Why Is Off-Season the Best Time to Buy Air Conditioner?

 

Are you wondering about the best time to buy your new air conditioning system? It’s good you’re asking the most trusted air conditioning service in San Diego! You are probably aware that off-season purchases are always the most money-wise, whether you’re buying a new AC or a new pair of shoes. But are you aware of ALL the advantages of buying or installing an AC in spring/fall? Let’s see together.

You get time

If you’re looking for an air conditioner before the weather gets hot, you have ample time to do your research and really find an AC that will meet your needs. You can do your research online, among friends and family and among professionals. Ask several providers of air conditioning service in San Diego to give you estimates and offers.

You can choose the timing for the installation

It’s possible to buy your system off-season and schedule the installation when the weather is more convenient. This also gives your installer time to customize your AC installation. Time is highly valuable when you are doing a major home project, not just in terms of saving money, but also nerves.

You can explore your cooling needs

Every home is different, as well as family. The best choice of air conditioner will depend on the answers to many questions. Some of these are:

  • What is the size, age and layout of your home?
  • Do you have central air or are you looking to install a system for the first time?
  • If you have a system installed, what are its downsides?
  • Are you looking for specific features – like high energy efficiency or inverters?
  • How well is your home insulated?
  • What is the condition of your ductwork? Is the ductwork design good?

You can research for the best provider of air conditioning service in San Diego

Find a trusted local company to work with for your installation and future HVAC works. Do online research and ask friends and family for recommendations. Getting an experienced HVAC installer could save you considerable money down the road by ensuring your system gets properly installed. Finding the right company to entrust your HVAC system to will also mean you have someone reliable to depend on for your regular maintenance. Remember, regular maintenance will give you the best return on your investment in home comfort.

Call Action AC for a full-range air conditioning service in San Diego

Action AC has been serving San Diego home and business owners since 1975. With decades of experience and commitment to excellence, thousands of satisfied customers and multiple industry-relevant awards, we are confident we can meet all your HVAC needs. Call us!

Buyer’s Guide for Furnaces: Most Energy-Efficient Heating Options

Energy-efficiency is an important factor today when it comes to buying major home appliances. Considering the fact that almost 50% of the home budget is expended on heating and cooling, the importance of energy-efficient heating becomes that more prominent. Energy-efficient appliances make a better use of the energy they consume, thus saving your money and saving the precious resources of our planet. In this post we will look into ways of making your home heating energy-efficient, but if you’d like personalized information and advice regarding your HVAC’s energy-efficiency, schedule your appointment with our team. Action AC is your trusted air conditioning & heating Valley Center expert. We are based in San Marcos, but we serve the entire greater area of San Diego.

How is energy efficiency measured when it comes to heating?

AFUE rating is used to measure furnace fuel efficiency. This is short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Consumers can see AFUE ratings on the yellow labels posted on new furnaces (electric, gas, oil, etc). These are Energy Guide labels. AFUE rating expresses an estimate of annual running costs for a furnace under certain conditions. Although these ratings cannot be taken as promises (they are estimates only), you can use them to compare different models of heating systems you are thinking of buying. AFUE ratings go from 80% (the required minimum today) to 98.5%. You can visualize it this way – with a furnace of 80% AFUE rating, 80 cents of every dollar you give for fuel is converted into heat, and 20 cents wasted.

If you are thinking of buying a heat pump, you can compare models using HSPF rating (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). Heat pumps don’t use fuel, so they can’t use AFUE rating. HSPF is the heating equivalent of SEER rating which is used for air conditioning units. HSPF scale goes from 7.7 to 13.

Size affects energy efficiency of a system

Some homeowners are tempted to buy oversized heating systems because they think size translates to efficiency. That is not the case. The reality is that a vast majority of systems are most efficient when they run for longer periods of time.

If you get a heating system that is too big for your heating load, your system will achieve the desired temperature quicker, but it will run in short cycles, which will ramp up your utility bills. Heating (and air conditioning) systems spend most energy when they start operating. If the system short-cycles, it never reaches its peak efficiency.

