Tag Archives: Berthoud


Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air has a service call charge of $89.00 after 7:00PM Monday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Regular labor rates on Saturdays from 8:00AM to 5:00PM. After 5:00PM on Saturday through Sunday, Ace Hi Plumbing overtime charges will be applied.

Have you had your air conditioner checked for the summer? We have NATE-Trained technicians and we offer top quality service at an affordable price. Our AC Inspections are $89.00. This is a 20-Point Inspection that includes a minor cleaning of your unit.

If you are interested in having your air conditioner inspected, repaired or would like to have a new system installed, we offer services in the Northern Colorado area including Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, Longmont, Johnstown, Greeley & Estes Park. Call Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 970-667-0300.

Cleaning the Blower Assembly of a Furnace

Spring cleaning should include your central heat and air system. The air conditioning system, which includes the furnace and blower assembly, evaporator coil, ductwork and outdoor unit (either AC or heat pump) cannot run effectively and efficiently if it is dirty. A dirty evaporator coil can become the cause for unhealthy air. Air must pass through this at a specific rate, called CFM (cubic feet per minute). This is important when it comes to comfort and efficiency. The blower assembly moves air through the furnace and evaporator coil and then through your ductwork and into your conditioned space.

Regular maintenance and cleaning is very important and can help to lower the cost of your utility bills and keep your unit running efficiently. Dirt effects the 3 main components of your furnace so cleaning it is the most important part of regular maintenance. The three parts of the furnace that should be cleaned includes the filter system, the blower and the motor.

Your furnace fan, typically called the blower motor assembly or the squirrel cage fan can become extremely dirty over time. If there is dust, dirt, pet hair or construction material in your ductwork, guaranteed it has accumulated in the furnace fan as well. It is critical to clean the blower assembly, belts and pulleys to the blower and motor housing especially if the furnace has a squirrel-cage fan, because openings in this type of blower often become clogged with dirt. You can check this by removing the panel that covers the filter to gain access to the blower or panel on the front of the furnace. We recommend you call a trained HVAC professional to clean this part of the unit.


Helpful Tips For Using Your Air Conditioner- Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air Inc.


  • Always keep all windows and doors, to the outside, closed.
  • Don’t cool unoccupied rooms. If you have registers, don’t close more than half of them. Restricting air flow too much can cause your unit to malfunction.
  • Do you have a ceiling fan? Set the thermostat higher – you will still be comfortable. Keep a fan on low speed when humid.
  • When you are not at home, set your thermostat at 78F, or higher. Setting the thermostat lower, cools a warm room colder, not faster, and it uses more energy.
  • Consider getting a programmable thermostat for central units, especially if you are away from home at the same times during the week. Some programmable thermostats can be controlled from your computer or smart phone.
  • Keep lamps, televisions and other electronics away from a room unit’s thermostat. The thermostat can sense their heat, which may cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Consider calling in a professional air conditioning maintenance contractor to tune up your air conditioner before the cooling season. A tune up will maximize your comfort in the summer, help your air conditioner last longer and run better, and save on monthly energy bills.







What is a Mini-Split Air Conditioner 

A “split” air conditioner consists of two main parts: the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.

A mini-split system is therefore “split” into the compression and expansion stages of the refrigeration cycle. Refrigerant lines and electrical wires connect the condenser to the evaporator. The outdoor unit contains a compressor which pumps the refrigerant to the indoor evaporator where it expands and cools. A fan behind the evaporator coil blows the cool air into the room. Because the coil and fan blow directly into the room, the term “ductless” applies because no distribution system is required.


How a Mini-Split Air Conditioner different from other AC Units 

Like central air systems, but unlike a window air conditioner, also known as a “self contained” or one piece, a mini-split air conditioner or a mini-split heat pump consists of two separate components including an outdoor condenser/compressor and an indoor evaporator, or air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.

Mini splits have numerous potential applications in residential, commercial and institutional buildings. The most common applications are in multifamily housing or as retrofit add-ons to houses with non-ducted heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels and space heaters. They can also be a good choice for room additions and small apartments, where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible.

