How Your Heating System Impacts Indoor Air Quality

In Southern California, when temperatures start to quickly decline, it’s time to get your heating system back in gear. It’s important to consider how running your home’s heating system will affect your indoor air quality, especially when your furnace has been stagnate for the better half of a year.

How Your Heating System Works

  • When the temperature in your home falls under the thermostat setting, a low-voltage signal is sent to the furnace to activate the motor
  • Once the motor is activated, all the gas that is left over in the heat exchanger is purged
  • Ignition occurs to light the burner inside the combustion chamber, creating heat
  • Once your indoor air temperature reaches that of your thermostat, the gas valve will close and the burner goes out
  • The blower fan will continue to run until all the heated air is expelled through your ductwork

Furnace Filters

If your furnace filter is dirty during a heating cycle it will restrict the airflow, which means it won’t do a very good job pulling from your indoor air supply. Additionally, a severely clogged filter can stress your system components – reducing the functionality of your heating system and increasing your energy bills. Your air filter should be checked at least once a month and changed regularly during heating season.

Dirty Ductwork

If your ductwork has not been cleaned or maintained regularly, your indoor air quality – and health – will suffer as a result. Ductwork in your home has two systems; supply ducts that blow heated air into rooms and return ducts that inhale indoor air and return it to the blower. Moisture, debris, and dirt in your home will get stuck in your ductwork and become a breeding ground for molds, allergens, toxins, and other infectious compounds. Particles can end up inside your heating system, making it less efficient and degrading your indoor air quality.

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality during Heating Season

Breathing clean, fresh air can make the difference between good health and constantly fighting colds, allergies, and respiratory problems all winter. The good news is there are several preventative measures you can take to protect your home and family’s health.Buy High Quality Air Filters

You can check the quality of an air filter by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). The higher the MERV rating, the cleaner your air will be. You should consult a certified HVAC contractor to make sure the filter is compatible with your heating system and it is properly installed.

Invest in Whole Home Purification Systems

Air Filtration Systems can remove as much as 99.9% of all allergens and 90% of all infectious agents. As a Lennox Certified Dealer, Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar can direct you to the best Air Filtration System for your family and home’s unique needs.

DuctWork Cleaning & Preventative Maintenance

Heaters enjoy a longer functioning life if they’re properly maintained, and if the air passages are not clogged with dirt and dust. Action’s NATE-certified HVAC technicians use NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association)-approved duct cleaning techniques to ensure your furnace is running at optimal efficiency and improving your indoor air quality as a result.

Complete Buyer’s Guide to a New Furnace

Buying a new furnace is a significant investment in your home or commercial building – and a big decision for owners.

To get the results you want from your new furnace 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. If the purchase process is done correctly, your new heating system should lower your energy bills, increase indoor comfort, raise the value of your home, and improve indoor air quality!

This guide from the experts at Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar aims to help you through this process and get you the results you want from your new heating system investment.

Step 1: 

Get Your Home Evaluated by a Certified HVAC Contractor

Have your home or building evaluated by a trusted HVAC contractor. The size of the living or working space, energy bills, microclimate, and existing duct work determine what type of furnace is best for your needs.

The big question the HVAC contractor should help you answer is which type of furnace and fuel you should use: gas, electric, oil, or dual system.

Most homeowners stick to whatever their homes already had to minimize the labor and costs associated with extra installation of duct work or running electric lines. However, there are several reasons changing the type of fuel system could be more beneficial. This is why an evaluation performed by a trusted HVAC contractor is central to your final decision on which furnace type, model, and size is right for your home.

Installing an oversized furnace is another risk of not having an evaluation prior to purchasing a new heating system. Oversized units are more expensive upfront, cycle on and off more frequently (increasing your energy bills) and make it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

Make sure to request a copy of the evaluation, thoroughly analyze it, and have your HVAC contractor answer any questions you may have before accepting their recommendation.

 

Step 2:

Prioritize Your Home’s Heating Needs

Once a trusted HVAC contractor has evaluated your space, it’s time to explore your options for the new heating system. There are several factors to consider:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]

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Step 3:

Compare Furnace Prices & Features

After you have determined what your furnace 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 furnace 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.

Step 4:

Research Furnace Financing Options

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 5: 

Furnace Installation

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![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_custom_heading text=”Install a New Heating System Today and Stay Comfortable all Winter Long!” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%23183766″ google_fonts=”font_family:Droid%20Sans%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”No Obligation, Free Quote” btn_size=”lg” btn_bg_color=”#ff9900″ modal_on_align=”left” btn_text=”GET FREE QUOTE NOW!” modal_size=”medium” modal_style=”overlay-show-cornershape” overlay_bg_color=”#ff9900″ overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ content_bg_color=”#00abed” header_bg_color=”#183766″ btn_txt_color=”#ffffff”]

This Winter, Don’t Fear Your Furnace!

