Category: Press

Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, talks with ABC15 about some easy ways to save energy at home.

  • This segment touches on topics like:
  • Turning down the temperature on your water heater
  • Using a programmable thermostat
  • Changing the filter for your air conditioning unit
  • Changing out light bulbs to the newer CFLs
  • Considering air purification systems
  • Upgrading your pool pump

KNXV-PHX (ABC)
Aired: 3/25/2017 9:49:21 AM

 

Home systems in need of TLC?

Do you need help maintaining, repairing or upgrading your home systems? We can help beyond home warranty too!

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It’s safe to say — no homeowner wants their AC to give out smack dab in the midst of the summer here in Phoenix. While that may not be something you can control, there are a few ways to know if your AC is about to fail.

Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, caught up with NBC to talk about some key signs that your AC is about to give out. *Spoiler* — if your AC unit is continuously running, never reaching a set point or sounding strange, you may have a problem on your hands. Check out the full segment for the scoop…

 

 

KPNX-PHX (NBC)

5/14/2018 5:16:09 PM

Having problems with your AC unit?

You can request service here…

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Fall is setting in, and we recently caught up with The List to talk home maintenance. This segment covers three top items that often need attention come autumn.
1.  Gutters and downspouts – How dry leaves can plug up your downspouts, posing a fire danger or creating flooding issues and what you can do to prevent problems.

2. Washer and dryer – How summer’s heat can encourage mold growth in your washer and how properly cleaning both your washer and dryer can help you prep for fall.

3. Oven – How a dirty door seal and grease build up can impact your oven’s performance and how to best clean it.

Featuring:

Steve Higgins, VP of Field Services, Platinum Home Warranty

Need help with home maintenance? We can help! Just give us a call at 602.733.5000, and ask for our retail division.

Aired: 09/05/2017 04:30:18 PM

Full Transcript:

Jared Cotter: These lazy late summer days may be easy on us but can be super hard on your home. Happily, we’ve got a few simple ways to fix up your home for fall without walloping your wallet. All on the top of our list.
As much as we’d like to, we can’t put our homes on autopilot. Our friends at Platinum Home Warranty show us three things that need your attention come autumn. Number one thing, the gutters and down spouts. David, why is the fall season so hard on gutters?

David Tolsdorf: The leaves are changing, drying, falling, hitting the roof, going into the gutters. The dry leaves will plug up your gutters and down spouts. It’s a huge fire danger.

Jared: Even in cool fall weather, sunlight on metal gutters can spark dry leaves.

David: Not only can it clog up the gutters, it can clog up your downspouts and not allow them to do their job.

Jared: The means rainwaters can’t drain and before you know it, a flood in the house. What can we do to prevent it?

David: For a couple hundred dollars for your entire home, there are gutter guards. The debris will fall on here and won’t go into the gutter itself.

Jared: Next, the washing machine and dryer.

Steve: Because of the heat, in the laundry room, causes a lot of these mold and mildew spores to start growing around the room of the washing machines. That is mold.

Jared: Summer’s heat caused more mold to collect, so give it a good clean for the fall.

Steve: Use anything, any kind of a cleaner. Anything but your fingers.

Jared: What about the dryer?

Steve: The dryer, simple stuff. The lint trap on here everybody is aware of, but not everybody cleans like they should. And if you don’t keep this clean and a lot of this plugs up, not only will the dryer use a lot more electricity, but it also creates a fire hazard with that lint going outside. A little spark will ignite a lot of stuff on that roof.

Jared: And our final fall home hazard, the oven.

Steve: Okay, so we’re inarguably the most important room in the house, the kitchen. Going into baking season. A lot of people neglect the oven. The door seal gets a lot of grime and stuff on it, causes it to get crusty and prevents it from making the proper seal.

Jared: That means an inefficient oven and a higher electric bill.

Steve: If grease allowed to stay on there at 400 degrees, it will melt a hole in the elements. you’ll see it catch on fire.

Jared: Steve says to clean after each baking while the oven is still warm. Falling for autumn home maintenance on the top of the list.


School may be back in session, but the summer season is still in full force. While temperatures are still toasty, how can you save energy and money? This segment tackles that question and more. Earlier this year, Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, walked 3TV through questions like:

– How can a programmable thermostat help you save energy?

– Why should you consider using cheaper, thinner AC filters?

– Why do you need to clean the coils on your heating and cooling system?

– What does SEER refer to?

– How can fans help you with cooling and energy savings in your home?
 
KTVK-PHX

Aired: 4/9/2017 7:36:47 AM


Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, walks AZTV through some basics to keep your pool in top shape.
This segment touches on questions like:

  • What are some of the best tools to keep the pool clean of debris?
  • Why is it important to stay on top of chemicals?
  • What does a home warranty cover when it comes to a pool system?
  • What options do I have as far as a pool pump?

