How to Choose the Right AC Repair Company

In the sweltering summer heat, you can’t wait to get home and into a cool environment. But when you turn on your air conditioning unit, it doesn’t respond like it normally does. The house is still hot and humid. What do you do now? You may feel this is a rather small repair job that you can have a company take care of easily. However, quite often people end up spending more money than they anticipated because they chose the wrong AC repair company. Even if the repairs seem simple enough and won’t cost a lot of money, it is important that you choose the right provider from the word go. This guide will show you how to choose the right AC repair company the first time so you can save money and hassle.

How to Choose the Right AC Repair Company

Why you should use a checklist when hiring an AC repair service

If you hire an AC repair company whose employees don’t have the appropriate certifications, you may end up with an improperly installed system that could break down again in a few months. You may end up paying more than you should, too, if you go with a non-licensed contractor. In most states, contractors who work on residential properties are required to pay a licensing fee, which covers the cost of administering the exam and the administration of the licensing program. If a contractor doesn’t have to pay a licensing fee, then they likely don’t have the same level of experience and expertise as those who do have to pay. Also, be sure the company has workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as the law requires in most states.

Don’t be fooled by ads and marketing

You may think you are getting a great deal when a company advertises $19.95 for service calls. Are they really going to come out for such a low price? It’s best to avoid services that advertise for extremely low prices. First of all, it’s probably not a legitimate AC repair company. If it is, the services performed will likely be substandard and not meet code requirements.

Another thing to watch out for is marketing which is designed to scare you into doing something right now. An example of this type of marketing is the claim that your air conditioner is on its way out. This is simply not true. If your air conditioner is 10 years old and you replace it every 15 years, then it is likely not even close to dying. It’s best to ignore marketing gimmicks.

HVAC equipment certification is key

All technicians who work on your AC unit must be certified, but not all certifications are the same. For example, if the AC repair technician is certified for refrigeration work, but not for air conditioning work, you may end up with a system that doesn’t work properly. There are several certification organizations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET); the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). You can ask for certification cards from your technicians, but keep in mind these cards can be forged. You can also check these organizations’ websites to see if the company has applied for certification.

Get more than one estimate

A good rule of thumb is to get three estimates if you need to replace your AC unit. If the bids are close, you can then go with the AC repair company that offers a shorter installation time. If there is a wide difference in price between the companies, you can ask why there is such a difference. You can also check online review sites and see what other customers have to say about the companies you are considering.

Ask to see the company’s license

You should always ask to see the AC repair company’s license and call your local municipality to confirm the company’s license is valid. If the company doesn’t have a license, then you should consider finding another service provider. While you can find out information about a business’s license online, it isn’t always accurate, so you shouldn’t take it as gospel.

Ask for references and check them

You can ask for references from the company, but be sure to follow up on them. If all of the references are from other businesses, you may want to ask why they don’t have any residential customers. You can also ask for a list of recent customers who had the same type of work done that you need. You can then call these customers to see if they are happy with the work and if they would use the company again.

Check the warranty and make sure it’s in writing

When you are shopping for a new system, you will probably see companies with a variety of long-term warranties. You may be tempted to go with the company that offers the longest warranty, but you need to make sure it is in writing. If the warranty is just verbal, then you may be out of luck if the company goes out of business or the owner retires and no one else can honor the warranty. If the warranty is in writing, then you can take the company to court if they don’t honor it.

Be wary of up-front payments

Some companies will ask you to pay a large amount of money upfront for a new system or to cover the cost of parts for a repair job. If the work is legitimate and you feel the company is trustworthy, you can request a down payment. However, if you are asked to pay for work before the work is complete, you should be very wary. That money may be gone for good.

Conclusion

If you wait until the last minute to find an AC repair company, you may not be able to find one that can come out quickly and do the work during the heat of the summer. It is best to start looking as early as February, so you have time to find the right company and have them do the work. It is best to hire a company that has been in business for at least five years, has a good BBB rating, and is a member of a reputable trade association. Look for a company that offers a wide range of services, including repair, replacement, and AC maintenance. We hope this AC repair checklist will help you choose the right company.

Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

If you are looking for AC repair companies near me, you should contact Palo Alto Plumbing today. Do not wait for a scorcher to find out your system is not blowing cold enough air or is leaking money out the window. Call today!