In other words, an energy-efficient system which is too big for your needs will defeat its own purpose. It won’t save you money, nor will it improve your comfort (the temperature will constantly oscillate and there will be hot and cold spots).

Heat pumps may be the best choice for San Diego climate

Heat pumps are an extremely popular choice in Southern California. They don’t require any fuel, which makes them quite eco-friendly (admittedly, they do use electricity to operate). Given that there’s no fuel and no combustion, they are clean and don’t give off any hazardous gases (like gas furnaces). Finally, heat pumps can act as air conditioners in the summer, and heaters in winter. Our previous blog deals with heat pumps in detail.

If you are looking to install a new, energy-efficient heating system in the greater area of San Diego (which is the area Action AC serves), give serious thought to heat pumps. Winters in our corner of the world are mild and ideal for heat pumps. In some other regions heat pumps would require heat strips or furnace back-up because they can’t operate when the outside temperature falls below 30 degrees. This doesn’t make them very popular in Colorado, let’s say. But in Southern California, heat pumps are an excellent energy-efficient choice.

When you want to choose the most energy-efficient heat pump, compare the HSPF and SEER ratings. HSPF rating refers to their heating capacity, and SEER to cooling. The higher, the better.

Ways to improve energy efficiency of existing system

There are things you can do around your home that can improve the energy efficiency of your heating.

Get all the answers from heating Valley Center experts

Action AC is at your service, whether you live in Valley Center or anywhere else in San Diego metro area. If you are thinking of replacing an old heating system, looking to install one or simply to improve your comfort, call us and schedule an appointment with our team. We would love to come out and give you a fully personalized service and answers to all your questions. Our awards, positive reviews and repeat customers are a testament to our commitment to you. We offer you comprehensive heating and HVAC services, from installation and replacement to maintenance and servicing. Call us today!

Common Air Leaks In Your Home That Waste Your Money

Heating Sorrento Valley systems and air sealing The majority of your monthly energy expenditure goes to warm or cool your home. Prepare for the winter by determining whether your house has air leaks, so that you can have them sealed. This issue may sound minor, but consider the following: would you leave a trap door open 24 hours a day? How about a small window? No? Well, it’s possible that all the leaks in your house combined amount to an opening of those dimensions. What a chilly thought. If you are getting surprisingly high utility bills, it may not be your heating Sorrento Valley system that is failing you. The culprit may be the invisible air leaks around you.

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This Is Why You Should Have Your Ducts Sealed Professionally

AC and heating Oceanside experts are better than DIY for duct sealing

We have already presented duct sealing in a previous blog. Being your trusted AC and heating Oceanside contractors, we would like to tell you why you need it.

Continue reading “This Is Why You Should Have Your Ducts Sealed Professionally”

Duct Sealing For Energy-Conscious Homes and Offices

how to repair heating ducts Leaky ducts impair the performance of your HVAC system and compromise its health and longevity. Air conditioning and heating Chula Vista expert (and an industry leader across San Diego), Action AC provides duct sealing services to all home and business owners.

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Should You Invest In Inverter Air Conditioning?

blank Inverter technology is another Japanese invention that made air conditioning friendlier to the environment and our budgets. Inverters are capable of reducing AC-related electricity consumption by 30 to 50%, which is a significant amount of money saved in Californian climate. If you are looking for ways to slash the bills, make sure you use inverter technology for your air conditioning La Jolla and San Diego in general.

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Which to Go for – Mini-splits, Multisplits or VRF?

Air conditioning Ramona - mini split, multisplit or vrf Energy efficiency is the in thing in this day and age, not only for the love of our planet, but also for the love of our hard-earned money. In San Diego, we are blessed with mild and sunny weather, but it can get hot. What solution should you go to for your air conditioning Ramona (or San Diego) while promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing lower utility bills?

