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How to Keep Your AC Up and Running: An Interview with Dwayne Ehlert of AJ Warren Service Company

By Dwayne Ehlert

Tell us a little about your company and the services you offer.

AJ Warren Service Company has been in business in Houston since January 15, 1973. Over the years we have established a reputation for quality and value unsurpassed in the air conditioning industry. We maintain a continuing quality improvement process in our company. We are completely and absolutely dedicated to your satisfaction.

AJ Warren has won the first place national Award for Excellence in Residential Contracting from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. We are equally as dedicated to quality and customer satisfaction with our commercial customers.

A. J. Warren Service Company is your best source for total indoor comfort and air quality solutions. We can solve the problems other companies cannot. We are specialists in humidity control and super high efficiency filtration systems.

We provide state of the art system designs. Our company offers whole house efficiency and safety inspections. We can let you see with your own eyes where your house is costing you energy dollars. We have all the best equipment and the expertise to help you with any comfort or indoor air quality problem.

A. J. Warren (A.J. Warren III) has represented our company as President and Chairman of the Board of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association of Greater Houston. Our state license numbers are TACLA4205C and TACLA023071C. We maintain quality liability insurance coverage. All of our employees are fully covered by worker's compensation insurance. We are members of the BBB, and received their 2007 thru 2014 "Award of Distinction".

What are some of the most common reasons why people's air conditioning systems break down, need repair or need to be replaced?

All manufacturers of AC and heating equipment are producing much less dependable equipment these days. We can no longer buy a piece of equipment and expect it to last as long as the old systems we replace. This is caused by several factors. All manufacturers are buying cheap components from China and other low cost sources. We have very poor dependability from capacitors, motors, contactors and compressors. Manufacturers have made the tubing thickness in their condenser and evaporator coils thinner and thinner chasing higher efficiencies. This has lead to much shorter equipment life. It is important for consumers to complain to the manufacturers and lack of dependability. It is also important to get the best warranty you can because you can count on new equipment problems.

Is there anything that a homeowner can do to help avoid paying for unnecessary AC repairs?

Homeowners can best minimize these problems by having their systems services twice per year. This will keep them from voiding the manufacturer's warranties and help to avoid some repairs. Homeowners should purchase extended warranties for their AC service companies when they buy new equipment. These warranties are not good for the service companies but they have become a necessity for homeowners.

Can you briefly describe what an ideal maintenance plan would be?

A quarterly maintenance plan is the most effective in maximizing system efficiency and dependability. With this type of maintenance we can offer free service calls for anything involving drain problems or related to equipment cleaning. A twice per year maintenance is the minimum anyone should consider.

What are the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to using air conditioning?

We see two major mistakes home owners make when using their AC systems. The first is that the indoor thermostat should never be set below the outdoor dew point. In Houston our dew point often gets as high as 73 degrees F. We tell our customers that they should never set their thermostat below 72 degrees. A home would have to be built like a refrigerator to have indoor temperature below 72 degrees. The way homes are built you can have condensation form on the back side of the sheetrock inside your exterior walls and end up with mold growing inside the wall cavities. The second problem we see is that whenever drywall of wood work requiring sanding is done, steps must be taken to protect the inside AC and heating equipment. Systems should be kept off of protected with extra filters. Drywall and sawdust will ruin an AC system.

Do you have any tips to help homeowners decide when they should repair their AC versus replacing it?

Anytime a repair is going to cost over 10% of what it would cost to replace the unit, it is wise to look at both options. Anytime an expensive repair is needed on a unit that is no longer covered by the manufacturers check all your options. Extended warranties are the only way to guarantee a system life to 10 years.

What is the best way for people to contact you and your company?

713-466-6135 is our main Service number. It is answered by a person 24/7/365. For other inquiries you can reach us by email: service@ajwarrenservice.com. Work day emails will be answered within 24 hours. Weekend emails may not be answered until Monday morning.

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