3 Air Conditioning Issues That You Need to Watch Out For

Summer is fast approaching, and people are scrambling to get their air conditioning systems ready for the hot season. If you haven’t already gotten your annual air conditioner checkup yet, it would probably be a good idea to schedule it in the next month or so. Even with proper maintenance, though, there’s always a chance of some random issue cropping up and causing problems for your system. When that happens, it pays to be able to recognize and address those problems as soon as possible. Let’s take a look at 3 common air conditioning issues that you need to watch out for.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the part that is actually responsible for cooling the air in your home. It works by evaporating refrigerant inside itself, which draws heat out of the air that is being circulated over it. Condensate forms on the coil, which then flows through a drain and out of the system. If the coil isn’t cleaned often enough, however, it will malfunction and lower the temperature around itself below freezing. This will cause the condensate to freeze on the coil, forming ice that prevents it from siphoning heat from the air. If you notice ice forming on your air conditioner, you need to call a professional to have a look at it.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the material that actually transports heat out of the house, flowing constantly through the air conditioner. The refrigerant is not consumed during operation, but is recycled between a liquid and gaseous state. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, it will eventually drain all refrigerant from the air conditioner. Without refrigerant, the air conditioner cannot operate. If you notice liquid pooling around your air conditioner, contact a professional right away.

Damaged Compressor

The compressor is arguably the most important part of your air conditioner, responsible for circulating the refrigerant through the system and maintaining pressure. If the compressor malfunctions, it can throw off the rhythm of the entire system. This can easily cause the entire system to break down. If you notice your air conditioner rapidly turning on and off over a short period of time, you’re going to need to have a professional look at it as soon as possible.

If you suspect that your air conditioner is malfunctioning, call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide air conditioner repair services throughout Yucaipa, CA.

Is It too Late in Summer to Bother with Minor Air Conditioning Repairs?

Southern California enjoys warm temperatures for much of the year, but the brunt of the hot weather falls during the summer—and it can get extremely hot during that time, making it imperative to schedule any repairs your home’s AC may need as soon as possible.

But what about at the close of the summer? If your air conditioning system is starting to suffer from a few quirks, such as odd clicking noises or a slight drop in cooling capacity, should you bother to call for repairs? After all, you won’t be using it that much, and maybe you can have the minor repairs done during the spring when maintenance time comes around, and—

We’re going to stop you right now. There isn’t really such a thing as a “minor” repair; at least, there isn’t any repair issue in an air conditioner that you can simply leave off until a later time. No matter the time of year, air conditioning malfunctions need to have immediate attention. Here are some of the reasons why:

Unpredictable Southern California Weather

Some of the worst heat waves in state history have struck in the middle of September. In fact, there really is no “off-season” when it comes to air conditioning in Southern California. You shouldn’t risk a poorly performing air conditioner that might break down on you when you need it during the coming months.

High Energy Bills

That “minor” problem in the AC could be costing you money. It probably already is. Whenever an air conditioning system has to operate with a malfunction of any sort, even one that doesn’t outwardly affect cooling performance, it will raise the cost to run it. There’s no reason to pay more for your home’s cooling than you have to.

Larger Repairs Later On

Air conditioning malfunctions tend to be progressive: they worsen as time goes on. When you let what you think is a small problem in an AC go without getting fixed, it will trigger a larger problem—and a much more expensive repair in the future. That repair might be so bad as to require you to replace the whole air conditioning system. And that’s the most expensive “repair” of all!

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers 24-hour emergency service for whenever you need air conditioning repairs. We serve Cherry Valley, CA and the rest of the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.

Is It Too Early to Worry about Air Conditioning Maintenance?

If you told someone who lived in the northern part of the country to consider having a maintenance inspection and tune-up for their air conditioner during the second half of February, they would probably laugh at you. But we live in a desert community in Southern California, and the hot weather not only starts early, it is very unpredictable. Although the weather predictions still have some days in 50s marked out for us, it also has days that will climbs into the 90s.

In other words… it’s time to start thinking about your annual maintenance visit for your residential air conditioning system.

Why arranging for maintenance now is a smart idea

The conventional wisdom and standard practice when it comes to AC maintenance is to have it done during the spring. That prepares the cooling system in time for the period when it will work the most, and it also beats out the hottest weather.

This conventional wisdom doesn’t hold for the deserts of Southern California. Getting a head start when it comes to maintenance is a wise idea for a number of reasons.

