Gold Medal Service Encourages Homeowners to Plan Ahead for Winter Power Outages
New Jersey homeowners are reminded to have a backup power solution
EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Dec. 14, 2015 – Gold Medal Service, a BBB A+ rated heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical service company that services more than 125,000 homeowners throughout New Jersey, encourages area residents to prepare for electrical outages associated with winter weather.
The blizzard of January 2016 highlighted the vulnerabilities of our power grid, leaving 90,000 residents of New Jersey powerless. This monstrous storm made it obvious that electrical power is essential for modern survival.
“We often take for granted the basic necessities of the home-life such as oven, stove, refrigerator, heater, air conditioner, etc., but when the electricity goes out these appliances are no longer available to us,” said Mike Agugliaro, co-owner of Gold Medal Service. “In the warmer months this can be a hassle, but in the winter months, it can be very uncomfortable.”
Backup generators are the most popular form of alternative energy sources. There are two types of generators, a portable generator and a permanent standby generator. Both of these types of backup power can keep a home’s lights, furnace and necessary appliances working in the event of a weather related power outage or emergency.
Portable generators are for a situation where you only need a few electrical appliances powered. They are relatively smaller than a permanent standby generator, and can be wheeled around. Never bring a generator inside the home, as their primary fuel source is gasoline and can emit harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. By running an extension cord that connects to your portable generator, you can power smaller appliances such as refrigerators, hot water heater, TVs, computers, etc.
A permanent standby generator remains permanently outside the home and on standby. They run on an existing fuel source – either liquid propane or natural gas. In the event of a power outage, they provide power within seconds of having lost it. They work in union with a transfer switch to monitor incoming utility voltage.
To find out more about Gold Medal Service’s generators and what homeowners can do to prepare for colder temperatures, visit http://goldmedalservice.com/ or call 1-800-553-6060.
About Gold Medal Service
Gold Medal Service, rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, was founded in New Jersey in
1994 with just two employees. Their vision was to provide homeowners with a reliable and trustworthy home service company customers could count on to fix just about anything that could go wrong in a home. Since then, Gold Medal has grown to include more than 150 employees and technicians solving plumbing, heating, cooling, electric, drain, waterproofing, and sewer issues for homeowners across the state of New Jersey. Gold Medal Service is an Angie’s List “Super Service Award” recipient. For more information, call 800-553-6060 or visit http://www.goldmedalservice.com.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the use of R-22 refrigerant (virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22) in new air conditioning and heat pump equipment since 2010. As a result, if your air conditioner was manufactured prior to 2010 this may be the time to replace it.
What is the R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on a mission to ban all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as part of its Clean Air Act.
Many other countries are also banning HCFCs in a global effort to phase out products with high ozone depletion potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP).
Since R-22 (chlorodifluoromethane) is a type of HCFC (known by the brand name “Freon®”), it is being gradually phased out until January 1, 2020, after which no new production or import of HCFC-22 will be allowed (although recycled R-22 will still be legal to use).
If your AC unit was manufactured prior to 2010, then it most likely uses R-22. You can see if your air conditioner or heat pump uses R-22 by checking the owner’s manual or the nameplate on your outdoor condenser.
This is important to know since periodic maintenance of your cooling unit(s) may require additional refrigerant to operate at peak efficiency.
Unfortunately, as the supply and availability of R-22 declines, prices will go up. In fact, the prices for R-22 have already increased 300% over the past few years. And the price increase will only continue as the industry moves closer to the 2020 date when it will be illegal to use and produce.
“In fact, the prices for R-22 have already increased 300 percent over the past few years,” Gold Medal Service co-founder Mike Agugliaronotes.
What Are My Options?
1. Accept Higher Costs
You can keep your existing air conditioning/heat pump equipment and accept the fact that as we move closer to 2020, it will become increasingly difficult to find R-22 refrigerant in the marketplace and will be priced accordingly from suppliers.
