Posts

Are These Things Holding You Back from Lowering Your HVAC Costs?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? Well, when it comes to HVAC system health and efficiently, this is just not the case. Sometimes you may think that the way you are running your HVAC system is increasing efficiency when in reality it is doing just the opposite. Below, we’ll discuss some things that you may be doing that actually hold you back from lowering your HVAC costs.

Common HVAC Mistakes That May be Costing You

No one wants to waste money. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the most common HVAC mistakes that homeowners make and how you can avoid them:

Setting your thermostat to fan-on mode.

Some homeowners may think that setting their thermostat to the “fan-on” position instead of “auto” will make their home more comfortable throughout the day. However, this can actually cause a lot of trouble in your home. When there is humidity in the air, this may cause the perfect breeding ground for mold, especially if you have an oversized AC unit. Not only can mold be costly to remedy, but it can also have a significant impact on your family’s health.

In addition, your energy bills will be higher because you fan is constantly running instead of just turning on when it needs to bring the temperature up or down. Leaving your fan on all of the time can also increase duct leakage, which can then lead to an increase of air leakage across your home. To avoid these issues and the possibility of increased HVAC costs, set your thermostat to “auto,” and allow your cooling system to determine when it needs to run.

Closing or blocking air vents.

Some homeowners are under the assumption that closing air vents in unused rooms will help them save energy and lower their HVAC costs. In reality, closing air vents does just the opposite. When you close air vents in certain rooms, this offsets your home’s airflow, which will cause your HVAC system to work harder than it should to keep your home a comfortable temperature. This decreases efficiency, and ultimately, raises your heating and cooling costs.

Another common HVAC issue that homeowners face is blocking air vents. Air return vents may not be the most attractive element of your home. However, hiding these vents behind furniture or curtains can mess with your air flow and drive your HVAC costs up. If your HVAC system does not get proper airflow, this can decrease efficiency. Homeowners should always keep air vents uncovered and clean to promote an efficient and healthy HVAC system.

Using the most efficient air filter.

Most homeowners want to provide the healthiest home environment for their families. Buying the least expensive air filter may result in poor indoor air quality, so some individuals opt for more efficient air filters with higher MERV ratings. The issue here is that air filters that are extremely efficient are typically very thick and they can cause too much of a drag in air flow. The standard residential HVAC system was not designed to use these types of filters, especially the older units, and using these filters can cause a decrease in overall efficiency as well as additional wear and tear to the unit.

Instead of buying the most efficient air filter possible, do some research and read the HVAC manual to find the right type of air filter for your system. If you are concerned about indoor air quality or have family members with weakened immune systems, contact an HVAC professional to discuss your options for upgrading your air filter.

Looking for more ways to save on HVAC costs? We would love to help! Call us today for more information about our energy-saving HVAC systems and programmable thermostats from Carrier: (951) 663-4895.

Stop Making these HVAC Mistakes in the New Year

The new year is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to start anew. As 2017 approaches, many people are reflecting on the past year and creating their New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. As you start thinking about what you would like the new year to look like, consider your home comfort. Below, we will outline some common HVAC mistakes and how you can stop making these mistakes in the new year.

Most Common HVAC Mistakes

Many homeowners may not realize it, but they are making HVAC mistakes that can end up costing them. Here are a few ways to stop making these HVAC mistakes in the new year:

Mistake #1: Skipping your annual HVAC maintenance appointment.

How to Avoid: It can be easy to forget about your annual HVAC maintenance appointment, especially when your system is running just fine. However, preventative maintenance is important, and it’s one of the best ways to maintain efficiency and prolong the life of your HVAC equipment. The best way to avoid this HVAC mistake is by scheduling your annual maintenance visits ahead of time. Make yourself a reminder on your calendar when your HVAC system is due for maintenance, and be sure to call and schedule an appointment sooner rather than later.

Mistake #2: Ignoring loud noises coming from your HVAC system.

How to Avoid: An HVAC system that is working properly should not be making any loud noises. However, this might be easy to ignore if the system appears to be running fine otherwise. Loud noises coming from your heating and cooling equipment may be a sign that there is a bigger problem with your system. Ignoring this could not only be costly but also dangerous for everyone in your household. If you notice loud noises coming from your unit, call your HVAC technician at the first sign of trouble. He or she will inspect your unit and make repairs before the problem gets any bigger.

Mistake #3: Failing to change your air filter regularly.

How to Avoid: Most homeowners know that they need to change their air filter. But knowing you need to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. In order to keep yourself on track with air filter changes. Check your air filter at the same time every month, and clean or replace the filter if it is clogged or dirty. If you are forgetful, you may want to make a reminder on your calendar each month, so that you don’t forget to check and change your air filter. This will improve both your efficiency and indoor air quality so that you and your family can breathe healthy air.

If you have any questions about your HVAC system or think you may need a repair, give us a call today: (951) 663-4895. Our team would be happy to help you get your heating and cooling system back up and running in no time.

