Tri County Community Foundation
Community Service Scholarship
BALANCE The Story of Nik Wallenda
Natural Choice Awards 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 Green Business of the Year
Tri County Air Nurtured by the Past, Poised for the Future
No Matter What The Weather
Providing home comfort in surrounding areas since 1977 Our best home air conditioners make the distinction with two-stage technology. LennoxÂŽ air conditioners are the most efficient and quietest you can buy. Having a comfortable home goes way beyond temperature settings. Lennox Residential is a leading global name in home comfort. Tri County Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. gives you the personal touch you expect from your indoor comfort professionals.
Call 1-800-771-COLD (2653) â€˘ TriCountyAir.com Sarasota (941) 485-2222 Manatee (941) 749-0756 Charlotte (941) 625-1638
Tri County Makes it Better
EC13003720 • CAC 042759 • CVC 56801
6/ Message from the President by Billy Swanson
Journey: 8/ The Tri County Makes it Better
11/ Tri County Air
Nurtured by the Past, Poised for the Future
14/ Comfort Care
An Integral Part of Tri County Services
A Hallmark of Tri County Hospitality
Lets Have Some Fun!
18/ Is a Duct-Free Air Conditioner Right for You?
The Story of Nik Wallenda
22/ Venice High School
Bright Futures Program
Editorial by Suzi Harkola
ÂŠ 2015 Tri County Air Conditioning & Heating, 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 distributed locally by Tri County Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc.. If you would like copies placed at your business please call our offices at 941-485-2222. 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.
24/ What to Expect When
You Call Tri County
26/ Saving Energy and Money is Easier Than You Think
28/ Cool Car Contest 30/ Make a Difference Day Beautifies Venice Parks
31/ Tri County Community Foundation Community Service Scholarship
32/ Our Ambassadors
Tri County’s Commitment to Service
34/ Southern BBQ Chicken 36/ Tri County Values Employees with 10-plus Years of Service
38/ Mold: A Living Nightmare 40/ Lets Have a Little Fun! 42/ The Total Package
Compact Air Performance
44/ UNDERSTANDING WARRANTIES: Do the Maintenance!
46/ Labor Agreements:
Keep Your Equipment Humming
Awards for Tri County Excellence It’s no surprise that the company has received numerous awards for their quality service and outreach. Among them are: • Lennox® Outstanding Dealer Performance; Centurion Award; and Circle of Excellence • Bryant® Premier and Outstanding Dealer; Florida Achievement Award; Medal of Excellence; Dealer of the Year; and Environmental Leadership Award • Florida Power and Light: Certificate of Achievement • Venice Area Chamber of Commerce: Business of the year • First place local Air Conditioning and Heating Company in Venice - Readers Choice award (Herald Tribune 2015)
These accolades are due in large part to Tri County’s commitment to consumer satisfaction and the company’s contribution and volunteerism to community efforts in many health, children’s services, elder services and ministry arenas. Efforts include but are certainly not limited to: • The Salvation Army • Goodwill Industries • Tidewell Hospice • Area Food Banks • Alzheimers Association • American Red Cross • Susan B. Komen Foundation • Manasota SOLVE • Multiple children’s athletic teams • Area schools • Efforts to feed the homeless • Venice Park and Recreation Department • Loveland Center • Boys And Girls Club • Big Brothers/Big Sisters • Relay For Life
Tri County: Serving Florida’s Suncoast Since 1977 For more information about specific services offered by Tri County, or to reach any of the management team, please call 941-485-2222, or visit TriCountyAir.com. Tri County’s office is located at 1080 Enterprise Court, North Venice, Florida. Visitors are encouraged to stop in to get any questions answered by our courteous and knowledgeable staff, or to just say hello.
Message from The President then do not perform subsequent maintenance run the risk of voiding their warranty. Unfortunately, they often do not find out that the warranty has been voided until it was necessary to use it. If you have questions about your warranty or maintenance agreements, just give us a call and one of our highly trained customer service representatives will be glad to help you. We’re also seeing mold as a growing (no pun intended) problem in homes within our service area. We’ve included a few horror stories, as well as some things to avoid to keep the devastating effects of mold at bay. The damage caused, and the speed in which it happens, may amaze you. While mold is far from a laughing matter, we’ve included some fun articles and activities that I hope will spark an interest and help you better understand the overall mission of Tri County Air Conditioning. You’ll find information about our community and school outreach programs, off-the-radar things to do, puzzles and games, and interesting trivia about the development of our company. We always welcome input on our efforts from the community. Enjoy this issue of Comfort Zone. Have a little fun and, most importantly, let us hear from you. We’re all ears! Sincerely,
elcome to the 2015-2016 edition of Comfort Zone, a magazine that shares experiences of our company and people with customers and prospective customers in a fun, interactive dialogue. You’ll find multiple opportunities within the pages of this magazine to offer your “two cents” by giving comments and suggestions. We’ve built our business over the past 38 years by listening, caring, comforting and responding to our customers’ needs.
Billy Swanson President
There are a few areas I want to stress, high among them is Maintenance Agreements. Manufacturers are increasingly becoming more demanding in what they will and will not accept when honoring warranty items. One of the biggest issues is that most require at least annual maintenance to prevent the voiding of warranties. Homeowners who install new equipment and
iComfort S30 Thermostat So simple. So smart. So comfortable.®
The iComfort S30 thermostat lets you set your home’s temperature and save energy from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Remote access, along with live weather forecast and automatic updates, offers a level of convenience that goes degrees beyond what’s possible with a standard thermostat.
Quick response motion sensor
Easily control your entire system in one simple place.
Connect and control your system from anywhere with your phone or tablet
Keep tabs on your system for maintenance and updates.
Updated weather forecasts
“No matter what the weather, Tri County makes it better.”
CALL 1-800-771-COLD (2653) TriCountyAir.com Sarasota (941) 485-2222 Manatee (941) 749 -0756 Charlotte (941) 625-1638 EC13003720 • CAC 042759 • CVC 56801
The Journey No Matter What
William Swanson Sr.
First Fleet - Venice, FL (1987)
ri County Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc., with headquarters in North Venice, is one of the largest air conditioning service and replacement companies in Florida. From North Ft. Myers to Parrish and all points in between, the company is honored to provide comfort to more than 40,000 families.
complete vehicle maintenance area is part of the campus to handle all maintenance needs of the companyâ€™s fleet of nearly 68 vehicles and 11 trailers. More than 90 Tri County employees live in the Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties, performing jobs in service and maintenance, new equipment installation, sales, customer service, marketing, finance and administration.
Their immaculate and expansive showroom/warehouse/ maintenance plant covers nearly 20,000 square feet. The designer showroom itself is equipped with seven fullyoperational air conditioning and solar systems. Additionally, a
Services and products include air conditioning units, indoor air quality systems, photovoltaic systems. The company services all makes and models, and can perform warranty work for all manufacturers. William Swanson, Jr., known by colleagues, staff and customers as Billy, is president and owner of the company,
Makes it Better
George Skaggs & Billy Swanson (1996)
founded by his father in 1977. He began working full time at Tri County in 1987, and took over the business in 2001 following the death of his father. Billy holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, is a registered professional engineer (mechanical) and a ministry leader in the community. Billy’s primary calling was ministry through Jesus Christ. His outreach began in college and extended over the years to family and friends. In 1995, he, his wife, Lolly, and their two children, traveled to Russia to teach Christian ethics and morality. It was there that Billy realized that his purpose in life was to teach others about the eternal comfort found in Jesus Christ.