AZ-TV 7 Cable 13

Aired: 3/30/2017 8:40:33 AM

Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, discusses pool care with CBS 5 just in time for the summer season.

This segment touches on topics like:

  • How Phoenix’s extreme heat summer heat taxes your pool and impacts chemical performance
  • The importance of staying on top of cleaning and debris removal, especially during monsoon season
  • The negative impacts of older pool pumps — uses more electricity, can cause leaks and tax pipes and filters
  • Why investing in a newer pump that runs at a lower speed (typically about $500-800) is a worthwhile investment to consider

If you’re thinking about upgrading your pool pump, be sure to reach out! We’d love to help you explore your options and get the best value for your needs. Contact us here or call 602.733.5000.

All About Thermostats: 3TV Segment
Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Operations, walks through some basics on thermostats and HVAC units with 3TV.
This segment touches on questions like:

  • What are the different types of thermostats available these days? (builder standard, programmable, wi-fi enabled, LED)
  • Which types of thermostats can save you money, and how?
  • What’s the best way to program your thermostat?
  • How can you get your HVAC system ready for the season?

Aired: 3/13/2017 9:33AM

Need help getting your HVAC system ready for the warm weather? We’re here to help! We offer pre-season checkups, HVAC system upgrades and home warranties to keep you covered.

To learn more about how we can help you, just reach out! 602.733.5000.

It may not the most glamorous of tasks but cleaning your appliances is still a worthwhile endeavor. Routine home maintenance can mean the difference between spending a few dollars on preventative measures to thousands of dollars in costly repairs if something breaks. Steve Higgins, our VP of Field Services, shows us simple tasks that you can do at home to keep your appliances in shape.

Show Transcript
3TV
KTVK 01/24/2017 09:55:57 AM

Lina: Good morning! I have to confess to you — you said that this sounds boring. No. I’m telling you — it is the most exciting thing I have seen in an age. We’re going to get to that part in a second, but I want to introduce you to Steve Higgins with Platinum Home Warranty. You have some amazing tricks for us. Scott was saying he had no idea we are supposed to clean our appliances… I mean, he’s a guy. We know that we’re cleaning the inside of the refrigerator, right? We’re cleaning the front of it, but you’re saying there’s something else we need to pay attention to.

Steve: The seals around here need to be cleaned, probably twice a year. Just get all the gunk so it makes a good seal around here. So, clean both that and the inside here.

Lina: And that’s going to keep us from…

Steve: Losing energy, right. The unit will just run more and more. And a lot of people don’t know that half full or full refrigerator is better than an empty refrigerator. Empty uses more electricity than half full or full refrigerator.

Lina: Cha-ching. We’re already saving you some money. And, you should also do that with your dishwasher seal as well. We’re going to save you more money when it comes to the air filters. So, you probably think — you know what — I’m going to spend a little more. Get a better air filter. That is not what we want to do.

Steve: It’s not the case. No. We want to actually let it breathe. So these cheap filters that are sold in the big box stores. Change them once a month. They’re actually better for the utility consumption, than it is for these heavier ones.

Lina: Right, because all the air is going to push through this, and that’s going to take more energy.

Steve: Correct. The motor runs faster, runs harder to get the air through the filter.

Lina: Okay, so cheaper filters.

Steve: Right. Or you can use the one you can wash out. You cut it to fit, then pull it out when it’s dirty, and wash it off, let it try, put it back in.

Lina: And no matter which one you use though, we should be doing that once a month. One of my friends said — you know whenever you make your mortgage payment, do it then. Right? So you keep on schedule. Here’s the most exciting thing. And it doesn’t sound exciting, but we’re talking about cleaning out your garbage disposal and your drain.

Steve: Correct. When you get that smell in the house, just take time — you can use the home remedy one, which is a little lemon, the ice and the baking soda. Chop it up. Run it with warm water, and flush it down the disposal. Or, the big box stores sell these packs of ten. You can take the little orange ball. Just throw it in there. Let it run with hot water, and it will take the smell out too.

Lina: So, we’ve got a little less than a minute left, so let’s show the garbage disposal.

Steve: The disposal — when it clogs, it clogs because of the disk. There’s stuff jammed on the side. The tool that everybody thought the plumber left is really just to unclog this disposal. You can see how you can turn it and unclog it manually.

