Believe it or not, spring is around the corner – it will be upon us before you know it. Is your HVAC system ready to handle the demands of warmer weather? Even if you have a fairly new system, it still needs regular maintenance to run properly. The last thing you want to deal with is the discomfort of a broken-down air conditioning unit in the dead of summer – not to mention the expense.
Dirty HVAC systems cost you money! According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), your HVAC system could be costing you an additional $1000 per cooling season to run if it isn’t clean and properly maintained, due to dirty coils and clogged filters.
How can you avoid unnecessary HVAC issues and expenses? By making sure you schedule a twice-yearly maintenance check with a qualified contractor. A spring service is especially important because of the harsh winter weather’s potential effects on your HVAC equipment. HVAC contractors will perform the following on your HVAC unit during the maintenance service:
· Inspect the Evaporator Coil to ensure that it functions properly, is clean and that the unit can drain sufficiently
· Inspect the air conditioning filters
· Inspect the unit’s wiring and all connections
· Check the refrigerant charge according to manufacture specifications
· Inspect the Condenser Coil for cleanliness and efficiency
· Check the unit’s temperature drop (if it feels overly warm, there may be a problem)
Is there anything you can do on your own? While you should definitely leave the trickier maintenance work to a professional, there is one “DIY” task that you should definitely perform on a regular basis: changing your air-conditioning filter. Pleated Air filters require changing one to three months; standard fiberglass filters need to be replaced more frequently, and electronic air cleaners need to be cleaned per manufacture specifications.
With a little advanced planning, you can have your HVAC system ready for spring, and save money and hassle in the process. Contact Fitch Services to schedule! (434) 296-9980
Do Not Wait For An Emergency To Have Your Heating System Checked Out
Winter is almost here and it is a great time to get your heating system in tip-top shape before the extreme weather starts! Many problems can be found, repaired, or prevented before becoming a disruptive emergency situation. In addition, systems that are serviced regularly every season operate more efficiently and last longer. Call and ask us about our Preventative Maintenance Agreements, which reduce the cost of servicings, give you a 15% savings on the cost of any repairs, and give you priority scheduling status! (434) 296-9980
Welcome to Fitch Services!
At Fitch Services, we deliver quality air conditioning, electrical, heating, and plumbing services in Charlottesville, Virginia, Palmyra, Virginia and the nearby areas. In the event of an HVAC or plumbing emergency, we are always available with 24 hour service.
Contact Fitch Services at anytime for:
Air Conditioning Service
A professional team you can rely on
Fitch Services has a licensed, professional team that is certified in repairs, removals, and replacements. We offer full services for heating and air conditioning, electrical and plumbing, water heaters, well pumps and generators. No matter what service brand, Fitch Services can handle it. We are a certified dealer for American Standard, are qualified to service and repair all brands, and we are fully equipped to take on any issues your systems may experience. In addition, we offer Climatemaster geothermal air conditioning and heat pumps that actually increase the energy efficiency of your home.
At Fitch Services, we provide you with free second opinions about your heating and air conditioning systems. We understand that the number of heating and cooling companies in the area can make choosing a trusted company difficult. However this is why we offer a second opinion for you to have complete peace of mind. Even if you have already called a company to receive an estimate for your air conditioning, water heater, heating systems, and equipment, there is no reason why you should not contact Fitch Services for another opinion.
Browse Our Website
Please feel free to browse our website to learn about all the services we offer in air conditioning, heating, electrical service, generators, and plumbing services.
For any additional information please feel free to call (434) 296-9980 today!
2013 Fall Special - $90 seasonal tune-up of any heat pump or gas furnace
Heating season is quickly approaching, and having your equipment serviced can increase its performance and efficiency, reduce emergency no heat calls, and prolong the life of the equipment! From now until November 31st, 2013, get any heat pump or gas furnace serviced for $90, a $30 savings, by mentioning this offer when you call to schedule - (434) 296-9980.
Charlottesville Portable Generator Buying Guide
Charlottesville has seen its fair share of power outages over the years and a generator can often provide that extra level of security and comfort you seek when unexpected blackouts occur.
Why Do You Need a Generator?
A home generator will ensure your family has the power needed when faced with unexpected outages. Two types of generators are available: portable generators and permanently installed home generator systems. Portable solutions will power your home appliances during blackouts, your recreational toys when you’re camping or outdoors, and/or tools on your job site. Home generator systems are installed at your home and will power at-home medical equipment, multiple home appliances, and in most cases actually start automatically during power outages.
How to Select the Right Generator For the Job
You’ve seen what can happen during natural disasters, storms and power outages. You know you want an alternate power source for your home. To determine how much power you require, follow these steps:
What do you need to power? Make a list. Ask yourself what you will need to power during an electrical outage: just appliances and lights? Computers and home electronics, too? Some families have in-home medical equipment that is a priority, while others need to ensure they have enough power to keep stocked food supplies on ice. If you need a generator for recreational or jobsite usage, list out the toolsor appliances you will want to use at the same time. Will you need to power work lights along with your tools? What about a radio? On camping or fishing trips, how many outdoor cooking, heating or entertainment appliances or accessories will you and your family or friends be using at once?
Determine what it takes to start each appliance. Ensure you’ll be able to start (not simply run) your appliances. The “starting wattage” is the amount of wattage needed to start an appliance with a motor; and it may be two to threetimes the wattage required to run the appliance. If you have owner’s manuals, check for your appliances’ listed start-up wattages (vs. the running wattage or the rated wattage). If you don’t have owner’s manuals, use our wattage calculator to estimate your power needs.
Calculate your total power needs. It’s a two part equation. First, add up all the “running wattage” for all the items you wish to power simultaneously. This equals the total running watts your generator needs to produce simply to run your equipment. Next, add to that total the highest of the “starting wattages” you wrote down in step 2, above. Now you know how much power you need to start and run your appliances and equipment!
With the knowledge you now have about your power needs, you can comparison shop for generators within your wattage requirement.Warning: Never connect a generator directly to a home’s wiring! If you intend to connect a generator to your home’s electrical system, hire a qualified electrician to install a transfer switch.
All Briggs & Stratton portable generators are powered by high-quality Briggs& Stratton gas engines that offer power you can count on. Portable generators provide dependable power during power outages, and can also be used to run your power tools or to make recreational areas more comfortable where there is no electricity.
To shop for a portable generator, follow these steps:
Determine your power needs. Portable generators can range from 900 to 10,000 watts
Think about the ease of transporting your generator. Most Briggs & Stratton portable generators come with wheels, and some are light enough to carry. If you require wheels, you’ll love our never-flat, puncture-resistant wheels for easier transportation over rugged terrain like construction sites.
Look for a generator with at least 10 hours of runtime. This allows contractors to make it through a full day’s work and home owners to get a full night’s sleep without re-fueling.
Count how many outlets you’ll need on your generator. This depends on how many appliances you’ll need to power at once. Check your appliances to see what type of outlets you’ll need. See diagram below for outlet types.
Features That Make a Difference
Weather Protected Control Panel Protects your control panel from rain, dirt, dust and debris.
Outlets All outlets are circuit breaker protected. Select the generator with the types of outlets you need.
Fuel Tanks Larger fuel tanks provide longer uninterrupted run times.
Alternator Produces the electricity. PowerSurge™ Alternators deliver greater surge wattage for extra starting power.
Engine OHV (OverHead Valve) engines provide longer life, longer run times, greater fuel efficiency and quieter running.
Muffler Helps reduce engine noise. Look for the SuperSilencer™ muffler for extra noise reduction.
Wheels Look for pneumatic wheels for easier transportation over rugged terrain like construction sites.
Want to learn more or ready for installation?
Call Fitch Services today at (434) 296-9980.
Using your Generator for Standby Power
Hurricanes, Thunderstorms and even Earthquakes - we’ve seen our share of blackouts in Charlottesville. Whether it’s caused by a utility power interruption or weather disasters, power outages are frequent occurrences throughout the country.
Buying a generator for standby power can be the first step to regaining control over protecting your family and possessions from harm. And, using a generator is as simple as operating any household appliance. After you have selected a generator, here are a few tips that can help you keep power through the storm.
Consider your Connection Method
Connecting your generator to your home can be as simple as plugging in a tool or appliance. The difficulty comes in when you want to run items that are hard wired to your homes electrical system such as a furnace fan, lighting and a water pump. Consider these three options:
Extension Cords - Extension cords are the most common method for powering appliances in your home. Simply plug the cord into your generator and run it through an open door or window to the item you wish to power. Careful not to overload the extension cord. Always use at least 10–12 gauge cord and try to limit the length to under 100 feet.
