Protecting Your AC From the Weather: What You Need to Know

blankAlthough ACs are hardly used in the winter, it doesn’t imply homeowners can afford to delay a routine AC service until Spring. Winter brings increased precipitation as the temperature plummets, making your AC unit prone to various forms of damage. This means that homeowners should keep a watchful eye on their units even more so than in the summer heat.

To learn more about the harmful impact of the elements on your unit and find out how to prevent expensive AC repairs further down the line, read on. With a few simple expert tips, you will be able to extend the life of your device. If you’re a resident of Murrieta, near Wildomar or Lake Elsinore, you have access to the services of dependable HVAC contractors like Action Air.

Can Rain Damage my AC unit?

Typically, rain is unlikely to significantly harm your AC unit. An air conditioner’s key components are housed in a well-sealed metal casing, which is difficult for rain to penetrate. However, water could promote the growth of mold or the spread of rust if you leave your AC uncovered.

While light rain isn’t usually a reason to worry, if there’s very heavy rainfall, producing more than 15 inches of water, you’ll most probably have cause for concern. If an AC sits in deep stagnant water, the chances are the moisture will cause havoc.

In case your AC has had prolonged exposure to deep standing water, wait for it to dry before doing anything else. Do not turn it on. Your first move should be to contact qualified HVAC professionals for a comprehensive AC service. Certified technicians will assess the extent of the damage and suggest and implement the best solution in the situation.

What is more, if there was a rainstorm, you should also keep an eye out for potential wind damage. For example, twigs and other debris carried by the wind may get jammed in the fan blower, creating issues.

Should you cover the air conditioner in winter?

Your outdoor air conditioning unit is at the mercy of the cold, the rain, and other weather conditions. Strong winds can lead to the accumulation of debris that could impair the functioning of your air con. Also, in certain cases water could seep into the unit and freeze inside, and cause a fault with your condenser fins. Icicles could also fall and hit your unit from above, giving you yet another reason to worry.

Thankfully, you can reduce your exterior unit’s exposure to the elements in a very simple way,   by providing a cover for it during the winter. Here are some ideas for you to try out:

  • Use covers made from breathable materials only. Although effective at protecting your unit from dirt and debris, plastic covers won’t allow the moisture to evaporate. This may lead to the development of corrosion or mold. This type of cover can also become a safe haven for bugs, causing them to inhabit your AC. Your cover shouldn’t be placed around the unit tightly. Instead, leave it some breathing room.
  • You could put a piece of plywood on top of the AC. Put rocks or bricks over it or tie it with a rope to hold it in place. The plywood surface will prevent leaves and ice from getting in touch with the device by providing a barrier.
  • Try building a protective awning for the unit. It can be easier than you might expect, so the chances are you could carry it out even if you aren’t an experienced DIY enthusiast. This way, you will shield the unit quite effectively.
  • Planting shrubbery around the AC can make for an added layer of protection. Neither wind nor rain will reach the unit so easily if there’s a physical barrier that is keeping it sheltered.

If you have any questions about the maintenance and protection of your air conditioner, feel free to contact a reputable team of HVAC experts. When it comes to such an essential part of your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry. HVAC technicians will inspect your unit to check for any signs of trouble and suggest a suitable repair or maintenance option. Professionals can also clean your furnace before winter, tell you what the typical lifespan of a furnace is, and solve other dilemmas.

When is the best time to test an air conditioner?

Note that you shouldn’t wait for the weather to get too hot before turning on your air conditioner. But, refrain from testing your AC while it’s freezing outside as well. Experts recommend testing your air conditioner when the outside temperature has been above 60 degrees for two days.

Essentially, you should test your AC while it’s still not too cold or too warm outside to enable it to get back into gear more gradually. What’s more, you will be able to catch any issues with your unit before the heating season starts and it gets more difficult to schedule an AC service repair.

How do an AC service after winter?

In order to fully prepare your air conditioner for the Spring and Summer, both the indoor and the outdoor units of your system will require attention.

