Dentists, oil changes, and HVAC maintenance. What do these things have in common?
You either love them, or you hate them.
And if we’re being honest, just about everyone hates them.
Of course, we’re talking about things that need regular check-ups on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis.
You go to the dentist every 6 months, visit the doctor once a year, and get an oil change every 3-6 months.
And if we’re honest again, some of us probably push those limits time and time again.
Am I right?…..
Am I right?
The problem with putting off regular appointments is that these services are necessary for the overall health of not only us, but the things we possess.
One of those possessions that need regular maintenance is your HVAC system.
What happens when you avoid the dentist?
You get cavities.
What happens when you skip your oil change?
Your car stops running (sometimes violently so).
What happens when your HVAC system breaks?
Well, you’re either forced to sweat, freeze, or have your unit serviced immediately, oftentimes at night or over the weekend when emergency fees apply.
Regular HVAC maintenance should be part of your annual budget, and here’s why:
Regular dentist visits make sure you aren’t prematurely wearing dentures. Oil changes keep your engine purring like a cat instead of roaring like a lion.
Likewise, regular maintenance ensures that your unit stays in top performance condition.
By taking care of your investment, you could increase its life expectancy by up to 40%.
A properly running and well maintained HVAC system means it uses less power to operate.
Less power = Less money.
Pretty basic math even my 5-year old can do!
Does your air filter look more like the first image than the second one?
Regular maintenance ensures that your air filter is not only clean, but fitted properly and in position to provide you with the cleanest, freshest air possible.
Lack of regular maintenance…
…well, it kind of speaks for itself.
Picture this, there’s a sudden heatwave and it’s crazy hot. You hadn’t run your air conditioner because the temperatures have been manageable up until now.
You turn on your unit and it’s blowing hot air.
You decide to wait a few minutes and see if it improves…
…and it does.
But just barely.
After a full hour, it’s finally working properly, but it just can’t keep up with the crazy heat demands of the summer sun and you’re still swimming in perspiration.
You shouldn’t have to suffer in your own home. That’s your bastion. Your place of comfort. Your mini-kingdom.
Regular HVAC maintenance ensures your unit is efficient and works when you want it to.
Nobody likes emergencies.
But, unfortunately, they do happen from time to time.
The goal is to keep them at a minimum.
Don’t let a basic issue turn into a major expense simply because you were too cheap/lazy/careless (you pick the adjective) to get preventative maintenance on your investment.
And let’s get this straight: it is an investment.
You likely spent anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000 on your air conditioner, maybe more.
That’s the price of a small car–a car you’re probably getting regular maintenance on. And a car you might not even have 10 years from now.
But your HVAC system, if you take care of it, will last you decades.
We would know. We just changed out a 35-year old unit last week.
That could be you with the proper care.
Damaged HVAC systems are not only inefficient, cause higher energy bills, result in dirtier air, and cost more money, but they’re also dangerous.
A system leaking refrigerant poses environmental risks while a cracked heat exchanger could mean health problems for you and your family.
Broken heat exchangers leak carbon monoxide.
I don’t need to tell you what kind of problems that causes.
Above all, peace of mind might just be the most valuable benefit on this list.
Sure, it doesn’t have any direct statistical gain, but that’s because knowing you’re covered and not having to worry is like those old Mastercard commercials: priceless.
We’ll calibrate your thermostat to ensure accuracy. We may also recommend installing a programmable smart thermostat if one isn’t already present.
Your heating and air conditioning unit contains lots of moving parts. The constant rubbing of these parts causes them to wear out.
We’ll lubricate your system, creating a more efficient, smoother, and quieter unit.
Dirty condenser and evaporator coils reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system.
We’ll clean both coils, reducing system run-time, lowering your electric bill, as well as enhancing airflow, increasing comfort, and improving indoor air quality.
See the air filter pictures a few sections above.
We’ll make sure that both your fuel lines and your condensate drain is properly connected.
The former eliminates fire and toxic hazards while the latter prevents water overflow from damaging your floors and ceilings.
The answer to this one is a little varied as it really depends on the age of your system.
If your unit was just installed last year, then you shouldn’t need as much maintenance.
In that situation, Precision Temperature recommends a yearly tune-up, ideally before the major usage season, aka summer.
