How to Save Energy During an Arizona Summer

As the summer months draw ever closer, warm temperatures begin to make their presence known. Residents in Arizona know that the heat can be hard to beat, especially from June to August when high temperatures can exceed 105F with regularity! While we wouldn’t trade the sunshine and warm weather for the world, there are a few things that homeowners can do to prep their house for the summer.

Let’s take a moment to outline a bunch of fun ways that you can stay cool, beat the heat, and save on your utility bills along the way.

How to Add Shade to Your Building

While it is important to work on the interior of your home to prevent heat loss and cooling leaks, you can make your life easier by adding shade to the exterior of your building. There are plenty of great ways that we can diffuse sunlight and offset heat exposure by adding decorations, natural elements, and even a few neat decor items to our property.

  • Install Shade Trees – Start smart by installing shade trees in the areas surrounding your property. Phoenix does great with trees like the Palo Verde and the Velvet Mesquite. These trees look great, grow over 30 feet tall, and can live for 100+ years. Pay attention to potential allergens before selecting a tree to prevent future issues down the line.
  • Buy Shade Screens – Did you know that you could install shade screens on your window to cut down on energy expenses? It’s true! Shade screens are applied directly to your current windows where they act as diffusers, stripping away up to 25% of cooling expenses.
  • Add a Microclimate – Consider planting a cool microclimate around your property. Landscaping can have a huge impact on the temperature of your building, so consider adding desert-adapted trees as well as plants near windows and walls to lend their support.
  • Install Porch Awnings – Awnings over your porch and windows can go a long way toward keeping the heat away from your home. Awnings look great, add actionable coverage, and will leave you feeling cool.

Adding extra shade elements to your backyard can help keep your property comfortable, your home cool, and your guests entertained.

How to Keep Your Home Cool

Now that we are done working on the exterior of our home, let’s shift attention to the interior of the property. There are plenty of ways that we can approach keeping our homes cool this summer by making small, affordable adjustments. Let’s take a moment to highlight a few of our favorite simple cooling tricks.

  • Raise the Thermostat – Did you know that you can offset energy expenses by up to 3% when you raise your thermostat a single degree? Changing the thermostat from 78 to 80 when you are home will save a ton of money, so consider raising the temp even more if you know you will be out of the house for a while.
  • Check Your Filters – Air conditioning units thrive on efficiency to save you money. When was the last time that you changed or had your air filtration system cleaned? Regularly cleaning and changing your air filters will allow your AC to operate efficiently, cooling you quicker while saving money along the way.
  • Service Your A/C – When was the last time that you had your HVAC system properly serviced by a heating and cooling professional? Scheduling regular tune-ups to make sure your HVAC system is operating smoothly can save you time and money while also preventing potentially major repairs from manifesting.
  • Energy Efficient Upgrades – Homeowners looking to solve energy problems today and in the future can look to energy-efficient HVAC upgrades. EnergyStar-rated products ensure efficient cooling at minimum energy expenditure.

There are a ton of fantastic ways to explore cooling your home more efficiently and affordably. For a more thorough understanding of the ways that your home can be improved upon, consider contacting the team at One Stop Heating & Cooling for a free estimate and consultation.

Save on Utilities With One Stop Heating & Cooling

One Stop Heating & Cooling is a family-owned and operated business based out of the great state of Arizona. An advocate for the community, One Stop works diligently to supply honest, ethical, and affordable services to the good folks of Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Sun City, and the surrounding areas.

Clients who trust One Stop Heating & Cooling with their heating and AC services will enjoy a wide range of benefits.

  • 24/7 Emergency Services
  • Free Estimates & Consultations
  • Residential & Commercial Services
  • Air & Heating Repairs
  • Flexible Financing For Approved Clients

One Stop Heating & Cooling understands how important it is to treat your air and heating systems with respect and quality workmanship. Contact the team today at One Stop to schedule a free estimate at your convenience.

Beat the Heat: Simple Tips for Your A/C This Summer!

Brutal summer temperatures frequently leave Phoenix homeowners looking for HVAC support. Phoenix enjoys average highs surpassing the 100-degree mark from June through September and trust us, you don’t want your air conditioner to fail during this stretch. In order to stay cool and in control this summer, we have pulled together a list of fantastic yet simple tips for your air conditioning system.

Whether you have a small house or a massive warehouse, keep on reading to find the tips YOU need to stay cool this year!

