Complimentary Issue 2015
WARMING YOUR HEARTH
PLUMBING OPTIONS: WHEN PIPES LEAK
JOINING THE FIGHT AGAINST
AIR CONDITIONERS: DUCT FREE
SERVING ALL OF VOLUSIA & FLAGLER COUNTIES SINCE 1976
Get Comfortable with Carrier Home Comfort Systems Life can be unpredictable. So when you’re home, your sense of comfort and relaxation should be just how you want it to be. Carrier helps millions of people take control of home comfort with innovative solutions ranging from furnaces to central air conditioners to air quality products. Even with products as reliable and efficient as Carrier’s, proper installation is critical to keeping you comfortable. Total Comfort will work with you before installation to custom design a solution that will meet the unique needs of your home – regardless of style, layout or size.
TO THE RESCUE
Readerâ€™s Choice Award Best in Plumbing, Electrical and Heat & Air Services
Serving Volusia and Flagler Since 1976
18 Are You Flushing Efficiently? by Len Gaspary
20 Total Comfort: Our Journey
by Roseann Haslett
6 Message From the President
When Pipes Leak... by Nate Freyburger
by Dan Hucks
24 LED Bulbs:
8 Duct-Free Air Conditioners
Simply a Bright Idea
Offer Multiple Benefits
by Nate Freyburger
by Maxine Reneé
26 Your Local Full-Service Propane Experts
10 Are Your Electrical Panels Too Old?
by Nate Freyburger
by Clair Cameron
12 Electric Vehicle Charging is Getting Easier by James Occhiogrosso
14 Krewe of Amalee:
Fun and Charity in ‘Amalee’ by Jacqueline Cross
16 Why Your AC Needs a Check-Up by Clair Cameron
27 Your Home is Cool, but is it Dry? by Garrett Chilson
28 Fighting Cancer
In the Community by Garrett Chilson
30 Dan’s Grilled Veal Chops by Dan Hucks
32 Surge Protection:
The Destructive Power of Surges by Nate Freyburger
40 Going Away?
Keep Mold at Bay by Maxine Reneé
Keeping the Lights on by Len Gaspary
34 Water Heater Options:
Which Water Heater is Best for You? by Clair Cameron
36 The Many Uses for Ultraviolet Lights by Roseann Haslett
37 Understanding Warranties 38 Duct Cleaning by Sanitizing:
The Benefits of Duct Maintenance by Len Gaspary
44 Meet the Team
46 Maintenance Agreements by Nate Freyburger
Reader’s Choice Award Best in Plumbing, Electrical and Heat & Air Services
Serving Volusia and Flagler Since 1976
© 2014 DeWayne Thomas A Media Company, Inc.™. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Comfort Zone is a free publication owned by DeWayne Thomas A Media Company, Inc.™ and distributed locally by Total Comfort. If you would like copies placed at your business please call our offices at 888-282-8186. Produced in whole or in part by CustomDesignMags.com™ & DeWayne Thomas A Media Company, Inc.™, 4305 62nd St. East Bradenton, Florida 34208. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and or advertisements, nor are we responsible in any way for the products and services advertised or promoted within these pages. For information on this or other printed publications produced by CustomDesignMags.com™ & DeWayne Thomas A Media Company, Inc.™ please call our offices at 941-538-7770 or visit us on the web at customdesignmags.com™.
Our customers allow us to continually grow and provide full-time employment for more than 100 residents of Volusia and Flagler Counties.
Dan and Lynda Hucks
A MessageFrom Dan Hucks S ince Total Comfort began in 1976, we have recognized the importance of 100% satisfaction to our customers. We continually work each day to earn their loyalty. I sincerely appreciate customers choosing our company to provide products and services for their home or office. In turn, our dedicated staff provides the absolute best experience for our customers, whether it’s a service to their air conditioning system, installation of a new HVAC system, electrical repair, plumbing emergency, installation of a gas fireplace, filling a BBQ tank, or just maintenance to their generator. We invest in our employees through ongoing training in all divisions. After hours, a live answering service immediately forwards calls to a manager, who is capable of responding to any request. Additionally, Total Comfort staffs after-hour service personnel for all divisions, including sales representatives and a delivery person for our propane customers. We offer 24 hour emergency service, 365 days a year. Loyal customers who use more than one of 6
President of Total Comfort
our services receive discounts. Our referral program rewards customers with Publix Gift Certificates when they refer us to their friends and neighbors. Our customers allow us to continually grow and provide full-time employment for more than 100 residents of Volusia and Flagler Counties. That is why over the years Total Comfort has taken an active part in the community. I am a member and past board member of Rotary Club of DeLand; past board member and past president of Trails Kiwanis Club; past board member of Easter Seals, Volusia and Flagler County; and past board member of Daytona State College Foundation. Among the charitable events we have sponsored: little league, youth soccer, football, t-ball, heart walks, cancer drives, and golf tournaments. We participated in the 2013 breast cancer drive for Florida Hospital, Ormond Beach, and donated over $4,900. Total Comfort recently donated free a/c units to: the Rape Crisis Center, Daytona
Beach; and the Palm Coast Little League. We also donated labor to rebuild the Magic Forest Playground at Nova Recreation in Ormond Beach. One of our favorite events is a Mardi Gras themed fundraiser hosted by the Krewe of Amalee in DeLand. Around 30,000 people and pets attend this charitable event. Festivities include a dog parade and a ball, of which I was “King” two years ago. We take pride in participating in this ever-growing festival. But, we never forget our roots. When you have been in business for more than 38 years, one of the best rewards is taking care of the customer who was there at the beginning. I am very appreciative when one of our first customers continues to come in the office, or calls and wants to talk to me. We’d like to say “Thank You” for letting Total Comfort help you enjoy your environment in a healthy, clean style. Sincerely,
Dan Hucks, President
TOTAL COMFORT IS THE BEST CHOICE IN RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING, ELECTRIC, PLUMBING, AND PROPANE SOLUTIONS
“WE PROVIDE NATE CERTIFIED HEAT AND AIR TECHNICIANS, QUALIFIED ELECTRICIANS, SKILLED PLUMBERS, AND STATE LICENSED PROPANE GAS TECHNICIANS.”
Duct-Free Air Conditioners Offer Multiple
by Maxine ReneĂŠ
uctless mini-split or duct-free system HVAC units can be a useful alternative to cool and heat homes and businesses. Through a variety of sizes and capabilities of controlling the air temperature in individual zones or rooms in the building, they offer both economic and environmental advantages. HVAC companies like Total Comfort are installing them in multifamily housing, renovations of older single-family homes, as well as businesses’ server rooms, waiting rooms and office spaces. They also have a money and energy savings advantage when some areas of an office space are used infrequently or not at all (such as a build-out waiting for occupancy), by only conditioning the space that is occupied. Duct-free systems, as the name implies, have no duct work and consist of an outdoor condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. These are linked together with tubing that houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, and a drain tube for condensation. In many
ways, they operate in a manner quite similar to a standard air conditioning system. Bruce McConnell, Operations Manager of Total Comfort, noted that the main advantages of duct-free systems are ease of installation, cost savings, energy savings and flexibility in locating the system for cosmetic concerns and sound control as well as logistical applications. “The benefits are often overlooked by customers, but we like to point out that duct-free systems can be installed in places where conventional ducted systems simply can’t go. Options for interior design include ceiling and wall mounted units, drop ceiling applications and even a picture gallery unit that allows the owner to customize the look of the space,” he said. “Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units have profiles of about eight to eleven inches deep and have a
range of aesthetically refined designs suitable for any home or office. All models offer a remote control to easily make adjustments to the system’s air flow pattern or temperature and on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.” Duct-free systems can also help to keep your home safer because there is only a small hole for the tubing to pass
“The cost savings can be significant in terms of installation and energy use.” through the wall. Window-mounted and through-the-wall room air-conditioners, unfortunately, can provide an easy entrance for intruders. “For many of our customers, the unique advantages of this type of system are important. Our installers are highly trained, they attend hands-on training as well as up-to-date factory training and testing,” Bruce continued. “I would caution against using a company whose technicians are not proficient in this type of installation, as each unit must be correctly sized and placed. An error here could result in wasted energy, improper temperature or humidity control, and greater long-term operational expenses.” Dan Hucks, President of Total Comfort, encourages home and business owners replacing existing systems, building new or remodeling to consider duct-free systems. “The cost savings can be significant in terms of installation and energy use without compromising the comfort level of the rooms or occupants. Our professional technicians are continuously trained to help customers determine the best options for cooling and heating your home or business.” 386-530-6624
Are Your Electrical Panels TOO OLD?
