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Moving Targets: Exposing the World of HVAC Scammers

Posted on January 05, 2017 by James Florence

With the many heating and air conditioning companies operating in the Bay Area, it’s natural to assume that some are better than others, with each possessing varying degrees of experience, organization, customer service and technological proficiency. However, when it comes to choosing an HVAC company, there’s more at stake than its level of skill or service: if you’re not careful, you could pick a fraudulent one. Like many service industries, the HVAC industry is rife with dishonest businesses out to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

Too outrageous to be true? Not according to Bryant Kearney, service manager at Moore Solar/Heating/Cooling, who is very familiar with the handiwork of these conniving companies. “Scams are a major problem in the HVAC industry,” he affirms. Read more

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Avoid Plumbing Emergencies over the Holidaze

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

I vividly remember one Christmas Eve when toilet water backed up into my shower and flooded the entire bathroom floor and laundry room. Our many houseguests were taking showers every day and both toilets were being flushed more than usual. What we didn’t know (until it was too late) was that our main sewer line was clogged with tree roots. With extra stress on an already compromised drainage system, it was a recipe for disaster. Since that expensive and embarrassing emergency, I’ve had a professional clean my drains every year to make sure the roots are cut and the water has an easy path to the main line. I haven’t had this problem since. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Savvy Tips
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Diamond Certified Experts: Mold Prevention and Remediation

Posted on December 06, 2016 by James Florence

Silent, it grows undetected. Hidden, it lurks beneath your floors and inside your walls. No, it’s not some alien from a science fiction movie—it’s mold! While less terrifying than an extraterrestrial invasion, mold is nonetheless a pervasive problem found in homes throughout the Bay Area. Due to its potentially serious health repercussions, combating mold requires a proactive approach, both in terms of prevention and dealing with it remedially. To shed some light on this important subject, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in with their professional knowledge of mold prevention and remediation. Read more

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts, Health Tips
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Keeping Your Dogs Safe over the Holidays

Posted on November 29, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

I’ll never forget the time I was walking my dog the day after Thanksgiving and she got into a neighbor’s garbage bag that was full of turkey bones. First she started chomping and then she started choking. Luckily, the mail carrier was passing by and knew exactly what to do: the Heimlich maneuver. The partially chewed and splintered bones popped right out. We avoided an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital on a holiday weekend.antioch-dog

According to Dr. Howard Schutzman, owner of Antioch Veterinary Hospital, a Diamond Certified practice, we were fortunate. “The main problem with bones, especially turkey bones and chicken bones, is they splinter easily,” he explains. Read more

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(Un)Paving Paradise with Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

by Jennifer Chan

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” -Joni Mitchell

Welcome to November: the start of shopping season. Whether your holidays include hot cider, tamale-making or Chinese food on Christmas, they probably also include spending. In 2015, the United States spent more than $630 billion on holiday shopping (about 20 percent of the retail industry’s total sales for the year). American shoppers spend around $900 on gifts alone every holiday season, plus more on food, entertainment and travel. Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Personal Stories
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Diamond Certified Experts: Keeping in the Heat

Posted on November 08, 2016 by James Florence

One of the biggest concerns during winter is maintaining a comfortable climate inside the home. However, if your home lacks sufficient insulation, this can get expensive. Heat is an expert escape artist, which means the more escape routes your home contains, the more money you’re going to spend replenishing what you lose. To address this, we’ve asked seven Diamond Certified Experts to give their advice on keeping in the heat during the winter months. Read more

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Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Diamond Certified Experts, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Five Ways to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Posted on November 01, 2016 by James Florence

From diminished visibility to slick pavement, there are several factors that make winter a more dangerous time of year to be on the road. To minimize the risks that come with driving in winter, consider the following tips:

1. Assess tire condition. Due to road slickness during the rainy season, it’s crucial that your vehicle’s tires are in good condition. You can assess the condition of your tires simply by looking at them: if the wear bars are flush with the tread, it’s time to change them. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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