failure but that we could just replace the capacitor for now to keep it operational. I sent him away with a promise to call and ask for him should we decide to order. Red flag!

Coils are designed with aluminum tubing to prevent rust caused by heavy moisture from condensation and the fact that each year the coils were cleaned, according to our records, without any indication of corrosion. Why do I see pictures of extensive corrosion this time? Capacitors can go bad but why so expensive especially when the man had one on his truck to replace without another trip charge? I decided to ask questions! The next morning I called the company and requested to talk to the maintenance manager who was not available but would call me back within an hour. I waited four days for that call that never came.

I drove over to the company and walked in asking to see the maintenance manager whose actual title is Service/Sales Manager. Red flag! Not available, I was told and was passed off to the Office Manager. I explained that I wanted to have an experienced manager come out and give me another opinion to see if my unit was in jeopardy. They sent another tech that I had never seen but he had been with the firm for 15 years and could be trusted to give me an honest review. His report was just the opposite of the previous tech with pictures showing perfectly clean coils and capacitor readings that were also acceptable indicating replacement was not necessary. This is the kind of service you would get from a firm like BOULDENBROTHERS.COM/AIR-CONDITIONING-REPAIR/ from the start, and we had to struggle to get it from the actual providers instead.

Moral of this story is to tell our seniors to be aware that these technicians are also sales agents whose income is possibly connected to commissions and in direct conflict to actually maintaining your unit. Ask questions and have him take pictures using your camera so that you know the pictures are of your unit and not from somewhere else.