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

If you have to rely on your ceiling fans to keep the heat at bay, make sure to set them correctly for the summer months. In order to do this, all you have to do is set your fan to blow downwards. This causes your room to feel cooler as hot air is replaced by the cooler air from above. This is a simple fix that you can implement today that won’t cause a single penny — and we like that!

Check Your A/C Filters

Did you know that you should be in the habit of regularly changing your air conditioning filters? It’s true! While it can be easy to forget that these filters need to be changed, avoiding doing so will lead to a reduction in efficiency throughout your household.

Dirty filters make it harder for air to pass through your system and this can cause your A/C to strain from the efforts. Not only will you feel less cool, but your home’s energy will also become less efficient — leading to increased energy bills throughout the summer.

Tip — Some air conditioning filters can be cleaned at home. Check online with your filter’s manufacturer to see if yours can be scrubbed clean. Try to change your filter at least once every three months, changing based upon use.

Trap Cool Night Air

While Phoenix can feel like it is boiling during the day, nights in Arizona are actually rather comfortable. Before you go to bed at night make sure to turn off your air conditioning unit before opening all of your windows. Allow the cool night air to fill the home and then in the morning make sure to close the windows before the heat of the day arrives.

By closing the windows before it gets too hot, you can trap that cool air in your home. Shut the blinds to retain all of that precious cool air.

Install a High-Efficiency System

How long have you lived in your current home? When was the last time you oversaw the installation of a new HVAC system? The average air conditioning unit can operate effectively for between 10 and 15 years, often depending on the level of maintenance the system enjoys. As most homeowners tend to ignore their HVAC system until it breaks, the odds are good that your building is due for an upgrade.

Consider investing in a high-efficiency HVAC system by contacting a local HVAC contractor. Discuss SEER ratings and any potential green energy credits that are available with your purchase. An upgraded HVAC system can leave your home cooler for longer periods of time at a more affordable rate.

Install Blackout Curtains

Radiant heat leaking through your window can go a long way toward raising the temperature of your home. If you really want to hide from the heat, consider investing in blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are designed to completely remove the light from your room, and they are often used by people who work overnight shifts.

Blackout curtains can remove the light from your home while allowing the ambient temperature in the room to decrease. While blackout curtains aren’t exactly cheap, they are infinitely more affordable than some other options available.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat

As it turns out, micromanaging the thermostat in your home can save you money and sweat. Programmable thermostats make adjusting the dial more efficient than ever, giving you the chance to take absolute control over your cooling efforts. Some studies suggest that programmable thermostats can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every single year in energy costs.

With a programmable thermostat, set the A/C to stay cool when you are awake and to turn off when you are in bed or away from the home. Easy!

About One Stop Heating & Cooling

As temperatures begin to rise, Arizona residents need to know that their cooling solutions will work. The team at One Stop Heating & Cooling has dedicated themselves to providing top-tier sales, service, repair, and installation for all air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality products.

Driven by honest and reliable work, One Stop Heating & Cooling is proud to offer an array of winning benefits to its clients throughout the area.

  • Family-Owned, Family Operated
  • 24 Hour Emergency Hours
  • Free Estimates
  • Commercial and Residential Services
  • Flexible Financing Solutions (On Approval!)

For an appointment with the best residential and commercial HVAC team in Arizona, fill out our online contact form or pick up the phone and call for a quote at your convenience!

Things You Can Do To Prep Your AC for the Arizona Summer!

As summer approaches and temperatures rise throughout Arizona, homeowners find themselves relying more and more on their air conditioning systems to stay comfortable indoors. Before the most sweltering temperatures of the year hit, however, it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s air conditioning system receives a little TLC. After all, a well-maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently and be less prone to mechanical failures throughout the summer.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to preparing your AC for another sweltering Arizona summer? We’ve got you covered with some practical tips and recommendations.

Replace Dirty Air Filters

Start by asking yourself when you last changed your HVAC system’s air filter. If it’s been more than a few months, then there’s a good chance that your air filter is in dire need of replacement. With most furnace and AC air filters, the recommended amount of time in between changes is around 90 days.

Swapping out your air filter with a fresh one ensures that you’re not trying to run your air conditioning with a clogged filtration system. This, in turn, improves your indoor air quality and helps your unit run more efficiently. By preventing your air conditioning system from working harder than it needs to this summer, you’re also reducing the likelihood of needing costly and unexpected repairs.

