Tuesday, July 31, 2012

They Are All The Same Right?

So I am at the gas station filling up at the gas station as I do frequently, and a gentleman gives me an engaging smile and says "I've been thinking about Solar......They are all the same right?" Being that I was in my unmarked personal vehicle, the first thought in my mind was how in the heck did he know I was involved in solar? Duhh...I'm wearing my Energy House Solar shirt! I returned the smile with a cliff hanging...."absolutely not....." He then gave me the tell me more "yeah?"

I started off with the analogy, most guys remember the first time they began to shop for a ring for their significant other and they thought they are on the right track until an experienced mind stops or "saves" you. They sit you down and explain that all diamonds are not created equal. This same analogy applies to Solar. Most of the industry is using inexpensive Asian manufactured panels rated at 14% efficiency. We use Sunpower Solar the worlds most powerful solar. Not to mention most Sunpower panel efficiency ratings start at 19%.  This means we can use less panels to do the same job as a competitor. Sunpower solar holds over 120 patents, last longer than other panels, and is simply a better built panel. They are a global company, but many folks are happy to hear there is US manufacturing of the panels in our very own Silicon Valley.

There are many ways to go solar and with Sunpower all of them are consumer friendly options. However the most popular is the Zero down leasing option. It's an easy way to go solar with no money out of pocket. It also addresses the many concerns consumers have about leasing with consumer friendly solutions.

Our short conversation left the gentleman wanting more info, so we exchanged info, shook hands and set up a time for him to see how Sunpower can harness the power of the sun to start saving..

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I'm A Little Stressed

"I'm a little stressed".......This is what your pool is telling you through our current heat spell. Think about the reality of what your pool is saying....it's over 100 degrees, and chlorine is leaving your pool with the quickness, couple this with a lot of pool activity....and yeah I think I understand.

On a hot day chlorine leaves your pool at a faster rate than normal. As a matter of fact, the sun is the arch enemy of chlorine. This is why we have you add cyanuric acid which also goes by the name of stabilizer. As long as your CYA or stabilizer level is over 40 you are good. A good analogy is stabilizer is like sunglasses for the chlorine in your pool. Most chlorine has stabilizer in it so unless it's a fresh fill on your pool chances are you are just fine.

Pool activity also uses chlorine at a faster rate. During times of elevated temps or heat waves, pools generally get more usage. And with more usage this puts stress on the chlorine's ability to sanitize and thusly more chlorine is used. To combat this inevitability I highly recommend a higher dose of chlorine during this period.

So, since your pool can't actually tell you what's going on verbally, it's going to "sign" you. Here are the signs....cloudy water, high rate of chlorine usage, slightly green tinged and cloudy,  and a possible slight odor. One way or another, you will get a sign. Listen and react without haste because this is also know as a pre-algae condition. Once you get algae, the remedy can be expensive so prevention is the best policy. Any questions regarding this or any other pool or spa chemistry issue, give us a call 559.432.1500.

See ya soon..

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Main Face Behind the Brand

Steve Combs

There it is folks, the main face behind the brand that is The Energy House. Steve Combs the owner of The Energy House has been a major specialty retailer since 1984. Few have gained his level of success, yet when he shares his recipe for success there are only a few ingredients. "It's simple..top quality products, treat your staff with respect, a fair wage and they become long term to both their, and your business success....own your business and inventory, and re-invest back into your customers and business yearly.....  Plus after a consumer becomes a customer, I want to position the business to always be there for them long term"

Sound easy? Well let us as his staff tell you, it's not easy. It takes hard work and dedication from every department. There are hiccups at times, and no we are not perfect but work hard together to make the customer experience at The Energy House one worthy of a recommendation. For this reason we are a six time consecutive Peoples Choice Awards Winner. Multi-time Dealer Of The Year award winner in our product categories, and receive praise from our customer base on a regular basis. If it's not right we will work hard to make it right.

It does make the job easier when your offerings are of the highest quality. Mr. Combs says "it helps us all sleep better at knowing we sold the highest quality product, plus I just feel good about it." This also makes it easy on staff because they sell with confidence. From a warranty perspective it also makes service easy. "A more reliable product, backed by industry respected manufactures makes good sense to me" says Mr. Combs.

"When it comes to the customer experience, I want to know I did all I could do to make their decision the right one, especially when it comes down to who they chose to do business with..." It is not uncommon for Mr. Combs, or staff to ask why they chose to purchase a particular product...and why from The Energy House? Not a common practice in today's retail. This is asked to find out, offer, and give consumers what they want.

