Procrastinators Beware (But You’ll Probably Put Off Reading This Until It’s Too Late)

How about that crazy weather Mother Nature threw at us last week? In true Pennsylvania fashion, we went from shivering in our boots to sweating in no time flat, and then right back down again. Personally, I’m thinking it’s Groundhog’s Revenge for someone threatening a lawsuit against poor old Phil in Punxatawny.

We know lots of people turned on their air conditioners over those couple of hot days, and we’re here to give them a pat on the back for being smart cookies. If you toughed it out thinking it was too early to run your air conditioner, you missed out on more than a few hours of sweet relief! Typically, the first heat wave of the year is a crazy time here at Oliver. Our phones ring off the hook from beginning to end with people who need us to get their homes cooled off and back to normal. We’re happy to help of course, but what a lot of people calling on those days don’t realize is that they missed some golden opportunities to avoid the rush.

Running your air conditioner now can give you an early warning of problems that may have developed over the winter. Don’t remember hearing that strange noise? Call Oliver. Thermostat not reaching the temperature you think it should? Call Oliver. And when you find these things out in April instead of late June, you’ll spend a lot less time on the phone and anxiously waiting for a tech to arrive – we get them there as soon as we can, but we know it can feel like forever if you’re having a problem!

Don’t worry folks, it isn’t too late to be a smart cookie! Temperatures will be heading back up into the 70’s this week, a perfect opportunity to test out your air conditioner without the pressure of a massive heat wave headed our way. Hopefully, everything will work great! But if not, you can get it taken care of now and just think how good that will feel when you see the repair trucks rolling down the street to your less prepared neighbors’ homes in a few months!

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Hot Seats, Airplanes, and….Your Office?

We’ve all been there – you know that the air conditioning or heating system is running, and the thermostat says it’s reached the set temperature, but from where you’re sitting you might as well be in the middle of the Sahara or the Arctic for all the good it’s doing you. If this instantly brings to mind your office, or the face of someone who is always complaining about this in their office, today’s newsletter is dedicated to you.

One of my favorite parts of this job is getting the opportunity to go into other places of business and seeing what makes them special. About 20 years ago, I was invited to a heating and air conditioning shop in Absecon New Jersey to talk about air balancing. I met with the owner to go over a job and as we talked I could tell how proud he was of what he had done as a businessman. He was the person who invented the Hot Seat that you see on any NFL sideline in cold outdoor stadiums across the entire United States. I visited him at time when he was in the midst of developing the Cool Seat, but unfortunately that product didn’t find the same success as the Hot Seat.

While we talked about his invention and his new venture, this gentlemen said something that has stuck in my mind forever. “It’s a proven fact that if you trick your mind into feeling comfortable, hot, or cold then the rest of your body will follow that feeling.” That’s why airplanes all have those nozzles above your head to make your brain dictate whether you are feeling hot or cold.

Now I know you’re thinking: “Cool story, Matt, but what does this have to do with my building?” When you are talking about taking care of people and temperature, the way you distribute the air throughout the space is important. If you are going to spend money and energy putting the air through the ductwork it’s critical to make sure that air is getting down to the person at the right height at the right time. Doing this will take care of a lot of the comfort problems in your offices, common spaces, etc. This is the final product of the unit, and one of the most important parts of your HVAC system.

If you are not sure whether you are distributing your air properly, an Oliver account technician can let you know. Or you can always call me at 610-633-5372.

Thank you for entrusting Oliver Mechanical for all of your commercial mechanical needs. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or comments.


Matt Williamson, Energy Specialist

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8 Ways to Find Philly Green Events – Where Can I Weds?

As the weather gets nicer (hopefully, anyway!), you may be looking for new ways to get out and enjoy the spring and summer. We came across this handy list of 8 ways to find out what’s going on around town with the green thinkers. Enjoy!

8 Ways to Find Philly Green Events – Where Can I Weds?.

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Happy first day of spring!