Looking for HVAC Companies Near Me? How They Can Save You Money

Are you tired of spending hundreds of dollars on your energy bill every month? Do you dread the summer and winter months when your energy bill spikes? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, you might want to consider getting your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system checked out by an HVAC company. An HVAC system is one of the largest energy consumers in a home, and without regular maintenance, it could be throwing your money out the window without you realizing it. If you’re looking for HVAC companies near me, here are some ways that your local HVAC company can help you save money on your energy bill.

Looking for HVAC Companies Near Me? How They Can Help Save You Money

What Is HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance refers to the recommended servicing and inspections of your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system. When this is done regularly, you’ll be able to detect problems before they become costly. This can save you money by preventing issues that might require costly repairs and replacements. Some HVAC maintenance tasks may include changing filters, installing new seals and gaskets, or repairing refrigerant leaks. Other tasks may include lubricating motors or cables and cleaning dirty coils. You’ll want to find a licensed professional for your home’s HVAC maintenance. A licensed HVAC contractor from your HVAC companies near me search will have the expertise to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently all year round.

Below are some ways HVAC companies near me can help you save money on your energy bills.

Check for air leaks

The first thing an HVAC company does is check for air leaks in your home. Air leaks can allow hot or cold air into the house and spike your energy bill. These leaks could be due to cracks, gaps, or holes in the ductwork system. In order to fix these leaks, you will have to improve the insulation around the ducts.

HVAC Maintenance Improves Efficiency

One of the simplest ways to save money on your energy bill is to search for HVAC companies near me and have your HVAC system checked for efficiency. If you’ve had your system for 10 years or more, chances are it needs a tune-up. This will ensure that the system is running efficiently, and when the temperatures start to drop, you won’t be worried about shocking your utility bill with a spike in usage.

For example, a poorly insulated duct can waste up to 50% of heating and cooling energy. Additionally, poor air quality and high humidity levels can cause drafts, which lead to a chilly house during the winter months. The best way to avoid these issues is to schedule HVAC maintenance with a professional service provider every year or two. As well as improving efficiency, HVAC maintenance will ensure that your system is running at its peak performance. Your chosen technician from your HVAC companies near me search will inspect the inside and outside of your HVAC system before making any repairs or adjustments – this includes checking for leaks, dirt buildup, corrosion, and proper airflow throughout the home. If there are any problems found during the inspection, they will be fixed or replaced before you know it!

Avoid Breakdowns

The benefits don’t stop there: scheduling annual or biennial HVAC maintenance with HVAC companies near me can also reduce the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs. By having your technician come out to check on your equipment regularly, you’ll get a heads-up when there is an issue with something major like a compressor or a blower motor – these components can lead to expensive repairs if they break down without warning!

Install efficient furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps

You can save money on your energy bill by searching for HVAC companies near me and having your chosen HVAC company install efficient furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. Newer models of these appliances are better at conserving energy and running more efficiently than older models. By installing an energy-efficient appliance, you can cut your energy use by 10 to 15 percent.

Other Ways to Save Money on Energy

Replace old appliances with energy-efficient ones

One of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill is by replacing old appliances, like your refrigerator and dishwasher, with newer ones that are more energy-efficient. Most homes in the United States are still using a 1980s refrigerator that consumes at least 700 kWh of electricity per year. When you get a new fridge or dishwasher, make sure it’s Energy Star certified. These appliances have been tested and rated by an independent lab to meet specific standards for energy efficiency. You can also look into buying a water heater that is Energy Star certified, which will help reduce your electricity bill.

Insulate your home

The number one way to save money on your energy bill is to insulate your home, especially the attic, better. Insulating your home will help keep the heat in and the cold out. Doing so will allow you to use less energy for heating and cooling. By insulating your attic, basement, exterior walls, and doors, you can reduce up to an additional 10 percent of your energy usage each year.

Final Words

So there you have it. If you were searching for HVAC companies near me and found this article, we hope it answered some of your questions. HVAC companies near me can help you save money on your energy bill in many ways. The most obvious way is to replace your old appliances with newer, more efficient ones. You may also want to consider putting insulation on your home. Insulating all of the vents in your home and checking for air leaks can be a simple way to keep energy bills down. One of the last things you might want to think about is installing an energy-saving HVAC system. High gas prices make it more cost-effective to invest in an energy-efficient system. Replacing your old system with a new one keeps you from wasting money and helps the environment by lowering our nation’s carbon footprint.