First Building - Nokomis, FL
Incorporating Business with Spiritual Outreach “After taking over Tri County’s management, I struggled for the first couple of years,” he admitted, “and then God helped me see that business can actually be a platform for ministry. Tri County could be the best and most trusted company in providing environmental comfort, and it could also be an organization to help others find eternal comfort in Jesus Christ. And that is my goal, personally and in business: to be the best and largest air conditioning company, bar none, on the Suncoast of Florida.” From this belief came the company’s mission: ‘To comfort all in such a way that (1) they are compelled to tell others about their experience, and (2) it honors the Great Comforter, Jesus Christ.’ The mission statement is inspired by 2 Corinthians: 1:3-5.
Billy Swanson (1987)
The Staff (1994)
“No Matter What the Weather,
Tri County Makes it Better” Birth of the Jingle Interestingly, one of the most iconic advertising jingles represents the Tri County mission: “No matter what the weather, Tri County makes it better.” Almost anyone who has lived in the area for longer than a few months will recognize the jingle, and could very well burst into song. “My dad invented a version of the motto when the company was in its infancy,” notes Billy. “He would always state ‘No matter what the weather is outside, Tri County makes you feel good inside,’ he wasn’t just referring to the quality of air inside a person’s home. He wanted people to know that Tri County can make life better with supportive and caring personnel. It’s all about how our
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customers feel inside. A married couple who wrote jingles for a local television station took that motto and made it the wellloved and instantly identifiable marketing jingle it is today.”
Commitment to Satisfaction & Environmental Stewardship
The values that are instilled in every staff member: honesty, love and caring, teamwork, and service excellence are not surprising. The company stands behind the guarantee “to make it better.” Billy states, “If you are not 100 percent satisfied with our service, we will refund 100 percent of your investment.”
Tri County Air Conditioning T
ri County’s successful growth has been steady, consistent and true to the intrinsic values of the people who have crafted a mission statement based on Christian values, and who live that mission daily with each and every business and personal transaction. Tri County has been led by Billy since his father’s death in 2001. Billy’s dedicated team of managers, installers, personal services representatives and support personnel believe, as he does, in the
Lee Moore and Customer Billy Swanson Serv ice Depar tmen
basic Christian values of honesty, caring, teamwork and service excellence. It’s this dedication that has fed the growth of Tri County over the years, now serving more than 40,000 customers in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties. “Indoor air quality and environmental comfort naturally affects our health and general well-being. We are, after all, a product of the air we breathe,” Billy explains. “Our company’s vision is to improve the environmental comfort, physical comfort and emotional/spiritual comfort of at least 25% of the west coast of Florida.” “This is where we are growing. Our Comfort Care department has been a fixture within Tri County since 2003, and we’ve been able to accomplish a lot of really good work, locally, regionally, even globally. In looking at where we’ll be in the future, I’m committed to expanding our community outreach to help even more people receive the full range of comfort that we are able to provide.” Billy has several ideas about how to achieve this goal, including
moving into the more active channels of advocacy for those needing assistance with heating and cooling services and equipment, and perhaps into a leadership position with networking opportunities to unite community resources in order to fill those needs. Through establishment of the Tri County Community Foundation, the company has extended outreach into the area’s school system. Additional initiatives with the area’s school boards are also in place, to assist students at all K-12 levels. (See the expanded article of outreach into the schools and enhancement of community resources on page 30, with emphasis on Make a Difference Day
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and Heating: Nurtured by the L-R: Victoria French, Emili Clark, Susan Orsini
his wife Chris, of the Foundation. “We found this to be a tremendous opportunity to create a community fellowship through food.” and scholarships to help the County’s outstanding seniors earn Bright Futures credits to help with educational expenses.) Through an expanded Comfort Care agenda and the Foundation, Tri County has extended a hand – and a hot meal – to the area’s homeless population and to others in need. The company’s 2014 Christmas Eve free luncheon is just one example of taking an idea and creating a dynamic event that touched the hearts of many Venice-area residents. “The luncheon was such a resounding success that we plan to expand,” explains Jim Foubister, Comfort Care coordinator and co-director, with 12 COMFORT ZONE
The bottom line,” Jim says, “is that Tri County will grow by following its mission. These concepts are not just words on paper. They are living words, our credo for day-to-day business dealings. Tri County has long been blessed and guided by our mission: to comfort all in such a way that one, they are compelled to tell others about their experience and two, our work honors the Great Comforter, Jesus Christ.” “We do not have an agenda to bring anyone into a specific church or denomination,” he stresses. “We are open and available to meet the comfort needs – environmental, physical and emotional/spiritual – of everyone, regardless of their beliefs. We do not push our faith TriCountyAir.com
Past, Poised for the Future on anyone, but if we’re asked about our faith we will guide them through scripture and show them how they can have a personal relationship in Jesus Christ.”
conditioning experience is required. Billy says he hopes their proprietary training model will catch on, and he’ll make it available to other companies to utilize.
“It’s this belief and commitment that will lead Tri County to even greater successes in the future,” Jim says. “We are known as the ‘comfort’ company, and it’s our collective goal to make emotional and spiritual comfort a meaningful cornerstone of our business in the coming years.”
“Franchising will be available so other companies can purchase the training program and change the parameters to reflect their own policies so they are not handicapped by procedures taught by a previous employer or local trade school,” he says.
The company is also currently operating the Tri County Comfort Institute, an in-house training program that prepares people of good character to serve the Tri County way. No previous air
J im & C h r i s F ou
Clearly, Tri County is not stopping to rest on its many years of accomplishments. The dreams are there, as are the resources, determination and commitment to make those dreams reality.
i e Pres d i s n B ur ns Dean t Solutio & on Pes wans od News S y l l Bi Go O of & CE
re n ch
“Thank you very, very much. You and your team were a Godsend. You helped turn our mold nightmare into something we could deal with.” – Rick and Jaye S.
L-R: Javier Lima & Ron Abbott 1-800-771-COLD (2653)
COMFORT ZONE 13
Comfort Care An Integral Part of Tri County Services
Chris & Jim Foubister
our air conditioner can make your home more comfortable, but what about you? Could you use a little comfort? Someone who cares? Someone who will listen?
Would you like some practical help with budgeting your fixed income? Coping with a diagnosis? Understanding Social Security? Getting emergency help? Finding reliable repairmen? Helping grandkids on drugs? Tackling other life issues…? Inspired by his Christian faith and his love for people, Tri County president, Billy Swanson, wants his company to truly make a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives. While
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his team is in the community providing excellent air quality services, they help people in need, if they want help. “We care, and we know how to go the extra mile for a friend,” Billy says. “We have a lot of community resources, and we know how to search for more.” “While Tri County is a Christian-based business, our customers span all religious groups,” he continues. “You don’t have to be a Christian to receive Comfort Care services. We care about people, and want to be there for anyone who needs us. We will not try to push our faith on
you. If you have questions, we’ll explore them from a Christian perspective, always respectful of your religious beliefs.” Tri County’s Comfort Care services are based on the company mission: “To comfort all in such a way that they are compelled to tell others about their experience, and to honor the Great Comforter, Jesus Christ.” The Comfort Care services are coordinated by Jim and Chris Foubister. They have the training and the heart to reach out to anyone in need and to find solutions.
