Category : commercial hvac

Why Oliver Is Different Than Other Contractors

HVAC service company

At Oliver Heating & Cooling, we take pride in being different than other contractors. For more than 40 years, we’ve been one of the most trusted names in the area and we plan on keeping it that way. Find out what our HVAC service company has to offer.

A Unique History

At Oliver, our company didn’t start like most others. In fact, we have a very unique story behind our founding, and it has to do with a church prayer meeting. When Joe Oliver was downsized from Boeing Helicopter Division toward the end of the Vietnam War, he was left unemployed and needed to find a way to support his wife and six sons.

After he shared his concerns with his church prayer group, one member suggested he open an HVAC business. Even though Joe had no experience in HVAC, he decided to follow the suggestion and opened Oliver Heating & Cooling in 1971. Joe was dedicated to the industry and attended night classes and worked 14-hour days. The hard work paid off and years later, Oliver is the successful business that it is today.

Extensive Training

Our HVAC business knows how important training is, and that’s why each and every one of our contractors goes through an extensive program to earn their NATE Certification (the highest certification in the industry). This ensures that their workmanship is both professional and trustworthy. In addition, our employees must complete our Character-First Program that teaches them how to build a culture of integrity, resolve conflict, encourage employee morale, and more.

Our Hires

At Oliver, we don’t just hire anyone with a background in HVAC or plumbing. We carefully select each of our employees based on personality, experience, and background. We perform thorough background checks and drug screenings on every applicant and make sure they have the right qualities to fit our high standards. You know when you call Oliver, you’ll get friendly, reliable service.

The Latest Equipment

As technology gets more innovative, so does the need for the latest equipment. Our company trucks and vans are always fully stocked with the tools needed to get nearly any job done. Whether it’s a simple repair or an entire replacement, we’re always ready to help.

Customer Satisfaction

Since we opened our doors in 1971, we’ve been satisfying homeowners and business professionals throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond. Our customers, both old and new, count on us for a variety of services and we’re happy to help with the most professional and affordable options. Our expertise and friendly attitudes are what keep people coming back of years on end.

Employee Benefits

At Oliver, our employees are an incredibly important aspect of our business, so we make sure to treat them right. We offer 100% medical coverage, a 401k program, workman’s compensation insurance, life insurance, and more. After all, happy employees mean a better business.

We’d love to show you exactly what makes us different from other contractors, so whether you have a small problem or a big issue, give us a call today. We’d be happy to help.


What to Look for in an HVAC Contractor

At Oliver, we know trying to decide on an HVAC contractor can be tough – you want the best equipment, but don’t want to be overcharged. You also want to talk to friendly, knowledgeable technicians who have experience and can get the job done right. We’ve put together a little checklist to help you know what to look for in a good contractor:

Recommendations

When someone discovers an HVAC contractor they can trust, they often stick with them, so ask your friends or family for recommendations. If they’ve found a great company, they won’t hesitate to let you know.

Regulations

A good HVAC contractor should abide by regulations, so look into your state and local codes and regulations to make sure the one you’re considering does. Then, ask questions – ask to see their license or ask for the license number. Also ask about their business insurance and workman’s compensation insurance, both of which they should have for safety reasons.

A Written Estimate

HVAC contractors should have no problem giving you an estimate in writing for your equipment and their services. If they don’t (say they only offer you one over the phone), take it as a little red flag and talk to another company. Also, getting estimates in writing makes it easier to compare them and choose the best one.

Knowledge

A good HVAC contractor should be able to assess your situation, review all of your options, then help you decide on the best solution for your home and your financial status. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask – a knowledgeable technician should be able to answer.

NATE Certifications

A trained and qualifiedHVAC technician should have completed a program offered by the North American Technician Excellence Inc. and have gotten a NATE Certification. Make sure the contractor you want to hire employs technicians with these certifications.

Customer Service

When you talk to an HVAC contractor, pay attention to the way you’re treated. If they are friendly and you’re treated well, it’s a good sign that that’s how you’ll be treated if there’s ever a problem. On the other hand, if you’re not satisfied with their customer service, find someone else so you don’t run into problems later.

Whether you’re interested in a new HVAC system, need an electrical repair, have a plumbing issues, or want to have your insulation assessed, our HVAC and plumbing company can help. Give us a call today for more information and to set up an appointment.


5 Signs Your Commercial Heating Needs Repairs

 

HVAC service When you run a business or organization, your heating system is probably the last thing you worry about. However, there’s always the possibility that something can go wrong and that your system will be in need of a repair. Take a minute and observe. If you see or hear any of the following things, your system is probably due for a repair.

Leaking

If your business uses a boiler, it means that your heating system uses water to heat the area. You may find small spots of water every once in awhile, but if you experience leaking (which could include a wet ceiling, dripping noises, or water around your radiator or baseboard), call our heating experts right away.