Hooray for Spring! Even though Winter seems to be hanging on by its fingernails, we know it’s only a matter of time until the warm weather arrives. What are you looking forward to most for this spring and summer? Here are a few of our highlights:

  • Baseball! We were happy to see the 4-1 win over the Yankees yesterday, hopefully this will be a good year – there HAS to be a good sports season coming our way, right?!
  • Playing outside! The hikers, bikers, kayakers, and other outdoor enthusiasts at Oliver are chomping at the bit to get out and play on a regular basis. What’s your favorite outdoor activity for spring and summer?
  • Fresh food! There are a lot of farmers’ markets in our area, doesn’t your mouth just start watering thinking about all those fresh fruits and veggies that are on their way to the stands and our tables?

Of course, there are lots of things to do at home to get ready for Spring. Hopefully you remembered to change your smoke detector and CO alarm batteries at Daylight Savings Time, but if not, this is your reminder! It’s also time to schedule your cooling tune-up. If you haven’t had your plumbing and electrical systems inspected in over a year, now’s a great time to schedule that too – just call one of our friendly representatives at 484-477-0461 and they will get you taken care of!

Happy Spring everyone!


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2012 Tax News: IRS Now Accepting Energy Tax Credit Forms

Once again, we’d like to thank the hardworking staff of Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), for bringing us the latest news and information about government issues and announcements that affect homeowners and the energy industry. Please take a moment to read this blog post by Charlie McCrudden, the ACCA VP for Government Relations, which details the IRS’ announcement that they are now accepting returns claiming the Energy Tax Credit for homeowners who purchased high efficiency heating, cooling, or hot water systems in 2012. The original post contains links to forms you will need when filing for this credit.

IRS Now Accepting 2012 Tax Forms Claiming Energy Tax Credit

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Guest Blogger – Home Is Where the Health Is: Dust Mites and Your Health

Thanks to our friends at Thompson for putting together this great piece on dust mites!


While they are too small to detect with the naked eye, dust mites can cause big health problems for people with asthma or allergies. These microscopic creatures thrive in warm, humid environments where there are dead skin cells from people and animals to feed on – in other words, they thrive in many ordinary households. In particular, they like bedroom carpeting and household upholstery. As many as 40,000 dust mites can thrive in one ounce of dust, with each releasing about 20 fecal pellets per day.

So what’s the big deal? Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. Exposure to dust mites and their waste products can trigger asthma attacks and allergy symptoms in people with these conditions. According to the Alliance for Healthy Homes, exposure to dust mites in childhood may even cause certain children to develop asthma.

Dust mite levels often go down in the winter when humidity levels drop; however, many people with breathing problems use humidifiers in the winter, which can make humidity levels even higher than they are in the summer, thus worsening their dust mite and related health problems. Of course, too-low humidity levels can cause breathing problems as well. Indoor humidity levels should ideally be between 35 and 50 percent for optimal air quality and protection from mites.

Some things you can do around the house to get rid of dust mites include weekly hot-water laundering of bedding, covering mattresses and pillows with allergen-resistant covers, and regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets. In humid environments, it may be especially difficult to get rid of dust mites.

While doing things like laundering bedding frequently can help reduce dust mites, if anyone in your household suffers from allergies or breathing problems, a whole-house air filtration system is the best way to zap dust mites, as well as other allergenic particles, toxic compounds, and infectious agents that your family’s air supply may be harboring. Air filtration services can also be used to provide optimal indoor humidity levels.


This post written by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling. Check out more posts from the Thompson Home Is Where The Health Is blog here!

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Congratulations to Safety Sean!

passedYou’ve probably noticed that our friend Safety Sean has been pretty quiet on the blog lately. Never fear, he will have plenty of tips and updates to share with us throughout 2013! He’s been a little busy lately with a new project: becoming a certified Air & Water Balancer!

So congratulations to Sean for completing his coursework and passing all of the required field tests to earn this prestigious certification from the National Balancing Council! Sean is now our second certified Air & Water Balancer on the Oliver staff, along with Matt Williamson who brings us those great updates about energy conservation and innovations for our commercial customers. We’re very proud of Sean for this accomplishment, and excited about the expanded opportunity to help our commercial and industrial customers achieve greater comfort and efficiency in their work places. To learn more about how Sean, Matt, and their expert support teams can help you meet these goals, give us a call at 484-477-0461.

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FAQ: Why do parts for my heater (or A/C) cost so much?