L-R: Princess, Chris & Jim Foubister Ranfurly Orphanage, Nassau Bahamas
Jim says, “Our service team is observant about sensing people’s needs. If it’s a situation they don’t feel they can handle, they pass it on to us. We keep a log of all of the requests for help and how we have helped people through telephone reassurance,
personal visits, practical problem solving, community referrals and resources; prayer and encouragement; and spiritual guidance.” While all Comfort Care services are confidential, this note from a customer, Mary Ellen, expresses the appreciation that so many feel for Tri County’s outreach: “I cannot thank you enough for the comfort and support as we questioned and mourned Tim. You will always have a special place in my heart. I thank the Lord I had the courage to come see you. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms. I will always remember the inspiration you gave me.”
If you’re facing a crisis, need a shoulder to cry on or a heart to listen, contact Jim Foubister at 941-223-1771, Chris Foubister at 941-716-4102 or for more information, please visit tricountyair. com/comfort-care
“The workers were great! Job well done! A special thanks to Javier Lima for a great presentation.” – Richard N.
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“Cookies have been a hallmark of our service for decades,” says Billy Swanson, president of Tri County.
CA Hallmark kies! of Tri County Hospitality
hat says “comfort” more than a fresh cookie? When Tri County sales and service personnel visit your home, that’s what you’ll receive. How many cookies does Tri County deliver in a month? You might be amazed. JoAnn Newman at Sweet Treats in Venice knows the answer: 600 dozen a month, 150 dozen a week, 30 dozen a day, just for Tri County. She also bakes for several other businesses in the area. Her small shop in the Brickyard Plaza carries the sweet and tantalizing aroma of cookies and other baked goodies. She’s at the bakery every morning at 6 a.m., and runs throughout the day to prepare for late afternoon and evening deliveries, with the help of her assistants, Jose and Amy, and her partner, John. “Cookies have been a hallmark of our service for many years,” says Billy Swanson, president of Tri County. “We offer comfort to our customers, and fresh cookies are a way to say, ‘we’re here to 16 COMFORT ZONE
serve you with personal comfort as well as improving the quality of the air inside your home.’”
Billy made a switch last year from Otis Spunkmeyer cookies to Sweet Treats due to changes within the Otis Spunkmeyer corporate structure. “I’d been looking around for a while for a good local bakery that could handle my volume while still maintaining quality and outstanding taste. Steve Burnett of Burnett Marketing recommended Sweet Treats, and I knew that was the answer,” Billy says. “Our customers love it, and our service people enjoy providing a ‘sweet treat’ to them. It’s a great way to say ‘thanks for letting us serve you.’” Each cookie comes wrapped in a TriCountyAir.com
cellophane bag, sealed, and emblazoned with the Tri County logo as a reminder that the company has been in business for 38 years. They are delivered to the home of each service personnel member the night before their rounds, ready for presentation to the customer. “Our cookies say a lot about our company,” Billy explains. “They’re fresh, they’re inviting, preservative free and local–they bring a smile and say ‘comfort’ in so many ways.”
Lets Have Some Fun! 6
3 9 2 5
Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusive. See answers on page 41.
Did You Read?
DOWN 1. 2014 State Volleyball Champions 2. Keeping air conditioning systems in tiptop order 4. Computer app to match volunteers with personal and community needs 5. Commitment to a company or cause over time 6. Community involvement to improve people's lives 7. Take a picture of this and you might win $100 8. Tri County customer sweet treats 10. Group of people related by interests, beliefs or kinship
ACROSS 3. Guinness world record-holder, author and spokesperson for Tri County 9. Fast-track HVAC training introduced in 2015
11. Cornerstone of Tri County mission 12. Insidious organism that eats your home
COMFORT ZONE 17
IS A DUCT-FREE
AIR CONDITIONER RIGHT FOR YOU?
uctless mini-splits, or duct-free HVAC units, can be a useful alternative to cooling and heating homes and businesses. Coming in a variety of sizes capable of controlling the air temperature in the individual zones of a building or home, they offer both economic and environmental advantages. HVAC companies nationwide are installing duct-free systems in multi-family housing units, 18 COMFORT ZONE
renovated older single-family homes, and office spaces. Theyâ€™re perfect for residential and commercial consumers alike, offering a unique way to save energy by only cooling areas that are being occupied. Duct-free systems, as the name implies, have no ductwork, and consist of an outdoor condenser and an indoor airTriCountyAir.com
Because of the unique installation and placement associated with ductless minisplits, not all air conditioning contractors are able to properly install them. Though we do not recommend it, if you do decide to hire an air conditioning company employing technicians not proficient in duct-free unit installation, there are a few things to keep in mind. Each unit must be correctly sized and placed, which is not always an easy task and could have potentially negative effects. An error here could result in wasted energy, improper temperature or humidity control, and greater long-term operational expenses.
Perfect cooling and heating for: Additions Enclosed patios Larger, multi-room spaces The cost savings can be significant in terms of installation and energy use.
While many consumers still have reservations about leaving the world of traditional air-conditioners behind, Billy Swanson, president of Tri County Air, believes duct-free systems are starting to proliferate because they offer a huge cost savings, something the economy has forced all consumers to consider closely. “In terms of the energy you’ll use, the installation costs, and required maintenance, duct-free systems offer people a big savings in the long run,” Billy says. “These things are built to last. And best of all, you won’t sacrifice any comfort if you choose to use one.”
FREEDOM TO CONTROL YOUR COMFORT IN EACH AND EVERY ROOM.
handling unit. These are linked together with tubing that houses the power cable, refrigerant, as well as a drain for condensation. In many ways, they operate in a manner similar to a standard air conditioning system. Going duct-free, however, provides several advantages, although customers often overlook them. This includes ease of installation, energy savings, and system placement flexibility. Duct-free systems can be installed in places where conventional ducted systems simply cannot 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. Most indoor units have profiles of about 8-11 inches deep, and have a range of designs suitable for any home or office. There are even floor-standing models available. All systems offer a remote control to easily make adjustments to air flow patterns 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, only a small hole needed for the tubing to pass through the wall. In contrast, window-mounted and through-the-wall air conditioners can present an easy entrance for intruders. 1-800-771-COLD (2653)
COMFORT ZONE 19
BALANCE The Story of Nik Wallenda
uinness World Record holder, high wire legend, Sarasota native, and devoted family man, Nik Wallenda, happens to also be one of the nicest people you could ever meet. As a spokesperson for Tri County, he shows a sense of humor in his ads for the company. “I’m still Nik Wallenda” he says with a grin on the third take. But that is far more than a slogan. After all of the publicity and public acclaim, he is still Nik Wallenda. Steeped in Christian values, he is humble yet confident.
watched on television with bated breath – no net, no safety harness. He appeared alone, but he knew God was with him, and evoked God’s strength along the way. Being ‘still Nik Wallenda,’ he returned the next day and spent three hours picking up
“My parents taught me that good things come from God,” he writes in his newest book, Balance–A Story of Faith, Family and Life on the Line. “I know what I have to do. I know I will do it.” Wallenda shared his deep devotion to God most prominently in his high wire walk across Niagara Falls. Finding comfort in God’s hand guiding him, he made it across the raging waters as over one billion people 20 COMFORT ZONE
the trash that the crowd – estimated at 20,000 on the American side, more than 100,000 on the Canadian side – had left behind. Conquering the Grand Canyon was next. His tightrope walk, blindfolded, between two Chicago skyscrapers capped his 2014 performances.
