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 The investment of a new AC system can save you big in the long run; an outdated HVAC system will lead to costly repairs, expensive utility bills, decreased home comfort, and poor indoor air quality.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.

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!

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.

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!

HVAC Troubleshooting: Pooling Water Under Air Conditioning

If you notice a pool of water under your AC, it is a sign that your HVAC needs to be repaired or replaced. There are several things that can cause this common AC issue, so it’s important to call a certified HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the problem. 

Water is naturally created by the AC unit from the process of pulling in the hot/humid air from outside and cooling it through the unit’s cold evaporator coil. Condensation forms and that water is expelled by the drain line into your plumbing, condensation pump, or outside. If there is any issue with the parts that control this process, a pool of water will form under your AC unit. In this case, your AC is not running efficiently and could cause more expensive repairs, premature damage to parts and increased energy bills. Here are a few common causes for pooling water under AC:

  • Condensation pump – When the water is not expelled properly due to a faulty condensation pump, the continual presence of water in an AC unit will create mold and mildew build up and cause the system to clog. This is important to repair in a timely manner to prevent a snowball-effect of other problems because of a clogged unit.
  • Blocked drain hole – If condensation/water is not able to exit the unit due to a clogged drain hole, the water will have nowhere else to go but inside your home or pool around the unit. A clogged drain hole is caused by dirt, insects, debris or mold/mildew build up inside the unit. It could also be from a dirty evaporator coil in which case the dirt will mix with the water and fall down into the drainage pan, clogging the drain hole.
  • Frozen evaporator coil – Low refrigerant causes the coil to become much colder than necessary, in turn freezing it. A dirty air filter will also cause the coil to freeze from the lack of airflow. To defrost the coil, turn your AC off and call a licensed HVAC contractor to correct the problem.
  • Bad sealing – If the seals on your AC unit are not tight, it will cause an excess of air inside. The moisture from that air will build up when the warm air meets the cold air inside the AC unit. A HVAC contractor will need to reseal the outside of the AC to keep it properly isolated.
  • Poor installation – This is common with newly installed AC units. The problem of pooling water happens when condensate trap is not installed correctly, which will prevent the water/condensation from properly draining.

Action Air is dedicated to your home’s comfort and energy savings. If you are experiencing pooling water under your AC, call Action Air to schedule an appointment with one of our Nate-Certified technicians.

Your Complete Buyer’s Guide to a New AC System

Buying New AC System in San Diego Buying a new Air Conditioner is an investment for your home or commercial building – and one of the costliest. When shopping for a new Air Conditioner the purchaser should make sure to balance their priorities with price. AC installation can be a large investment, let us help you do it right.

To get the results you want from your new AC investment, you should put time and energy into scheduling an evaluation, researching available financing options (including HERO) and rebates, and comparing features, prices, and products. This guide from the experts at Action AC aims to help you through this process to get you on your way to lower energy bills, increased indoor comfort, and improved air quality!

Step 1: Have your home or building evaluated by a trusted NATE Certified HVAC contractor, like Action AC. The size of the living or working space, micro climate, and existing duct work determine what type of Air Conditioner is best for your needs. The HVAC contractor should use a duct-sizing method to determine if all the duct sections in the space are properly sized for efficient cooling.

If your home is not properly evaluated, an oversized AC unit could be installed. Oversized units are more expensive upfront, cycle on and off more frequently which will increase your energy bills, and make it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

The Air Conditioner Contractors of America (ACCA) website provides a guide in Manual J to properly evaluate a home or building’s cooling needs. Make sure to request a copy of the computer print out of the ‘cooling load calculations’.

Step 2: Once your space has been evaluated by a trusted HVAC contractor, it’s time to explore your options for the new AC system. First, prioritize your needs. There are several factors to consider:

Step 3: Research all rebate, financing options, tax incentives, and savings opportunities. Rebates and energy incentives are available through your utility company, state and federal government. Here are a few resources to research tax credits, incentives, and rebate options:

Step 4: After you have determined what your AC priorities are, and researched what savings are available to you, it’s time to start shopping.

Make sure you look at several different models and compare prices. The lowest bid that provides all the features you require does not necessarily mean it is best AC system for you.
Energy Star is an Environmental Protection Agency that helps businesses and homeowners protect the environment and save money through superior energy efficiency. An Energy Star endorsement on an AC model can give you peace of mind with your purchase.

