Hot Upstairs – Freezing Downstairs – and Annoyed?

So were they...until they called us!

Here’s something you may not know: the ideal temperature deviation from your home’s thermostat to other areas throughout is three degrees.

That’s not what the eight-member Cannon Family in Roselle was experiencing! They found us through IMS, a trade publication and had us over to discuss comfort issues with their home’s HVAC delivery. We found that the uniform temperature they hoped to achieve in warm months (for example, opting for 78 degrees throughout) measured closer to 90 degrees in second floor bedrooms and 66 in the newly added basement sleeping rooms. That led to sheet covered but still sweating sleepers upstairs with multi blanketed, freezing family down under.

After testing the ductwork to see what air temperatures the system was delivering, we looked at other challenges the home’s air conditioning was facing (i.e. windows, insulation, etc.). That information, along with a measured floor plan was fed into a computer model to perform a load calculation. Because the results show the exact amount of air needed to turn uncomfortable rooms into livable, this analysis was essential for developing a proper battle plan. The solution was presented and these problems were corrected:

(1) Ductwork which was not only undersized, but installed on exterior, uninsulated walls.

We were able to add a large supplemental trunk line up through aligning closets and walls into the attic – sealing all joints and connections up there as well insulating with a greater than recommended duct wrap. (We used R-8).  From that location, we were able to break off the line and add supplies, sized by the computer model, into each bedroom. As the supplies were ceiling mounted and seamlessly integrated, there would be no need to patch or repaint.

(2) Bring on even more air.

In a second upper bedroom we added a large supplemental return duct which we branched from an adjacent room.  This allowed more air to be brought into the furnace.  In 90% of these cases we see there is a high static attributed to the return side.  Reducing this static pressure enables your equipment, including the ductwork, to work at its best.  Kind of like reducing blood pressure – or stress.

(3) Comforting those in the basement bedrooms.

We installed the proper adjustable dampers to help reduce the cold airflow in those rooms.

And the end result?  Rooms which were now within two degrees of the thermostat setting.  Follow up conversation with our customer was positive!  They were pleased with the process: from John’s recommendations and detailed reports, to quick scheduling, to our friendly, polite crew who communicated well and was able to finish the job earlier than anticipated, to our retesting showing that the system was now up to speed.  Although Mrs. Cannon says she feels the best referrals are word of mouth – and she’ll be happy to pass our name along - she was preparing to review us online before we beat her to it with our quality assurance phone call.  The homeowners mentioned they recently had some driveway work done, and said their experience with Corcoran Heating and Air Conditioning was “night and day” when compared to the other contractor.

We’re glad to hear it – and pledge to Keep Up the Good Work. - If you are ready to get this same level of performance and engineering for you home and want to learn more click the link below!

Helping to Save a Marriage!?!

The most rewarding part of what we do everyday is talking to our clients after we have made a significant impact in there home. We learn even more about how bad it really was before they have experienced our solutions. Had we never met Marty I know he would have given up his crusade for comfort, because he told me so.

His story is one I am proud to share, because people like Marty just assume they are stuck being uncomfortable. Marty came to us looking for a way to keep his master bedroom comfortable on his newly custom built home. His wife and him where ready to move out of their gorgeous master suite, because they could not sleep comfortably next to one another. Their master suite just like the rest of their home was absolutely gorgeous.

Marty had us out and explained to us his frustration and his journey up to that point. He told us he had called out a different contract each year for the past 4 years he had lived in his home. Each contractor would look at his equipment and say everything was working the way it was designed. He knew he wasn’t crazy and that there was actually something else that had to be going on here. We reassured him he was not crazy and that by the time we were done with our evaluation he would have a solution.

We spent roughly two hours measuring his house, ductwork, and all other factors that effect his house. The one thing the other contractors had missed is that the home as well as the equipment make up a system. Without examining the entire house, you are only exposed to the tip of the ice-berg. The solution was easy, and he did not need to make any equipment changes or upgrades. Our load calculation and duct analysis showed us his furnace was starving for air, and his bedroom did not have enough vents to properly condition the space.