From left to right: Front Row - Amadaos Wallenda, Evita Wallenda, Yanni Wallenda Back Row - Nik Wallenda, Erendira Wallenda
It was his Christian beliefs that brought him together with Billy Swanson and the team at Tri County. While training for his walk across the Grand Canyon, Tim Jones of Tri County was among those watching. He approached Wallenda after the training session and, after a brief conversation, asked him if he would meet with Billy Swanson, Tri County president. He agreed, and the two immediately formed a bond. “We discussed our faith, first, and then mutually-beneficial projects,” Wallenda notes. “I won’t endorse a product or company unless I believe in it, and I look at the owner’s values and to other research to make my decisions. Tri County met my qualifications, and when Billy suggested an avenue for distribution of my new book, Balance, free to all who purchase AC equipment from Tri County, I thought it was a good match.” Balance can also be purchased online at NikWallenda.com, Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobel. It is a gripping story about his
family, growing up in the circus, his faith and his ambitions. Co-written by David Ritz, it is a revealing look into the people and events that shaped the life of Nik Wallenda. Most of all, it chronicles his unrelenting faith.
behavior. God is always revealing Himself to us, always opening windows and doors that shed new light.”
For more information about Balance and his upcoming feats,
From his performance on The Today Show, which he credits for many of the other acts to come, through his Walk Across America, and his ongoing relationship with The Discovery Network, he writes about finding a balance between humility and confidence, his love for his wife, Erendira, the tension between them, and how he found answers in the Scripture and through prayer. “We tell people that we’re born-again Christians, and we are,” he says in the book, as he explains how he has struggled with finding humility while trying to promote himself. “We’re continually being reborn with new insights about our struggles and 1-800-771-COLD (2653)
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Venice High School Scholarship Program, Bright Futures,
Pictured in the new Team Room are, left to right, Jim Davis- girls basketball, Brian Wheatley- volleyball, James Slaton- boys basketball, Billy Swanson- Tri County President, Jack Turgeon- VHS Principal, Jim Foubister- Tri County Community Foundation.
Community Service Scholarship Benefits Students, Improves Venice’s Quality of Life
utreach into the communities we serve, as well as beyond, has been key to the corporate culture of Tri County for decades,” says Billy Swanson, president of Tri County. “In order to more formalize that concept, we established the non-profit Tri County Community Foundation in January 2014. While the Foundation has several areas of focus, we think one of the most important is to recognize and reward young people who have given their time and talents to support community betterment.” “To that end,” he continues, “We have established the Community Service Scholarship Program, which offers a $250 scholarship to exceptional graduating seniors within the Sarasota County School District who share our commitment to community betterment. Application forms are available at the Sarasota County high schools and from Tri County.” The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and community service. An essay, ‘Why is community service important to my community?’ and ‘How has community 22 COMFORT ZONE
service affected my life?’ will be factored into the selection process, along with two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a teacher; the other from someone in the community who has benefited from the applicant’s service. Jim Foubister and his wife, Chris, head the Foundation and the scholarship program. Jim stressed that applicants must be registered to volunteer at Florida Cares (FLCares.com) or Venice Cares (VeniceCares.com). “We have developed a VeniceCares app,” he says, “which provides students many benefits including a crisis help line and opportunities to volunteer and benefit the community. The app requires iOS 6.0 or later and is compatible with Andriod, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and is optimized for iPhone 5. The free, easily downloaded apps were selected as a communication vehicle because a recent study showed the number one way to communicate with students is through their smart phones.” Kim Kindell, administrator of the Bright Futures program within Sarasota County schools that helps outstanding students TriCountyAir.com
attend a college or university in Florida, has high praise for the Tri County initiative. She explains that students volunteer after school in programs at the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, the library and elementary schools, among others. “Of course, the students’ working in the parks system has had a huge impact on the quality of life in Venice,” she adds. “The students use the VeniceCares app to find the best fit for them to donate their time,” she continues. “We as administrators like it because we can track their time and involvement to meet one of three levels of Bright Futures community service hours. Besides the credits they get toward community service, they also get a one-half credit that appears on their permanent record. They can repeat this, for a full credit. It looks great on a resume or college application and, of course, the community benefits.” Foubister adds that the app also serves as a crisis line. “Some of the students who have this app on their phones have used it as a way to reach out when in crisis over the past year,” he notes.
Make a Difference Day, Venice High Volleyball
Vhs girls state champion ring presentation | January, 2015
Foundation Benefits Student Athletes
n 2014, following the dramatic comefrom-behind State Championship victory for the Venice High School Lady Indians volleyball team, Coach Brian Wheatley was still walking on air when he ran into Jim Foubister of the Tri County Community Foundation. The two men attend the same church and became friends. Wheatley was recounting the “surreal” win for the team. Even though it was his fourth State Championship, the win over odds-on favorite Vanguard was especially sweet. “Jim and I were talking about the game,” says Wheatley. “He loves Venice High athletics – his son was a wrestler here – and he follows the teams. Then the conversation shifted to the Tri County Community Foundation, which Jim and his wife Chris administer, and the possible opportunity for funding for some of our projects. Jim said something like, ‘we want to help, what do you need?’ and I immediately thought of a rarely-used room in our new school. Our volleyball and basketball athletes didn’t have a place of their own to go for team meetings,
studying, bonding in general. We as coaches thought the room could be ideal, but much work was needed before it could fully function as a Team Room.” Wheatley notes that Tri County helped underwrite the expenses of bringing the “abandoned” room up to code, painting the walls with graphics and slogans, and providing a comfortable, inviting place for the basketball and volleyball athletes to call their own.
athletes can enjoy and benefit from for years to come.” For more information, please contact Jim Foubister 941-223-1771, Chris Foubister 941-716-4102 or visit VeniceCares.com
“Venice High has a great tradition of student athletics,” Wheatley says. “We are extremely grateful to Tri County for making this Team Room something our
“Thank you for the great job you did replacing the ducts in my home. Bill, you truly have a great crew, and they all reflect the high standards and quality customer service your company is known for.” – Mike H.
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What to Expect When “It’s a terrific day at Tri County, How may I direct your call?”
“I need maintenance/service on my air conditioner.”
We will verify your name, address and the make of your system. Then, we will schedule an appointment.
24 COMFORT ZONE
“I would like a free estimate on a new air conditioner”
Our Technician will be dispatched to your home.
y t n u o C i r T l You Cal Our installation team will install your new air conditioner.
Our Comfort Advisor will provide you with a “Good,” “Better” and “Best” estimate and schedule an installation date.
Your technician will diagnose your problem, and check pricing and availability of repair parts. Equipment is registered and warrantied with Manufacturer.
We’ll bring the cookies! 1-800-771-COLD (2653)
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Saving Energy and Money is Easier than You Think
Tri County offers easy ways to save energy year round. Do your own energy audit and youâ€™ll be amazed at the dollars you can save by simply keeping an eye on your costs, needs and options.
26 COMFORT ZONE
Maintenance is imperative.
• Change filters at least every three months. This will save you 4 to 6 percent on heating/cooling costs and prolong the life of your AC. • Seal and insulate ductwork for even more savings. • Never run heater or A/C with open windows • Seal and insulate doors and windows. • Lower the temperature on the water heater to 110 degrees.