Extenda-Panel Extension Cord - This convenient cord combines 4 heavy duty extension cords into one - eliminating the tangle of multiple extension cords. This cord plugs into your 30 amp, 240v receptacle on your generator and delivers up to 7200 watts through 4 different receptacles.
Power Transfer System - A Power Transfer System is a must if you plan to use your portable generator to operate appliances hard wired to you home’s electrical system. This system is the safer, faster and more convenient way to power up to 10 household circuits for up to 7200 watts of power. Comes with a power cord and inlet box that mounts outside your home, eliminating all open doors and windows.
Charlottesville Geothermal Air Conditioning Systems from Fitch Services
Fitch Services is pleased to offer Climate Master Geothermal heat pump and air conditions systems in Charlottesville, Albemarle and the surrounding Central Virginia area.
Using the constant temperature of the earth, a ClimateMaster® Geothermal Heat Pump System will keep your home comfortable year-round for less. ClimateMaster is the leader in developing products that save you money – cutting your energy bills up to 80% over traditional HVAC systems.
For deep savings on energy, look no further than your own backyard. ClimateMaster Heat Pump Systems use geothermal energy to tap the constant temperature of the earth, keeping your home comfortable year-round and saving you up to 80% on your energy bill.
Geothermal technology saves you money each and every day. By using the constant temperature below the earth’s surface, your geothermal system doesn’t need to work as hard to heat and cool your home. It runs more efficiently, so it saves you money - up to 80% savings over your existing heating and cooling system!
And now, you can save even more with tax credits. Save 30% off the total cost of installation with a recently implemented federal tax credit. You get to save money every month on your energy bill and significant savings off the cost of a new system.
Want to learn more or ready for installation?
Call Fitch Services today at (434) 296-9980.
Fitch Services recognized as one of Charlottesville/Albemarle’s Best Contractors
We would like to extend our appreciation to all who voted Fitch Services into the top three among Albemarle Family Living’s Favorites in HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing for 2010! We will continue to strive to provide qualities services deserving of such recognition - here is a link to the publication’s voting results:
As an industry leader, we can do what no one else can—deliver a complete range of products to assure your total home comfort. From high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners to high-intensity indoor air quality products like germicidal lights, Lennox offers a solution ideally suited to your needs.
Hey Charlottesville! Act quickly to get a tax break on Lennox systems!
In February of 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which expands tax credits for homeowners who purchase certain energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment. These tax credits, totaling up to $1,500, are available on qualifying equipment purchased and installed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
Call us now at (434) 296-9980 to learn more!
Tax breaks bring big savings on high-efficiency Lennox products
As a four-time winner of the ENERGY STAR® Manufacturing Partner of the Year award—and the first and only winner in the heating and cooling industry—Lennox offers a complete selection of high-efficiency home comfort systems that qualify for tax credits by meeting the minimum energy-efficiency ratings stipulated in the government’s economic stimulus bill.
The links below will provide you with complete details on the qualifying Lennox products available within each category of tax credits:
Tax credits equal to 30% of the cost—with no upper limit: Photovoltaic Energy Installations Tax Credit – Applies to the solar panel installation required to operate Lennox’ first-of-its-kind SunSource® Home Energy System
Tax credits equal to 9% of the installed cost—up to $1,500: Advanced Fan Furnace Tax Credit – Available on any furnace equipped with an advanced main air circulating fan that uses no more than 2% of the furnace’s total energy
Please consult your tax expert on any tax credit to which you may be entitled.
Please note that not all ENERGY STAR products will qualify for a tax credit. For full details on tax credits available for home heating and cooling systems, visit energystar.gov.
Lennox HVAC Rebates and Financing Offers
Save up to $2,500 on a Lennox® home comfort system.
Fitch Services is a certified Lennox dealer in Charlottesville. Everything that goes into a Lennox comfort system is engineered to bring you perfect temperature and humidity, plus energy savings you can see every month on your utility bills. Now absolute comfort comes with added savings.
Rebates or financing options plus tax incentives equals the perfect time to invest in a new high-efficiency home comfort system from Lennox.
Receive up to a $1,000 Rebate*
12 Months Financing with Payments/Deferred Interest**
Enjoy perfect temperature and humidity—plus the perfect savings offer—when you purchase a complete home comfort system from Fitch Services, which includes:
Gas furnace or air handler
Air conditioner or heat pump
Choice of Healthy Climate® air cleaners or other indoor air quality system
icomfort Touch or ComfortSense® thermostat
Plus, receive up to $1,500 in energy tax credits***
Many Lennox® home comfort systems are eligible for federal tax credits, as well as rebate programs from local utility companies. View eligible products.
Fall and Winter Heating Tips
With fall approaching rapidly, getting your heating system ready for fall and winter weather should be (and likely is) a great concern for you as a homeowner. The heating system is the lifeblood of the home during the colder months of the year, and the cost of heating your home during this time is probably one of your biggest upcoming expenditures. The tips that follow will help you to get your heating system ready while also helping to reduce the cost of keeping your interior toasty warm.
Early fall and early spring are the ideal times for you to have your heating system inspected. While you’re likely do basic maintenance tasks yourself, like changing out a furnace filter, an annual inspection of your heating system is important to stave off costly repairs. A certified technician can spot potential problems with your HVAC system before they become major issues, and can get your system ready for the cool weather ahead by making sure that everything is in good working order.
Your HVAC air filter is an important part of your heating and cooling system. By replacing the air filter each month - your system will not have to work as hard, which means that it will use less energy. Changing the filter regularly can also help your system to last longer. Most folks can perform this simple task in addition to cleaning the vents and ducts to remove built up dust.
Updating an Older System
If you have an older heating system, now may be the time to update it, or even replace it. For example, a gas furnace that was installed prior to 1977 is likely to be as much as sixty percent less efficient today than a modern model. What this translates to is around half of the fuel expended by the furnace actually reaching the home in the form of heat. A modern gas furnace can achieve an efficiency rating as high as ninety-seven percent, which may cut your use of gas in half. Now that’s savings!
Use a Programmable Thermostat
While most homeowners don’t have the knowledge to install a programmable thermostat on their own, having your heating and cooling technician make this installation during your annual inspection is a good idea. A programmable thermostat allows you to turn your heat down during the day when you are at work while you are asleep at night, and then back to a higher temperature when you need it. It takes much less energy to warm a cool home than it does to keep the home warm all day. With proper use of your programmable thermostat, you can cut your heating costs by around twenty percent.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are not just a great idea for the summer, but they can be used during the cooler months of the year to blow air upward. By reversing the direction of the fan, the blades move the air upward, which his particularly useful in rooms with high or vaulted ceiling where heat rises naturally and then is forced back down into the room.
Check Heating Vents
And finally, make sure that all of the heating vents in the home are opened and that they are not blocked by furniture or other items. This allows for an even distribution of air throughout the home. However, if you have rooms that are not being used, such as a guest bedroom, you can invariably close the vents to those areas in order to cut down on energy costs.
Eight Reasons for Having a Preventative Maintenance Agreement
1. Customer receives a 10% discount on all parts and labor for repairs to their heating & cooling equipment
2. Priority scheduling for emergency repairs
3. Smoother operation of equipment so it runs more quietly
4. Regular maintenance prolongs the life of the equipment
5. Regular maintenance reduces energy bills
6. Most manufacturers require routine maintenance to validate parts warranties
7. Routine maintenance assures that equipment is operating safely, providing peace of mind
8. Service agreements provide documentation that equipment has been properly maintained for sale of home
CALL TODAY FOR PRICING AND SCHEDULING FOR SUMMER SERVICE AND PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE!
Virginia to impliment efficiency-based appliance rebate program!
Schedule a preventative maintenance seasonal servicing on your air conditioning system during the month of April and receive a $10.00, internet only, discount from our normal rates. Call us today at 296-9980 for rates and scheduling.
Energy Tax Credits
More details on the 2010 Energy Tax Credit …
With the passage of President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Bill, homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit if they purchase certain types of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, water heating equipment, or make other energy-related improvements to their homes between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
Up to $1,500 in federal tax credits are now available for home improvements and Fitch Services is prepared to help you take advantage of these great programs. Please call us at 434-296-9980 to review your options!
