10 Signs Your AC Needs Repair or Replacement

When the summer heat hits, your air conditioner becomes your best friend. But how do you know that your AC won’t leave you sweaty and suffocating in peak hours? If your air conditioner has the following problems, it might be time for repair or replacement. 

1. Weak Airflow:

If your AC isn’t blowing cold air as it used to, it might imply a clogged filter, failing compressor, or ductwork issues. Weak airflow can lead to inefficient cooling and higher energy bills.

2. Strange Noises:

Unusual sounds like squealing, grinding, or banging coming from your AC unit are a clear signal that something is not right. These noises can indicate worn-out or loose components, and they should be addressed to avoid more costly issues.

3. Odd Odors:

Foul or musty odors when your AC is running can be caused by mold, mildew, or even burned-out wire insulation. Breathing moldy air from your AC can lead to respiratory issues, allergic reactions, infections, and more. Don’t hesitate to get this checked out asap.

4. Frequent Cycling:

If your AC frequently turns on and off, known as short cycling, it can wear out the compressor and other components earlier than it should. This issue might require professional repair to maintain peak efficiency.

5. Inaccurate Thermostat:

If your thermostat readings don’t match the actual room temperature, it could lead to uneven cooling or heating. A malfunctioning thermostat might need replacement.

6. Leaking Water:

If you notice water pooling around your indoor unit or leaking from it, it’s a clear indication of a problem. This could be due to a clogged drain, a refrigerant leak, or other issues that require prompt attention.

7. Rising Energy Bills:

An unexpected increase in your energy bills can be a sign that your AC is working harder than it should due to inefficiencies. Regular maintenance can help keep energy costs in check.

8. Uneven Cooling:

If some rooms in your home are colder or hotter than others, it could be due to ductwork problems, blocked vents, or issues with your AC unit. An HVAC professional can help diagnose and fix the problem.

9. Old Age:

Air conditioners typically last 15-20 years. If your unit is approaching or exceeding this age range, it might be more cost-effective to replace it with a newer, energy-efficient model.

10. Frequent Repairs:

If you find yourself calling for AC repairs every year, it might be more economical to invest in a new unit. Frequent breakdowns can add up in repair costs over time.

Don’t wait until your AC breaks down on a record-breaking summer day. Keep an eye out for these signs, and if you notice any, contact Earth Air Systems for a thorough inspection. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your unit, but if it’s time for a replacement, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model for extra comfort and savings in the long run. 

Your California Guide to Saving Money on Cooling and Heating

In sunny California, our winters are kind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money and energy on heating and cooling. By following these seasonal temperature control tips, you can keep your home cozy during the rainy days and cool during sunny seasons.

Hot Weather Tips:

  1. Regular Filter Changes: During hot summer months, your HVAC system works overtime. Ensure its efficiency by changing air filters every 1-2 months. This keeps the air flowing smoothly, reduces strain on the system, and maintains cool indoor temperatures.
  2. Programmable Thermostats: Invest in a programmable thermostat. They allow you to preset temperature changes based on your schedule, so your HVAC system isn’t running full blast when no one’s home.
  3. Sealing Leaks: Seal any gaps or leaks in your home’s insulation and around windows and doors. This prevents cooled air from escaping and hot air from entering, reducing the strain on your HVAC system.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular HVAC maintenance, preferably before the hottest months. Professional maintenance ensures that your system is clean and operating at optimal efficiency.
  5. Consider Zoning: If possible, install a zoning system to cool specific areas of your home, reducing energy waste when no one is in the room.

Cool Weather Tips:

  1. Programmable Thermostats: The same thermostat that helps in the summer is equally helpful in the winter. Set lower temperatures when you’re asleep or away to reduce heating costs.
  2. Ceiling Fans: Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise. This pushes warm air down, keeping you cozier without raising the thermostat.
  3. Weatherstripping: Replace or reinforce weatherstripping around windows and doors. This prevents drafts and keeps warm air inside.
  4. Curtains and Drapes: Open curtains during the day to let in natural heat, and close them at night to trap warmth inside.
  5. Efficient Heating: If your HVAC system uses a furnace, make sure it’s running efficiently. Have it inspected for proper combustion and venting, and consider upgrading to a high-efficiency model if yours is outdated.

A mild winter on the West Coast is no reason to neglect HVAC efficiency, so be sure to implement these smart heating and cooling tips to enjoy energy savings all year. At Earth Air Systems, we’re here to assist with maintenance, upgrades, and expert advice tailored to your specific HVAC needs.

DIY HVAC Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is vital for the comfort of your home. While professional HVAC technicians are essential for major repairs and inspections, there are many DIY HVAC maintenance tasks you can tackle to ensure your system runs efficiently and avoids costly breakdowns.