......And finally, that smiling face you see goes for miles, motivates both customers and employees, and is easy to wear when you work hard at you craft and it rewards you with the affirmation that what you are doing is working. He is not always available on site to say "Hi." He  also knows you have many options and choices as a consumer.  But when he is on site, he absolutely loves to interact and......personally thank you for choosing the Energy House.

See ya soon

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pool Parties

With graduation's around the corner, and consistently nice weather in sight pool parties are about to be in full swing. Through years of assistance in this area, I felt this was a good time to address ways to help pool owners look like their pools should be featured in a magazine brimming with brilliance.

Now, before I start on this journey I want  to make one important statement....if your party is on Saturday don't start working on your pool on Friday! Although I risk sounding like Mr. Obvious, you would be surprised at the number of folks who do just what I described. Show quality pool water takes time, time for adjustments, and time to react. So, if your party is in fact on Saturday, start working on your pool on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The first step is to make sure your pool water is balanced. We can help you with this with our free computerized water testing. Balancing is an important first step as it allows the other processes to work at their optimal potential. Secondly shock the pool to oxidize and clean-up any organics and undesirable compounds in the water. Shocking also adds a quick boost of chlorine to the water. At this time make sure your chlorine source is added to the water. You now have a couple of days to "play around" with the water and make any necessary adjustments. There are times when it takes 24hrs for an adjustment to take place, so by starting early you have plenty of time. The last step is to "polish" the water. I typically do not use clarifies, however if there is a party I want the pool to look it's sparkling best. This application of clarifier will have your pool as clear as an aquarium. More is not better when using clarifiers....trust me for now I will explain later.

Finally make sure you are running the pool 8hrs per day during this process. Some folks like to turn the pump off during the party, I like to keep it on as the pool is under a lot of stress during the party.

So there you go.....follow these tips and your pool will give you all the pleasure of a perfect pool party.

Chat with you later....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spa Owners-Care made easy!

In 15 years of assisting customers with spa water care I can't tell you how many times I was asked "Is there just one thing I can add that will do everything?" Well, the answer has always been "no", however there are some innovations on the market that get us pretty darn close.

The fist product is a natural product by ecoOne called Spa Monthly. This is an awesome product for those challenged with keeping their spa sparkling clear at all times.
ecoOne uses a natural organic approach to water care by using coconut essence oil as an attractant to the organics that give consumers standard care issues. This would include natural body oils, lotions, dirt, and minerals in the water. Best of all it makes the water feel soft, non-irritating, biodegradable, stabilizes pH and alkalinity, it's also all natural and non-foaming. One bottle of this natural "magic" will keep 500 gallons of water crystal clear for a month. It's compatible with most sanitizing systems, but in my opinion the most important feature of this product is how it makes water care so easy by carrying the load of the entire process.

Now, the next product riding the line of "just put this in and that's it...." comes closer than any product I'm currently know. This product goes by the deserved sexy name of SilkBalance.
I love this product! Gone are the days of balancing, test strips,sanitizers, and bottles of this, or that. Yup, all you add weekly is a dose of SilkBalance..........aaaand enhanced spa shock. Well, here is the story, SilkBalance has been in Europe for years as a standalone spa product. However, in America we have an entity called the EPA, and to have any sort of sanitizing claims SilkBalance was required to post a significantly large amount of financing for the EPA to conduct years of testing. In short, although SilkBalance does sanitize, by leaving out this claim and having the consumer use Enhanced Spa Shock which contains a small amount of unstable chlorine, we solved the issue. SilkBalance also makes the water feel silky soft, has a pleasant aroma, and just flat out rocks! Add your weekly dose of SilkBalance and Enhanced Shock and that's it. Our customer base is loving this product as well as many members of our staff.

Simply put....who doesn't want easy? We all do! For more information on any of these products, contact us on facebook @ Energy House Fresno, email us at energyhousefresno.com, or call us at 559.432.1500.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Don't Miss Out!!!

A couple of things had my mind on the following topic, the first being I'm a little achy right now(don't laugh!), and secondly the number of folks wondering how to "put their hot tubs away for the summer."  Put it away I ask? I then follow with the question why? The response is always similar as the folks in California's Central Valley seem to feel once the temps rise then they can no longer use their hot tubs. It is true the product deemed Americas next great appliance is called a hot tub. .........But that does not mean it has to be hot.

