Signs You Need a New Heating System

Common Signs You Need a New Heating System

  • Your Heating System is Near or Beyond the Expected Lifespan – These days, many people are trying to find ways to save money even if it’s neglecting to replace an old heating unit. Units that are old or out-of-date should be replaced because that will mean saving on future energy costs up to 30%. If you don’t know how old your system is, or would like to know more about how a newer model can save money, you can check your model online or have a professional find out for you.
  • Utility Bills Are Consistently Increasing – If you start to notice a steady increase in your gas or electric bills, there is a decent chance that you need a new heating system. Plus, as heating systems age, their efficiency will begin to decline. The older it gets, the harder it has to work because of all of the extra energy it requires to function.
  • Unit Is Breaking Down & Continuously Needs To Be Repaired – Just like your car needs replacement parts and repairs as it ages, so will your heating unit. If you are investing a lot of money into repairing your unit frequently, it may be time to consider consulting with Air Temperature Specialists about getting a new heating system. In fact, the repairs you would be making on your unit over a year’s span could very well add up to how much you might spend on a new unit.

Safety Tips When Heating Your Home

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Now that the weather is cooler and winter is fast approaching, heating safety is something every homeowner should be thinking about. If you choose to use supplemental heating equipment in your home, such as space heaters, fireplaces, etc., please follow these heating safety tips to enjoy a warmer, safer, winter.

  • Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from heating equipment. That includes your furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable heater.
  • Make sure you establish a three to four foot children’s safety perimeter around fires and space heaters. Make sure your kids know how close they can get to the heating source and still be safe.
  • Never use your oven as a heating source. It may seem convenient, but it is fraught with many risks.
  • Follow all manufacturers’ instructions for space heating equipment and make sure your central heat, water heater, etc. meet local electrical and fire safety codes.
  • Before you start using your fireplace, have the chimney inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Always turn off portable heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Always use a manufacturer’s specified fuel for space heaters.
  • Make sure that your fireplace has a screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and potentially starting a fire. Furthermore, make sure ashes are cool before moving them into a metal container. Always remember to keep the ash container a safe distance from your home and away from flammable objects.
  • If you’re having trouble with your home heating system, call Air Temperature Specialists to asses and fix the problem.
  • Most importantly, test your smoke detectors once a month and install a carbon monoxide detector (if you haven’t done so already).

Safety is a number one priority. Call Air Temperature Specialists today if you have any questions.

What’s the Best Way to Heat a San Diego Home?

A/C systems with heat strips
Most California homes, like yours, have a straight cool air conditioner with a built-in heating element for space heating, also known as “heat strips.” These systems are good for keeping your home cool during our hot California days and nights, but are less efficient at heating if the weather cools down. In fact, you spend two to three times more whenever you run the heat with your A/C system.

Heat pump systems
Heat pump systems, on the other hand, heat more efficiently, which can help you save money if you live in a colder part of the state or if you run the heat often in the winter. In fact, those who use heat frequently could save up to $75 per year heating with a heat pump system compared to a standard A/C system.

The right option for you
Some areas of the state, like San Diego, can have chilly days. So, whether or not a heat pump makes sense for you all comes down to whether you like to use the heat a lot during cold snaps. If so, a heat pump might be worth considering. If you rarely run the heat, you may want to stick with your current A/C unit with heating capabilities.

When to Schedule Boiler Repair

There are a lot of reasons to use a boiler to heat your home. Unlike forced air heating systems, you won’t have to worry about issues with air leaks reducing efficiency or causing indoor air quality problems. Boilers also last a long time, and have few repair needs due to having a small number of moving parts. This is not to say that boilers are 100% problem free, though. All mechanical systems encounter operational problems from time to time, and you’ll need boiler repairs in San Diego, CA eventually. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

NATURAL GAS ODOR IN YOUR HOME

If you are running your gas boiler to warm your home up, and you can smell the sulfuric odor of natural gas in your home, you could have a potentially dangerous problem on your hands. That rotten egg odor is actually an additive to the natural gas, and it is intended to help homeowners recognize a gas leak. If you smell it in your home, shut off the heater and exit your house. Contact the appropriate authorities when you are in a safe spot. If boiler repairs must be completed to resolve the problem, we can handle them.