Fact: R-22 (HCFC-22) is a banned import and manufacturers may no longer produce it. The prices for servicing and recharging R-22 refrigerant will continue to rise.
2. Upgrade to EPA-Approved Refrigerant
You can keep your existing AC equipment and use an EPA-permitted “modern” refrigerant in place of R-22. R-410A (also known by the brand name Puron®) is the most common EPA-approved substitute for residential air conditioning and heat pump units.
But substituting R-22 may require replacing many parts of your equipment since not all refrigerants are the same. Additionally, using a different refrigerant than what was originally designed for your system may result in poorer performance and higher energy costs.
Most HVAC experts will recommend a complete system replacement instead of a retrofit of an old system.
3. Install New Energy-Efficient A/C System
You can choose to replace your old AC or heat pump equipment with a new, high-efficiency unit that does not use R-22, but instead uses other refrigerants that are less harmful to the environment and that are permitted by the EPA. These units will give you many years of dependable service and lower-cost cooling.
Older units can be retrofitted to accommodate an alternative refrigerant, however, most of the time buying a new system will result in higher savings and comfort.
R-22 (aka Freon®) is getting more expensive and harder to acquire (production will cease in 2020).
Replacing the refrigerant on a unit designed for R-22 can cause declines in comfort, performance, and efficiency. You will either need to retrofit or replace your AC system.
This may be the ideal time to replace your AC or heat pump equipment!
We hope the R-22 phaseout will encourage homeowners to replace their existing R-22 systems with more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly R-410a (Puron®) systems. These newer units will save you money in the long run by reducing energy bills and repair costs.
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Trust Gold Medal Service to help you to make the right decision about your air conditioning equipment. But remember, the longer you wait to replace your equipment the more costly it will be. And with the rebates and incentives that we are currently offering there might not be a better time to replace your air conditioner than right now!
Call us today and we will be happy to send one of our experienced Comfort Advisors to your home for a FREE, no obligation consultation. Then you’ll be ready to make this most-important decision for you and your family.
We are committed to making sure you are 100% satisfied with our people, our products, and our service. If you have any questions about EPA’s R-22 Phaseout or still need some questions answered, please contact us at 1-800-553-6060.
Gold Medal Service was founded in 1994 by two Jersey boys. Their goal to provide homeowners with a reliable and trustworthy home services has led to massive growth. Since 1994, Gold Medal has grown to include more than 200 employees and experts solving plumbing, heating, cooling, electric, drain, sewer and waterproofing issues for homeowners across the state of New Jersey.
The National Weather Service is urging all Florida residents to be weather-ready and listen to officials and evacuation orders. “Gov. Rick Scott of Florida told the 1.5 million residents in evacuation zones: “You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.”
While it’s unlikely that NJ will be hit by Hurricane Matthew (the NWS predicts it will move off the coast as it approaches North Caroilina), it’s important to be prepared since it’s difficult to specify impacts in any specific location. Weather forecasts predict the storm to make a sharp turn out to sea on Saturday as it moves up the East Coast to New Jersey/New York. The hurricane has already significantly weakened, but was still at a Category 3 last night. Click here for the latest update on Hurricane Matthew.
Regardless, the threats from weather events are increasing. In fact, in the last 4 years, we’ve had at least 6 hurricanes or “super storms” just here in New Jersey.
Listen to all orders from officials. If they tell you to evacuate, do it! Not only can you risk your life, but the lives of emergency personnel as well.
If you stay, make sure you have a clear emergency escape plan and that your entire household knows it.
Keep valuables in a fire safety box and hold it near you or place in a safe container (some have recommended the insides of fridges, washers, and dryers).
Make sure you have an emergency supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cell phone, cash, first aid, water, blankets, and copies of important documents.
Place all other valuable in a garbage bag (or two) and place it in the highest place you can, off the floor.
Make sure you know the phone number of your insurance company.