Palo Alto Plumbing Can Help

If you are looking for HVAC companies near me, you should contact Palo Alto Plumbing today. Do not wait for a scorcher to find out your system is not blowing cold enough air or is leaking money out the window. Call today!

HVAC Maintenance Checklist: 8 Important Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Breakdowns

The hot summer days are coming on quickly! Did you know that the average air conditioner in use in the U.S. is about 15 years old? Although they are a reliable source of cool air, they can also break down at any time. Without regular maintenance, your air conditioner will not operate at peak efficiency and pose a more significant threat of breakdown. This article provides an HVAC maintenance checklist and lists some of the most important steps you can take to prevent breakdowns in your AC unit. This helps ensure it continues to provide cool air for the long term.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist: 8 Important Steps You Need to Take to Prevent Breakdowns

Here is what to include in your HVAC maintenance checklist.

Change Air Filter on a Regular Basis

An air filter is necessary to keep your system running efficiently. It helps prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from entering the system and causing damage. If your HVAC system has a dirty or clogged filter, it will need to work harder to circulate the air in your home. The added stress on the AC unit can cause it to overheat and break down.

One of the simplest ways to keep your air conditioner in good shape is by changing the filter regularly. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filters every 6-12 months; however, this can vary depending on where you live, how dusty or humid it is, and other factors. It would help if you changed yours at least once every year for maximum protection of your AC unit. In addition to reducing wear and tear on your HVAC system, you’ll also be able to enjoy clean air circulating throughout your home without any worries about the buildup of allergens or bacteria.

Change AC Oil

The air conditioning unit is filled with oil and different refrigerants. This mixture needs to be replaced every so often to keep the system working at its best. Have your AC maintenance company come out and replace the oil in your system every 2-3 years, usually around your seasonal changeover.

Perform a visual inspection

The first step to prevent breakdowns is a visual inspection. This should be done at least every six months, but ideally, it should be done once a month. It requires a quick look at the outside of the unit and looking inside for any leaks or mold. Check for a dirty filter as well–this could reduce your energy efficiency and cause the unit to work harder to cool your home.

Check for loose or damaged parts

One of the essential steps to maintaining your AC unit is checking for loose or damaged parts. A loose or damaged part in your AC unit will cause it to operate less efficiently, make loud noises, and run more often than necessary.

It may be difficult to see what parts need repair when looking from outside the unit. However, if you have access to the inside of your AC unit, you’ll be able to look more closely at its components. To identify loose or damaged parts, check for any broken wires, bolts that are not securely tightened, and any other signs of wear and tear on the inside of your air conditioner.

Clean your air ducts

One of the best ways to keep your system in good condition is to clean your air ducts. The HVAC system has two major components: the outside unit, which pumps out cool air, and the inside coils and furnaces (or heaters), which bring in and distribute warm air. When these elements get dirty, they can’t work at total capacity. Your furnace will do an inadequate job of distributing hot air, or your coil might break because too much cold air is being pumped through it.

To avoid these problems, conduct a regular inspection of your ducts, including vents, grills, and expanders. If you notice any dust buildup or debris around the vents or in the grills, then it is time to clean the ducts. Use a brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner and suck out all the dust from those hard-to-reach spots. You may need a professional to run a hose through some of your more difficult-to-access areas (especially if you have a big home). The professionals will be able to thoroughly clean all of these areas with ease.

Adjust your thermostat

Most people don’t realize this, but your thermostat is a critical HVAC system component. The system will work harder to cool your home and use more energy when it’s set too high. Likewise, it won’t have enough power to effectively heat your home when it’s set too low. The ideal setting for your thermostat is 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the summer and 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in the winter.

Check your hoses

The first step to take when maintaining your system is checking the hoses. This can easily be done by simply inspecting the hoses using a hose inspection camera. If you see any of these problems, it’s time for a replacement.

  • Leakages
  • Cracks in the rubber
  • Any bulges in the hose
  • Missing or loose clamps or screws

Maintain your system

HVAC systems need to have regular maintenance. Without it, your system will not run well, and you risk breakdowns. A good practice is to have a filter inspection every 12 months, a tune-up every 24 months, and a complete check-up once every three years.

