10 Tips to Save on Utility Costs This Summer

How to Reduce Your Heating & Cooling Costs With summer now in full swing, your HVAC system will be doing a lot of work to keep your home cool. Our team at Action Air has put together this simple guide to make sure you are saving on utility costs, without compromising your home’s comfort.
Energy Star found that nearly half of your home’s energy is used for heating ad cooling. Here are 10 tips to keep your home cool this summer without over-running your HVAC system:

Paint Your Roof

According to a study conducted by Heating Island Group at Berkley Lab, homes with black roofs require up to 40% more energy to cool a home. Although it may seem like a heavy-duty task, painting your roof can be simple, cheap, and has the additional benefits of increasing your roof’s life span and water resistance. You can purchase an inexpensive white elastomeric coating and heavy duty paint rollers at most hardware stores. Apply 2-3 coats on your roof for best results.

Upgrade Your AC System

Installing an energy efficient AC system in your home is the best long-term solution to keep energy costs low while adding value and efficiency to your home. The investment of a new AC system can save you big in the long run; an outdated HVAC system will lead to costly repairs, expensive utility bills, decreased home comfort, and poor indoor air quality. Request that your new AC system is installed in the shade – an AC unit in direct sunlight will use more energy. Action Air Buyer’s Guide for New AC System. will give you all the tools to make sure you are getting the best product for the best price.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

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

Switch to Solar

You can cut your utility bills down as much as 50% by switching to solar PV panels. Not only does solar powered energy save you huge on utility costs, it enables homeowners to become independent from utility companies, adds value to your home, and is a renewable source of energy that helps save the environment. The benefits of switching to solar are endless. Now is the time to make the switch with all the current financing options, state rebates, and federal tax incentives available.

Clean Around Your AC Unit

Make sure your AC unit is not being suffocated by debris or leaves. Blockages to the AC compressor and restrict airflow and make your AC work twice as hard. It will also help keep your increase your indoor air quality and help keep those AC filters clean.

Install Ceiling Fans

Although ceiling fans won’t solely keep your home comfortable in the midst of the summer heat, they help circulate cool air throughout your home and also enables the homeowner to turn off the AC during the cooler parts of the day or at night. Installing a fan in your attic will help prevent the hot, stuffy air from leaking into the rest of your home and reduce cooling costs.

Control Your Thermostat

Being conscience of how often your AC is running is a key component in keeping your cooling costs low. Smart thermostats are the most convenient way to control the temperature in your home that is conducive to your lifestyle. All you need to do is enter settings based on the season, your schedule, and preferred temperature. The Smart Thermostat does the rest. With Smart Thermostats and an Energy Efficient AC unit, you can you keep your home comfortable at the lowest price.

Run Your Appliances While temperatures are Cool

Your dishwasher, clothes dryer and stove add extra heat to the house. If you run these appliances during the day when temperatures are cooler, in the morning or evening, it will prevent your AC from working harder.

Seal Air Duct Leaks

Air duct sealing will eliminate this air loss and the corresponding energy loss – lowering your energy consumption and your power bills. If you are upgrading your HVAC system, having your ducts sealed first may allow you to install a smaller system, increasing your savings.

Schedule a Routine Maintenance Appointment

How to Cut Down on Energy Costs with HVAC Maintenance Regular maintenance on your HVAC system will can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs. When your AC unit is running at optimal performance, it will not have to work as hard – or long – to cool your home. Regular maintenance will also improve your home’s indoor air quality, and mitigate expensive repairs.

HVAC Troubleshooting: What is Causing My AC’s Loud Buzzing Noise?

Why Is My AC Buzzing? Loud AC buzzing noise from an AC unit indicates stress on a HVAC system, specifically an electric issue.  It is important that you do not become familiar with the noise, and instead turn off your AC unit and call a licensed HVAC contractor. It is also important to distinguish the noise from rattling or grinding, as those sounds are a typically signs of malfunctioning parts, debris or misalignment.

Electrical

AC Buzzing noises are usually from electrical arcing – a discharge when electricity is jumping between circuitry. Loud buzzing noises indicate the electrical voltage flowing through your air conditioner is not at its correct amperage. Failing electrical components increases the risk of fire and should be diagnosed by a licensed HVAC expert to keep you and your home safe.

Motor

The motor needs to be lubricated with oil, especially in older AC units, to keep bearings from getting worn and eventually malfunctioning. A bent blade on the fan could also cause a buzzing noise. Lubricating the motor or replacing fan blades should be done before extensive use of AC (at the beginning of summer for example) to prevent a malfunctioning system later on.

