A Closer Look at UV Air Purifiers in Allergy Season

Yesterday we wrote about the arrival of allergy season and the specific challenges we face here in Southern California this year. Because this last winter was rainier than usual, we’re going to head into spring with more pollen in the air from plant blooms—and also a higher risk of mold growth. Air filters can handle the majority of pollens (provided you have professionals ensure the right type of filter is installed), but mold spores are a different issue. We recommend that homeowners look into the installation of UV air purifiers to help with the spring allergy season.

The Dangers of Mold Spores

A high mold count during allergy season (late February to early summer) is a significant danger. Many mold spores are harmless, but you can’t depend on luck that you’ll only encounter non-toxic spores. Harmful mold spores cause a wide range of health complications: nasal congestion, sneezing, eye and throat irritation, coughing and wheezing. In some situations, a severe mold allergic reaction can become life threatening.

UV Air Purifiers vs. Mold Spores

Mold spores are not easy to trap using filters, which is why UV air purifiers are often necessary. This type of air purifier is simple in operation: it consists of ultraviolet lights that send out a low amount of UV radiation. It’s not harmful to people or pets, but it is powerful enough to disrupt the cellular function of mold spores. The UV radiation either kills the mold spores cells outright or renders them inert and unable to reproduce.

There are numerous advantages to taking this approach with mold spores: it doesn’t place any restriction on airflow, nor does it make use of any chemical disinfectants that can lead to additional air quality issues. These UV lights must have a professional installation for them to function correctly, however.

To find out more about UV air purifiers or other indoor air quality solution installations in Fontana, CA or elsewhere in the Desert Communities and the Inland Empire, contact our specialists.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers indoor air quality as well as other comfort services. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.

Benefits of an Upgrade to Your Air Conditioner

If you have an air conditioner that has reached or exceeded its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan, then you should start considering replacing it. If the AC shows signs that it’s wearing down, has started to cost more and more to operate, or runs up high bills for repairs, then you should stop considering replacement and schedule it right away. Aside from avoiding breakdowns, you’ll save money with the new higher efficiency systems now available.

However, if you have a younger AC, you don’t need to replace it entirely to have better comfort, performance and efficiency. You can instead make a number of upgrades: a state-of-the-art thermostat, a new outdoor unit, or a zone control system. There are some excellent benefits from going with a number of cost-effective AC upgrades.

To find out about the available upgrades for your air conditioning system in Redlands, CA, contact the specialists at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. Since 1980, homeowners and business owners in the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities have looked to us for cooling solutions.

How AC upgrades will benefit you

  • A new thermostat… If you have a manual thermostat or an older digital model, there’s a new world open to you for better comfort and energy savings. With a programmable thermostat model, you can have your home always cooled down when you need it, such as setting the air conditioner to turn on a half hour before you come home, eliminating the need to run the system continually and waste energy. New Wi-Fi enabled thermostats go a few steps beyond this, putting the power to control your home’s temperature in your hands wherever you have Internet or Wi-Fi access. These systems also allow you the freedom to move the thermostats to different rooms in the house, helping with zone control. Speaking of which…
  • Zone control systems… This upgrade to your AC fits into the ductwork and divides your home into several “zones” that use separate temperature controls. The benefit of this is energy savings from no longer needing to cool down every room in the house at one time. You’ll have superior comfort as well, tailored for each room.
  • A new outdoor condenser… If you want a major leap in your cooling efficiency without needing to replace the whole AC system, you can choose to replace only the outdoor compressor unit. A new unit will have elevated efficiency, saving you money, and the installation will not interfere substantially with your life because most of the work takes place outside.

Keep in mind there’s a basic “upgrade” you can do each year: a maintenance visit from a professional that will prevent your AC from suffering a downgrade. During a maintenance session, you can ask your technician about recommendations for upgrades. 

Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule maintenance, as well as tips for upgrading your air conditioning in Redlands, CA.

Why Heat Pumps Are a Smart Choice

Heating in Redlands, CA is largely a winter affair, when our desert nights get cold and you want a furnace to help keep warm. In the summer, when temperatures climb into the triple digits, the focus is on air conditioning instead of heating. In light of that, heat pumps make a very smart option for homeowners in the area. The technology uses the basic system of most air conditioners to both heat and cool your home. In the summer, it brings in cold air, while in the winter, the same process creates warm air for your home. The Redlands area is an almost ideal spot to install one in your home. Here’s a brief rundown on why heat pumps are a smart choice:

  • Lower monthly bills. Heat pumps use much less energy than other kinds of heating since they basically transfer energy from the refrigerant to the air outside: they don’t have to create any from scratch. That means that monthly heating and cooling bills tend to me much lower than they would be with other systems.
  • Versatility. Heat pumps don’t require a separate heater or air conditioner. Everything is contained in a single unit, making it versatile and simplifying your options immensely.
  • Region appropriateness. Heat pumps work best when temperatures stay about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Not so good back east, but here in Redlands, the conditions are ideal for their use.
  • Resale value. Because heat pumps are so efficient, they make an active selling point when the time comes to sell your house. In some cases, it may even be enough to offset the cost of installation, depending upon the specifics.