In the kitchen…
2 3 4 5
• Use a slow cooker, which consumes far less energy than an oven or stove top for extended cooking times.
Little secrets can save big money. • Use bubble wrap (bubble side against the glass) or other window film to insulate out-of-the way windows. Simply spray with water, apply the wrap or film, and remove when it’s warmer out by peeling it off. • Install awnings or plant trees on the south, southwest and western exposures. • Use window treatments to provide internal shade. • Dress appropriately for the weather, in cotton or light fabric during hot spells; and in sweaters, long pants and socks when it’s chilly out. • Move air over your skin with fans and outside breezes. • Drink cold water in the summer, hot drinks in the winter. • Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lighting. • Turn your computers off at night. • Turn off lights when leaving a room, every time.
Invest to save. • SERVICE your unit regularly. • REPLACE an outdated unit with high-efficiency equipment. • Install a programmable thermostat; perhaps two if you have a two-story home. • Consider high-energy replacement windows. • REPLACE your standard water heater with a heat pump water heater.
About that pool… • Turn off the heater if the pool is décor only. If your house is situated appropriately on your lot, try a solar pool cover. • Reduce the runtime of your pool pump.
How do YOU save energy at your home? We would love to hear from you. Email suggestions to Billy@tricountyair.com. We’ll publish them in the next edition of Comfort Zone magazine.
COMFORT ZONE 27
Tri County Announces Car Contest
To enter the $100 weekly Cool Car Contest drawing: 1. Take a picture of ANY Tri County vehicle. 2. Like our Facebook page (facebook.com/ tricountyairflorida) 3. Post that picture to our Facebook page 4. Check back every Monday to see if you were the weekly winner! The name is drawn every weekend, recorded on video, and announced on our Facebook page every Monday.
f a picture is worth 1,000 words, what’s a picture of Tri County Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.’s new Cool Car worth? Possibly $100 cash, if your photo of any Cool Car is uploaded to Tri County’s Facebook page, and your entry is drawn in a weekly contest. You’ll be able to see your winning photo on Facebook, too, garnering instant celebrity status in your new role as Paparazzi to the Cars. The Cool Car is Tri County’s newest marketing “vehicle” (pun intended) to get the word out on the street that the Cool Car represents both outstanding indoor air quality as well as a progressive and fun company. The Tri County cars and trucks, with bright, colorful decals, can be found throughout the Tri County service area. They’re easy to photograph with any phone equipped with a camera, or use a standard camera and upload it to your PC or Mac.
28 COMFORT ZONE
The contest is simple. Just take a photo of the Tri County Cool Car – or any Tri County vehicle – and post it on Facebook.com/ TriCountyAirFlorida. The winning photo for the week will be determined each weekend, and the winner notified of when to pick up their check. You may even receive your check from Billy himself! Contest ends December 31st 2015. He explained, “Since the Cool Car can be found wherever our service personnel are working, it’s hard to miss. Other Tri County vehicles are eligible, too. Capture a picture of any one of our branded vehicles, post it to our Facebook page. All names will be placed into a bowl and one name will be drawn each week to win $100! Let’s get connected.” So, keep your eyes peeled for a Tri County Air vehicle, snap a pic, and post it to Tri County’s Facebook page. You may just end up $100 richer at the end of the week.
ÂŠ2015 Allstate Insurance Co.
Make a Difference Day Beautifies Venice Parks “Venice Cares volunteers painting the gazebo in Downtown Venice”
ohn Veneziano, Director of Public Works in Venice, notes that this scholarship program and the app to match have been a positive addition to the city’s beautification efforts, among others.
the one-to-three hour period of work, these volunteers did the equivalent of four men doing six months of work, mulching playgrounds, raking leaves, replacing slats in park benches and refreshing paint on signs in various city parks.”
“We had over 400 volunteers in the parks during 2014,” he says. “Jim [Foubister] arranges for all of the volunteers, schedules them and provides lunch. For example, they did a couple of projects in Centennial Park, such as painting the gazebo, cleaning up the splash pool and repairing fences. This effort actually began in 2013. They approached us during that summer and asked, ‘what do you need?’ We just made a list and Tri County took care of it.”
He also praised Tri County for providing the VeniceCares app that matches need to talent. “This is a perfect example of the community at heart. They have a choice, they can make a difference.” Involving other community resources has made this and other projects successful. Jim credits Home Depot with donating all the paint necessary for the new Center of Hope Church Project. “They also provided several volunteers, and encouraged other trades to donate materials and manpower to the project,” he says.
Veneziano explains that this is all part of “Make a Difference Day,” slated for a Saturday in late October. “There’s a core group of volunteers we can count on for 2015, but the kids themselves help spread the word and get their friends involved. This is a living, growing project that has saved the city thousands of dollars and gotten teens involved in a volunteer effort to better “The extent to which the workers cleaned up their community.”
Venice Mayor John Holic echoed Veneziano’s comments. “It was like a blitz,” he says. “During
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after the job made a very positive impression on me. Also, they took the time to answer my questions. That was great.” – James P.
Tri County Community Foundation Community Service Scholarship
SCHOLARSHIP: A $250 Scholarship will be awarded to one senior at each high school in the Sarasota County School District DEADLINE: Post mark March 18, 2016 DELIVER TO: Tri County Community Foundation ELIGIBILITY: Must be a current high school senior in the Sarasota County School District REQUIRED ATTACHMENTS: Only completed applications will be accepted
3. Potential College/University information 4. Essay “Why is community service important to my community?” and “How has community service affected my life?” (500 words or less)
5. Two Letters of Recommendation (One teacher and one from your community service)
6. Must be registered to volunteer at FLCares.com, which provides various volunteer opportunities
that the following information may be 1. Include contact info. (name, address, phone number, email), 7. Acknowledgement shared in Tri County materials: applicants first name, academic information, extra-curricular activities, and detailed community service info.
2. High School Transcript (unofficial). Scan or fax:
school and essay.
Remember to get preapproval for all your service hours! For questions, please contact: Jim Foubister (941) 223-1771 or Chris Foubister (941) 716-4102
Office of Jim and Chris Foubister 1080 Enterprise Court, North Venice, FL 34275 Phone: (941) 223-1771 Fax: (941) 485-9508 www.TriCountyAir.com 1-800-771-COLD (2653)
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Ambassad Ambassador Representing Tri County’s Commitment to Service
ike so many of the Tri County programs and initiatives, becoming an Ambassador for the company is two-fold. First, it’s a representation of our service, experience and outstanding workmanship in meeting the individual needs of each customer for their cooling and heating system. It’s person-to-person advertising that generates referrals from satisfied customers. Vern Montgomery of Montgomery Carpets Plus in Venice is a good example. “I work with a lot of Realtors®,” he said. “When people are buying a new house – not necessarily new construction – they often need more than just new flooring. Especially if they’re new to the area, they’ll ask about air conditioning companies. We always recommend Tri County. Their reputation is solid, and, like our 32 COMFORT ZONE
company, they’ve been in business a long time.” Tom Elwell of Parrish is another good example of an Ambassador for Tri County, and his referrals are based on personal experience. He says, “Four years ago our 12-year-old A/C system failed. I did my due diligence, and got 14 or so quotes on replacement. Tri County had the best salesperson, and after I studied the company in depth, I selected them. I have absolutely no complaints, the service is fabulous. During the summer months, I keep an eye on several homes while their owners are up north, and I’ve referred Tri County to a lot of people. I would do this anyway, but the gift certificates and thank-you notes are a nice bonus.” Sarasota resident Nancy Gerry has referred many of her neighbors to Tri TriCountyAir.com
County. “All of our A/C units are failing or have failed due to age in the past several years. When mine died about four or five years ago, I got numerous estimates. Tri County’s was the best, and their salesman was terrific. The company’s staff is friendly and respectful, and their motto is ‘We’ll take care of you.’ Their follow-up is unbelievable. I am delighted to refer the company to the people I house-sit for in the summer, and I enjoy the perks that come with being an Ambassador – outings like baseball games, cruise on the bay. It’s a great opportunity to mix and mingle.” Tom, Nancy and Vern are just three of the many satisfied customers who have referred Tri County over the years. They are Ambassadors of the company to others in their communities who are looking for a trusted air conditioning company.
