All You Need to Know About Ductless Systems

It’s hard to imagine living without proper home cooling in our part of the state. Most homes keep cool by way of a central air conditioning system, and many homeowners feel like they don’t have a lot of options for cooling if a traditional central air system won’t work well for their home. They may assume that their only option is to add a noisy and less efficient window unit. This is where a ductless system can be a lifesaver.

If you haven’t considered how a ductless system can benefit your home, then you’ll want to read on.

How Ductless Systems Work

Unlike central air systems, which require adding a good deal of ductwork throughout your home, a ductless system only requires feeding a small tube (containing refrigerant) from an outdoor unit to an indoor unit. This is far less invasive than a traditional central air system and requires less time to install. Instead of utilizing ducts to circulate air, there is a system of blowers that are installed in each room to cool that area directly. Since these blowers are installed high up on the wall, homeowners will notice very little interference from a ductless system.

Energy Efficiency

Ductless systems are considered more efficient than central air conditioning units mainly because of their lack of ductwork. A large reason that central air cooling systems become inefficient is due to holes and leaks in the ductwork, which can result in a 25 to 30% loss of efficiency. With a ductless system, you can still get a high efficiency unit with an excellent SEER rating, and you won’t have to worry about losing efficiency over time as you would with a central A/C.

Range of Features

In contrast to typical central air conditioning systems, ductless systems offer a variety of handy features which heightens convenience for the homeowner. These features may include options such as remote operation, programmable settings (so that you can easily control the temperature indoors during certain times of day), easily washable filters, and adjustable air flow.

It’s Not Just for Cooling

Ductless systems aren’t just great for keeping your home cool, they can also heat it as well. Many ductless systems utilize heat pump technology, which means that in addition to cooling your home, they can be used to heat it during the cooler months by reversing the direction that the refrigerant flows so that it transfers the heat into your home instead. These types of two-for-one systems work perfectly in home’s located in and around San Jose, where the weather is mostly warm.

It’s Worth the Investment

Even though there is an initial investment involved with ductless systems, just like there is with central air systems, the benefits of a ductless system are well worth it. Ductless systems last longer and are far more efficient than a window unit. And, compared to a central A/C, ductless systems use less energy overall during operation. You also get more control over your indoor temperature, which results in much greater energy savings over time.

If you’re in the market for an energy efficient solution to cooling your home, consider a ductless system. Benefits like increased energy-efficiency and improved air quality and handy additional features, make it a great option for many homes all year long. Give us a call to learn more about whether a ductless system is right for you: (408) 899-8878. Or visit our products page to browse the variety of ductless options we have available.

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Summer

Summer is here, and that means increasing temperatures are ahead. Don’t get stuck without a functioning cooling system when the summertime temperatures rise! We’ve laid out, step-by-step, the most important things that all homeowners should do before cranking up the A/C this year.

It’s not wise to assume that you can just flip on your home’s A/C and forget it; you’ll definitely want to prepare your home’s cooling system before summer hits. Many emergency service calls are due to homeowners not taking the proper precautions necessary before relying so heavily on their air conditioner during the summertime months. This summer, be smart and follow these easy guidelines to ensure that your HVAC system will be operating in peak condition all season long.

San Jose HVAC

We offer convenient maintenance agreements so that you can take the guesswork out of keeping your HVAC system in excellent condition. Maintenance extends the life of your HVAC system, lowers your utility bills, and prevents warranties from being voided. With our maintenance agreement, you can also receive 10% discount on our repair services. Give us a call to learn more: 408-899-8878

When You Must Replace Your HVAC Heating And Air Conditioning Systems

491836769If you are considering HVAC system replacement for your home, there are certain things to consider. These heating and cooling systems have become almost indispensable items at every household today and we also know that they account for a good part of your utility bills.

The first thing you should ask yourself is why you want to replace and whether you really need a replacement. Some systems may last long, but over time, they become less efficient and consume a massive amount of energy. And a time may come when periodic repairs or annual servicing will not solve the problem. This is when you know that you need to go for a brand new unit.

There are several indicators for this. First of all, if you notice that your utility bill is consistently rising from one season to next even when the thermostat settings are kept constant, you know that there is something seriously wrong with your unit and a replacement is on the cards.