Save up to $1,500 with Federal Tax Credits
for Energy Efficiency home improvements! Call us now @ (434) 296-9980
Here are the latest guidelines:
must be “placed in service” from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010
must be for taxpayer’s principal residence
$1,500 is the maximum total amount that can be claimed for all products placed in service in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements
must have a Manufacturer Certification Statement to qualify
for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement
improvements made in 2009 can be claimed on your 2009 taxes
The Charlottesville Programmable Thermostat Rebate is one of many great rebate programs the City of Charlottesville Utility Billing Office has available for residents.
Save $100 on your new programmable thermostat!
If you qualify under this program, we’ll help find and install a new programmable thermostat that meets the requirements of the this program! Call us now @ (434) 296-9980
The money saving idea behind an electronic, programmable set-back thermostat is that your house doesn’t need to be the same temperature all the time. People have understood this concept for years. With old fashioned manual thermostats, you could turn it back at night to save money, but then the family would wake up freezing.
With a programmable set-back thermostat, this ritual becomes a thing of the past. The thermostat can be programmed to adjust itself at specific times. The home owner saves money, the environment is protected because energy is not used to heat an empty house, and your family won’t be cold and blame you.
An electronic, programmable set-back thermostat pays for itself and more in comfort, environmental peace of mind and money in your pocket.
Get With The Program!
To qualify you must:
* Be a Home/Rental property owner
* Use City gas to heat the property
* Have purchased the Thermostat after 4/1/2001.
* Fill out the rebate form below and return the form along with the old thermostat to the Utility Billing Office at City Hall
The rebate (up to $100) can be used to cover the cost of the thermostat, or any expenses incurred installing it. The amount can either be credited to your account, or mailed out as a check. It’s up to you. Only one rebate per utility account allowed
* Can reduce heating costs by up to 33%, and cooling costs up to 25%
* No more remembering when to adjust the temperature
* Helps conserve energy, which benefits everyone
Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips
Fitch Services offers air conditioner maintenance and repair because we know that with proper maintenance, your air conditioner should last about 15 years. You can keep your system running efficiently with these easy tips:
Check all hose connections for leaks and make sure the condensate tube is draining freely.
Change or clean the furnace filter once a month to maintain indoor air quality. This is especially important during the summer when dust and allergens circulate.
Clean the outside compressor by spraying it with a hose.
Keep plantings at least one foot away for adequate airflow around the entire unit.
Vacuum registers and air vents regularly.
Have your ductwork professionally cleaned every few years.
Keep furniture and drapes away from registers.
During the winter, keep the compressor covered and remove window air conditioners.
While you’re working around your air conditioner, be sure to shut off the power at the service panel before you start.
It is also important to have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional service technician. Heating and Cooling seasonal servicing can reduce your cooling costs by five percent.
Cooling without an air conditioner
Of course, the best way to prolong the life of your air conditioner is to never use it. There are lots of easy ways to keep your cool without losing your cash:
Plant a tree - it’s the best cooling investment your can make.
Use floor or ceiling fans to help circulate air throughout the house.
Install a whole-house fan - it can lower the indoor temperature by ten degrees in just a few minutes.
Make sure your attic is properly ventilated, especially if you have good insulation. A combination of ridge and soffit or gable vents can help reduce cooling costs by ten percent.
Shade south- and west-facing windows with blinds or drapes during the hottest parts of the day.
Turn off lights you don’t need.
Wait to use heat-producing appliances like ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers until late evening.
Plumbing Fixtures Installation & Repair
We install, service, and repair a wide variety of plumbing fixtures for the kitchen, bathroom, and throughout your home or office. We have a wealth of knowledge on all manufacturers’ fixtures and can manage projects for any faucet and fixture that you choose for your home.
We always try to salvage or repair fixtures when we can. We are experts in repairing faucets, shower, and bath valves. However, sometimes it is not very efficient to try to repair a fixture that is very old or so severely damaged. In this case we would recommend replacing it with a new model.
Sewers & Drains
Showers & Tubs
… and more!
Light Fixture Installation & Repair
Lighting can make a big difference in how you feel about your home. Well designed lighting will enhance the beauty of your home. That’s why we offer certified lighting designs from initial concept through expert installation. We will be happy to create custom design for you to complement your lifestyle and develop a lighting plan that suits needs.
We can take care about all your indoor and outdoor lighting needs:
Low voltage lighting
Energy efficient lighting
One of our featured services is installation of energy efficient lighting. Through the application of energy efficient technologies we save money for our customers and help the environment at the same time. The simple average payback of the additional costs of the compact fluorescents is 5-9 months, depending on the size of project.
If you are having a constant back up problem in your drain lines in your house or yard you would be a candidate for having us do a video inspection. Video inspection can locate and pinpoint exactly where the problem is in your pipes. Eliminate any questions by doing a video inspection of what is causing the back ups and to actually see the problem on film.
Performing the video inspection we actually put a high-tech camera into your sewer line to determine where the problem is occurring. This could be a broken pipe, mud, heavy build up of grease or tree roots growing through a broken pipe into your drain. The camera helps us determine along with you, the best method of repair. Please call us with any questions regarding video inspections.
We would love to speak with you. Call if you need help, have a general question, or would like to schedule a visit with a service technician.
Give us a call at (434) 296-9980
Visit our office in Charlottesville …
1325 East High Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902 (map)
Send us an email …
Our goal is to get your hot water back – today! In most cases, if you are out of hot water or if your hot water heater is leaking and we receive a call before 12 noon, we will be able to schedule to install a new water heater the same day.
When our customer service representatives and dispatchers speak with you on the phone, we will give you a 2-3 hour time window when the technician will arrive at your house. While we have you on the phone, we may want you to read your model and serial number from your existing tank to ensure we are bringing a tank that will fit. If you can have this prior to your call, it will speed things up.
Your model and serial number are on the rating plate on your tank. If you are not in an emergency situation, in most cases we can still perform your installation the same day you contact us. If you are interested in a quote for a tankless hot water heater, then we may schedule a time in advance in order to ensure that a qualified technician is available.
If our technician is not going to make his time window, either a customer service representative or the technician will call you to let you know that they are running late. All of our technicians are company employees, not sub-contractors. A technician should arrive at your home in uniform with a truck that is fully stocked so that he can complete the job in one trip.
Once the technician arrives, he will greet you and then he will inspect the work site. He will run some basic tests and he will check to make sure the water heater is in compliance with current safety regulations and codes. The technician will then go over everything with you and will require a signature before he proceeds with the installation.
A typical installation will take between 2 and 4 hours depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.
Well Pump Systems
Fitch Services is experienced in the repair and installation of well pump systems.
If you have questions or are experiencing problems with your well pump, pressure tank or household pressure, we can help with installation, service, testing and repair of:
Air Charging/Injection Systems
Constant Pressure Pump Systems
Well Drilling Arrangements
Vermin Proof Well Caps
Pressure Booster Pumps
Sump Pumps (conventional & battery back-up)
Underground Leak Repairs
Beyond just installation and repair, we can help with other well and pump concerns:
Well and Septic Inspections – We can verify your system is code compliant and we can test your water for things like coliform bacteria, e-coli, nitrates, lead and a host of other things that shouldn’t be there.
Well Abandonments – For wells no longer in use, proper well abandonment services are performed to local, county, and state specifications to help protect our ground water resources.
Water Filtration Systems
We install a wide variety of water filtration products and have professional trained technician’s ready to service your existing system.
Filtration systems remove impurities from tap water. The most common use carbon or reverse-osmosis filtration. Look for certification by NSF International, which establishes the standards.
How to Choose a Water Filtration System (don’t worry - we’ll help with this)
Have your water tested so you know how much and what kind of filtration you need.
Decide whether you want a faucet-mounted system, which is inexpensive and easy to install but requires frequent filter changes, or an in-line system, which mounts directly to your plumbing system. The latter is more costly but more comprehensive, and requires only occasional filter changes.
Look into an NSF-certified carbon filter for either system if your test comes back with chlorine, chloroform, pesticides or organic chemicals. Carbon filters are not effective against lead or other heavy metals, flouride, chloroform, or some microbial contaminants.
Think about getting an in-line reverse-osmosis filtering system if your water test shows sodium, ferrous iron, nitrates, lead, fluoride or organic contaminants. Be aware that a reverse-osmosis system puts out a limited amount of drinking water and wastes a lot of water (about 4 gallons of wasted water per gallon of clear water). If your water’s calcium count is high, you’ll need to use a water softener with this system.
Consider a system with a cutoff meter (also known as a performance indication device) that lets you know when it’s time to change the filter.