Become a Tri County Ambassador!
Over the years, our business has grown because satisfied customers have told their families, neighbors and friends about us. These customers have become our Ambassadors, and we thank them for referrals.
Go Shopping On Us!
We’ll send you a $10 gift card for each person you refer who becomes a new customer.
Have Dinner On Us!
If a new customer purchases equipment from us, Tri County will send you a $60 Gift Card toward dinner at one of our area’s casual restaurants.
Enjoy Exclusive Outings and Entertainment!
Billy Swanson, Tri County President, says, “We are so grateful for the network of customers we have throughout the Suncoast. Our Ambassadors are deeply appreciated, and it’s our pleasure to thank them through gift cards and the occasional outing. We invite everyone who is satisfied with our service to become a Tri County Ambassador by simply referring our company to a friend, neighbor or business connection. It’s a win-win-win proposition.”
Our top Ambassadors are invited to annual special events, including trips to the theatre, fine dining, fishing expeditions, athletic events and more. Learn how to become selected for these and other perks of Tri County Ambassadorship by calling (941) 485-2222 or visiting TriCountyAir.com.
Submit Your Referral Today! The first referral resulting in a purchase of new service or equipment will receive the applicable gift card. Contact us for full details:
“Everyone was very helpful, knowledgeable and professional, and the installers left the place ‘clean as a whistle.’ Thank you all.” – Carole H.
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Southern BBQ Chicken
Slow-grilling over indirect heat keeps this chicken moist and tender. Giving the drumsticks a thorough rub with seasonings makes them taste great. Always baste at the end of grilling to prevent the legs from burning.
Original recipe makes 5 servings 15 min prep, 55 min cook 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 3/4 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
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2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 large cloves garlic, chopped 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 10 chicken drumsticks
DIRECTIONS Mash brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper together until it forms a paste, then spoon it into a re-sealable bag. Add the chicken to the bag, and roll it around until it is thoroughly covered by the mixture. Seal the bag, place it in the fridge, and let it set overnight. Heat your oil in a saucepan, but donâ€™t let the oil reach a boil. Add your onions, cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Throw in your vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Cook this mixture for another 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Preheat your grill to medium heat and oil the grates to prevent sticking. Remove the chicken from the bag in the fridge, and place it directly on the grill. Let the chicken cook until the skin is brown on all sides. Move the chicken off the heat source after all sides are browned, but keep the grill hot. Allow the chicken to cook using indirect heat. After a few minutes, take your sauce off the stove and baste the chicken repeatedly. When the chicken is ready, take it off the grill and serve. It will be delicious.
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Tri County Values Employees with
+ 10 Years of Service
Just as Tri County is grateful for the thousands of loyal customers who have supported the company throughout the past 38 years, they also applaud and thank the employees who have worked diligently for many years to ensure Tri County’s continued success.
These employees have served Tri County customers for at least 10 years: • Billy Swanson, President, 28 years • Ron Abbott, Vice President and Sales Manager, 27 years • Harold Terry, Senior Service Tech / Trainer, 21 years • Larry White, Senior Service Tech, 20 years • Dave Lugert, Senior Service Tech, 16 years • Matt Koehl, Comfort Advisor, 14 years • Jerzy Zukowski, Lead Installer, 13 years
• Janice Cunningham, Receptionist, 13 years • Stephen Cusick, Senior Service Tech, 13 years • Donna Ackles, Warehouse, 12 years • Kristina Brown, Payroll Administrator, 12 years • Genci Mihali, Senior Service Tech, 11 years • Robert Geddes, Senior Service Technician, 10 years
“We value the loyalty of our employees, who we strongly believe are the best trained, most skilled and most caring of any field team in the region’s air conditioning service area,” says Billy Swanson. “We are blessed to have such a caring and competent staff.”
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Mold: A Living
hile the Florida lifestyle is the envy of many living in colder climates, our subtropical weather can do more than relax and soothe. Many homeowners find themselves stuck with an unwanted house guest – mold – as the seasonal temperatures heat up.
Stopping mold in its tracks is a challenge, but one that needs to be faced before the organisms damage equipment, destroy walls and floors, or affect the health of you and your pets. Cleaning and preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is important in any climate, but it’s imperative in Florida. Mold can accumulate in several different areas of an air conditioning system, so it’s important to have your unit checked and cleaned at least once a year. If mold is able to grow, the spores will blow through the house, building up over time. This is particularly dangerous for people with asthma or other breathing problems. 38 COMFORT ZONE
Most of us think we only need to prepare against mold if we’re going away for the entire summer. Few realize that, under the right circumstances, mold can form in just 72 hours! Once it starts, it reproduces every six minutes.
Generally speaking, if you’re only leaving for a week or two in the summer, just set your thermostat at 80 or 82 degrees and you should be okay. If you plan to be away for a month or longer, that’s when it would be wise to take further precautionary measures. Tri County customers Rick and Jaye Scarberry of Punta Gorda know far too well the havoc that mold can wreak on a home. Their nightmare – the death of one of their precious pet dogs, the illness of their other dog, and the near destruction of their home – began with a missing vapor barrier underneath their mobile home. It was soon clear that the problem was much worse than they had imagined. “Tri County came in and helped take what was a nightmare, and turn it into a voyage. TriCountyAir.com
With our home essentially destroyed and our little family still grieving over the death of our dog, Billy Swanson of Tri County was here with us to seek and find the reasons for the mold and to get it remediated,” says Rick Scarberry. His wife, Jaye, added, “We are now in the process of replacing all of our walls and much of our furnishings – no easy task for us ‘seniors,’ but Tri County has been with us all the way to make this possible. They are a Godsend, and we intend to pay it forward and help others as they have helped us.”
The Scarberry couple are not the only ones whose lives were upended by mold damage. Mike Parkhurst and his wife arrived at their winter home in Venice to find it completely overrun by mold. “Everything was black,” Mike says, “including the silverware. It was a nightmare just opening the front door. We never even walked into the house, but went directly to my sister-in-law’s home and called Tri County.” He continues, “We did everything right, or so we thought. The biggest mistake we made was not having someone come in and check
Nightmare Thank you!
on the place periodically. We had to have everything removed – walls, flooring, kitchen appliances, furniture – it was a disaster.” When Tri County was called to come check the equipment and the settings on the A/C and dehumidifier, they responded immediately. Mike says their commitment to getting the problem fixed was exemplary. Mike had high praise for the company’s president, Billy Swanson, and his team for addressing the issues and assuring the couple that their mold days were over.