INDOOR UNIT

Before you turn on your AC, you should take some time to address any indoor unit concerns. Prepare the your unit with these at-home AC service procedures:

  • Clean the vents: if your AC has been inactive for months, there is a great chance that dust and dirt have accumulated inside the vents. This can decrease your indoor air quality, as it can circulate airborne contaminants throughout your home. Make sure to check and clean the vents to remove any dirt and dust that may have settled there.
  • Inspect the ductworkductwork inefficiencies can cause homes throughout the U.S. to lose up to 30 percent of energy. This is why it’s important to inspect and seal your ductwork before the cooling season begins. Look for signs of damage in your ductwork, especially in crawl spaces, attic, and basement, and hire HVAC technicians to handle any issues.
  • Change the filter: before you turn your unit on, make sure to check and replace your filter. AC filters can quickly get clogged with dust and dirt, especially after months of inactivity, which can contribute to lower efficiency, malfunctions, or breakdowns.
  • Inspect your thermostat: is your thermostat old or inefficient? If so, consider purchasing a new programmable thermostat before the spring season to maximize efficiency and ensure even cooling throughout your home.

OUTDOOR UNIT

The outdoor components of your air conditioning system also need to be inspected or given an AC service before use during the spring. This can optimize airflow and make sure that the condenser unit is in tip-top shape after months of inactivity. Take the following steps:

  • Remove AC covers: many homeowners choose to cover their outdoor condenser units during the winter months. While this is not recommended for a number of reasons, it is important to remove any covers before using the system for the first time. Running your AC with a cover on may cause a variety of problems fairly quickly.
  • Inspect for damage: before turning on the system, check the unit’s outdoor panels and electrical connections for damage. If you notice that any panels are missing or misaligned, make sure to contact HVAC experts to prevent safety risks. Also, make sure to check out the AC line set running from the outdoor unit to your home, as the insulated sleeve wrapping them can sustain cracks, fraying, and other forms of damage.
  • Remove debris: it is important to clear away any twigs, leaves, and dirt that may have accumulated along the outdoor unit, as debris can restrict airflow and lower your system’s efficiency.

How preventive AC service & maintenance helps

The best way to ensure optimal performance of your unit and prevent expensive breakdowns in the summer is to schedule an AC service tune-up. Here’s how it can help:

  • Regular maintenance boosts the efficiency of your unit which can bring you great energy savings.
  • Preventive maintenance can also minimize the risk of unexpected breakdowns and expensive repairs.
  • Routine maintenance can extend your AC’s lifespan, maximizing its value.
  • Not sticking to a routine maintenance schedule can void your warranty and cause you to pay out of pocket for any repairs.

    Need expert AC repair and maintenance? Give us a call.

    How do I start my AC after winter We are a team of motivated professionals aiming to maximize your indoor comfort year round. Whether you’re thinking about scheduling an AC service, heater tune-up or need emergency repair, rest assured that we’ll handle the task with professionalism and efficiency.

    Our licensed HVAC technicians excel at installing, repairing, and servicing all kinds of HVAC systems owing to their comprehensive expertise and the highest industry standards. No matter what your heating and cooling needs may be, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and maximize your comfort.

     

 

Enter the Action Air Fall Coloring Contest TODAY!

Action Air 2020 Fall Coloring Contest

Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar is excited to present its 2020 Fall Coloring Contest, beginning October 13, 2020. The Action team welcomes any child to participate and we look forward to everyone’s creations! One entry per child.

TO ENTER:

Download the page HERE, print & color! Take a photo of the colored page and post the photo on our @actionac Facebook page with #ColorwithAction, the name and age of the contestant. If you are unable to post entries through Facebook, please email them to marketing@actionac.net. One first place and one second place winner will be selected from each age category. Winners will be contacted through Facebook direct message or email!

Age Group Categories:
4–6 years

7–9 years

10-12 years

Winners in each age category will receive:

1st Place – $100 Target Gift Card
2nd Place – $50 Handel’s Homemade Ice-Cream Gift Card

Winners announced: November 7, 2020

For more information:
marketing@actionac.net
760-727-4152

Good Luck!

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!

How Your Heating System Impacts Indoor Air Quality

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

How Your Heating System Works

heating system repair

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

Furnace Filters

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

Dirty Ductwork

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

How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality during Heating Season

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

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

Invest in Whole Home Purification Systems

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

DuctWork Cleaning & Preventative Maintenance

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