Main Water Lines
Fitch Services is certified, licensed and insured to quickly and efficiently install, repair or replace main water lines.
Water line failure occurs throughout the year, however, it is most common in the winter months when lines are subject to freezing temperatures. When a leaking or broken outdoor water pipe occurs, a rapid response can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage to your yard, landscaping, driveway and home. In addition, contaminated water has the potential of entering your home.
Main Water Line installation and repair services include, but are not limited to:
Galvanized Steel line
Strange sound from the water line
Low water pressure
High water pressure
Useful tip after shut main valve off
Repairing the gate valve
Remodeling & New Construction
Whether you plan to fix small project, remodel your bathroom, get a room addition or have a complete home remodeling, you want an expert contractor on your side.
Fitch Services has developed a proven track record of providing quality workmanship with integrity, specializing in Heating & Cooling, Electric, and Plumbing. We have provided remodeling services for over several decades, supporting both the commercial and residential sectors while specializing in kitchen, bathroom, and home remodeling. Rest assured, We are capable of handling your largest and most complicated projects.
Plug & Circuit Installation & Repair
Our certified electricians can install and repair electrical fixtures in your house such as lighting, receptacles, ceiling fans, GFCI receptacles, inspection, circuit panels, trouble shooting, and more. Nearly everyone has come across an electrical receptacle that doesn’t work as well as it should or one that doesn’t work at all - we can help with that too.
Circuits Installation & Repair Power is distributed through your house through various electrical circuits that start in the main entrance panel. The 110-120-volt circuits have two conductors — one neutral (white) wire and one hot (black) wire. The 220-240-volt circuits may have two hot wires alone or a third, neutral wire may be added. In all cases, the hot lines are attached directly to the hot main buses. The neutral wire is always connected to the ground bus and never, under any circumstances, should it pass through a fuse or circuit breaker.
Fuses and circuit breakers are safety devices built into your electrical system. If there were no fuses or circuit breakers and you operated too many appliances on a single circuit, the cable carrying the power for that circuit would get extremely hot, short circuit, and possibly start a fire.
To prevent electrical overloads, circuit breakers and fuses are designed to trip or blow, stopping the flow of current to the overloaded cable. For example, a 15-ampere circuit breaker should trip when the current through it exceeds 15 amperes. A 20-ampere fuse should blow when the current through it exceeds 20 amps.
A fuse that blows or a circuit breaker that trips is not faulty; it is doing its job properly, indicating that there is trouble somewhere in the circuit. A blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker usually means there are too many appliances plugged in to that circuit or some malfunctioning device, like an appliance with an internal short, is connected to the circuit. Locate and eliminate the cause of the trouble before replacing a blown fuse or resetting a tripped circuit breaker.
Receptacles Installation & Repair An electrical receptacle can be permanently damaged through improper use. Sticking a hairpin or a paper clip in it, for example, can shorten a receptacle’s — and your — life. You may never do anything as foolish as sticking a paper clip in an electrical receptacle, but you can do the same damage when you plug in an appliance with a short circuit.
Regardless of how the damage occurred, the damaged electrical receptacle must be replaced. Another possible explanation for an electrical receptacle that doesn’t work efficiently and safely is that it is just so old and has been used so often that it’s worn out.
There are two clear indications of a worn-out electrical receptacle: the cord’s weight pulls the plug out of the receptacle or the plug blades do not make constant electrical contact within the receptacle slots. At that point, the old electrical receptacle should be replaced.
Fitch Services performs a variety electrical wiring services for your home, office & business.
We will perform electrical wiring to meet any of your needs. Whether you need design changes or remodeling, new house wiring or rewiring your house according to the latest NEC wiring codes or rewiring your office to meet growing demands of electrical needs or new equipment installation call us and we will be happy to help you.
Many people love the character of older homes, but the wiring inside older houses simply wasn’t designed to handle the growing demand of electrical needs we have today. Some wiring problems are just inconveniences, but others can be serious safety hazards.
That’s why wiring your home is a wise investment towards supporting current and future technology. Of course, we also repair or install outlets and circuit wiring, move/remove/add outlets.
Hydronic, or hot water, heating has been standard for years in many parts of the U.S. It is seeing a surge in popularity at present, mainly because of the increasing use of radiant floor heating, which is known for providing even, comfortable heat.
Modern systems often use heated water rather than steam. This opens the system to the possibility of also using chilled water to provide air conditioning. In homes, the water loop may be as simple as a single pipe that “loops” the flow through every radiator in a zone. In such a system, flow to the individual radiators can not be modulated as all of the water is flowing through every radiator in the zone.
Slightly more complicated systems use a “main” pipe that flows uninterrupted around the zone; the individual radiators tap off a small portion of the flow in the main pipe. In these systems, individual radiators can be modulated.
Alternatively, a number of loops with several radiators can be installed, the flow in each loop or zone controlled by a zone valve connected to a thermostat. In any water system, the water is circulated by means of one or more circulator pumps. This is in marked contrast to steam systems where the inherent pressure of the steam is sufficient to distribute the steam to remote points in the system.
A system may be broken up into individual heating zones using either multiple circulator pumps or a single pump and electrically operated zone valves.
Air Cleaners, Humidifiers, & Dehumidifiers
We install, service, and repair a full line of Air Cleaners, Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers. Based on your needs we can recommend the more appropriate solutions and design a system that provides comfort to your home or business.
Air Cleaners You don’t have to have a family member who suffers from asthma or allergies to appreciate the health benefits of home air cleaners. In some ways they’re the most important elements of home comfort.
Humidifiers During the wintertime and in hot, dry climates, dry air inside your home can make you uncomfortable and cause damage to your belongings. The addition of an heating & air conditioning humidifier is just the thing to restore the right amount of moisture to your home’s air—for superior home comfort.
Dehumidifiers A dehumidifier is used to remove excess moisture from the air. Some of the most common indications that you may need a dehumidifier are:
Wet stains on walls and ceilings
Stuffy feeling in a room
Condensation on windows
Allergies (if the air in your home is too moist, it will encourage the growth of bacteria and mold, common allergens)
Ductwork Installation & Repair
Fitch Services will assist you in planning your Heating & Cooling system. We will make sure that the system is matched to your needs.
We take into consideration several factors in determining what your actual requirements are. There are no “set” rules for determining size without doing an analysis and system calculations. Fitch Services works within these guidelines and your requirements to properly design a system that fits your needs, your budget and your lifestyle.
Designing the Heating & Cooling system is only part of the picture. Proper system installation guarantees the system will operate as designed. Fitch Services has experienced, certified service technicians with experience in all areas of HVAC installation. We can provide professional installation for residence, office, or commercial space. When accidents happen be sure to call us. Our certified technicians are qualified to repair damages to your Heating & Cooling system and ensure a safe and effective resolution, providing years of comfort to your home.
Our office and service department is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. 24 hour emergency service is available with radio dispatched technicians.
Our experienced technicians are on call for routine maintenance and repairs as needed. All of our service trucks are cellular dispatched and we have service technicians “on-call” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to handle emergency problems; residential or commercial. We stock most parts and our technicians ensure the most prompt service possible.
The Importance Of Regular HVAC Service
Why HVAC Service is Important All Year Round
HVAC service can refer to an unscheduled problem with your system or proactive maintenance on your HVAC systems. HVAC refers to Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning systems and encompasses your heating and cooling systems for your home or business.
When HVAC systems break down, it can be costly and inconvenient. Having your furnace break down in the wintertime can jeopardize your health and your home. There is no such thing as comfort in a cold house. Also, having a broken air conditioner or central air system in the summer can be uncomfortable and even unhealthy when there are air quality advisories. To avoid both of these seasonal scenarios, keeping your HVAC service in good working order is important.
Not only do you need to have your system fixed when it’s broken but you need regular maintenance to keep your furnace, ventilation or cooling systems in good working order. Energy efficiency and air quality are dependant upon maintained systems.
Consider hiring an HVAC service company to regularly service your HVAC systems. This will not only ensure that your systems are kept at peak energy efficiency but it will also be a preventative measure against any major problems. HVAC service companies can troubleshoot potential problems during routine maintenance.
This will keep your energy costs down and unexpected repairs and costs to a minimum. When choosing a contractor to service your HVAC needs, choose an HVAC service provider that’s authorized by your furnace manufacturer or air conditioning manufacturer if possible. Look for training certifications and testimonials of good service records. You want to be dealing with an organization that’s not only qualified but also known to have a solid reputation in the industry.