Should you find mold or desire additional information on products or practices that reduce the chance of mold, the indoor air quality professionals at Tri County can help. Call 941-485-2222.
“Over the last seven years, several companies have tried to get my business. I tried one for an annual check-up and he was a crook. I am happy to be with Tri County and will continue to do so.” – Walter L.
5 Easy Steps to Reduce the Chance of Mold 1
The fan switch on your thermostat needs to ALWAYS be set to “AUTO.” Humidity increases 10-15% when set to “On.”
Make sure your dehumidistat is set properly. Billy recommends a setting of 50% and 80 degrees on your thermostat when you are gone on vacation.
Always have someone check the home, and make sure they know what they are looking for and that they understand how a dehumidistat and thermostat work.
Always listen to your FPL bill; it tells you what is happening. If there is a change in Kilowatt usage, there is a reason, and you should call Tri County right away.
Go online or call us and get a copy of "How to prepare your home before you go," then follow the suggestions.
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Let’s Have a Fun! T
ri County is all business when it comes to servicing your air conditioning and heating systems, but the folks there like to have fun, too. We asked Tri County employees and ambassadors to recommend some out-of-theway opportunities for recreation, sight-seeing and exploring nature. We’re not talking about the Ringling Museum, Mote Marine or Selby Gardens. Rather, here are some spots that are off the beaten path but well-worth discovering.
Historic Spanish Point: A Glimpse into the Past
Want to explore an “Old Florida” oasis? Visit Spanish Point outdoor museum in Osprey. “A Window to the Past” exhibition shows the layers of the development of civilization built inside of a shell mound. You’ll see Sarasota’s first produce packing house, a chapel; and the beautiful Guptill House, built in 1901. Experience Mrs. Potter Palmer’s Jungle Walk and the Butterfly Garden. Spanish Point offers two-hour eco-tours on standup paddleboards or in kayaks. Paddlers leave the museum’s property and explore the mangrove islands and tunnels. 337 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. For information, call 941-966-5214 or visit HistoricSpanishPoint.org.
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The Celery Fields: A Not-soHidden Gem
The Celery Fields recreation area provides hiking, running, biking, kite flying, and horseback riding. Birders can view 217 species of birds from the 75-foot observation tower. Mammoths and mastodons used to roam the area near a lake. The lake naturally filled, creating a large sawgrass wetland system. The land was drained for agricultural needs in the late 1880s and early 1900s. In the 1920s, Fancee Farms used the fields for growing celery, which became known as the Celery Fields.
A non-profit safe haven for rescued and surrendered big cats, bears and other animals, Big Cat Habitat strives to educate the public by fostering appreciation for animals and stressing the importance of habitat preservation. Animals receive care, comfort and support. Gates open from 12:30 PM to 4 PM Wednesday through Sunday. Demonstrations at 2 PM. Admission: $15, adults; $7, children. East of Celery Fields off Fruitville; 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota. 941-371-6377 or BigCatHabitat.org.
In 1994, Sarasota County purchased the 444 acres of fields, lakes and marshes after recordsetting rains, so the land could perform its natural flood storage function, and to prevent downstream flooding.
Want More Wildlife?
Take the Fruitville exit east of I-75; turn right at the Abbott Park entrance. (941) 861-5000; 6799 Palmer Blvd.
4002 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. VeniceAudubon. org/rookery.
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Listen! Can you hear the roar of lions and tigers? These big cats thank Kay Rosaire, founder and owner of Big Cat Habitat, and her team for rescuing them.
The Venice Area Audubon Rookery is the place to go to see nesting birds. Alligators guard the Rookery’s island. Northerners love to see the wildlife here.
If you have only one day to take visitors to see wildlife, make Myakka River State Park your destination. You’ll find gators, herons, osprey, egrets, anhingas, cormorants and more, as well as deer. 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota. FloridaStateParks. org/myakkariver.
Charlotte Flatwoods Environmental Park is a large 4870-acre park operated by Charlotte County, home to a variety of birds of prey and wading birds. Bring your binoculars and look for red-shouldered hawks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and sandhill cranes.
trampoline walled courts are designed to provide a wide array of low-impact activities; everything from free-style play to dodge ball to organized exercises. Jumps start every 15 minutes, and jumpers are welcome for 30, 60, 90, or 120 minute sessions.
15801 Tamiami Trail, south of Punta Gorda.
6180 Edgelake Drive, Sarasota. 941-363-6FLY, SkyZone.com/Sarasota.
You may see herons, grebes, ducks and egrets at Ollie’s Pond Park in Port Charlotte. A small, easily-walked neighborhood park, Ollie’s Pond Park is also dog-friendly.
Pirate Spring Baseball
18235 Avon Ave., Port Charlotte. Cedar Point Environmental Park in Englewood offers both land and sea birds, due to its location on Lemon Bay. There are hiking trails, picnic areas and a visitors’ center. 2300 Placida Road, Englewood.
Whimsy Museum Will Tickle Your Imagination
The pink flamingos will catch your eye first, driving up or down highway 41 just south of Dr. Martin Luther King way. Look closer to see a spinning ballerina and a stainless steel rocket ship, nestled within a canopied historic oak grove with cascading orchids and tropical plants. Catch the outdoor gardens featuring lighthearted paintings, sculpture and stained glass. Founded by Marietta Lee in 2009, the Museum is dedicated to the creative human spirit and raising the importance of Whimsical Art. 2121 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Call 941-3643399, email email@example.com or visit WhimsyMuseum.org.
Just Need to Burn Some Energy?
Check out the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, located just off Bee Ridge Road near I-75 in Sarasota. The main goal of Sky Zone is fun physical activity for all ages. The all-
Professional baseball can be found in Bradenton when the Marauders throw the first pitch in April at historic McKechnie Field. A Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Bradenton Marauders are one of only two professional minor league teams to be affiliated with the club. All the fun of going to a real diamond can be found right around the corner, all season long. There’s nothing quite like the live crack of a bat. McKechnie Field -1611 9th Street West, Bradenton. 941-747-3031, BradentonMarauders.com.
Let’s Go Antiquing!
Antiquing satisfies a thirst for those seeking the unique and/or historical item for a collection or as décor. Find an enclave of antique shops on Miami Avenue West in Venice, and behind Captain Eddy’s and Café Evergreen in Nokomis (US 41 and Colonia), among many others in the Tri County service area. Spend some time strolling, shopping and admiring items from the past. These gems are just the tip of the iceberg for recreational opportunities in Tri County’s service area. Know of a place we haven’t mentioned that you think is a must-do? Let us know at Tri County, where fun is encouraged and the entertainment offerings are highly valued. Email Billy Swanson, Tri County president, at Billy@ tricountyair.com. We’ll cover those in the next edition of Comfort Zone.