Ductless mini-splits

Mini splits are made of an indoor and outdoor unit connected with some wiring and tubing. They are quite easy to install and make a perfect solution when there is no room for ductwork. They are also quite energy-efficient (of course, if designed and installed properly). The main advantage over ducted centralized systems is that there are no ducts, which minimizes the loss of energy through air leaks and heat exchange. If every room has a unit of its own, the temperature can be individually controlled and the ACs are only used when you need them. There is, however, an option with some models to turn them on remotely or on a preprogrammed schedule (before you come home or before you get up).

Ductless multisplits

These systems are very similar to the previously explained, with the difference that one outdoor units is connected to a number of indoor units, between 2 and 8 typically. The advantage is that less space is needed for the outdoor unit, when compared to having multiple mini-splits. There are also some savings in the energy bills – it’s more energy-efficient to have one outdoor unit supplying multiple indoor units than having an outdoor unit per each indoor air blower.

VRF

VRF or Variable Refrigerant Flow takes air con to wholly new heights. It’s an extremely sophisticated technology that basically operates on the same principle like the multisplit system. The crucial difference is that one outdoor unit can support as many as 48 indoor units. Also, unlike multisplits, it’s possible to heat one room and cool another with VRF technology.

Application is the key

Mini-splits are very cost-effective and quite energy-efficient when smaller applications are concerned. With a multisplit, you have to bear in mind that the failure of the outdoor unit will disable all the indoor units. On the other hand, having a multisplit could be better for your wallet, but only if it’s got inverter technology and the tubing is not too long (so as to avoid energy losses due to refrigerant flow).

VRF is a state-of-art system, but it could be that its sophistication is best harnessed in commercial spaces and multi-family housing. The installation costs can be more than twice the cost of other systems, plus the system itself is more expensive. In addition, VRF systems need a dedicated outdoor air system that confirms to certain ventilation codes, and they are also suited for buildings with operable windows and natural ventilation.

Call in the experts for all your questions about air conditioning Ramona and San Diego

Action AC has been in the HVAC industry for more than 4 decades. One of the reasons we have stayed in the business so long is that we are uncompromisingly committed to staying ahead of advancements. Over the years we have streamlined our procedures and services to be able to cater to all your air conditioning needs. Don’t hesitate to book your free project estimation and we will present you with all the options, so you can make an informed decision that will improve your everyday life today and in the future. Action AC is your reliable, trusted and experienced HVAC contractor for San Diego. We provide the best air conditioning service in Temecula CA. Reach out to us at 800-400-4152 today!

Efficient Air Conditioning: Increase Your Comfort and Save Money

Energy-efficient air conditioning in Poway

Air conditioning, at times, in Southern California can become a necessity. We need it to get through the day and sometimes, through the night. The summer has a way of hitting homeowners in the hip pocket because of the high usage of air conditioning. Here is how you can use your air conditioning in Poway or elsewhere in San Diego more efficiently, both for the sake of energy preservation and your wallet.

Regular maintenance

Prevention is better than cure. This is especially true for sophisticated devices that largely influence your comfort, productivity and overall well-being. As we’ve said, air conditioning in Poway and anywhere in California is an essential home device, so it pays to have it regularly inspected and serviced. While there are certain things that you can do yourself to ensure peak performance of your HVAC system, it’s best to schedule a yearly check-up with professionals. Action AC is a leading local provider of HVAC-related services throughout San Diego County. Don’t hesitate to contact us and book a thorough inspection and maintenance by our experienced and knowledgeable technicians.

Thermostat

You probably know that 78 degrees is the optimal temperature for your AC. What’s equally important is to set the thermostat a few degrees higher when you’re not at home or when you’re asleep. You can also use the sleep mode if your AC features that option. You can turn the AC off when you’re away too, as some advocate it’s more energy-efficient to turn the AC on full speed when you get home rather than leave the system work steadily the whole day.

What you shouldn’t do is turn down the thermostat to reach your desired temperature faster, i.e. knocking down the thermostat to 72 just to get to 78 faster. That will only prolong the time your AC will operate. We have already explained this in an article on mistakes that could cost you your comfort.

Lighting

Natural light raises the temperature in your home, straining your AC to work harder. A dark home sure doesn’t sound pleasant or inviting. However, pulling the drapes or blinds over your windows would help your AC against heat buildup when you’re not at home. Window films could also help for this purpose.