Keep in mind that an energy-efficient system will cost more upfront, but it will eventually pay for itself and save you money in the long term on energy bills.

Reputable AC Installation Experts in San Diego Step 5: Hire a trusted HVAC contractor to perform the installation of your new AC system. Systems that have been installed incorrectly can lead to a malfunctioning system, expensive repairs, and decreased product life.

Our team at Action AC is here to guide you through purchasing a new AC. Our NATE-certified technicians are experienced and trusted HVAC contractors, and our services are guaranteed to get you on your way to the best energy savings and comfort for your living or working space!

HVAC Troubleshooting: What is AC Short Cycling?

Why Do Air Conditioners Cycle On and Off Randomly?

Problems with AC Cycles AC systems naturally turn on and off to maintain the temperature that is set on the thermostat. Cycling is necessary for AC function due to the refrigeration process. The refrigeration process is the most economical approach to cooling an area. The process begins by removing heat via refrigerant (freon), then cooling through a cycle of compression. The heat absorbed by the refrigerants is then expelled to the outside air.

How Does Air Conditioning Cool Your Home?

Air conditioning’s task is removing heat, cooling an area, and successfully expelling that heat to the outside air. The system must go through a cycle of changing the form of heat – from liquid to gas (cooling), and gas back into liquid (heating). Changing the form of heat is accomplished through compression, condensation, expansion and evaporation. Compression is the key component to the refrigeration process.  This is why the compressor is the heart of an AC system.

How To Determine Irregular AC Cycling

Cycling is a normal operational process for HVAC systems, however cause for concern happens when the frequency of the cycling increases.  Typically, three cooling cycles will occur within an hour on a moderate summer day. This means the compressor will run for 10 minutes, then shut down and start up again after 10 minutes. If your AC cycle is inconsistent and the set temperature of your home is fluctuating more than usual, then your system is most likely short cycling. Short cycling is the most common issue homeowners have with their AC unit, and it occurs when your AC is turning on and off irregularly.

AC short cycling could be caused by several factors including an obstructed compressor, faulty thermostat, leaking refrigerant, icy coils, dirty air filter, electrical/board issues, or a HVAC system that is too big for the building in which it is installed. AC short cycling can have a lot of negative effects on your HVAC system, and comfort. It creates stress on the HVAC system that can lead to mechanical breakdowns and costly repairs. AC Short cycling also causes temperature swings and increases your energy bills.

How To Prevent Irregular AC Cycling

Irregular AC Cycles Proper maintenance of your HVAC system is the best way to prevent AC short cycling from occurring. Scheduling a tune-up once a year will keep your system running efficiently and increase the lifespan of your HVAC system. In the meantime, make sure you are changing your air filter regularly and paying attention to the frequency of AC cycles and temperature fluctuation.

If you are experiencing short cycling with your AC, or to schedule your yearly tune-up, call the experts at Action AC 800-400-4152. We are dedicated to your comfort, and our Nate-Certified technicians guarantee efficient and convenient service.

Hazards of Old Furnaces & the Importance of Preventative Maintenance

The season to fire up the furnace is among us, even for Southern California. With this year’s unseasonably cold winter (thanks to El Niño) you’ll be using your heating system more regularly.

That’s why it’s important to understand the health and safety hazards of an outdated heating system. Our team of experts provide some valuable information below on how to ensure your heating system is not putting your home, family ….and wallet at risk.

What is Considered an ‘Outdated Furnace’?

Furnaces 20 years or older are especially dangerous since they all have pilot lights. The average life expectancy of a furnace is between 16 and 20 years. Although newer furnace models with pilot lights have sensors that will automatically shut down if a problem is detected, having a pilot lights still pose a significant safety concern.

Health and Safety Concerns Related to Older Furnaces

Carbon monoxide poisoning is especially common with outdated furnaces. Older pilot lights are typically controlled manually, and even a slight adjustment defect can produce carbon monoxide gas. Today’s homes are built more “air-tight”, leaving furnaces starved of the necessary oxygen it requires to burn fuels completely. When this occurs, toxic gases build up inside the home.

According to statistics compiled by US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 200 people across the nation are known to die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by toxic gas build up produced by their heating systems. In addition, around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related injuries are diagnosed each year- including headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and seasonal depression.