Final thoughts

HVAC systems are critical for the comfort of your home. A well-maintained HVAC system can save you a lot of time and money. Remember, investing in an HVAC maintenance plan is not an expense; it is an investment that will save you money and frustration down the road.

Need Help? Palo Alto Plumbing is Here

We hope this blog post helped you better understand maintaining your HVAC system.

If your AC is not working correctly, call Palo Alto Plumbing at (650) 374-0868 for a free service estimate. Our friendly staff is here to help answer any additional questions you might have.

How Often Should I Do HVAC Maintenance? Tips for Homeowners

HVAC maintenance is an important task for any homeowner.  HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s a term that encompasses both an air conditioner and a furnace, which are essential in any home. In fact, the HVAC system is one of the largest investments you’ll make in your home. So you need to keep it working for maximum efficiency. Regularly servicing your HVAC system will ensure that your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater are in good shape. It will also ensure that they continue to work when you need them most. Here are some ways to assure that your HVAC system is well-maintained so you can stay comfortable year-round.

Why You Should Service Your HVAC System Regularly

Below are some reasons why you should service your HVAC system regularly.

  •         Regular servicing helps identify any potential problems before they arise. You can address them before they become more severe and costly than they would be otherwise. Replacing your HVAC system is expensive, so regular maintenance is essential to protecting the investment you’ve made.
  •         Preventative maintenance will also help reduce your energy costs. A well-maintained heating and cooling system offers better efficiency and uses less energy than a poorly maintained one.
  •         The best way to enjoy a comfortable indoor living space is with an HVAC system that operates efficiently. The HVAC system provides the optimum temperature for your home. And well-maintained systems are less likely to break down during peak hours so you and your family stay comfortable.
  •         If your HVAC system is frequently serviced, it will last longer. With proper maintenance, the lifespan of your heating and cooling systems can be increased by up to four times. It’s important to have professionals help you maintain these systems because they have knowledge that you might not have. Professionals may also be able to find problems before they become more serious and costly.
  •         Service your HVAC system on a regular basis to ensure that you have the best air quality in your home. A dirty HVAC system can create bacteria, allergens, and other contaminants in your indoor air. By servicing your HVAC system on a regular basis, you can help prevent this from happening. And if you’ve never had your HVAC system serviced before, it could be time to make an appointment!
  •         We shouldn’t forget that HVAC systems have an impact on the environment. A serviced system uses less energy, which means you are using less waste and not impacting the environment as severely.

When and How Often to Schedule a Service Appointment

Depending on your HVAC system, service appointments should be scheduled every 12-18 months. But this time frame can change depending on the type of system you have.

For example, if you have a heat pump, it may need service every 6-12 months. If you have a gas furnace or condensing unit, it may need service every 18-24 months. A fuel oil furnace may need service once a year.

You should also check for signs that the system needs additional maintenance. These signs could include:

* Persistent noise coming from your HVAC system

* Frequent frosty windows in cold weather

* Unexpected fluctuations in temperature throughout your home

* A damp carpet or musty smell

If these issues persist after cleaning the filters and checking for clogs, book an appointment with a professional ASAP.

Other Important Factors in HVAC System Maintenance

The cost for HVAC repair and maintenance varies depending on the conditions and age of your system. Maintenance will also depend on the number of people living in your home. How often you use your heating and cooling equipment is also a factor

Older HVAC systems require more maintenance than newer ones because they use more energy. Older systems may also need to be replaced if they start making strange noises, shaking, or leaking.

Tips for HVAC Maintenance

  1.         Have a professional come out at least twice per year for an inspection of your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater.
  2.         Schedule an annual tune-up if you notice any problems with your air conditioner or a furnace.
  3.         If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, have a professional come out once per year to clear the snow from the unit. This is so it doesn’t overwork itself trying to compensate for lost heat from outside sources like sunlight or wind.

NEED AN HONEST HVAC PROFESSIONAL?

We hope this list of tips to maintain your HVAC system has been helpful. When you think about it, it’s a lot of responsibility to take care of a HVAC system on a regular basis. That’s why we have HVAC services on standby to help you with any repairs or maintenance needs. We know you have enough to worry about, so let us handle your HVAC service needs.

