How to Keep Your Central Air Conditioning System in Excellent Condition

A central air conditioning system is a great thing because it works to keep your home at a consistent temperature throughout. This is considerably more efficient compared to window units and other types of air conditioning. However, you need to make sure that your system is in excellent condition and this requires regular HVAC maintenance. There are a number of tasks that you can do on your own to keep everything in good working order.

Take a Look at Your Lines

When your central air conditioning is running, the lines are constantly pumping coolant into the system so that the air delivered into your home is cold. It is important that these lines are in excellent condition and that they are not loose or have any cracks in them. You can easily inspect them on your own by just looking at them. If you notice any issues with their structural integrity, however, you want to have a professional come out to take care of the replacement.

Make Sure Debris Is Not in the Outside Unit

Most central air conditioning systems have an outdoor unit and you want to make sure that various outdoor debris is not congesting it. If debris get into the fan and motor, this can negatively impact how efficient your system runs. While you do not ever want to stick your hand into the fan, you can easily sweep up around it and remove any debris that might be sticking out.

Make Sure that the Blower is Clean

The blower is what makes sure that your home is getting the right amount of air. When it is dirty or clogged, this could translate into not enough air coming through the vents, so the temperature inside your home could rise. You can visually inspect this part and make sure that it is clean.

Take a Look at Your Coils

The coils are another component that you want to be clean to ensure optimal function. You will find coils for both evaporation and condensation, so these play a major role in the functioning of your system. If you notice that the air coming from your unit is not as cold as it once was, this could mean that the coils are dirty and you want to quickly get them cleaned.

Now you know more about the HVAC maintenance that is necessary to keep your system in excellent condition. You want to get into the habit of checking your central air conditioning system on a regular basis so that if an issue does occur, you will be able to spot it and have a professional come in to take care of the needed repairs.


Quick and Easy Ways to Make Your Energy Bills Less Expensive

When it comes to your monthly utility bills, you want to do everything that you can to make them as inexpensive as possible. Working toward a home that is more energy efficient is the easiest way to do this. You want to consider switching out certain appliances for those with an Energy Star rating and getting HVAC maintenance to ensure that the components of your home that run on energy are doing so as efficiently as possible.


Perform Regular HVAC Maintenance


When your HVAC system is not as efficient as it should be, you will notice this by seeing higher costs on your energy bills. It is a good idea to have this system inspected approximately once a year so that if any repairs or adjustments are necessary they can be made before worse problems occur. You also want to make sure that you change any filters on a regular schedule. Your HVAC professional can tell you when to change them to ensure that you always have a clean and effective filter.


Install a Programmable Thermostat


A programmable thermostat goes a long way in helping to lower your overall energy costs. These thermostats allow you greater control over regulating the cool and hot air in your home. When you have greater control, you essentially have more control over how much your air conditioning and heat are costing you each month. You will be able to easily set your home at the right temperature and maintain the most cost-effective temperature for your home.


Consider Energy Star Appliances


Every appliance you can replace with an Energy Star rated one is a good idea. However, start with your washer, refrigerator and dishwasher since these three appliances tend to use the most energy during operation. You can save approximately $200.00 per year when you ensure that these appliances are Energy Star ones. After you get these three appliances switched over the Energy Star, you can start focusing on other appliances and housing components like your hot water heater.


Choke the Chimney


Many people do not think about their chimney when they are working on making their home more energy efficient. However, when your chimney’s damper is tightly closed, this helps to keep the heat from your furnace inside your home. In fact, you will stop about eight percent of heat from escaping through your chimney when the damper is tightly closed.


As you can see, there are many ways to help cut your energy bills while simultaneously ensuring that your home is more eco-friendly. The more of these that you do, such as putting in a programmable thermostat and regular HVAC maintenance, the more you can save.

What to Do When You Need Immediate HVAC Maintenance

There are times when you cannot wait more than a day to have your HVAC maintenance performed. In these instances, you have to ensure that you can quickly get a technician in there so that all of the maintenance and repairs are done quickly. This is especially important in severe weather and when you are trying to have a system at a business repaired because you want to keep your employees and customers comfortable.