First, it allows you to beat the crunch. People will start to think more about maintenance in April and May, and HVAC company schedules will start to fill up—and this is also the time when more emergency repairs (due to lack of maintenance) will appear and contribute to crowding the schedule.

Second, the weather is simply too unpredictable. With the chance of 90°F and hotter weather ready to strike in late February and through March, you shouldn’t take a chance on having your AC unprepared to handle it. When a scorching day arrives, the last thing you want is to turn on the air conditioning for relief and discover that it’s struggling to handle the job, or may not even work at all! Maintenance is primarily about preparation, and you can’t afford to be caught unprepared in our climate.

Finally, consider how much wear and tear an AC suffers around the year in a desert environment. With such long periods of operation, air conditioners require special attention to reduce the work stress on them. Take a proactive approach and have your AC tuned-up early.

Call us today to find out more about our maintenance programs. Our AC maintenance includes a complete check of all major components, recalibration of the thermostat, Freon level adjustment, and everything you need to weather the weather.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Cathedral City, CA and through the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.

You Need Professionals for AC Maintenance: Here’s Why

As spring moves toward the even greater heat of summer, it’s important to remember to schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance as soon as possible. The longer you wait to have this vital service done, the more crowded HVAC contractors’ schedules will get and the more benefits you’ll pass up. You want your air conditioning system in the best shape before the harshest weather of the year arrives.

Why can’t you do this job on your own?

You might think that you can handle the maintenance for your air conditioner as a DIY project. But unless you’re a licensed HVAC professional with experience handling refrigeration equipment (an AC is a refrigeration device) you can’t hope to provide the work that maintenance requires.

  • Cleaning: Let’s start with keeping the system clean. Spray a garden hose over the outdoor cabinet simply isn’t enough. Proper professional cleaning requires technicians access the inside of the cabinets to clean off motors and other interior components. Cleaning the outdoor coil (and sometimes the indoor coil) requires special equipment like chemical foams.
  • Inspections: Professional maintenance technicians follow a detailed checklist to run down inspections for every important system and component inside the air conditioner. The scope of these inspections is beyond what an amateur can do. Plus, someone without experience will have no idea what signs to look for that indicate there’s a repair problem.
  • Tune-ups: An experienced HVAC technician will know exactly how to go about making necessary adjustments and tune-ups so the air conditioner will run at its best. These jobs include recharging any lost refrigerant, tightening loose electrical connects, clearing the condensate line, recalibrating the thermostat, and lubricating motors. All of these jobs require expert training.
  • Speed: Finally, think of the time you’ll save when you turn to professionals. The average maintenance visit will only last an hour—and then you’ll have an air conditioner that’s ready for the rest of the summer. It’s a simple but immensely useful and money-saving investment.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Yucca Valley, CA. Give our office a call for exceptional customer service and sign up for our regular maintenance program.

What Could Go Wrong if You Try to Fix an Air Conditioner Yourself

This is something we emphasize over and over: you should never attempt to make repairs to your home’s air conditioning system on your own. (Nor should you entrust the work to amateurs, although that’s a topic for another post.) Trust us, we understand the urge to go “do-it-yourself” and find a way to save money. But this isn’t an area where DIY is beneficial. Most of the time, it creates far worse problems.

Below are some of the troubles, large and small, that can occur should you decide to tackle that malfunctioning central air conditioning on your own:

You might injure yourself

This issue isn’t as major as it is with a gas-powered system like a furnace. But the threat still exists. An air conditioner is an electrical system that uses chemical refrigerant, and neither are things you want to tamper with if you lack professional training. A harmful high voltage electric shock is always a possibility, and poor refrigerant handling can release dangerous chemicals into the air.

You will probably create further repairs issue

Modern air conditioning systems are specialized to the point that it’s almost impossible for someone without professional equipment to fix them. The basic tools in your home are inadequate to this task, and you also don’t have the necessary replacement parts. Fiddling around with the system is likely to make the problem worse.

You might void the warranty

If your air conditioning system is still under warranty and you end up damaging it with an amateur repair, it might void the warranty. Relying on licensed technicians will help you avoid issues with the warranty.

You will waste time

Time is a valuable commodity, and when you invest in professional AC repairs, you will have your air conditioning system back up and working in no time at all. Working on your own will take much longer—and you probably won’t end up getting the air conditioner fixed anyway.

Make sure you call on top professionals for your air conditioning repairs in Yucaipa, CA: Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning! We offer 24-hour emergency repairs.

