May 2010

KEEP YOUR COOL THIS SUMMER - Call E.A.C. for the BEST in HVAC Installation and Service

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: John Brackett

As mild spring mornings meld into those hot, sticky days that beckon us to the beach, you may be assuming that your air conditioning system is as ready as you are for all the summer fun. Don’t be so sure…

“Most people only think about air conditioning when it’s broken down; but it’s really the most complex system anybody has in their home,” said Patrick Epperson, Jr. who owns/operates E.A.C. Heating and Air along with his dad, Pat Epperson, Sr. and partner, Martin Jones. That’s why it’s important to get established with a reputable company such as E.A.C.—because all heating and air services are not created equal.

“There are too many heating and air conditioning companies in our area to even count,” said Patrick. “What makes us different is that we care and we don’t want to take advantage of anyone. We are a professional, local company that takes added steps to ensure that our customers have a positive experience. We are in it for the long-term relationship and want a customer for life by earning their trust and their business each time we visit their home.”

That commitment to customer service is a product of strong ethics, family values and years of experience in the business. “We want to demonstrate that we are professional—that we have all the certifications and the employees to be there in their time of need,” said Patrick.

“And to back up the warranties,” added Pat, who started the business in 1981. “A lot of times a company will sell something and just kind of leave the customer hanging,” he said. “That’s not going to happen with E.A.C.”

I want to make sure that if I recognize a customer in the grocery store, I can feel assured that they are happy with our work and greet them with a smile because our company has taken care of them,” said Patrick.

According to the Eppersons, just like our bodies, a healthy HVAC system requires regular maintenance. A twice yearly checkup is recommended.

“Many times our technicians can catch a small problem before it turns into something much greater. Also, systems can work under marginal performance with the homeowner unaware, which costs them on their utility bills. Our maintenance program provides a 15 percent discount on any service repair items if something does happen without any overtime fees no matter what time of day,” said Patrick.

If you do have an emergency and call in a panic, you can expect efficient and courteous service. “We don’t outsource our phone calls to a national call center,” said Patrick. “Our staff members live in the community, and we know what a plantation is. Callers can expect prompt service—usually in less than 24 hours—by a trained and certified technician. If a system needs replacement, we make sure that the new system matches both the requirements of the home and the homeowner’s needs through our home survey process.”

Surveys conducted by trained specialists are used to find out what kind of issues the customer may have—whether it’s a room that’s too hot or too cold or whatever the situation may be, Patrick explained. “A lot of companies will go into a person’s home and see a three-ton system and automatically replace it with the same. We take the time to evaluate the system and any existing problems. We measure the different surfaces of the walls, floors, windows. Basically, it’s a big calculation to determine what the proper tonnage and size of the system should be so you’re not repeating someone’s past error.”

“Back in the day, people tried to throw in the largest size system available, and that’s not the best thing in our area, said Pat. “Say you need a three-ton and you have a five-ton system installed. That will cool your home quickly and satisfy it at the thermostat. But because your system is not running very long, it’s not having the opportunity to remove any moisture from the air. It has to stay on for a decent amount of time for dehumidification to occur. That’s why in this area it’s so important to have the system sized properly.”

According to Patrick, E.A.C. takes pride in hiring only the most qualified and trustworthy service technicians. All are required to earn certification through NATE (North American Technician Excellence), the leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration. In addition, E.A.C. employees undergo a rigorous background check, including drug testing.

E.A.C.’s main product line is Trane, with Bryant (same family as Carrier) as a secondary line. But they can get most any name brand you want, Patrick explained. What’s most important is providing an efficient system that ultimately saves you money.

“The industry has definitely changed. Just by upgrading to the lowest thing you can buy now will save you about 23 percent on that portion of utilities,” said Patrick. “There are some that will save you 50 percent.”

Beyond efficiency is the functionality. Variable speed air handlers come on at 50 percent power and work up to 100 percent only if necessary. It’s more energy efficient, but it also remove four times the humidity, he explained. “It’s more comfortable, and usually a drier living condition means you’re not going to have to worry about things growing, like mold and mildew.”

As an added incentive to replace older, less energy efficient units, through the end of this year, the federal government is giving a tax credit on higher efficiency systems, Pat added.

After an installation, a follow-up visit is scheduled to make sure that everything was done correctly. “We’re all about quality control and making sure it’s done right,” said Patrick. If something does happen that’s not correct, we’re going to take care of it.”

Mike Manesiotis, broker in charge of Hilton Head Long Term Rentals attests to E.A.C.’s service standards: “It is a pleasure working with EAC and their knowledgeable staff; they respond promptly to our service calls, and when there is a question, they have the answer,” he said. “We interact with many service providers in all aspects of property management. EAC has gained our trust and confidence over the years; more importantly, they have taken care of our owners and delivered exceptional service.”

Local attorney, Jim Berl, concurs. “Everybody in their company, from the top to the bottom, is very customer service oriented,” he said. “They show up on time when they’re scheduled for a repair, and they stay until the repair is completed. Their work has always been exceptional; and Patrick himself goes the extra mile to make sure the customer is satisfied and also that you get the best deal available. They’re top notch.”

In today’s tough economy, it’s important to make wise, informed choices,” said Patrick. “Our company’s goal is to minimize your worry and to provide the highest possible value to each and every customer.”

E.A.C. is located at 76 Beach City Rd. on Hilton Head Island. Their service area includes Hilton Head, Bluffton, Okatie, Beaufort, Ridgeland and Hardeeville. For service or more information, call (843) 681-3999.

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