Ask Your Landlord


If you are renting your house or business building, your landlord most likely knows about the service professionals in the area. This means that they are a valuable source of information for helping you to find the HVAC professional that you need for the job. Landlords often know about professionals that come out at odd hours too, making them an even more valuable resource.


Check the Online Classified Section of Your Community


If you go to the website for your city or community, you can usually find a list of professionals who can do HVAC repair. The advertisements and listings will often list the company’s hours of operation, making it easy to find one that can make the repairs quickly and on schedule. Companies who are offering extended hours or emergency service will list this too, making it easy to identify the companies that offer this type of service.


Check Out Local Social Media Pages


Just like city and community websites, there are usually pages on social media pages dedicated to specific cities and communities. You can ask people on these pages if they know about any professionals who can come out immediately to perform HVAC maintenance. This will help you to get the professional you need and additional information about the company. For example, in addition to getting their contact information, you can usually get some reviews too, so that you know if the company will do a good job.


Talk to Neighbors


Your neighbors have probably had to use an HVAC service at some point and might be able to make a recommendation. Ask if they know about a company who can make immediate repairs to your system. You can also ask about the service they received and if there are any discounts when you get referred by past customers. This can help you get the job done and work to save you some money.


As you can see, it is not difficult to have HVAC maintenance done quickly. The key is knowing how to find a company that can get the job done within 24 hours so that you do not have to deal with the consequences of a malfunctioning HVAC system.

DIY Maintenance Tips for Your Home HVAC System

One of the most costly things to repair is your HVAC system, but performing regular HVAC maintenance on your own can help to save you a lot of money. Just make sure to properly schedule your maintenance so that you can be sure that you are doing it as needed.


Replace Your Air Filters


Approximately once a month, take a few minutes to check the air filters on your HVAC system. If you notice that there is a lot of build up and the color of the filter has changed significantly, it is time to change it. Changing it often, even if it does not necessarily need changed, is not a bad thing either. When you are working with a dirty filter, it strains the components of your system and works less efficiently.


Clean Out Debris


Some people have an HVAC unit outside and they often attract debris that you have to manually remove. Approximately once a week, take five minutes to check the unit and remove any debris. Always wear gloves when doing this to keep your hands safe. You can usually use a regular garden hose too if you need some water to get the job done. When you keep debris removed, you are increasing the life of your unit.


Give the Humidifier Some Break Time


During the summer months, you usually do not need to use the humidifier component of your HVAC system because it is already humid outside. If the air in your home is dry, opening windows for a few hours a day can help to introduce some humidity. When the weather starts to get cold, it is time to replace your humidifier pad and choose between 35 to 45 percent for your relative humidity settings to keep things running without overworking it.


Clean Your Registers


Go around your home and take a few minutes to remove dust and debris from your registers. All you need is a damp cloth to do this when you do it regularly because not a lot of impurities will have time to build up. This will ensure that you are getting all of the air that is being pumped through your ducts.


Be Mindful of Noise


If you notice any strange noises coming from your HVAC system, immediately investigate. If you cannot determine the cause on your own, you will want to have a professional come out and take a listen to determine the problem.


You can see that there are several HVAC maintenance tips that you can do at home on your own. This will not only save you money, but also time and you will not have to concern yourself with dealing with a repairman appointment.


HVAC Maintenance

What Does Full HVAC Maintenance Include?

Every year, a commercial operation should ensure that their HVAC system is checked thoroughly by a trained professional. Residential HVAC owners can also benefit from this kind of professional check. This HVAC maintenance is thorough, checking all elements of the system to ensure that it is safe and operating as efficiently as possible.

What does HVAC maintenance include?

  1. Air filter replacements are one of the first things that a HVAC maintenance specialist will check, as these filters dictate the quality of the air that is being circulated throughout a property.2. An assessment of the function of the fan will be made, determining whether the motor and blades on the fan are not damaged and are functioning properly, allowing an HVAC unit to circulate air efficiently.
  2. Lubrication levels will be checked. When properly lubricated, moving parts within an HVAC system will put less of a strain on the unit, resulting in lower energy consumption.4. Operation assessments will also be made to determine whether the unit can turn on, function, and turn off when required.