Top Helpful HVAC Videos Online

Every home owner can use some extra advice when it comes to HVAC. And, even though many common DIY videos on HVAC can be more harmful than helpful due to concerns about safety, these videos explain easy tasks that you can do without any risk. From changing your HVAC system’s air filter to choosing houseplants to reduce air pollution, check out this helpful list of videos and increase your HVAC knowledge today!

How to Change Your HVAC Air Filter: https://youtu.be/1fcmJ_OYF1o

This simple task can get a little bit confusing if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Take a look at this great tutorial to find out the proper way to change your home HVAC system’s air filter, and rest easy that you’re doing it correctly.

How to Clean Your Home’s Air Vents: https://youtu.be/2X_7ydLf6ZI

This instructional video will show you a clever way to deep clean those air vents in your home, which may be trapping dust, dirt, and other debris. By cleaning out your vents, you’ll improve not only the functioning of your HVAC system, but the air quality in your home as well. Any debris that may be trapped within your vents will circulate throughout your ducts, and ultimately throughout your home’s air when your system clicks on. By keeping your vents clean, you’ll enjoy cleaner air in your home! Check out this helpful video to see how it’s done.

DIY Troubleshooting Your Thermostat: https://youtu.be/rWm3Ia9xoc8

This helpful video will show you how to do a simple check to test whether or not your thermostat is properly working or not. This is a quick DIY tip that will help you to find out if it’s your thermostat causing issues with your home’s HVAC, or if there’s another cause for concern, such as a faulty unit.

How To Winterize Your AC Unit: https://youtu.be/Hor3I1xO0EU

When temperatures drop, you don’t only need to stop running your air conditioner, but you should also be mindful of making sure that it’s ready to face inclement weather. This educational video will show you how to properly winterize your home’s AC unit, which will help keep it safe and sound until you’re ready to turn it on during the warmer seasons.

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality: https://youtu.be/K5mp4tkd8qU

Did you know that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors? With this in mind, air quality is an extremely important concern for individuals, particularly for homeowners who would like to have a healthy place to call home. There are many factors that will affect the quality of indoor air, and this incredibly useful video explains it all.

How to Improve Indoor Air Pollution with Houseplants: https://youtu.be/HdOibycDIA4

Speaking of Indoor Air Quality, did you know that houseplants can be beneficial to your home’s air quality? That’s right, houseplants aren’t just decorative, they are beneficial for your home’s air as well. This video explains all about houseplants’ impact on the quality of your indoor air and which plants are most beneficial for your home environment.

Can’t find a video to help solve your HVAC problem? Contact us today for help with any repair or maintenance needs.

5 Carrier Products that Homeowners Need to Know About

Looking for a new HVAC system for your home or commercial building may leave you with your head spinning. With so many options, where do you start?

At J & M Air Conditioning and Heating, we recommend Carrier HVAC systems and products to all of our customers. This is because we know that your home comfort is important to you and your family. Carrier is a world leader in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration solutions. Their air conditioning and heating systems and products work to keep your family comfortable year-round. Below, we’ll guide you through some of the top Carrier products all homeowners should know about.

Carrier Products You Should Know About

Here are 5 of our favorite Carrier home comfort solutions that we just can’t wait to tell you about:

Infinity® Series Air Conditioners

When it comes to air conditioning, the Infinity Series from Carrier is the best it gets. These units are some of the quietest, most efficient models made by Carrier. Air conditioners in this series were designed for optimal home comfort. In addition to offering a SEER rating of up to 21, these units also allow for the best comfort management with the Infinity® control system.

Infinity® Series Heat Pump with Greenspeed™ Intelligence

The Infinity® 20 Heat Pump with Greenspeed™ Intelligence has won the Consumers Digest Best Buy Award. However, what’s even more impressive is how this system can transform your home comfort. With Greenspeed™ Intelligence, this product adapts to the comfort needs of your home, helping you conserve energy while optimizing comfort levels. The system also operates quietly and allows for maximum temperature management. Overall, this heat pump gives you ultimate control over home comfort.

Performance™ Series Air Purifier

If you’re looking for an affordable air purifying system, the Performance Series Air Purifier is right for you. Using Captures & Kills™ technology, this IAQ product works to improve your indoor air quality by filtering out pollutants, pathogens, and allergens that enter your home. As a result, your family can enjoy cleaner and healthier indoor air year-round.

Performance™ Series Germicidal UV Lamps

This is another indoor air quality product from Carrier that helps you and your family breathe easier. These germicidal UV lamps kill the mold, bacteria, and other organisms that can start to grow on your AC’s indoor coil. By eliminating these organisms, the germicidal UV lamps improve the quality of your home’s air and help improve your HVAC system’s performance.

Infinity® Remote Access Touch Control

The Infinity Remote Access Touch Control allows homeowners to have better control over their home comfort. This control acts as a central panel for total home comfort management, allowing users to monitor and adjust temperatures, humidity, ventilation, air flow, and indoor air quality. This particular model allows homeowners to control their home comfort from almost anywhere through remote access over Wi-Fi.