Causes of Low Air Flow in Your Air Conditioner

Low air flow in your air conditioner can be just as problematic as a lack of cool air. Your AC unit relies on a fan to blow cool air through the ducts of your home. When that process is obstructed, the cool air can’t get to your home as quickly and the air conditioner must work harder to do its job. That results in the unnecessary expenditure of energy, as well as increased wear and tear on the system as a whole. Here in Highland, CA, air conditioning repair services can hunt down the causes of low air flow in your air conditioner and repair them before they cause too much damage.

The most common causes are usually based around the fan itself or the fan motor. When the motor is overloaded, the fan won’t turn, and if the motor is experiencing intermittent electrical problems, it might cause the fan to turn more slowly than usual. Similarly, a frayed fan belt could lower the speed with which the fan turns, and the fan blades themselves might cause the problem if they are bent or misaligned. In most of these cases, the faulty component will need to be replaced before the air flow will improve.

The other principle cause of reduced air flow stems from build-ups and blockages in the system. The air filter can become clogged with detritus, or dirt may build up in the ducts somewhere. They ducts could suffer damage, causing them to crumple, or a breach may form that pulls the cool air out. In some cases, a line can get clogged with build up as well. You can help prevent this by scheduling a regular maintenance session to clean up the dust, and a trained technician can usually clear away the build-up when it occurs.

Here in Highland, CA, air conditioning repair services can be provided by the experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

We understand the causes of low air flow in your air conditioner, and we’re dedicated to correcting them the first time, every time. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do!

Common Problems with the Condenser Unit

The large, outdoor condenser unit of your air conditioner contains some of the most important components of the system. Home to the condenser coil, outdoor fan, and the compressor, this unit does more than make a humming noise every time your switch on your AC. The outdoor unit releases heat from your home so that you always feel cool air from the vents. This short guide describes how the condenser unit works and some common problems homeowners have with their outdoor units.

The indoor portion of your AC is responsible for pulling heat from your home and distributing cool air. As refrigerant moves to the outside portion of your air conditioner, it makes its way through the condenser coil, changing into a high-pressure liquid and releasing heat. A large fan helps with condensation, blowing outdoor air over the condenser coil and helping heat to move outdoors. After it leaves the condenser coil, refrigerant moves to the compressor, where it is compressed into a high pressure gas before it cycles through the rest of the system.

Because the condenser unit plays such an important role in your air conditioning system, there are a variety of problems you may experience at some point.

  • Bent or Loose Fan Blade: If you hear a banging or clanking noise outside, or if you notice your home doesn’t feel quite as cool as it should, it may mean a fan blade has moved out of place.
  • Blocked Coil: The outdoor coil cannot release heat if it is blocked by dirt. To prevent a blocked coil, keep the condenser unit free of large debris.
  • Damaged Compressor: The compressor is a complex part that is crucial to the working condition of your system. Repairing compressor damage may end up costing you quite a bit, so you should do everything you can to ensure this does not happen, including scheduling regular maintenance and calling for repairs whenever necessary.

At Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning, our experts have experiencing repairing all kinds of problems with air conditioning systems in Redlands. To find a qualified technician, give us a call today!

When Will My Air Conditioner Run Out of Refrigerant?

Air conditioning systems are complex refrigeration devices, and the majority of people only know a few of the basics about how they operate. They often know that something called refrigerant is an essential part of how the AC cools down a home. However, there is a common misunderstanding about refrigerant, which is that the air conditioning depletes it as it works to cool down a house. Thus, the above question.

But refrigerant does not work the fuel you put into your car. Fuel is the power source for a combustion engine. What’s the power source for an air conditioner? That’s right: electricity. Refrigerant is something entirely different from an energy source. Unless it experiences leaking along the refrigerant lines, an AC will not run out of refrigerant during its service lifeWhy you won’t run out of refrigerant

Refrigerant doesn’t supply energy to the air conditioner. What it actually does is transfer thermal energy (heat) from one place to another. Refrigerant is made from a blend of chemicals that can easily transition between liquid and gaseous states. When it passes through the indoor coils of the air conditioner, the refrigerant absorbs heat through a process of evaporation. When it passes through the outdoor coil, the refrigerant releases heat through a process of condensation. Moving repeatedly through this cycle of evaporation and condensation does not cause the refrigerant to dissipate: the refrigerant level (known as the AC’s charge) remains the same.