Optimize Efficiency

Now is also a good time to take some proactive measures to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system, which in turn can keep it running more smoothly. There are plenty of steps you can take to optimize efficiency, such as checking around your home for drafty windows and doors. Taking the time to caulk around drafty areas of the home provides better insulation, thus protecting your air conditioning unit from being overworked.

If any of the ductwork in your home is exposed, you may also want to consider having it insulated. This will help to keep cold air traveling from your AC’s condenser unit as cool as possible as it makes it way to your vents. This improves energy efficiency, which can save you money on your electric bills while also helping your AC unit run more efficiently.

Check the Condensate Line

Your air conditioning system also contains a part known as a “condensate drain,” which is responsible for carrying moisture away from the unit that is formed during the refrigeration cycle. Unfortunately, condensate drain lines can become clogged over time. When this happens, water can become backed up in the drain pan and eventually overflow, causing water damage that can affect other important parts of your air conditioning system.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to check your AC’s condensate line for clogs at least once a year—and to clear them out as necessary. This small step can protect you from much more costly damage and repairs down the road.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

If you’re not already enrolled in an HVAC service plan for your home, now is the time to consider signing up for an annual maintenance and tune-up plan for your air conditioning system. Having a yearly inspection done by an experienced and knowledgeable HVAC professional is a great way to stay on top of small repairs and other issues that need to be addressed before they turn into major and costly AC repairs or premature replacement.

Meanwhile, many HVAC service plans also include tune-up services, which can help to get your air conditioning system ready for summer. While the exact services included in a tune-up can vary greatly from one company to the next, many will include such services as cleaning parts, checking condensate lines, measuring refrigerant levels, and much more. An annual tune-up is a great way to keep your home’s AC system running as smoothly as possible.

Ideally, you should have an AC inspection and tune-up done in the early spring months; this gives you time to have any necessary repairs done and ensures that your AC system is ready to perform as the warmer months of the year approach. However, you can have an AC inspection done at any time.

One Stop Heating & Cooling is Here to Help

Looking for a local HVAC company you can trust with your home’s AC inspection and tune-up? One Stop Heating & Cooling has you covered. Our NATE-certified technicians can also handle any necessary repairs or even total AC replacement to suit your needs. Ultimately, our goal is to help you stay as comfortable as possible in your home this summer—no matter what Arizona’s harsh climate brings.

Schedule your AC tune-up and inspection with our friendly team at One Stop Heating & Cooling today by our contact form or calling us anytime at (623) 688-6556. We look forward to serving you! We’d also be happy to answer any questions you may have about our residential services or schedule a quote for AC replacement, so feel free to reach out.

4 Common Causes of HVAC Failure in Modern Homes

Heating and cooling solutions have been part and parcel of daily life since they were first introduced in the early 1900s. The air conditioner was brought forth by Willis Carrier in 1902 while the furnace as we know it was introduced in 1919. Since then, homes around the nation have been outfitted with modern and advanced HVAC systems.

Yet for all the comfort and convenience that our modern HVAC systems provide, they also experience some common causes of failure. There are many reasons that an HVAC system can fail and the majority of them should be diagnosed by the professionals at One Stop Heating and Cooling.

Before you pick up the phone to call on your team of HVAC professionals, let’s take some time to outline four of the most common causes of HVAC failure in homes and businesses, today.

Dirty Filters Due to Neglect

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to maintain a high level of air quality is by changing out your air filters on a routine basis? It’s true and yet so many people neglect to even find out where the filters for their HVAC units are.

Dirty air filters are one of the most common causes of struggling HVAC systems in the world. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple fix. Merely find the dirty filters within your HVAC system before replacing them entirely. There are washable filter options available for people that want to shop for more sustainable heating and cooling solutions.

Changing out your dirty filters should become a priority and the first line of defense against a failing HVAC unit. The team at One Stop Heating and Cooling suggests changing air filters at least once every three months, depending on use.

Malfunctioning Thermostat / Broken Thermostat

Without the thermostat centrally controlling your HVAC system, things can stop working as they should. Broken thermostats are far more often the cause of issues within HVAC systems than many might expect. Thankfully, this is a relatively simple and inexpensive repair. With that being said, use this time to consider upgrading to a better style of a thermostat, particularly if you live in an older home with an older and out of date HVAC system.