 

It’s important to understand the health and safety hazards of your furnace. Our team of experts provide some valuable information below so you don’t have to Fear Your Furnace this Winter!

 

Age Risk For Your Furnace

Furnaces 10 years or older are especially dangerous since they all have pilot lights. The average life expectancy of a furnace is between 16 and 20 years. Newer furnace models with pilot lights have sensors that will automatically shut down if a problem is detected, however having a pilot light still poses a significant safety concern. Older furnaces are also at a higher risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, breakdowns, house fires, and higher energy bills.

Today’s furnaces are designed with new, high-tech heating systems whose greater efficiency helps homeowners save money, conserve natural resources and decrease the likelihood of HVAC hazards. Action Air wants to help you replace your outdated furnace – enter our Scariest Furnace Contest to win a New Furnace or WiFi Thermostat!

Carbon monoxide poisoning is especially common with outdated furnaces. Older pilot lights are typically controlled manually, and even a slight adjustment defect can produce carbon monoxide gas. Modern homes are built more “air-tight”, leaving furnaces starved of the necessary oxygen it requires to burn fuels completely. When this occurs, toxic gases build up inside the home.

House fires caused by pilot lights, bad ventilation, and/or gas line leaks are another major safety hazard of an outdated heating system. The combustible materials or any flammable objects near a furnace create an increased possibility of fire or explosion. Gasoline, solvents, or other volatile substances emit vapors that can be ignited by the heat or flame inside a gas furnace. Additionally, natural gas which has no odor, taste, smell or color can be omitted from gas line leaks and are extremely flammable and could cause a catastrophic fire or explosion.

The oxide required for older furnaces is known to destroy valves, cause gaskets to leak, and make bearings go dry – inevitably creating more risk of malfunctioning parts or total system breakdown. The older a furnace is, the more likely its parts will malfunction, causing repairs to become gradually more expensive. Older furnaces also require more gas to create heat. Replacing your furnace with a more energy efficient system will save you in long term repair costs and expensive utility bills.Our furnace experts will handle all stages of a furnace replacement to ensure maximum comfort and savings – from choosing a new heating system that’s right for you, to quality installation with Action Air Certified Technicians. We are here every step of the way.

Energy Efficient Technology Helps Environment and Owners

The news about environmental pollutants, disasters and the greenhouse effect is increasing in frequency, but so is the rate of innovation with energy efficient technology. The use of clean and efficient energy systems can provide a solution to the impactful issue of environmental pollutants, and save home and business owners on energy costs. At the top of energy efficient technology is solar PV panels. Switching to solar energy power as an alternative energy solution for our every day needs can dramatically offset the negatives effects of fossil fuels, create independence from utility companies, and lower energy costs.

In addition to solar power, there are several more clean energy technologies that are helping the environment and saving home and business owners on energy costs:

Ultra Efficient Heat Pump Systems

The next generation of heat pump systems can reduce energy consumption as much as 30 – 45%. There will be several options for owners to chose from including fuel-fired multi-function residential heat pump, low-cost gas heat pump, natural gas heat pump and air conditioner.

 

Smart Thermostats

High tech thermostats automatically adjust room temperatures based on the individual’s lifestyle. The owner simply enables the thermostat’s settings to accommodate their comfort level and schedule, and high-tech sensors and algorithms will automatically adjust temperatures per those settings. Smart thermostats can also integrate weather fluctuations to insure your space is kept at pre set temperatures. This saves owners on energy costs, and allows for hands-free heating and cooling operation.

 

Carbon Fighting Heat Dryers

The same technological advances for next generation heat pump systems are being to create energy efficient heat dryers that will reduce energy consumption up to 60%. The dryer is fueled by a heat pump cycle that generates hot air to dry your clothes.

 

Next Generation Insulation

Keep your home insulted to it’s maximum capacity can save residential owners big on energy costs. New environmentally friendly foam has been developed that is made from composited materials and insures heat or cool air will no escape during peak seasons.
We guarantee the best service for solar installations, and our Solar Experts are here to help guide you through your transition to Solar. Additionally, Action Air is a Premier Certified Lennox Dealer and our team will help you find the best heating and cooling technology for your home or business. Call us today to get on your way to the best energy efficient technologies – and savings!

The HVAC Software That Saves

Preventative maintenance for your building’s HVAC system is a smart investment for both your system equipment and for your building occupants. HVAC systems are the lifeblood of any building and without it, a building would be uninhabitable. Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar can set up a strong preventative and predictive HVAC maintenance program ensuring that your system will be properly maintained.

Cost Efficient

Maintenance won’t be expensive compared to the costs that will occur if the system degrades or fails before the end of its life-cycle. In fact, proper maintenance can cost significantly less over the life of the equipment when compared to changing out the equipment at more frequent intervals. Predictive maintenance will assist you even more in avoiding unforeseen declines or failures in system performance. Installing up-to-date equipment will add a deeper level of controllability and prediction to prevent a system failure.