ost homes were constructed decades ago, which means they may not be equipped to handle modern electricity demands. Older homes sometimes possess less-than-half of the electrical service capacity of modern homes, which means they aren’t designed to handle the computers, televisions, and other electronic equipment that most of us own today. Electrical panels are put in place to protect your home from power surges, overcurrent, and short circuits. When issues such as these happen, panels can overheat and possibly start fires. This can occur even if they appear to be working properly. Nothing lasts forever, and electricians and home inspectors have found that as many as 60% of one brand of panels, Federal Pacific, fail. In fact, if your home is equipped with one of these out-of-date panels, some insurance companies may deny coverage if there’s an electrical fire or other related accident.
by Clair Cameron
make a breaker pop, sizzle, and then burn out. If the electricity demand exceeds what the circuit provides, this could lead to wires burning up and the circuit board severely overheating. Ideally, when a circuit is overloaded, the breaker would trip and cut off power. However, due to aging and wear, some older panels may fail to trip and instead overload themselves with excess electrical current. Simply put, older panels were never designed with today’s electricity demands in mind. Your home is at higher risk for fires and other incidents that could severely damage your electrical systems without a properly functioning panel. Even if your panel’s old circuit breaker clicks off the way it should, your home is at a serious disadvantage when it comes to its electrical capacity. Old breakers may shut off just from normal usage.
Something as simple as having too many electrical devices plugged into one room is all it takes to
Without a properly working panel, your home’s electronics may not function. Your panel is the central hub for
all of your home’s electricity, and without it your home will not have any power. Even if your panel isn’t putting your home at risk for damage, you should have one that works properly. The best way to make sure your panel is safe and functioning properly is to have a professional electrician check it out. Total Comfort recommends that you have your home’s electrical system inspected annually, at which time an electrician will examine your panel for any potential flaws and/or age-related concerns. If it does turn out that your electrical panel is out-of-date or dangerous, you should replace it immediately. For every day you continue to use a panel that isn’t equipped to handle modern electricity demands, you’re putting your entire home at increased risk for serious damage. For more information about electrical panel upgrade and repair options, visit totalcomfortfl.com. Please visit myhome.eaton.com for product information to help you choose the right one for you.
EATON Electrical Panels EATON Circuit Breakers 10 COMFORT ZONE
“Our goal is to provide excellent service with a sense of urgency.”
100 % Satisfaction Guarantee
House2Home Inspection Services provides the highest level of professionally licensed, certified & insured inspectors. Home Inspections is in Palm Coast, St Augustine, Ormond Beach and surrounding areas. WHEN REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND BROKERS WANT THEIR OWN HOMES INSPECTED THEY TURN TO US.
CERTIFIED & LICENSED
COMFORT ZONE 11
Electric Vehicle Charging is Getting Easier by James Occhiogrosso
here are several types of electric vehicles (EVs) currently on the market. Plug-in hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt, are powered through a combination of gasoline and electricity. When the battery runs out, an on-board ancillary gasoline engine kicks in, extending the vehicle range. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster, on the other hand, are all-electric powered and run exclusively on on-board batteries with no ancillary gasoline engine. The biggest problems getting EVs into the mainstream have always been battery capacity, lack of charging stations, and pricing. Vehicle manufacturers are making progress by improving battery issues, and many municipalities are helping to resolve the charging system dilemma. As availability of charging stations increases, demand will grow, prices will drop, and EVs will become more prolific. Vehicle charging systems are often classified by charge level designation as: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 2 DC. The difference is in how the charge is applied, and in how long it takes to restore the battery of a depleted vehicle to full charge. A Level 1 system can take up to 24 hours to fully recharge a depleted battery. These chargers typically plug in to a standard, readily available 120V outlet and are often designed to be portable. They are the least expensive and useful for quick boosts when on the road, or as a home unit for low-use vehicles. Level 2 systems usually require a special 240V AC source. Typically, they can restore a depleted EV battery to a full charge in eight hours or less, making this an ideal unit for overnight residential charging of a vehicle used for daily commuting. Finally, there are Level 2 DC (formerly called Level 3) systems. These units convert the standard AC power to DC and feed it directly to the carâ€™s battery bypassing the vehicleâ€™s internal charger. The advantage is that a vehicle charge can be re stored 12 COMFORT ZONE
“It’s very important for people to know who they are dealing with.” Here at Total Comfort your safety and security is a major priority. You have every right to know the quality and background of the service or sales person coming to your home or office. That’s why we partnered with Ask the Seal. Their Seal of Security and Confidence is your assurance that our company is licensed, insured and every employee working on your property has passed annual and follow-up criminal and sex offender background checks.
DID YOU KNOW?
very quickly, often in less than a few hours. However, such systems are costly, shorten battery life if used often, and require special installation.
• In 2012, there were over 750,000 burglary/property crimes committed in Florida • Many companies claim they are licensed, insured or bonded----NOT TRUE • Many also claim to perform criminal background checks----NOT TRUE • Many criminals use their employers to find their next victim • Many crimes are committed up to six months after the service
One system-wide limitations, says Todd George of Eaton Corp., a manufacturer of EV charging systems and other products, is that “All EVs sold today come with an on-board charger which is often the weakest link in the system. Such on-board units have a limited charge rate, thus excepting Level 2 DC chargers, they restrict what an external charging system can deliver.” Before a long trip with an EV, it is wise to select a route that includes known charging stations, and verify that they can accept the coupling mechanism for the vehicle. The Department of Energy maintains a website with an up-to-date list of all known charging stations. Additionally, there are smartphone apps that can pinpoint the location of charging stations and make EV travel easier.
Ken Coleman, Journeyman Electrician
Total Comfort is part of the Eaton Certified Contractor Network and can supply and install all Eaton. For more information on electric vehicle charging stations, visit myhome.eaton.com.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
COMFORT ZONE 13
FUN AND CHARITY IN ‘AMALEE’ by Jacqueline Cross
“The ball is for the membership; the dog parade is for the community,” says Tina Houck, the reigning Queen of Amalee. “We have a parade, and then a festival follows.” It’s an all-day event, and it benefits the arts, families of children in need, as well as dog and animal rescue shelters.
14 COMFORT ZONE
hose not familiar with ladies Carnival Krewes may find the Krewe of Amalee in DeLand, Fla. to be strange at first; it’s a mix of performance art, fantasy, and charity. There’s something intimate about their lavish balls, royal court, and the legendary story they’ve invented for themselves. For the ladies of Amalee, all of the above is a necessary part of the fun. In the end, their pre-Lent partying comes attached with a sense of community and fellowship, benefitting local charities and the arts. Carnivals are the festivities that occur prior to Lent; typically these involve themed parties, full of costumes, beads, dancing and other fun oriented festivities. Carnival Krewes are social groups that host these events, and the Krewes themselves are usually non-profit organizations, funded entirely by dues and sponsorships.
The Krewe of Amalee hosts two major events every year: their royal ball, a social event for members and their guests where the year’s royal court are crowned; and a masquerade dog parade, which raises money for local charities. Money raised comes thanks to an array of volunteers and sponsors within the community who donate time, money, and labor to make the events a reality. The 2015 parade will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, in DeLand. Total Comfort is a major sponsor of the event. The dog parade features pooches in costumes; dog owners in full-masquerade garb, holding hilariously-gaudy props; and extravagant floats whose grand nature reveals hours of labor-intensive love. The icing on the cake for participants comes from knowing that the parade supports a good cause.
Being an organization that lives in a world of artistic expression, it is no surprise that the Krewe of Amalee also supports local arts programs and theatres, particularly those related to children. The Krewe donates to the Athens Theatre, and Shoestring Theatre in DeLand. They also donate to programs that help the visually impaired, as well as families of children in need. Some of the money that’s donated to families and art programs comes from
sponsors of the dog parade, such as Total Comfort and major sponsors, but much of it also comes from dues and personal donations by the Krewe members. So while it’s true that the Krewe of Amalee knows how to have a good time, these ladies still have charitable hearts and their efforts benefit the entire community. For more information about the Krewe of Amalee’s Masquerade Dog Parade and how you can join Total Comfort in offering your support, visit their website at dogparadedeland.com
COMFORT ZONE 15
our air conditioner is one of the hardest working appliances in your home, and it deserves some love and special attention. At least once a year, it’s important to give your ac system a full inspection and tune-up, to assure that it’s running smoothly when you need it most.
