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!

HVAC Troubleshooting: Why is My AC Rattling?

When you hear your AC rattling, it is a good indicator that something has gone awry with your HVAC system. Ignoring the issue will create expensive repairs, so make sure you schedule a maintenance, tune up, or repair appointment with a licensed HVAC contractor. There are several situations that could cause a rattling noise – it could be an easy fix such as tightening screws, or it can be an indicator of malfunctioning parts which can become very expensive if gone unrepaired.

Debris

When the filter has not been changed for a while and becomes clogged, dirt, sticks, leaves, gravel and other types of debris can enter the AC cabinet and get knocked around. A dirty AC filter can cause serious damage to the AC’s parts/components along with a variety of other issues, and should be fixed immediately to prevent any more debris from entering.

Panels

Poor installation or aged AC parts can cause screws to become loose, which cause the panels on the cabinet to unfasten. This is common with old HVAC systems, which should be maintained at least twice a year.

Fan

Rattling caused by the fan within the AC unit could be from the blades themselves can becoming loose, especially in older AC models. Luckily, fan blades are easily replaceable. If the fan is misaligned due to debris or age, it will progressively get worse and eventually cause the fan to stop functioning. Dirty blades can also cause noise, so it is important to keep the blades clean and make sure your AC filter is changed regularly.

Motor

The compressor is the ‘heart’ of HVAC system, and when its parts become loose it can cause a total system breakdown. This is more common with older HVAC systems. When the noise increases from the compressor, it is usually a strong sign the compressor’s hardware needs replacing.

Installation

An unstable AC unit is a common source of rattling noise. Improper installation can cause parts to be more susceptible to damage. The noise could be from the damaged parts or by the AC unit or the platform not lining up with a window sill. Re-installation can easily fix the rattling if you notice loose/shifty parts.

Preventative maintenance can fend off unwanted repair bills and inconvenient HVAC malfunctioning during the months you use it the most. Call us today to learn more about our Precision Tune Up Program or to schedule an appointment for repair with one of our NATE-certified technicians!

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.

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 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!

Solar Solutions: The Economic and Environmental Benefits

Modern society is extremely dependent on fossil fuels to create electricity for everyday necessities. Reliance on fossil fuels as the main resource for energy is impractical. Oil and coal for example, are finite resources and cannot be relied on to sustain the growing demand for energy in technologies, homes, and vehicles.

Not only are fossil fuels impractical for generating energy, they are irresponsible. The burning of these fuels emit toxic gases into the environment, which is the primary source of the greenhouse gas buildup, pollution, and climate change.

Switching to solar energy power as an alternative energy solution for our every day needs can dramatically offset the negatives effects of fossil fuels and lower energy costs, here’s why.

CUT YOUR UTILITY BILLS BY 50% with PACE Financing

  • $0 Money Down
  • 100% Financing
  • No Payments Until December 2017

Solar Solution: Combating The Greenhouse Effect

Solar photovoltaic panel systems generate clean and pure energy from the sun. 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*.

The good news is that the solar movement is on the rise. Generated electricity from solar power was up 2% in 2015, which is more than a tenfold increase from 2010. To put things in perspective, if 5% of American households go solar, it would remove approximately 89,600,000 pounds of CO2 from the environment, and offset the pollution caused by the entire fleet of vehicles produced in 2007*.

Solar Solution: Economic Benefits

Because of the increasing demand for solar panel systems, more and more manufacturing companies are popping up, and the cost to manufacture the panels is decreasing as a result. The government also sees solar as a solution to global warming; state and federal legislation have made solar power a feasible and affordable option for energy in the US. Not only does solar power save the environment, it also protects home and business owners from the rising utility costs.

What do you have to lose? 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 efficiency.

*Resources from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Geographic 2015

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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PRECISION TUNE-UP PROGRAM

EXCLUSIVELY FOR RESIDENTIAL HOMEOWNERS

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.