HVAC service providers need to be up to date on new technologies for energy efficiency and have good customer service skills in order to help you keep all your systems in good working order for a fair price.
Heating and Cooling Seasonal Servicing
We believe that a well-maintained system can provide you with years of reliable service and preventative maintenance and regular tune-ups are the key. As part of our Seasonal Services program, Fitch Services offers routine Precision Tune-Ups, Professional Cleanings and Safety Inspections listed below.
Inspect blower components - clean and/or adjust as necessary
Check condenser coil - clean as necessary
Lubricate all moving parts (where applicable)
Check main electric connections
Check operating pressure for proper refrigerant charge
Monitor voltage and amperage draw on all motors
Monitor air conditioning and heating cycles
Inspect heat exchanger and burners - vacuum and/or adjust as necessary
Adjust gas pressure as necessary
Check pilot operation - adjust as necessary
Monitor flue draft for safe operation
Check and test safety controls
Adjust air flow for proper temperature rise
Check heat anticipator settings
Check thermostat operations
Check for cracked heat exchanger
Fitch Services is experienced in the repair and installation of all brands and sizes of water heaters. Technicians with professional training will diagnose and service your water heater requirements.
We can also schedule annual inspections or customized service agreements to prevent costly downtime and business disruption.
Detailed List of Plumbing Services
Fitch Services provides plumbing installation, maintenance and repair services to single family homes, condominiums, multiple family units, and commercial accounts for both new construction or remodeling projects.
Plumbing Services include, but are not limited to:
We Service and Repair
Stopped up drain pipes of all types
Any & all types of leaking pipes
Septic tanks pumped out and repaired
Parking lot drains cleaned
TV cameras for pipe inspection
Sewer line repairs and/or installations
Water main line repairs and/or replacements
Back flow preventer certifications, repairs and installations
Septic systems drainfields repaired and/or replaced
Grease traps pumped out and derm approved repairs
Drain Cleaning Services
Sewers & Drains
Showers & Tubs
Installation, Repair, and Replacement
Video Inspection of Drains & Sewers
Underground Water & Sewer Breaks
Electronic Leak Detection
Septic System Installation & Repair
Lavatories and Sinks
Water filtration systems
Swimming pool pumps, boilers
Water leak repair, water service replacement
Sewer service and/or replacement
Drain pipe video
Backflow preventer testing, repair, installation
Tub, shower, valve rebuild
Shower pan leak testing
Complete Drain and Sewer Cleaning
Detailed List of Electric Services
Fitch Services provides electrical installation, maintenance and repair services to single family homes, condominiums, multiple family units, and commercial accounts for both new construction or remodeling projects.
Lighting - Parking Lot ( Installation, Repair & Maintenance of Fixtures & Wiring )
Lighting - Retrofits ( Replacement & Upgrading of Lighting Systems for greater Efficiency)
Network Systems ( Installation of Data Wiring & Components)
Panel Replacements ( Replace Fuse or old breaker panels with new Circuit Breaker Panels)
Phone & Data Outlets ( Installation, Repair & Maintenance)
Receptacles & Switches ( Replacement of Switches, Receptacles & other Devices)
Rewiring ( Replacement of part or all existing wiring with new updated wiring)
Service Upgrades ( Replace old 60 Amp Services with 100 Amp or higher Services)
Smoke Detectors ( Installations)
Trouble Shooting ( General Trouble Shooting of Electrical System problems)
Violation Corrections ( Correct Violations found during Local inspections)
Detailed List of Heating and Cooling Services
Fitch Services provides installation, maintenance and repair services to single family homes, condominiums, multiple family units, and commercial accounts for both new construction or remodeling projects.
Broken, cracked, offset or collapsed pipe — damaged pipes due to shifting soil, frozen ground, settling, etc.
Blockage — grease buildup or a foreign object is restricting or prohibiting proper flow and/or cleaning of the line.
Corrosion — the pipe has deteriorated and/or broken, causing collapses in the line and restricting flow.
Bellied pipe — a section of the pipe has sunk due to ground or soil conditions, creating a valley that collects paper and waste.
Leaking joints — the seals between pipes have broken, allowing water to escape into the area surrounding the pipe.
Root infiltration — tree or shrub roots have invaded the sewer line, preventing normal cleaning and/or have damaged the line.
Off-grade pipe — existing pipes are constructed of substandard material that may have deteriorated or corroded.
Fitch Services technicians and plumbers are fully trained in the use of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to solve all of your plumbing and drain problems, including pipe repair and replacement.
Imagine … your new home features a fabulous two-story ceiling in the foyer and family room with lighting that’s impossible to reach. Or maybe your smoke detector starts to chirp in the middle of the night as its battery dies. Your new retail location has hundreds of light bulbs around its perimeter and in its public areas; you could spend half your time changing them as they burn out.
These are just a few situations in which our custom maintenance programs can provide relief to our commercial and residential customers. You can sign a service contract with us that’s geared to meet specific needs. They can include regularly scheduled repair and replacement services for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and a bulb replacement program that can save you time and labor.
Maintenance services are available for Heating and Cooling, Electric, and Plumbing. Each situation is unique and you can depend on us create an appropriate maintenance program based on your needs. These programs are in addition to our standard maintenance service.
You can always rely on Fitch Services for timely, expert service when you call us—or according to a preset schedule. What a relief to customers who don’t want to ever compromise the safety and comfort of their family members or employees.
Fire Alarm Systems
You’ll sleep easier knowing your home or business is well protected. That’s why we install, service and maintain quality fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors for residential and commercial use. We only install leading brands - names you can trust for quality and dependability.
Another valuable Fitch Services advantage is our maintenance program. It can be easily forgotten that many smoke detectors must be replaced at regularly. We’ll take on the responsibility of replacing your detectors on schedule for optimum performance. We can also pre-schedule visits to change batteries twice a year and monitor your system’s operation.
Panel Service, Installation & Upgrades
You don’t have to learn to live with your outdated electrical system’s underperformance. When you’ve had enough of overloaded circuits and constantly tripping breakers, consider a panel upgrade.
You’ll be able to own and freely use all of the electrical appliances and high-tech equipment you’d like, with no more concerns about blackouts. Many homes built in the 1960s and earlier have 60 amp service and find it to be totally insufficient for today’s more demanding power needs. We’ll replace breaker boxes and upgrade your system to at least 100 amps.
Call Fitch Services to get more efficiency and productivity out of your home or commercial site. We’ll give you a quote on a panel upgrade that will let you plug in—worry-free—to all of the electronics that today has to offer. And don’t forget to contact us if you’re buying or selling a home. A panel upgrade can add resale value.
Generator Installation, Service & Repair
What’s your first thought when the power goes out? Is the refrigerator full of perishables? Maybe it’s the garage door that won’t open, or the furnace, hot water heater and security system that’s no longer keeping your family safe and comfortable.
If you own a business, a power outage can be much more than unsettling—it can cost you money. It you’ve already lost time, productivity and perishables to a blackout, it’s time to think about a standby generator.
Briggs & Stratton offers Automatic Home Generators that provide permanent, backup protection for your home, and your family. With over 100 years of delivering reliable power products to homeowners, we ARE the Power Experts. Briggs & Stratton gives you the peace of mind to take charge. Before the power goes out.
At Fitch Services, we install and service generators from a broad range of dependable, name-brand manufacturers. A generator will keep the power running to your furnace, refrigerator, computers, garage door opener—whatever you decide most needs to keep humming until your power returns.
Custom Interior Lighting
Nothing adds drama to your home or commercial space like the right lighting. Fitch Services specializes in custom interior and exterior lighting systems that will beautify your surroundings, increase productivity and enhance your sense of well-being and security.
We’re truly flexible in our work arrangements. We can install the lighting designs of architects and lighting engineers or offer our own design expertise. At Fitch Services, we understand the specific needs and challenges of every kind of lighting project. Each sets a different mood and must implement a different blend of aesthetics and practicality.
We’ll extend our interior lighting expertise as your home or commercial property is being built, or when you renovate. Every job is a custom project that perfectly fits the way you live and the mood you wish to capture. We handle recessed ceiling fixtures and counter and cabinet lighting of all kinds.
We install cove lighting, dimmers, fan speed controls, lighting timers and lighting in wine racks and credenzas. With options from practical stairwell lighting to mood-setting chandeliers and wall sconces, we’ll elevate your style, ambience and productivity.
In many homes, the ducting runs in attics, crawl spaces and basements – where you don’t want your valuable “conditioned” air to leak out, or the polluted air to leak in. Sealing your duct system can not only reduce your utility costs, but it can improve the quality of air in your home and reduce dust accumulation.