Why Your AC Needs a Check-Up by Clair Cameron
If you live in a warm climate, chances are your air conditioner runs constantly for most of the year. During that time, filters will become dirty, coils can become caked with dust, blockages may develop, and system leaks may become worse. Any number of issues may develop in your system while it’s actively working overtime to cool your home and, conversely, your system may also develop problems while it’s dormant during the winter months. Servicing your unit allows any potential concerns to be spotted early, before they become worse. If your air conditioning system has a small problem that you allow to spiral downward, a major repair could be in your future. The cost of an a/c repair – or worse, a full system replacement – is almost certainly going to be more expensive than a maintenance appointment. Look at it this way: If your car needs an oil change and you neglect to take care of it, you could end up blowing the engine. Your air conditioner works much in the same way; you have to maintain it regularly, or you risk causing serious damage that could end up costing you a small fortune.
Dave Pritchard, Maintenance Doctor
16 COMFORT ZONE
The longevity and health of your system is only part of the reason why regular upkeep is a great idea. Annual maintenance assures that your system is working as efficiently as possible, using only the amount of energy it needs to get the job done. In short, keeping your system clean and tuned-up improves energy efficiency, and will likely save you money on energy bills. For older systems, this annual maintenance is even more important, and not just because it’s at increased risk for breaking down. Older systems are less energy-efficient and, combined with the rising cost of power, saving money while using them can be a real hassle. By paying for a relatively inexpensive service call once or twice a year, you’re almost assuredly going to get that money back in terms of what you’ll save on bills. Maintenance keeps all systems running at an optimal level, and for older systems it may be what prevents a major malfunction. Regular maintenance has an upfront cost, but neglecting to do it could be far more expensive. In the end, a large repair bill is going to cost you far more, and the savings you’ll reap on energy bills are worth the cost of an appointment. Remember, no machine is designed to work forever. Your ac system needs to be taken care of properly, and doing so could expand its lifespan well beyond the years the manufacturer ever intended.
... and so does your
Plumbing & Electric
t’s more than just your air conditioner that needs regular attention and love. The electrical wiring and plumbing in your home would also benefit from regular maintenance. Much like how your HVAC system could have a small problem waiting to spiral out of control and cost you big, the same may be true for your home’s electricity and plumbing. Small leaks, worn pipes, and drains on the verge of becoming clogged can go unnoticed until the damage is done, in which case calling a plumber to make an emergency service call may be your only option. Having a professional look at the plumbing in your home and check for any potential problems could save you big money. Don’t let unnoticed or small issues turn into large repairs. An inexpensive once-a-year checkup may be all it takes to keep things flowing smoothly.
Kyle Massey, NATE Certified AC Technician
Your electrical systems are also at risk for failure. You may have loose electrical
outlets, bad wires, or an old fuse that’s just waiting to cause you problems. Pests can eat wires, surges can destroy appliances, and an old outlet may be ready to die – and you may not even know it. Regular maintenance allows a professional to check over the electrical systems in your home to make sure everything is working as it should. Don’t neglect regular maintenance. Taking preventative measures could save you money in the long run, and is generally just a good idea. See if you can find a service company that is willing to check over everything to make sure all the systems in your home are safely working at peak level. Doing so may not only save you from a large repair bill, it will also assure that your entire home is as energy-efficient as it should be. Total Comfort offers annual maintenance programs that cover your whole home. For more information, contact Total Comfort at 386-530-6624.
COMFORT ZONE 17
If the money-saving angle doesn’t win you over, think about all the water you’ll be conserving. Water is a precious resource that people too often waste needlessly.
’ll bet you never thought you’d have to worry that your toilet might be the focus of hackers trying to get into your computer. Well, it could happen. With almost everything we use these days being “connected,” even your toilet could be hacked. Toilets, and the technology incorporated into them, have advanced rapidly over the past several years. The options currently available are numerous and include: low flow flush technology, comfort height, touchless flush and seat operation, heated seats, bidet options, built-in nightlights, remote control, and more. Probably the most common options are low flow flush technology and comfort height. Low flow improvements have come about because of various government mandates that gradually reduced required maximum water usage from over 3 gallons per flush in the mid-1990s to the current maximum of 1.6 gallons per flush. In addition to the now standard 1.6 toilets, you can get even more efficient models that reduce usage even further.
Are You Flushing EFFICIENTLY? by Len Gaspary
Some progressive communities are now offering incentives in the form of rebates on your utility bill to replace older toilets with new water conserving models. In some areas these incentives also include water efficient washing machines, faucets, and shower heads. The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 introduced requirements in buildings to compensate for peoples’ physical impair-
18 COMFORT ZONE
ments. One of these requirements was to use higher toilets in public and commercial buildings. Originally classified as “handicap” toilets, those people without physical impairments discovered that these toilets were more comfortable for adults than the standard toilets. The name gradually changed from “handicap” to “comfort
The ‘no-touch flush’ retrofit kit is easy to install on almost any toilet. Once installed, your toilet will flush by waving your hand over a sensor. This helps cut down on the unwanted spreading of germs and improves the cleanliness of your home.
height.” Currently, the majority of toilets sold are “comfort height”. Low flow flush rate and comfort height have become the norm but at the high and somewhat exotic side of the spectrum we have those with built-in bidets, motion activated seats, touchless flush, remote
Toilet seat nightlights from KOHLER feature two unique LED light displays to make your nighttime toilet trips safe and comfortable. They’re perfect for families with small children, seniors, or just about anyone else who wants to make their bathroom navigation a little cleaner.
control (with phone apps in case you left home and forgot to flush), heated seats, built-in sound systems, Bluetooth, and the list goes on. Decide on the options most important to you and give us a call at 386-530-6624 or see us on the web at www.totalcomfortfl.com
Slow-closing lids for toilets cut down on unwanted slamming and lid damage. With the slightest touch, a KOHLER Quiet-Close lid will put itself down safely and silently. Using one also improves hygiene since you need only make minimal contact with the lid to put the seat down.
“Total Comfort? Sure! We‘ve been their #1 source for vehicles and service for over 22 years! May we start providing the same for YOU?”
COMFORT ZONE 19
Dan and Lynda Hucks
Total Comfort: OUR JOURNEY by Roseann Haslett
ou could say fifth generation Floridian Dan Hucks was born to take flying leaps. Not necessarily making a name by exotic travels or dare-devil sports, but by having the business vision to ask ‘what’s the next thing coming?’
leap when he decided to add an electrical division. During the early 1980s, his technicians were installing air conditioning in many older homes that never had ac. Dan had hired an outside electrical contractor to upgrade the electrical and wire the new
It all started in April 1976 in Daytona Beach. When the owner of an air conditioning company died and his wife decided to close the business, a service technician saw an opportunity to purchase the warranty files and phone number of that company, and Total Comfort was born. “We drafted a letter to notify the customers that the owner had passed away, the company name would change, the service people were the same, and we would honor any warranty they had with the previous company,” recalls Dan. “Our company grew very fast; by the end of the third year we had approximately 15 employees.” In 1980, Dan bought out his partner. He took on the ‘if you build it, they will come’ 20 COMFORT ZONE
ac systems. He says, “We realized it would be beneficial to have our own electrical contracting business.” Another leap came during the late 1980s and early 1990s when Total Comfort
, and Jimmy Martin, thirty-year employee
worked with a local propane gas company. When that company was sold to a Florida electric utility, Dan discovered many of the customers for which they had installed systems were not happy with the service from the utility company. “Several even suggested we should go into the propane business,” he says. And, they did! In 1992, Total Comfort Gas, Inc. was open for business. With service technicians installing, repairing, maintaining and replacing, and in air conditioning and heating, electrical, and gas divisions, they were bound to run into other kinds of homeowners’ problems. They started replacing water heaters and installing tank-less water heaters. Always leaping forward, in 2007 Dan purchased a plumbing service business and added plumbing to his companies.
through a very thorough screening prior to employment,” says Dan. Applicants must pass a criminal background check, which continues during employment. The company conducts random drug tests. Additionally, all applicants must have a clean Florida driver’s license prior to and during employment. “We are continually working to improve customer service,” says Dan. “Many of our incoming calls are recorded. Those recordings are used in employee training.”
had to make. I knew if we did not reduce our overhead we would not survive.” Breaking even actually was a good thing! From 2007 to 2012, he did not replace equipment or hire employees. He adds, “We were very fortunate to have a loyal customer base to continue to use us through the recession.” Dan credits his employees for those loyal customers. “Total Comfort applicants go
Technology has changed the way businesses are run, and Dan embraces all of them. “The addition of cell phones, computers, the Internet, the way we dispatch calls, the way we order equipment, training for our staff,” he lists. “Even the tools we use are different from when we went into business. We are constantly working to keep up with the changes, adding new training for our staff, replacing equipment that is obsolete or improving our response times. We are open six days a week and provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” To improve dispatch efficiency, all of his vehicles have live real-time GPS tracking. He collects fuel economy reports that indicate how long a vehicle is in a location, constantly monitors the path the vehicle has taken, and checks what speed the vehicle is traveling or has traveled. He monitors the results of advertising through a marketing tool for tracking numbers.