SIGNS OF RUST, CORROSION, OR WATER STAINING/DAMAGE

A boiler does not heat air the way that a furnace does, obviously. Instead, it heats water to distribute heat throughout your home. If you notice water around the base of your boiler, rust or corrosion on the boiler itself, or signs of water damage in the vicinity of the heat distribution system, your boiler may be leaking. This will waste energy and puts your home at serious risk of damage, so dial our number if you suspect a problem.

A SPIKE IN OPERATING COSTS

As mentioned above, the efficiency with which boilers work is a major selling point. If you find that your boiler is failing to heat your home as efficiently as it once did, let us know. Just because your boiler is running does not mean that it is in prime working condition. We’ll figure out what is behind the drop in energy efficiency, and we’ll get your boiler back on track with exceptional repair services.

Call Air Temperature Specialists today at 888-588-1602 to schedule your boiler repair.

How Scheduling Furnace Maintenance Prevents Repairs

As you may or may not know, most furnace manufacturers recommend that you get your furnace checked for problems at least once a year. In fact, most warranties require annual maintenance be conducted on the furnace in order for it to remain covered. This is all well and good, but what is the true purpose of scheduled maintenance visits? After all, why not wait until the furnace begins to act strange before calling a professional? Below are some of the ways that regular maintenance actually prevents the need for repairs and saves you money.

Preventing Progressive Decline

Major problems with your furnace rarely spring up out of nowhere. The vast majority of issues that cause your furnace to break down begin as small issues. Maybe you have a bit of carbon buildup on your burner, or a partially blocked gas line. Maybe your exhaust flue isn’t venting as well as it could be. No big deal, right? Actually, any one of these issues could lead to a major problem if left alone long enough. That last one, in particular, could prove dangerous to your health by trapping poisonous combustion gases in your home. These are known as progressive problems, because if left alone they will keep getting worse.

Some issues, like a leaky or partially blocked gas line, may not cause your furnace to stop working right away. They will, however, cause a loss in efficiency for which your furnace will have to work harder to compensate. This can cause an increase in your heating bills, as your furnace runs longer to try and reach the thermostat temperature without enough fuel to do so effectively.

If you schedule regular maintenance, you can catch all of these problems before they get bad enough to force costly repairs or replacements. You’ll also increase the overall efficiency of your system by having it maintained, which saves you money on heating bills. In the end, the benefits of regular furnace maintenance far outweigh the cost.

If you haven’t scheduled your annual heating maintenance yet, call Air Temperature Specialists. We conduct furnace repair and maintenance throughout the San Diego/Inland Empire area.

Is Your Water Heater in Need of Repair?

The convenience that a water heater offers is something that many homeowners take for granted—without it many of the tasks you perform on a daily basis would be a lot harder, if not impossible. This includes cleaning dishes, washing clothes, and even taking a shower. Fortunately for you, a professionally installed and serviced water heater has the potential to last many years.

However, just like any other appliance, water heaters are not indestructible. No matter how durable it is or how much maintenance it receives, chances are that you will need repairs on this system at one time or another. When this does happen, be sure to give our team a call. In the meantime, keep reading to learn about some of the warning signs that your water heater is in need of repair.

YOU RUN OUT OF HOT WATER

If you’ve noticed that members of your household have to go without hot showers in the morning when you never had a problem before, then you may not be getting as much hot water out of your system as you used to. This is typically indicative of a broken dip tube inside the water tank, or a leak. This problem can grow worse if not addressed, so be sure to contact our professionals should you notice this.

