3 Causes of Higher Air Conditioning Costs

Here in San Bernardino, CA, air conditioning repair services are as important as your auto mechanic. Temperatures often reach triple digits here in the Inland Empire, and without a reliable air conditioner, you’re liable to melt right onto the floor! People are used to paying a lot in monthly bills for good air conditioner service, but that sometimes mean paying more than is necessary.

Here Are 3 Causes of Higher Air Conditioning Costs That You Should Keep an Eye Out For

  • Lack of Maintenance. Dirt and dust build up on your air conditioner over time, and various components can become loose or worn as they operate. As a result, your air conditioner will work harder to do the same job and cost you more money. Dust is a particular concern here in the Inland Empire, where the desert sands have a way of getting into everything. You should schedule a maintenance session at least once a year, and maybe more often, to deal with such wear and tear: helping your AC unit perform more efficiently in the process.
  • Lower Refrigerant Levels. Refrigerant needs to be at a specific amount, dependent upon the particular make and model of your air conditioner. When those levels drop – usually because of a leak in the system somewhere – the unit’s cooling power is severely diminished. You can spot signs of this by looking for ice or frost on the surface of the evaporator coils. A trained technician can seal the leak and recharge refrigerant levels.
  • A Slow Fan Motor. The fan motor turns the fan, which is how the cooled air gets into your home. If it suffers from damage or an interrupted power flow, the fan blades may turn more slowly: lowering the air flow and leading to higher monthly costs.

The causes of higher air conditioning costs are often easily correctable, though it takes a professional technician to do the job right. Reliable air conditioning repairs in San Bernardino are provided by the HVAC experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have the skills and knowledge to fix the problem right the first time, every time, so give us a call today!

How To Get Your Air Conditioning System Ready for Summer

Before you turn your air conditioning system on for the first time this summer there are a few things that you should consider doing for your AC. The Palm Springs, CA air conditioning professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help you with any services that you might need.

Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance in Palm Springs, CA

During the winter you likely leave your air conditioning system unattended. Before you go running all the time in the summer you may want to consider calling the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning pros at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today. We can visit your home and perform a full diagnostic inspection and tune-up on your system. Our experts will thoroughly inspect every component of your air conditioning system and look for any issues that could have developed over the winter. Doing this has a few potential benefits.

  • Reduced repair – When you have a professional inspecting your air conditioning system on a regular basis they will be able to find small problems and fix them early. This might be able to reduce the need for repairs.
  • Extended equipment life – Often it is small problems that can be the demise of your air conditioning system. By finding those issues during regular maintenance visits you might be able to extend the life of your air conditioner.
  • Efficiency – When you turn on your air conditioning system you want it to cool your home but use as little energy as possible. The small issues and problems that your AC unit develops over time can cause it to work harder to cool your home. Fixing those problems early can help return some of the efficiency to your system.

When to Consider Air Conditioning Replacement Service

Something else to consider before the summer is replacing your current air conditioning system. If you have an older air conditioning system or if yours has started to require more frequent repair you could benefit greatly from an air conditioning replacement.

For all your air conditioning services in Palm Springs, CA, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We Have years of experience working with all different kinds of AC systems.

Common Air Conditioning Repairs in Palm Springs, CA

Here in Palm Springs, CA we run our air conditioning systems a lot throughout the year. All that use can cause your air conditioning system to develop a number of common issues. If you’re having any problems with your AC system just call the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have years of experience working on all different kinds of air conditioners. We wanted to share with you some of the most common repairs that we get called for so that you can recognize them.

Palm Springs, CA Air Conditioning Repair Services

If you’re like most homeowners here in the desert then you likely run your air conditioning system almost every single day to stay comfortable. All this use can really take a toll on your equipment. For all your Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair services make sure that you call the professionals at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

  • Not enough cooling – One of the most common issues that we get called for is not enough cooling. If your AC is blowing warm air or if it just isn’t able to keep your home cool, it likely means that you need Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair. This could be caused by broken thermostats, a bad fan motor or a faulty compressor motor.
  • Unusual noises – If you start to hear your air conditioning system making a new noise it likely means that something has gone wrong with it. Squealing is usually caused by an old fan belt that needs to be changed. If you hear a hissing noise it likely means that you have a refrigerant leak somewhere. Gurgling is normally caused by low refrigerant.