But, just around the corner, in 2008, came the recession. And, that proved one of the biggest challenges for Total Comfort, and the worst years of Dan’s career. “When the down time came, we parked 45 trucks,” says Dan. “In 2007, our companies employed a staff of 125. By the end of 2008, we had to reduce staff to 65. That was one of the hardest decisions I ever
From L to R: Lynda, Jeannie, Stacy, Mich elle, Travis, Katelyn, Kyleigh, Cassidy,
Raina, Wyatt, David, Dan.
COMFORT ZONE 21
That sense of family extends into the community, where Total Comfort has sponsored youth sporting teams, fundraisers for cancer treatment, and arts programs. Dan is a Rotarian, member of The Elks, and a charter member of the Volusia 100 Club. This organization donates $10,000 to the families of law enforcement or fire department personnel who were killed in the line of duty, for all of Volusia and Flagler Counties.
Dan Hucks, 1984
Such diligence allows Dan to offer his services, not only to homes, but also to businesses. “Many of our commercial customers are medical facilities, including doctors’ offices, ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals,” Dan says. “We provide service to several factories as well as numerous office facilities.” Residential, however, makes up approximately 80% of their service. Over the years technicians have installed thousands of systems in some very large homes, with as many as 16 systems. Dan says, “We now have residential systems communicating through the Internet. Home owners can access their home, monitor or adjust their temperature. Equipment can even notify us if there is a malfunction.”
“I don’t know that I wanted to own my own business,” he recalls. “I just knew I could do the ac business and, if I applied myself, I could make a living at it. That’s what I tell my new technicians they could do.” They live on the property where Dan grew up, and that has been in the family for nearly 100 years. The couple’s children and 11 grandchildren live in Ormond Beach.
What’s ‘the next thing coming’ for Total Comfort? That remains to be seen. As long as the industry changes, so will the company. Only, you may see the same faces on the staff. “We are very fortunate to have several employees that have been with us for over 30 years, and a couple that have been with us for over 36 years,” says Dan. “Long-term employees and family members working with us give Lynda and I great peace of mind. We know our staff works diligently to provide the best products and services for our customers.”
With wife, Lynda, three adult children, one who has worked at Total Comfort for over 20 years, the family-owned/operated company has thrived. Besides a loyal customer base, family inspires Dan to move forward. “Lynda has always stood by me and motivated me through the good as well as the tough years,” says Dan. Dan was born and reared in DeLand, Fla. where he played baseball and graduated from DeLand High School. He attended Daytona Beach Community College. His father worked in the refrigeration and air conditioning business, and during high school and after, Dan attended air conditioning school. 22 COMFORT ZONE
From L to R:
Rick Fraser (Ormond Bea ch Chamber of Commer Ormond Beach) – Lyn ce, Executive da Hu
Directo cks(Co-Founder Total Co mfort) – Dan Hucks (Fo r) – Ed Kelley (Mayor of under/Presiden
t Total Comfort).
Plumbing: WHEN PIPES LEAK... by Nate Freyburger
he first sign that you may have a water leak is a bill that’s higher than normal. Water leaks can occur anywhere, and they may not always be easy to find. If you notice water flowing where it shouldn’t be or your water bills mysteriously rising, it may be time to call a plumber. The cause of a leak may be hard to determine, and fixing the issue may not be as simple as a patch job. Here are some common areas in your home where leaks may sprout and how you can help identify them.
Toilets do a lot of work every day, and as a result they are one of the most common places you’ll find a leak. Something as simple as a toilet tank with a flapper that doesn’t close all the way can cost a small fortune over time, wasting thousands of gallons of water in as little as a month. Times are tough and money is tight, so any wasted water is too much. And if you’re someone whose home uses a well, that leaky toilet equals higher power bills. Luckily, toilet leaks are easy to identify and are typically accompanied by the noise of running water. If you notice yourself having to jiggle the handle to stop your tank from filling, flush multiple times, or if you’re hearing running water when you shouldn’t, it’s time to get your toilet fixed before your monthly bills take a hit.
SHOWERHEAD AND FAUCET
When you turn your faucet off, the water should stop flowing, right? Well, sometimes water continues to drip out of the faucet even after you’re done using it. If it drips for a few moments, there may not be a problem. But if your faucet continues to leak long after you’ve closed the line, it’s time to fix it. Showers and sinks that leak even tiny amounts of water can waste gallons over time. If you notice yourself having to over tighten the faucet in order to stop the dripping, it isn’t working the way it should. Faucet and showerhead leaks are typically easy to detect and fix during a routine plumbing maintenance call. Normal use of faucets and showers can cause these issues over time, but it’s still good to solve them early if you’re interested in saving water and money.
Waterline leaks are those that occur wherever water flows – in pipes behind walls, under the floorboards, and underground. If you notice a pipe leaking or mysterious water flowing from your wall or floorboards, that’s a sign of a problem. However, most line leaks won’t be that easy to spot. Detecting leaks in unseen pipes isn’t easy, and will require an experienced professional to properly identify. Leaks in pipes that aren’t easily visible may require the use of specialized equipment for detecting leaks. If a leak is found, the pipes will need to be uncovered or bypassed in order to be repaired. There may be symptoms of hidden
Jorge Cruz, Journeyman Plumber
line leaks that you can see (e.g. flooding in your yard), but many times the only indication that there’s a problem will come from higher water bills. It’s also a wise idea to pay attention to your water pressure; a sudden or gradual change in water pressure can also be an indication that things aren’t flowing so well or that you have a leak. Because of the complex and insidious nature of waterline leaks, a professional plumber is the only person who should be trusted to diagnose and solve these problems. Repairing and replacing damaged pipes inside your walls and under the surface isn’t a do-it-yourself task, since you could end up making mistakes that will cost you a fortune. Always hire a professional. Pay attention to what the water in your home is telling you. Keep an eye on your utility bills and water pressure, and keep your ears open for any strange noises. Be diligent when it comes to your plumbing, since water can cause major damage over time. The best way to stop leaks is to seal them before they happen. Annual plumbing maintenance is recommended so that problems can be solved before the first drip. For more information about plumbing leak detection, head to the Total Comfort website at totalcomfortfl.com.
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LED BULBS: SIMPLY A T
he technology behind light bulbs and light fixtures is advancing rapidly, and there’s a good chance that your home is out of date. If you’re still using incandescent or fluorescent lights in your home, you’re seriously behind the times. It’s time to consider upgrading to LEDs. Yes, LED lights are more stylish and come in a wide variety of pleasing fixtures, but that’s not the primary reason you should consider them. If you’re interested in saving money and conserving energy, making the switch to LEDs is the right call. “On your LED lights in the recessed cans, you can go from 65 watts per bulb to ten-and-a-half per bulb. So, there’s a significant savings there,” says Greg Garrett, the Electrical Project Manager for Total Comfort. “Plus, the LEDs don’t give off much heat, so there’s an added savings there. They won’t raise your cooling costs in the summer time, even if you have all of the lights on.” Unlike traditional light bulbs, LED lights stay cool and are resistant to the build-up of heat. As such, they won’t make you sweat, and your air conditioner won’t pop on due to lights heating your room. Best of all, because the bulbs themselves don’t get too hot, they stay durable and are not prone to breaking. “The lifetime expectancy is 25 years for the LED lamps, based on three-hour-a-day usage,” says Greg. “That’s much higher than other household lights.” Early energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs contained mercury, leaving some people 24 COMFORT ZONE
feeling reluctant to use them. But LED bulbs are mercury-free, and are completely safe to use in the home and easier to dispose of. If one of them breaks, you don’t have to worry about spreading anything poisonous around. As energy-saving bulbs go, LEDs are one of the safest and cleanest options available. LED lights can be retrofitted or installed in every room. However, if you’re someone who is looking into getting or currently have any outdoor landscape lighting, consider using LED lamps. Much like their indoor counterparts, they conserve energy, are
by Nate Freyburger
very durable, and will last for years. Plus, because of their heat-resistant design, the hot summer sun won’t weaken them. “If you have landscape lighting, switching to LEDs is as simple as retrofitting the old fixtures,” Greg says. “The longevity and energy savings they offer is the primary reason to make the switch, but LEDs also have a cool color temperature, and look great around your walkway or in a garden.” Regardless of what you need illuminated, LEDs are environmentally-friendly options that can lower your bills at the
end of the month. They give off a nice bluish-white glow, and can come in a variety of aesthetically-pleasing fixtures and containers. Almost any light fixture can be retrofitted for LEDs, and some fluorescent bulbs can simply be replaced. There’s little reason not to consider making them a beautiful addition to your home, especially when you consider the money they’ll save you in the long run. For more information on how you can make the switch to energy-efficient LED lighting, contact Total Comfort’s electrical department at 386-530-6624.