For more on why heat pumps are a smart choice, or to schedule an installation session, contact the Redlands heating system experts at Russell’s Heading and Air Conditioning. We understand the benefits of a good heat pump and can talk with you about your options before performing the installation with professionalism and care.  We also handle all manner of issues with heating in Redlands, from repair and maintenance calls to upgrades and new system specs. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment!

Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning This Summer

Summer is coming, and considering the last month we’ve had, a lot of people would argue that it’s already here. Here in San Bernardino, air conditioning systems will be called upon like never before to keep those sweltering Inland Empire temperatures at bay. Most of us have come to accept the reality that we’ll be paying higher bills this summer to keep our homes cool, but that acceptance may hide the fact that you’re paying more than you should. You can find ways to save money on air conditioning this summer, helping keep the pinch in your pocketbook to a minimum. It starts with simple steps you likely learned about in grade school: dress lightly, drink plenty of cool liquids and set your thermostat a few degrees higher than you normally would. You can make more serious inroads, however, with help from your local San Bernardino air conditioning service technician at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning.

For starters, make sure you schedule a maintenance session for your air conditioner before things go too much farther. This will clean off any dust on the interior (which lowers friction), tighten any loose bolts (which keeps components from rattling in their housings), and recharge low refrigerant (which ensures that you system can still produce cool air). To that, you can perform an energy audit on your home to find spots where it could use some care, then take steps to address any “weak points” (for instance, by adding weather stripping to cracks under doors). You should also look into more formal upgrades to your air conditioner – like zone controls that let you shut off the cool air in parts of the home you aren’t using – which can help trim costs without skimping on the cool air your need to feel comfortable.

For more ways to save money on air conditioning this summer, give the experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning a call. Air conditioning is going to be more important than ever this summer, but that doesn’t mean you should pay more for it than you have to. Our trained professionals are standing by to give you a hand, so don’t hesitate to contact us!

When Is It Time to Repair Your Rooftop Unit?

A rooftop unit may be useful in both residential and commercial uses alike. Rooftop units combine all of the components of a heating and air conditioning unit into a single cabinet located on the rooftop, saving space so that everything is in a single location. This is convenient for a couple of other reasons as well. For one, rooftop units contain modules which means it’s easy to modify as your property goes through any changes. Furthermore, during any repair or maintenance visit, the technician does not interrupt the day to day operation of your property.

So when is it time to repair your packaged rooftop unit? Check with a technician anytime that you suspect there are problems with your rooftop unit. If you notice any of the following troubles, you should not wait very long for repairs. Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning as soon as you notice that you need rooftop unit repair in Yucaipa.

  • Reduced Heating and Cooling: If you notice that the level of heating and cooling in your home is not quite up to par, it may not seem to be too big a deal. However, such problems can worsen over time. It’s better to repair the unit now than to wait for the entire system to break down later on.
  • High Energy Bills: Another way to tell that your packaged unit may be in trouble is if your bills are particularly high this month. Air conditioning and heating systems may make up a hefty portion of a utility bill. So when your bills are unusually high, it’s most likely because of a worn down part that’s straining itself to get your home to the proper temperature.
  • Loud Noises: Your packaged unit is located on the rooftop, so it may be difficult to tell when it needs repair. However, you may hear sounds echo in the ducts or strange noises outside of your building. These noises may not bother the people on your property too much, but they could indicate compressor damage or another major component.

Call the experts at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning for rooftop unit repair in Yucaipa. We have extensive experience with these systems so you can count on a job well done.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Strange Noises in Your Air Conditioning

Scientists have yet to invent self-repairing air conditioners, and the ACs found in homes do not come equipped with a computer that can analysis malfunctions and correctly report any problems to their owners. When it comes to detecting that your air conditioning system has a repair need so you know to call for a professional technician, you have to use other clues. One of the most important of these is sound.

Odd noises from either the indoor or the outdoor cabinet of your AC almost always means that something is wrong with the system. Don’t ignore these warnings: call for air conditioning repair in Palm Springs, CA from Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning. We have more than 30 years of history taking care of the AC needs of the Desert Communities, and there isn’t a malfunction that we haven’t seen—or remedied.

What Those Noises Could Be Telling You

The odd sounds from your air conditioning could indicate problems large or small. However, small problem willbecome large problems if they are ignored, so you should call for repairs no matter what.

  • Hissing: This sound often warns that there is refrigerant escaping somewhere in the system. Low refrigerant will cause a drop in cooling, but worse, it can potentially cause damage to the compressor (leading to it overheating and burning out) and lead to ice developing across the indoor evaporator coil. Low refrigerant must be remedied as soon as possible.
  • Mechanical grinding, groaning, shrieking: These noises are often a warning of trouble with the motors, such as low lubrication or dirt on the bearings. The motors may burn-out if not attended to, which will lead to non-functioning fans or the compressor.
  • Striking and banging: This is often trouble in the blower or the outdoor fan due to damage that has bent the blades, leading to the fan striking the outer casing. If not repaired, this damage will spread to other components and lead to even large repairs.
  • Clicking at start-up: If you hear clicking noises as the air conditioner’s compressor comes on, it usually indicates that the capacitors that start the motors and keep them running are starting to fail. When capacitors fail, the motors will no longer be able to run.