    5. The thermostat settings will be examined, ensuring that they correspond with the correct functions of the system.

    6. A professional will also inspect the condensate drain, ensuring that it is not clogged and preventing the system from draining any excess water that has been gathered from the air.

    7. Blower maintenance will be performed to ensure that all of the blower’s components are maintaining proper air flow. During maintenance, the blower’s parts will be cleaned to ensure that the air being circulated is clean, too.

    8. Heating elements in a heater system will be examined to ensure that they are working safely and do not pose a safety hazard to the users. These elements should be completely clean and without blemishes, and leaks will be identified if they exist.

    9. Electrical connections will also be checked by a professional, as loose wiring along with heating elements and fabric filters can pose a serious fire risk. This is one of the primary reasons why heating and air conditioning maintenance is so important, particularly in commercial and retail environments where companies are at risk of law suits in the event of a serious accident.

    10. Coils will also be cleaned. These coils on the condenser and evaporator, once cleaned, will allow the HVAC system to work as efficiently as possible. When cleaned regularly, an HVAC system’s life span increases significantly.

Are Annual Checkups Necessary?


Technically, annual checkups on an HVAC system are not completely necessary, but most professionals would advise a user to do so. With wires, heating elements and soft filters being in one exposed place, there is a fire risk when lots of dust and fibers get stuck in an air filtration system.

Not only that, but poor performance will result in high energy bills. Commercial operations would be strongly advised to have regular professional checkups, and residential owners would be advised to perform regular maintenance as much as possible.


Small Pests? Big Problems: How to Protect Your HVAC System

Home and business owners know all too well how a small pest can lead to a nasty and pricey infestation. If your HVAC unit is old and loose, in a heavily vegetated area or near food or waste, it can leave your entire system and home susceptible to insects and other pests.

While larger pests such as raccoons and rats can compromise the integrity of your HVAC system, smaller pests like termites will wreak havoc on the entire foundation of your home. From pest control to replacing your entire HVAC unit, a small pest issue can turn into a massive expense.

Perhaps no expense is felt more severely than the health complications that a pest infestation can cause. Prevention is the best way to pest control your HVAC system and maintain your quality of life.

Effects of a pest-infested HVAC system

There is nothing pleasant about a pest infestation. Aside from a pest’s gross nature, any given pest can carry a host of serious diseases or allergens that can be a major detriment to your quality of life.

Quality of life
When mice or rats enter a home’s HVAC system, they utilize the system’s ducts to navigate throughout the household. Once in the ducts, the odor from dead pests and waste are pushed through the ventilation system. This is not only unpleasant, but can also spread dangerous allergens throughout the home. Those with respiratory concerns are at a higher risk for irritation or an asthmatic attack.

Occupants are at risk of general health concerns from the many diseases that pests may carry as well as any complications that may arise from any pesticide eradication efforts.

Unit and property damage
Larger pests can scratch and nibble right through both your HVAC unit and your wallet. Pests that have made a home in your ducts can cause irreparable damage through biting and urination, forcing home owners to replace entire components of their HVAC system.

Preventative pest proofing an HVAC unit
Pest prevention for HVAC units starts on the outside. Your condenser, exhaust, intake and flues are all exposed to your home’s surroundings. In order to protect these popular pest access points, it’s imperative to invest in the proper covers and diligently monitor the area around your condenser to ensure nothing is attracting pests.

HVAC pest prevention:

•    Seal your older, looser ducts
•    Cover your vents and flues
•    Eliminate any vegetation, food or waste around your condenser
•    Treat your exterior and your condenser with a pest repellant
If you find pests in your HVAC system, protect the integrity of your air quality by using traps instead of poison. Not only will poison compromise the quality of your air, but it also kills the pests inside the ducts, leaving them there to omit an awful odor and harmful dander.
For more HVAC advice or to replace a damaged HVAC system, contact an AirMaxx HVAC specialist. We pride ourselves on being the premier San Diego HVAC company and love to provide our loyal San Diego area customers with solutions to the simplest and most complex HVAC concerns.

Refrigerant Charging Basics

Maintaining your HVAC system is practical and necessary. Additionally, checking your own system helps you cultivate knowledge and communicate effectively with professionals should problems occur. However, most people aren’t as familiar as they should be with basic HVAC maintenance. In particular, refrigerant charging is a mystery to some homeowners.