If your system is making loud, unusual noises, that is another indication that something serious is the issue with your system. Normally these noises occur when you are trying to reset your thermostat. But some systems may also experience occasional pinging sounds/noises which gradually become louder and more frequent. If this happens, contact a HVAC specialist and ask for advice and recommendations regarding the replacement.

As we have already mentioned, most HVAC systems come with a lifespan. More sophisticated systems will last a maximum of 15 years, but most units will give out inside 10 years. Running old and inefficient systems will not only result in higher utility bills, but may also contaminate the air within house and the household members and especially the children may suffer critically from this.

So, if your HVAC unit is experiencing any of these issues mentioned above, you know that it is high time for a replacement. Call an HVAC service and request for estimates and recommendations before you decide to invest your money on a particular model.

For more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently, follow our upcoming articles on this blog.

What Regular Maintenance Do Heating And Air Conditioning Systems Need?

HVAC maintenance is crucial in preventing frequent breakdowns, improving energy efficiency, ensuring maximum comfort and extending the lifespan of the system. While some maintenance works can only be undertaken by a qualified HVAC contractor, some of them can be done by the average homeowner. They include:

i) Lubrication

HVAC systems consist of several moving parts, including the fan and blower motors. These parts need to be lubricated on a regular basis to reduce friction and noise from the unit. Be sure to use manufacturer-recommended lubricants during maintenance.

ii) Cleaning

HVAC systems consist of air handling units and stationery components that may trap or accumulate dust over time. For instance, the evaporator and condenser coils may accumulate dust and form a coating or insulation over the coils, thereby reducing their ability to absorb and release heat into the surroundings. Therefore, HVAC maintenance should involve cleaning of the evaporator coils in the indoor unit and the condenser coils where heat is dumped. Be sure to also clean the blower and adjust it accordingly. The condensate pan and drain pipe should also be checked and cleaned to prevent clogging.

iii) Replace Filters

If the filters in your HVAC unit are still in good condition, you can clean and fit them back in the unit. However, if they are damaged, you can replace them with new air filters with the same ratings. Ideally, a filter should be cleaned several times before it is replaced.

iv) Make Adjustments

During maintenance, you need to check the thermostat setting and adjust it properly according to your needs. Be sure to tighten all loose electrical cable connections. The level of refrigerant in the cooling system should also be checked and refilled if necessary.

While these maintenance works may seem easy to some people, there are many homeowners who do not have the time or technical ability to perform these procedures by themselves. In such cases, a qualified HVAC contractor should be hired to do the maintenance. Only licensed professionals with a long history of excellence should be given any consideration. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

How Does Humidity Affect Air Conditioning And Heating

During summer, excess humidity can make you feel hotter. This is because humidity has a big effect on both heating and cooling systems. Depending on the level of humidity inside the house, achieving the desired room temperature can be quite a challenge. This is the main reason why modern HVAC systems come with both humidifiers and dehumidifiers to control humidity levels inside the building and ensure optimal heating or cooling.

The Effects of Humidity on Air Conditioning

The main purpose of air conditioners is to cool indoor spaces during hot weather conditions. This is achieved by passing warm air over cold metal tubes containing the refrigerant. The expanding refrigerant in the tubes absorbs heat from air and goes to the condenser unit, where the heat is dumped. When the moisture content in indoor air is high, the A/C will not only be required to cool the air, but also the water molecules. As a result, the unit will have to work harder and consume more energy to cool the room. If your A/C has a low cooling capacity, it may not be able to cool the room, making you feel uncomfortable.

Common Signs of Excess Humidity

If there is high humidity in your home, your skin may feel clammy. Your windows may also become cloudy while a musty odor may be felt in your home. If you notice these signs, must call in the experts because high humidity can also damage the structure of your building in addition to causing problems to your HVAC system. We can give you recommendations on how to deal with the problem once and for all.

Humidity Control

Since you want your HVAC system to operate efficiently and your home to be comfortable, it is crucial that you install a digital hygrometer in your home to monitor humidity levels. There are several methods of controlling humidity at home. The first is using a dehumidifier, which extracts excess moisture from air. The second method entails using a humidifier, which increases humidity levels when there is low humidity. Lastly, the A/C can extract excess humidity from air by condensing water vapor.

We can help you deal with humidity problems in your home or office.

Follow our blog for more information on heating, cooling, and keeping your home energy efficient.

How Do I Know If My A/C Unit Is Big Enough?

