Common Reasons for Heating Repair in Poway: Electrical Problems with Furnaces

Does your furnace blow the fuse when the heat turns on? Root problems can be many and difficult to identify for the average homeowner. As experts in heating installation, maintenance and heating repair in Poway and across San Diego, Action AC is here to answer your HVAC dilemmas and provide custom solutions to your heating and HVAC needs.

When your furnace is having electrical problems, doing research and investigation on your own is fine, but since causes can greatly vary in nature, it’s best that you call an experienced heating repair specialist.

Wrong fuse

If the fuse is too weak to take on the capacity of your system, it will often cause shorts.

Solution: Always call trusted, qualified HVAC technicians to service your furnace.

Dirty fuse

This is likely to happen when a furnace hasn’t been maintained for some time. Fuses that are covered in soot or grime could have difficulty connecting and fail.

Solution: Keep the system regularly cleaned, maintained and inspected by a qualified and experienced professional.

Dirty filters

Dust and debris build up in filters. When they are not regularly changed, the dust can accumulate in the blower motor, which can lead to overheating. This causes the fuse to blow. What is especially hazardous in this case is that the fuse can even catch on fire.

Solution: replacing the fuse and the filter, having the system deep cleaned and committing to a routine of regularly changing the filters.

Contact with water

If the furnace comes into contact with water, it’s highly likely it will lead to a short. The water could be coming from the furnace itself (from the condensation) or there could be a leak near the furnace.

Solution: It’s best to call in a professional HVAC technician to prevent any potential hazards.

Loose wire

When a furnace is working, there is a certain level of vibration. It is possible that these vibrations cause a wire to get dislodged and sometimes, cause a short circuit.

Solution: Identifying the wire and replacing it, and having the system regularly inspected and tuned up to avoid such problems.

Faulty starting capacitor

In this situation, the problems you experience with your furnace and electricity could come and go. That’s why it could be difficult to locate the root of the problem.

Solution: Replacing the capacitor.

Broken transformer

Transformer converts the building’s voltage so that the electrical components of the furnace can function. This is necessary in buildings that have a 120 voltage. When the transformer fails, the system shorts.

Solution: Replacing the transformer.

Bad valve

Gas furnaces have valves. When a valve doesn’t open and shut correctly, it can turn hot and cause a short.

Solution: Replacing the valve and performing regular system check-up by professionals.

Faulty blower motor

When the blower motor is faulty, it puts a strain on the system, drawing too much power to run. This can lead to short circuits.

Solution: Replacing the blower motor.

Prevent problems with regular maintenance by experts for heating repair in Poway

Most of these problems can be prevented if you get a professional to look at your system on a regular basis and perform the necessary maintenance. Action AC is San Diego’s favorite local HVAC contractor, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune’s poll. We offer you a full range of HVAC services, backed up by more than 4 decades of experience and thousands of satisfied customers. Call us when you need expert heating repair in Poway or elsewhere in San Diego and South Riverside County!

Buyer’s Guide for Furnaces: Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

Your home heating system is a major appliance. If you’ve been experiencing some malfunctions or you can barely remember when your furnace was bought, the question may be preying on your mind – should you repair it or replace it? We have written about buying a new furnace. As your heating repair El Cajon (and San Diego) experts, Action AC is here to offer some guidelines in this post. We do, however, strongly encourage you to make an appointment with our seasoned technicians who will come out and assess the condition of your heating system and give you personalized advice. Call us today!

Repair

Life expectancy is something to consider. Electric and gas furnaces live between 15 and 20 years. If your furnace is younger than 10 years and there’s a malfunction that doesn’t prevent you from getting some heat, repair is most likely viable and sensible.

One rule of thumb is to consider the cost of repairs in relation to the cost of the new system. If the repairs will cost no more than 30% of a new furnace, it makes sense to get the system repaired. However, this rule can be crossed with the age of the existing system, to get a better perspective on the matter. The older your system is, the less you should pay for the repairs so that it makes financial sense. To illustrate, it could be reasonable to spend $1,300 on the repair of a 5-year-old furnace, but financing such a repair could be money down the drain for a 10-year-old system. If we start with the premise that $1,300 is a reasonable repair for a 5-year-old furnace, every year added to that lowers the reasonable repair cost by $100. That’s just to give you a rough idea of what makes sense, but it’s best to have experienced technicians ascertain the condition of the unit.

It could turn out that your furnace’s performance could be significantly enhanced by other means. Maybe your ducts need sealing, or your home is poorly insulated, or you need a new thermostat, etc. This is something that a professional and experienced HVAC technician can best help with.

Replace

Again, age is a huge factor for replacement. If you have a furnace that was built before 1992, you should give serious thought to replacement even if the system doesn’t need repairs. The main reason for this is that systems that are older than 1992 likely have a 60% AFUE rating or less. In other words, you waste at least 40 cents of every dollar you give for fuel.