Do you have a question for our experts about how your home comfort systems work or about an experience you’ve had with Oliver? We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment or email your question to (please use subject line “Ask the Expert”).


There are lots of questions that we answer frequently, and we often publish the answers in our newsletters to help other customers who may have a similar question or issue. Today’s topic is one that we address regularly, and we hope that this information is helpful to you in what can be a very stressful situation!

Q: I had a technician out to my house to repair a problem with my heating(/cooling) system. They diagnosed a bad part and quoted me a price to repair it. I did some research online and found out that I could buy the part for much less than the technician quoted! I don’t think this is fair, why should I pay so much extra to get my equipment fixed?

A: This is a great question, and many customers feel the same way – they need to have their heating or cooling systems back online as quickly as possible, but are justifiably wary about paying more than necessary to get the job done. No one wants to be taken advantage of in their time of need, and no reputable contractor large or small is looking to jeopardize relationships with customers by doing this.

So if it’s not a big profit scheme, why ARE parts so expensive? The simplest answer is that the cost of any given part is only a fraction of the costs involved with installing a part. Oliver uses a flat rate system that also takes into account the vehicle, gasoline, maintenance, tools, and materials necessary for our technicians to provide service at your home. In addition to these aspects of the call that you see, we also must account for the professional contributions of our customer service representatives, dispatchers, parts coordinators, and accountants that handle each call as well as the overhead costs of the office building. All parts that we install come with a 2-year part and labor warranty, and we offer 24/7 emergency service with no overtime rates. We do operate on a profit, which is a necessary part of staying in business, but the profits that we earn are a very small portion of the flat rate price.

Today’s Experts: Parts Manager Dottie Haggerty & Residential Service Manager Bill McVean

We are always happy to discuss questions and concerns about individual situations, and we hope that this information is helpful to you!

Do you have another question for our experts? Email it to using subject line: “Ask the Expert”

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Gearing up for spring

We would like to thank everyone for their expressions of sympathy over the past few weeks, it means a lot to the Oliver family to hear so many people express their support in their time of loss.

We have been keeping very busy here at Oliver getting ready for spring and some exciting new opportunities. Summer 2013 will be our first season “down the shore” and we’re getting ready for the sun and sand. Our plumbing department will be introducing new services designed to improve the quality of water in your home – imagine getting bottle quality water from your taps for pennies a gallon! The electrical department is ready to help you plan for summer storms with whole home surge protection and generators.

And of course there will be more contests! I can’t tell you the details yet, but I can tell you to keep your eyes peeled because there’s a really good one coming up soon – I’m actually jealous of the winner already!

– Shanna

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With Deepest Sorrow

With deepest sorrow, we are writing to inform you that Beverly Oliver, the beloved wife of 55 years of our founder Joe, has passed away. The Oliver family has provided the following statements, and thanks you all for your prayers of support in this very difficult time.

********************************************************Bev Oliver

Dear Friends,

Last evening, about 9pm, my wife of 55 years, Beverly, passed peacefully in her sleep. We thank you for all your prayers and support during Bev’s more than 4 year battle with cancer. It is tremendously comforting to know that our family and friends were always there to encourage and lift us up in prayer during this difficult time.

Together we will mourn the loss of a loving wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. We will miss Bev’s loving, caring, compassionate, friendly and tender-hearted spirit that we have shared over the years. However, we can join together and celebrate the knowledge that Bev has gone home to be with her Lord and Savior in God’s kingdom.

May God continue to bless you and your family.

Joe Oliver

Additional Information Provided By The Oliver Family:

In 1971, Beverly co-founded Oliver Heating & Cooling with her husband, Joseph. She enjoyed traveling with family and spending time with her grandchildren. Beverly had a passion for music, played the trombone in the high school band, and represented her school in the state-wide chorus. She was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish and led the music ministry at the prayer group there for 20 years.

She is survived by her husband, Deacon Joseph M. Oliver and sons: Thomas (Maureen), Reverend James, David (Theresa), Robert (Amy), John and William (Alecia) Oliver; 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother, Karl (Katherine) Pearsons of California and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers: contributions may be made to Our Lady of Angels Regional Catholic School, 2130 Franklin Avenue, Morton, PA 19070.

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