May 2016 (60 )
Jim Tackles Common AC Questions
The temperature won't get to the thermostat number
You set the thermostat at 72 degrees and it never drops below 80 degrees. I hate to tell you this, but your system is probably wearing out. But before you go out to buy a new system, have this one serviced and check the coolant levels. Incorrect coolant levels could cause this problem, but you could be burning up your compressor while you continue running it. Get it looked at right away. And know that this is the kind of issue that can be spotted with seasonal servicing.
What kind of SEER rating do I need?
Well, that is kind of like asking how many miles per gallon do you want out of your car? The SEER rating tells you how efficient the unit is, but does it always make sense to buy the most efficient unit on the market? Absolutely not....because there is a cost break point that you have to look at. If you are going to stay in the house 10-15 years, you may want to look at a higher SEER rating; but don't get it so high that it doesn't make sense financially.  Right now most of us should be looking at between an 18 and 21 SEER units.
When should I replace my AC system?
Well, typically we replace them when they break. Usually, what we are looking at is the age of the unit versus what it's going to cost to fix it. Here is a rule of thumb: if your unit is 10 years old or older (because the more modern units are so much more efficient) consider replacing that old unit, you'll save enough on the utility bills to offset the cost of the unit. Now does that mean I'm telling everybody that has a 10-year-old unit to go out and replace it....absolutely not. Wait until it breaks, and once it breaks do the math calculating what you will save on energy bills with the more efficient system versus the cost of repair.
What do I do when my AC system quits working?
Let's talk about emergency air conditioning services. First find a good contractor. You can check our website for preferred contractors, or ask around for recommendations for a reputable company. Don't just call the first name that comes up on Google. The next thing that you need to do is shut the system down completely, especially if it's during those summer months. If your compressor has frozen up and you continue to run it, you will burn out the compressor and that can cause you to have to replace the entire system. Save yourself some money, shut it down and get an expert out there to service it right away.
Now be careful because some contractors will take advantage of you and charge top dollar because they know you are miserable. It is best to make it clear that you aren't in a rush and you have somewhere else to stay. If they know you are in a bind they may not offer the system that best fits your home, the best price, a full warranty, or a service agreement. It might mean a hotel stay, but you will likely get a better deal if you aren't desperate.

Texas Home Improvement preferred AC contrators:

Dallas/Ft. Worth


Your Questions -
Jim's Answers

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It was a big week for wood floor repair questions...Jim answers questions about filling holes, damaged finish, and worn doorways.

Setting A Post
Setting a fence or mailbox post? Jim tells you the easy way to set the cement and get it level every time.


New Windows - upgrade your home's appearance & increase its energy efficiency

When Jim had vinyl replacement windows put in a few years back he saw a 35% savings in his utility bill. Vinyl replacement windows are maintenance free, require no painting and savings like Jim's can be achieved when energy efficient options like low-e and argon gas are included.
America's Choice Windows replaced the windows for the Pattersons during the Overhaul For A Hero project. Along with the other upgrades the Patterson's saw a drop in their utility bills of about 70% in the summer!

The Patterson's House

Texas Home Improvement would like to say thank you to America's Choice Windows for once again providing all new windows for this year's Overhaul For A Hero: The Garcia Project.

10 Windows For Only $3680

The Garcia Project
Houston Texas
Work starts this week. Over 20 contractors will converge on the Garcia's home over the next 2 weeks. We are still looking for help in the follow areas:
Floor Installation
Cabinet Installation
Please contact us if you can help!
On June 30, 2013, Houston Police Officer Ramiro Garcia was traveling home with his family after attending a wedding. When the rear tire had a blowout the vehicle crashed and Officer Garcia was ejected from the car. His injuries have left him bound to a wheelchair. He now lives with his parents and requires care around the clock.  Jim Dutton has visited the Garcia's home and knows that the Texas Home Improvement Team can make  a significant and lasting impact on the lives of the family.
This May Texas Home Improvement will be teaming up with our sponsors and many area businesses to do a complete overhaul on the Garcia's home. Our objective is to create a wheelchair friendly environment and simplify the care process for Officer Garcia's parents.
Follow our progress on, facebook, twitter, and of course by listening to the show each week.

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Thanks for listening!

Jim Dutton

The Garcia Project featured on ABC News

Reporter Kevin Quinn tells Officer Garcia's story as he visits the house and interviews Jim Dutton and Dora Garcia.

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Hear their story, watch the transformation, experience the joy of a new beginning.

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