The only reason for an air conditioner to lose refrigerant is through leaks along the lines or at connection points. If this occurs, professionals must seal the leaks and then recharge the lost refrigerant. An air conditioner running on reduced refrigerant is in serious jeopardy: not only will the AC lose cooling power, but the compressor will eventually suffer catastrophic damage and require an expensive replacement.

If you suspect that your AC has lost refrigerant, call on Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning right away. We offer 24-hour emergency air conditioning repair service in Yucaipa, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.

What You Should Know About Refrigerant Types

One of the well-documented problems with air conditioning systems is their effect on the atmosphere, and specifically on the ozone layer. In response to this problem, not only have new refrigerant types been developed, but laws have been put in place that phase out the main culprit of these problems: R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon. Starting in the 1990s, production and use of Freon started to phase out, and as of January 1, 2020, the phase out will be complete. What does this mean for your air conditioner? Our Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning technicians have put together some information below.

What Are the Problems with R-22?

R-22 doesn’t just deplete the ozone: it emits greenhouse gases that contribute heavily to global warming. These are the main reasons for the phase out.

Where Are We in the Phase Out?

As of 2010, air conditioner manufacturers could no longer produce air conditioning systems that use R-22 refrigerant. Additionally, there have been strict quotas placed on the production of R-22. This means that if you have an air conditioner that uses R-22, and you need a recharge, it isn’t as available as it once was, and as a result, costs more money.

What Are the New Types of Refrigerant?

The most commonly-used refrigerant type today is the much more environmentally-friendly R-410A. There are a few brand names that this refrigerant goes by, including Forane 410A, Puron, EcoFluor R410, and Genetron. Other refrigerants are R-410B, R-407 and HFC-134a.

Unfortunately, none of these refrigerants can be used in a system that uses R-22. This is because every air conditioner is made to operate with an exact amount of refrigerant, and an exact kind of refrigerant. As such, recharging a system that uses R-22 with one of the more environmentally-friendly kinds will destroy your system.

What Are My Options?

If your air conditioner doesn’t use R-22 refrigerant, you have nothing to worry about. If it does, you may want to plan for the replacement of your system. You don’t have to replace right away, but as we draw closer to 2020, the availability of R-22 will continue to decrease, which will most likely drive up the price. The bottom line is that you will have to replace your system by 2020, and it’s better to do it with some planning than to feel rushed into replacement.

Have questions about how the R-22 phase out may affect you? Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule air conditioning service in Yucaipa with one of our experts.

Watch Out for a Leaking Air Conditioner at the End of Summer!

Leaking is something you might expect from a damaged water heater or corroded piping. But an AC that leaks water? Is that something that happens?

Yes, it is. As your air conditioner works to cool down the air in your house, it absorbs water moisture out of the air. The collected moisture drips from the evaporator coil and down into a shallow condensate pan. A pump then removes this water down the drain line and out of the house.

But problems with the pan, drain line, and pump can lead to water leaking out of the air conditioning system… and that’s not something you want to happen.

How Do These Leaks Start?

The most common cause for a leaking air conditioner is a clogged drain. Dirt can enter the system, especially at the end of summer when the air filter can become congested, and enter the drain. Algal growth can block the drain. Because the condensate pan is very shallow, water will quickly overflow from the pan.

Other reasons for water to escape from the air conditioner include a burnt-out condensate pump and corrosion along the drain that causes it to detach from the pan and allow water to fall out the bottom.

How Leaking Creates Problems

First, water falling out from an AC can create hundreds of dollars in water damage to your house. Second, the excess humidity put into the air from pooling water will encourage the growth of mildew, molds, bacteria, viruses, and other unhealthy organic intruders. Finally, water dripping around electronic equipment presents a fire hazard. Should you see water leaking from your air conditioner, you must have the issue repaired right away.

Don’t Go DIY with a Leaking Air Conditioner!

One of the biggest misconceptions about HVAC systems is that most problems they encounter can be fixed “do-it-yourself” style. Aside from cleaning and changing an AC’s filter and resetting tripped breakers, you shouldn’t attempt to fix problems with an air conditioner on your own. This applies to clogged drain lines as much as anything else. Don’t poke around the drain line and use spotty advice garnered from an Internet search to repair a leaking air conditioner. When you call on HVAC professionals, you will have the trouble fixed—fast and right—which will save you money and future headaches.