1. Changing Air Filters

Regularly changing your HVAC system’s air filters is one of the easiest and most effective DIY maintenance tasks. Dirty or clogged filters can restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder and increasing your energy bills. Check your filters every 1-3 months, depending on usage and filter type, and replace them when they’re dirty.

2. Cleaning Vents and Registers

Ensure that vents and registers are clear of obstructions like furniture, curtains, or rugs. Blocked vents disrupt airflow, making your HVAC system less efficient and reducing your home’s comfort. Periodically vacuum and wipe down vents to remove dust and debris.

3. Checking for Leaks:

Inspect your HVAC system for any visible leaks in the ductwork, refrigerant lines, or the furnace itself. Leaks can reduce system efficiency and should be addressed promptly. If you find leaks, consult a professional technician for repairs.

4. Lubricating Moving Parts

Your HVAC system contains many moving parts that require lubrication to reduce friction and extend their lifespan. Refer to your system’s manual for guidance on which parts need lubrication and how often. Be sure to use the recommended lubricants.

5. Cleaning Condenser and Evaporator Coils

Dirty coils can hamper your HVAC system’s ability to cool or heat your home effectively. Turn off the power to your system and carefully clean the coils using a soft brush or a coil cleaner as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Calibrating the Thermostat

Calibrate your thermostat to ensure it accurately reflects your desired indoor temperature. An improperly calibrated thermostat can lead to temperature fluctuations and increased energy consumption.

7. Testing the Safety Controls

Test the safety controls of your furnace and air conditioning unit to ensure they shut down properly in case of a malfunction. Safety controls protect your home from potential hazards, so their proper functioning is crucial.

8. Insulating Ductwork

Inspect your ductwork for any gaps or leaks and seal them with appropriate duct tape or mastic sealant. Well-insulated ducts prevent energy loss and help maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home.

9. Checking Refrigerant Levels:

If you have a central air conditioning system, monitor the refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant levels can reduce cooling efficiency. If you suspect a refrigerant issue, contact a professional HVAC technician.

10. Scheduling Professional Inspections

While these DIY maintenance tasks are valuable, they don’t replace the need for professional inspections. Schedule annual HVAC inspections with a licensed technician to address potential issues, clean components, and ensure your system operates efficiently.

DIY HVAC maintenance empowers you to take proactive steps in keeping your HVAC systems in top shape. By following these tips and incorporating regular professional inspections, you can enjoy a comfortable home, energy savings, and peace of mind, all while extending the life of your HVAC system. Remember that safety is paramount, so exercise caution and consult professionals when needed for more extensive repairs and troubleshooting.

7 Health Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

When it comes to HVAC systems, many of us think about heating and cooling. But your HVAC system can also play a significant role in your family’s health and well-being! You may not realize how much stress a broken or ill-functioning HVAC system is putting on your body and that of your loved ones.

1. Improved Air Quality

Your HVAC system does more than just control the temperature; it also filters the air you breathe. Over time, dust, allergens, and pollutants can accumulate in your system’s ducts and filters. Regular HVAC maintenance helps make sure that contaminants are removed, leading to cleaner and healthier indoor air.

2. Allergen Reduction

For people with allergies or respiratory conditions, poor indoor air quality can worsen their symptoms. HVAC maintenance includes cleaning or replacing air filters, which reduces allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander. This can lead to a significant reduction in sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy annoying symptoms.

3. Mold and Mildew Prevention

Moisture in your HVAC system can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These microorganisms release spores into the air, which can lead to respiratory infection, throat irritation, wheezing, congestion, and more. Routine maintenance such as checking for leaks and cleaning ducts can prevent mold and mildew growth and protect your family’s respiratory health.

4. Temperature Regulation

Maintaining a consistent indoor temperature is essential for comfort and health. Extreme temperature fluctuations can stress the body, making it more susceptible to illnesses. A well-maintained HVAC system ensures that your home remains at comfortable and consistent temperatures year-round.

5. Reduced Humidity

Excessive indoor humidity can lead to mold growth, dust mites, and other allergens. Your HVAC system helps regulate humidity levels. Regular maintenance allows it to function correctly, preventing excess humidity and contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

6. Improved Sleep Quality

Sleep is crucial for health, and temperature plays a significant role in sleep quality. Check up on issues with your HVAC system to make sure your bedroom remains at the perfect sleep temperature, giving you more restful sleep and overall well-being.

7. Stress Reduction

Living in a comfortable environment with clean air can reduce stress and improve mental health. Knowing that your HVAC system is functioning correctly and contributing to a healthy home gives you peace of mind.

Your HVAC system does so much more than just keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer; it plays an instrumental role in creating a healthy and comfortable home. Schedule an appointment for maintenance with Earth Air Systems today for improved indoor air quality, reduced allergens, and many other health benefits for you and your family.