Lina: Easy and cheap. But guys, I have to tell you this — so at the box stores, this sucker right here — the pipethon is three bucks. This is what you use to get all of the dirty, nasty, gunky hair out of your drain, and it comes with a little bag — a disgusting bag we’re calling it — so that you don’t have to touch all the gunk. You guys. Thank you so much. We gotta go get these after the show. Alright guys, I’m going to send it back to you.

Check out our AZTV segment, featuring easy tips to keep your systems and appliances running smoothly.

 

AZ TV Cable 13 KAZT 01/17/2017 08:36:02 AM

Catherine: We always like giving you some great tips on how to save money. Right now, it’s all about things you can do right now to keep your home appliances from breaking… of course, costing you money. Steve Higgins is with Platinum Home Warranty. He is an expert. We’re talking about specifically if people don’t have a home warranty, there are some things that they should be doing to prevent their appliances from breaking and obviously having to shell out a lot of money. Simple fixes they can make to their appliances on their own. Walk me through some.

Steve: Let’s start with the refrigerator. A lot of people don’t — aren’t aware they have to clean the door seals annually. Baking soda and warm water around the door seals helps. You don’t want leaking, and refrigerators are designed for max mass, which means full or nearly full. So an empty refrigerator uses a lot more electricity than, say — some people say put jugs of water in. It helps with the rush of warm air as you open the refrigerator.

Catherine: If you are not doing these little things we are going to walk through, how much is it going to cost you annually on average?

Steve: To run a refrigerator? It’s about $200-300.

Catherine: You add that up with various appliances, that’s a lot of money.

Steve: That is true. All combined is a huge electric bill.

Catherine: Walk me through some of this.

Steve: Hot water tank. You should flush that annually. This is an example. Arizona has some of the hardest water out there, and so the calcium builds up. This is a temperature probe that is in the hot walker tank. When this gets coated with calcium, you can see it’s plugged completely.

Catherine: And those are expensive.

Steve: They are very expensive. This will take your hot water tank from going from 3 years to 10 years to 12 years.

Catherine: How should you flush it?

Steve: There is little knob on the base of the hot water tank. Hook up your garden hose. Do it two or three times, and then fill your tank back up.

Catherine: That’s it?

Steve: That’s it.

Catherine: What else?

Steve: There are little things you can do on unclogging the drain. This is something you can buy off the shelf from the big box stores. It’s a simple little plastic ribbed strip of plastic here. You put it down the drain. It goes down to the p trap and pulls the hair and debris. Stuff you can do on your own without having to call a plumber.

Catherine: And, they are expensive these days.

Steve: They are. Your garbage disposal — a lot of people think the plumber left behind a tool. What happens is the disk inside, it’s a plate with some teeth that climb around in here. Well, every once in awhile something will get wedged on the side of this disk, and it becomes inoperable. This thing is designed on the bottom, you just stick it in there and turn it to unclog. There you go. Unclog the thing. A lot of times if it’s a bone or something that’s got in there, this will unclog it, take it out, start it again, everything works fine.

Catherine: You like these, too. I use something similar.

Steve: I like these. We talked about the beads. Anything. They make a concoction or something online that says you can chop up lemons and ice cubes and baking soda, or you can buy these for $3-4, and there is a pack of 10. Put it in there as it’s running with warm water. Takes all the smell out of it. Cleans it all up.

Catherine: Great idea. I love what you have to say about the vents. The cheaper the better.

Steve: Everybody asks the same thing when we go out — how often do I replace the filter? The best filter is the one you can see through easily. Replace it once a month. You can get these in the big box stores for like $6 or $3. A lot of people have allergies, and so they’re talked into buying the big thick ones. Restricts the airflow. What I have to say is, because the analogy is the same when you put your hand over the vacuum cleaner to clean it, the motor speeds up. Well, the motor speeds up because it’s using more electricity to speed up. Same with your air conditioner. You are restricting that airflow. The motor is running faster and you are using more electricity.

Catherine: Who knew. Great advice.

Steve: Or you can get a washable one like these.

Catherine: That’s a great idea, too. If people do need to get a home warranty, what is the cost savings when you talk about a home warranty? Why is that so important? And how does it work.

Steve: It’s substantial. Basically you have an annual fee. It’s good for 12 months. You have a service fee that usually runs from $50 to $75 to $85 per call. Our call we handle up to two items for the same thing. If you have two toilets that are messed up, we do them both. Just do your research. A lot of the home warranties, the national home warranties, hire people that aren’t licensed — or whoever they can get to hire — to get to the call. We have our own techs in house.

Catherine: That’s key.

Steve: It’s key.

Catherine: platinumhw.com is where you can go for more information. Thank you, Steve. Good to have you here. When we come back, we will talk about investing in precious metals. More “Arizona Daily Mix” coming your way next.