From a TKP Sponsor: Hokie-Owned, Blue Ridge Heating and Air Conditioning

Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by Blue Ridge Heating and Air Conditioning.

Morning Hokies!

My name is Trent and I go by BlueRidge HooH8R on this fine website. I'm a long time reader, recent member of The Key Players Club, and owner/operator of a family-owned HVAC company called Blue Ridge Heating and Air Conditioning.

It's a true mom and pop shop, mom's on the phone and dad and I run calls. We have over 35 years of experience serving central and northern Virginia. On a given day, I may service a home in Alexandria, then out to Leesburg, and back down to Warrenton for a job before I head home to Reston.

Up until now, we relied on word of mouth to procure the majority of new business. People love us, talk about us, recommend us, and tell their friends and family to avoid calling any other HVAC company but us. We love hearing that when we go on a call to a new customer.

I love Virginia Tech, and the fantastic and supportive community of Hokie Nation. Hokies helping Hokies, is there anything better? With that in mind, it was a complete no-brainer to go ahead and take a chance with a sponsored post on my favorite website. All I hope to gain from this experience is perhaps a few new customers, a few new business contacts, and at the very least some new golf buddies (PGA Tour 2k21 or real life)!

We're offering 25% off a heating and AC checks for anyone who mentions they got our information from The Key Play. The normal service charge is $95 to come out and diagnose the system but for you all it's $70. If you're looking for stellar HVAC service from not only someone you can wholeheartedly trust, but chat about the Hokies too, then I'm your guy.

Until I roll up with my Virginia Tech tool bucket, I'm happy to answer any questions about HVAC anyone has. Thanks!

Trent / Blue Ridge Hoo H8r
Blue Ridge Heating and Air Conditioning
540-543-2702 (Madison/Culpeper/Orange/Warrenton/Rappahannock)
703-691-9653 (Fairfax/Arlington/Alexandria/Woodbridge/Chantilly/Herndon/Reston/Sterling/Leesburg/Ashburn etc. You get the idea.)

Comments

while I'm out of your area, I guarantee you that if I were in your footprint, I'd call you first. Hope this offer gets taken up on by fellow Hokies up your way and wish you the best of luck.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Came here to say the same. My furnace was having issues just as the weather broke. It was good timing in that I haven't had to deal with it for months, but I will have to bite the bullet sometime before the end of the year.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

What issues? Most furnaces have a sight glass where the LED flashes to give you an error code. Most furnace issues tend to be a broken ceramic ignitor so the burners don't light, corroded flame sensor so the flame doesn't stay on, dirty filter which heats up the system too much and activates the high limit switch to shut the system off, or clogged flue pipe where the exhaust isn't reaching outside.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

The unit will not kick on. Ours is gas-sourced and you will hear the gas kick on like it is heating up, but it fan won't kick on. It did that in the past and the guy replaced the control unit. Pretty bad if it lasted less than 3 years.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Yikes! That is bad. There is a way to bypass (Hotwire) that and have the fan run 24/7 (which is not a bad thing). I usually run into customers that think running the fan 24/7 will drive up their electric bill but you honestly probably wouldn't notice a difference. Tell most townhome owners to put the fan in the "on" position to help regulate temperature across all levels. But instead of a new $500+ control board I'd Hotwire that fan to just run 24/7 until you wanted to either fix it or get a new furnace depending on the age.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Out of area as in out of state or it wasn't mentioned on the list? I'm more than willing to go a bit further for service calls of people I know who are in need. Have gone to MD a handful of times. We have customers on Lake Anna. And I do have friends in Charlottesville that I will help out when I visit. Appreciate the response to the post regardless! Thank you!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

I wouldn't do that to you, Blue Ridge. I live in the appendix of the coast known as Mathews on the Middle Peninsula. Literally out of the way, on the way to nowhere but the Bay. I am close enough to Gloucester to have access to several companies, but the local guys who installed my heat pump have come through so far.
I would, however, be open to any suggestions if you happen to know of someone down this way you know and trust. I am not having any problems at this time, but it's only a matter of time, right?