Convenient

Action Air can provide smart thermostats that are controlled from a computer, either onsite or remotely, with all of a building’s thermostats controlled by that one computer. Using smart thermostats can reduce operating and repair costs in several ways; programming the thermostats to varying heating and cooling per the building’s occupancy and the seasons can optimize the system’s performance without unnecessary expense. Smart thermostats can also inform the operator of any changes in the system’s performance that might indicate a need for preventative maintenance to avoid early decline of equipment. Additionally, having multiple thermostats controlled from one computer saves time and electricity in the management of the system. An operator can oversee the entire system and monitor the performance of each one individually.

Technology

Action Air also offers software that works with sensors tied to HVAC units that will indicate when a system will fail. Catching a failure before it happens allows for the required maintenance to be performed on a schedule that benefits the building owner as well as the occupants. Scheduled maintenance and repair will almost always cost less than an emergency repair, especially in terms of interrupted productivity of the workers utilizing the building.
Call Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar today to see how our NATE-Certified technicians can help you save time and money by utilizing the latest software and equipment for all your HVAC needs.

Energy Star: Tax Rebates for Residential Energy Efficiency

If you are looking to upgrade your home’s functionality, comfort, or to just be more energy efficient, now is the time to take advantage of all the great energy tax rebates available to homeowners. Here is some information from our team at Action Air to get you on your way to maximum savings while adding value to your home.

The Deal with Energy Star

The federal tax incentive program for Energy Efficient residential & commercial properties is known as Energy Star. The program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992, and was created to encourage homeowners to conserve more energy, in turn lowering US dependence on fossil fuels. Not only can energy efficient improvements give homeowners more independence from utility companies, energy efficient appliances and systems help the environment and significantly save homeowners on energy costs. Energy Star estimated that it saved homeowners $17 billion in 2009, and avoided greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 30 million cars.

Several tax incentives for residential energy efficiency have been renewed for 2016 and can even apply retroactively for purchases made in 2015. You can receive up to 30% back on residential energy efficiency improvements. The program encourages new home construction to integrate smart technology, green appliances, and other energy conserving infrastructures to the build-out plan, which will actually save the new homeowner long term.

How to Qualify for Tax Rebates

If you are looking to replace any of the following residential products or systems, you can qualify for the tax rebates:

  • Biomass stoves
  • Heating, venting, air conditioning, including:
  • Advanced main air circulating fan
  • Air-source heat pump
  • Central air conditioning
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace
  • Insulation
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows and doors
  • Gas, propane, or oil hot water boiler

Action Air guarantees the highest quality energy-efficient products, and efficient, professional installation services. Call us today or get your free quote for energy efficient products and installation!

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!

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.

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!

How Replacing Your HVAC’s Air Filter Can Help You Avoid Major Repairs

Performing regular maintenance, like changing your air filter, can keep your HVAC system work more efficiently, in turn saving you money on potential problems that can result in expensive repairs.

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Regularly replacing something as simple as your Air Filter can help you avoid major costly repairs down the line. Here’s everything you need to know about your HVAC Air Filter.

What’s the importance of a clean Air Filter?

The air filter in your HVAC system prevents large airborne particles from entering the system and jamming up the machinery. A dirty air filter can cause reduced airflow or a pressure drop in the system which can lead to a lack of any air filtration. These conditions can cause your system to work harder, whether in a heating or cooling season, which makes it run less efficiently giving your AC or Heating unite a shorter life span.

How does moisture effect your system’s air filter?

If moisture gets into a dirty filter, it can contribute to mold growing inside the filter which can then spread throughout your entire home through your HVAC system. Mold can cause serious health issues to your and your family, not to mention the costly repairs to the compromised system and source of the moisture problem.

What Type of Air Filter Do You Need?

There are several types of filters, including ones that are disposable, biodegradable or more advanced filters that are designed to maximize air filtration. You can purchase economy packs of filters for some cost savings through Action Air.

Our HVAC professionals will be able to help you determine the best filter for your needs and your air filtration system.

The HVAC filter should be replaced no less than every three months for optimal system performance, but often should be changed more frequently. It’s easy to check your filter to see if you need to change it more often. Typically you should change the filter every month if:

  • You have pets,
  • You typically run your unit 6-12 months out of the year
  • Someone in your home has allergies or a respiratory condition, if you live in a windy or wildfire prone area, or if you have a fireplace that you occasionally use.

Action Air Tip! It is critical you change the filter immediately if the filter is damaged, damp or shows signs of mold growth on the filter.

Contact Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar today to schedule a Nate-certified technician to help determine the best filter and maintenance plan your HVAC system.