May 2013

E.A.C Heating & Air

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon may make you a bit nervous; riding one of those loop-the-loop, flip-you-upside-down roller coasters may fill your tummy with butterflies; but it is a full-blown panic attack when you realize your heating and cooling system isn’t doing its job. Who should I call? Who can I trust? How much is this going to cost me?

Knowing that your heating and cooling system is being serviced by a company and by people who have been local for long time and who have a reputation backed by decades of positive reviews goes a long way toward calming the initial panic. Patrick Epperson, Sr., Patrick Epperson, Jr., and Martin Jones began working together in the 1980s and have been together ever since. The original company, founded by Pat, Sr. in 1981, was sold in 1998, and the team went to work for the new owner, Epperson
Service Experts.

In 2005, they decided to go out on their own again, forming E.A.C. Heating & Air. With the original Epperson/Jones team at the helm, operating out of their original location on Beach City Road, they could again do business their way, “where people are more important than numbers,” Epperson, Sr. said.

“We wanted to get back to just taking care of customers,” Jones added.

It seems E.A.C. Heating & Air is doing just that, and winning awards in the process.

The service industry’s most impartial referral and review company, Angie’s List, has awarded them the Super Service Award twice and continues to be a growing source for new business. “People find you and then they rate you when the service is completed. So far, I think we have all A’s,” Epperson, Jr. said. With strong name recognition and a squeaky-clean reputation, Angie’s List has become a valuable source for service businesses to reach beyond their immediate borders.

A recent client reviewed the E.A.C. team on Angie’s List and summed up the experience: “We have established an ongoing maintenance agreement with E.A.C. and would not hesitate to call upon them or recommend them based on experience with this fine company and its people.”

In addition to their well-earned local reputation, E.A.C. Heating & Air has seen an increase in the number of part-time island homeowners and second home owners calling for service. They attribute this growth in part to their Angie’s List presence, but also to advances in Wi-Fi thermostat technology. Monitoring a home or business from afar via computer or smart phone has become an easy proposition with this type of thermostat control. “An out-of-town person can check the temperature in their house. They can see that there’s something wrong with the unit and then they know they can call us,” Epperson, Sr. said. Having a trusted local service company provides peace of mind when something goes wrong.

“There are a lot of applications for this technology,” Epperson, Jr. explained. “Out-of-towners, rental management companies, even churches.” His local church recently installed a Wi-Fi___33 thermostat so they could keep tabs on their electric bills. “They know when to turn it on before a service or event, and they don’t have to get there early,” he said.

Staying on top of advances in the industry is a priority at E.A.C. Heating & Air. Long-time service manager and comfort advisor Duane Pierce has weekly meetings with his team of all NATE (North American Technician Excellence)-certified technicians to keep up with the latest advances. NATE certification is the highest possible certification for heating and air technicians. Additionally, as the area’s only factory authorized Carrier dealer, additional training is required to earn that designation, and ongoing training to maintain it. “There are a lot of Carrier dealers, but we have to commit to a lot more to be factory authorized,” Epperson, Sr. said.

The resource-conscious green movement is another area of advancement for the industry. According to Martin, Carrier Greenspeed™ Intelligence is setting the pace in technology. “It’s a super-efficient heat pump system where both the indoor and outdoor units operate at variable speeds,” he said. “It will basically ramp up to what the load is on the house.” Imagine pressing on the accelerator in your car. Going 15 miles per hour requires a lot less pressure and engine power than reaching 85 miles per hour. Greenspeed Intelligence is the same technology. When your home is cooler on a mid-summer morning, the systems only give what is needed to maintain the temperature. When the temperatures accelerate in the afternoon, so does the system.

Keeping systems running efficiently and running longer is number one on E.A.C.’s to-do list, along with building long-term relationships. “Your reputation is everything around here. Our goal is to do things the right way and treat people in the right way. If you keep doing that, hopefully it becomes reciprocal and they keep using you,” Epperson, Jr. said.

Having extensive Lowcountry experience means E.A.C. Heating & Air understands humidity control, critical to controlling mold and mildew. Surprisingly, over-sized units are the common culprit of this problem. “If a unit is oversized for the home, it will bring the temperature down real quick, but it needs to run longer to get the humidity out,” Epperson, Sr. explained. “If you just bring the temperature down, then you’re still stuck with the humidity.”

Whether your relationship with E.A.C. Heating & Air is from another state or just down William Hilton Parkway, the team believes that a maintenance contract is the most important thing you can do to maintain your system, and save money at the same time. “Ninety-four percent of all emergency breakdowns occur on non-maintained systems,” Epperson, Jr. said. “We come out twice a year and inspect everything. We check the refrigerant levels and make sure it’s operating at peak conditions. If the refrigerant level isn’t right, you’re wasting money.”

Preventing bigger problems is the goal of a maintenance contract. “We check the filters, all the AMP draws, and clean out the drains. If those lines are plugged and you don’t have protective devices like ceiling saver switches, it will overflow onto your ceilings. All of our new systems have two or three protective devices to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s worth it.”

The best advice is to save your adrenalin rushes for black diamond ski runs and five-alarm chili eating contests. Building relationships and taking care of heating and cooling needs is why E.A.C. Heating & Air is able to banish the butterflies and make you and your home a whole lot more comfortable.

E.A.C. Heating & Air is located at 76 Beach City Road, Suite A, Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (888) 707-4071 or visit online at eacair.com.

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