Do you need a professional HVAC companies near me to help with your HVAC system and perform honest, routine maintenance? You can always find help by searching for “HVAC companies near me,” but know that we are right here in Palo Alto and ready to help! HVAC maintenance is essential for many reasons. You could be breathing cleaner air, saving money, and enjoying greater peace of mind with a reputable company like Palo Alto Plumbing.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY

If you’re from Palo Alto and other nearby areas, choose Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air for HVAC companies near me. We offer a variety of routine and essential services that include 24-hour emergency HVAC calls. For fast, reliable, and honest HVAC repair and maintenance, call us at 650-405-1460 or contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

How to Find the Best HVAC Company For Your Home or Business

If you’re looking for reputable HVAC maintenance for your home or business, finding the best company can seem a little tricky, but we’re here to help! After all, there are plenty of companies that offer similar services and prices, but not all of them will provide you with the same level of customer satisfaction. That’s why it’s so important to do some research instead of making a hasty decision about which company to hire for the job. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips below that will help narrow down your search when trying to find the best HVAC company.

Why HVAC Maintenance Matters

So you’re in the market for a new HVAC company? We’ve got all the info you need to find the best HVAC maintenance in town, whether it’s for your home or business. But first things first, why is maintenance so important?

Taking good care of your HVAC is essential to keeping a comfortable home or office environment. Your HVAC helps control the temperature and climate in your space. It also moderates the humidity and helps to purify the indoor air you breathe. Not to mention, if you don’t schedule regular HVAC maintenance for your system, it’s eventually going to break down. This is both stressful as well as costly. To make sure your HVAC is running properly all year long, it needs a little care once in a while. Fortunately, there are lots of useful maintenance tips and tricks that can help extend the life expectancy of your HVAC system. For example, changing its air filters on a regular basis, and performing routine inspections to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Since its functions are so important to your health and comfort, you can see why hiring the best HVAC maintenance company matters so much.

Ask Questions

When you begin to consider your options, feel free to ask questions. This will help you find an expert who is best suited for your needs and budget. You can ask about a company’s experience and training, what’s included in their HVAC maintenance services, and anything else that comes to mind.

Experience

Be sure to find out how long the HVAC company has been in business as well as what kind of experience they have. It’s all right to ask them about their background and training. You may also want to request references for previous jobs they’ve done, too. This is an easy way to help you get an idea of the quality of their work before you decide if you want to hire them. This information is key to helping you decide which company to hire.

Licensed and Insured

It’s important that the HVAC company you choose is also licensed and insured, for a couple reasons. For one, it suggests a level of professionalism, and also that the company is committed to providing customers with high-quality services. This is because you need a certain level of training to get a license, regardless of the field. And second, insurance protects you against personal injury lawsuits if anything were to happen while they were on the job.

Browse Reviews

You should also research reviews before you hire an HVAC company to work in your home or business. It’s so easy to check Google that there’s really no reason not to. This way, you can quickly eliminate any companies with less than outstanding reviews. If you don’t read reviews, how can you be sure you’re hiring the best HVAC company?

Billing

It’s a good idea to request an estimate upfront, and also to find out what’s actually included in the service. An estimate of the total cost gives you a better idea of what you’re paying for before any work is even done. You can also ask for an itemized bill in writing, which will provide specifics about what you’re being charged for. An itemized statement is also a record of what was done during HVAC maintenance, so you have that information if you ever need it later. Keep in mind that cheaper is not usually better, but quotes can help you make a final selection, and help you determine the average cost in your area.

HVAC Maintenance Tips

Winter will be here before you know it, and that means that your HVAC system will soon be put to the test. It’s best to make sure it’s operating properly now in order to avoid problems later on when you really need your heater.

Here are some tips for preparing your system for the rainy winter months ahead:

  1. Clean or replace your air filters because we spend more time indoors during the winter, and heaters burn off a lot of dust when they’ve been sitting all year.
  2. Heaters dry out the air. Consider installing a high-quality humidifier to help keep your home or office more comfortable while the heater is running. This can help prevent dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, and even nosebleeds.
  3. Check the air ducts that carry hot air throughout your home or workplace. These should be clean, and there shouldn’t be any furniture blocking them.

The Bottom Line

Your HVAC system has some essential jobs to do, but it needs to be cared for on a regular basis. Yearly HVAC maintenance can save you time and energy in the long run by avoiding expensive breakdowns. On average, it takes about an hour each year, and the cost is much more affordable than waiting for a breakdown. It’s simply easier to schedule regular maintenance than it is to deal with HVAC repairs. All in all, making sure your system is properly maintained year-round is the best way to prevent an issue from happening, especially during the chill of winter.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

We hope this blog post helped, and that you now feel confident in choosing a great HVAC company. If you need HVAC maintenance, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air by dialing 650-405-1460 today for all of your heating, air conditioning, and plumbing needs!