OK, now that I have you in an ah-ha moment I want to share a couple of things regarding hot tubs. The average temperature of a hot tub should be what you like. It is a misconception that a hot tub has to be hot or even super hot to work it's magic. In fact, simply being in a environment where you lose sensation of 75% of your body weight coupled with properly placed hydrotherapy jets is enough to create bliss. The second thing is "Don't Miss Out!!!" use your tub all year around, just simply turn the temperature down to it's lowest setting and enjoy! When I tell folks this on the sales floor I usually get a slight jaw drop followed by an epiphany prompted ....."I didn't think of that."

So there you have it. But before I let you go I have another tip, to keep the direct sunlight from being retained by your hot tub water we always take something like a wash cloth and place it on the bar top preventing a good seal. This will allow the heated water to gas-off thus keeping the water cool. Also, in the middle of writing this blog I came upon a bit of irony as I had a customer call and ask a similar question. I told him of the blog I was composing and he thought it was "kool."

Take care.... and Don't Miss Out!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pool Owners

Ingound and aboveground pool owners living in the California Central Valley you have just experienced the wildest weather swing in years. You know, the kind that has you wearing a sweater one week, and pulling out your favorite shorts the next. Well, while all of this was going on your pool went from that cold crystal blue to rapidly rising temps that have it looking a little hazy. If this is the case for you act quickly! That hazy look is your pool warning you it's about to turn emerald green with algae. We call this a pre-algae condition. 

The good news is that your pool did not turn green, and was nice enough to give you a hint as long as you paid attention. The resolve is simple......get chlorine and shock into your pool immediately. I suggest extra shock to eliminate the organics which accumulated over the winter, and extra chlorine to get those levels high enough to stop the pre-algae condition from consuming a normal amount of chlorine. While you are in pool mode, if you did not clean your filters in the fall now is good time. Most folks cut their filter cycles down to an hour or completely off. No way around it, it's time to kick up those cycle times. And finally time to balance the water chemistry. No worries....simply bring in a water sample, we'll put it in the computer and the program will tell us where you are at, where you need to be, and how to get there with no guess work!

Relax, we have it all under control............simple.....easy.....no guess work!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Choosing a Solar Panel Brand

My first encounter with the solar world was much like that of many other folks, solar is solar. After a bit of education and research I soon found this was not the case. In fact, this notion is pretty far from reality. There are a couple of factors in my opinion and which I believe have the consumer in this mindset. The first is there are so many solar companies and contractors in the that any solar voice is drowned out unless it's "loud, repetitive, or by a perceived large organization." These organizations also typically sell an inexpensive product hidden by a concept, therefore the quality of the product is lost.....on purpose. Secondly, because solar is perceived as semi-technical and somewhat expensive, solar consumers are steered away from true measures of quality,and ultimately pacified by price.

With that said I believe there are a few good brands of solar product on the market. But, based on the number of solar panel companies in existence this would make the percentage of good brands minute.

Going one step further down this road I have yet to find one brand superior to the Sunpower brand of solar. I say this for many reasons. Across their entire panel offering, their efficiency rating is much higher than the field. The electric conduction contacts have been increased in size for greater conductivity capacity and removed from the front. This front contact look is what commonly loses eye appeal for most consumers. Also by moving the contacts they increase visual appeal, allow for more sunlight to penetrate, and protect the panels inner integrity form the elements.

A couple of impressive highlighted features in a Sunpower panel not only make it unshoppable but also save the consumer money via increased production. The panel is able to pick up several colors of usable light and convert it to power, so the Sunpower panel wakes up earlier in the morning and captures light later at night vs. the competition. Other panels do not do this. Even more wowing, the Sunpower panel produces power on both overcast, and rainy days...an unheard of feat in the solar world!

To my point all solar is not created equal, the biggest solar companies are not better,efficiency and product features are pretty darn important to production, and cheap and less money do not always equal a good deal. The latter was a reality few weeks ago when a lady purchased a system from a large solar organization who is no longer in business looked to us for assistance. We were curious why she made them her choice.....her answer was the size of the organization and price. 6 years to the day she was responsible for purchasing a 5 thousand dollar failed inverter used to convert usable power from her panels. My thoughts? How much did she really save......?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Over the years we've have had folks ask us "why?" Why your brand? Or, let's turn it around and state why we carry our current brands. It's simple....quality. It's real easy to chose an item in your offerings based on price. However, if you don't mind an infinite number of repairs, service calls, and complaints then O.K.. The Energy House only chooses the strategy of quality products and services, and this has proven successful based on our number of referrals and accolades over the years. Lets briefly look at each offering.