Buying the right size when it comes to HVAC systems is very important. In most cases, the size of the HVAC system will often determine how effective your home will be cooled and it is imperative to know what the right size for your home is. Air conditioning systems that are too big will not only use a lot of electricity but will often overcool your home leaving humidity behind. On the other hand, a smaller HVAC will not effectively cool your home and getting the size right is simply a necessity. Here are some simple points that can help in choosing the right sized air conditioner:

Calculate the Size of Your Home In Square Meters

The most important thing in buying the right HVAC in terms of size is to know how big your home is. The easiest way to determine this is to do it room by room. Just measure each room and determine how big it is in terms of square meters. After you have managed to do this for the entire home, you can now move on to the next step which is deciding the cooling needs you have based on the size you have calculated.

Determine the Cooling Capacity

Although this might look technical for some people, if you have the information you need you can easily determine it. Cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs per hour. In the US, the Energy Department offers some guidelines with regards to BTUs per hour. You can visit the Energy star website and see what is perfect for your home. Here are some of the examples though:

• 100 up to 300 sq. feet use 5,000 to 7,000 BTU

• 300 up to 550 sq. feet will need up to 8,000 to 12,000 BTU

• 550 up to 1,000 sq. feet requires 14,000 to 18,000 BTU

No matter how you look at it, the point is the bigger your home, the bigger your HVAC system should be. However, don’t just guess; do the math and determine the kind of system you need.

Follow our blog for more information on heating, cooling, and keeping your home energy efficient.

What Are The Different Kinds Of Air Conditioning Systems?

As spring pushes winter into the rear view mirror, the promise of warmer temperatures means summer will be rushing in soon. While there might be a month and some change before you need to make the full switch over, it won’t be long before the cold of winter is a distant memory and one heatwave after another batters us with 90 and 100 degree temperatures. There’s no question about it: air conditioning weather is coming!

There are several different air conditioner types, and which one works best for you varies depending on your home, your budget, and what your specific needs are.

Central Air Conditioning
Central air is the most efficient and generally the most effective air conditioning system for a home or apartment complex. In most cases, at least when it comes to apartments, central air conditioning will be either installed, or not even an option.

When it comes to setting up a central air conditioning unit in your own house, this is often the most expensive option but it can create a system that easily cools every room in the house, allowing for a comfortable summer experience no matter how hot it gets outside.

Window Air Conditioning Units
Window air conditioners are among the most common options. This air conditioning type is easy to buy and is stuck in a window. A good unit can make one room incredible comfortable, or in a one story home will often be enough to make the entire floor extremely comfortable. Air units are made by a variety of companies and the price range can go from a few hundred bucks to a few thousand for high end models.

Portable Air Conditioners
Portable air conditioning units are an inexpensive option compared to most window units and come in both residential and commercial sizes and setups. Portable air conditioning units are fantastic for small apartments, bungalows, or single bedrooms in a home. Make sure to grab a portable air conditioner and not a portable air cooler, as the first one tends to work much better.

Don’t spend another summer in the sweltering heat. Call us for all heating and air conditioning needs!

Ways To Increase Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

There are many ways to increase air conditioning efficiency; some will cost you some money while others will not cost you anything. Replacing your filters and hiring a heating and cooling company to clean your air ducts will cost you some money, but the following methods will not cost you a single dime.

Plugging Air Duct Leaks

If you have a central HVAC system, whether high velocity or low velocity, you need to check the ductwork for holes and gaps between joints. Use duct sealing tape to plug any leaks. This will ensure that heat energy is not lost while being transported to different parts of the house.

Clean the Condenser Unit

The condenser unit of an air conditioning system is normally located outside. This means that leaves and twigs, among other types of debris, may settle on the unit, covering it and causing disruption to air flow in the unit. As a result, the fan’s motor will be forced to work a little bit harder to push air through the condenser coil. A simple way of increasing air conditioning efficiency is to clear the debris and clean the unit to ensure unrestricted air flow.

Keep Heat Sources Away

Air conditioners have thermostats, which are responsible for turning the device on when the room needs cooling, and off when the room is sufficiently cooled. If you put a heat source, like an iron box, near the thermostat, cooling will continue to take place even if the temperature of the room is already cool. For this reason, any item that emits heat should be kept away from the AC thermostat to improve air conditioning efficiency.