Insulation and air sealing

Air leaks can account for as much as 20% of energy loss in the household. You can sign up for an energy audit by a certified company and have your home assessed for energy loss. A smaller scale project would be to at least insulate the ducts of your HVAC in spaces like the attic. When cool air or heat loss is maximally prevented, there’s less pressure on your air conditioning system.

Landscaping

It helps to keep the outdoor unit out of direct sunlight, as it also reduces the strain on the device. Ideally, the unit should be on the north side of the house or building, but this is not always feasible. Luckily, there are other ways to put your unit in the shade. Planting some trees and shrubbery around the outdoor unit or in front of your home will provide natural protection from the sun. It’s also a nice sight, isn’t it? But, do be careful to clean the unit regularly to avoid a buildup of leaves, twigs, dust and particles.

Furniture

Avoid furniture arrangements that obstruct AC vents. Otherwise, you could be cooling your furniture instead of yourself. If permanent rearrangements are inconvenient, then you can do it temporarily, when the temperatures are boiling.

Fans

You can use a fan or two with your AC. That would boost the effect of your air conditioning, simultaneously alleviating the stress on it to chug more to achieve the temperature you desire.

Exhaust fans, on the other hand, are immensely helpful to get rid of the hot air and humidity in your kitchen and bathroom. You should, however, turn them off 20 minutes after you are done with cooking or bathing.

Do You Know What Energy Efficiency Ratings Mean for Your HVAC Unit?

If you recently had a chance to shop around for a new HVAC unit, you might have noticed the strange acronyms in the specifications. Additionally, many brands are using these acronyms to assert their supremacy over their competitors. While you might not care what these acronyms spell, let alone what they mean and how they might affect your choice, our experts recommend educating yourself as an energy efficiency rating can make all the difference if you are looking to install a new HVAC unit.

These acronyms might seem intimidating or confusing to an average homeowner. But getting to know how these energy ratings affect your HVAC system’s performance could help you make an informed decision and choose the best unit for your home. It could also mean saving a lot on your energy bill, as not every HVAC unit is fit for every home. In this article, our experts explain the meaning behind these terms and how they affect your HVAC system’s performance.

Comparing Expenses and Energy Efficiency Ratings - Commercial AC Service San Marcos

Energy Efficiency Ratings

When shopping for an HVAC unit or a heat pump, there are several ratings you need to take into account. These ratings are:

SEASONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO (SEER)

Probably the most prominent among these ratings, SEER measures the energy efficiency of your HVAC system during a single season. SEER is measured by dividing the system’s cooling output by electricity usage. The cooling output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU), while electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To put in simply, SEER measures the amount of energy required to provide certain cooling levels over the course of a season in real-time.

Therefore, the higher the rating the more energy efficient your HVAC system will be when cooling your home. Even a slightly increased SEER rating could significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to deliver the comfort levels you desire.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO (EER)

Unlike SEER, EER measures power consumption at higher temperatures over a longer period of time to determine the HVAC unit’s long-term operating efficiency. The EER rating is calculated by dividing the cooling output by input energy.

These two ratings are most frequently found on HVAC units and are meant to give you a better insight into the system’s performance. However, even HVAC units with good ratings need to be subjected to annual maintenance to make sure their energy efficiency ratings are constant.

HEATING SEASONAL PERFORMANCE FACTOR (HSPF)

Unlike the previous ratings, HSPF is used to measure the heating efficiency of heat pumps, both unidirectional and bidirectional (heat pumps that can also provide cool air during the summer). The rating is calculated similarly to SEER, by dividing the heating output by energy input. And just like SEER, the higher the rating the more efficient a product is.

ANNUAL FUEL UTILIZATION EFFICIENCY (AFUE)

When fuel is converted into heating energy, some percent of the energy is lost in the process. AFUE measures the efficiency of a fuel source providing heating energy. The higher this rating, the more heat a unit can produce while minimizing the conversion energy loss. This rating is important as the less fuel you lose to conversion, the more money you save.