In the hot tub world we sell HotSpring Spas which is the number selling hot tub globally. In a world when the hot tub industry was down 10% each year for the past two years, HotSpring was up 14% and 10% consecutively in this same period. Why? Quite simple... quality, energy efficiency,and double the field life.

In the solar world we sell Sunpower. Sunpower is the leading solar manufacturer globally. Much like the HotSpring spa Sunpower's materials are far superior to the competition, their efficiency is the highest in the industry, and the product performs under conditions others can only dream. Who would think that solar panels would work in low light, overcast or sunny days.....Sunpower Solar does!

In wood, gas, and pellet stoves our premier stove lines are Lennox, Kozy Heat, and Hearthstone respectively. We chose these lines based on the same parameters as our other products lines. Other factors include superior electronics, higher grade steel, and repair records. Hearth products are considered a need in many cases and reliability is a major concern amongst our customer base. Therefore, we offer products that fit these factors.

So this is why we do, and always will offer the products we have in our offering. Today's consumers want products that offer a an experience they can enjoy, recommend, and give them peace of mind they made the correct choice. Therefore we are always evaluating our current product lines and if they deviate from our original intent, then relationship is re-evaluated. With confidence we say when you purchase from The Energy House, hands down you have the finest products in their category.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring is Approaching

Spring is approaching which is an exciting time for both spa and pool owners. The smell of the blossoming flowers, fresh cut grass, birds chirping, and that overall good feeling that winter is behind  us is enough to make most of us smile....that is unless you love winter. So here are a few tips;

Spa owners unless you have done so recently, drain and wipe out your spa, chemically clean the filters, and refill. Then bring a sample in to have our computer tell you where the chemistry is at, where it needs to be, and how to get there with absolutely no guess work. Our staff is well qualified to advise you on any water care questions. Also, it's not a bad time to "hit" the cover with a little cover shield protectant. And as we get into summer it is not a bad idea to do this twice a month to increase the covers life.

Pool owners I know spring has sprung but I urge you to have a little patience and make sure the water temp is above 55 degrees and rising. If this is the case, bring in a water sample just as I have explained to the spa customers. It's also not a bad idea to turn on the pump and check the entire system to make sure it weathered the winter without issue. You want repair all necessary items if needed before we are truly in season. If you are above 55 degrees and rising increase your pools run time from 1-3 hrs per day depending on it's size until you get over 65-68 degrees. Once this is the case, run your pump on it's full cycle per day to help maintain a clean, clear, and inviting pool.

If you have any questions you may call, email, tweet, or facebook us at the following locations;


Happy Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Peoples Choice Awards

The Fresno Bees 2012 Peoples Choice Awards have just been announced and the Energy House has won in two categories which are the Best Solar Company a new category, and Best Spa Company.

In the Solar category the Energy House is both excited and surprised. Excited because the Energy House works hard at providing the highest quality product, as well as an installation to match. It's always exciting to have customers recognize your hard work and reward you with such a powerful accolade. It's also surprising in that solar in general is saturated with contractors. With the Central Valley being the number 3 hot spot for solar in California, winning this award is pretty wowing. In 1984 the Energy House's foundation started in solar. There may be bigger names, but that bigger name does not equate to better quality or experience.

The Spa Category is a newly created category since 2007. The Energy House has been number one in this category since it's inception. An unnamed source mentioned we have been overwhelming winners each year. Like Solar the world of hot tubs is very competitive. However offering the number one sold hot tub globally a HotSpring, and dedicating 6000 square feet for interactive display proves your experience is important to us.

Thank you for your support and we will cotinue to work hard for you!

Thanks again and chat with you soon!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's going on at Energy House?

What's going on behind the scenes at Energy House you ask? Well typically we are winding down our wood, gas and pellet stove season. This is in fact happening, however there are exciting new areas of development within the Energy House. One area of improvement is training of staff which means improved interaction with staff from a knowledgeable point of view. Isn't it always nice to interact with knowledgeable, friendly staff? This is the case, but we want to get better. We are also improving our streams of communication which will improve how you interact with the Energy House. As you know Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are extremely popular social mediums to interact with consumers who are interested in a simple contact vs. a trip to the store. Wouldn't it be nice to obtain valuable insight and information from the comfort of your own home, or from your smart phone? This is will become a reality in all forms in the near future......but for now...

  • "Like" us on Facebook at Energy House Fresno
  • Follow us on Twitter @ theenergyhouse
  • Or simply vist us online at energyhousefresno.com
Chat with you soon!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Welcome to the Energy House Fresno's new blog. This is all new to us so it will be a work in progress. Stay tuned for exciting future content