LUKEWARM WATER

Perhaps you’re still getting hot water consistently, but it’s coming out lukewarm. If this is the case, then there is likely a problem with the power supply to your water heater, no matter if it is an electric or gas model. A burnt-out heating element or a failed pilot light can be to blame for the issue, and requires the work of professional water heater repair technicians.

DISCOLORED WATER

Have you turned on a hot water faucet to notice a reddish-brown taint coming out with the water? This is likely a sign that either corrosion has begun to infiltrate the water heater, or excess sediment has built up in the tank. Be sure to address this right away as corrosion can lead to total system replacement should you neglect this problem for too long.

For expert water heater repairs in San Diego, California, contact Air Temperature Specialists today.

What’s That Smell Coming From My AC?

When you walk into your home, smelling something horrendous is one of the worst surprises you can receive. If you find that the foul odor is coming from your air conditioning unit, the next step is to identify the odor and where in your unit it’s coming from. Here are some common smells from your unit that can linger throughout your home.

AC Smells Like: Burning

If you smell burning from your AC unit, you probably have an electrical problem. The burning smell can come from either a blower motor that overheated or a mechanical failure of some sort. This is due to the build up heat of plastic insulation on wires, causing melting and the burning smell in your unit. Also, if plastic, rubber, or other objects get caught in your ductwork, this can cause a burning smell. Even dirty air filters can overheat your AC unit, creating a burning smell.

AC Smells Like: Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning smells like rotten eggs, you could have a potentially serious issue. The smell usually comes from a backed up sewage line that has split near a break in your air duct system. From the sewer, methane gases, the cause of the stench, leak into your AC unit, allowing your air ducts to circulate all around your home. Finding the break in your air duct is a good start, but you typically need to contact a professional for plumbing repairs to fix your sewage line and rid the rotten eggs smell for good.

AC Smells Like: Musty

If your air conditioning smells musty, this usually means that mold is forming inside your air conditioner. Get rid of this odor by thoroughly cleaning it out. Replace your filter, and then clean the inside of your air conditioner, followed by your front grille, your coils and the condensation drain line. Your AC unit should be shut off while you clean it out.

AC Smells Like: Gas

The heating portion of your HVAC system is more than likely powered by natural gas running in your home. Therefore, if you air conditioning smells like gas, open up all your windows and go outside immediately. Contact your gas company and have them investigate the gas smell from your air conditioner.

AC Smells Like: Rotten Animals

If your house smells like rotten animals, there’s a break in the AC ducts under your home. Animals that have been harmed or that have been looking for shelter away from the California heat, often get into your air vents and die there. This isn’t the most preferred smell to come from your air conditioner, but it can happen.

 

AC Tune-Up Tips

How sure are you that your AC is as working as efficiently and effectively as it possibly could? Because there are plenty of small things that can put a dent in its performance, or add to your electricity bill. That’s why ACs need regular tune-ups, to make sure that they are doing what they are doing the way they were meant to be doing it.

Tune-up Steps You Could Do On Your Own

There are a couple of things you can do on your own to make sure you’re getting the most out of your AC unit. First, you can check whether the air filters need cleaning or replacement. During the cooling season, it is recommended that you clean or replace your AC’s filters once a month.

Condenser coils on the outside units are another thing that needs to be cleaned regularly, and the spring is the best time to do it. While you’re at it, you could also check whether it’s running too hot – the copper tube that connects the outside unit to the inside unit is the place where you can do this. If the tube is too hot, you will probably need to have a professional take care of it for you.

Power Saving Options

Your AC shouldn’t work all the time. Using a programmable thermostat will ensure that your AC works only when it needs to be working – just set a reasonable temperature as the goal, and once the AC gets to it, it will stop working. Until it needs to power up again to maintain that temperature, that is. If you’re leaving you home, even for a prolonged period of time, you should leave your AC running but set the temperature to higher than you would if you were at home. That way, the AC will work at least some of the time, but it won’t work too much.