Your HVAC Maintenance Checklist

It’s critical to take care of HVAC maintenance before the cold season so that your home is prepared for chilly, sweater weather. The importance of prevention really can’t be emphasized enough. Ideally, this home maintenance should be done on a regular basis to cut back on the need for expensive HVAC repairs in the future. It’s also important for your comfort and health!

In this blog post we’re going to share with you some things you need to keep an eye on when it comes to HVAC maintenance, as well as how a specialist can help.

Essential HVAC Maintenance

Even if your heating and cooling systems seem to be working just fine, they may not be as efficient as they could be. A yearly tune-up will ensure that your heating and cooling systems are working at their optimal efficiency levels; this can help you save money on your monthly electric bill too. A professional HVAC tune-up will also identify any issues with things like airflow or faulty parts.

Is Your Heater Ready?

The first step to making sure your home is comfortable during the coming cold season is to make sure your heating system is running effectively. This, of course, requires routine HVAC maintenance, like making sure the blower motor is working right.

If you have a gas furnace, the exhaust flue needs to be checked to verify that it’s clear as well. This is because carbon monoxide is a serious threat to our homes, but an HVAC specialist can help keep your household safe. If the exhaust flue becomes blocked, carbon monoxide can build up inside your house.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is colorless and odorless. It’s created by the burning of fuel, such as leaving a car idling in a garage. It’s so dangerous to breathe in CO because it actually displaces oxygen in your blood. This can cause both short-term and long-term health effects, and even result in death.

Replace Air Filters

Air filters are typically replaced every three months (90 days), or as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter that’s full of trapped dust and allergens obviously won’t be as efficient, and can actually increase your monthly energy costs. It’s also not great for your health, so be sure to change air filters regularly to remove dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens from the air that circulates through your home.

Clean AC Condenser Coils

Do you have an air conditioner? Have your AC condenser coils cleaned at least once a year. Dirty, clogged coils can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system and lead to expensive AC repair work. Also, be sure to remove debris around an outdoor air conditioning unit, such as grass clippings or leaves that accumulate during yardwork.

Flush Your Water Heater

How do you know if your water heat needs to be flushed? In general, it’s a good idea to have this done once a year by a professional who provides HVAC maintenance. This will help make sure there are no sediment blockages in hoses or fittings that can lead to frustrating issues. There are some common signs to watch out for, including a lack of hot water, strange smells, and even rusty-looking water.

Check Hoses for Cracks or Leaks

An HVAC expert will also check hoses for cracks or leaks. If they’re damaged, they will need to be replaced with hoses that match the original equipment and specifications. This is essential because it can help prevent extensive damage in the long run. An HVAC expert should check all hoses to ensure they’re in good working order.

Swap Out Old Thermostat Batteries

A simple thing you can do on your own is check the batteries in your thermostat to make sure they’re still working properly. It’s usually not too tricky to swap them out for a fresh pair if it’s needed. But if your thermostat is not working properly or is showing signs of wear and tear, replacing the batteries may not fix the problem. If it’s still not functioning properly even after new batteries have been installed, then a professional can check the controls.

Inspect for Leaks with Gas Furnaces

If you have a gas furnace, you will also need an expert to inspect the entire system for any possible gas leaks. As mentioned above, this is one of the most important steps you need to take as a homeowner to protect your household.

Check for Faulty Fans

Faulty fans can act up in different ways, like continuing to circulate air at high speeds. This can really cause unnecessary wear and tear on some HVAC parts. Humming or rattling are a strong indication that your AC fan motor needs to be replaced or repaired.

Examine Ductwork and Vents

This is also the best time to have ductwork and vents examined. These parts need to be in good shape for your HVAC system to function at its best. Did you know that dirty ducts can harm the air quality of your home? It pays to remove the buildup and grime that accumulates over time. It’s also possible for air ducts to leak if they become loose or disconnected. In some cases, wild animals have even been known to build nests inside ductwork, which can cause issues as well.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance Today

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to the HVAC maintenance in your home. Keep in mind that a problem is much easier and (usually) cheaper to fix before disaster strikes, so schedule an annual HVAC tune-up to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system!