Broken thermostats can be quickly fixed by an HVAC repair technician. The big hurdle that must be overcome with this problem is that a broken thermostat may be hard to pin down at first due to the evolving nature of HVAC systems. As always, a careful inspection with the assistance of an HVAC tech can clarify this issue further.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

When we don’t regularly clean our air filtration devices, we can end up with a big issue in the form of a frozen evaporator coil. Frozen coils are caused by air filtration problems that cause a build-up of frost on or near the actual coil. This issue can get identified rather quickly by inspecting the coil itself. This is an issue that would benefit from a professional set of hands, so consider a technician when it comes time to fix and solve this problem for the future.

Frozen evaporator coils can also happen when an air conditioning system is operated too long and too intensely. Make sure to pay attention to your AC needs and to quickly identify potential frozen coil problems. A small issue today can grow into a large issue tomorrow.

HVAC Without Power Might Signify a Tripped Breaker

Have you ever come home to a cold or otherwise non-temperature controlled home? While our first thoughts may run to the thermostat, another likely cause for this issue is a tripped breaker. When an HVAC system refuses to function at all it potentially signifies an issue between the power system and the furnace, likely fixable through simply resetting the break.

The first time that a homeowner finds a non-function HVAC system, check the breaker box. If resetting the breakers doesn’t bring power back to your heating and cooling systems, make sure to pick up the phone and call on the team at One Stop Heating and Cooling for a free estimate.

The Differences Between Air Ventilation, Filtration, and Purification

Understanding Your Air Handling Options

Modern HVAC technology offers a variety of methods for maintaining the cleanliness and healthfulness of your air. Three primary approaches include air ventilation, purification, and filtration. Let’s take a look at the main features, limitations, and benefits of each.

Ventilation: Air Exchange and Circulation

Pushing air around your home doesn’t automatically make that air any cleaner. If you constantly breathe the same old stale indoor air, you might actually get better air quality by going outside. Air circulation only improves air quality when you have a means of replacing the old, stale air with new, fresh air. Properly-installed, well-designed mechanical ventilation systems can make this possible. A mechanical ventilation system uses fans and ducts to pull cleaned, filtered air into the home while also pushing “used” air out. Bear in mind, however, that this very basic level of air cleaning may not be sufficient for your needs; nor can it prevent the infiltration of germs.

Filtration: Pulling Particles Out of the Air

Filtration works by setting up a physical, permeable barrier to airborne particles. Particles smaller than a particular size may pass through the filter, while anything larger gets stopped by the filter material. This straining process can provide much cleaner air for anyone sensitive to dust, dander, mold, pollen, and other common irritants. Less dust in the air also means less dust on your air conditioning coils. (Coils that get clogged with dust simply can’t operate efficiently.)

Many standard HVAC air filters do little to block any but the largest particles, which may prove beneficial only to your air conditioning components. For filtration that also helps to preserve your health, look into MERV-16 or HEPA filters, which can block particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Purification: Killing Contaminants Before They Cause Trouble

Air purification focuses on killing any germs that may infiltrate a home’s HVAC system. This makes them a natural complement to filtration systems, which may stop the majority of germs but still permit the tiniest one to remain airborne. Air purifiers work their magic by implementing either of these two technologies:

  • Ultraviolet light – Some air purifiers expose incoming air to UVC radiation (the most toxic and destructive type of UV), killing viruses and bacteria.
  • Photocatalytic ionization – This air-scrubbing technology adds a chemical catalyst to the UVC component in an air purifier system. As the UVC kills the germs, the catalyst produces chemical changes that reduce them to CO2 and water.

An air purifier may offer more air cleaning power than your home and family actually need. Some models also produce UVC radiation at frequencies that result in the production of ozone (which you don’t want in your home). If you choose this solution, ask your HVAC installer about recommended makes and models.

Which Approach Makes the Most Sense for Your Needs?

Even after examining the various pros and cons of each home air handling solution, you may still wonder which of them to install in your home. The ideal scenario, of course, would involve installing all three of them. In reality, though, one or two of these options may be all you need to tackle a pressing air handling concern or challenge. Let’s examine some specific factors that might influence your decision.

Health Considerations

Do you or your family members suffer from a respiratory condition, poor immune system, or extreme sensitivity to allergens? If health concerns dominate your air handling questions, your primary goal is to keep those particles away from your loved ones. This means starting with air filtration and purification. This “one-two punch” can strain out all but the tiniest particles while also killing viruses and bacteria. Some products actually incorporate both of these functions into their design.