House fires caused by pilot lights, bad ventilation, and/or gas line leaks are another major safety hazard of an outdated heating system. The combustible materials or any flammable objects near a furnace create an increased possibility of fire or explosion. Gasoline, solvents, or other volatile substances emit vapors that can be ignited by the heat or flame inside a gas furnace. Additionally, natural gas which has no odor, taste, smell or color can be omitted from gas line leaks and are extremely flammable and could cause a catastrophic fire or explosion.

Keep Your Heating Cost Efficient With a New Furnace

The oxide required for older furnaces is known to destroy valves, cause gaskets to leak, and bearings to go dry, inevitably creating more risk of malfunctioning parts or total system breakdown. The older a furnace is, the more likely its parts will malfunction, causing repairs to become gradually more expensive. Older furnaces also require more gas to create heat. Replacing your furnace with a more energy efficient system will save you in long term repair costs…. And you might actually smile next time you get your gas and electric bill.

Furnace Repair & Heating System Preventative Maintenance

Not only do Action Air’s experts encourage you to maintain a safe heating system for your home, but several US agencies and organizations do as well. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Lung Association encourage regular maintenance of older furnaces and up-to-date of home heating systems in order to keep homes all over America safe.

If you are not ready to replace your old furnace, service and maintenance at least twice a year (every 6 months) is necessary to insure your home and family are not at risk, especially if you have a furnace operating on a manual pilot light. Our team at Action Air provides 24 hour emergency service and competitive pricing on HVAC service and maintenance agreements.

Talk to an expert at Action Air today for a free consultation on replacing or servicing your heating system!

Go Solar! How Hero Financing Can Help You Transition Into Solar Energy for Your Home

HERO can be vastly more beneficial than traditional consumer financing. Not only is HERO Solar Financing primarily based on the equity a property owner has, it also does not base decisions on household income or FICO scores.

Eligible coverage under the Hero Financing Program includes both equipment AND installation costs. Hero does not require upfront cost and offers low fixed rate loans for up to 20 years!

Going solar can reduce or eliminate your electric bill all together, saving you the big bucks in the long term. Additionally, financing through HERO requires no upfront costs.

The benefits of going solar:

  1. No out of pocket cost
  2. Low interest fixed loans for 5, 10, 15 & 20 years
  3. Cuts or often eliminates electricity bill
  4. Increases the value of your home
  5. Protects the environment

Installing a solar panel system to your home is a big investment – Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar can make sure that financing your solar upgrade or installation is easy and affordable.

Contact Action Air, Heating & Solar today to see how HERO financing can help you go solar!

Tips For Hiring an HVAC Contractor and the Importance of NATE-Certifications

When looking for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to work in your home, it is important to do some research before hiring a contractor.

HVAC systems are complex and require in-depth knowledge that experienced professionals should have. But how do you know if your local HVAC contracting company has the knowledge and experience required to do quality work in your home?

Here are a few tips to make the process of hiring an HVAC Contractor as seamless as possible:

Research your own system to know what you have already installed. A general knowledge of what you have and how comfortable you are in your home will help guide your HVAC professional towards the services you need. Also, check into the license and insurance requirements for contractors in your state.

Ask your friends, family and co-workers for contractor referrals. You can also call local trade organizations for contact information of members in your area. Ask contractors for references and actually call them. Inquire about the installation or service that was provided and ask if the project was completed on time and within the agreed upon budget.

NATE Certification tests allow technicians to be certified in specific areas of HVAC knowledge and are designed to represent real working knowledge of HVAC systems. Ask the HVAC company if their technicians are NATE-Certified – We’re proud to say that all Action Air Technicians are NATE Certified – Having this certification will ensure that your HVAC service or installation will be handled by a skilled technician who has proven their knowledge by passing the specialized tests. Hiring NATE-Certified technicians is worth your peace of mind knowing the HVAC work will be done right the first time.

Compare written, itemized estimates and what is and isn’t included in each bid, including cost, energy efficiency and warranties. A low price might not be the best deal if the work isn’t completed by an adequately skilled technician or doesn’t include energy efficient systems. Sign a written proposal with your contractor before the work starts. It will protect you by identifying costs, model numbers, schedule and warranty information.

Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar has more than 75,000 HVAC system installations in their portfolio and is dedicated to providing NATE-Certified technicians that have the experience needed to provide solutions for all of your HVAC needs. Contact Action Air today for all your HVAC solutions!