When you are searching for exceptional customer service for your air conditioning repairs in Calimesa, CA, just call on Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning! We offer 24-hour emergency service.

3 Tips for Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

It may be surprising to you to learn that the air inside your home is perhaps more polluted than the air outside. But the fact is, we keep our homes sealed very tightly as we’re running our AC and heating systems, which only traps in contaminants and allows particles to continue to circulate in the air.

Your respiratory health is at risk as you breathe in some of the most common contaminants found in homes in Yucaipa, such as bacteria, dander, pollen, and dust. You may have already noticed the effects of this if you have family members with asthma or allergies. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning wants to help, which is why we’ve listed a few quick indoor air quality tips.

  • Consider Better HVAC Filtration – Any forced-air heating and air conditioning system needs a filter to keep particles away from the HVAC unit in order to keep them from damaging the unit. But your air filter may not also provide enough air filtration to keep your household healthy. You may need to upgrade your filter to one with a higher MERV minimum efficiency reporting value) in order to better protect your health. You may also decide to supplement your HVAC filtration with an electronic air purifier, which can remove smaller particles than most filters.
  • Dehumidify – If there is too much moisture in the air in your home, this transfers over to the walls, which can then fall susceptible to water damage and mold. As mold spores move into the air, it becomes dangerous for your family. Running your air conditioner more frequently can remove some of the excess moisture, but this will also use a lot of energy. Installing a dehumidifier to work with your HVAC system can help tremendously.
  • Seal Your Ducts – When there are leaks in the ducts, your air conditioning and heating equipment can’t run efficiently. Furthermore, the blower fan may pull in air from places like a crawlspace or the attic, which may contain many contaminants, especially if there is fiberglass insulation.

Call the experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning for more indoor air quality tips or to schedule air filtration installation, duct sealing, or dehumidifier services in Yucaipa.

How Air Conditioning Maintenance Improves Energy Efficiency

Yucaipa is a desert community, which means Yucaipa air conditioning maintenance is as important as car repairs or plumbing repairs. A smooth-running air conditioner maintains your home’s comfort levels, even when the temperatures climb into the triple digits. And the more efficient your air conditioner is, the less you’ll have to pay for that comfort with your monthly energy bills. A routine maintenance session can fix small elements like loose bolts, seal any leaks and recharge you refrigerant levels to optimum status. That can help keep small problems from becoming big ones. More importantly, it can keep your unit functioning at its peak. Here’s how routine air conditioning maintenance in Yucaipa improves energy efficiency.

In the first place, sealing leaks and tightening loose bolts and fittings reduces strain on the AC unit’s various components. That means they don’t have to work as hard to do their job, as well as helping them last longer before needed replacement.

Recharging refrigerant, for its part, is a vital part to maintaining the efficiency of the cooling process itself. When refrigerant levels drop, ice can form on the evaporator coils – reducing the AC’s ability to produce cool air – as well as placing additional strain on the all parts of the system. Dirt and dust on the coils can have much the same effect, while general dirtiness places further strain on all aspects of the air conditioning system. A clean system is an efficient system, reducing friction on moving parts and allowing the refrigerant to cool the air without interference.

You can sense the difference in this both in the specific way your air conditioner functions (improved air flow, colder air, and the like) and in your monthly bills. In towns like Yucaipa, air conditioning systems run almost constantly during the summer months. The more you can do to ease that burden the longer your AC unit will last and the more your checkbook will thank you. For further tips on how air conditioning maintenance improves energy efficiency, and to set up a maintenance schedule for your system, call the Yucaipa air conditioning maintenance experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today.

How Is Additional Refrigerant Put into an AC?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningBefore we attempt to answer this question, we’d like to know the reason you’re asking it in the first place. Are you curious about how professional HVAC technicians do the job of putting more chemical refrigerant into an air conditioner? Or are you wondering how to do it because you think you might as well know how since you’ll have to do it on occasion?

If it’s the second reason, then we need to have a discussion about refrigerant and how it works in an AC. This is important because what refrigerant does and how it does it are critical for system operation.

Air conditioners do not (usually) need additional refrigerant

Why people wonder when an air conditioner needs to have more refrigerant put in, is because they’re thinking of refrigerant as a type of energy source, like gas in a car or batteries in a remote control. Both gasoline and batteries are energy sources that are used up as a device drains them, and eventually they need to be replaced.