Benefits of a Mini-Split Air Conditioning System  

This kind of air conditioner has many advantages over traditional air conditioners including quiet performance. The parts of the air conditioner that make the most noise are the compressor and the fan that cools the condenser, which in a split system, are located outside of the room being cooled and therefore the major sources of noise are removed, unlike with window units.

Other advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. Central air conditioners usually cool an entire area, but mini splits can be more selective and heat or cool specific areas and individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much heating or cooling is required for the building or each zone, which in turn is affected by how well the building is insulated. Each of the zones will have its own thermostat, so you only need to condition that space when it is occupied, saving energy and money.

Ductless mini split systems are often easier to install than other types of air conditioning systems. A ductless mini-split system is similar to a central air system in that the evaporator is “split” from the condenser, but unlike a central air system, no duct work is required. The hookup between the indoor and outdoor units  generally requires  only a two- to three-inch hole through the wall for the conduit, Also, most manufacturers of this type of system can provide a variety of lengths of connecting conduits so that if necessary, you can locate the outdoor unit as far as 50 feet from the indoor evaporator.

Because there is no ductwork required, mini split systems are not only easy to install but also more economical and better for the environment. The ductwork required for many traditional air conditioning units generally increases energy expenditures, as many centralized AC units lose a lot of energy due to heat exchange in the air duct system. So, without a duct system, there is very little opportunity for heat or energy loss in a split air conditioning system. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.

A mini-split heat pump will also supplement an inadequate heating system and add comfort to a room. However, as in the case with all heat pumps, it may not be sufficient and might require an auxiliary heating source. This depends on the climate you reside. Some areas require considerably more BTU of heating than cooling, so the proper size air conditioner may not be the proper size heat pump. Over sizing is not a good idea for two reasons. You will loose efficiency by running a large air conditioner than needed. And, over-sized cooling will cool, but not dry effectively.

Disadvantages of a Mini-Split Air Conditioning System 

The primary disadvantage of mini splits is their cost. Such systems can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $2,000 per ton (12,000 BTU per hour) of cooling capacity, which is about 30% more than central systems, not including ductwork, and may cost twice as much as window units of similar capacity.

An installer must correctly size each indoor unit and judge the best location for the installation. Oversized or incorrectly located air-handlers often result in short-cycling, which wastes energy and does not provide proper temperature or humidity control. Too large a system may also cost more money and use more energy to operate.

Although there will be more control of cooled areas, refrigerant lines and electrical wires must be installed from each evaporator to the condenser. There must also be a place to drain condensate water near the outdoor unit. Unlike window and central air conditioners which have brazed joints, most mini splits have flared copper to brass refrigerant connections, making it possible to loosen and leak. Because the refrigerant lines come pre-attached to the evaporator, mini splits can also be more difficult to “rough-in” on new construction or remodels. Mini splits are simpler to install on finished wall.

The indoor section of a mini split is good sized, however physically locating it can present a problem at times. Built-ins, windows and doors and décor can also be implements to prime locations and some people may not like the appearance of the indoor part of the system.  While less obstructive than a window room air conditioner, they seldom have the built-in look  of a central system.



The indoor unit will most likely have an air filter, which will require periodic cleaning or replacement, depending on how often the unit runs. The outdoor unit should be kept clear of plants and debris. It would not hurt to have a professional HVAC technician clean and test the condenser, which we recommend yearly. If you would like to have this done, Call ACE HI today at 970-667-0300. We service Fort Collins, Colorado and Loveland, Colorado.

A split air conditioner is an efficient and cost effective way to cool your home, however, qualified installers and service technicians for mini splits may not be easy to find. It should be noted that the initial cost  of this type of air conditioning unit is significantly higher than a window unit and does require professional installation. The amount you will save on your energy bills as well as the longevity of the unit will make it worth your while in the end.


Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the me 1970s. Even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you may save 20% to 50% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.


Proper sizing and installation are key elements in determining air conditioner efficiency. A unit that is too large will not adequately remove humidity. A unit that is too small will not be able to attain a comfortable temperature on the hottest days. Lack of insulation and improper unit and duct installation can greatly diminish efficiency.

What are SEER Ratings? 

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a measure of system efficiency, which translates to how much it costs to operate and indicates the relative amount of energy needed to provide specific cooling output. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. A SEER rating of 16 or higher with stepped capacity modulation is considered high efficiency and could save you over $400 per year versus an older lower efficiency system. Many older systems have SEER ratings of 6 or less. The minimum SEER allowed today is 13.

Central Air conditioners are rated according to their SEER rating. If you are thinking about purchasing a new air conditioner, look for a model with a high efficiency or look for the ENERGY STAR® label for central air conditioners with SEER ratings of 13 or greater. Also consider using air conditioning equipment with higher SEER ratings for greater savings.

Department of Energy (DOE)
Residential Central Air Conditioner Standards

New residential central air conditioner standards went into effect on January 23, 2006. Air conditioners manufactured after January 23, 2006 must achieve a SEER of 13 or higher. SEER 13 is 30% more efficient than the previous minimum SEER of 10. The standard only applies to appliances manufacture after January 23, 2006. Equipment with a rating less than SEER 13 manufactured before January 1, 2015 may still be sold and installed anywhere in the U.S. If you are in the North region, as specified by the DOE, you may continue to install SEER 13 AC systems even if they were manufactured after January 1, 2015. There is not yet a date for phasing out those units in the North. However, All heat pump systems built after January 1, 2015, must be at least a SEER 14.

If you are located in the South or Southwest DOE regions, you can only install SEER 13 units (AC or heat pump) built before January 1, 2015, and you can continue to do this until the 18-month grace period is over on June 30, 2016. After this date, everything in those regions must be SEER 14 irrespective of when it was built. Also, the Southwest region has an EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) minimum in addition to the SEER minimum, so homeowners in the region will need to watch for the EER rating as well. It is not clear how the availability of SEER 13 units built before January 1, 2015 will play out, but there are certainly some in the channel for the 2015 cooling season. It is likely that this availability will drop significantly as we move closer to the June 30, 2016 date when they can no longer be used (except in the North).

The standards do not require you to change your existing central air conditioning units, and replacement parts and services are still available for your home’s system. The “lifespan” of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. Manufacturers typically continue to support existing equipment by making replacement parts available and honoring maintenance contracts.

Other features to look for when purchasing  an air conditioner 
  • A thermal expansion valve and a high-temperature rating (EER) greater than 11.6, for high-efficiency operation when the weather is the hottest
  • A variable speed handler for new ventilation systems
  • A unit that operates quietly
  • A fan-only switch, so you can use the unit for nighttime ventilation to substantially reduce air conditioning costs
  • A filter check light to remind you to change the filter after a predetermined number of operating hours
  • An automatic-delay fan switch to turn off the fan a few minutes after the compressor turns off

If you have an older central air conditioner, you might choose to replace the outdoor compressor with a modern, high efficiency unit. If you do so, consult a local heating and cooling contractor to assure that the new compressor is properly matched to the indoor unit. However, considering recent changes in refrigerant and air conditioning designs, it might be wiser to replace the entire system. (Read more about R-22 and R-410A Refrigerant)

For questions concerning your air conditioning unit, call ACE HI PLUMBING, HEATING & AIR at 970-667-0300 today. We have NATE-trained technicians and provide 24-hour emergency service. Ace Hi Plumbing services the Northern Colorado area including Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Longmont, Windsor, Greeley, and Estes Park.