Home Considerations

Your size and style of home may affect what kind of air handling devices you require. For example, if you live in a particularly snug little home with little natural air circulation, your first goal may be to get that air moving better with the aid of mechanical ventilation. It’s also possible that you simply need a better ventilation system that your home currently employs. Faulty installation or poor design can actually cause a ventilation system to make air quality worse instead of better. If you’re seeing lots of dust, your current system is probably just pushing dirty air around.

Whether your home’s air needs ventilation, purification, filtration, or any combination of the above, ask One Stop Heating & Cooling for assistance. We can evaluate your current setup, note any particular complications you might want to address, and install the ideal components to keep you breathing freely.


My A/C Isn’t Cooling My Home, What’s Wrong?

Troubleshooting HVAC Cooling Issues

You might not think much about your air conditioning until something goes wrong with it. When this unsung hero of your home suddenly experiences a total failure, you know you need to get an A/C technician to come fix it immediately. Sometimes, however, an HVAC system can seem to function as it always does without producing anywhere near its normal cooling effects. What’s going on, and what can you do about it? Let’s look at some common symptoms, problems, and solutions.

Temperature Settings Make Your System Work Too Hard

When everyday temperatures get out of control, so can your electric bill. It only makes sense, then, to raise your thermostat a bit above comfortable levels when no one is at home, as a means of saving energy — right? Unfortunately, this practice may not be worth whatever money you might think you’re saving.

While you might come out ahead on this strategy when temperatures are warm but still manageable, hotter days and high thermostat settings can make your home feel like an oven by the time you get home. You then have to run the system extra-hard to get the ambient temperature back to a livable level. That extra work can cause premature wear and tear that reduces your system’s ability to do its job.

If you choose to raise your thermostat level while you’re out, turn it up only a couple of degrees higher than you’d find comfortable. You’ll still save some energy without also pushing your HVAC system to restore that comfort zone later.

Refrigerant Issues Keep Your Air From Cooling

Your air conditioner relies on refrigerant to keep your home cool. This substance can change pressure rapidly, going from extremely hot to extremely cold as it goes through your system’s condenser and evaporator coils. Air moving over the chilled coils becomes cool and sheds moisture through condensation.

If your system is running low on refrigerant, it can’t perform this important cooling process satisfactorily, no matter how long it cycles. Modern refrigerants don’t wear out or “go bad,” but they leak through any holes or gaps that permit it to do so. If you can’t get cold air out of a hard-working air conditioner, ask your HVAC technician to check the refrigerant.

Dirty Coils Interfere With Essential Functions

Even with normal amounts of refrigerant running through them, your HVAC system’s condenser and evaporator coils won’t operate at full efficiency if they’ve gotten dirty. These components depend on efficient heat transfer between their surfaces and the outside air. Dirt acts as a barrier that interferes with this heat transfer, resulting in incomplete cooling. Evaporator coils may even freeze up, making normal function impossible and allowing moisture to hang in your ambient air.

A Glitchy Thermostat Can’t Control Your Climate

Do the numbers on your thermostat tell the truth — and is your thermostat issuing the proper instructions to the rest of your HVAC system? Wiring problems, dust in the works, corrosion, loose terminals, screws, and other common problems can cause your thermostat to malfunction, which in turn may cause the HVAC system to short cycle (turning off too quickly after engaging to have much effect on temperature and humidity levels). Fortunately, your technician can replace faulty thermostat components relatively easily.

Air Leaks Deprive You of Your Air Conditioning

If all the components of your air conditioning system appear to be running normally, why does your home never seem to cool down? The answer may lie in unseen gaps or holes in your ductwork. If this closed system isn’t quite so closed as it was designed to be, all that cool air produced by your HVAC system may be flowing into your walls instead of your rooms. Have your ducts checked for any disconnection or damage that needs patching. Don’t forget to examine your home for any air leaks caused by defective weatherstripping or other gaps.

The Wrong A/C Size Can Doom You to Discomfort

Have you never felt satisfied with your air conditioner’s ability to cool your home? Maybe you have the wrong size of A/C unit installed. An overly-small air conditioner will never be able to cool your square footage adequately. An overly-large air conditioner will short cycle constantly, failing to live up to its capabilities. Ask your HVAC technician for recommendations on whether you need to right-size your HVAC system to suit your residence.

If you need expert help for your HVAC cooling problem, contact One Stop Heating and Cooling. We can discover the reason for your discomfort and make the necessary fixes to give you the powerful, efficient air conditioning you need!