Refrigerant

If a buzzing or hissing noise is coming from the AC unit itself, it could be a sign of a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks cause AC units often freeze up, even during the hottest time of year when the AC is consistently on. Water dripping onto the motor will cause also an abnormal noise; the repair would involve locating the obstruction/leak and properly isolating the unit.

Parts

AC Buzzing Noises This is associated more with a rattling noise, but misalignment or loose screws/panels could also create a ‘buzzing’ noise. Poor installation or aged AC parts cause screws to become loose, also causing the panels on the cabinet to unfasten.

At Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar we care about your comfort and savings. We guarantee convenient and efficient service for all maintenance and repair calls. Did you know 90% of all HVAC breakdowns are caused by lack of maintenance?  Don’t put your comfort on hold, Call or Schedule Your Maintenance or Repair Appointment Today!

 

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Solar Solutions: Solar Panels Help Fight Impact of Methane Leaks

The impact methane leaks have on the atmosphere is catastrophic – and the US just experienced the worst leak in its history. The natural gas leak that occurred in Aliso Canyon, Los Angeles caused damage to the climate that was even worse than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. On October 23, 2015, the leak was discovered from one of the 115 wells connected to SoCal Gas Company’s massive underground natural gas storage system. The gas storage system is the largest in the Western US, and the leak persisted after the first 7 attempts to seal it. The leak was permanently sealed on February 18th, 2016.

Methane is one of the strongest pollutants and has 84 times the global warming power of carbon dioxide.

  • The leak has released 150 million pounds (72,000 metric tons) of methane into the environment, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.
  • Enough methane poured into the air every day to fill a balloon the size of the Rose Bowl.
  • The leak led to more than 11,000 nearby residents being evacuated.
  • The environmental impact is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from over half a million passenger cars.
  • Two Los Angeles Unified School District schools have closed in response to the methane leak.
  • 8,156,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide released
  • 917,790,000 gallons of gasoline burned
  • $19,193,700 dollars worth of natural gas wasted

Solar power does not expel toxins into our environment and combats the greenhouse gas buildup. Not only can solar save the environment from global warming, it is the reliable and endless resource that has fueled the existence of life since the beginning of time. In a single day the amount of sunlight that hits the United States is more than 2,500 times the entire country’s daily energy usage. Yet, solar photovoltaic panels produce less than two percent of the national electricity.

Using clean renewable energy to power our homes, businesses, and cars would eradicate the demand for methane. Becoming apart of the solar movement, using clean energy, and pushing legislation to cut methane uses are some of the immediate solutions to prevent methane environmental disasters and reduce the rate of climate change.

Become a part of the solar movement and start saving the environment and your energy costs today!

Call to get your Action Air Solar System installed in your home or business – our professionals are guaranteed to provide quality installation, professionalism, and efficient service.

GET YOUR FREE SOLAR QUOTE Resource Environmental Defense Fund edf.org

VRF: Top Notch Technology and Why It’s Better For Your Business

There are many options when it comes to choosing the right air-condition system for your commercial business, but there one system that offers the highest efficiency and increased control-ability. This system is called variable refrigerant flow, or VRF and was recently introduced to the United States. VRF is a configuration of an air-condition system that consists of one outdoor condensing unit and multiple indoor units. The term “variable refrigerant flow” describes that system’s ability to control the amount of refrigerant that flows to the multiple indoor evaporator units. This allows for individualized comfort control as well as simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones.

Daikin Industries in Japan designed a VRF system in 1982 known as “variable refrigerant volume,” or VRV. The VRV technology allows for individual climate control in differing zones by circulating only the minimum amount of refrigerant needed at that time. The Daikin VRV system has endless benefits: it minimizes energy consumption, has a design that can be adapted to the local environment, has a flexible layout, and allows for individual control within the building.

VRF and VRV systems are complex, engineered systems that use a multipart refrigerant and oil control circuitry. They can be used for cooling only, heat pumping, or heat recovery. There are two basic types of VRF systems on heat pump models – heat pump systems and energy-recovery:

  • Heat pump systems allow for heating or cooling in all indoor units but not simultaneously. The units either cool or heat. These systems are applied successfully to open spaces, retail stores, cellular office or any other space that requires heating and cooling in the same operational timeframe.
  • Energy-recovery systems are known as VRF-HR and can operate simultaneously in heating and/or cooling mode. This allows the heat removed from a cooled space to be used instead of rejected to the outdoor environment as in traditional heat pump systems. The enhanced features and design of VRF-HR systems has a great potential to produce significant energy savings. Each manufacturer has a proprietary design with unique valve arrangements. VRF-HR systems are best used in buildings where some of the spaces need to be cooled and other spaces need to be heated at the same time, such as medium to large sized buildings with large core space or in spaces on the north and south sides of the building.

