Troubleshoot Your HVAC

Troubleshooting your HVAC system can save you on maintenance and repair costs, but it’s important to know the ABC’s of HVAC systems to safely and efficiently evaluate it. Your home HVAC system typically includes both central heating and central cooling which are two separate systems that share ductwork.

Commonly, the central cooling system includes a cabinet outdoors that contains a condenser coil and compressor and an indoor evaporator coil that is usually installed with your furnace or air handler. The compressor is the piece of equipment that moves refrigerant through the system.

The cooling part of the HVAC systems works by moving warm air across the indoor evaporator coil which transfers heat from the air to the refrigerant to cool the air. The refrigerant is cycled back to the compressor to repeat the job and the cool air is blown inside your home. The heat transferred to the refrigerant is removed to outside the home.

The heating system has a primary heating appliance which is usually installed in your garage or basement. A furnace is one type of heating appliance and it can run on either gas or oil, or on a hybrid system, depending on your region and needs. The furnace generates combustion gases that are passed through a heat exchanger. Air from your home is blown across the heat exchanger, which warms the air to be transferred through the ductwork and distributed back into your home. You should be especially careful when troubleshooting old furnaces considering the outdated parts, and hazards of CO2 and fires.

Most often, HVAC issues are related to one specific part of the system, such as the duct system, heat pump, or vents, to name a few – which makes troubleshooting a relatively methodical task. Start by inspecting the visible equipment and work towards the less conspicuous parts.

The first step of your diagnosis should be to confirm that your system has power. The furnace and air-conditioner will have separate fuses or circuit breakers. The thermostat will also have its own power source, either electrical or battery powered.

If cold air is blowing from your heater, there are a couple things you can troubleshoot to identify the issue. First, check the thermostat to see that it is set to “auto” instead of “on.” If it is set to “on,” the fan will blow continuously even if the furnace isn’t heating the air, causing the air coming out of the vents to feel cool. Next, check your air filter and change it if it is dirty. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause other equipment to malfunction.

Other causes of HVAC failures can include an outdated HVAC system/parts, poor drainage, frozen coil, a pilot light or ignition problem, inadequate fuel supply, large leaks in your ductwork, or a clog in your condenser. These type of issues are best identified by calling your local certified HVAC professional.

If troubleshooting your HVAC system doesn’t solve the issue, call the fully Nate certified staff at Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar today to schedule a maintenance and repair appointment to get your system working at optimal performance!

Avoid a Frozen Air Conditioner This Summer

This may seem like an oxymoron – a frozen air conditioner unit in the midst of summer – but it is actually a very common problem for homeowners. Our team at Action Air Conditioning knows how quickly a frozen AC system can make a nice summer day go awry, so here is all the information you need to prevent, troubleshoot, and repair a frozen air conditioner.

How do I know if my Air Conditioner is frozen?”

The first sign is leaking water around vents or the Air Conditioning unit. Check the registers inside your home while the AC is on. If the vents are blowing out warm air, it could very well be a frozen Air Conditioner. Locate the evaporator coil on your HVAC (typically near the furnace system inside the home) and open the access panel. Small hex-head screws should be holding the panel in place. You will be able to see the ice formed around the coil, or even outside the Air Conditioning unit in severe cases.

What should I do when I notice my Air Conditioner is frozen?”

Turn off your Air Conditioning completely and call a licensed HVAC contractor. This will allow the unit to de-thaw until an HVAC technician comes to the rescue. Don’t try to scrape off the ice by hand as this could cause even more damage to the Air Conditioning unit resulting in an expensive repair. Also check to see if the air filter is dirty as it could be the culprit to your frozen Air Conditioning. Even if the air filter is dirty and replaced, you should still get a licensed HVAC contractor to examine the unit for any other issues that contributed or caused the problem.near the furnace system inside the home) and open the access panel. Small hex-head screws should be holding the panel in place. You will be able to see the ice formed around the coil, or even outside the Air Conditioning unit in severe cases.

What causes a frozen Air Conditioner?