These tasks will help keep your living space as comfortable as possible during both the cold winter months and the hottest summer days! Preventative measures can also save you the hassle of needing an emergency HVAC repair or replacement that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Let’s Talk

Here at Palo Alto Plumbing, our team can solve anything from a drippy faucet to a cracked sewer pipe, and also take care of all your HVAC needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will ensure your household’s health and safety by providing quality services.

Contact us at 650-405-1460 or fill out a contact form to chat with us today.

A Guide to Spring HVAC Maintenance

If you have an HVAC system in your home, there are a few things you should hire a professional technician to inspect at the start of each new year. After all, your HVAC needs important maintenance before every season.

Here’s a checklist that you can use in the spring to keep your HVAC up and running throughout the year. Although, be sure to keep in mind that it’s not safe for homeowners to perform most of these tasks on their own.

HVAC Maintenance

Check the Thermostat

Obviously, your thermostat is the main way you control your HVAC system. You use it to adjust your home or office to the right temperature. Whether or not you’re heating or cooling your space, this thermostat should show you an accurate indoor temperature. To test this, you can purchase another thermometer to make sure there isn’t a big difference. You can also program your thermostat to turn on and off at a certain time. Just make sure that it’s working properly.

Check the System Controls

Make sure all the controls are working correctly. The system should turn on or off when using the thermostat. If it’s not operating well, try changing the batteries in your controller. If a setting or function isn’t responding at all, you need an HVAC professional to take a closer look at it because this requires professional skills to troubleshoot.

Check All the Electrical Connections

This will require a certified HVAC technician to take a thorough look at your system. They will check the electrical connection and make sure the wires are attached to their connection points. Of course, while doing this, it’s best if they turn off the electricity that feeds directly to your HVAC. So, be prepared by knowing where the shut-off switch is. This allows them to check the wires safely, without the threat of being shocked or electrocuted.

Lubricate Moving Parts

A certified HVAC tech will also lubricate moving parts. They may use a bottle of machine oil or a specially formulated lubricant spray like WD-40. The little applicator straw will help them get into cramped areas that need extra lubrication. An HVAC tech will focus on motors that have moving parts, such as the fan axils and heating blower. It’s best to leave this job to a pro.

Change the Filters

Every HVAC system has filters that need to be changed on a regular basis. These filters trap dust and pollen that can infiltrate your home. Unfortunately, they accumulate over time, so you need to have them replaced every now and then. It also puts some extra strain on your HVAC system, causing poor airflow as a result. Spring is the perfect time to take care of this because all the plants are about to bloom and spread their pollen.

Inspect the Condensation Drain

Inspecting the condensation drain is important before cleaning it. A trained HVAC tech will remove anything that’s collected in the drain. If your drain is clogged, it can cause overflowing water, which can ruin your HVAC and cause other kinds of damage. You should have this done before spring. Trapped water may become stagnant, which means you could find yourself dealing with mold and humidity issues in your home.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Since spring is right around the corner, you’ll likely be using the air conditioner again in the coming weeks. This means that you should make sure that it’s running as efficiently as it should. Here’s what a certified HVAC tech can do to prepare your AC for warmer weather.

Clean and Adjust the Blowers

Your HVAC system should produce excellent airflow, so having the blower inspected by a specialist is a must before the weather heats up. This includes cleaning off dust or any built-up sediment that covers the parts. A professional will use a vacuum brush to get into spots where you can’t easily reach on your own. They may also use something that looks like a paint brush to sweep out the dust inside the edges of the blowers. This is a soft tool that won’t damage anything.

Check the Fluid Levels

Don’t check fluid levels on your own. The potential to leak dangerous freon/ refrigerant into the air is high and harmful. An HVAC professional will check the levels and add more if it has dropped. Having too little fluid can affect your air conditioner’s efficiency, leading to increased energy costs.

Clean Off the Coils

You need to have the coils cleaned off, too. They connect to the condenser of your air conditioner. These coils play a huge part in cooling your home, and if they are covered with dust and dirt, they won’t function properly. Even though your HVAC has a cover, outdoor air can still pass through your home, carrying all sorts of contaminants with it. A certified HVAC technician will also remove things like spider webs and debris with a clean paint brush.