ENERGY STAR

Energy star measures the energy efficiency of a product, anything from an HVAC unit to a PC. It was created by the Environmental Protection Agency and is meant to ensure that a product adheres to certain criteria regarding energy consumption. These products are tested in laboratories by an unbiased third-party. Therefore, any product with a blue Energy Star is bound to be an energy-efficient, dependent purchase.

Government Standards

In its efforts to protect the environment, the government has issued the required energy efficiency standards for various products. For HVAC units, the minimum SEER rating was 10 before 2006 but was increased to 13 in 2006 and 14 in 2015. Depending on the state, the minimum EER score is 10.

According to the California Energy Commission, in the state of California in 2016 the minimum required SEER rating is 14, while the EER rating depends on the system’s heating or cooling capacity per hour (BTU/H). For products under 45,000 BTU/H, the minimum EER is 12.2, while for those equal to or over 45,000 BTU/H the minimum is 11.7.

How SEER and EER impact Your Wallet

This is likely the answer many of you were looking for in the first place. Now that you know what each of these ratings means, you realize that a unit’s SEER and EER values directly affect the cost, both long-term and initial. The higher the ratings the more expensive the product will be. But while the initial purchase price might be higher, you are bound to see an improvement in energy efficiency in the form of a lower energy bill.

In the long run, purchasing more expensive equipment with a higher energy rating means saving more on electricity. Over a course of a few years, you are going to see the return on your investment. But in order to keep the system at peak energy efficiency, regular maintenance is required. Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar, the leading residential air conditioning company in San Marcos offers routine maintenance and 24/7 emergency services at competitive prices to San Marcos homeowners. Contact us at (800) 400-4152 for any questions or to schedule your HVAC maintenance.

Energy Efficient Furnaces

If your old furnace isn’t operating very efficiently and you are considering upgrading to a new energy efficient furnace, there are many things you need to consider before making a decision. Below are several things you should keep in mind when you are looking for furnace installation in San Diego.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

AFUE is a measurement of how well a furnace—or any other gas appliance—converts fuel to heat over the course of a year. AFUE is the industry standard for measuring a furnace’s efficiency. New furnaces are required by law to state their AFUE and provide a comparison to other models of furnaces. You’ve probably seen this on appliances in the past and never realized what it was:

 

Today, a good AFUE rating is between 90 and 98 percent.

These ENERGYGUIDE stickers are required by the U.S. Department of Energy with the goal of helping consumers make decisions with energy efficiency in mind when upgrading appliances. We carry many energy efficient brands of furnaces. Schedule a free consultation with our furnace professionals today to learn more about the brands and models we carry.

Energy Efficiency Steps You Should Take Before You Buy

Keep in mind, however, the AFUE rating measures only the efficiency of the furnace itself. If your home has leaky duct work or piping, your heating system may not operate as efficiently as you would expect. Before you upgrade to a new energy efficient furnace model, you should improve the energy efficiency of your home by sealing air leaks in your ducts and around windows and adding insulation. Improving the energy efficiency of your home will help your furnace professional more easily determine the size of heating system you need. A more efficient home will also require a smaller furnace—decreasing upfront costs as well as ongoing heating costs!

How to Keep Your Furnace Operating Efficiently

Even very efficient furnaces can operate inefficiently if they are not properly maintained. The best way to keep your furnace operating as efficiently as possible is to have regular furnace maintenance. Keeping your baseboards, air registers, and air filters maintained and cleaned annually can shave hundreds off your annual heating costs. After having a new energy efficient furnace installed, we recommend signing up for our HVAC maintenance plan to keep your system operating at peak performance for longer.

Why Upgrade?

Still not convinced? An energy efficient furnace can actually cut your heating bill in half! Beyond the financial reasons, there are health and environmental reasons to consider as well. Older furnaces can develop leaks that could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or other health problems. Old inefficient furnaces also produce far more carbon dioxide emissions and smog particulate that create poor air quality problems. A new energy efficient furnace benefits not only your finances, but also your family and neighbors!