Supporting Local Businesses

Supporting Local Businesses


Independent vs. National Chain 
  • Small, local businesses trade only locally, national chain businesses trade from all over the country and multi-national businesses operate in other countries and major cities around the world.
  • Local businesses  have the ability to adapt to market changes quickly and continue to serve customers the same way they always have whereas a national chain will create policy, and the customer may have no resource to get what they need.
  • Customers are most drawn to a business with the ability to give personal customer service with a positive attitude and with similar values. National chains may advertise good customer service, but may not have the ability to make sure the thousands of employees are actually giving the best customer service.
  • Small business owners usually live locally, making it easier to support or sponsor local causes connected to community events and fundraisers. Locals are more likely to support these small businesses, in return, becoming loyal customers. National chains may not be able to do this quickly and effectively.
  • Promotional products, which can feature a company’s name, logo or other information, can also be more personal when they are offered by a local business, because a large chain will need to make them more generic to appeal to people throughout the country.
  • Small businesses also have more of an advantage when it comes to using social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, to create local engagements with its customers. Posts and updates can relate to local celebrations sporting events and other activities. In general, large chains don’t use social media to their advantage. Bigger businesses do still use social media, but don’t always have the same ability to be as productive about answering individual comments and concerns posted on the page.

When making your purchases at a small, local business it pays off in a far greater way than spending your money at a chain. You’re helping to make it possible for employees-your neighbors-to live and work without relying on government programs paid for by you, by supporting small businesses.

Why Buy Local

Local businesses rely less on taxpayer money than large corporations. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services. A study shows that big chains like Wal-Mart and Target force large numbers of their employees to rely on government for health insurance, while small business that provide health insurance, do so at a significantly high cost-as much as $24, 000 a year for a small bike shop in Colorado with 4 employees. These big chains are gaining an unfair financial advantage over smaller and more responsible businesses by leaning on taxpayers. It has been reported that Democratic staffers in the House, roughly estimate, on average, that Wal-Mart employees require about $3,000 a year in public assistance. That works out to be roughly $900,000 per supercenter, equaling more than $4 billion annually in public costs nationwide.

Shopping locally does not necessarily mean purchasing from a neighborhood store. It’s a way of supporting a community and lowering costs and environmental impact of purchasing an item  from across the country or the globe, helping to reduce gas emissions and environmental damage. Since local businesses tend to purchase from other local businesses, supporting them helps minimize the environmental impact of transporting out-of-town goods. Independent local businesses employ a wide array of supporting services including architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and contractors. Opportunities grow for local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys, advertising agencies and others to help run it. Local retailers and distributors also carry a higher percentage of locally-made goods than the chains, creating more jobs for local producers.

It is also mutually beneficial to both the consumer and the businesses because it is a way for customers to be more aware of the product they are buying and for owners to personally know more about their customers. Local businesses cater to their local communities and have the ability to focus on the needs of their consumers and tailor their services accordingly, and because they hire local people, their employees have a better sense of the community and have more of a personal connection with customers. Big chains often have to answer to large stockholders or corporate partners, giving them less flexibility in how they operate and the type of service they offer.

Small businesses provide 75% of new U.S. jobs and are the backbone of our economy.


Supporting small, independent businesses helps keep your community unique and encourages people to visit.

If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy. Several studies show that when you buy from an independent business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, helping to support the local economy as a whole. Studies also show that if residents of an average American city were to shift 10% of their spending to local businesses from chains, it would bring an additional $235 million per year to the community’s economy.

Because local businesses are generally owned by people in the community, they are less likely to leave and are more invested in the future prosperity of the community. Community-based businesses are essential to charitable endeavors, frequently serving on local boards, and supporting a variety of causes. Approximately 64.8% of revenue is reinvested into the community and only about 33.6% of the revenue from national chains is reinvested into the community throughout the United States. Local businesses also make more charitable donations within the community than large businesses do. Non-profit organizations receive an average of about 250% more support from smaller businesses.

Small, Local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the highest number of new jobs. When small businesses thrive, they can hire more people within the community. The introduction of national chains to a community often brings loss of employment. Studies have shown that the opening of a Wal-Mart reduces retail employment by an average of 150 jobs in the county of its location.