Other Helpful Tips to Follow:

Turn Off Water to the Furnace Humidifier

Since you aren’t going to be using the heater function anymore you need to have the furnace’s water supply turned off. If you have an HVAC that includes this type of add on, it needs to be shut off. There will be a simple exterior valve that can be closed to keep water from getting into the humidifier itself. An HVAC professional can look this over and make sure everything is in order.

Check the HVAC for the Remaining Level

It doesn’t hurt to have a pro give your HVA equipment a once-over to see how level it’s sitting. They will inspect the ground around it for any signs of leaning or soil settling. Earthquakes can often cause the soil in your yard to settle over time and unintentionally cause your HVAC to lean very slightly.

Pour a Drain Cleaner into the Condensation Drain

A technician may also determine that it’s a good idea to pour a drain cleaner inside the drain to kill mold or mildew that grew during the winter months. Sometimes this can help control any smell coming up from the drain, which can seep into the entire HVAC system in your home.

Need an HVAC Professional?

Leave these essential HVAC maintenance tasks to a pro. If you need a professional to handle your spring maintenance, you can always seek help by searching for “HVAC companies near me.” A lot of homes have their own HVAC systems, but only a few maintain proper upkeep. This is really important for a lot of reasons. You could be breathing cleaner air, saving money, and enjoying greater peace of mind.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re from Palo Alto and other nearby areas, choose Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air. We offer a wide variety of essential services, including 24-hour emergency HVAC service. For fast and reliable HVAC repair and maintenance, call us at 650-405-1460. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Dangers of DIY HVAC Hacks

 

HVAC system installs aren’t cheap – there’s no denying it. Your home comfort is an investment and we understand that when you can save a few bucks, you do what you can. The best ways to save on HVAC costs are to conserve energy where possible and perform routine maintenance on your system to prevent excess repairs. However, many homeowners are turning to the web to find ‘Hacks’ in preparation to DIY their HVAC and results are COSTLY.

We get it – you DIY your brick patio to avoid hiring a landscaper and maybe it isn’t as pretty. But it sure was cheaper. You looked up kitchen remodel hacks and found that re-staining your cabinets could change the whole look – so you did it yourself and LOVED the results. In the era of the internet, there’s nothing you can’t YouTube! This includes HVAC hacks.

However, trying to ‘hack’ your HVAC system or DIY an install or repair could cost you more money, more hassle, and worse yet, your safety. Unlike in the case of a kitchen cabinet re-up or a landscaping venture, HVAC work requires training and licensure because it is complex and risky. There are two major considerations for why HVAC hacks aren’t worth it

HVAC Hacks are not safe.

A big misconception about the HVAC profession is that it is low-risk. In fact, working with high voltage electricity, dangerous chemicals, and in touchy environs such as attics and crawl spaces – we see our fair share of injuries and take mega risks. Homeowners who take on our repairs or installations thinking there’s no risk are overlooking major hazards. Not only could you injure yourself in numerous ways while working on your system, but you will also put your entire family at risk of air quality contamination from a leak of refrigerant gas or furnace fuel.

HVAC Hacks are unreliable.

As you probably know, the internet is packed with erroneous information. Not everyone is trying to scam you with a flat-out lie, but many people produce content believing it is true, and being WAY off. In the HVAC industry, some technicians have produced helpful, accurate content but it is meant to be shared between trained professionals – not to assist homeowners who don’t have the background knowledge to perform tasks safely. Similarly, content not endorsed by a professional at all is 100% unsafe and runs the risk of being entirely wrong. Don’t take that chance.

HVAC Hacks are not cheaper.

First, you will need to purchase a handful of tools you do not already own – HVAC is a specialty that requires specialized gauges and tools. Without these tools, you simply won’t be able to perform your install or repair to code and if you purchase them, you’ll spend a pretty penny (possibly more than you would to have it professional repaired!). Further, if you make a mistake in your install or repair – which is almost inevitable, since you are not trained – you may end up paying more to repair an even bigger issue or replace your system once damage is irreparable.

With the holidays on the horizon, the desire to save a few bucks is completely understandable. However, the financial implications of DIY HVAC hacks are a bit misunderstood and nothing is more valuable than the safety and comfort of your family this holiday season. For tips on HVAC maintenance you CAN perform yourself, check out more of our heating & cooling maintenance articles here.