Replacing your system with an energy-efficient solution could make you eligible for tax credits and utility rebates. Find out more at www.dsireusa.org.

When mature age and necessary repairs combine, replacement is prudent. If the repairs exceed 50% of the price a new system, you should definitely replace the furnace. If vital parts of the furnace fail, you should most probably replace it (e.g. out-of-warranty failed compressor, cracked heat exchanger, etc.). If your system is more than 10 years old and you need frequent repairs, replacement is most probably in order.

Sometimes, it might seem that repair is the cheaper option, but you should include these considerations as well. Firstly, the cost of frequent repairs may quickly add up. If the system needs frequent repairs, it probably isn’t efficient and drains your home budget for energy that goes to waste.

It can happen that your system is experiencing malfunctions often because it wasn’t properly installed or the necessary capacity wasn’t accurately calculated. These two problems are also best addressed through a detailed system inspection.

Call Action AC for expert heating repair El Cajon (and surrounding area)

Action AC is here to serve you with over 4 decades of experience and excellence. When you are in doubt about repairing or replacing your furnace, make sure you reach out to us. HVAC systems are a major home appliance and you are best served when you have the right people to help you. Based in San Marcos, Action AC provides outstanding HVAC services for repair, replacement, installation and maintenance. We have been serving San Diego since 1975 with a stellar reputation. Call us today!

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!

Buyers’ Guide for Furnaces: Gas Furnaces

Heating Repair Escondido specilaists about gas furnaces Let’s see how gas furnaces compare to electric furnaces, which we have already written about in our previous post (continuing our buyers’ guide for new furnaces).

How do gas furnaces work?

Gas furnaces are also forced air systems, like electric furnaces. The system is set in motion when the thermostat sends the furnace a low-voltage signal that the temperature has dropped below the preset desired level. This prompts the gas to be delivered to the burner in the combustion chamber. Cold air is pulled from cold air returns situated on the floor, walls or ceiling of a room. It is filtered, and then taken through the metal chamber with the heat exchanger in it. The combustion creates heat in the heat exchanger, which heats the air moving around it. When the air is warmed, it’s pushed into the warm air plenum, and then warm air supply ducts thereof. The combustion gases are vented via flue through the roof or the wall.

What makes gas furnaces the most popular choice in the U.S.?

When home and business owners have gas mains running to their location, they generally prefer gas furnaces to other type of furnaces for a host of reasons.

The gas is supplied directly to the furnace through piping. With this constant supply, there’s no need to think whether you should top up the furnace, like with wood or coal. You are also relieved from having to stock up on the fuel.

For a fossil fuel, gas burns quite clean. The exhaust gases which are released are mostly vapor and a small amount of carbon dioxide.

Gas furnaces are easy to maintain.

What is gas furnace maintenance like?

Apart from doing a regular monthly check-up and maintenance yourself, it would be best to schedule a regular professional maintenance by heating repair Escondido experts (we also serve the rest of San Diego metro area cities). Professionals will perform inspection and ensure reliability of all system components. If anything’s worn down or broken, they’ll be able to fix it and prevent much more costly repairs.

What you can do yourself is visually inspect the furnace and replace the filters once a month or more often in the heating season. Clean air filters mean clean and healthy air for your family. When the furnace is on, look for signs of soot around. Check whether the flame is burning blue in the burner. If there are traces of yellow or orange, that means that there is something else besides the gas that is burning. Of course, this issue is something that calls for a professional. As far as cleaning goes, make sure the furnace is turned OFF. Either turn it off at the switch or the circuit breaker. You can vacuum the interior and wipe down anything that can’t be vacuumed.

Are gas furnaces energy-efficient?

Energy efficiency in furnaces is measured by AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Gas furnaces range from 55% (obsolete technology) to 98.2% AFUE. Since 2015, the standard has been 80 – 83% AFUE. Anything above 90% AFUE is labelled as energy-efficient and approved by Energy Star.

Action AC is Premier Dealer for Lennox, which produces currently the most energy-efficient gas furnace with AFUE of 98.2%. If you are interested in finding out more about this fantastic product, give us a call!

Energy Star rated furnaces are single- or two-stage, or modulating. They have a variable-speed blower, electronic ignition and two heat exchangers. The main one is used to condition the air, whereas the other condenses flue gases. These furnaces also have sealed combustion chambers.

If energy efficiency is what you are after, read up more on the subject in our posts about air leaks and duct sealing.

Want to talk more? Call heating repair Escondido experts!

Action AC is your trusted HVAC contractor when you need anything related to heating installation, service or heating repair Escondido or anywhere else in San Diego. Based in San Marcos, Action AC has been delivering top notch HVAC services to San Diego communities since 1975. Our growing customer base, steady referral business, excellent reviews and multiple industry-relevant awards testify to our commitment to customers. Call us today and tell us what you need when it comes to heating!