If you’re having any problems with your air conditioning system just call the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning repair experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll be able to get your system back up and working again quickly.

The Cooling Benefits of a Heat Pump

If your air conditioning unit needs replacing for whatever reason, it pays to consider alternatives to traditional units that might serve you better. Heat pumps, for example, have a number of versatile qualities that give them advantages over traditional AC. Far from being restricted to heating, heat pumps combine both heating and coolinginto one extremely efficient unit. This efficiency becomes especially valuable during the hot summer months, where air conditioning is in almost constant demand.

Read on for some of the most desirable benefits of using a heat pump for cooling.

Efficiency

The first thing that sets heat pumps apart from more traditional air conditioning systems is their efficiency. By utilizing the surrounding environment in different ways, the heat pump can accomplish the same level of cooling that normal air conditioners can without having to work as hard. An air-source heat pump accomplishes this by reversing the flow of air in the house. Traditional air conditioners work by taking air from outside, cooling it with refrigerant, then circulating it into the house. An air-source heat pump simply siphons the warm air out of the house.

By moving heat instead of trying to cool it, a heat pump doesn’t have to work as hard to reach the target temperature inside the house. This is what makes heat pumps so incredibly efficient, cutting down on your electricity bill in the process. Since the heat pump also combines both heating and cooling functions, it is able to function year round to meet your indoor air needs. This versatility gives it another advantage over more traditional cooling systems.

Savings

The lighter electricity demand from this more efficient technology adds up to significant savings on your energy bill over time. Keep in mind that by combining both heating and cooling into one unit, a heat pump also saves you the cost of installing and maintaining an entirely separate system.

If you are considering installing a heat pump to cool your home, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. Our professional technicians can take care of all your Yucaipa air conditioning needs!

The Relation Between Air Conditioning and Indoor Air Quality

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of stepping into a properly air conditioned room and cooling down after a long day. The Irvine summers can certainly get hot, and as much as we enjoy the sunshine, we also recognize the importance of an excellent air conditioning system, such as central air or a ductless mini split. But temperature isn’t everything. Much of the comfort level in your home depends as much on the humidity and quality of the indoor air as it does on the temperature you read on the thermostat. For this reason, it’s critical that you take your indoor air quality as well as your air conditioning into account during the cooling season in order to optimize the comfort of your living space. Call the Palm Springs, CA air conditioning specialists at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today for excellent AC and indoor air quality services.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can improve your indoor air quality.

  • Dehumidifier. You may already know that your air conditioning system dehumidifies the air as it cools, which is why you have a condensate drain pan underneath your evaporator coil to collect the condensed water vapor. But this is often not enough to make a major impact on the quality of air in your home. There are times when you need a dedicated dehumidifier to relieve high humidity levels inside the home that can lead to stuffy, uncomfortable air.
  • Air filters and purifiers. Are you frustrated by the level of allergens and contaminants floating throughout your home? Consider installing a whole-house air filter and purifier. These devices are excellent at minimizing the amount of pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and other pollutants that circulate throughout your indoor air.
  • UV lights. Ultraviolet is deadly to microorganisms, and this is the principle behind the installation of UV lights. These devices are installed near your indoor air handler so that everything that moves through your HVAC system has to pass through them.

At Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning, we strive to make your home a better place to live. Call us today for air conditioning and indoor air quality services in Palm Springs, CA.

Common End-of-Summer Repairs

End-of-summer repairs are common, and you shouldn’t wait to make them. Problems with your AC rarely get better on their own, and they usually become worse over time. If it’s time for air conditioning repair in Palm Desert, call the people you can count on: Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

End-of-Summer Repairs

There are a lot of ways your air conditioner can malfunction, but there are a few problems we see a lot after a busy cooling season:

  • Refrigerant leaks – the refrigerant in your system helps facilitate the transfer of heat. Your air conditioner requires an exact amount of refrigerant in order to work properly. When there’s a leak, it causes an imbalance in the heat release/cooling process. Refrigerant leaks require immediate repair and can be hard to find, so it’s important to call a professional.
  • Compressor issues – the compressor is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant in your system. There are several problems that can arise with compressors: issues with the motor, wiring issues and problems with the capacitors. The compressor is a complex component, and requires expert knowledge for proper repair.
  • Fan issues – there are two fans in your air conditioning system: the evaporator fan, also known as the blower, and the condenser fan. These fans help with air flow, and when problems arise with either one, system-wide issues can develop. Common fan issues are bent or loose fan blades, worn fan belts, electrical issues and motor issues.