You should perform this tune-up sometime between April and June when HVAC companies aren’t busy with summer or winter emergencies.
For everyone else, we’d suggest a minimum of two tune-ups a year.
One is the spring to get your AC ready for summer.
And another in the fall to get your heater ready from winter.
Some companies will try to tell you that you need upwards of four tune-ups a year. That’s a bit overkill in our opinion.
If your unit needs that much service, maybe it’s just best to replace the whole system?
If you’re a San Diego resident looking for HVAC maintenance, Precision Temperature is here for you.
Call our offices at 619-588-5321 to schedule an appointment today or send us an email.
When you’re choosing a new HVAC system, one of the factors your San Diego HVAC technician will present you with is each potential unit’s SEER rating. But what does the SEER rating mean and how should it factor into your decision about what HVAC system to choose?
What is SEER?
An air conditioning unit’s efficiency is often measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER. The air conditioner’s SEER is calculated by dividing the unit’s cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. In the U.S., the SEER is the ratio of cooling in British thermal units (BTU) to the energy consumed in watt-hours. The higher the HVAC unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is and the more money you could potentially save on your energy bills.
Factoring SEER into Your Purchase Decision
Since January 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy has required that all new air conditioning systems installed in California must be a minimum of 14 SEER or higher, so you can’t choose one below that threshold. However, choosing the HVAC system with the absolute highest SEER rating may not be the correct decision either, even though a higher SEER rating can mean more efficiency. Your purchase decision must also be based on the square footage of the area you are trying to heat or cool. A unit that is too big for an area will not yield any efficiencies but will actually overcompensate, while a unit that is too small will have to work overtime, driving up utility bills and putting strain on the HVAC equipment that will cause it to wear out faster.
You’ll also need to consider other factors that influence the temperature in your home or business and how they can impact energy efficiency in order to fully realize the potential savings of your new HVAC system. Make sure your building is properly insulated and sealed against air leakage and radiant energy; you can check out our blog for tips on weatherization.
Your local San Diego HVAC professional can help you decide what size heating and air conditioning unit your home needs, recommending the SEER rating that will help you achieve maximum savings both short- and long-term. Call Precision Temperature today at (619) 588-5321 to upgrade your HVAC system and start saving on energy bills today!
Precision Temperature is proud to be your trusted San Diego heating and air conditioning professionals, and we take your comfort and peace of mind very seriously. That’s why we offer Amana Heating and Air Conditioning products when it is time to replace your HVAC system. We recommend Amana products because they have a history of excellence; they are designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S.A.; and some products carry a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
Amana’s History of Excellence
Since 1934, Amana has improved the American household with innovative appliances and equipment held to an uncompromising standard of excellence and delivering premium performance. With a focus on innovative engineering, world-class manufacturing processes, and a relentless drive to create the premium products homeowners expect, Amana builds products that last. Your Amana HVAC system will provide the best in home comfort to combat San Diego’s hot summers and chilly winters for years to come.
HVAC Products Designed, Engineered, and Assembled in the U.S.A.
As other HVAC manufacturers move production outside the U.S., Amana’s heating and air conditioning products are designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A., providing jobs for American workers. Keeping operations in the U.S. also allows Amana to take advantage of American productivity and innovation as they produce quality, reliable products.
Amana’s Lifetime Limited Warranty
The American craftsmanship of Amana’s HVAC equipment is of such high quality and held to such a high standard of excellence that some of their heating and air conditioning products carry a Lifetime Limited Warranty*. Amana stands by their products so you can be sure they will work.
That’s why Precision Temperature recommends Amana HVAC products to provide peace of mind and home comfort to our customers. Contact us today to discuss installing Amana products in your home by using our online contact form or give us a call at (619) 588-5321.
*Call for details on lifetime limited warranty.
Incidents of teens huffing HVAC refrigerant in order to get high are on the rise. This can cause health problems such as difficulty breathing, irregular heart rhythms, nerve and brain damage, and even death. If your air conditioning unit isn’t effectively cooling your home during the hot summer months and your HVAC technician discovers that your system’s refrigerant is low, but finds no leak in your equipment, it is possible that someone is tampering with your system to huff the refrigerant.