Why Is Refrigerant Charging Needed?

The most technologically and structurally sound HVAC systems will need maintenance occasionally. If you notice your air conditioner is blowing warm air or the airflow is insufficient, it’s probably time to recharge. Extra refrigerant isn’t always necessary, but it can help cool your airflow again.

Using The Total Superheat Method

There are two ways to charge your HVAC: the total superheat method and the condenser subcooling method. The total superheat method is used for machines with fixed meter devices; the condenser method is used for machines with TXV.

Always charge your HVAC system in the correct temperature. For a successful charge, the temperature must be above 55 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors and 70 degrees Fahrenheit indoors. The indoor wet bulb temperature should be over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the total superheat for current load conditions. If you have charged your system correctly, your total superheat will be within three degrees of target superheat for current load conditions.

Before charging, check that your HVAC system is clean. Thoroughly clean coils, filters, and all other parts. The tiniest speck of dust or other contaminate will negatively influence your airflow, air temperature, and many other factors. It may also disrupt your home’s air quality. If you can’t see all possible contaminants, consider using a video scope. These are particularly helpful when cleaning high or low parts of your system, or cleaning in small spaces.

Once the system is cleaned, set required airflow back to the manufacturers’ settings. Don’t attempt to charge a system using anything except original settings. The typical setting is about 400 CMF/ton, give or take 10%. When the airflow is correct, you can begin charging your HVAC system.

Identify your metering device, which will tell you how fast your refrigerant is changing from a liquid to a gas or vapor. The metering system’s measurements will help you determine how to charge the system and whether you need more refrigerant. Attach a high-quality digital gauge and temperature probes to your system to complete the charge. Add or remove refrigerant as desired, and allow about 15 minutes after refrigerant has been added or removed to determine final total superheat.

Using The Condenser Subcooling Method

The condenser subcooling method is meant for HVAC systems using a TXV metering device. Other than that, the biggest difference between this and the superheat method is the temperature under which a charge can be executed. The indoor wet bulb temperature should still be above 50 degrees, but it should be above 60 degrees outdoors and 70 degrees indoors. Note that in a TXV system, suction pressure will stay relatively constant. Also note that you shouldn’t continue to add refrigerant after optimum cooling is reached.

If you have any questions regarding refrigerant charging, such as what refrigerant to use or how to identify your metering device, contact us online or by phone. We’ll be happy to consult with you.

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important

Would you buy a car but never take it in for an oil change, get a tune-up or have the brakes repaired? Of course you wouldn’t, so why would you neglect to maintain your HVAC system? Yet, many homeowners have new central air conditioning systems and furnaces installed and completely neglect HVAC maintenance.

Annual maintenance is an important task as proper HVAC maintenance has a number of benefits that will keep your system operating properly and extend its life. Regular inspection and cleaning of your HVAC system’s moving parts will allow it to last well over 10 years. With the expense that homeowners invest when installing new systems, it only makes sense to keep them operating as long as possible.

Beyond the life of the system, proper HVAC maintenance has several different economic benefits that make spending a minimal amount of money on a maintenance contract worthwhile. HVAC units that run efficiently save homeowners money. Dirt and debris that collect on working parts decrease efficiency by about 20 percent. Debris can also shorten the life of individual parts, resulting in more frequent repairs. Regular cleaning will keep moving parts clean, meaning you’ll spend less money on electricity to run your unit.

Today’s HVAC units also have many more working parts than those built 10 to 20 years ago. They also have safeties that cause the units to shut down if a dangerous situation could occur. Regular inspections will help avoid these problems which can results in emergency calls and costly repairs. Regular HVAC maintenance will save you money in the long run.

Many HVAC systems come with long warranties that cover replacement parts if something breaks down or wears out. Regular HVAC maintenance in the spring and fall will discover potential problems and remedy them, often at no additional cost.

Properly maintained systems also improve indoor air quality. By changing filters and cleaning coils and other components that collect dirt, fewer allergens and other harmful particles will circulate through your home.

Most HVAC companies offer annual contracts that make maintenance easy while also also offering possibly offering discounts on repairs and priority service in emergencies. Take advantage of these agreements to keep your system in top condition.