When To Call The Pros

If you don’t want to perform these AC tune-up steps on your own, you can always call the professionals to do it for you. At Air Temperature Specialists, we can do everything needed to fix, maintain, and tune-up AC systems for our customers and we do our best to be available whenever we’re needed.

 

REDUCING STRAIN ON YOUR AIR CONDITIONER

The average air conditioning system lasts 8-12 years before you should expect to replace it. However, there are several environmental factors that affect an air conditioner’s longevity including how you use the unit, its overall condition, and its maintenance history. The harder your system must work to cool your home, the faster parts will wear out and fail, affecting your comfort and causing further damage to the system. Learning the factors that strain your air conditioner allows you to take steps to reduce stress on the system, which will lower your home’s cooling bills, increase the comfort in each room, and put off the time when you need to consider a replacement air conditioner.
Keep Your AC Clean
Dirt and dust affect how your air conditioner functions in numerous ways. As dirt collects in the air filter, it causes a drop in airflow that makes your air conditioner work harder to pull in air for cooling. Similarly, dirty fan blades on your air conditioner’s outdoor condenser reduce airflow and cause excess stress on the system. Dirt and dust that coat interior components of your AC will also cause the system to strain to provide the cooling you want, resulting in premature wear that lowers overall efficiency and puts the entire system at risk for a breakdown. The simplest way to keep your air conditioner clean is to change the filter regularly and keep the area around your outdoor condenser clear. Scheduling biannual AC maintenance visits gives your HVAC technician the opportunity to clean the system’s interior regularly and reduces strain as well.
Have Your Ducts Inspected
Central air conditioners push cooled air up into your ducts so it can reach the rest of your home. When your ducts are damaged or dirty, air can’t move efficiently through them and your air conditioning system is affected. Damaged ducts leak air into uninsulated spaces, resulting in “lost” work that means your air conditioner must operate longer and harder to reach the temperature you’ve set. Dirty ducts reduce the space through which air can flow, increasing strain on your HVAC system’s blower motor, causing it to wear out or fail prematurely. Repairing and cleaning your ducts can have a significant impact on your cooling bills, increasing home comfort and reducing the amount you pay monthly to achieve the temperature you want.
Eliminate Heat Sources
The temperature outside is not the only source of heat inside your home. Computer systems, televisions, and even lighting and appliances can all contribute heat to your living space. Taking a few simple steps to reduce additional heat during the hottest parts of the day can go a long way toward lowering the amount of strain on your air conditioning system. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED lights will lower your home energy usage and eliminate inadvertent heating when you turn on your lights. Using your microwave or grill to cook food on hot days can also help to keep your home cooler. Closing the shades in sunny rooms and turning off your computer or television when they aren’t in use are also positive steps toward a more comfortable home and more efficient air conditioner.

Do you need help lowering your cooling bills or addressing poor air conditioning performance in San Diego? Our website has more information about our extensive home cooling services, including repairs, replacement, maintenance, and additional air quality products for comfort and health. You can also check out our monthly blog to learn more about the factors that affect home comfort and how you can get the most from your cooling system.

How to Beat the Heat with AC Service

techs from air temperature specialists on a roof ac callAir Temperature Specialists professionals are skilled HVAC technicians ready to maximize the benefits of running your Air Conditioner with preventative maintenance service. Tired of sweating all day and night in the Southern California summer heat? Are your energy bills so high that they make you sick to your stomach? Getting your HVAC system serviced can reduce your energy usage and make your system function more effectively.

Our techs will clean the internal components, clean/change your filters and verify safety features are working during a routine preventative maintenance service. This service should be performed annually for best results. Equipment manufacturers advise regular maintenance on your HVAC systems to keep them running at top performance and reduce or eliminate the need for costly repairs.

Call to schedule an appointment to beat the heat 888-588-1602!