Ductwork is usually made up of metal, flexible duct or ductboard (a fiberglass ducting product), and can have gaps or air leaks around the seams and connections. Taping the joints is usually only temporary, considering the extreme temperatures to which the ducting is sometimes exposed. Ducting can be sealed using “mastic” which resembles a thick, gooey paint-like substance.
Leaking ductwork can cause a whole host of problems. If the air you are heating or cooling leaks OUT of the ductwork on the supply (pressurized) side, you can lose up to 25% or more of the air you are paying to condition. Also, if your supply air is leaking out into an attic or crawlspace, that causes your house to go into a slightly “negative” pressure.
This negative pressure will pull air into your home wherever it can find it – back drafting down chimneys, pulling in contaminated air from crawlspaces and attics. If you have very fine dust that looks like the insulation in your attic, this could be the source. If the ductwork leaks on the return (suction) side of the system – you are actually drawing air into the system wherever this leaky ductwork is located – usually the crawlspace or attic. The same problems can occur with contaminants and excessive dust in your home.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is a growing concern today because homes are being built tighter to be more energy efficient. Existing homes are being tightened up with weather stripping, insulation, storm windows and doors.
These energy savings come with a price, since the exchange of indoor air and fresh outdoor air is limited. When the indoor air becomes dirty and polluted, it’s trapped and recirculated. It is important to clean the air by filtering out these pollutants because they can cause you to suffer from flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation.
They also can aggravate asthma and allergy conditions. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, such as frequent vacuuming and dusting, but the smallest particles that cause the most irritation can only be removed by filtering devices. To complicate matters, there are three distinct types of indoor air pollutants. Particulates – which include…
Micro-organisms – which include…
Toxins (gases) – which include…
If your system is broken beyond repair, our skilled installers can get a new system installed quickly to make your home comfortable. If you would like to upgrade your system due to safety or reliability concerns, we can help you choose from a wide variety of top quality air conditioning and heating products with extended warranties as high as 10 years.
High Efficiency Upgrades
Are you paying too much in utility costs to keep that old unit running? Government standards recently required manufacturers to increase the efficiency of their equipment. Depending on the age of your equipment, a new air conditioner can save as much as one half of what your existing unit costs to operate.
Convenient Payment Plans
If you are like most people, you probably don’t have excess money sitting around to pay for a new furnace, air conditioner or indoor air quality system. We offer simple, easy to use finance programs with affordable payments. With today’s more efficient products, the utility savings will help make the payment on your system!
Fitch Services offer professional cleaning, adjustment and safety check we perform on all types of air conditioning and heating equipment to help maintain peak performance, safety and reliable operation.
Cooling and heating systems require routine maintenance to maximize performance, maintain efficiency and to insure safety. In the past, systems were simple by design and had less moving parts, but they have become more complex due to safety and efficiency standards.
Brands We Service
We perform service and repair of ALL brands and types of equipment. When your heating or cooling system is broken, you want it fixed FAST! Our trained professionals will help restore comfort to your home or office.
Fitch Services offers a complete range of plumbing services for every residential need. Your family’s heath is our #1 commitment. We offer clean, professional service personnel that get the job done right, on time, the first time.
We offer complete installation of high-quality plumbing products for your home. From showers and tubs to garbage disposals and water softeners, Fitch Services has the right product at the right price. We repair and service all types of leaks: bathroom, kitchen, wall leaks, yard leaks, dripping faucets, slab leaks and more.
We offer a broad range of residential and commercial construction wiring services, including panel upgrades, maintenance programs, and the installation of standby generators, pool and spa electrical systems, custom lighting, fire alarms, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. We also design, repair, & install lighting systems, including interior lighting and exterior lighting.
Our many satisfied customers in the area include homeowners with projects ranging from small wiring challenges to highly involved remodeling projects. Our commercial customers include builders focused on new home construction, and contractors responsible for shopping strip malls, warehouses, restaurants, small offices and other construction jobs.
Electrical Services Include:
Circuit Breaker Panels Installed
Additional Plugs and Circuits Added
Generator Installation, Service, & Repair
Light Fixtures Installed
Parking Lot Lighting
Recessed and Track Lighting
Appliance Hook up
Old Wiring Updated
Code Violations Corrected
Renovation and New Construction
Heating and A.C. Related Repairs
… and much more!
Heating & Cooling Services
High energy bills? Dryness? Cold rooms? Unit noise?
When you call Fitch you get help, not excuses. We will suggest a course of action, provide an estimate, and solve the problem to your satisfaction. Fitch services all makes and models of residential heating and air conditioning equipment. One call is all it takes.
We can replace, upgrade or even add a new system where none currently exists. Our products are designed to make you more comfortable. Comfort is more than just having the right temperature in your home – it means having that temperature in every room in the house. It means having a system that is safe. It’s having the comfort that you know your unit is efficient to operate. It’s the comfort of a quiet, reliable system that works when you need it. It’s knowing that your air is clean. It’s even the comfort of knowing someone is there when you call, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week.
From Fall to Spring …
It’s a frosty fall morning. The leaves have all turned color. The wind has a bite to it. But your heat pump is humming, and you and your family are warm and cozy.
…and Spring to Fall
You’ve put away the boots and bulky coats, pulled out the barbeque and baseball. The weather outside may be sweltering, but you stay cool between innings with reliable air conditioning.
Green Ideas in the Kitchen
by The Green GuideThough it isn’t necessary to back five feet away from a running microwave to avoid radiation, there are safer ways to nuke your food. Here are a few tips:
The greenest, and safest, way to cover your food for microwave heating and cooking is to use oven-safe glass cookware, which eliminates waste and the potential for chemicals leaching from plastic wrap.
“Microwave-safe” and “microwavable” labels on a plastic container or on plastic wrap packaging only means that the plastic won’t melt or crack in the microwave, but doesn’t guarantee that it won’t leach chemicals into your leftovers.
If you do use plastic, only loosely cover food, allowing steam to escape, and never let plastic wrap touch food directly.
Only use ink-free paper towels in the microwave. Most printed paper towels use non-food-grade inks.
Never cover food with plastic bags, aluminum foil, grocery bags, or newspapers.
To find out more about the Green Living choices Fitch Services has to offer, call us at (434) 296-9980 or contact us here.
Gimme Shelter - Shower Power: When the Flow Goes Slow
How to tackle water pressure issues and improve water pressure in your home — especially in the shower … (read more)
Summer Heat Brings AC Trouble
With steamy temperatures like those we’ve had recently, almost everyone is relying on their air conditioners to keep them cool. Here are a few tips to help keep your A/C pumping out cold air all season long. Most people can agree that a broken air conditioner is no fun… (read more)
My home is very dry during the winter. What can I do to change this?
A lot of people have a problem with very dry homes during the winter. Dry air can cause dry cracked hands, a dry nose, a dry throat and the occasional zap when you turn on the TV. The simplest solution is to install a humidifier on your heating and cooling system. This will allow you to dial in the desired humidity you want. Your furnishings, your skin and even the structure of your home will benefit from proper humidity. If fact moist air feels warmer. This will allow you to lower your thermostat setting and save on energy bills.
The room over my garage is always cold in the winter and hot in the summer. How can I fix this?
This is a very common problem for anyone with a room over their garage. This is caused by the garage being exposed to the outdoor air in combination with small amounts of insulation in the room. A solution to this problem is a zoning system. A zoning system is a series of easily installed electronic dampers and thermostats that allows you to control the temperature of selected sections of your home.
I have an old furnace. Can an old furnace be dangerous?
An old furnace can be very dangerous. All furnaces have a major component called a heat exchanger. A heat exchanger consists of a series of closed chambers that are heated with gas or oil burners. As the heat exchanger is heated the metal it is constructed from expands and as it cools it contracts. If you can imagine a paper clip that is being bent back and forth, it will eventually break. The same goes with a heat exchanger. After years of expanding and contracting it will eventually crack. When this happens, deadly carbon monoxide gas (which is normally vented through the flue) can get into you home. A furnace’s heat exchanger should be inspected every year before the heating season.
The drain pan below my indoor unit keeps filling up with water. Is this a problem?
If the drain pan under your unit is full of water, your system has a problem. Once you detect water turn the system off. All of the systems installed by Classic Air Care have a float switch mounted in the drain pan. Once water opens the switch the system will be cut off to prevent possible ceiling damage. A full emergency drain pan can be caused by several problems, the two most common are a clogged condensate line or a rusted primary drain pan in the unit. At the first sight of water you should call and have a technician inspect the system to determine the problem.