After talking with Marty some more, his only concern was that our solution finally put an end to his suffering. We reassured him we had the right prescription to solve his problem, and since we guarantee our duct renovations 100% satisfaction or your money-back, he said it was a no brainer. Sure Marty could have called up some other contractors and had them try our solution, but he had been down that road each year. We put his mind to ease that his was all it would take and got to work the next day.

His thank you video says it the best, but I can assure you that Marty and his wife are now finally comfortable in their master suite. Now I won’t take credit for saving his marriage or anything, but I know we re-moved a major pain allowing them to sleep comfortable through the night.

Custom Home, Custom Problems

More and more studies show the lack of consumer confidence in the housing market as a whole. The steep decline in home values along with the weak performance of the stock market has consumers reinvesting in their existing homes. These studies are backed by the increase in demand for remodeling as well as in the demand for custom-built homes. Smart consumers are educating themselves on re-inventing their dream home concept; home builders are in a race to scrap the cookie-cutter subdivisions in favor of the custom home market.

Savvy customers want more space and lower utility bills. One of the problems with this trend is the home builders or re-modelers inability to match their current construction practices with the demands of today’s consumer. Low E windows and sliding glass doors combined with good insulation practices is a great start. Unfortunately the new dream home often gets a cheap heating and air conditioning system, and the consumer is left with a space that they cannot fully ENJOY.

A recent comfort audit was conducted on the addition to the home of a new client. In square footage alone, the addition was so large it could be classified as a free-standing custom home. The client occupied this space for more than a year before he reached out to us for help.

His problems were far too common, ranging from uncomfortable areas to poor performance from his hot water system to other comfort imbalances. After investing large sums of money with both the contractor and his heating and air conditioning crew and numerous call backs, he was fed up! He needed to know why his house was working the way it WAS and how to fix it.

What I saw made me sick to my stomach. Something about this business makes me take everything way to personal. The installation of his multiple furnace and air conditioners as well as boiler and water heating system screamed “budget-build”. I conceded that the companies involved knew how to make the equipment turn on, but they could NOT make the components work; no engineering in this design. The forward thinking architect was responsible for the concept, unfortunately the heating and air conditioning engineering was left to the bidding contractors. That would be like building a brand new car and putting in an engine designed for a car built in the 1960’s. It may look good – and drives – but it won’t be your ideal daily ride and over the long haul it will cost you big time.

It’s sooo important that the client who is going to be living in the home have his/her say in every aspect of the project to some degree. I realize it’s impractical for most of us to act as your own general contractor, but you shouldn’t blindly trust the opinion of your general contractor. Make sure that you are getting experts involved in everything from design to installation practices.

In the case of the mammoth addition, I was able to follow the usual trail of clues leading to the source of the problems the client was experiencing. Lack of mechanical design by an expert had lead to wild-ass guessing by the HVAC contractor. Airflow requirements to make each room comfortable and provide even temperatures were not met. “Rule of thumb” does not work, and certainly did not work in this case. Computerized modeling + larger ductwork = even room temperatures and happy client.

My next task was to investigate why the homeowner was having so many issues with the hot water heating system. The system was a-typical for residential, but more in line with what you would find at a health club or in a small hotel. It consisted of a boiler and holding tank. This combination is capable of supplying endless hot water and radiant in-floor heating. The client complained that he could not rely on it for tasks as small as a three minute hot shower. In fact, things had gotten so bad for a stretch of time that he sent his family to stay at a hotel. The contractor was unable to get the system operating consistently because he could not figure out the root of the problem. We corrected the pumping and piping issues and Walla problem solved. A good concept needed good engineering.

At Corcoran Heating and Air Conditioning, we have learned so much and gotten to where we are because we continually test. If you don’t test you’re just guessing. Thanks to new design procedures, we can design the ideal indoor environment. We also keep on top of things in our field, and will continue to do so.