Edit: I do have Hokie friends in Loudon and also in Fredricksburg. I'll pass the news along to them.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Yeah that's a bit out of the way haha. Don't know anyone in the area but if you like your guys and haven't had any problems that's always a good sign. And thank you very much! Appreciate it!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Well, I don't love 'em or anything, and they're old as dirt (coming from one who's not far behind), so I was just asking. What I do like about the locals is that they are pretty cheap to work with, but still pretty experienced as well. What I don't like about them is that they work on Mathews Time, a locally acknowledged phenomenon, meaning that they'll get there when they get there and there's no sense even griping about it. We have always been loyal to establishments that warrant it, from auto shop to home repair, and it would be nice to have that kind of confidence. Sounds like you guys are the real deal.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I love when someone calls with an AC problem and I'm out there 30 minutes later. Everyone always assumes they need to get put on the list for the next few days. Always makes me feel like a super hero on a 100 degree day haha

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Well, we all know that if the heat pump is going to fail, it'll either be the 4th of July weekend when it's 99 degrees or some freezing Friday night in January.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Funny you mention that. Put a system in last July 4th. We didn't throw our usual 4th party and didn't have anything to do.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Quick question: I've got a leak issue at my AC unit. Every couple of months during spring/summer I have to get it refilled with refrigerant due to what is likely a leak in the line somewhere underground. I also have water leak issues which isn't a big deal because it's in the garage and the slab slopes to the garage door, but I have had to blow out the condensate drain line many times. My question is, would you recommend I get this all fixed now, or is it worth dealing with it a bit longer before replacing everything in the future?

The first question would be if it is the old refrigerant (R-22/Freon) or the new refrigerant (R-410A/Puron). The old refrigerant is not being made anymore and whatever is in the US is all we will get. So prices have sky rocketed for R22 past 3-4 years. If you're getting charged up every few months with R22 it's time to replace immediately. If it's R410A I would look for the leak. The refrigerant leaves behind an oil residue wherever it leaks out of the lines. So I would look for anything shiny on the copper lines around the outdoor and indoor unit. We put a UV dye in the system and come back with a black light to find these leaks. 9/10 times it's in the indoor coil. In which case if it's R410A you'd only have to replace the coil and can leave the outside unit alone.

With regards to the condensate line it shouldn't be clogging up that quickly. We recommend if the drain has a cap you can remove to poor clorox down the lines every 6 months or so. If the drain is self contained with no access we would run a new one and make it so you just remove a cap and poor down the drain easy.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Thank you! This is very helpful. I remember looking up the refrigerant the last time I had someone out to refill it because it seemed expensive and I'm pretty certain it's R-22. So unfortunately for me this is bad news, but that's what I needed to know. I'll try the clorox when I get home. Thank you again! If Winston-Salem, NC becomes an area you service, I would love to use you.

Yes. With R22 it isn't cost effective anymore to look for the leak in the indoor or outdoor unit. It ends up as throwing away $300-500 that could be put towards a new system with a new warranty and everything.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Got any of that sweet sweet R22 left? I have a friend at work who hordes that stuff like its going out of style, I've known him to drive all the way to Ohio for some for his old units.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

I knew we should've hoarded jugs back in the day! Hah. We have a jug left. We keep thinking it'll be the last one we buy but with Covid the factories were shut down and equipment has been tough to get. So we try to keep our customers system going as long as possible until the new equipment is in for the replacement.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Just had a question pop into my head but can you salvage the old refrigerant from other older units still running R22? Would be a decent source of it if you could get the left over stuff when older units bite the dust.

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Yes. There are recovery machines that we use on old systems when we pump them down to recover the refrigerant. Has helped a decent amount the past couple years when prices for R22 were almost $1000 for a 25lb jug.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Caroline County? I have no needs right now but will be installing a mini split in the garage eventually, and I would love to think y'all could do it.

ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.

That is pretty far. It'd be too far for a service call but we do slow down in the winter to the point we probably would come out for an install. If it's a job like that we'd prob make the trip. We would just need a ton of pictures and things so we know what we're getting into before coming out. Definitely give us a call if you are looking to do that down the road!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Put your info in my phone and will hold onto it for the future, thanks!

Sounds good! Glad to hear it!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

This was perfect timing. I recently moved into a home in sterling and was looking at companies to get our system serviced before winter hits. I was just about to call the company whose name plate is on our air handler. I'll have to give you a call to schedule a time then.

Perfect! That's what I like to hear!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Christiansburg shop did my fireplace (Napoleon HDX40) a couple years ago. Have had a good relationship in the time prior to the install, and addressing things since.

And they have some sweet soapstone stoves in their showroom... I just don't have a place for one.