5 Signs You Need To Call AC Repair

Summer’s heating up, and there’s no better time to make sure your air conditioning is working as it should. Even minor AC unit problems can spell disaster if left unchecked, and full seasons of heavy use can cause wear and tear on units both new and old.

While it’s always a good idea to call in a professional to assess your AC unit if it’s been sitting unchecked for years (or if you’ve recently moved into a new home), there are some key signs that indicate you shouldn’t wait. Here are five signs you need to call AC repair now: 

1. You Can’t Get ‘Cold’

At its highest settings, your air conditioning should feel not just cool, but downright cold. If you’re finding that you have to keep cranking up the power to get cool air or you can’t get cold no matter what you try, there may be a mechanical problem. Likewise, the temperature should not be fluctuating once you set it. Definitely call for AC repair if you notice you are often adjusting the temperature just to maintain an evenly cool temperature. 

2. You Aren’t Getting Good Airflow

Air conditioning has come a long way over the years, and these days there’s no excuse for poor airflow. When your AC is on, you should be able to feel the cool air flowing evenly out of the vents. If you feel like your air conditioning is weak, that it’s short-cycling (stopping and re-starting) or you notice that it just doesn’t cool the space very well, it’s time to have a professional take a look.

3. You Hear Noises

When your AC is working as it should, the only noise you should hear is the low, gentle hum of air flowing. In fact, it should barely be noticeable. If you notice any thumping, grinding, whirring, whining, banging, or any other kind of noise, you should turn off your AC (to prevent major damage) and call an experienced technician. The good news is that scary noises do not always indicate a serious problem, but it’s important to get them checked out as soon as possible. 

4. It’s Leaking

A tiny amount of condensation isn’t usually cause for concern, but any kind of leaking is. Your AC should never leak anything, and if it is, you probably have a problem with the refrigerant. And don’t wait to fix it, because ignoring the problem can mean serious mechanical issues later on. 

5. Your Bill is Too High

Don’t assume that high energy bills are just a part of running your AC. In fact, it’s a myth that cooling a home costs more than heating it (the opposite is usually true). If your cooling bills are running consistently high, your AC unit could have an issue that’s making it work too hard. 

When you notice AC issues, time is of the essence to get them fixed. Continued use of the unit can only worsen things and result in more extensive fixes. Furthermore, the beginning of summer is the best time to get your air conditioning working properly. Not only will you ensure your comfort for the entire season, but waiting too long can mean getting stuck in the mid-summer influx of other people trying to get their AC units fixed. Don’t wait to call in the pros! 

Is Your AC Ready for Spring Season?

The weather is getting warmer and sunnier, and like many homeowners, you’re probably starting to get downright hot during the afternoons. That’s right — Spring is here!

Temperatures will only continue to creep up as the weeks go on, and this is the perfect time to make sure you air conditioning is up to snuff. Whether your AC unit is years old or it was only installed last season, it’s time to give it a good look and make sure it is working as it should. Here’s a useful checklist you can follow to see if your AC is running properly and to identify potential issues:

Check Different Rooms

If your AC system is meant to cool your entire house, then it’s important to check different rooms after it’s been turned on for a while. There should be an evenly cool temperature throughout, and problem areas could indicate damaged parts. It could also be a matter of reassessing the ventilation flow in your home, which you will need a professional for. 

Check the Filter

AC units have a filter, just like the air unit in your car. While there are many different AC system designs, the air filter is typically located by the return air duct. Some systems may even have multiple filters. If you do not have a manual that helps you locate it, a professional HVAC tech can help you find it. If the filter is dirty and has not been changed in a while, it will not do its job properly. This could lead to poor cooling, and worse, contaminated air. It’s always best to switch your AC off while you are checking the filter. 

Now, it is possible to clean your filter instead of replacing entirely each time. You can do so by switching the system off and removing it carefully, then rinsing it off with a garden hose or cleaning it in your sink with water and a diluted vinegar solution. Always allow the filter to dry completely before putting it back in place. That said, filters are not designed to be permanent fixtures, and cleaning will only help delay replacement for a bit rather than preventing it entirely. 

Check the Vents

Go around to each vent in your home to make sure that they are open and air is coming out as it should. Sometimes people think there is a problem with their AC, but it’s just a vent that’s stuck closed or is otherwise blocked. If you notice the vent is dirty, it’s a good idea to clean it thoroughly to prevent further buildup and dirty air from being blown out into your home. 