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Your Local Full-Service PROPANE EXPERTS by Nate Freyburger
s much as 60% of Florida’s power supply comes from gas, and that number is expected to rise in the future. You’re probably noticing more and more gas appliances being offered for homes, but maybe you’re not yet equipped to use propane. The thought of hiring one company to run a gas line, then another to install a propane fireplace, and then yet another to get a water heater up and running seems pretty daunting. Luckily, Total Comfort can do all of the above and much more.
The goal is to build long-term relationships with customers by constantly caring for all of their propane needs.
“We offer a wide range of propane services,” says Ken DePrinzio, the manager of gas services at Total Comfort. “We have access to a huge selection of gas fireplaces and water heaters, and we can handle any necessary installations, maintenance, and repairs.”
Total Comfort is state licensed and insured, and members of the National Propane Gas Association and the Florida Propane Gas Association, both of which set standards for ethics and quality. They will install and repair propane fireplaces, water heaters, and other gas appliances, offering budgetpay programs for those who qualify.
Total Comfort offers complete solutions for all your propane needs, including the repair and installation of above and underground propane tanks and piping. They’ll also refill propane tanks and truck the fuel directly to your home or business.
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“Our full-service propane solutions are offered to residential and commercial customers in Flagler and Volusia Counties,” says DePrinzio. “We want to take care of both your home and your business. When it comes to your propane delivery and service requirements, we’ll work with you to make sure your needs are completely met and you get the best deal possible.”
For more information on the specific services offered or to schedule an appointment, please call Total Comfort Gas at 386-530-6624.
Your Home is Cool, BUT IS IT DRY? by Garrett Chilson
t’s hot and humid in Florida, and it’s not unusual to walk into a home and still feel a little bit of the outdoor moisture in the air. Much like how you control the temperature with an air conditioning and heating system, homeowners should consider taking control of humidity levels by installing a dehumidifier. Using one has a laundry list of benefits that you may not have considered.
Stop Mold in its Tracks
Mold and mildew reside where it’s moist: shower curtains, windowsills, air conditioning ducts, and sinks. In homes where humidity is very high, mold can even form on furniture or in carpets. While it’s gross to look at, mold and mildew can also cause issues with breathing for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. A dehumidifier makes it more difficult for mold to thrive by cutting back the humidity it needs to flourish.
Improve Your Health
It isn’t just mold and mildew that thrive in a moist environment. Other allergens and
disease-causing bacteria love places that are wet. Dehumidifiers help to reduce the number of these pathogens, too, keeping the air you breathe cleaner and healthier.
Dust-up the Dust Mites
These tiny critters are so small that you can’t even see them without a microscope. They live in your bed linen, curtains, carpets, floor mats, furniture, and pillows. They literally get nourishment from the moisture that gets trapped in random areas of the home, and from there they multiply. Dehumidifiers help to keep their numbers in check by keeping things dry.
relatively inexpensive way to improve air quality, bolster your health, and protect your possessions. Dehumidifiers come in a range of sizes from small one-room units to whole-home systems; the sizes are based on the system’s ability to remove moisture from the air. Regardless of what your needs are, there’s bound to be a system out there that’s perfect for you. Total Comfort installs Aprilaire and other brands of dehumidifiers. For more information on Aprilaire products, visit www.aprilaire.com.
Protect Your Belongings
Certain electronics, books, clothes, paintings, posters, and even some foods can become damaged by moisture. The things you own will last longer if the humidity levels in your home are under control. Controlling excess moisture in your home brings benefits that expand beyond mold control. Dehumidification is an easy and 386-530-6624
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Fighting Cancer IN THE
by Garrett Chilson
he Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center’s Cancer Institute’s goal is to offer the best treatment available, providing total care that focuses on the mind, body, and spirit. Owned by the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital embraces a Christian approach to healthcare, avoiding special interests by maintaining a not-for-profit status. The Cancer Institute is ranked among the best in the nation, offering care that combines nutrition with surgical and radiation therapies. Additionally, they fund and conduct research trials, partnering with larger national charities 28 COMFORT ZONE
to maximize resources. The end goal is to cure all types of cancer for good. “Cancer is a frightening disease. For anyone that has been affected by cancer, a common theme is feeling overwhelmed,” says Luis Chanaga, the Regional Administrator for the Memorial Hospital’s oncologist service line. “Having the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute in our community allows us to provide a comprehensive location where patients can come in and allow us to help remove fears and burdens while creating a collaborated effort to provide healing and restoration.”
When patients aren’t in treatment, the Cancer Institute focuses on their education and comfort, believing a calm person who feels knowledgeable about the disease affecting them is more likely to respond positively to care. “If our patients need a place of peace and meditation, we have a chapel in the center of the building where they can find refuge,” says Chanaga. “For those patients receiving chemotherapy, the floor-to-ceiling windows in that suite allows patients to see a lake and wildlife as they are provided care by our compassionate chemo
nurses.” In order to fund the Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Institute, a foundation was established to develop donation programs, maximize grant money, and make decisions about how to put funding to good use. Trace Pendry, the Executive Director for the Florida Hospital Memorial Foundation, says that spending decisions are made with the care and comfort of patients in mind. “What we’ve done before is we’ve bought
iPads for our patients as they sit and receive hours and hours of radiation or chemotherapy treatment during the week,” he says. “We’ve also provided tops and wigs, and other things in a partnership with the American Cancer Society.” The Foundation also helps to subsidize the cost of healthcare for cancer patients who have financial restraints. There are programs in place to make the cost associated with cancer treatment an easier burden to bear, since patients already have a tough road ahead of them. “One of the things we do is we raise funds to give mammograms to underinsured or non-insured women—it’s a great program,” says Pendry. “Obviously they have to have a prescription from their primary care physician … they come into us, they meet with someone at our imaging center who screens them, and then what we do is we fund them for mammograms, diagnostic testing, or minor surgical procedures—free of charge. We pay for the procedure if any
of the ladies don’t qualify for insurance or don’t have the financial resources to have that mammogram done.” Being a nonprofit, the Memorial Medical Center relies partially on contributions in order to cover its operating expenses. The charity events and drives that bring in funds for the Memorial Medical Center are typically conducted at a local level. Pendry says that the Foundation aims to be donor-centralized and keep as much money within the community as possible. Because a large number of donors are the families, friends, and former patients of those who benefited from the care at the medical center, many like the idea of their donations staying at the facility. People come from all over the state seeking the care of the Memorial Medical Center’s Cancer Institute because of their positive reputation. Knowing that choosing a treatment center isn’t a decision that patients enter into lightly, Chanaga says every effort is taken to assure that each patient is treated like an individual. “We are blessed to have this facility in our community, and we are honored with the lives that trust us for their care,” says Chanaga. “This honor is not taken lightly, and we always strive to extend the healing ministry of Christ in all we do.” For more information on Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center’s Cancer Institute, and how you can join Total Comfort in supporting them, visit floridahospital.com.