Tri County has the Answers! 6
Tri County Crossword ACROSS 3. Nik Wallenda 9. Tri County Comfort Institute 11. Comfort Care 12. Mold
DOWN 1. Venice Highschool 2. Maintenance 4. Venice Cares 5. Loyalty
6. Outreach 7. Smart Car 8. Cookies 10. Family
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The Total Package Compact Air Performance
combined heating and cooling system in one streamlined, selfcontained package, the Lennox LRP14 will keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. A variety of packaged options lets you choose from gas or electric, air conditioner, heat pump and dual fuel models. Summer in Southwest Florida, when heat is at its worst, is a true test of an air conditioning system, and the Lennox line passes with high honors. On those chilly winter nights, your home remains cozy and comfortably warm. Your entire family will enjoy the peace of mind that comes in year ‘round comfort with the Lennox LRP14. An important part of your home’s comfort factor is quiet performance. The Lennox LRP14 package features an internally-mounted outdoor fan that helps reduce vibration and keep operating sounds at a minimum. 42 COMFORT ZONE
The compact design of the Lennox LRP14 is ideal for homes built on a crawlspace, like many of the homes in Southwest Florida, and perfect for installation on a rooftop on any home or office. The unit connects with the home’s existing ductwork through a secure opening in the wall, providing easy access for maintenance. Lennox packaged units are constructed from the highest quality materials to ensure season after season of reliable operation, comfort and savings. Their rugged design includes steel louvered coil protection for added durability. The performance of your cooling and heating system is determined in a large part by your HVAC equipment’s operating efficiency. Think of it in terms of miles per gallon of your car. The more cooling/heating a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes, the higher rating it will receive. The higher the efficiency rating of your system, the less energy it will consume; that means TriCountyAir.com
lower utility bills and less of an impact on the environment. Utility savings while maintaining efficiency and comfort is a hallmark of the Lennox LRP14 series. The packaged units feature efficiency ratings of 14.00 SEER Seasonal Performance Factor. The Lennox LRPD14 package is also rated at 81% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is the most widely used measure of a furnace’s efficiency, as it measures the percentage of heat delivered to your house from each unit of fuel. With the Lennox LRP14 system, 81% of the fuel burned in the furnace is heated for your home. If buying a heat pump, look to the Lennox LHP14 for its high Heating and Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Simply speaking, the Lennox packaged units offer a high standard of efficient performance to deliver unprecedented comfort to your home or office.
Enjoy All-Season Comfort with the Lennox LRP14 Packaged unit lineup offers legendary Lennox 速 quality, along with outstanding performance and reliability.
The LRP14HP packaged heat pump and LRP14AC packaged air conditioner both come with a 10-year limited warranty on the compressor and a 10-year limited warranty on remaining covered components. Other warranties are offered on remaining covered components; your authorized Lennox dealer will explain those to you.
For year round comfort, great value, long-term performance and a unique solution to providing cooling and heating to Southwest Florida families, ask about the Lennox LRP14 package.
COMFORT ZONE 43
UNDERSTANDING WARRANTIES: Do the Maintenance!
ri County Heating and Air Conditioning believes strongly in protecting your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) investment by understanding your manufacturer’s warranty and possibly your third party extended service contract, which provides labor coverage, extended part coverage, or both.
• Michelle states that the biggest change comes in the area of maintenance. “Although all manufacturers have, in the past, strongly suggested yearly preventative maintenance on your unit, some are now requiring proof that it has been completed when submitting a claim.” She also thinks that
• When you purchased your new air conditioning system, you should have received a copy of the equipment warranty, which contains the manufacturer’s terms and conditions. If you also have an extended service contract, it will have its own terms and conditions. You should keep this paperwork in close proximity to your unit for reference purposes.
Michelle Tamm-Booth, who oversees warranties at Tri County, has seen many changes over the last several years in how warranties are administered and regulated, affecting the entire HVAC industry. These changes have occurred in both the manufacturer and extended service warranties.
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all manufacturers will soon require the same, and, that the “lack of maintenance could actually invalidate the warranty.” Don’t let this happen. Have the maintenance done at least annually to protect your investment.
• The next area of change to be aware of is in the transferability of your unit’s warranty. Each type of unit is unique, however, and as of 2014, most manufacturer’s warranties will not transfer after the fifth year. There are some exceptions: topend units will normally transfer to subsequent owners, and there are certain units whose warranty will not transfer at all. Again, all of this important information can be found in the terms and conditions that came with your equipment.
• One thing that has not changed is
the requirement of using OEM parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for replacement. If you want a part to be replaced under warranty, it will have to come from the manufacturer of the unit (no generic parts). To that end, Tri County prides itself in having a large, extensive warehouse with hundreds of different parts for many different units. But every part for every customer’s unit will not be in stock all the time. Tri County’s top-notch parts and dispatch department promises to get you the part you need as soon as we can, and in the meantime will provide temporary cooling options whenever possible.
and parts, even after your manufacturer’s warranty or extended service contract has expired or become invalid. The warranty staff is pleased to help you with questions you might have regarding your warranty. Additionally, anyone in the customer service department can guide you through what type of maintenance agreement will best protect you and your A/C investment. Just call 941-485-2222 and one of our caring receptionists will help you.
• Tri County offers in-house maintenance agreements that may be renewed every year. They can include coverage for labor
COMFORT ZONE 45
Labor Agreements: Keep Your Equipment Humming According to Tri County president Billy Swanson, labor agreements are like insurance policies for your air conditioning equipment. “Purchasing a labor agreement is much like pre-paying for labor during maintenance service calls, which you must do in order to maintain the manufacturer’s warranties on equipment and parts,” he explains. If your existing AC equipment has a 10 year parts warranty, our labor agreements are a perfect fit for you because they give you full parts and labor coverage.
“L” Agreement Covers Labor
Homeowners have the option to upgrade to a full service (“C”) agreement, for equipment between five and 10 years of age. This covers all parts, labor and compressor on service calls needed any time of the day including weekends or after hours. “This is what we consider priority service,” says Swanson. “Customers with any of our full service agreement receive preferential scheduling and no additional cost for overtime or holidays.”
The other two options are “S” agreement, for systems over 10 years of age that cover all parts and labor excluding compressor and coils on service calls.
Covers Parts + Labor
Covers Parts + Labor
All agreements exclude coverage for rust, corrosion, mold, mildew, wires, breakers, ducts or anything external of the equipment, or other maintenance issues.
Call for pricing 1-800-771-COLD (2653) 46 COMFORT ZONE
The company’s “J” agreement is for systems over 10 years of age that cover all parts, labor and compressor on service needed any time.
STOMP OUT PESKY PESTS!
THE GREEN WAY Green for People. Green for Pets. Green for the Planet.
Deadly on Pests.
“Sharing God’s Good News while solving pest problems with green solutions.” –Dean Burnside Termites • Fire Ants • Mosquitoes • Flies • Bees • Wasps • Rodents • Birds • Bats • Bed Bugs Charlotte County Sarasota County Commercial Division Manatee County
START SAVING MONEY WITH
SERVICE AGREEMENTS FOR YOUR A/C
Regular maintenance keeps your system running efficiently, saving on your utility bills. Po t e n t i a l p r o b l e m s ca n b e prevented or corrected early – and more cost effectively – before equipment fails. Proper servicing extends the life of a heating and air conditioning system. Agreement advantages include discounts, preferred customer care, and access to specialized testing.
“ No m a t t e r w h a t t h e w e a t h e r, Tr i C o u n t y m a k e s i t b e t t e r.”
CALL 1-800-771-COLD (2653) • TriCountyAir.com Sarasota (941) 485-2222 Manatee (941) 749-0756 Charlotte (941) 625-1638 EC13003720 • CAC 042759 • CVC 56801