For all of your new construction or remodeling projects, find the right general contractor, and demand excellence. Be sure to check references to find out if their clients are comfortable and happy with the end result. Check with the Illinois States attorney’s office. These resources are invaluable to your decision making process. Also, do not settle for working with the general contractor’s own sub-contractors. Stick with the companies you are comfortable with, and never hesitate to get a second opinion; it’s your money! Make sure you get what you’re paying for!


Helping at Da Coach’s Restaurant

As many of you know ex Chicago Bears head coach is in the restaurant industry along with many other businesses. Currently there are two different restaurants, one located in Chicago right near Water Tower Place, and one directly across the street from Oak Brook terrace. There is talk of maybe even a third so keep your eyes peeled for that on the North Shore.

When it comes to his restaurants its simple, great atmosphere, great food, and even a chance too meet the coach. Just like his style of coaching going back to the good old days of Super Bowl Bears the coach demands the best. His staff was having problems with the comfort at both locations and wanted to get to the bottom of his problems.

For his Chicago location the problem was the main bar area could not maintain temperatures when it was in the extreme temperatures. There is no place for uncomfortable clients when it comes to Da Coach and his staff. The equipment at this location was also nearing the end of its expected life and displaying some design flaws. After consulting with other companies their only answers were new equipment.

Being the smart managers they were, the GMs knew this was not the way. After visiting with the Corcoran’s they learned that a new return was needed for the bar area, a new supply was needed for the private dinning area, and the kitchen’s make-up air needed to be turned on. All this information can easily be gained through load calculations and duct calculators.

However, the implementation side is what is often overlooked by the majority of contractors. They stick to replacing boxes and try to avoid the creativity needed for proper airflow. In this case the restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, and we needed to adapt including the ductwork and holes required all while keeping them up and running.

Thanks to our design expertise and for cite this was just another project from Corcoran. Post completion the head chef was shocked by how easily the bar area cooled down, and even how powerful the newly added supply was. A great example of how looking at all aspects of the project and environment are the difference between comfortable happy clients, and the same old school results.

Now the Oak Brook location is a different story with an entirely new set of challenges. This location is newly built with new equipment and a hi tech control system. What has been going on here is a multitude of comfort and control problems, as well as parts failures, and building over pressurization. These problems needed to be met with a sophisticated understanding of how the equipment was operating, and where the short comings came into play.

After careful testing and research we were able to determine places we could make a difference. A few adjustments here, some controller reprogramming, and getting all the kitchen mechanical equipment operating. Without that the kitchen exhaust was robbing the space of air conditioning and wasting their money!

Just like football our services come down to a good game plan developed by the smartest people it can partner with. This game plan can be implemented, repeated, and successful. This game plan is applied to all our home, commercial, and restaurant clients. By simply switching plays and coverage’s we can adapt and discover all the comfort robbing and energy wasting problems.

It would be bad for you not to check out all Da Coach has to offer, he has a lot to check out!:

Cooling Chicago’s Hottest Club

Paris Club – Studio Paris Chicago

59 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654

Behind the scenes look at how our crew takes on a comfort problem beyond the same old inadequate steps, delivering the same old inadequate results.

Recently, we were approached with a very typical, yet extremely complex situation at one of Chicago’s hottest new nightclubs. I can safely say hottest both figuratively and literally. Paris Club, located at 59. W Hubbard in downtown Chicago, approached us with one major request, “Make my clients cool!” This new club is the brain child of legendary restaurant gurus from Lettuce Entertain You. They are setting the standards in Chiacgoland dining, and keep patrons raving.

Now, this is a typical and not outrageous request in that a business owner wants his indoor comfort to be perfect to attract the sophisticated clientele that frequent the restaurant/nightclub. What is not typical is the extent that it took to deliver on this request. It took 30+ years of experience and the knowledge of constantly being a student in the comfort performance industry.

Paris Club is only a year old and completely remodeled including newly installed HVAC equipment intended only for the newly added lounge area. A very cool room, with a black and white motif and a retractable glass top roof. On nice nights they open the roof top and let the beautiful Chicago night sky add to the experience. Very cool looking under the stars I might add.