There are two main causes of a frozen Air Conditioner: restricted air flow or a lack of refrigerant. Without proper airflow to the evaporator coil, the condensation will freeze before it gets a chance to be drained from the unit. Restricted air flow could be caused by a dirty air filter, faulty fan, closed registers, or drainage issues. Refrigerant is necessary to prevent the evaporator coil from freezing. If the refrigerant is low, it could be the source of the problem and would require a licensed HVAC technician.

What can I do to prevent my Air Conditioner from freezing?

Performing regular maintenance on your HVAC is the best way to prevent AC malfunction and expensive repairs. We recommend an AC Tune Up twice a year for newer models, or 4 times a year for older HVAC systems.

Keep up with your air filter. A dirty air filter can not only cause a frozen AC, but poor indoor air quality, expensive utility bills, and put unnecessary wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Schedule a Tune Up or AC Repair

Schedule Your Service The experts at Action Air Conditioning & Heating are here to help. Schedule a routine tune-up with our NATE certified technicians and we 100% guarantee efficient, convenient, and professional services. We also offer 24-7 emergency repair services to make sure your every HVAC need is met, anytime. Call, live chat, or message us today!

We Care! Action Air’s 24-7 Emergency Service

Your HVAC system can’t take a break during the season’s most intense temperatures – and neither do we!

At Action Air, we know our customers need a company they can count on, especially during the hot summer months or chilly winters when you rely on your HVAC system the most.

That’s why Action Air’s NATE-certified technicians are on call 24-7 to take care of any HVAC emergency. Our emergency services include immediate repair for furnaces, AC’s, heat pumps, solar devices, and more.

We guarantee convenient, fast, and quality repair at the first service visit.

Your comfort is our priority. That’s why Action Air offers only the best for it’s customers:

  • Available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Residential and commercial emergency repair services
  • Guaranteed quality repairs
  • Licensed, NATE-certified, professional, and reliable HVAC technicians
  • Prompt, helpful, and live customer service
  • Quick and efficient maintenance/repair appointment scheduling

How to Prevent HVAC Emergencies

Preventative maintenance is the the best way to protect your home, family, or business from inconvenient HVAC breakdowns. 90% of all HVAC system failures are due to a lack of maintenance. Performing regular maintenance by a certified HVAC contractor will also save you from expensive repairs down the road, keep your home safe and hazard-free, improve your indoor air quality, and save you on energy bills.
Replacing an outdated HVAC system is worth the initial investment. Aging heating and cooling systems have to work harder to keep your home comfortable – resulting in system malfunction and increased energy bills.
Reliable, NATE certified technicians make the difference between quality repairs and improper service. Inexperienced technicians can misdiagnose or perform improper service that will result in more expensive repairs, or even worse, put your HVAC at risk for total system breakdown.

HVAC Troubleshooting: Pooling Water Under Air Conditioning

If you notice a pool of water under your AC, it is a sign that your HVAC needs to be repaired or replaced. There are several things that can cause this common AC issue, so it’s important to call a certified HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the problem. 

Water is naturally created by the AC unit from the process of pulling in the hot/humid air from outside and cooling it through the unit’s cold evaporator coil. Condensation forms and that water is expelled by the drain line into your plumbing, condensation pump, or outside. If there is any issue with the parts that control this process, a pool of water will form under your AC unit. In this case, your AC is not running efficiently and could cause more expensive repairs, premature damage to parts and increased energy bills. Here are a few common causes for pooling water under AC:

  • Condensation pump – When the water is not expelled properly due to a faulty condensation pump, the continual presence of water in an AC unit will create mold and mildew build up and cause the system to clog. This is important to repair in a timely manner to prevent a snowball-effect of other problems because of a clogged unit.
  • Blocked drain hole – If condensation/water is not able to exit the unit due to a clogged drain hole, the water will have nowhere else to go but inside your home or pool around the unit. A clogged drain hole is caused by dirt, insects, debris or mold/mildew build up inside the unit. It could also be from a dirty evaporator coil in which case the dirt will mix with the water and fall down into the drainage pan, clogging the drain hole.
  • Frozen evaporator coil – Low refrigerant causes the coil to become much colder than necessary, in turn freezing it. A dirty air filter will also cause the coil to freeze from the lack of airflow. To defrost the coil, turn your AC off and call a licensed HVAC contractor to correct the problem.
  • Bad sealing – If the seals on your AC unit are not tight, it will cause an excess of air inside. The moisture from that air will build up when the warm air meets the cold air inside the AC unit. A HVAC contractor will need to reseal the outside of the AC to keep it properly isolated.
  • Poor installation – This is common with newly installed AC units. The problem of pooling water happens when condensate trap is not installed correctly, which will prevent the water/condensation from properly draining.