I live in a 120 year old house in Western PA with hot water baseboard heat. We are ready to add AC. Do you have any recommendations on how to do that? We have looked at ductless systems; and we even had one contractor suggest putting a full heating/cooling unit in the attic.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Central Air Conditioning is always the recommended option if you can get the ductwork installed easily enough. It would definitely depend on the type of house and the layout. A heat pump in the attic for a one story home would work. All really depends on the house. Ductless we usually suggest if there is no other option.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

I was really hoping you would say that you really like one of the ductless brands and it has worked well for you. The bottom line is there is no really good way to get AC to every room at any reasonable price. It is a 120 year old two story wood frame house. So the heat pump in the attic with ducts through a closet to most of the lower level was an option one contractor suggested. We will probably end up with most of the house air conditioned and hope enough cool air circulates to the other rooms to make them livable in the summer.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

How many rooms? What's the layout? We love the ductless systems. Pretty much all of them. We can install them easily enough but servicing them is a different story. So many electronics it's insane. So we tend to install them and if something besides pressure problems comes up have them call company's that actually work on them. That being said we've never actually run into any problems with them. They all work great. We just installed 7 indoor wall mounted units and 2 outdoor units for a house my sister just flipped. Old farmhouse. Two stories. Ductwork wouldn't have worked. Works like a charm. Next time I visit the GF's fam in PA maybe I'll swing by haha

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Kitchen, dining room, large living room(15x25), study and powder room downstairs. Upstairs 2 bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room and master suite with walk-in closet and 3/4 bath. No attic over the master bedroom, which complicates things. Master bed is over the kitchen, other bedrooms are over living room and study. Laundry is over the dining room.

We are so far west, we're almost in Ohio; but would be great to get an independent opinion. I'll cook steaks and provide adult beverages.

Wife wants to add on to the kitchen and master suite while we are doing this. Pretty sure we don't have enough money for everything she wants to do.

Glad to hear the good words about ductless; since I think that is where we will land.

Thanks for your input.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Sounds like it would be a lot of indoor units but also sounds like the only option. I'd imagine the master is one of the most important rooms and if there is no attic access overtop the conventional system wouldn't work out. If the kitchen/dining/living room are all open together one big indoor unit could service those areas. And then one for the study. We don't install any of these in bathrooms or laundry rooms. It's just too expensive for such a room. And then one each in the bedrooms and master. So without seeing everything I would guess you could probably get away with 5 indoor units and depending on layout again possibly even 1 big outdoor unit that they all run to. Just my thoughts.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

I'm down in Hampton Roads and dreading the inevitable replacement of my furnace pack and heat pump (1st and 2nd floors, respectively). Thanks for sponsoring TKP and if my family in NOVA ask for a recommendation, I'll definitely give them your name.

Click here to destroy wall.

Thank you! Much appreciated!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Do you guys have experience with combined (heat and cool) hydronic air handler systems?

We've replaced a few of those in condos/apartment buildings. Honestly haven't had to work on them. They were really old and the customer just wanted them replaced so that's what we did. Is that the type of system you have?

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Yes. Every unit in my condo building in Arlington has one (image below, most units have a tank water heater). I've noticed on the community forum that people are starting to replace them (I assume both the air handler and the condenser on the roof). The existing air handler units are wall mounted and very loud. Anyone who can come up with a quiet system could probably get a lot of business over the next 5 years or so.

Definitely will look into that! Thank you!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Sure thing, let me know if you want any more details

Thanks for taking time to answer questions here. My house has an (old) oil heat furnace and central ac unit, sharing an air duct system. As far as I know there isn't a natural gas line anywhere nearby. I've been starting to read about air source heat pumps, do you see people retrofitting these systems for heat and cooling using the existing ducts? I've seen the individual room units, I'm thinking more of one central unit using forced air for the whole house.

Yes. We've done a few of those type of change outs. We just use the same ductwork. Getting rid of the oil furnace is the toughest part just because of the mess. But we have replaced those with a heat pump system. It usually depends on if you're on propane or natural gas what we decide to do. Dual fuel systems aren't uncommon but usually more so with propane than natural gas. But the heat pumps they're making today as opposed to 20 some years ago are great. Work well even at temps around 30 degrees and below.

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has reached out! It isn't over and done with but it's been a great experience so far. Love TKP and VT and I'm glad I got to help out however I could. I hope people remember this post and continue to reach out either through the post or through our company. I'll be here if/whenever you all have any questions. Whether I can talk you through something or give some advice it doesn't matter to me. Just want to help out! Have a good weekend Hokies!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Nice to know we have an expert when questions arise, which they inevitably will. '
Thanks!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I can vouch for these guys. Do quality work, and good customer service.

Well that's awesome! Didn't realize we already had customers who read TKP! Thank you!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.

Ya'll installed hubs and my new heat pump and indoor unit back in June and we are 10/10 satisfied. Work was done quickly and professionally without a hitch. Thanks so much!

That's amazing! Again I didn't realize we had a few Key Play customers already on board! Thanks for the kind words!

Jack Bauer fears no one. Except Xavier Adibi.