Now, it’s worth noting that many older homes have ventilation issues. This is either because the current AC system was installed long after the home was built and may not have been done efficiently, or because the existing system is very old. If you feel that vent placement or air flow may be a problem, contact us for a consultation. 

Pay Attention to the Settings

When it comes to how cool people like their homes to be, personal preferences vary greatly. Because of this, modern AC systems come with a wide range of different temperature settings. If your AC doesn’t seem cool enough, check your settings to make sure they’re not too low. Likewise, it is important to make sure the system is not blasting at its top capacity all the time, as this can lead to it wearing down faster and even becoming overworked and blowing out entirely. 

Don’t Ignore Noises

When running properly, your AC system should be fairly silent. In fact, the only sound you should notice (if any) is a gentle, low humming sound of air flowing. If you notice anything other than this, like banging, grinding, whirring, rattling, whining, squeaking, etc., then it’s time to have the system looked at by a professional. In the event that you notice any particularly alarming noises (like loud banging) or ones that seem threatening, then it’s best to turn the system off entirely and wait for professional assistance. 

The good news news is that strange noises coming from your AC do not automatically indicate that there are any major problems. In many cases, it could just be a loose part. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Don’t Settle for a Hot Home

If you notice something is wrong during your AC check, it’s important not to wait to reach out for help. You’re only doomed to a hot and sweaty home if nothing is done to fix the problem!

Now, if your AC is failing to cool your home or isn’t turning on at all, don’t assume right away that you need a whole new cooling system. Many times, it’s just a part or two that needs to be replaced or other simple fix. It’s a good idea to get an expert consultation sooner rather than later, so you can make sure you’re cool and comfortable straight through spring and into summer. 

Give us a call today or send us a message to schedule your AC consultation. We’re here to help!

Know Your AC Zone Systems

If you live with family members or roommates, there’s a good chance you’ve argued over your home’s temperature at times. In fact, for many people it’s a hotly contested issue. But long gone are the days where you’re doomed to reach a compromise where nobody is totally happy or one of you has to live forever cold or hot. With the right AC zone system, you can adjust the temperature in different areas of your home as needed. 

It’s important to not just jump on the first zone control system you find. Instead, take the time to learn more about temperature air flow in your home, as well as the different types of zone systems available. By doing so, you’ll find the perfect zone system for your home and make an important long-term investment that brings you both comfort and higher air quality! It’s also worth pointing out that many homeowners save up to 30 percent on their energy bill after a year of installation.

Here’s what you need to know:

What Homes Are Best Suited for Zone Control Systems?

Obviously, arguing with your roommate or family member over your home’s temperature is enough to make you start considering an AC zone system. But knowing whether or not such a system would actually benefit your home is another. If you meet any of the following points, a zone control system could work wonders for you:

  • Your home has multiple levels (stories)
  • You notice significant temperature differences when moving between rooms and hallways
  • You have large windows
  • You have rooms with high ceilings
  • You live in an older home, with insulation, walls and windows that may not have been updated in a while
  • You don’t use all of the rooms in your home all the time
  • All or part of your home is often shadowed by outside trees, landscape or other buildings

The good news is that even if you’re still unsure if a zone control system would work in your home, you most likely still have a lot of options. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced air conditioning and heating expert before making any major decisions. 

How an AC Zone Control System Works 

It’s important to know how anything you’re installing in your home works, and AC zone control systems are no exception. This type of system plays off of the way airflow naturally works in your home, as in, which areas are naturally kept warmer and which are naturally maintained with cooler air. By identifying these different temperature spots, your zone control system can be set up in the most advantageous way possible. 

So, with this in mind, an AC zone system is actually fairly straightforward in function. First, you will need an expert to come in and form a plan for how best to divide up your home into different temperature zones. Each of these “zones” will have its own heating/cooling control thermostat placed in convenient locations. Dampers will also be placed all throughout your home’s existing HVAC system, allowing the zones to be sectioned off and closed / opened as needed. All thermostats will be centrally connected to one main operating system with an easy-to-use control pad. 

Are you starting to see how this system works yet? By dividing your home into these zones with their own thermostats, you will be able to adjust the temperature in each area either individually or all at once as needed. You will be able to do so either from the thermostats themselves or via the central control pad. 

What Kind of Zone Control System Does My Home Need?