During their renovation process the club hired in the typical players, an architect, engineer, construction company, mechanicals, etc. Agreeing on a design they set the project in motion and after a few months the club was ready to unveil their newly designed space. What they discovered over the next several months was what brought them to call us. They found that when they were at their busiest times they could never get the temperature to stay as low as they wanted it to.

If they are struggling to keep their club as comfortable as the clients deserved it to be, how the heck could they keep people coming back? Thus, began our journey into this project and on a quest to the best solution meeting their specific needs.

Our crew got started out in the investigative phase to understand what was going on here, and what needed to be straightened out. Step one is assessing the newly installed equipment and evaluating its functionality. On the surface level, where most contractors can only go, it would appear that all equipment was in working order. The parts and pieces of the physical unit where working complete with air blowing out of the vents.

Since stopping at that diagnosis would be doing only half of our job we next test the performance of the units. It is imperative to understand how the HVAC equipment is actually running. You need to compare this to what the equipment manufacturer says, and understand where the short falls are.

If the equipment is not only sized wrong, but under ducted as well, we need to document and correct these deficiencies. By simply going by typical industry practices these step are not taken, and the customer is left wondering where the ball was dropped, and why I am not comfortable in my own business.

The next step we took was to reengineer the club ourselves using computerized modeling software. Which is taking the physical dimensions of the space, adding windows, people and desired temperature to be sure the new equipment could handle the actual demand of the space. This step brought to light exactly what we had been fearing from the beginning. The fear was that the newly installed HVAC equipment was not big enough to handle the demand required by the space and all the people inside.

Baffling as it was to the owner, the reality was that we needing to double the amount of air conditioning that was currently existing. Yes, I said double. I am sure you are making the same face as the owners where when we told them.

We needed a plan, and we needed one quick with these 90 degree summer days not going away. This portion of the process comes the 30+ years experience and the research to offer the best possible solution. The owners do not want to be having this conversation again.

After a couple days of researching options and get together all the facts it was clear to us that there was one shot for us that would do the trick. Instead of relying on one new unit to supplement the space, or starting from scratch with new equipment and new ductwork, we took a different approach. We also had to account for the sunlight pound on the exposed ductwork, having the same effect as on the existing equipment. Besides the fact that the space was undersized, the existing equipment was only working at about half of its total capability. This is based on a combination of poorly sized ductwork, lack of opens in the ductwork, and the sun heating up the ductwork.

Our decision was made clear; why not go with ductless units like we did when it came to cooling down the junior high last summer? This solution would allow us to seamlessly integrate cooling into the club that could not upset the esthetics of the overall club. It also eliminates the need to find a space for the new unit and ductwork in the already crowded environment. Even better, by installing 7 of these ductless models would allow for other units to keep running should one fail. If they went with a new rooftop and it fails, well then you are right back where you started.

Thanks to newly designed technology these ductless systems could also be used for heating the space should they ever need it. By the amount of people dancing there I can not imagine them ever needed to make this space any hotter! If they want the ability though, it is just two buttons on the thermostat and away they go. Not to mention these units do not take a lot of electricity to function.

Once my install crew was able to begin this project, within 5 long days the club was ready to benefit from the newly installed units. Thanks to the craftsmanship of my crew the only equipment the customer had to see in the space was the indoor air handling units. Everything else was seamlessly hidden on the outside of the building. We also can not overlook that these things are library approved quiet. The club owner is able to cool off his hot crowd, and have no impact on the music system. Heck that is one large reason why they come to the club in the first place.

This success story helps illustrate why the HVAC equipment is just the tip of the iceberg. Had we not had the knowledge and understanding to solve this problem I know the owner would have spent good money chasing bad results. This is the same care and attention that gets taken into homes and businesses where people want real improvements and results.

If you are looking to experience a high end venue for one of your parties or gathers, or are just looking for an exclusive new night spot check this place out. And you won’t have to worry about the temperature inside, because we already took care of that.