Are you interested in any of these Carrier products? Contact us to find out how to purchase and install these HVAC products in your home today.

Why Heater Maintenance is Important (Even if You Don’t Use Heat That Often)

With the moderate temperatures and beautiful weather in Southern California, you may not find yourself turning on your heater very often. However, even if you do not use your heat often, it is still important to get annual maintenance on your heating system. Damage and wear can occur while your heater is dormant for most of the year, leading to system failure or other malfunctions when you finally start it up again in winter. A fall tune-up can help you prolong the life of your heater and keep it working efficiently when you do want to use it.

Why Heater Maintenance is Important

Even if you are not running your heater constantly, it is nice to have a working heating system when you need it. Some HVAC experts have reported that up to 75 percent of the service calls they get for broken heaters in the winter are related to lack of maintenance. If you don’t get your furnace serviced annually, you may find yourself left out in the cold this winter.

Not only does a non-maintained heating system run less efficiently, which costs you money, but it can also be hazardous to your health. An HVAC technician can identify carbon monoxide leaks during an inspection, which can be quickly fixed to prevent health issues. The gas is colorless and odorless, making it difficult to detect without a furnace inspection.

Winter HVAC Maintenance Checklist

In addition to getting a regularly scheduled heater tune-up from a certified HVAC technician in the fall, there are also some steps that you can take to keep your HVAC system maintained between service visits:

  • Replace your air filters regularly. Though it depends on the type and brand of filter, typically, homeowners should replace disposable air filters or clean washable filters at least once a month. The best way to ensure that your airflow remains unrestricted is to visually check the filters and filtering equipment monthly and clean or replace when filters look dirty.
  • Keep outdoor units clear of debris. To keep your system working efficiently, you should keep any mounted outdoor units clear of clutter, weeds, and debris that may reduce the airflow to the unit. Similarly, keep any plants or shrubs at least one foot away from the unit and use caution when trimming weeds around the unit to prevent any damage.
  • Keep pets away from outdoor unit. It is also important to keep your pets away from the outdoor unit as pet urine can cause damage to the system that may be quite costly to repair.

Though some maintenance needs to be performed by a qualified technician, you can use these simple maintenance tips year-round to prevent damage to your unit and keep your system running optimally.

J & M Air Conditioning and Heating wants you to get the most out of your heating and cooling system. That is why we recommend annual heater maintenance, even if you do not use the heat that often. If you need preventative maintenance or a furnace tune-up before winter, contact us today.

Can My Heat Pump Keep Up When It’s Over 110 degrees Outside?

This year’s summer has boasted some of the highest temperatures on record. As we transition into fall and children return to school, the mercury continues to rise. Meteorologists predict that we will continue to break record temperatures throughout September. In the scorching heat, homeowners are confronted with a “burning” question: Can my heat pump keep up?

How A Heat Pump Cools Your Home

A heat pump providing cooling services? If it seems backward to you, you’re not alone. Many homeowners are confused about a heat pump’s function. A heat pump can provide your house with some much needed summer relief by pushing warm inside air to the outside. Some think that a heat pump may have trouble keeping up with summer swelter, but this is a common misconception. In fact, heat pumps are more likely to have trouble keeping up in bitterly cold climates, since they rely on pulling heat from the ground or water.

HVAC experts maintain heat pumps cool a home just as effectively as a standard air conditioner, no matter what the heat index.

Heat Pump Cooling: Other Misconceptions

If you’re considering a heat pump to provide warming and cooling services for your home, know the common misconceptions and truths surrounding them:

Heat Pump Efficiency

While heat pumps may cool a home just as efficiently as any other conditioner, they also won’t be any more efficient. Some homeowners assume that heat pumps help save money. While there’s no difference between air conditioners and heat pumps with regard to efficiency, there are differences between models. A high-efficiency model will save you more on your utility bills, for example.

Heat Pump Benefits

Heat pumps do help save cash in other ways. The main benefit of a heat pump is that you can use it for heating and cooling, so you don’t have to pay for installation and maintenance of two devices. And a heat pump can save you money on your winter heating bills—they can be 30-40% more efficient in the winter. When the temperature dips below 30 degrees, a heat pump generates its own heat, which costs a little extra. If you live in a climate with temperatures consistently under freezing, a heat pump may not be your best option.

How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

Makes and models vary, but in general, expect to pay $800–$1,500 for purchase and installation. Only trust a qualified HVAC specialist to install your unit. Improper installation can actually lead to higher energy bills.

Do They Require More Maintenance?

Like all appliances, your heat pump requires maintenance to keep it running at maximum efficiency. Just as you get a summer tune-up for your air conditioner, get one for your heat pump. Expect it to cost around $100.

Heat pumps are a smart heating and cooling option for many homeowners. They provide maximum efficiency while pulling double duty—and you don’t have to worry about a heat pump keeping up in hot summer temperatures. For more information about heat pumps and how they work, contact us today.