Generally speaking, different AC zone systems all operate in pretty much the same way (as outline in the previous section). That said, the amount of temperature zones you have set up in your home can vary greatly. In this sense, the type of system you need will depend on a few different factors, specifically the size and shape of your home, the amount (and size) of rooms you have, and the naturally warm/cold spots. Homes with more levels and more rooms usually need more controlled zones, while smaller homes and apartments can usually get by just fine on between two and four. 

Now, because zone control systems vary in size means that installation time can vary greatly as well. However, in many cases a zone control system can be put in within one to two days. 

It’s also worth pointing out that many people who are in the process of renovating their homes use this time as the perfect opportunity to put in a zone control system. If you do so, it is recommended that you wait until the renovations are reaching their final stages, so you have a better idea of how temperature and air flow are going to naturally work between your new walls.

Ready to get started? We invite you to reach out to us today to learn more about AC zone control systems and how your home can be optimized for your temperature comfort needs!

AC Maintenance Tips Before Summer Arrives

Care and maintenance are vital to keep your AC unit functioning properly. The last thing you want is for it to break down during the hot summer months.  To avoid any interruption in your AC working all summer long, it’s best to have a professional perform regularly scheduled maintenance on your unit. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a broken AC unit and costly repairs. The heat will have you stressed out enough, don’t enhance it with having to pull out your credit card or dive into your savings to fix or even repair your AC unit at the last minute.  

There are some maintenance tasks you can perform on your own to keep your unit in tip-top shape. However, it’s important to know what these tasks are and which ones you think you can handle on your own. If this seems far outside your scope, it’s always best to hire a professional to inspect and service your AC unit. If you were to incorrectly perform a task on your unit, you may wind up damaging it. 

Read on to learn about a few tips to for keeping your AC unit running smooth and cool this summer.

Clean and Replace the Air Filter

This is a simple task almost anyone can do. Air filters need to be regularly cleaned and replaced. The amount of cleaning depends on the season. During the summer, clean the filters every month since this is when you use your AC unit the most. During the Spring, it only needs to be cleaned once or twice. Keep an eye on it and check it regularly to make sure it isn’t clogged with dirt, dust, and allergen particles that interrupt your unit’s cool airflow. To replace the air filter, you can follow the instructions on the package or hire a professional to help you with this. 

Inspect the Thermostat

After cleaning or replacing the air filter, next check the thermostat. If your thermostat is not working properly, your home will not be entirely cooled. One room could be warm, while another is freezing cold, or the entire house could be at a higher temperature than what it should be. The best thermostats to use with an AC unit are the programmable ones. They are easy to use and keep your property at a nice, comfortable temperature. They also save on power and the costs of running your AC unit. 

Inspect the Condensing Unit

Your condensing unit has an attached fan that should be in good working condition at all times. For this reason, it must be regularly inspected. What you want to look for are any chips or cracks on the fan blades. If you notice any, the fan should be immediately replaced. For older model AC units, we recommend applying oil to the fan motor on a regular basis. A professional HVAC technician can help you with this task.

Inspect the Wiring System

This is one maintenance inspection that you should definitely leave to the professionals. There are many wires connection your AC unit and it takes special knowledge to understand what goes where, why it goes there, and when it needs to be repaired or replaced. However, you can check the wires from time-to-time to look for any abnormalities. When you have your AC unit routinely inspected, the HVAC expert will inspect the wires for you. If they are damaged and need to be repaired, he will explain to you why and answer any questions you have. For example, the AC professional will check the system capacitor using an electrical tester, something the average homeowner can’t do. 

Clean Your AC’s External System Part

The AC unit is tucked away, out of sight and out of mind. It’s forgotten all winter and remembered again when the weather turns hot. Just like any other piece of equipment in and around your home, it collects dust, dirt, and other contaminants that wreak havoc on your AC system’s air flow and overall effectiveness. The external part of your system is no exception and must be regularly cleaned. Before doing this, be sure to shut off the system’s power and then you can remove all the debris and gunk with a regular garden hose. Better yet, call in a professional HVAC technician to do this task for you. 

The Bottom Line

As you can see, proper maintenance for you AC unit is a must. It will save you money, ensure your unit remains functional during the summer, and catch any repairs that need to be done. If you don’t want to find yourself living without AC this summer, it’s best to give (insert company name here) a call to come out and take a look at your AC unit ASAP. In the meantime, be sure you have extra air filters on hand and utilize the tips mentioned above in order to keep an eye on your AC unit.