Clean Air Filters

If you are able to open the AC unit, you can remove air filters and clean them to get rid of dirt. Clogged filters usually overwork the system forcing it to consume more power to push air through the clogged passageway. Alternatively, you can replace the filter, but this will cost you some money.

With these few tips on improving air conditioner efficiency, cutting down on utility bills is a reality, even for the average homeowner. Call us for all heating and air conditioning needs.

5 Home Cooling Myths

There’s nothing more exciting than enjoying the cool breeze from your AC unit during summer. On the other hand, not many people like the fact that energy bills often go higher when the weather is hot. In order to save money, there are lots of practices that people do to keep their houses cool. Perhaps you’re also doing some of these things, but the bottom line is, not all of these practices are true. If you want to distinguish cooling facts from cooling myths, you may read the article through and take note of these debunked beliefs.

Keeping Your Fan Turned On Will Make the Room Cooler

Many people think that in order to save on AC operating costs, they should keep their electric fans on even if they are outside. Honestly, fans don’t make rooms cooler. They only help circulate the air, which makes people feel the air on various areas of skin. As this happens, the body temperature goes lower, so it’s easy to think that the fan makes the room cooler.

Leaving the Fan On Will Help Me Save Energy

Leaving the fan on will not help you save on electricity bills, but will actually consume more energy so you have to pay more. Your air conditioner will consume the same amount of power whether your fan is on or not. It’s best not to use your fan if you’re happy with the temperature inside your room. The only exception to this myth is when the temperature outside is way too hot and you place the fan near the window, the air coming out of the fan can help prevent the hot air from entering the cold room.

A Bigger Air Conditioner Will Make Your Room Cool Faster

Keeping your room cool and comfy does not only depend on the size of your air conditioner. It is important that you get the right size of air conditioner to match the size of your room because this will help you save a lot of energy. Another thing that you need to check is how sealed your room is. Leaks can cause the cold air to escape, so make sure that all cracks and openings are sealed before turning your AC unit on.

Putting the Temperature Setting As Low As You Can Will Cool the Room Faster

Doing this won’t cool the room faster. AC units have thermostats that will automatically switch off once the desired setting is achieved. Cranking the temperature nob to the lowest and changing it often may only break the thermostat control and waste a lot of energy.

It’s Okay Not to Clean My Air Conditioner As Long As the Room Gets Cold

You need to clean your AC unit, even if it seems to work fine. In time, your machine will have a hard time producing cold air if the filter, fan blades and coils are dusty. If you are unable to clean your air conditioner, you can contact experts to help you out to ensure that your unit runs properly for a long time. Call us for all of your heating and air conditioning needs and we will assist you as soon as possible.

3 FAQs For Home Heating, Ventilation And Water Heaters

Most furnaces are designed to automatically shut down when the air in your home is comfortable. In most cases, you won’t even realize when this process takes place. However, if your system keeps turning on and off constantly, it could mean that something is wrong. Before you get all worried, you can try some of these troubleshooting tips before calling a professional. Here are some frequently asked questions about heating systems.

Why does my heater keep shutting off?

Your furnace will usually turn on and off as a result of something called “short cycling”. This basically refers to problems within your system. When short cycling is left unattended for an extended period of time, it usually leads to break down or higher energy bills. When troubleshooting your furnace for short cycling, the first thing you should do is check the air filters. Air filters wear off after a while, and will require cleaning or replacing if your system is to resume normal function,

The next step will be to check your thermostat. A faulty thermostat can cause short cycling. Make sure your thermostat has the right settings and that it is switched on. In some cases, placement of the thermostat can affect normal operations. For instance, if the thermostat is comes in direct contact with another source of heat, such as sunlight, it might assume your home is too warm and shut down.

Other causes of short cycling may include; presence of debris in air vents or chimney, improper sizing of heating system or corrosion on flame sensors.

How are Heaters Rated?

AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is the measurement used to rate how efficient heaters are. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the heater is. A higher rating means that your heater will not only serve you better for an extended period of time, but will also save you money on utility bills.

Why is it that My Heat Pump Never Shuts Off?

If your heat pump remains on even in the hottest of seasons, then you should probably consult a professional. But before you do that, you can try troubleshooting it yourself. Make sure the thermostat is placed correctly and the outdoor unit is operating normally. You should also check whether the air filter is clean and that all doors and windows are closed when this problem arises.

You call us to learn more about efficient heating, air conditioning and water heater options.