Document your valuables and keep track of all storm damage. You may have to fight with the insurance company to get your house back to normal, but meticulous record-keeping will help immensely.
Basic Storm Preparedness
Clear all gutters and extend downspouts to move water away from your home.
Make sure you tell your family where you are at all times, especially if you won’t be home. That way, if you need to be rescued, they’ll know where to look.
Cover windows to keep high winds from shattering them. And when the storm hits, stay away from windows.
Watch local news stations for up-to-the-minute alerts and instructions. Sign up for NJ emergency alerts via email or text.
Whole Home Generators can be wired right into your home’s power supply to provide reliable, continuous service—even during the worst storms of the season. Click here for tips on owning and maintaining a backup generator.
Many of our customers have also heeded our earlier advice to make sure a sump pump is installed in order to move water away if there’s a back surge. You should test to make sure it’s working every 3 month by pouring a 5 gallon bucket of water into the sump pit to see if the pump automatically turns on. If the pump turns on, go outside and ensure the water is being discharged to the proper location. Learn how to deal with basement flooding.
Remember, your sump pump is only effective if you have power, and in those last 6 storms, millions of New Jersey residents were without power each time. That’s why we recommend installing a generator and a sump pump in high-risk areas.
Millions of potentially flooded basements, millions upon millions of dollars of damage. Even if you have only experienced small leaks in your home, basement waterproofing is still a necessary homeowner task.
For professional basement waterproofing solutions, give Gold Medal Service a call to protect your home and property from water damage.
For more hurricane safety and preparation tips, visit ready.gov.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown:
We’re currently offering $250 off select Whole Home Generators, so get yours installed ASAP before you find yourself with the lights out and a non-functional sump pump in the midst of a hurricane.
P.S. Our Whole Home Generators are so important that we’re also offering a $0 down, 0% interest loan for up to 60 months so you can get one installed to protect your family right away and pay later.
For New Jersey residents who would like help and suggestions for preparing their homes for severe weather, the professionals at Gold Medal Service are ready to assist. If you have any questions or concerns about electrical, plumbing or HVAC home safety and maintenance, give Gold Medal Service a call at 1-800-553-6060 or schedule an appointment online (available 24/7/365).
For National Water Quality Month, we’re sharing some of our best tips for making sure your water supply is clean and safe. Besides ensuring high quality water for you and your family, there are also some things you can do to reduce your contribution to water waste and pollution.
Top 5 Tips for National Water Quality Month
1. Manage storm water
You may not have ever thought about the various contaminants that get collected with water runoff, but contaminated storm water from bacteria, pesticides, chemicals, and other pollutants is the main cause of water pollution in the U.S. Whatever flows down your drain eventually finds its way into local water bodies.
Some tips for reducing pollutants in your storm water runoff include:
Consider increasing the amount of soil and other porous areas around your home.
Sweep fertilizer, grass clippings, and other debris off your driveways and walkways and onto your lawn.
If there is an oil or other chemical leak around your home, kitty litter or baking soda can help absorb the oil for removal.
Maintain the area around your home by promptly cleaning up pet waste, trash, and other potential water contaminants.
2. Watch what you put down the drain
Another way contaminants can find their way into the local water supply is through our drains. Many cleaning supplies and personal care items contain chemicals and toxins that can’t be treated by sewage plants.
Click here for a list of things that you shouldn’t throw down the garbage disposal.
Take any paint, chemicals, etc. to designated collection sites in your area. Consult your NJ county recycling website for more information.
3. Don’t over irrigate your lawn
Overwatering your lawn could create water runoff that contains fertilizers and pesticides from your soil. Try to avoid pesticides if you can and choose fertilizers that are phosphorus-free.
One way to detect moisture in the ground to override your watering system is to install rain moisture sensors. It is a fairly complicated installation, so speak with a professional about your options.
Another trick for determining if your lawn needs watering is to step on your lawn – if you see clear footprints and the grass doesn’t spring back, it’s time to water.
