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!

Which Is Better For You: Ducted or Ductless Systems?

Ducted or ductless air conditioning in Chula Vista

With so much buzz about energy-efficiency, a great deal of homeowners are thinking whether they should go for ductless mini-split systems. While these novel systems are taking California by storm, there are still some situations where they are humbled by ducted HVACs. Here is info that could give you some direction when it comes to installation of air conditioning in Chula Vista or anywhere in San Diego.

Ducted Systems

Ducted HVACs have metal sheet ducts running through the walls and the ceiling of your home. The central furnace or air conditioner heats or cools the air and forces it through the ducts, delivering it to different rooms through vents. A centralized HVAC ensures a uniform temperature throughout the whole residence.

Go for a centralized ducted air conditioning in Chula Vista if…

If your home already has ductwork, but the system is inefficient or faulty, it would still make more financial sense for you to invest in installing a new ducted HVAC. If your ducts are leaking too much air, you could have them sealed. A centralized system is more cost-effective, especially if you want a whole-house system.

If you want to get rid of humidity in the air, ducted systems are much better at this task than ductless mini-splits. Ducted systems are also better for the overall indoor air flow. Indoor air quality, as well as air pressure, can be a concern with ductless mini-splits.

From a certain standpoint, ducted HVACs can be lower-maintenance as well. To ensure their peak performance, a cleaning routine and scheduled professional check-up will prevent most problems. Ducted systems have only one indoor unit and one indoor air handler, whereas ductless systems have an air handler in every room.

You might also decide to go for a centralized ducted system because of esthetic reasons. Ducted HVACs are hidden behind walls. Therefore, they are less disruptive of the home décor both inside and outside. On the other hand, we have to be honest and admit that ductless mini-splits have quite a neat design, which isn’t that conspicuous in a lot of cases.

Ductless Systems

Ductless mini-splits have an outdoor unit and one or multiple indoor units, also called air handlers or blowers. These air handlers extract the heat from each room individually.

Go for a ductless mini-split for your air conditioning in Chula Vista if…

With ductless systems you have more control. Unlike centralized ducted systems which can only establish the same temperature throughout the home, ductless system allows you to choose which rooms will be cooled. This makes for a higher energy-efficiency, in general. However, just like ducts can leak air and cut down the efficiency of the unit, the external refrigerant links of ductless systems could also lose energy. A zoned ducted system and VRF are alternatives to ductless AC systems, which also provide the option of zoning your home.

If you are adding a room to your house, it would be easier to go with a ductless mini-split with one air handler than to install new ductwork and connect it to the existing one. Even if you are building a new home and want to have a centralized ducted system, it would make sense to complement this system with one ductless unit for spaces that are not frequently used.

Additionally, ductless systems are better for dust reduction, because they don’t have any ducts where dust could build up and get blown into the home.

Schedule a free estimate

Nothing compares to having pros come in and assess which air conditioning system is best for you. Action AC is #1 ranked HVAC contractor by choice of San Diegans. Reach out to us at (800) 400-4152 and book your appointment now!

Your Pet(s) and Indoor Air Quality

Pets are often treated like loved members of the family and bring happiness and companionship into your home. Unfortunately pets also bring dander, dirt and hair – causing unwanted allergens to circulate through your house, in turn decreasing your indoor air quality.

It is estimated that over 70% of all American households are home to a pet. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your home healthy while sharing it with your furry loved ones.

Pet Dander

Pet dander is composed of microscopic flakes of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers, which can trigger allergic reactions in people. Humans can also be allergic to proteins found in pet urine, saliva, and feces. When these become airborne, it gets circulated through an HVAC system like dust and accumulates on surfaces throughout the home, resulting in symptoms such as sneezing, rashes, watery eyes, and other respiratory complaints.

Every time your HVAC system kicks in, pet dander blows through the system and redistributes in other areas of the home, causing your family and guests to breathe it in. It can settle in a person’s respiratory tract and can cause allergic reactions and medical problems such as asthma.

Pet Hair

In addition to the problem of pet dander, pet hair poses a unique challenge to any HVAC system. When your system blows conditioned air into a room, it also sucks up the stale air to re-condition for later use. Pet hairs end up being sucked in along with the stale air. Even if you have a pet with short hair, it doesn’t take long for pet hair to clog up your filter and hinder your system’s efficiency.

A clogged filter will not only decrease your indoor air quality, but it causes your HVAC system stress. A stressed HVAC system will have to work harder to keep your home comfortable – dwindling the HVAC’s lifespan, functionality, efficiency and increasing your energy bills.

What You Can Do About It

Fortunately, there are other safeguards against pet dander and hair. Here are some tips on how to protect your home and health from poor indoor air quality:

Tip #1: Invest in a Whole Home Air Purification System.

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 can direct you to the best Air Filtration product for your family and home’s unique needs.

Tip # 2: Get your ductwork cleaned.

No matter how efficient or clean your air filter is – hair, dander, dirt and debris will collect in your ductwork – especially households with pets. If your ductwork has not been cleaned or maintained regularly, your indoor air quality and health will suffer as a result.

Tip #3: Maintain your HVAC System Air Filters.

Your air filter is an essential component in keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and breathing clean air. During heating and cooling seasons, owners with pets should check their air filters at least once a month, and change out quarterly.

Tip #4: Keep your home and pet clean.

Brush and bathe your pet regularly to keep dirt out of circulation and prevent dander build-up. Vacuuming your home with a HEPA filtered model will also help prevent the circulation of pet dander and clogged HVAC air filters from pet hair.

We Can Help

As a homeowner, you want to ensure that all members of the family are safe and healthy, including pets. Contact Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar today at 1-800-400-4152 to learn more about our indoor air quality solutions. Our expert technicians will be happy to discuss a plan for improving your home’s air quality to make the indoor space as comfortable as possible.

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.

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.