Several advantages of a VRF system for your building’s HVAC needs include:

  • User Comfort: the VRF system can respond to individual fluctuations in space load conditions. Each user can set the temperature in their space to their own comfort level versus one control for a variety of spaces in the traditional air condition system. The individuality of the VRF system also allows for separate billing in the case of multiple tenants within one commercial building.
  • Design Flexibility: A single outdoor condensing unit can be connected to several different types of indoor units of varying capacity. Current systems allow for up to 48 indoor units to be connected to one condensing unit.
  • Flexible Installation: VRF systems accommodate installation and commissioning on a floor by floor basis and they are lightweight and offer space-saving features.
  • Energy Efficiency: Testing has indicated that VRF technology can reduce energy consumption by as much as 30 to 40% per year compared to a traditional compressor and it offers high coefficient of performance (COP). This system also minimizes ductwork, or completely eliminates it in some cases, which can reduce duct losses of airflow.

VRF systems might not suit all building situations, but when applied correctly they can greatly improve both the comfort and efficiency of your HVAC solution. Call the professionals at Action Air today for your free consultation on the best HVAC system for your business!

Smart Communities Setting Solar Trend

Smart Communities are popping up all over the US and utilizing renewable energy resources to be self-sustainable and economically successful. They consciously leverage solar energy technologies to transform life in a fundamental way that benefits homeowners, communities, and the environment. These Smart Communities are creating a platform for future housing developments and smart-grid infrastructures.

Existing Smart Communities have successfully improved performance in buildings, increased property values, and reduced community debt. The formula for these Smart Communities is simple:

Efficiency + Renewable Energy = Sustainability.

Each solar powered residence helps the Smart Community by lowering energy costs and producing clean power. Energy efficient homes collectively create a resilient, self-sustainable community. These solar-powered homes and communities will be able to power themselves locally even when the broader electric grid goes down. Independent energy production is becoming increasingly important with the rise in energy costs and erratic/unpredictable weather caused by climate change.

The existing outdated – and expensive – infrastructure powered by centralized power plants is creating the problem of greenhouse gases producing climate change. Smart Communities that offer a solution this global epidemic by producing clean energy at a lower cost.

In order for our economy to remain sustainable, the green energy movement needs to take hold by enacting legislation and adopting local and city building codes for renewable energy requirements, and informing the public of the benefits of Smart Communities and tax rebates / incentives and financial assistance available. Newly developed Smart Communities are accomplishing just that – as the innovators and participants of Smart Communities understand the importance of shrinking carbon our footprint, being independent from utility companies, and saving on energy costs. New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision and California’s Distribution Resource Plans are setting the standard of moving toward green energy – which will hopefully create a trend among state governments to enact similar legislation to induce the development of these Smart Communities.

Transforming your home into a Smart Energy Residence will effectively increase your property value, save you on energy costs, and enable you to be independent from utility companies. The experts at Action Air are here for all your Solar Solution needs – from installing solar PV panels to purchasing solar battery back ups for an existing solar PV panel system. Contact us today!

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!

Solar Solutions: Solar is the Most Reliable and Sustainable Form of Energy Production

Quality Commercial and Residential Solar Panels Residential and commercial solar panels are becoming the most reliable, sustainable, and economical form of energy production. With the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, individuals and governments are finally being forced to pursue alternative energy production solutions. The solar solution has taken hold, in the last decade the solar industry has had a compound annual growth rate of nearly 60% – and still rising. 

On a basic level, solar power is so reliable because it comes from the sun – an endless supply of energy that has fueled the existence of life since the beginning of time. Even when there is a black out on the grid from weather or an utility company mishap, solar-powered homes and businesses will still be able to have electricity.

Solar power is also the most reliable from a financial standpoint considering the continuous rise of utility costs and the decreasing amount of fossil fuels available. Having a solar powered home or business relieves the financial obligation of keeping up with fluctuating utility costs. Solar users can see a full return on investment in as little as 3 years from utility cost savings alone.

The demand for renewable energy will continue to growth rapidly, and now is the time to join the solar movement while there are so many federal and state incentives, rebates, and financing (HERO) options available.
With the rapid growth of the solar industry, SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) and the government are at work to optimize the sustainability of solar PV panels through the manufacturing practices, technological advances, and recycling of the panels.