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Grilled Veal Chops WITH GARLIC MASHED POTATOES, GORGONZOLA AND MUSHROOM GRAVY, SERVED WITH SAUCY STEAMED ASPARAGUS
by Dan Hucks
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»» 4 - 8, 10 Oz. 1” Thick Veal Rib Chops »»4 - Medium to Large Idaho Potatoes »»1lb of Fresh Asparagus »»1 Packet of Mushroom Gravy »»1/8 Cup of Sliced Mushrooms »»Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles »»Marsala Wine »»Salt »»Black Pepper »»Lawry’s Seasoned Salt »»Garlic Powder »»Italian Seasoning »»Balsamic Vinegar »»Hellman’s Mayonnaise »»Sour Cream »»½ teaspoon Lemon Juice »»½ Bottle of Italian Salad Dressing »»French’s Mustard
… AND THE ASPARAGUS SAUCE
START WITH THE VEAL CHOPS. Sprinkle Lawry’s seasoned salt and Italian seasoning lightly on both sides of each veal chop. Place veal chops in pan, and shake balsamic vinegar on each. Coat each side. Cover with foil and let stand until the potatoes and asparagus are prepared. Light charcoal or gas grill and preheat to 375 degrees. Place the veal chops on the grill once everything else is ready and prepared.
NEXT, COOK THE POTATOES. Peel Potatoes and cut them into cubes. Place them in a pan of boiling water. Add salt. Let them boil for 15 minutes, and then turn the heat off.
Place a small pan on the stove. Add ½ cup of Hellman’s mayonnaise, ½ cup of sour cream, ½ teaspoon of French’s mustard, and 1 teaspoon of Lemon Juice. Turn the burner on to medium. Stir until it simmers, then turn the heat off.
LET’S COOK THE CHOPS! The grill should be hot enough by now. Place the veal chops on the grill; sear both sides to brown. Once both sides are seared, reduce heat, close the lid on the grill, and cook slowly to your desired doneness. Remove the chops from the grill, and place them in a pan. Cover the pan. Pour any juice from the chops into the gravy after you serve them.
NOW, START THE ASPARAGUS. Mash potatoes with a hand mixer. Add more seasoning if necessary, then set them aside.
... PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER.
TIME TO MAKE THE GRAVY… Open packet and prepare as directed. Add chopped mushrooms to the gravy as it’s cooking. Add 1oz of Marsala wine. Stir frequently. Turn heat to warm, and let the gravy sit.
Place the asparagus dish into the microwave, and cook on high for 3-4 minutes. The asparagus should remain slightly crunchy. While asparagus is cooking, turn heat up on the gravy and add 2ozs of gorgonzola cheese to the gravy. Stir the cheese to help it melt.
Reheat the sauce. Stir it so that it does not burn. Add the sauce to the asparagus. Serve the asparagus, veal chops, and mashed potatoes, adding the gravy where desired.
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Surge Protection: THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF SURGES by Nate Freyburger
ower surges occur within a fraction of a second, but during that time they can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to the electronics in your home. Anything that’s hooked up to a power source is at risk for being fried when power surges strike – and they happen a lot more than you think. We’ve all experienced a sudden, unexpected power outage. Afterward, things typically turn back on as normal. But if a power surge makes it to your computer, TV, air conditioner, or any other electronic device, it may never turn on again, and you’re stuck having to replace it. Power surges are responsible for hundreds of millions in property damage every year, and most insurance companies will recommend 32 COMFORT ZONE
whole-house surge protection, coupled with localized surge protector strips, to safeguard the appliances in your home. “An average home has an average of $10 thousand to $15 thousand dollars worth of electronics,” says Dave Malick, the National Sales Manager for the Eaton Corporation—a leading manufacturer of surge protectors. “Your appliances, your flat screen TVs, your computers, game systems—that all adds up really quickly. And they can all get fried in an instant.” Many people will buy surge protection strips and plug expensive electronics into them, believing they provide a shield against power surges. But Malick warns against making this assumption, stating
that power strips can’t stop large surges. “A misconception is that people will use surge strips to protect their sensitive equipment, and they think that gives them full protection – but that’s the furthest thing from the truth that you can imagine,” he says. “We (at Eaton) still recommend you use them, but they don’t guarantee protection.” Instead of relying on localized power strips that only a few devices can plug into, a whole-home surge protector connects to the electrical panel, guarding everything that’s connected to the home’s power supply. These devices will protect against surges that originate from both inside and outside the home – yes, surges can start from indoors.
When many people think of power surges, they assume they are always the result of a lightning strike. However, they can originate from any malfunctioning appliance or other accident inside the home, and cause a chain-reaction that could wreak havoc on anything that’s plugged into an outlet. Additionally, it is possible for a power surge to come through a wire that isn’t connected to your home’s electrical system. All wires are cable of overloading and carrying surges into whatever is connected to them. “Surges can come down through the telephone lines … and they can come through (the cable lines),” says Malik. “So, there are devices that will protect from surges that come through cable wires and phone lines, too.”
For complete protection of everything in the home, devices that guard against surges coming through the cable and telephone lines are a good idea. But admittedly, most surges will come through the home’s electrical systems, making the whole-house model that attaches to the breaker panel the most necessary of the bunch. Surge protectors come in a variety of options, offering a range of protection for different prices. Most are guaranteed to work for more than a decade. If your home doesn’t have one, it’s something you should seriously consider. You never know when lightning will strike, and the resulting damage could cost you a whole lot more than a surge protector.
Total Comfort sells and installs Eaton brand whole-home surge protection. For more information about your surge protection options, visit myhome.eaton.com.
EATON Surge Protectors
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Water Heater Options: WHICH WATER HEATER IS BEST FOR YOU?
by Clair Cameron
one are the days where all homes have a conventional gas water heater. For all water heating needs, there are now a variety of options for you to choose from. But before you choose a new water heater, take a look at some of the common options that are available.
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
These come in several varieties. Some units are small, designed to work in part of a home or to be used in an outdoor extension, like a pool-house. Other tankless heaters are whole-house systems, powerful enough to provide hot water for your entire home and replace your old hot water tank forever. 34 COMFORT ZONE
Conventional hot water heaters run on gas. The gas heats a storage tank full of water, which is then pumped where it’s needed. A tankless water heater can have a gas, propane or electric heating device, but they only heat water on demand— there is no tank nor water storage system. Meaning, when you turn on your tap for hot water, that’s when the system begins heating, and it shuts off as soon as it’s done being used. You may be thinking that it takes a while for the water to heat up, or that the water coming out of your tap won’t be as hot as you like. However, those assumptions are incorrect. Tankless heaters use state-of-
the-art technology to heat your water to an optimal level very quickly, and they will continue heating until you turn your tap off. There is some delay before the water is heated, but the amount of water wasted is typically less than a gallon. Over the years, the efficiency of tankless heaters has improved greatly. Overall, tankless hot water heaters (also called on-demand water heaters) are designed to save you money on energy bills. Since there is no tank being constantly filled and heated up, there’s no wasted energy. A tankless system does not use energy until you tell it to, and it doesn’t continue to burn energy
Total Comfort uses quality products that conserve water and save you money. We have the expertise to install and service new systems and components. throughout the day, since there’s no tank that cools off. They also don’t require a ton of power to operate, meaning that a system will eventually pay for itself in terms of money saved on utility bills. Tankless systems can last for decades, and are typically easy to repair. Smaller units can even be mounted on walls, making them perfect for apartments or manufactured homes. Early versions were not recommended for very large homes, but modern systems come in a variety of sizes and can heat just about anything. In other words, it’s a near guarantee that there’s a tankless water heating system out there that will fit your needs. ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS Electric water heaters use electricity to heat a water tank. Unlike gas systems, they require very little upkeep and are relatively cheap to install. They can be placed anywhere in the
home, and smaller tanks can even be placed under sinks. Newer models are also very efficient in terms of their power usage. The only drawback is that they take longer to heat the tank than a conventional gas water heater. They do not recover quickly when the hot water tank cools off or is emptied, and unlike tankless systems, electric water heaters don’t heat water on demand. Still, because they are convenient and easy to maintain, many consumers discover that an electric water heater is ideal for their home, especially if they don’t tend to use a lot of hot water. GAS WATER HEATERS This is the classic American staple for water heating. They use gas to heat a water tank and, while their energy efficiency has improved, the basic technology hasn’t changed in decades.
The advantage of gas water heaters is that they heat water relatively quickly and are fairly cheap to operate, since they don’t burn a ton of gas. However, since they are reheating a tank of water whenever it cools down or is used up, they consume more energy than a tankless system. They also require a significant amount of attention – pilot lights can go out, and gas units don’t generally last as long as their electric counterparts. Still, they heat water relatively quickly and, depending on where you live, they may be cheaper to run than an electric tank-based system. The best way to find out which hot water heating system will save you the most money and hassle you the least is to call Total Comfort in Ormond Beach at 386-5306624. The experts there can help you make an informed decision, and get you a water heater that’s right for you and your home.
