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Getting Your AC System Ready for Summer in San Diego

Posted on: April 18th, 2017 by Precision Temperature No Comments

Spring is in full-swing in San Diego and it’s time to get your home ready for the year ahead. Think you’re done with your spring cleaning? Think again! Your air conditioning system probably needs some TLC before it is ready to help keep you cool all summer long. Follow these steps to get your AC system ready for summer:

Clean Your Outdoor Unit and Air Filter

Your central air conditioning system has two parts: an inside system that contains the evaporator coils and an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and condenser. Learn more about these parts and how they work here. Dirt and plant debris can impede the functioning of these outdoor parts, preventing your air conditioner from operating efficiently. You should keep plants near your outdoor unit trimmed back year-round and check periodically that nothing has become overgrown. Spring is a great time to give your outdoor unit a quick rinse with the garden hose to help clear any debris that may be stuck in it.

You should also clean or replace your HVAC system’s air filter in the spring to prepare your system for the heavy use of summer. Our easy three-step guide can walk you through this.

Trane AC Unit

Give Your AC A Test Run

The hottest day of summer, with San Diego’s full heat in force, is a bad time to discover that your air conditioning isn’t working properly! Warm but not sweltering spring days offer a chance to test that your AC can do its job and keep you cool.  Turn on your AC now, before you need it, and you may be glad you did come summer.

Weatherize Your Home

Insulation and air sealing are equally as useful in the summer as they are in winter. Prevent hot air from leaking in to your home and cool, air conditioned air from leaking out and both your AC system and your wallet will thank you. A professional contractor can help you with determining what type of insulation you need and where you need it, while you can probably air seal your home on your own.

Have an HVAC Professional Perform a System Inspection

One of the best ways to be sure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is functioning normally is to have it inspected by a professional. These inspections can help catch any issues before they become major expenses. In addition to looking for problems, the technician can perform any needed maintenance to help get your system ready for the summer months ahead. Preventative maintenance is key to improving your air conditioning system’s efficiency and longevity, saving you money in the long run.

If you need assistance readying your AC system for San Diego’s warm summer, give Precision Temperature a call at 619.588.5321. And for a limited time, take advantage of $250 in free program incentives from SDG&E for your HVAC system maintenance with the AC Quality Care program! Must be a San Diego Gas & Electric customer, call for details.

How Your Air Conditioner Works

Posted on: March 6th, 2017 by Precision Temperature No Comments

Air conditioning is key to many people’s comfort and health during hot San Diego summer months. Yet for all its popularity, do you know how your air conditioner works? Let’s take a look inside the ubiquitous machine.

Primary Components

  1. Refrigerant

A chemical that easily converts from a liquid to a gas and back again

  1. Evaporator

The part of the air conditioning system located inside the house, often as part of the furnace. Where heat is extracted from indoor air and introduced to the air conditioning system, making the refrigerant into a gas

  1. Compressor

Usually located outside the house. Pressurizes the refrigerant in order to allow for more efficient transfer of heat

  1. Condenser

Usually located outside the house. Dissipates heat from the refrigerant to the outside environment, returning the refrigerant to a liquid

How Does AC Work

The Cooling Process

Air conditioning cools indoor air by taking advantage of the way in which liquid absorbs heat as it converts into gas. By forcing a refrigerant to evaporate into a gas and condense back into a liquid repeatedly in a closed system, the air conditioner regulates the temperature of your home. The process works like this:

  1. Hot air flows in

Fans direct hot indoor air over evaporator coils filled with cool, liquid refrigerant. The liquid inside absorbs heat from the air and is converted into a gas.

  1. Refrigerant flows into the compressor

Having absorbed some heat from the air, the refrigerant is now a fairly cool, low-pressure gas. This gas is directed into the compressor, where it is squeezed to raise the gas’s energy and temperature.

  1. Refrigerant enters the condenser

Now a hot, high-pressure gas, the refrigerant enters the condenser. Metal fins on the condenser dissipate the heat contained in the refrigerant into the environment outside the house. The refrigerant is returned to a cool liquid state and enters the evaporator to begin the process again until your desired indoor temperature is reached.

If your air conditioning system isn’t functioning properly, you could have an issue in any one of these areas. Give Precision Temperature a call at 619.588.5321 for quick and reliable diagnosis of any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) problems today, or take advantage of our Maintenance Agreement to catch any potential problems before they start!

How To Change Your Furnace Filter

Posted on: January 31st, 2017 by Precision Temperature No Comments

Forced air furnaces require a filter to function properly and prevent pollutants from entering your home. This furnace filter needs to be checked every few months and changed when it is dirty; more frequently during the winter months when your furnace sees heavier usage. Here we provide a simple step-by-step guide to changing your furnace filter.

Step One

The first thing you should do before performing any sort of furnace maintenance is to turn off and unplug your furnace. Then you need to determine what type of filter you have. Your existing filter will be located inside the furnace or the air return vent and will have arrows on it showing airflow direction, which you will want to remember. It may help to write this down. The filter size will also be printed on the cardboard filter frame. If your filter has a plastic frame instead of cardboard, it’s reusable! You just need to clean it periodically with water and a vacuum, rather than replacing it.

Step Two

If you do need a replaceable filter, the next step is to get the right replacement. You’ll want to make sure to get the same size filter so it will fit your furnace correctly and allow it to function efficiently. Most hardware stores and home centers, as well as many online stores, sell replacement disposable filters. Your HVAC professional can recommend a correctly-sized filter that is effective at removing contaminants from your home’s air. For even more efficient removal of harmful air-borne particles, consider an air scrubber such as the Trane CleanEffects Air Cleaner, which removes up to 99.98% of pollutants and allergens from the air.