Action Air is dedicated to your home’s comfort and energy savings. If you are experiencing pooling water under your AC, call Action Air to schedule an appointment with one of our Nate-Certified technicians.

Your Complete Buyer’s Guide to a New AC System

Buying New AC System in San Diego Buying a new Air Conditioner is an investment for your home or commercial building – and one of the costliest. When shopping for a new Air Conditioner the purchaser should make sure to balance their priorities with price. AC installation can be a large investment, let us help you do it right.

To get the results you want from your new AC investment, you should put time and energy into scheduling an evaluation, researching available financing options (including HERO) and rebates, and comparing features, prices, and products. This guide from the experts at Action AC aims to help you through this process to get you on your way to lower energy bills, increased indoor comfort, and improved air quality!

Step 1: Have your home or building evaluated by a trusted NATE Certified HVAC contractor, like Action AC. The size of the living or working space, micro climate, and existing duct work determine what type of Air Conditioner is best for your needs. The HVAC contractor should use a duct-sizing method to determine if all the duct sections in the space are properly sized for efficient cooling.

If your home is not properly evaluated, an oversized AC unit could be installed. Oversized units are more expensive upfront, cycle on and off more frequently which will increase your energy bills, and make it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

The Air Conditioner Contractors of America (ACCA) website provides a guide in Manual J to properly evaluate a home or building’s cooling needs. Make sure to request a copy of the computer print out of the ‘cooling load calculations’.

Step 2: Once your space has been evaluated by a trusted HVAC contractor, it’s time to explore your options for the new AC system. First, prioritize your needs. There are several factors to consider:

Step 3: Research all rebate, financing options, tax incentives, and savings opportunities. Rebates and energy incentives are available through your utility company, state and federal government. Here are a few resources to research tax credits, incentives, and rebate options:

Step 4: After you have determined what your AC priorities are, and researched what savings are available to you, it’s time to start shopping.

Make sure you look at several different models and compare prices. The lowest bid that provides all the features you require does not necessarily mean it is best AC system for you.
Energy Star is an Environmental Protection Agency that helps businesses and homeowners protect the environment and save money through superior energy efficiency. An Energy Star endorsement on an AC model can give you peace of mind with your purchase.

Keep in mind that an energy-efficient system will cost more upfront, but it will eventually pay for itself and save you money in the long term on energy bills.

Reputable AC Installation Experts in San Diego Step 5: Hire a trusted HVAC contractor to perform the installation of your new AC system. Systems that have been installed incorrectly can lead to a malfunctioning system, expensive repairs, and decreased product life.

Our team at Action AC is here to guide you through purchasing a new AC. Our NATE-certified technicians are experienced and trusted HVAC contractors, and our services are guaranteed to get you on your way to the best energy savings and comfort for your living or working space!

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Southwest Heat

Summer is approaching! Here are some tips from our team at Action Air to help prepare you for the Southwest heat.

1. Get an AC Tune Up

It’s important to get your AC serviced before the southwest heat hits – an overwhelming amount of home and commercial building owners don’t realize their HVAC system needs to be repaired until it breaks down. Preventative Maintenance is the best way to prevent this from happening to you during the months when you need your AC the most. For the small cost of a tune-up, it can save you big in the long run.

Action Air FACT: 90% OF ALL FURNACE & AIR CONDITIONING BREAKDOWNS ARE DUE TO LACK OF MAINTENANCE

Schedule an AC Tune Up or become a member of Action Air Rewards Club and enjoy the benefits of our Precision Tune Up Program!