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The Many Uses for ULTRAVIOLET LIGHTS by Roseann Haslett
If you currently use UVC, remember that they have a limited lifespan and their effectiveness is reduced over time. Depending on the model and manufacturer, they typically need replacement after one to three years.
ainbows form when light shines through droplets of water and breaks into a spectrum of its various colors. The light just beyond the violet end of the spectrum is not visible to the naked eye and is called ultraviolet (“beyond violet”), commonly known as UV light. There are three types of UV light: A, B, and C, each representing a different section of the UV light spectrum. Type C, known as UVC, is the form used for germicidal activity. When UVC is used for germicidal purposes it’s referred to as UVGI (Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation). UVGI kills or deactivates microorganisms that include viruses, bacteria, molds and other fungi. It is effective because it disrupts these organisms DNA which leaves them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
The use of UVC to reduce microorganisms in the air streams of HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) dates back to the early 1900s but UVC devices specifically designed for HVAC installation were first introduced in the mid-1990s. Although they were first marketed as IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) products, users found that they delivered other benefits that included substantial maintenance and energy savings due to improved cleanliness. By eliminating accumulated organic materials and biofilm growth in commercial air handlers, the use of UVC significantly improves airflow and heat-exchange efficiency levels. This can not only reduce energy use, but also decrease system maintenance costs and provide cleaner, healthier air. Some studies estimate that UVC
installed properly can reduce energy costs by as much as 35%. By itself, UVC doesn’t save energy; it helps to restore the evaporator (indoor) coil’s performance. Operating as new, the coil regains system capacity thereby reducing power consumption. Now widely recognized for its health benefits and relatively quick return on investment, the technology has advanced rapidly making it beneficial and more affordable. As a result, it is being specified and used in a greater percentage of residential as well as commercial and institutional installations. Check your product literature to see when those lamps should be replaced. Total Comfort has replacement lamps available for most makes and models. Ask your maintenance or service technician whether they need to be replaced or not. Total Comfort offers a wide variety of UVC solutions for your HVAC systems. Our Comfort Specialists and Service Technicians are well versed in the air quality improvements and energy savings attainable with their use. You should make UV lights a part of any new system you consider but they can also be installed in your existing system. Give us a call or visit our website for more information. To find the ideal UV light air purifier for your home, contact Total Comfort at 368-530-6624.
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hank you for choosing Total Comfort to supply your indoor air quality needs! Here are just a few words on how to maximize your investment by understanding warranties. When you purchased your new air conditioning system, it included a manufacturer’s warranty. You should have received a copy of this warranty from the manufacturer, which contains their terms and conditions. If you can’t find your warranty paperwork, call our customer service department. We’ll be happy to help you! Manufacturers are beginning to enforce the terms and conditions within your paperwork. These changes may affect you. Most manufacturers allow you to transfer warranties to the new owner upon the sale of your property for a small fee and within 30 days of the closing. Manufacturers are now requiring the use of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. There are thousands of possible OEM parts for any of the multiple manufacturers, which make using and obtaining OEM parts difficult, and we can no longer use generic stock parts to replace a unit that is under warranty. However, it is our priority to repair your equipment as quickly as possible. Manufacturers do not cover costs for labor performed. This means that if you need service after regular business hours, extra charges may apply.
If you are not currently having maintenance done on your equipment – at least annually – please contact us, or an authorized dealer/servicer in your area, as soon as possible. Please call our customer service department if you have any questions or to schedule maintenance. We have several maintenance plans, and our professional staff will gladly explain them to you and help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
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A DUCT CLEANING BY SANITIZING:
the benefits of duct maintenance by Len Gaspary
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great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals are produced in your home every day. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system recirculated five to seven times per day, on average. Over time, this recirculation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work. Although the EPA does not have a blanket recommendation that all households need to routinely clean the air ducts, they do say that you may consider having your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical that air ducts will get dirty over time and should occasionally be cleaned. They also suggest that it be done when there are specific reasons for doing so that include:
Make sure that the company is going
to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
Ask if the company has the right
equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours. Get references from neighbors if possible.
If you decide that you need to clean your ducts, you may also determine that they have to be cleaned on a regular basis. The frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead you to consider more frequent cleaning include:
Smokers in the household. Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
You see substantial quantities of visible mold growth within the heating ducts or present on other parts of your home’s HVAC system.
Pests such as mice, rats or insects have infested portions of the duct system.
Excessive amounts of dust or debris clog the duct system and release dust or debris into the home through the vent registers when the system operates. While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems
for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
When determining who you should hire to clean your duct work:
Make sure the company is a member
in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and they are certified to perform HVAC system cleaning.
See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
After home renovations or remodeling. Prior to occupancy of a new home. In addition to improving indoor air quality, which tends to improve overall comfort and health, duct cleaning can enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system. Research has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems. To help you decide if duct cleaning is right for you, and to access informative videos, visit our website at www.totalcomfortfl.com.
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DOES YOUR HOME
GET A CLEAN BIL Mold needs to eat to survive, and it’s perfectly happy eating your home if you allow it. 40 COMFORT ZONE
old and mildew require moisture to grow, therefore the best way to stop them is to control and eliminate moisture in your home or business. The measures used to accomplish this are numerous and this article will discuss some of those methods that Total Comfort can help with as well as a few tips that you may want to implement that require very little in the way of equipment or expense. Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air relative to the total amount it can hold at a specific temperature. The dew point is the temperature at which the water vapor condenses into liquid. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. Although opinions vary, a relative humidity range between 40% and 55% is considered to be the ideal range for human comfort. This range of relative humidity is also unfavorable for the formation and growth of mold and is the range that you should try to achieve in your
home or business to maintain comfort and inhibit mold growth. Although several factors can contribute to moisture within a building, a correctly sized and well maintained air conditioning system is essential to moisture elimination and humidity control. Variable speed systems with humidity control are the most efficient for controlling moisture and lowering operating costs. Devices called “humidistats” or “thermidistats” can be installed on a variable speed system and be set for both a temperature and humidity level. Systems equipped with humidity control can maintain comfort at higher temperatures when humidity is maintained at the levels suggested above. Properly sized and well-sealed duct systems are also essential to moisture control. Since most duct systems are located in hot moist areas, air leaks can pull hot moist air into your building’s air conditioning system causing increased moisture
LL OF HEALTH? levels and requiring your air conditioning system to work harder to keep temperature and humidity at comfortable levels. For various reasons, your air conditioning system may not be able to keep up with moisture intrusion into your home. To eliminate even more moisture you may decide to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers come in various sizes and are usually measured by the pints of water per day that they can remove. Small portable dehumidifiers can be used if the problem isn’t too severe. For situations requiring more capacity, centralized equipment can be installed and linked directly to your air conditioning system’s duct work. Regular maintenance of your air conditioning system should always include checking and cleaning your system’s condensate drain. This drain takes all the water that your air conditioning system removes and conveys it to the outside of the building.
by Maxine Reneé
Insects, algae, dust, and dirt can clog this drain causing that moisture to remain inside and leak onto building materials and encourage mold growth. In addition to the primary drain, make sure your system has a secondary drain pan and an automatic shutoff installed that will cut power to your system if the drain is not functioning properly. Removing dust and dirt accumulated on your air conditioning unit’s inside coil will also result in more efficient removal of moisture. Total Comfort can also clean your duct work to help reverse the effects of previous moisture damage and implement features to prevent it in the future. Additionally, the installation of UV Lights within the existing system may also help curtail conditions that could lead to mold formation. Maintaining your plumbing system will also help control moisture. A plumbing maintenance includes checking water supplies to fixtures and tightening them
to stop or prevent leaks. Make sure that all supply lines to appliances are armored including supply hoses to your washing machine. Repairs to faucets can eliminate drips that contribute to moisture problems. Visual inspection of exposed pipes can help determine the likelihood of future failure and give you time to prevent things before they happen. Simple things like running your bath fan for 10 to 20 minutes after taking a shower will help lower the moisture level in a building. When you need to replace a bath fan use a fan with a humidistat or timer and make sure it exhausts to the exterior of your home. There are many more ways to help control moisture and inhibit the growth of mold and mildew and we will discuss even more of those methods in future articles. In the meantime, be aware of conditions that contribute to excess moisture and do whatever you can to eliminate them.