Many of these issues can be addressed with bi-annual maintenance, so if you haven’t scheduled your fall maintenance yet, you may want to consider doing it soon.

The official end to summer is the fall equinox at the end of September. While we are still enjoying summer temperatures, the weather will be changing soon. If you’ve been seeing signs of problems with your AC, don’t hesitate to call us for air conditioning repairs in Palm Desert. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can assist you with all your AC needs.

The Biggest Air Conditioning Misconception: ACs “Don’t Need Maintenance”

A large number of misconceptions and myths swirl around residential air conditioning systems. (For example, “Air conditioners use up refrigerant as they work.” Not at all true: air conditioners circulate refrigerant, which does not dissipate during the process.) We are going to deal with one of the most unfortunate of these AC misconceptions, which leads to many air conditioners failing years before they should and costing their owners large amounts in replacement fees. The misunderstanding is that air conditioning systems can continue to work fine for years without requiring professional maintenance.

Just like a car, air conditioner must have routine maintenance

An air conditioner is a mechanical system, and any mechanical system will wear down over time because of stress. There is simply no way to avoid this—but it can be alleviated. When you consider how much work an air conditioner does during summer alone, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it will suffer serious wear and tear. But many homeowners let their AC continue working, seasons after season, without scheduling a maintenance session for it.

There are some significant consequences for an AC that goes without maintenance. Here are a few:

  • Higher utility bill – As parts of the air conditioner wear down, losing lubrication and becoming covered with dirt and grime, the system will need to draw on more electrical power to achieve its standard output of cooling. Every year that an AC misses maintenance, it will loss a percentage of its efficiency rating. After only a few years, you might pay 25% more for air conditioning your home than you should.
  • Numerous repairs – The extra strain on the ACs components will make malfunctions more likely, and you will end up scheduling repairs regularly.
  • Shortened system life – With regular maintenance, most air conditioning systems can last 15 years or more. If they don’t have maintenance, they may not even each half that age.

Make sure to arrange for maintenance each year for your air conditioner. Call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning today to sign up for our maintenance program. We service Calimesa, CA and the rest of the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.

What Does COP Stand for in an Air Conditioning System?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningWe often encourage our customers to consider the installation of a high efficiency air conditioning system in Palm Desert, CA and the surrounding areas. In the extreme hot weather we experience in the Southern California deserts, this type of AC can make a big difference in cooling bills. We’ve previously written about SEER and EER, which are important measures of the efficiency of an air conditioning system. However, there’s another energy efficiency rating to discuss, COP, which stands for Coefficient of Performance.

What COP Means

Coefficient of performance is used in a number of applications, but it’s usually applied to air conditioners and heat pumps. It’s a ratio of work or useful output to the amount of work or energy input. This sounds quite similar to SEER and EER, but there are a few differences. For one, COP can also be used to measure the output of heat from a system, which is why it’s useful for discussing heat pumps. SEER and EER, on the other hand, are applied only to cooling power, measuring how an air conditioner is able to move heat out of the house.

COP is equal to the heat delivered (which means in an air conditioner the heat delivered to the outside of a house) as measured by British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour divided by the heat equivalent of the electric energy input. So an AC that generates 3.6kW of heat to the outside while using 1kW of energy has a COP of 3.6. The higher the COP, the more efficient the system.

Different from EER and SEER, which are focused on the cooling power of the system—in other words, how much heat is removed from the house—COP is focused on the heat produced on the outside. This is why COP is often more useful for determining the effectiveness of heat pumps, which can switch to moving heat inside. However, the rating shouldn’t be ignored on a standard air conditioning system. HVAC professionals can help you read the different efficiency ratings to find the right new system for you.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning: We’re open 24 hours offering exceptional customer service.