Filters for a heating and cooling system should be changed whenever necessary. Filters should be inspected every month. If a filter is full of debris simply replace it. A clogged filter can cause the system to operate improperly and shorten its operating life.
A system can last anywhere between 7 and 15 years. The life of the equipment is determined by many factors, the most important is annual maintenance. A maintained system will usually last its whole design life. However we have seen units at homes next to the ocean that have corroded beyond repair (due to salt spray and lack of maintenance) in five years. If you have a split system that is over 10 years old and only the outdoor or indoor unit fails, it is wise to replace both sections not just one at a time. It will be cheaper in the long run due to efficiency and labor costs. Also adding a new component to an old system can shorten the life of the new component. If you do decide to replace only the indoor unit or the outdoor unit on a heat pump make sure it is matched by model and make. A mismatch will not work.
I have a problem with allergies, is there anything I can do with my heating and cooling system to help this?
If you have allergies there are many new products on the market for your heating and cooling system that can relieve some of the symptoms. One of the most popular is an Ultra Violet lamp which is inserted into the duct work. By exposing the air that passes through the duct work to ultra violet light many airborne contaminates such as viruses, bacteria , mold, toxins and waste products can be eliminated. Also, the average store bought air filter only collects 15% of the air born particles that pass through your system. There are now super high efficiency air filters out that can collect up 95% to 99% of all air born particles. The combination of an Ultra Violet lamp and a high efficiency air filter can create a very clean indoor environment that can help relieve many allergy symptoms.
I think my heating and cooling system is too small for my house, can this cause problems?
Having an undersized heating and cooling system in your home can be a problem. An undersized heating and cooling system will always be running and will never satisfy the required temperature. Undersized equipment will also not last as long as a properly sized system. If you think your system is undersized, have a load calculation performed on your home. This is accomplished by a System Designer measuring your home, its windows and insulation. All these measurements are then put into a manual J calculation to determine the size of equipment that would need to be installed to properly heat and or cool a home.
I think my heating and cooling system is too large for my house, can this cause problems?
Having an oversized heating and cooling system in your home can be a problem. This can easily be seen in the summer when it is hot and muggy. An oversized system doesn’t run long enough to remove the proper amount of moisture from the air to make the environment feel comfortable. If you think your system is oversized, have a load calculation performed on your home. This is accomplished by a System Designer measuring your home, its windows and insulation. All these measurements are then put into a manual J calculation to determine the size of equipment that would need to be installed to properly heat and or cool a home.
My house is close to the oceanfront and my outdoor equipment is very rusty. How can I prevent this?
This is a very common problem for homeowners that live near the oceanfront. Spray from the ocean is very salty. Since the outdoor units are exposed to this 24 hours a day, their useful life can be cut in half. This problem can be handled by seasonal maintenance or by replacing the outdoor unit with a piece of equipment that is designed to withstand the rigors of salty air.
A Heating and cooling system should have maintenance performed on it twice a year. Once before the heating season and once before the cooling season. This is called seasonal preventive maintenance or a seasonal Precision Tune Up and Professional Cleaning. This process includes cleaning the systems coils and coating them with a disinfectant, checking all components, lubricating all components that need lubricating, checking all electrical systems, checking freon levels and waxing the outside of the units.
If your system is not running, the first thing you can check is your fuse box. If the fuse has been tripped due to bad weather just flip the fuse and check the system. If it still doesnâ€™t work call for a service technician.
My outdoor unit is covered with ice. Is this a problem?
If the coils of your outdoor unit are covered with a large layer of ice you may have a serious problem. This can be caused by a bad defrost board, low freon level, restriction in the refrigeration line, bad fan motor or a bad fan capacitor. If you start seeing ice wait to see if the unit goes into defrost mode. If the ice starts building up call for service.
Can I just replace the heat pump on an older system to save money?
No. Replacing only the outdoor unit will sacrifice your comfort and lower the efficiency of the unit. In fact, you can lose up to 15% of the unit’s efficiency! Even worse, your system may fail sooner than normal and most manufacturers’ warranties will be voided. You should seriously consider buying a complete heat pump system.
Yes. Mold, mildew, pet hair, skin flakes, smoke film, dander, dust mites, dirt, pollen, and even bacteria take up residence in your air ducts. With each breath you take you inhale these contaminants. Dirty air ducts can not only make you sick or raise your utility bills, but they can also reduce your air flow and cause premature failure of your expensive heating and cooling system. To see a before and after picture on duct cleaning click here.
There are five main questions that need to be considered when deciding to either replace or repair your heating and cooling system: * How old is your system? If your system is more than ten years old, it may be wiser to invest in new, higher efficiency equipment, which could cut your energy costs by up to 40%. * What is the efficiency level of your current indoor weather system? Unfortunately, replacing parts of your old system will not improve the efficiency. If the energy savings of using a higher efficiency system will cover all or part of the cost of investing in new equipment, you should seriously consider replacement of the old system. * What is the overall condition of your system? If your system is in solid condition, it could be wiser to simply repair it. But if your system breaks down often, you should consider replacing it. * How often is your system operating? If your system has been used extensively, it may be time to replace it. * Are you planning to move soon? If you are moving in the next year or two and believe investing in a new indoor weather system will improve the value of your home, you should consider making the investment. If you plan to live in your current residence for many more years, it may also be wise to go ahead and invest in your future comfort.
How can I reduce allergens and increase humidity in my home?
With a high efficiency air cleaner, you can remove up to 99% of the pollen and spores that find their way into the home. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will become cleaner and fresher while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate throughout the house. With a whole house humidifier, you can relieve the irritating discomfort of dry indoor air. The humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and damage to your furnishings and woodwork. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you do not have to set the thermostat as high to feel the comfort you want. A lower thermostat setting will reduce the costs of your energy bill. A humidifier improves your comfort while increasing the energy efficiency of your indoor weather system.
Should I be concerned about Carbon Monoxide in my home?
Yes. Each year, carbon monoxide kills more than 300 Americans and sends nearly 5,000 more to emergency rooms for treatment, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Where does it come from? When carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene or wood burn, they produce gases. When fuel combustion or burning isn’t complete, carbon monoxide enters the air. The CPSC advises that carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to alert yourself to the presence of toxic gas in your home. If you wake in the night with a headache — and especially if another member of the family complains of a headache or is difficult to arouse — get out of the house fast, advises the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book. Seek emergency medical care.
* Limit the loss of expensive heated air to the outside. Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans sparingly. * Keep fireplace dampers tightly closed until you prepare to light a fire. * When using your fireplace, limit the amount of heated air drawn from the rest of the house. Open dampers in the bottom of the firebox if provided, or open the closest window about 1 inch and close any doors leading into the room. * Draft-proof windows, doors, and other air leaks. Caulking and weather stripping are reasonably easy, so you may be able to save money by doing the job yourself. * Lower your thermostat to about 65 degrees F during the day and 60 degrees F at night. For each degree you turn down your thermostat, you’ll save about 3 percent on your heating bills. Consider the comfort and convenience of an automatic clock thermostat to do this for you. * Avoid heating unused areas by closing off unoccupied rooms and shutting off heating vents. Note: this does not apply if you have a heat pump system. Leave it alone, as shutting vents could harm a heat pump. * Keep your heating equipment operating efficiently. Clean or replace the filter in your forced air heating system each month, and check the duct work that is readily accessible for air leaks about once a year. Be sure that heating ducts in unheated areas are insulated. Keep the heating system well tuned with periodic maintenance by a professional service. * Insulate your attic floor or top floor ceiling to reduce winter heat loss. * Consider installing storm windows and doors. * If you have an attached garage, keep your garage door closed. This will prevent cold winds from infiltrating the connecting door and other areas between the house and garage.
Energy Star stands for high-efficiency and energy savings according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Energy Star heating and cooling products are a good investment. Owners of such equipment realize returns in the form of lower utility bills.
What should I do if my lights, switches and receptacles don’t work?
Check to see if the outlet is on a switch. Check and reset GFCI outlets and circuit breaker. Check light bulbs and replace if necessary. If none of these are the problem, contact us.
Why do I blow fuses or why does my circuit breaker trip?
Except in the case of ground fault interrupters, which are susceptible to moisture and/or weather conditions, fuses and circuit breakers should not trip. Check to see if some type of plugged in appliance is causing the problem. If an appliance is not causing the problem, contact us.