To prevent these incidents, the California Mechanical Code was changed, resulting in CMC 1106.3.1. CMC 1106.3.1 mandates that all outdoor refrigerant service ports be fitted with locking-type tamper-resistant caps or be otherwise protected from unauthorized access. Locking refrigerant caps and the tools to remove them are not sold to the public; only an HVAC professional can install and remove them, ensuring that the refrigerant in your system isn’t accessible to your teens or those who would harm themselves by huffing it and that your HVAC system will continue to function effectively.
Be proactive about ensuring the health and safety of yourself and those around you. If your outdoor HVAC unit’s refrigeration ports are not currently fitted with these locking, tamper-resistant caps, contact a local air conditioning professional such as Precision Temperature today.
Summers in the San Diego area are known for being hot and humid, especially in inland areas such as El Cajon and Alpine. Leaving your home and heading to an indoor, heavily air conditioned public space such as a mall or movie theater are common suggestions to beat the heat. These tips don’t help you to enjoy the summer in the comfort of your own home, however. Here are three ways to keep your home cool this summer so you don’t have to flee the house.
The outdoor air cools off significantly during the night. You can take advantage of this to help keep your home cool during the day. Open all the windows in your house each night to allow the cool night air inside; in the morning, close all the windows and the shades to trap the cool air inside and prevent warming sunlight from entering and heating it up again. This has the added bonus of also keeping you comfortable while you sleep!
A ceiling room fan or table-top fan can provide great relief from the heat, albeit only in a small area of your home. Fans work by helping to speed the evaporation of perspiration and carrying heat away from your skin. It is therefore worth noting that a fan only cools people; it cannot alter the actual air temperature of the room. Turn off fans when no one is in the room to avoid wasting electricity.
Of course, the quickest and easiest way to chill down your home is to turn on the air conditioning. Your air conditioner will provide a more comfortable environment than either trapping cold air indoors or using a fan because it is the only home cooling method that also reduces humidity. You’ll also have more control over your home’s temperature when using your air conditioner. In order to reduce energy consumption and lower your cooling bill, the Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 78°F when you are at home in the summer and even warmer when you are away.
Precision Temperature’s certified HVAC technicians can help prepare your air conditioning system to keep you comfortable all summer long. Give us a call today at (619) 588-5321 for any of your home cooling needs!
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.
A chemical that easily converts from a liquid to a gas and back again
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
Usually located outside the house. Pressurizes the refrigerant in order to allow for more efficient transfer of heat
Usually located outside the house. Dissipates heat from the refrigerant to the outside environment, returning the refrigerant to a liquid
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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
San Diego is known for its mild climate, but our winter nights get chilly! There are many reasons that maintaining and checking the condition of your facility’s heating system is important. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating accounts for over 30% of energy consumption in most commercial buildings, so efficient furnace functioning directly affects your bottom line. Ensuring that your commercial property’s furnace is well-maintained and in working order keeps everyone comfortable and happy. Prepare for the heavy heating system use of the colder months now to avoid any safety or performance problems later.
Make sure that your commercial property’s furnace is ready for winter with the following steps.
Where to Start
Safety first – before performing any maintenance on your heating system, turn off the furnace’s fuel supply and electrical power. Next, consider the age of your system. Is it too old to make maintenance or repairs worth it? If your heating system is more than 10-15 years old, it might be time to replace it and get a more efficient system.
Easy Steps to Take Yourself
Upon determining that you should keep your existing furnace and that all safety steps have been taken, there are some easy maintenance tasks you can perform yourself without the aid of an HVAC professional. Check your furnace’s air filters and clean or replace them if necessary. The air filters should be checked once a month. If you need to replace the filter, make sure the new one is compatible with your system. Correctly sized, clean air filters are important to the efficient functioning of your heating system to avoid the undue stress on the system and its components that comes with a dirty filter.
Another easy step you can take yourself is checking that the pilot light is lit if you have a gas-burning furnace. If it is out, it will need to be re-lit. You or your maintenance staff can light it yourselves if you are comfortable doing this; contact your local HVAC technician for help if you are not.