Odd Noises

Commercial heating systems tend to make a lot of noise, but there are some noises that simply aren’t normal. If you hear things like grinding or “boom”ing, you could have a problem with your air handler motor bearings or a burner may be misfiring. Other noises include hissing and gurgling. If you hear any of these noises, it’s a good idea to contact us.

Low/No Heat

If the rooms in your building simply aren’t warming up like they should, your heating system could be experiencing a variety of problems, including burner issues, piping system issues, air duct issues, and more. Our experts will take a look at your system and determine what’s causing the under-par performance.

Higher Heating Bills

If the weather is colder than usual, then you can definitely expect a higher heating bill, but if the bill gives you sticker shock or it’s at a high price even when the weather is warmer, something may be wrong. It’s most likely an issue of wear and tear – as the years go by, the parts that make up a heating system slowly start to wear down and can decrease the efficiency of the system. Let us figure out what the problem is and fix it for you.

Short Cycles

While it’s normal for commercial heating systems to run more when the temperature drops, short cycles could indicate there’s an underlying issue. If you notice your system turns itself on and off over and over throughout the day, it could be overheating. When a system overheats, it activates a “shut-off” switch, and if it overheats every time it turns on, you’ll hear it turn off fairly quickly.

No matter what the problem, our commercial heating experts can fix it. Give us a call at 1-877-757-1141 and set up an appointment.


Preventive Maintenance For Commercial Properties

Special guest blogger: Chris Boehm, Commercial Maintenance Agreement Specialist

Ok, we admit it’s the truth. There isn’t a less sexy industry catch phrase then “Preventive Maintenance”. It’s not part of the mainstream lingo like “green energy” or high tech like

“web based fully automated direct digital controls”. It’s not considered a hot button the likes of “Energy Efficiency” or “Total Building System Audits” which are centerpiece topics at various events and conferences throughout the world. However a Preventive Maintenance Program designed exclusively for your HVAC equipment is critical to the success of every green initiative and building automation system while improving overall energy savings. Equipment efficiency is directly correlated to proper maintenance and commences with the thorough inspection and monitoring of building equipment.

What can a maintenance plan do for your building?

A proper maintenance program will lower operating costs and extend the life cycle of all equipment, regardless of age. In addition, maintenance isn’t expensive compared to what you might need to spend if your system experiences a major failure. As an example, let’s assume a rooftop unit installed for an overall cost of $15,000.00. A quarterly maintenance program including but not limited to replacement filters, belts and chemical washing of the condenser coil would be valued annually at approximately 5-10% the cost of the original installation. If this system was not maintained and clogged air filters or a broken belt resulted in a compressor failure, the replacement component cost (material and labor) may exceed $6,000.00. Furthermore, when equipment isn’t inspected and maintained, its efficiency and life expectancy may be reduced by up to 50%. In the above example, if a properly maintained rooftop unit has an industry standard life span of 15 years a neglected unit may require replacement in 7-10 years. This translates into a large capital expense sooner then expected which could be easily avoided, not to mention equipment downtime that negatively impacts building occupants.  Remember, the word preventive speaks for itself. It keeps things from happening.

So why don’t more buildings have a maintenance plan in place?

If it’s generally  accepted that proper maintenance and inspections reduce equipment failures, save energy, improve efficiency and reduce operating/capital budgets why is it still considered optional or at best a necessary evil to some owners/managers?  It’s certainly understandable in these tough economic times to reduce operating and capital budgets in all facets of a business. However, as noted above, preventive maintenance is relatively inexpensive when compared to the potential failures that may occur. It’s the old “pay now or pay later” scenario. There are numerous reasons/excuses to defer equipment maintenance. One is that the work will be performed by in-house personnel. If the mechanics/facility personnel are trained with the knowledge to service the building systems this may be a viable option. However, our experiences have shown that often that’s not the case and/or the maintenance schedule isn’t followed as per unit manufacturer recommendations. When a qualified contractor like Oliver Mechanical is involved, the work is scheduled on time and is completed by highly trained technicians. A second reason given to defer maintenance is that prospective clients feel they don’t have sufficient finances to enter into a preventative maintenance agreement. The Oliver Commercial team is trained to listen, educate, understand our client’s needs and work to tailor a maintenance plan to fit nearly every budget.

In today’s economy, energy bills continue to rise each year and investments as costly and critical as HVAC systems must be given priority to ensure marketability of your property. It’s important to understand that even a limited inspection plan is critical to maintaining proper equipment operation and energy efficiency. Please keep in mind that by deferring preventive maintenance, all other building systems that are implemented to reduce energy costs will be compromised to varying degrees. A preventive maintenance plan properly structured to equipment needs is low cost insurance against critical failures and downtime. Oliver Mechanical is ready to serve with regard to all mechanical aspects of your organization. Together, we will assist you, our valued client, to achieve optimum building efficiency while working within the parameters of your budget.