Central air conditioning and heat pump condensers may cause a noticeable slight dimming on start up. Lights may flicker or dim due to startup of some appliances or motor driven equipment. Check with the local utility company for possible defects in supply source or for the utility switching to other utilities for supply. Also check to see if some type of plugged in appliance is causing the problem. If neither the utility company nor the heating/cooling equipment is the problem, contact us to check for proper operation of the heating and cooling equipment.
GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. In layman’s terms this device protects you from electrical shock. When it senses the slightest increase in resistance resulting from ground fault, (i.e., the use of electrical devices in or near water), it trips off to protect you.
What are the red and black buttons on my GFCI outlet?
The black button is a test button and when pressed, should deactivate the outlet and any other outlet fed from it - Indicating a properly functioning device. The red button is the re-set button that you depress to reactivate the outlet or outlets in the event of deactivation resulting from a fault.
What is the difference between a breaker panel and my old fuse panel?
Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload, i.e. 20Amps of electrical load on a 15Amp circuit would cause a trip. The only difference is that a breaker is mechanical and may be reset. Whereas, a fuse is one time only and must be replaced. Please Note: Modern breakers are much more efficient and offer greater levels of protection.
How do I reset my breaker when it has tripped off?
First, disconnect any additional devices that may have caused the breaker to overload and trip. Breakers are mechanical devices and must be turned all the way off before turning back on. Remember this is a mechanical device, so this may require several attempts. If this fails to reset the breaker, there may be a more serious problem. Contact a licensed electrician in your area.
What does it mean when my fluorescent lights are flickering or cycling on and off?
Flickering may indicate impending bulb failure, minor power fluctuation, and/or improperly installed bulbs. Cycling on and off is usually a clear indication of ballast and/or bulb failure. It is recommended when replacing a ballast to replace bulbs as well.
I have a new home. Why does my refrigerator or freezer, located in my garage, keep going off?
Unless you made provisions with the builder for a dedicated circuit, the outlets in your garage are GFCI Protected per National Electrical Code. This device will not tolerate the additional resistance load created by refrigeration equipment. The GFCI senses there is a fault, and therefore trips off. The only cure to this problem is to provide a dedicated, non GFCI circuit allowable by code.
Can I plug my coffee pot and toaster oven into the same kitchen counter outlet?
Yes. Though, if the two loads exceed 20amps, your breaker will sense overload, do its job, and trip off. Under this condition, you must plug one of the appliances into a different kitchen outlet on a different circuit, in order to balance the load.
When my air conditioner cycles on, I notice my lights blink. Is this normal?
Yes. This is a common occurrence when large motor/compressor loads start. These devices cause a minor momentary voltage drop, demonstrating itself as the blinking in your lights. This has no negative effect on the electrical equipment within your house.
If I have surge/lightning protection on my main service should I use point-of-use surge plugins at my TV, stereo, computer, etc.?
Yes. Main line surge is no absolute guarantee and any additional surge protection down stream in the system offers a greater level of protection; though, nothing is absolute when it comes to the power of Mother Nature.
I have a 110 volt outlet on the exterior of my home. Can I plug my Christmas lights into it?
Yes. Within reason;if the quantity of lights creates a load greater than the capacity of the circuit breaker, the breaker will trip off. In this event, additional circuits may be required to accommodate your holiday display.
Why does my recess can light cycle on and off since I put a larger wattage bulb in?
Modern Recess Cans are rated for a maximum wattage bulb and are equipped with a thermal device that does not allow a bulb larger than that rating? If a larger wattage bulb is used, as the excess heat builds up, the thermal device will shut the can off until it cools. This is a safety device to protect your home against fire.
I have a new home. If I have a problem with TV or telephone wiring within the house, who should I call?
With deregulation of the utility companies in most areas of the country, the cable or telephone companies are no longer responsible for the equipment or wiring in your home. This responsibility has fallen to you and your electrical contractor. Therefore, when a problem arises, we recommend you contact us. Most TV and telephone utilities will still service within your home for a substantial fee. This service, as in the past, is no longer free.
I have two telephone lines in my home. Why when I’m on the phone and the other phone line is in use, do I hear the other conversation in the background?
This is commonly called Bleedover and usually results from one of three conditions. 1. Excessively long runs of wire within the home of non-twisted pairs . 2. Loop wiring from phone station to phone station. 3. A nick in the phone wire somewhere within your residence causing a weak interconnect between phone lines.
My smoke detector keeps chirping. What does this mean?
This could mean one of two things. 1. An intermittent chirp is probably an indication of a defective smoke detector. 2. A consistent chirp is probably an indication of a low battery condition and the smoke detector requires a new battery.
When should I replace my hot water tank?
Predicting when a water tank will start to leak is very difficult . Rather, I would be more interested in where the water will travel if the tank were to leak. It is recommended that a tank drainage pan be installed to prevent damage to your investment. If this is not possible it is recommended that a draining tube be installed to move the leakage away to a safe drainage area.
Is there a way of preventing scalding in the shower when other water appliances are working or the toilet need to be flushed?
A pressure balancing valve should be installed in the shower. This controls the amount of water that comes out of the shower head. Also, a practical approach is to simply place your other water appliances on standby while you have a shower.
What is the easiest way to improve my plumbing in my house?
Simply carry out routine maintenance on your equipment and you will always have clear lines. At what temperature should I set my hot water tank? The optimum temperature is subjective. It all depends on your needs. The temperature should be set in your house based on who will use the facilities. For example, if you have young children I recommend lowering the maximum temperature to prevent accidental scalding.
Septic systems should be inspected and pumped a minimum of once every three to four year. A full septic tank may allow unwanted solids to flow into the drain field, which is the part of the system that consists of a distribution box, with a series of connected pipes. Each pipe allows water to flow into a bed of stone that drains into the ground. If paper and other solids flow into the drain field it becomes blocked and ineffective.
A device that is installed to protect the potable (drinking) water from coming in contact with a questionable contaminant. When installed correctly and operating properly it will prevent contaminants from entering the potable water supply.
Why does the backflow device have to be tested yearly?
Any device that is mechanical is apt to fail and must be regularly checked and tested. The manufacturer suggests that testable backflow devices be tested yearly, and the Plumbing Code states that backflow devices must be tested at least annually.
Make sure all fixtures inside and outside your home are turned off. Then you can go out to your water meter open the lid and check to see if any dial is moving. You may need to observe this for several minutes. When no water is being used nothing should be moving. Even a small leak over a 24 hour period will amount to several gallons and a larger water and sewer bill.
Fitch Services is the one company you can depend on for all of your Heating & Cooling, Electric, Plumbing and Water Supply services.
Who we are…
The Fitch story begins with the genuine customer focus that owner John Fitch brings to the business. An engineering graduate, John Fitch is certified by the State as a Master Mechanic, Master Electrician, and Master Plumber. Before establishing Fitch Services, John managed the service department of a large regional electrical and plumbing contractor. Fitch’s experienced teams of technicians are trained and certified by the Refrigeration Service Engineers’ Society and Virginia Power Comfort Assured.
Fitch keeps pumps pumping…
Fitch’s twice-yearly preventive maintenance programs minimize unpleasant surprises. Outdoors, Fitch servicemen will remove debris, inspect the compressor and tubing, clean the coil, cabinet, control box, wiring, and connections, lubricate the fan motor and blades, and check all safety controls. Indoors, they clean and adjust all working systems, safety controls, coils, filters, and flues to ensure that system will operate smoothly and efficiently.
…and systems running
Fitch Services guarantees no-hassle, prompt attention to all your heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing needs. Licensed by the State and insured, Fitch servicemen are committed to your satisfaction and comfort. Their expertise is based on years of experience and periodic training in the latest systems upgrades.
Albemarle County and neighboring parts of Green, Orange, Louisa and Fluvanna counties.
Hours of Operation
Office and service department open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM and 24 hour emergency service is available with radio dispatched technicians.
Fitch Services primarily sells American Standard, but sells most other brands and services all brands of heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing equipment. Check here for a complete list.
When we evaluate the job we design a system that considers your home’s comfort. We do not recommend a system until we discuss and evaluate your needs. Our professional team of technical representatives are the most experienced and knowledgeable in the Central Virginia area. When one of our teams designs a system for you, you can be assured that you are getting a solution to your home comfort problems.
The serviceman was very helpful and answered lots of questions. Surprisingly, he gave truthful answers to additional work being unnecessary instead of performing the additional work we discussed and charging us. I would highly recommend this contractor to others.