However, what type of power does an air conditioner run on? That’s right: electricity. The electricity coming from your home’s electrical system. This is what powers the components and gets used up. Refrigerant, on the other hand, isn’t an energy source but a means of transferring energy. Specifically, transferring heat (thermal energy). Refrigerant evaporates inside to absorb heat, and then condenses outside to release it. No refrigerant dissipates during this process, so the initial amount of refrigerant put into the AC when it was installed (referred to as the AC’s charge) will remain the same for the system’s lifetime.

Why might an AC need additional refrigerant?

Yes, we said “usually” ACs don’t need more refrigerant. It’s possible—indeed, it’s a common repair issue—for leaks to develop along refrigerant lines and allow the high-pressure gas to escape. This is a serious situation since an air conditioner is designed for a specific refrigerant charge. If it has less than that, it will damage the system and eventually lead to the compressor failing—and that is usually the end of the AC.

(By the way, too much refrigerant is just as damaging! This is one reason only professional should ever handle putting refrigerant into an air conditioner.)

If you detect your AC losing its cooling power, or you notice ice forming along the indoor evaporator coil, there may be refrigerant leaks in the system. Call for professionals to recharge the refrigerant to its proper level and seal up the leaks that caused the problem.

How do you put the refrigerant in?

Now that you’re asking out of curiosity about how we do the job (or perhaps you were asking that in the first place) it requires special tools to hook up a canister of compressed refrigerant to the outdoor air conditioner cabinet that connects to the compressor. We use gauges to measure refrigerant pressure as it climbs until we’re certain the right amount has been put back in.

We offer AC repair services for Palm Desert, CA and throughout the Desert Communities and the Inland Empire.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning is open 24 hours a day to see to your air conditioning needs.

When Does AC Maintenance Season Start? It’s Always Hot Here!

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningAny quality HVAC company—one that cares about your family’s comfort—will recommend you have an annual maintenance inspection and tune-up for your cooling system. The same as with a vehicle, this regular maintenance is a way to prevent breakdowns and inefficient, costly performance.

There’s no season for vehicle maintenance, but when it comes to AC maintenance in Palm Desert, CA or the surrounding areas, the time usually recommended is spring. This is actually the recommended time across the country, from our roasting So. Cal. desert climate to the chills of a New England seaport. But when you consider how warm the weather here is for most of the year—including heat waves that can hit during the middle of winter—is there really any such thing as a “season” to arrange for AC maintenance? Can’t you have it done at any time?

The answer is, “yes and no.”

First, if it were always our choice, we’d recommend spring as the time to arrange for your regular AC maintenance with us. We have a maintenance program you can sign up for that will see you receive spring maintenance each and every year from one of our professionals. Doing the work in spring is advantageous because it preps the system right before the strongest heat of the year arrives; it’s also wise to have a system tune-up before it will be needed the most, rather than do it and then let the system sit around unused for a couple of months.

But, on the other hand, it’s much better to have maintenance done during a different season than to skip it outright. Each year an AC misses its maintenance appointment, it will start to suffer a decline in energy efficiency and an increase in the dangers of unnecessary repairs and a possible system shutdown. These aren’t risk you ever want to take, so it’s much better to schedule maintenance late than never.

If you haven’t had your maintenance done yet this year, having it taken care of in August is still a good option. There’s plenty of summer weather still ahead, stretching as it usually does deep into fall and arriving in early spring. You’re probably already spending too much to run the system as it is if you didn’t have maintenance, and our inspection and tune-up will help you get started with saving money. You can also count on us to locate any spot where your air conditioner may need to have a preventive repair to stave off worse problems. There’s never any bad time for learning about repair problems that you otherwise can’t detect.

We recommend you sign up for both air conditioning and heating maintenance with us. Late fall is the best time to have the heater serviced. You may not rely on it as much, but a well-maintained heater will last for longer, remain safer, and won’t inflate your winter bills needlessly.

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

Some Ideas if You Plan Air Conditioning Replacement This Fall

If you’re thinking about putting in a new air conditioning system for your home when the weather starts to cool down (October is an excellent month for it), it’s a good idea to start planning now. One of the big questions you’ll need to answer is what type of AC system you want as a replacement. This isn’t as simple a to answer as it once was, since there are more types of air conditioners than ever, as well as different options. Below we’ve put a guide for some model and extras to consider.

