Diamond Certified Blog

Seven Summer Scams

If you’re adopting a pet this summer, stay alert for online scams by fraudulent sellers. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2017

Along with rising temperatures this summer, we’re going to see a rise in seasonal scams. I’ve been getting warnings from consumer protection agencies about what to watch out for, and I want to pass them on to you. You may have heard of some of these rip-offs before, but be aware that new variations always pop up and can catch even the savviest consumers off guard.

1. Magazine scams
This scam ramps up in the summer with young people going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. They claim they’re working their way through college and need to make a certain number of sales to earn points for scholarships. That’s not true. Most of the time, the orders are never placed with the publishers, and even if your order is fulfilled, you’ll pay too much for the subscription. Continue reading “Seven Summer Scams” »

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5 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs

The simplest way to lower your air conditioning bills is by finding ways to keep your home naturally cooler. Photo: ACME Sunshades Enterprise, Inc. (2017)

A central air conditioner can be priceless on a hot summer day, but the cost of running it certainly isn’t. While having a well-maintained, energy-efficient system will help keep your cooling bills in check, another smart step is finding ways to keep your home naturally cooler, which reduces the need to run your system in the first place. Here are five measures to consider:

1. Install a whole house fan. On summer mornings and evenings, it’s not unusual for the temperature outside the home to be cooler than on the inside. In this instance, running the air conditioner can feel like a waste of energy. If only there was a way to get that cool outdoor air into the home… Continue reading “5 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs” »

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The Benefits of a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner

If the cost of running your air conditioner is getting out of hand, consider replacing it with a more efficient, variable-speed unit. Photo: AIS Heating & Air Conditioning (2017)

Imagine if your car only drove at one speed, regardless of whether you were in town or on the freeway, or if your stereo only had a single volume setting that couldn’t be adjusted. Sounds awful, right? Well, when it comes to your air conditioner, you may be dealing with an equivalent situation. In fact, the air conditioners found in many Bay Area homes only have one setting: full blast. Not surprisingly, these relics of cooling technology aren’t exactly the epitome of energy efficiency.

Fortunately, there’s a better option available: the variable-speed air conditioner. Unlike its single-speed predecessors, a variable-speed unit is able to incrementally adjust its power output in conjunction with changing climate conditions—and that’s just the beginning. Here are a few of the benefits a variable-speed air conditioner has to offer: Continue reading “The Benefits of a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner” »

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Video: Door Hardening 101

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on home security. One of the aspects mentioned was reinforcing or “hardening” exterior doors to improve protection against break-ins. To get a comprehensive look at what this involves, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Randy Reed of Reed Brothers Security.

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Diamond Certified Experts: Helpful Hints for Home Security

To protect your home against theft, take measures to reinforce security. Photo: B & B Locksmith and Security, Inc. (2017)

If you’re a homeowner, you know there’s no greater priority than security—after all, it’s not only your valuables that are at stake, it’s the safety of yourself and your family. However, like many Bay Area homes, yours may contain unknown deficiencies that pose an increased vulnerability to break-ins. To help ensure your home is as secure as it should be, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to provide their professional insights.

Door Hardening
Home security starts at the front (and back) door, so make sure all your doors are adequately reinforced. Blaine Lucas of Foothill Locksmiths, Inc. recommends starting with hardware. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Helpful Hints for Home Security” »

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Savvy Consumer Tip: Preparing for a Road Trip

Headed out on a road trip this summer? Watch this video for some tips on how to prepare your car for a long drive.

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Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires

With fire season in full swing, California residents need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2017)

This year’s ample rain brought relief from the longstanding drought, but its deferred aftereffects have many California residents feeling an opposite sentiment. Following a profusion of spring growth, the onset of summer heat has transformed the landscape’s verdant splendor into a dry tinder, setting the stage for what fire authorities predict to be a harsh wildfire season. So far, this forecast appears to be accurate: According to a recent CNBC report, as of June 24, the amount of California acreage burned by wildfires is up threefold compared to this time in 2016.

While most of the fires thus far have taken place in Southern California, the state’s northern regions have an equally incendiary potential, with wildfires having ravaged Lake and Mendocino Counties in recent years. That’s why Northern California residents—particularly those situated in the wildland-urban interface—need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Continue reading “Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires” »

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Happy Customer Highlights

While we love receiving all kinds of feedback from consumers about Diamond Certified companies, we particularly love hearing the kudos! Here’s what some happy customers have to say about their recent experiences with Diamond Certified companies.

Consumers are saying great things about Atlas Landscapes. Photo: Atlas Landscapes (2017)

Linda emailed to tell us she’s been using the Diamond Certified Directory for years. She hired Atlas Landscapes last fall and says “…they were exceptional in every way and truly surpassed my expectations. The customer service and quality of work were what I thought I’d get and more.” Continue reading “Happy Customer Highlights” »

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What’s Worth Splurging On?

Savvy consumers always search for ways to save money, but sometimes they’re willing to splurge a little. Photo: Closet Factory, 2017

I’ll be the first to admit that I really like getting good deals and saving money, but like most of you, I also like to splurge on some things. Sometimes I find that saving money can actually mean spending more on a quality product that will last a long time. For example, during a kitchen remodel, I bought a faucet that was on sale and it failed in the first year. The second faucet I purchased was three times more expensive, and so far it has lasted seven years. I’m so happy that I decided to splurge for a quality product. Continue reading “What’s Worth Splurging On?” »

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The 2017 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update is Here!

Have you received your free copy of the 2017 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update in the mail? It provides instant access to hundreds of local, top rated Diamond Certified companies across a wide range of service industries, from auto repair and landscaping to optometry and dentistry.

Every Diamond Certified company must continue to deliver on its promises to you, the consumer. That’s why we conduct ongoing customer satisfaction research, perform credential-based ratings, monitor each company’s performance, and back you up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Continue reading “The 2017 Summer Diamond Certified Directory Update is Here!” »

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