 

2. Stock Up on HVAC Air Filters

It’s important to check and replace your air filter regularly, especially during the months when your AC in constantly running. A clean air filter is essential healthy indoor air quality. Timely replacement of your air filter will prevent expensive repairs, improve indoor air quality, increase HVAC lifespan, and keep your system running smoothly.

 

3. Get an Energy Audit

SDG&E and other California utility companies offer great rebates for energy audits and preventative maintenance. Getting a full diagnostic report of your HVAC will help you decide if now is the right time to upgrade your system, or what repairs are necessary to prevent costly utility bills and keep your home comfortable.

 

4. Purchase a Humidifier

The summer heat in the southwest is notoriously dry, and the best way to keep a secure amount of moisture in your home is to get a humidifier. Putting moisture back into your home’s air has proven to decrease risk of infections, improve sinuses, help your body heal faster, improve sleep and even keep your houseplants healthier!

 

5. Switch to Solar

With the sun’s rays strongest in the summer, spring is a great time to get your solar PV panels installed and start getting the most from your renewable energy source. It is also an ideal time to receive maximum tax rebates (30%) and financing for owners. The solar movement is on the rise with the great incentives in place and it’s many benefits:

Become apart of the solar movement and call the Solar Experts at Action Air (800-400-4152) or contact us online to schedule your commercial or residential solar installation!

How to Keep Your Home’s Air Conditioning Working at Peak Performance

Preventative maintenance can save you big during the months where your AC/Cooling system is running constantly. Summer is the busiest time of the year for HVAC contractors, and with the rebates currently offered for a quality maintenance appointment, now is the best time to schedule your system check-up.
When you schedule a Quality Maintenance appointment, our NATE Certified home comfort specialist will do a thorough check up of your entire system and all equipment including:

  • Cleaning condenser coils
  • Evaluate coolant levels and pressure
  • Adjust thermostats
  • Compressor amps at start up
  • Inspect and lubricate motor, blower belt, fan and blades
  • Change air filter
  • Check condensation drain
  • Examine outdoor disconnect and all ductwork
  • Tighten electrical components (wiring, contacts, capacitors, and relays)

Many homeowners do not realize their HVAC system needs repair until a total breakdown occurs. For the small cost of an AC tune up, it can be a huge return on investment.

Benefits you will receive from an AC tune up:

  • Enhanced system performance
  • Increased HVAC lifespan
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Prevention of costly repairs or breakdowns
  • Improved air quality
  • Safe home or work environment
  • Peace of mind!

Take advantage of Action Air’s NATE-certified technicians, professional and convenient services, and low prices today! Call the Experts 800-400-4152 or submit your appointment request online to schedule your AC tune up or Quality Maintenance appointment.

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Critical to Your Home & Energy Bills

Did you know that 90% of all HVAC system malfunctions or breakdowns are caused by a lack of maintenance?

The best thing you can do for your heating and cooling system is to have a reliable NATE Certified technician perform regular service on it. Unmaintained gas furnaces, especially older models, are a safety hazard and could be potentially put you, your family, and home at great risk.
An Action Air NATE-Certified technician discovered this entire house was at severe risk for fire and carbon dioxide poisoning after receiving a routine repair call about a furnace not producing heat.
This can potentially happen to you. If you notice anything out of the ordinator about your HVAC system, it is important to immediately call an HVAC contractor, like Action Air.

Here are a few signs your furnace could be putting you and your home at risk:

  • Smell of burning coming from HVAC after heat is turned on
  • Strong smell of fuel
  • Carbon dioxide monitor goes off
  • No heat is being produced
  • Utility bills increase
  • Your HVAC is making loud or unusual noises (rattling, buzzing, banging)

Having your HVAC system regularly serviced (2 times per year) is the best way to ensure your furnace is safe and reliable. Additionally, regular maintenance will improve your home’s indoor air quality, enable your system to operate at optimal performance, reduce energy costs, and mitigate expensive repairs.

If you have not had routine ac or furnace maintenance performed this season, contact Action Air today to schedule your Quality Maintenance inspection for only $50* out of pocket. Our team is dedicated to your home’s safety and comfort and is available to you 24-7 through our on-call Emergency Service.