Step Three

Once you’ve located the correct replacement filter, all that’s left to do is install it. There will be markings on the filter that tell you which side should face the furnace. Slide your new furnace filter into place, keeping in mind the proper air flow direction, and replace any covers. You’re all set until it’s time to check it and change it again!

Furnace Filter

Photo credit: http://www.homespothq.com/

Changing your furnace filter is usually something that you can do yourself. For most other aspects of furnace maintenance, you’ll want to contact an HVAC professional. Consider a maintenance agreement from Precision Temperature. With seasonal checkups and maintenance on schedule, you’ll get peace of mind and catch any potential problems early, before they become extremely expensive to repair. Call us today at 619.588.5321

How to Weatherize Your Home and Save on Heating Costs This Winter

Posted on: December 15th, 2016 by Precision Temperature No Comments

Are you wasting money heating your home without properly weatherizing it? Weatherization helps you save money by helping you save energy on both heating and cooling, making it good for both your wallet and the environment! Home weatherization includes air sealing, improving ventilation, and adding insulation.

Precision Temperature Weatherize Home for Keeping Heat In

Air Sealing

Preventing outside air from leaking into and indoor air from leaking out of your home is an important, cost-effective way of lowering heating and cooling costs. After all, you don’t want the nice warm air you just spent precious dollars and cents to heat to the perfectly cozy temperature to leak out into the cold night air! And you especially don’t want that heated air to be replaced by cold outdoor air leaking into your home. Air sealing your home by caulking cracks and around door and window frames and weatherstripping doors can help reduce air leakage.

Ventilation

Of course, sealing all the air inside your home may not be the healthiest thing to do. Ventilation prevents pollutants and toxic contaminants from being sealed inside your home and helps maintain indoor air quality. Natural ventilation, spot ventilation, and whole-house ventilation are the main strategies you can use to achieve this.

Natural ventilation is usually the least useful strategy, due to its unpredictable and uncontrollable nature. A properly air sealed home will not be able to achieve sufficient air quality relying on natural ventilation alone because the usual cracks and holes it depends on will have been sealed to prevent the unpredictable and uncontrollable temperature changes that result from natural ventilation.

Spot ventilation helps make other forms of home ventilation more effective by removing air pollution and moisture at the source. Think of kitchen range hoods and bathroom exhaust fans. Spot ventilation is recommended for proper home ventilation and good air quality, but will not suffice as the only means of ventilating your home.

The most robust form of ventilation is whole-house ventilation. Whole-house ventilation systems use fans and duct systems to remove stale air from and bring fresh air into your home. This provides controlled ventilation throughout the house, with no unpredictable cold or hot air entering your home and raising your heating or cooling costs. Some whole-house ventilation systems can even help further reduce heating and cooling costs through changing the temperature of the air coming into the house by transferring heat to or from the air leaving the house.

Insulation

Properly insulating your home reduces heating and cooling costs and increases home comfort by reducing heat flow. Left unimpeded, heat flows from warmer areas to cooler areas. Insulation helps limit the transferring of heat into or out of your home, thus reducing the amount of energy required to maintain your desired interior temperature. A professional contractor can help you determine what type of insulation you need and where you need it, as well as help install it.

If your heating and cooling energy costs are still sky-rocketing after weatherizing your home, you may need a more efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Precision Temperature, your local San Diego HVAC professionals, can help you find the right system for both your comfort and your wallet. Give us a call today at 619-588-5321.

3 Signs It Is Time to Replace Your HVAC System

Posted on: December 1st, 2016 by Precision Temperature 1 Comment

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a big investment and you have every right to expect it to do its work and last for decades, particularly with proper care and maintenance. Even so, your HVAC system will eventually reach the end of its productive lifetime and a replacement will be the right choice for your comfort and your wallet. These warning signs can signal that your HVAC system is failing and may need replacement:

Trane Clean Effects HVAC

 

  1. Frequent Need for Repair

Regular maintenance is a must for the efficient and continued operation of your HVAC system and small occasional repairs should be expected over the course of your heating and cooling system’s life. An increased frequency in problems or repairs could indicate it is time to consider a replacement, however; even minor repairs add up when repeated over time, eventually making replacing your system the economical choice. If you’ve noticed an increase in the frequency of your system’s need for repair or are faced with a major problem requiring costly repairs that are more than half the cost of a new HVAC system, replacement may be the smarter long-term choice.

  1. Rising Energy Bills

Ordinary wear and tear throughout your heating and air conditioning system’s life eventually lower the equipment’s efficiency and effectiveness, even with regular maintenance. Older HVAC systems have to work harder for longer to provide the same level of comfort they once did, leading to higher energy bills. If you notice your energy costs are rising, it may be time for an upgrade to a newer, more efficient HVAC system.

Comfortable Family Home

 

  1. Age of System

Sometimes the best indicator that you need a new heating and cooling system is simply the age of your system. Depending on use and maintenance, most HVAC systems only last about 10 to 20 years.  If yours is over 15 years old, it is probably time to start thinking about replacement to make sure you aren’t caught unaware and left without air conditioning on a hot San Diego day!

HVAC Rapair

 

 

The best way to keep your HVAC system going longer is keeping it properly maintained with regular maintenance performed by a trained professional. Consider an HVAC maintenance agreement from Precision Temperature. Maintenance on schedule means you get peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing to extend the longevity of your HVAC investment. If you notice any of the 3 above warning signs that your system is failing, our expert technicians can help you determine if repair or replacement is the right choice for you. If your heating and cooling system needs to be replaced, we will work with you to find the best system for your needs. Call us today at 619.588.5321