Why Is My Air Conditioning Struggling to Keep the House Cool?

During the blistering hot summers in the desert towns of Southern California, there’s nothing worse than an air conditioning system that simply cannot deal with the heat. It takes a powerful and well-maintained AC to beat back intense summer temperatures that often rise above 100°F, and if your home’s air conditioner starts to fall down on the job, you’ll probably need to call on HVAC professionals to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Some Reasons Your AC May Be Struggling with the Heat

  • Excess age: If an air conditioning system receives annual maintenance (usually in the spring) it should be able to last 10 to 15 years, sometimes more. But it will eventually start to wear down, no matter how much attention it receives, and start to lose its cooling ability. If you have an AC that’s more than 15 years old, a drop in cooling power is a strong signal that it’s time to replace it.
  • Loss of refrigerant due to leaks: An AC is designed to handle a specific amount of refrigerant, known as its charge, and that charge will remain the same for the system’s lifetime… unless there are leaks. Loss of refrigerant puts the entire air conditioner in jeopardy, but loss of cooling power is an early warning that it’s happening. Call for professionals to seal the leaks and recharge the refrigerant.
  • Malfunctioning thermostat: The issue may lie in the thermostat that controls the HVAC system. A simple miscalibration so the unit reads false temperatures will cause the air conditioner to behave in strange ways, turning off prematurely and leaving the house too warm.
  • Damaged ductwork: If the ventilation system has gaps and holes in it, it will allow the cooled air to escape before it even enters your living spaces. Technicians will need to seal these leaks to restore the system.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Beaumont, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.

Air Conditioning Jobs Only a Professional Can Handle

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningMany homeowners enjoy taking on small fix-it and improvement jobs on their own. It’s not only a way to save money, it can be an exciting adventure on its own and the feeling of accomplishment that comes after it is its own reward.

But not every job in a home can be done as a DIY project. Most work for a central air conditioner should be left to professionals only. In fact, aside from some basic maintenance work such as replacing the air filter regularly and some adjustments to the thermostat, air conditioning tasks are something only trained technicians can do right. Let’s look at a few.

Diagnosing a short-cycling air conditioner

Short-cycling is a common type of malfunction for a central cooling system (as well as a heat pump). It’s when the compressor begins to turn on and off repeatedly over a short stretch of time, such as every fifteen minutes. Short-cycling is bad news for an AC because it increases the strain put on it and can lead to an early system breakdown. But there are many different possibilities for why it happens, ranging from air leaks in the ductwork to an air conditioner that was improperly installed in the first place. You can’t just guess at what’s wrong—it takes an expert to make the diagnosis and then apply the remedy.

Providing regular maintenance

We mentioned above about taking care of a few maintenance tasks yourself. But the actual annual maintenance an air conditioner requires in spring is something to leave to HVAC professionals. Maintenance involves an extensive inspection and tune-up, and only people with training in refrigeration equipment and the right tools can do the work accurately so the air conditioner receives the benefits of maintenance.

Fixing electrical problems

The majority of issues an AC might face during its service life are electrical in nature. Loose connections, wires that lose their insulation, burnt-out motors, etc. Unfortunately, no other type of AC malfunction is likely to get a homeowner to break out the tool box and attempt to tinker around inside the cabinet on their own. Don’t do it! Electrical work requires precision and the right tools.

Sizing a new air conditioner

What does “sizing” mean? It’s basically finding an air conditioner that provides the right amount of cooling for a home. Sizing an AC is an essential step in getting a new air conditioner installed. It’s not something that you can “guesstimate,” however. If you end up picking the wrong type of AC, one that’s either too large or too small, the system won’t work right and you’ll soon need to replace it. Professionals size an air conditioner by doing a cooling load calculation to determine how many “tons” of cooling the house needs. Then they’ll match the house with the ideal sized air conditioner.

If you’re looking for an air conditioning contractor in Redlands, CA you can trust for all your cooling system services, you’ve come to the right place. Our technicians are ready around the clock, 24 hours a day, to repair your AC. They also do maintenance, replacement, and installation.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.