High Efficiency Air Conditioner

If you’d like to cut down on those high air conditioning bills during the long hot season in Southern California, look into installing a high-efficiency air conditioner. New technology, like multi-stage compressors and multi-stage fans, help air conditioners run at higher efficiency than ever before. Look at the SEER rating of new systems and aim to install a unit with a higher SEER than your old air conditioner.

Heat Pump

A heat pump is an air conditioning system that can reverse its operation to work also as a heater. Heat pumps make a lot of sense in the warm Southern California climate, since they operate best in heating mode under mild winter conditions. They also use less energy in heating mode than many other types of heaters, such as electric furnaces.

Ductless Air Conditioning

Are you also thinking about remodeling your house in the fall? Then a ductless system may be ideal for you. A ductless AC takes up less space than standard ducted air conditioners, and they offer other benefits as well, such as reduced energy consumption and improved air quality.

Zone Control

If you stick with a standard AC that uses ducts, we recommend that you have zone controls put in. these allow you to control which rooms receive cooling and which don’t, and that will help with cutting down on energy waste.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning is here for all your HVAC needs in Palm Desert, CA. Call our office for exceptional customer service!

How to Find a High Efficiency AC System

A majority of homeowners look for a way to save money when making a major change in the home. Installing a new central air conditioning system is one of the more costly projects you can take on, so you may be concerned about finding a system at a low initial cost. But what may be more important is finding out whether your unit will save you money over time. While some low-cost systems can be quite efficient, it’s vital to check on a couple of different factors to see if the lower price of your unit is worth the monthly bills that go along with it. Check out our quick guide to locating high efficiency AC systems in Yucaipa.

First, you should pay attention to the SEER. The U.S. government mandates that all air conditioners display the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) upfront. Generally, an Energy Guide tag will accompany your air conditioner, with a couple of points detailing the level of efficiency of the unit. The SEER is a number calculated by dividing the cooling capacity of the unit by the amount of energy it consumes. The minimum SEER for a unit sold in Florida as of January 1, 2015, is 14, though a higher number of course indicates a much higher level of efficiency.

Along with a high SEER, you should check whether your unit contains the ENERGY STAR label. This distinguished seal is awarded to those air conditioners which have a high SEER and offer above average performance. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only gives this away to systems that emit few air pollutants and still provide the cooling power that homeowners expect.

Finally, the only way your air conditioning can run as efficiently as it’s meant to is if your system is installed by a professional. Your unit cannot conserve energy if a part of it is loose or broken, or if it’s missing any important components. It also must be sized properly to meet specifications in your home, a complicated process which involves some tough calculations best left to an expert.

Contact Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today to speak with an expert who can help you select from many high efficiency AC systems in Yucaipa.

When Is It Time to Call for Commercial HVAC Repair?

Making sure your work environment is comfortable is critical to your business. But when you are in your business space, you are busy working, and it may not be so easy to determine when something is going wrong with your HVAC system. To help you get ahead of problems and know when to call for commercial HVAC repair in Yucaipa, the technicians here at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning have put together a short list to help you see the signs of impending problems:

Strange Sounds

Your business space may be large, but you’ll still hear strange sounds if they occur. Things like banging, buzzing, popping and screeching are not normal sounds and often indicate that a problem has developed with your system. It’s never a good idea to ignore strange sounds, so if you hear something off-kilter, call for help immediately.

Abnormal Odors

No one wants to think of foul smells coming from their HVAC system, but it isn’t uncommon. A burning smell can indicate a wiring issue while a stale smell can indicate the development of mold or mildew growth in the ductwork. As with strange sounds, abnormal odors are indication that something isn’t right, so don’t wait to call for a specialist.

No Air

If there is no air blowing through your vents at all, whether it’s winter or summer, there is definitely something wrong with your HVAC system. When you have no air, there may be a problem with the blower, the ductwork or individual components like the compressor. Don’t try to determine the problem yourself; instead, call for a commercial HVAC specialist who can pinpoint the problem.

Are you seeing the signs of HVAC problems in your business space? Don’t wait for these problems to adversely affect your business.

Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning and schedule commercial HVAC repair in Yucaipa with one of our certified commercial HVAC experts.

Does My AC Need a Refill of Refrigerant This Summer?

We’re glad to know that you want to look out for the operation of your air conditioning system over the summer. The most important step is to always see that you have spring maintenance scheduled for it. You should also change the air filters regularly (we have a post that goes into this in more detail). However, taking care of the refrigerant (a.k.a. “Freon”) inside the air conditioner is not a job you need to take on, and for two very good reasons.