You can also check the thermostat that controls your heating system. Is it set to the correct temperature to turn the furnace on and off, maintaining a comfortable temperature while running as efficiently as possible? Does the thermostat have fresh batteries so it can function properly? If your thermostat is reading the room temperature incorrectly, new batteries may help fix this problem. If not, you may need the assistance of an HVAC professional to properly calibrate the thermostat.
Time to Trust the Professionals
Your local San Diego HVAC professional should perform any necessary maintenance related to your heating system’s electrical components and testing your system for dangerous leaks or damage that can result in low building oxygen levels, carbon monoxide buildup, or fire. Once or twice yearly inspections in spring and fall will discover any such dangerous problems and keep your system working safely.
Consider an HVAC maintenance agreement from Precision Temperature. Seasonal checkups and maintenance on schedule means you get peace of mind, plus the savings of catching and fixing potentially expensive problems early. Call us today at 619.588.5321 and let us help you prepare your commercial property’s furnace for winter.
When it comes to your home or office comfort, climate control is key. Finding the perfect heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) solution for your needs is a careful balance of performance, efficiency, and cost. While choosing the cheapest option is always tempting when making a big purchase like a new HVAC system, cheaper isn’t always better, and may not even be cheaper.
Repair and Replacement Costs
Inexpensive, low quality HVAC equipment tends to break down more often than higher quality, slightly more expensive equipment. This leads to costly repair after costly repair or more frequent need for equipment replacement, adding up to you spending more money out of pocket over time than if you had chosen the higher quality model to begin with! And if you choose to replace your inexpensive, broken down unit with another inexpensive unit, the cycle continues.
Cheaper HVAC systems are usually also less efficient in their operation than their higher-quality counterparts. A decrease in efficiency leads to an increase in energy costs, as the low-quality HVAC system works harder and requires more energy to achieve the same heating or cooling results as a higher-quality system.
Not paying very much for your HVAC system may seem like an attractive choice, but if your heating and cooling doesn’t perform as expected, you’ve wasted your money! There is a reason that HVAC unit doesn’t cost much, and it can usually be attributed to it not being built well. This low-quality equipment translates into lowered comfort for you and your family when your inexpensive HVAC system can’t cool your home down on a hot San Diego summer day.
At Precision Temperature, we take the long view on saving you money and we’re honest in our assessments of your needs. A quality HVAC unit may come with a large price tag, but will save you money over time. Plus, we offer a variety of financing options to help fit the HVAC unit of your dreams into your budget. Call us today at (619) 588-5321 and let us help find the perfect HVAC system for you.
Warmer months are just around the corner in San Diego! Is your HVAC system prepared? An inefficient heating and air conditioning system can have a big impact on your energy bills, and an even bigger impact on your comfort. The solution? The AC Quality Care program from Precision Temperature! Our Quality Maintenance service goes beyond any heating and A/C service you’ve ever experienced. Precision Temperature’s certified specialists follow a stringent, national standard to assess and repair your HVAC system. With Quality Maintenance, you can count on reliable comfort, manageable costs, and longer equipment life.
Our Quality Maintenance begins with a $50 System Assessment & Improvement – a $300 value! The System Assessment & Improvement gives you the complete picture on your heating and A/C system from equipment safety, to performance, to necessary repairs. We also make several energy efficiency improvements, such as efficient fan control installation, condenser coil cleaning, and an air filter change. And SDG&E customers can qualify for rebates to lower the service and advanced improvements costs of your HVAC system.
Common Questions Answered:
Q: How do I know if I need this Quality Maintenance service?
A: If your heating and air conditioning system is more than one-year-old, you can benefit from this service.
Q: Why should I schedule a System Assessment & Improvement?
A: It’s a $50 start on the road to optimizing the energy efficiency of your HVAC system! The System Assessment & Improvement provides a baseline of your system’s performance and includes efficiency improvements. We also provide you with a detailed report identifying any necessary repairs to keep your heating and A/C system running at peak performance.
Quality Maintenance from Precision Temperature offers many benefits, from comfort and peace of mind to savings, dependability, and environmental protection. Ensure your comfort and protect your investment with rebates for our advanced heating and air conditioning system maintenance. To request Quality Maintenance service visit http://www.pretemp.wpengine.com/ or call 619-588-5321.