AZ Air Conditioning and Heating Blog : Archive for February, 2015

Is a Solar Air Conditioner Worth the Investment?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

If you’ve been considering going solar to save energy, you don’t have to convert your entire home at once. Often, you can convert only one of the appliances in your home to solar energy so that you can test the waters but still reap the energy savings. And one of the parts of your home that consumes the most energy and could benefit the most from solar panels is the air conditioning system.

Solar air conditioning is available in Los Angeles through the friendly and knowledgeable technicians at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. Of course, solar air conditioning comes with a fairly large price tag initially, which leads many customers to ask: is it worth my investment?

The Benefits of Solar Air Conditioning

Save Energy and Money with Geothermal

Save Energy and Money with Solar Power

We use our air conditioning systems for most of the summer in LA. In many instances, the air conditioner uses up more energy than any other single component in your home. You’ve probably noticed how much your bills shoot upwards in the summertime, due in large part to increased AC run times. But with a solar energy system installed for this component, your bills may not go up at all in the summer.

For most homeowners, solar air conditioning systems save so much energy that the deficit in your bills offsets the initial cost over a matter of years. Solar AC units last longer than other air conditioning systems as long as they receive proper maintenance and careful installation. And solar air conditioning may need fewer repairs over time. In fact, the solar panels likely won’t need any repairs or replacement for decades.

Solar air conditioning is a great investment for nearly any home in which household members run the air conditioner fairly frequently during the warmer months. It may even increase the value of your home, and you’ll be protecting some of the earth’s most valuable resources.

Call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today to learn more about the benefits of installing solar air conditioning in Los Angeles. We can go over your options with you and help you make an informed decision about whether solar is the right choice for your home. Pick up the phone today!

Continue Reading

Signs that You Need to Have Your Commercial HVAC System Repaired

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Commercial HVAC systems operate with much higher stakes than most home HVAC systems. If your home heating or air conditioning system breaks down, you’ll be inconvenienced for a day or two while you wait for repairs.

If the HVAC system in your place of business breaks down, however, it can have a substantial effect on both your employees and your customers. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the warning signs that your commercial HVAC system needs repairs.

Let’s take a look at some of those signs.

Odd Noises

After using the same HVAC system for a while, you should be familiar with the usual noises it makes during operation. Any deviation in those noises could be in indication that your HVAC system is in trouble. There are a few specific sounds that you should listen for. Grinding indicates that your air handler is having issues. The air handler motor is placed under a lot of strain during operation, especially in large commercial systems. To compensate for this strain, the motor is equipped with lubricated bearings that help reduce friction on it.

When these bearings start to wear down, however, the friction on the motor gradually starts to increase. If the worn out bearings are not replaced, the motor will overheat and burn itself out. Other common problem noises include booming, hissing, and gurgling. Each of these has different causes, but all require professional attention.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is the name for when your system rapidly turns itself on and off throughout the day. It is caused by the system overheating, which activates an emergency shutoff device called the “limit switch.” When the system cools off sufficiently, it starts up again and overheats again, and the entire process starts over. Short-cycling is a sign of a major problem with your HVAC system, and should be addressed immediately. If you notice this happening, turn your system off and call a professional.

If your commercial HVAC system is having issues, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. We provide commercial HVAC services throughout Los Angeles.

Continue Reading

Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Continue Reading

What Types of Heating System Needs the Most Repairs?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Well, in a way the answer to that question all depends on you. Typically, the more complicated a system is, the more possibilities exist for something to go wrong.

However, the real indicator of how prone a heating system is to problems that require repair is how well you take care of that system. The more you maintain and protect your heating system, the better it will perform. This is true regardless of the kind of heating system you use. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways that you can take care of your heating system.

Have a Trusted Professional Install It

There are a ton of heating system problems caused by improper installation, either by homeowners trying to do it themselves or HVAC companies that were not as competent as they seemed to be. Either way, having your heating system installed by an unqualified person is a surefire way to run into problems sooner or later. If you rely on a qualified HVAC technician to take care of your heating installation for you, you can rest assured that a whole slew of future problems will have been prevented.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

If you really want to take good care of your heating system, you need to schedule maintenance for it whether or not it is acting up. Annual preventive maintenance is vital to keeping your heating system in top operating condition. It allows the HVAC technician to isolate and fix any parts that are having problems, before they are able to progress to the point of seriously hindering the heater. Annual maintenance is so important to maintaining the health of a heating system that many warranties require it in order to remain valid. So, don’t wait until your heating system starts acting strange before calling an HVAC technician. Schedule preventive maintenance for your heating system at least once a year.

These two tips are both highly recommended for taking proper care of your heating system. However, there are plenty of other ways for you to avoid heating repair, depending on the system. If you’d like to know more, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating. We provide heating repair services throughout Santa Monica.

Continue Reading

Electric vs. Natural Gas: Which Is the Better Tankless Option?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

If you have decided to install a tankless water heater in your Pasadena home, you still need to make one more decision, and that is what kind of fuel you’ll use. There are two choices when it comes to fueling a tankless water heater: electricity or natural gas. Which one is best for your home? Let’s take a look.

Natural Gas

A natural gas tankless water heater requires access to a natural gas line. The installation costs for a natural gas tankless heater can be more than an electric one, but if you already have natural gas in your home, it may be a more natural choice. The main challenge with the installation of a gas tankless water heater is that the venting is very specific and complex, and many times most homes do not have the proper equipment for venting already present. This means that extra work may be required to install a gas unit. Gas units are very efficient, averaging about 85% efficiency, and can cost up to 15% less to operate than their electric counterpart.

Electric

Electric tankless water heaters are about 1/3 smaller than the tankless gas units because they do not need a burner; they also do not need access to a natural gas line and as such, can be installed without adjustment as long as your electrical box has the power to support it. Typically an electric tankless water heater needs to have an electric panel that supports 200 amps. If your electrical box isn’t large enough to support the tankless heater, you may have to consider an upgrade or using a gas unit. Electric tankless heaters have very high energy efficiency ratings, usually around 98%, because they don’t lose any latent heat in the form of combustion byproducts. They can also be installed as point-of-use heaters, directly under sinks.

Deciding which type of fuel will be best for your home will depend in part on your available resources and your needs. Working with an expert from AZ Air Conditioning and Heating from start to finish can help ensure that you install a tankless water heater in your Pasadena home that will fit your needs for many years.

Continue Reading