ONE: Your air conditioner doesn’t “use up” refrigerant

The first reason that you won’t need to refill an AC’s refrigerant is because under normal circumstances the refrigerant level will remain the same.

People often make the mistake of thinking that refrigerant is a type of energy source for the air conditioner, its “fuel,” and the AC can run out of it over time. But the energy source for an air conditioner is electricity, which it won’t run out of as long as there’s power to the house. The refrigerant takes care of a different job rather than supplying energy: it moves energy, thermal energy, from one place to another. As the refrigerant goes through a cycle of evaporation and condensation, it absorbs heat from inside the home and then exhausts it outside. It doesn’t dissipate as it does that, and its level remains identical.

TWO: If your air conditioner needs refrigerant, professionals must handle the job

An AC can lose refrigerant if leaks develop along its refrigerant lines. This is a serious repair dilemma, and one that requires professional and licensed HVAC technicians to fix as soon as possible. They will locate the leaks, seal them, and then handle the job of “recharging” the refrigerant, i.e. putting back in the amount of refrigerant that was lost. If you find that your AC is losing cooling power, the problem may be refrigerant leaks, and you need to call HVAC experts right away.

If you need air conditioning repair this summer in Yucaipa, CA or elsewhere in the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities, call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer 24-hour emergency services.

Tips for Keeping Cool When Your AC Fails

We’re in for an extremely hot summer here in Southern California, and in our desert towns the heat can be especially intense. Even the best air conditioning system may find the strain of weather that regularly rises above 100°F too much to take and suffer a breakdown. Maintenance during spring is the best way to prevent unpleasant surprises from happening in your house, but malfunctions may still happen. As soon as your air conditioning stops working, call our technicians for repairs. (They’re here for you 24 hours a day!) In the meantime, here are temporary ways to stay cool until we get your AC fixed:

  • Whip up a quick evaporative cooling system: Take ice cubes from your freezer (you should always have plenty ready during the summer) and put them in a bowl. Place the bowl in front of a fan. The ice cubes will cool down the air through evaporative cooling. This will give one of the rooms of your house relief from the heat.
  • Keep blinds and shutters down: You want to restrict as much heat as possible from entering your house, and radiant energy from the sun on the windows is a major source of extra heat.
  • Hydrate! Keeping cool is not only about lowering the temperature of the air around you. It’s also about lowering your own body temperature. You can do this by drinking plenty of cold liquids. (Another good reason to have ice cubes ready to go!)
  • Wet sheets over open windows: This is a method of “air conditioning” that goes back to the Bronze Age, when ancient Egyptians hung wet reeds over openings to their homes. The breeze coming in will lose heat to the water, bringing in cool air.
  • Keep fans running: If your AC’s fan is still operating, although it won’t cool any more, make sure that you keep it on to circulate the air. This won’t lower the temperature, but the air movement makes it easier for your body to release heat.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to fix your air conditioning system in Cherry Valley, CA. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.

How Much Can I Save with a High Efficiency AC System?

When you’re in need of a new air conditioner for your home, it’s important to remember that not all systems are the same. You need the air conditioner that is the proper size for your home, and you also probably want a model that fits into your budget. However, what’s even more important is finding an air conditioning system with a high efficiency rating, so that you can save money over time.

If you do not purchase a high efficiency AC system for installation, then you may save some money initially. However, over a length of time, the amount you spend in cooling costs each month can really add up. High efficiency air conditioning systems, on the other hand, can actually help you to cut back on spending, as the monthly savings may offset the cost as time goes on. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning specializes in high efficiency AC systems in Highland and the surrounding area. Call our team of professionals for installation or service today.

There are a couple of ways a high efficiency air conditioner saves you money. These units have very high SEERs (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios), which is the rating system that helps you and your technician to determine how much energy your new air conditioner uses to cool a given space. The minimum SEER for any air conditioningsystem installed in California is 14, so many homeowners are content to settle with such units, which are still more efficient that many of those made even only a decade ago. But many high efficiency AC systems have a SEER closer to 20.

Homeowners are often surprised by the savings that come along with these units, and they can also cut costs in other ways. Because high efficiency units use less energy, they don’t have to work as hard to cool your home. This means that they may not need repairs as often as other units, and they may even have a longer lifespan.

Even if you buy the most efficient system on the market, it cannot run properly without proper installation.

Contact the friendly technicians at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning, who specialize in installing high efficiency AC systems in Highland.