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

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Should I Repair My Heater Or Is It Time To Replace It?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Repairing versus replacing is a common question our AZ Air Conditioning and Heating technicians get around this time of year. Sometimes the situation is pretty clear cut, particularly if you have a heater that simply isn’t working, but other times you may have to weigh your options. But whether you choose to repair your heating system or replace it, call the people you can count on: AZ Air Conditioning and Heating.

Repair vs. Replace: Which to Choose

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to repair or replace your existing heating system:

Age of Your System

The average combustion heating system has a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. Once a heating system reaches a certain age it can be difficult for the system perform as needed; additionally, an aging system can be prone to excessive repair as components begin to breakdown. If your system is under 10 years old, it may be better to repair, but if it is approaching or is at its expected lifespan, you may want to consider replacement.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s heating systems are very energy efficient; in fact, many heaters have function at 95% efficiency or higher. Aging and/or malfunctioning systems can have a hard time operating at the energy efficiency they were made to operate at, and an older system may not have the energy efficiency of a new model. If your system is still relatively young, doing the needed repairs can increase the efficiency level, but if your system has some years on it, you may be losing important energy efficiency.

Many Repairs

Costly and/or numerous repairs are one of the most common reasons people look to replace their heating systems. This is because repairs can add up quickly, sometimes to the cost of a new heating system. If you have been nursing along a heating system for some time, your money may be better spent on a new, reliable system.

Work with a Specialist

If you are on the fence about whether or not to repair or replace your heating system, one of the best steps you can take is to work with a trained specialist. The certified technicians at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating can help you with all your heating needs. Call us today and schedule your heating service in Los Angeles with our experts!

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It’s Time to Schedule Heating Maintenance

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Winter is almost here, and that means it’s time to get your heating system primed and ready for regular use over the next few months. The best way to make sure that your heating system is ready for the winter season is to schedule some preventative heating maintenance. Let’s examine the benefits of fall heating maintenance, and the consequences of neglecting it.

Why Schedule Fall Maintenance?

There are a few very simple reasons why you should schedule your annual maintenance during the fall season. The first is that the best time to conduct any sort of preventative maintenance on a system is right before you’re going to be using it often. This ensures that your heating system is in the best possible shape to take on the increased strain of what will most likely be daily use.

The second reason is somewhat related to the first: convenience. Just as conducting fall maintenance will drastically lessen the chance of a serious problem occurring with your heating system, neglecting that maintenance will increase the chances if a strain-induced breakdown. This will be doubly-bad for you, as demand for HVAC repairs increases wait times during winter. That could leave you without heat for days while you wait for a professional to arrive.

The third reason is cost. There’s a reason why smart homeowners don’t just wait until something breaks to call for repairs. Problems are always cheaper to fix the earlier you catch them, especially when it comes to issues that can affect other parts of your heating system. The longer you wait between maintenance sessions, the more the chance of a major breakdown increases. Even though there is some unavoidable wear and tear in all systems, regular maintenance can still mitigate that as much as possible.

So, get your heater checked this fall to make sure you stay warm all winter. It can only benefit you, and it’s a lot better than the alternative. If you haven’t scheduled your fall maintenance yet, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. Our heating technicians cover the entire Los Angeles area.

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3 Common Heat Pump Repairs

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Heat pumps have a couple of unique functions that set them apart from other heating systems. Unfortunately, this also imparts a couple of unique problems that heat pump owners have to deal with. Below are 3 of the most common heat pump problems that require repair, and what can be done about them.

Stuck in Cooling/Heating Mode

A heat pump is able to switch between both heating and cooling modes. This is due to its ability to change the flow of refrigerant through the system. As refrigerant is responsible for carrying thermal energy, the ability to reverse its flow determines whether heat is being carried into or out of the house. When a heat pump becomes stuck on one mode or another, it means that it cannot reverse the flow of refrigerant. This means that the reversing valve, the part which actually reverses the flow, it probably stuck or broken.

Not Circulating Air

If your heat pump is on, but not circulating air, there could be a couple of reasons. First, can you hear the motor running? If the motor is running but you can’t feel air circulating, the fan belt is probably broken. The fan belt is what links the motor to the fan, enabling it to spin when the motor is turned on. If the fan belt is broken, the motor has no connection to the fan. This is what would cause the unit to turn on, but not circulate any air.

No Heat in Heating Mode

If your heat pump appears to be in heating mode, but is not putting out an appreciable amount of heat, then you may have a leak in the refrigerant line. As mentioned above, the refrigerant line is what is responsible for carrying thermal energy throughout the unit. If a leak develops in this line, it can drain refrigerant levels to the point that not enough heat can be carried to the interior unit to be circulated. If you see fluid dripping or pooling around your heat pump, you may have a refrigerant leak.

If you’re having problems with your heat pump, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. Our air conditioning repair services cover all of Los Angeles.

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