How Often Should I Change My HVAC System’s Air Filter?

Changing your HVAC’s air filter is the most important self-maintenance you can do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly, extend the lifespan of your cooling/heating system, save on utility bills, and keep your home’s air quality healthy.

But how do you know when and how often you should be replacing your HVAC system’s air filter?

Well, there are several factors that can affect how often an air filter needs changed, some of those are:

  • Home’s location
  • Number of people in household
  • Climate
  • Type of HVAC/filter
  • Quality of your city’s air/pollution

You should check and/or change your HVAC’s air filter at least twice a month if any of these conditions apply to your home:

  • In a consistently humid climate
  • Have pets
  • Persons living in the house with respiratory problems or allergies
  • Frequently use a fireplace
  • Run your AC 6+ months out of the year
  • Live in a windy or fire prone area

For homes with these conditions, it is best to have a continual supply of filters. Action Air offers cost efficient packs and will help you determine which type of air filters are best for your HVAC system to insure maximum air quality and savings.

Action Air Tip: Even if your filter is not dirty, be sure to check for dampness, mold or moisture, especially if you live in a humid climate. Immediately change your air filter if you see any signs of moisture as it can lead to mold and result in health problems.

If your home does not have pets, is a single occupant home, and has quality outdoor air, your air filter can go as long as 3 months before needing to be replaced. However, you should always check your air filter at least once a month, especially during the months where your AC is consistently running.

If your HVAC air filter seems to get dirty quickly – even after you just changed it – try a different type of air filter. There are more types of air filter than you may think, including:

Depending on your HVAC system and home’s conditions, a specific type of air filter could prove to be more efficient – even if the price of the filter is more upfront, it could last much longer than economy panels. Call 800 400-4152 or contact our comfort specialists online to help you decide which type of air filter is best for your HVAC system.

Gas or Electric Heating System? The Questions To Consider

When choosing a heating system for your home, you can’t put a price on comfort. But you can put a price on utility bills, repair costs, home insurance, and maintenance.

Deciding whether to use gas or electric depends largely on the individual’s budget and size of the home. While gas can save you a significant amount in energy costs, electric heating systems require less maintenance and lower upfront costs. When it’s time to upgrade your heating system you should be well informed on the differences between gas and electric to ensure you are adding value and efficiency to your home, while saving on utility bills.

Utility bills

To buy one unit of mains gas (measured in kWh) you pay about 4p / kWh. Conversely, 1 unit of electricity from the mains (also measure in kWh) will cost you about 15p / kWh. Meaning in most areas gas is up to 4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh. Using a gas heating system can save you a considerable amount on energy costs, especially during the winter months.

Impact on Environment

Coal represents one of the primary fuels used to produce electricity. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas production does release greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, however this fuel burns much cleaner than coal and poses much less damage to the environment.

Safety

Electric systems do not produce byproducts during the heating process, unlike the potentially deadly CO2 produced during the combustion process of gas heating. Maintenance is emphasized when purchasing a gas heating system since a small problem in the ventilation system can easily cause a CO2 leak and put you and your family at risk for CO2 poisoning. Fire hazards are also associated with gas heating considering the point of ignition requires a flame.

Suitability and Efficiency

Gas heaters are known to be extremely efficient. They heat bigger areas faster, and use less energy than electric to maintain a set temperature. Gas heating also provides better humidity control. The lifespan is approximately 20 years for a new heating system, gas or electric. Gas heating requires storage, and for households with several members the storage tank capacity should be equivalent to usage. If the store tank capacity is not enough to support all the heat usage at a given time, then gas heating becomes problematic. A good example is running out of hot water during a shower because the dishwasher is running.

Installation

The upfront cost of installing an electric heating system is much cheaper than gas. Electric systems are typically smaller in size and don’t require ventilation systems.

When it’s time to replace your heating system, our team at Action Air is dedicated to your safety and comfort. Our Nate-Certified technicians will provide the best service and guarantees convenient and efficient installation. Call us today at 800-400-4152. Let us help you!