RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Hiring a Tree Care Professional

February 19, 2015 2:00 am

To care for trees on your property, doing your homework is imperative to ensuring quality, safe work, avoiding scams and saving money, according to the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).

“With hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars at stake, not to mention the integrity and appearance of your property and your personal safety, make sure that you take the time in deciding which company you should hire,” cautions Peter Gerstenberger, TCIA. “Disreputable companies are renowned for ripping gutters off, breaking fences and bird baths and even dropping trees on houses. Then they typically fold up and leave, never to be seen again.”

Before beginning your search for a tree care professional, understand that the credentials for someone who uses the title “arborist” can vary widely. An arborist is a professional who cares for trees and other woody plants by pruning, fertilizing, monitoring for insects and diseases, consulting on tree-related issues and occasionally planting, transplanting and removing trees.

Homeowners searching for qualified tree care companies should look for:
  • Proof of Insurance – Ask for current certificates of liability and workers’ compensation insurance, if applicable. If the tree company you hire doesn’t have insurance or is not a legal company, you, the homeowner, could be held responsible as a contractor.
  • Good References – Ask for local references, and check the quality of their work and level of service. Don’t feel rushed by a bargain and never pay in advance.
  • Solid Reputation – Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as memberships in business organizations.
  • Comparisons – Get a second opinion and quote. Always get estimates in writing.
  • Up-to-Date Knowledge – Ask if they follow ANSI standards. A professional arborist will be aware of the current safety, pruning, fertilizing and cabling standards.
  • Contract – Insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates, when work is to be performed and exactly what is to be done.
There are also inherent dangers for one attempting tree care or removal – pruning limbs, felling trees and especially climbing into trees are hazardous activities even for trained professionals. For safe and efficient work, hire a tree care professional with experience, expertise and equipment to safely take down or prune damaged trees.

Source: TCIA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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First-Time Homeowner, Meet Your HVAC System

February 19, 2015 2:00 am

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of buying your first home, but being a first-time homebuyer comes some unfamiliar territory. As a new homeowner, it’s important to understand the functionalities of your HVAC system to help you better determine when something is not working as it should be.

“The HVAC system is the largest source of energy within a home, so it’s important to keep the units properly cleaned and maintained in order to avoid increased costs and energy usage,” says Bill Benito, NADCA. “A dirty air conveyance system will restrict air flow at the coil and the blower, and also within the duct system. In many cases, a good cleaning of the cooling coil and the system components will increase air flow and make for a more efficient HVAC system. As a result, you’ll likely see significant savings on your energy bill.”

Did you know?

On average, 40 pounds of dust is generated each year in 1,500 square foot homes.
The amount of dust that gathers in a home depends on several different components, including the HVAC system design, the location of the system (attic, basement, or crawlspace), along with the family habits. Are pets living in the home? Are smokers? Children? All of these factors can contribute to the amount of dust and dirt that is generated within a home.

Approximately 4,200 dust mites can live within just one ounce of dust.
Indoor air is actually not always cleaner than outdoor air. Contaminants inside of the home (like dirt, dust and animal dander) can be circulated during cleaning when ineffective or substandard cleaning devices are used. If the dust is not contained during routine vacuuming, it can be distributed around the living space, where it will eventually just resettle.

Having your HVAC system professionally cleaned in springtime typically costs less than at any other time of year.

Although spring months are spent preparing for cooling season, many homeowners wait until the summer to have their systems cleaned. As a result, there are very long waiting lists for scheduling appointments. In addition, many companies will provide discounts during the spring to encourage homeowners to schedule their maintenance and cleaning before the units are needed for air conditioning during the summer.

NADCA defines a complete and proper cleaning to include the inside of the air ducts from where the air enters the return duct, through the air handler (blowers, coil and heat exchange), to the exit, where the air is released to condition the home.

Source: NADCA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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