Emergency Service Call on a Broken AC Leads to a Toxic Discovery

Are you one of the millions of American’s who suffers from itchy red eyes, sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing? If not you are one lucky person, because according to the Allergy Institute of America more than half of the population suffer from and have tested positive for at least one type of allergen. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones, but what about someone living in your home? The real problem is that the number of those suffering is not going down, but rather increasing every year.

It’s typical for people to never know what causes their problems, or that they even have one. Far too often people attribute their problems to some sort of seasonal allergy or think that they may just be getting the flu. Just ask our dear friends Steve and Michele who live in Inverness. One day last summer they called us to the rescue, because after two days of suffering with no air conditioning they could not bare it any longer. What we discovered opened our eyes to a shocking realization and the fact that we had to share this with you.

Upon our arrival to a seemingly routine air conditioner problem we noticed both Steve and Michele seemed very run down, and suffering from flu like symptoms. Steve was very pale, and you could tell he just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep this off. Michele was complaining about how she had not been able to sleep lately. Had we not been friends previously I worry I may have never gotten that information from her. This was important, because we were able to find and fix their problem.

Not only was their air conditioner broken and in need of replacement, but they had a broken water line leaking into their basement since the winter. For at least 4-5 months they had water soaking into a workbench in their basement, right where the furnace was located of course. The workbench was completely saturated and cover in black mold!

We immediately sprung into action and started to pull out anything that had been contaminated. We pulled out box after box of antiques and collectible. Most notably was Steve’s baseball card collection. Steve being a huge baseball fan, I can only imagine how valuable these cards where. After developing a solution with Steve and Michele we were able to get our crew into action and get them immediate relief.

There is no doubt that Steve and Michele had been breathing in toxic particulates cause them to suffer from what they thought was normal causes. To us no suffering is normal, and there are ways to combated each situation. The typical indoor environment is 5 times more polluted than that of the outdoors. That means you and your loved ones are breathing in toxic and pollutants everyday, and in some cases they can cause serious health problems.

There are signs that you can look for in your own home to understand if your heating and cooling system is contributing to your health problems. The first is to make sure your system is operating properly and filters are being changed regularly. Dirty and clogged filters as well as poorly performing equipment are leading causes to indoor air quality issues. If your system seems to be turning on and off excessively it is not doing its job at properly removing the high humidity in the home. High humidity levels are an allergens dream, as they can easily grow and multiple. Another leading factor to look at is how well your ducts are sealed and where they are located. The environment that the ducts are in can have a large influence on the environment of your home in general.

How much would it mean to you if you could drastically reduce your costs associated with allergy medicine as well as over the counter prescriptions? How much does time off from work or sick days affect your family? It is estimated the the health care industry spends 18 billion annually in relation to allergies and allergens. There is no reason for you to be suffering in your own home! Like Steve and Michele I am sure your home is your castle and sanctuary. From now until May 31st, or until we run out of our secret weapon, we want to help!

By installing a Guardian Air PHI light, as well as new equipment in Steve and Michele’s house we were able to improve their quality of life back to where it should be. Michele tells me every time I see her that the little blue light indicating her RGF light is on, is her way of know she can sleep and be protected. Not only was Michele suffering during the water leak, she told me that she could never really sleep well since living in her house. She knew instantly as soon as her cleaned air started flowing she could take a deep breathe and relax. Sure some cases are extreme like our friends, and may need other solutions. However, we knew that by adding this light we were going to help them drastically.

What is so great about this system is that it can easily be added to an existing system, and does not require you to change out your equipment. So from now until the end of May, we want to help you put an end to any needless suffering in your home. We are offering this system to you for 90 days, no risks, no gimmicks. We are going to slash the price of these units from $925.00 down to $825.00, installed. They come with a full two year parts and labor guarantee. To us that wasn’t giving this light enough justice. So as a incentive to you our loyal reader we are adding in a 90 satisfaction guarantee with a full refund in that 90 days if you are not happy. No questions asked, no BS, and no gimmicks. If you would like to find out if this is the right solution for you, or want to understand your particular situation better call us for a free no obligation consultation. We want to help you! I know that this system will end needless suffering, and I want to share it with as many people as I can help!