Use this Landscape Watering Guide to learn how much water your grass needs and how to match your irrigation system to your lawn’s needs.
4. Maintain septic tank at least every 3 years
When your septic tank is working properly, it will remove pollutants and disease-causing bacteria from the water. When it hasn’t been maintained and isn’t working properly, it could mean expensive repairs (or replacements) and health risks for you and your community.
Homeowners with septic tanks should be especially concerned with what goes down the drain and remember to schedule regular septic tank cleanings. Some early signs of septic tank failure include slow drains and odors from drains and sinks. Call Gold Medal Service for professional drain, sewer, and septic service.
5. Check water quality and take steps to improve it
It’s not just Flint, MI that has a problem with lead in their water. NJ has been making headlines recently with its own contaminated water crises, along with other municipalities across the country.
Luckily, there are many water filtration options you can turn to for clean drinking water. At the most basic level, you can use a Brita filter or something similar. This will get rid of any taste residue and filter out heavy metals.
To ensure the purest water for your entire home, including the water you wash your clothes and bathe with, there is a range of water conditioners, water filtration and purification options to choose from:
Carbon absorption filters use activated carbon to filter microscopic particles. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
Ceramic water filters are usually directly installed underneath the sink. They are great at getting rid of chlorine and other impurities in the water.
Reverse osmosis filters use a membrane that traps most water contaminants. This is one of the best filters you can get to remove sediment, chlorine, odors, taste, and minerals. They can either be installed under the sink or directly to your main water supply.
Whole-home water conditioners are connected to the main water supply to provide your entire home with clean, conditioned water. This helps reduce your need for cleaning products, extend the lifespan and efficiency of your appliances, reduce water staining, increase energy efficiency, and provide huge health and beauty benefits.
Gold Medal Service knows that in order to be a strong company, we must do our part to strengthen the communities around us. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Since the day we opened for business in 1994, we have always looked for ways to improve our services and give back to the community. That’s why we have developed three charitable contribution programs that help us give tens of thousands of dollars to our favorite charities:
After service, we give our customers the opportunity to write a review online. For every review site the customer visits and posts a comment about service, we donate $5 to charity. If they post 6 reviews, we’ll donate $30. It’s that simple.
Similarly, we will donate every time a customer buys our 3-year membership (buy 2 years get the 3rd one free).
For every 3-year plan sold, we donate $30 to the charity of your choice. The customer has the option of splitting up the $30 between charities or donate all $30 to one.
Our Total Care Club encompasses your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Membership includes priority scheduling, a 15% discount on all services, and two annual maintenance appointments.
3. Loyal Customers
Last but not least, whenever a customer does business with us, we donate to Cookies for a Cure, which donates all profits from their delicious cookies to children’s cancer research. In addition to the donation, cookies get sent to the customer’s home. It’s a win-win!
Thanks to you, our loyal customers, we have given over $30,000 in donations this year to Cookies for a Cure, Make-A-Wish, and Wounded Warriors. We hope to donate even more in 2016.
We actively support communities in New Jersey
We regularly support and contribute to programs that benefit our local communities and the world/environment in general.
We have participated in home construction projects for the needy, including complete wiring services for Habitat for Humanity.
We use only the most energy efficient products and services and educate our customers on how they can reduce their environmental impact and save money at the same time.
We were featured on East Brunswick’s “Business from the Heart,” helping other small business owners succeed in the community.
We properly recycle and upcycle all old HVAC, plumbing, and electrical equipment.
In addition to Cookies for a Cure, Make-a-Wish, and Wounded Warrior Project, Gold Medal Service also regularly contributes to Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Drives and various Holiday Food Drives.
If you have any questions about how Gold Medal gives back or any additional information about our products and services, feel free to contact us! We are always looking for new opportunities to give back to our community. Let us know how we can help!
We offer 24-hour service and customer support so even if you experience an emergency in the middle of the night, we’re there for you.