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Generators: Keep the Lights On by Len Gaspary
lorida was known as the “Lightning Capital of the World” until NASA released a study that showed Rwanda, Africa as the real lightning capital of the world. Florida now has to be satisfied with the title of the “Lightning Capital of the United States.” Even though it lost its world title, the number of lightning strikes in Florida can be dangerous and cause frequent power outages that at the very least cause a great deal of inconvenience. To lessen the dangers presented by lightning, the best advice is to seek safe shelter until the storm passes. For overcoming the inconvenience of power outages, you may want to consider a standby generator for your home and/or business. Electricity is more than a convenience. It powers our lives, and we have come to rely on it to provide certain essential services that are important to our safety and well-being. Medical equipment, refrigeration, well pumps, security systems, and lighting are some of these essentials. With some physical conditions, air conditioning may also be essential. In times of widespread and prolonged power outages, communications with the world via telephone, radio, and television could also fall into that essential category. As many that have lived in Florida for a while have witnessed, power outages from storms can be frequent and prolonged. A standby generator could be just the solution to increase your comfort and safety during these difficult times. 42 COMFORT ZONE
“Generators come in a variety of sizes, and are measured by their kilowatt output,” says Dan Harris, the Sales Manager at Total Comfort. “The typical generators we install range from 16 kilowatts to 45 kilowatts, but can go higher”. Dan also says that “the vast majority of our installations include an automatic transfer switch that will automatically tell the generator to start when it senses a loss of utility power.” Although the typical installation uses automatic transfer switches, these switches can also be manual. In addition to starting the generator, the transfer switch isolates the standby generator from the electric utility when the generator begins providing temporary power. This is necessary to prevent back-feeding of the power lines, a potential safety hazard. A transfer switch can be set up to provide power only to critical circuits or to the entire electrical panel. With the loadshedding type of switch, optional circuits can be prioritized, and the overall size of the generator could possibly be reduced. When utility power returns, the switch will transfer the building back to utility power and direct the generator to turn off. Making sure that the generator is isolated from utility power is essential for both the safety of the generator and utility workers. Automatic switches and associated circuitry on some generators will also periodically test generator operation to make sure that everything will work when you need it. Another consideration in selecting a generator is the fuel source. Most small portable
generators run on gasoline. Larger standby generators offer diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and LP or propane gas. Diesel fuel and gasoline present storage and “freshness” problems because they can be dirty and volatile and may get contaminated with water over a period of time. Natural gas and propane present the cleanest and safest method of fueling a generator. On-site storage of an adequate amount of propane may be the best overall solution because during prolonged and widespread power outages, natural gas delivery may be reliant on electrical pumps to deliver the fuel. There is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not you should consider a standby generator, and exactly what you need if you determine you’d like to enjoy the convenience and safety of having one. For more information and particulars on what you may need for your home or business, visit our website at www.totalcomfortfl.com for details on specific brands and informative videos. Total Comfort installs Honeywell and other major brand generators.
COUNT ON US 1,350 locations. All 50 states. 300 showrooms. 19,000 associates. 61 years in business. At Ferguson, it’s true that our inventory is huge with thousands of your top items in stock every day. And we fill your orders accurately and right away. But there is one thing we supply that plumbing professionals have come to rely on again and again for over 61 years - our people. Our associates make certain you can count on Ferguson - where friendly service, expertise, and a willingness to go the extra mile are never in short supply.
WATER HEATERS REPAIR PARTS FAUCETS FIXTURES Daytona 840 Jimmy Ann Drive (386) 274-4516
FERGUSON.COM Nobody expects more from us than we do ® ©2014 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
MEET THE TEAM Dan Hucks
A Florida native and Deland High School graduate, Dan attended Mary Karl Vocational School for air conditioning and founded Total Comfort in 1976. In addition to running all of Total Comfort’s divisions, he is very involved in the community and makes his talents available to many organizations throughout the area.
A Seabreeze graduate and long-time resident, Lynda has been involved with Total Comfort since its inception. Serving in several roles from service dispatcher to office manager, Lynda is also heavily involved in the community and serves in civic organizations that include the Krewe of Amalee featured in this magazine.
Founder & President
Co-Founder & Corporate Secretary
Ken Deprinzio Bruce McConnell Operations Manager
Bruce has been with Total Comfort for 36 years. He enjoys traveling and golf, and is Carrier Expert Certified.
Service Dispatch Manager
Now serving as Air Conditioning Service Dispatch Manager, Stacy has been with the company for over 22 years. She attended Daytona State College and is a second generation part of the Total Comfort founding family.
Manager, Total Comfort Gas Ken recently completed a term as President of the Florida Propane Gas Association after having served in several capacities leading up to that role. He has many years of experience with national propane gas companies in all aspects of the industry. He is a former Marine, an avid college football fan, and an excellent golfer.
Sales Lead Coordinator/Electrical Coordinator
Michelle has been with the company for over 13 years and is also a second generation part of the Total Comfort founding family.
Front Row: James Nesbitt, David Batten, Gary Wynn, Skip Smith, Nick Caudillo, Don Fowler, Steve Massie. Middle Row: Scott Carter, Joel Jaimes, James Southard, Randy Hanger Jr., Joe Beard, Jeremy Salvatore, Jeff Nelson, Chris Renzulli. Back Row: J.R. Jorgensen, Mark Wallace, Adrian Mata, Cody Solis, James “Eddie” Gilliard, Bruce McConnell, Willie Ward, Dennis Hahn.
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Front Row: Stacy King, Debbie Barker, Janice DiFelippo, Cathie Richards, Linda Davidge, Roseanne Ciullo, Michelle Lampro. Second Row: Teri Gulik, Donna Gates, Debbie Whiting, Shelly Kadas, Leslie Armstrong, Judy Flegel, Leslie Wisnowski. Third Row: Theresa Moser, Len Gaspary, Jessie Gustin, Travis Hucks, Stephanie Stallings. Fourth Row: Jim Wisnowski, Bruce McConnell, Jon Gassett, Christian Harris, Jordan Harris.
Residential Service Manager
Travis has been with the company for over 19 years and is a graduate of the Air Conditioning Program at the Advanced Technology Center of Daytona State College. He is also a second generation part of the Total Comfort founding family.
James Martin Warehouse Manager
Dan Harris Sales Manager
Dan is the nephew of Dan and Lynda Hucks. Dan has been with Total Comfort twenty years, and has a bachelorâ€™s degree from Florida State University. He enjoys fishing and college football.
Commercial Service Manager
James has been with Total Comfort for 33 years and served in the United States Army for four years. He enjoys fishing and hunting.
Kevin has been with Total Comfort for one year and is Welding Certified. He has 18 years of experience in AC industry and management experience prior to joining Total Comfort. Kevin attended Brevard Community College and enjoys hunting and boating.
Teri received her bachelorâ€™s degree from Devry University and her associate degree from Daytona State College. She has been with Total Comfort since 2010.
Debbie has been with Total Comfort for eight years, is originally from Winsted Ct., and has lived in the Daytona area for 25 years. She has four children.
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hether you’re installing a new air conditioning system or you’re having an old system repaired, chances are there is a maintenance agreement that would benefit you. These agreements are designed to save consumers money on routine maintenance, while also protecting them from any potential problems. But before you jump into buying one, make sure you find the option that would benefit you the most. Maintenance agreements are held between you and an air conditioning service provider, wherein you prepay for maintenance at a discounted rate and receive other additional benefits. They cover routine cleanings and check-ups, and they may help subsidize the cost of massive emergency repairs or offer other savings. Think of them as a peace of mind policy for your system. One overlooked advantage of a maintenance agreement is that it assures your air conditioning system will get the service inspections it needs. These tune-ups are important, since they allow a professional to spot any potential problems with your system early, before they spiral into something more expensive. Further, an annual maintenance appointment will help to keep your system clean and running efficiently, which could save you money on energy bills. Many people overlook their air conditioner, ignoring its needs until there’s a serious problem. Similar to how your car requires an oil change in order to keep it running, your air conditioner needs to be regularly serviced in order to prevent catastrophic issues. If something major goes wrong with your system because you have been neglecting to maintain it, a repair may end up costing you thousands of dollars.
From left to right: Judith Flegel, Deborah Barker, Janice Difelippo.
Maintenance AGREEMENTS by Maxine Reneé
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Just remember that some warranties may require regular maintenance. That’s one of the reasons why maintenance agreements exist – to help mitigate the cost associated with regular air conditioning service calls. Keep in mind that a maintenance agreement is far cheaper than a major system problem caused by a lack of upkeep; having your system routinely serviced could save you big down the line.
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