Want to find out more about preventive maintenance offered by Oliver Mechanical? Click here!

Caution: Copper Theft On The Rise

Thieves target air conditioning units for copperWe take the safety of our technicians and our customers very seriously. When a technician enters your home or business, his first priority is to be sure that your equipment is operating safely and does not pose a risk to your family’s health or of damaging your property. We also do our best to let our customers know about other risks that may affect their home and property, and unfortunately we need to bring one of those to your attention now.

Although it’s not a new problem, copper theft seems to have gained visibility over the summer as thieves are becoming more bold. Our technicians have found stripped units at several job sites this year, NBC News ran a feature about the problem in late July, and the FBI has designated copper theft as a national security concern since 2008. Although large thefts that interrupt electrical service, cripple railways, or affect emergency notification systems gain the most attention, business and homeowners can be directly affected as well. In this case, isolated or unoccupied buildings are often targets for thieves.

In addition to thefts directly from units, our industry has recently been on high alert for van theft. The Philadelphia area has been hit hard in recent weeks by thieves stealing entire service vans and stripping them of their contents. Service vans are the backbone of every company in this industry, and their loss is more than a headache for company management. Many technicians own their tools, which can be very expensive, and the loss of a collection that often took years to build is devastating. Service vans are stocked with parts and materials for common repairs, and may contain special order parts for customers who have already been waiting. Each van off the road represents calls that must be delayed or cancelled, and no one wants to see that happen.

So what can you do? Your best defense is awareness. Homeowners who split their time between two or more properties should include their homes’ exterior in their security measures. So if you spend time at a shore property, or have a winter home in another state, take a look at your “closing up” process to make sure your outdoor unit will be monitored along with the rest of your house. Something as simple as adding an exterior light which illuminates that area can help prevent theft. When it comes to van theft, if you see any unusual activity, don’t be afraid to speak up!


Hot Seats, Airplanes, and….Your Office?

We’ve all been there – you know that the air conditioning or heating system is running, and the thermostat says it’s reached the set temperature, but from where you’re sitting you might as well be in the middle of the Sahara or the Arctic for all the good it’s doing you. If this instantly brings to mind your office, or the face of someone who is always complaining about this in their office, today’s newsletter is dedicated to you.

A little trick I learned…

One of my favorite parts of this job is getting the opportunity to go into other places of business and seeing what makes them special. About 20 years ago, I was invited to a heating and air conditioning shop in Absecon New Jersey to talk about air balancing. I met with the owner to go over a job and as we talked I could tell how proud he was of what he had done as a businessman. He was the person who invented the Hot Seat that you see on any NFL sideline in cold outdoor stadiums across the entire United States. I visited him at time when he was in the midst of developing the Cool Seat, but unfortunately that product didn’t find the same success as the Hot Seat.

While we talked about his invention and his new venture, this gentlemen said something that has stuck in my mind forever. “It’s a proven fact that if you trick your mind into feeling comfortable, hot, or cold then the rest of your body will follow that feeling.” That’s why airplanes all have those nozzles above your head to make your brain dictate whether you are feeling hot or cold.

The relevancy

Now I know you’re thinking: “Cool story, Matt, but what does this have to do with my building?” When you are talking about taking care of people and temperature, the way you distribute the air throughout the space is important. If you are going to spend money and energy putting the air through the ductwork it’s critical to make sure that air is getting down to the person at the right height at the right time. Doing this will take care of a lot of the comfort problems in your offices, common spaces, etc. This is the final product of the unit, and one of the most important parts of your HVAC system.

If you are not sure whether you are distributing your air properly, an Oliver account technician can let you know. Or you can always call me at 610-633-5372.

Thank you for entrusting Oliver Mechanical for all of your commercial mechanical needs. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Matt Williamson, Energy Specialist


Congratulations to Safety Sean!

You’ve probably noticed that our friend Safety Sean has been pretty quiet on the blog lately. Never fear, he will have plenty of tips and updates to share with us throughout 2013! He’s been a little busy lately with a new project: becoming a certified Air & Water Balancer!

So congratulations to Sean for completing his coursework and passing all of the required field tests to earn this prestigious certification from the National Balancing Council! Sean is now our second certified Air & Water Balancer on the Oliver staff, along with Matt Williamson who brings us those great updates about energy conservation and innovations for our commercial customers. We’re very proud of Sean for this accomplishment, and excited about the expanded opportunity to help our commercial and industrial customers achieve greater comfort and efficiency in their work places. To learn more about how Sean, Matt, and their expert support teams can help you meet these goals, give us a call at 484-477-0461.