Solar panels are highly sustainable, especially compared to the process of energy production with fossil fuels. The majority of solar panels are warranted for 25 years or more, giving home and business owners peace of mind when it comes to their investment. EU Energy Institute found that 90 percent of solar panels last for
30 years or longer. Even the world’s first modern solar panel is working after 60 years.

Not only do solar panels have a long life span, they are also very durable products. Their robust nature allows the panels to withstand almost any element Mother Nature can through at them – from bird droppings to hail. Solar panels are generally maintenance free, and are ‘cleaned’ naturally every time it rains.

The sustainability and reliability optimization of solar energy is also being accomplished with the solar market itself to insure it’s continued growth. This will be achieved through feasible supply-chain, workers rights, progressive environmental legislation, and staying green with the manufacturing and production of solar panels.

Sustainable Residential and Commercial Solar Panels The Solar Experts at Action Air are here to guide to your Solar Solution. We are here to help you find the best solution for your home and budget – and our certified technicians are guaranteed to efficiently install your new solar panel PV system. We will provide a free consultation including a quote. Contact us and become apart of the Solar Movement today!
Source: GTM research and SEIA

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

Expert HVAC Repair & Installation in San Diego 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

Best HVAC Repair Professionals in San Diego 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.

Why Solar Backup Batteries are a Good Idea

Much like your investment in solar PV panels, the overall return on investment for solar back-up batteries far outweighs the initial cost. Although solar PV most definitely save owners in energy costs when the power grid is up and the sun is shining, unpredictable power outages and natural disasters will cause your solar PV system to disconnect without a battery back up. This leaves unused solar energy sitting on the roof – unable to be sold back to utility companies or converted into power during an outage. Solar back-up batteries offer protection against outages, increase your savings and give you more independence from utility companies.

solar-battery-backup-system-california Off-Grid Independence

With tiered rates under the current net-metering system, there are ideal times to sell back solar produced energy to the utility companies. Backup batteries and bi directional inverters give you the freedom and flexibility of when to sell or buy power from the utility grid. There is also technology available to alert you when to utilize your battery back up for optimal savings.

 

How It Works

The majority of existing solar PV systems do not protect you against power outages, or increased utility grid rates. Fortunately, the upgrade to a battery backup system called AC coupling will give you security when the grid is down, and savings when utility rates fluctuate.

The AC coupling is a hybrid-type system that ties your energy storage system to the existing grid-interactive one. Throughout the day, the solar energy powers a home or building while simultaneously charging the backup battery. During a power outage, the bi directional inverter will convert the stored energy from your backup battery to your home to keep things running smoothly.

Solar Solution solar-battery-backup-system-in-california

Grid stability has already declined with the rise in renewable energy and distributed energy generation. Battery backups systems are the solution to the imbalance in power swings.  The good news is nearly every home or business with a grid-tied solar PV panels is eligible for a battery backup system upgrade.

With increased grid imbalances, federal and state tax incentives, and affordable financing options available, now is a great time to upgrade or install solar PV panel systems with backup batteries.

Solar Federal Tax Incentives Extended

The federal government recently passed a spending package allowing solar tax incentives to be extended for another 5 years. The solar tax incentives allow taxpayers to receive a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is great news for the renewable energy industry and the solar movement! The new legislation has created a boom in the solar industry by effectively encouraging residential and commercial property owners to use solar technology in their homes and businesses.

Now is a great time to transition to solar – not only does the current legislation makes it an affordable and economical option, photovoltaic panels will also increase the value of your home or commercial building. The solar usage in the US is expected to triple within the next 6 years – and has already nearly doubled since 2014. With solar panels steadily becoming mainstream, the economic value of properties with photovoltaic panels will increase substantially.

Since the Solar TAX INCENTIVE was implemented in 2006, solar installation has increased over 1,600 percent.*  The extension for solar tax incentives insures the industry’s growth, and when the amount of solar installations increase, the price per solar pv panel decreases.

From an environmental perspective, the projected growth due to the solar ITC extension will offset 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.

“There’s no way to overstate this — the extension of the solar ITC is the most important policy development for U.S. solar in almost a decade,” said MJ Shiao, Green Tech Media’s director of solar research.

The experts at Action Air are here to help you get the maximum return on your investment. Call us today for a free consultation. Our team will get you on your way to an environmentally friendly solar panel system, increased property value – and energy savings!
*Resources

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/breaking-house-passes-1.1-trillioun-spending-bill-with-renewable-energy-tax

http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit Solar Energy Industries Association