AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Blog : Archive for July, 2014

How Important is Your Insulation?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

When you think of insulation in the home, you may immediately think of winter. After all, insulation plays a critical role in keeping your home warm during the coldest days of the year—that much is true. But the fact of the matter is that your insulation affects your home throughout the entire year. The reason for this is fairly simple: as a thermal barrier, insulation gives you the ability to control the natural flow from hot to cold. Thermal energy always seeks out colder areas, and it continues to do so, when given the opportunity.

Insulation is a thermal barrier, frequently made out of fiberglass and other materials, that allows you to control the way that your home controls the flow of heat. During the winter, you’re not actually preventing cold air from getting in, but rather your heated air from getting out. Vice versa, during the summer, insulation is there not to prevent cold air from getting out, but to prevent hot air from getting in. All materials bear thermal properties, but few are as effective as those specially designed to act as functional thermal barriers in residential homes.

These include standard batted insulation that comes in large rolls designed to fit within standard wall, flooring and ceiling framing, but it also includes blown-in and spray foam insulation that are often preferred, especially in cases when retrofitting is an absolute necessity. Whether you’re building a home from scratch or you’re renovating, insulation is one of the most critical parts of the process. With building regulations and practices being what they are, it’s hard to imagine what an uninsulated building would be like today, but you’d probably not like to be responsible for heating or cooling that space.

Insulation is critical to all homes, but especially to those with whole house HVAC systems. No matter what the energy efficiency rating of your air conditioner or heater may be, it means next to nothing without the proper insulation to keep that heated air indoors in January, and keep that hot air outside in July. We can answer all of your questions when it comes to insulation products and services. Call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for reliable insulation service in Los Angeles.

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Common Water Heater Problems

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The water heater is one of the major appliances in the home, and is of equal stature as your refrigerator, washer/dryer and dishwasher. It allows you to shower in temperature-controlled water, to hit the switch on your automatic dishwasher, and to keep your white clothes and linens particularly clean, not to mention the various other ways you rely upon hot water in the home. Whether your system is old or new, tank or tankless, it will encounter its fair share of wear and tear over the years, and this may eventually cause some issues for system performance and efficiency.

While you should definitely have your system diagnosed and fixed by a professional, it’s up to you to recognize that you have a problem in the first place. Not all problems involve the sudden breakdown of your water heater.

Here is a brief list of some signs that you need water heater repair, STAT

  • Strange sounds and loud noises. If the sound of your water heater strikes fear in the hearts of your young ones, then it may be time for a professional to have a look. Boiling and banging can be indications that all is not right with your system, and unusually loud noises are no better. Don’t take any chances with such blatant signs of disrepair.
  • High energy bills. Another sign that your water heater is not operating properly is when it requires additional energy to operate. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s often the case that your system has too much sediment at the bottom of the tank. This can interfere with the heat exchanger’s ability to heat your water, and can actually lead to dangerously high temperatures as well.
  • Inadequate hot water. If you find that your hot water capacity has plummeted gradually over the last year or so, then it might be time to replace. Whether you need repair or replacement, the first step is having a professional take a look. Inadequate hot water can lead to cold showers, which are never pleasant.

Call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today to schedule water heater repairs in Los Angeles and get to the heart of the problem.

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5 Reasons You Need a Plumber Now

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Your plumbing system is one of the most important aspects of the home. You need to keep it that way. Here are 5 reasons that you need to pick up the phone and call your local plumber:

  1. You’ve got a leak. Leaks happen no matter how hard you may try to prevent them. When professionally installed, your plumbing system should deliver on its promise of bountiful potable water and effective wastewater disposal. But because of pressure and wear and tear, you may find that your pipes have begun to leak. Get it fixed fast before something near that leaky pipe is damaged.
  2. Your drains won’t unclog. If you’ve got a pesky clog in your home’s plumbing system that simply won’t go away, then it’s best to let a professional take care of it. Using harsh chemicals may only result in damaged pipes and disappointing results. We have the skills and the equipment to ensure that your pipes are restored to full functionality.
  3. You need to purify your water supply. Does your water taste funny? Does it leave a yellow or green scale around your faucets and shower? You may need to consider a water treatment system at your main water line. Whether you’re trying to get rid of hard water or a contaminant, there is a water purification system that’s right for your home.
  4. Your home needs repiping. The thought of repiping your entire home is probably not a very welcome one. After all, the job requires a significant amount of renovation to your household and it takes time to complete. But you may not have a choice. The key is hiring an expert who can give you candid advice about the condition of your plumbing system so that you can make an informed decision.
  5. You’re starting from scratch and you need a quality plumber. Building a new home is what this country is all about. If you’re starting from scratch, make sure you surround yourself with quality contractors and diligent folks who know what they’re doing. I particular, find yourself a good local plumber who will make sure the job is completed on time and within budget.

If you’re working for a local plumber, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for professional plumbing services in Los Angeles.

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Buying a Whole House Air Conditioner: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Are you in the market for a new air conditioner? If you’re looking beyond the portable window units that can be installed easily by any able-bodied homeowner, then you need to make sure that you make an informed decision. A whole house air conditioner is a major investment of your resources, and it’s a decision that you’ll live with for at least the next decade or so. Whether you opt for a heat pump, central air unit or ductless air conditioner is up to you, but we’ve compiled some general advice that you may find helpful.

  1. Hire a pro. First things first: get yourself a trained HVAC professional. The fact is that you will need a professional to install the machine anyway, and it’s best to get his or her advice early on so that you can make the best possible decision when it comes to your whole house air conditioner. Pick their brain and make sure all of your questions are answered satisfactorily.
  2. Year-round comfort or dedicating cooling? One of the major decisions that you’ll have to make is between year-round systems such as heat pumps and ductless mini splits, and dedicated powerhouses such as central air units. If you already have a furnace in place, then a central air unit makes a lot of sense, but if you’re starting from scratch, then a heat pump is a wonderfully efficient system that may pay off in the long term.
  3. Ducts or no ducts. With the rise in popularity of ductless systems, you may want to think twice before installing ductwork throughout your home. Ductless mini splits are quickly gaining traction as a viable alternative to conventional duct-based systems that have long been the standard for homeowners throughout the country. Ductless systems are widely regarded for their versatile cooling experience, not to mention their outstanding energy efficiency.
  4. Match it to your space. Above all, your AC needs to match your living space. If you find that your new air conditioner is too large or too small, it simply will not work as it should; it’s just that simple.

Call us today to make sure that your new air conditioner is a complete success. Contact AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for reliable Los Angeles Air Conditioning service today.

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Leading the Way with Independence Days!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

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