Any unusual sound from an AC means that the system is wearing down someplace where it shouldn’t, and you can expect to start paying more on your electric bills until the air conditioner stops working entirely. The moment that you detect one of these noises, shut down the AC and call a skilled professional.

You can depend on the team at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning to handle any needs you have for air conditioning repairs in Palm Springs, CA. We have 24-hour emergency service available, so you don’t have to let that warning sound in your AC continue for one moment longer than necessary.

Here’s Why You Should Leave Your Air Conditioning Installation To A Professional

For homeowners throughout the Palm Springs area, air conditioning is not merely a luxury or a pleasant accessory to their homes, it’s an absolute necessity. With some of the highest temperatures in the country, residents of the area know how hot it can get during the summer, which means that their air conditioners have to work hard to combat the heat levels. Whatever type of system you have, and whatever condition it is in, it will inevitably endure significant wear and tear in this region. That’s what makes professional air conditioning installation so critical to your future comfort. If you’re in the market for a comprehensive cooling solution for your new home, or you want to replace your existing system with a highly energy efficient unit, call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today. We can make sure that your air conditioning installation in Palm Springs, CA is completed professionally.

Let’s take a look at what makes installation so important:

  • Size. Perhaps more so than any other single factor, the size of your AC will continue to impact your cooling experience long after the installation is done. An overly small system suffers from high energy costs and the risk of inadequate cooling, while an overly large system suffers from short-cycling. Pro installation ensures that you have an AC that matches the size of your living space.
  • Reliability. Simply put, you need your AC to last. One of the main benefits of pro installation is that you know the job is done right, which means that you can rely on your AC to work hard for you, despite the temperature outside. Amateur and DIY installation can lead to faulty connections, which can further lead to premature breakdowns and frequent repairs down the line.
  • Quality. A new air conditioning system is a major investment of your time and resources. It’s not something you do very often, and your home’s comfort and convenience will depend upon it for years to come. High quality equipment is incredibly important to ensure a great cooling experience, but equally important is the quality of the installation itself. Only by hiring a knowledge professional can you expect great performance.

Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning today for all of your air conditioning installation needs in Palm Springs, CA.

Duct Replacement May Be What Your HVAC System Needs

Fall is an excellent time for making big changes to your HVAC system where necessary. For example, having a new heat pump or furnace put in, or arranging for the installation of air scrubbers and air purifiers that will keep the air circulating through the rooms free of harmful chemicals, viruses, and other contaminants.

But perhaps what your HVAC system really needs is to have parts of its old ductwork replaced. Not only might the ducts have suffered damage, they may have been poor quality in the first place!

The Effect of Poor Ducts on Your HVAC System

Ducts are mostly out of sight, making them easy to forget about. But ducts that are 1) damaged and leaking air, and 2) badly designed and installed are a huge impediment to keeping your home comfortable and energy bills under control.

First, let’s consider duct leaks. High pressure inside the ventilation system can lead to holes starting to appear along the ductwork, and the loss of conditioned air (either heated or cooled) through these holes means enormous energy waste. You’re paying to condition that air—but aren’t receiving any benefits from it. These holes also mean hot and cold spots around the house, and even the entrance of pollutant-filled air from between the walls and in the attic.

Second, inferior duct design is sadly a common occurrence in homes. This means ducts with too many turns and bends that place resistance against airflow, or which are badly insulated and placed in areas of the house where they can lose and gain heat. You may need to have entire duct sections replaced to get your HVAC system to a level where it is able to work its best throughout the year.

You only need to contact us, however, to get started. Our team offers duct repairreplacement, and sealing services. We’ll see you have the best ventilation system possible!

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Moreno Valley, CA and the surrounding areas. Call today for exceptional customer service.

How Can I Lower My Air Conditioning Bills at the End of Summer?

We can expect to suffer from many more hot days in August through September, and even October here in the deserts of Southern California. That means plenty more work for our air conditioning systems. If you’re already tired of seeing high electrical bills this summer, there are some ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency with your AC and cut down on costs for the rest of the season. Below are some energy-saving methods for the rest of the summer.

  • Clean/change the air filter if you haven’t already: It’s easy to forget to regularly clean or change the air filter in the HVAC system. This filter must be either swapped out or cleaned every 1 to 4 months, or clogging will force the AC to strain and begin to waste power. If you haven’t yet cleaned/changed the filter this summer, it’s probably overdue for the service.
  • Know the best energy-saving thermostat settings: When the heat rises past 100°F, you’ll be tempted crank the thermostat to as low a temperature as possible. On most thermostats, the lowest setting is 60°F, but this will create a huge amount of energy waste in your house without really giving you better comfort. Your home doesn’t get cooler any faster when the thermostat is set low; it only commits the AC to working longer. A good energy-saving setting for the thermostat during the day is 78°F. You can often reduce your air conditioning’s electrical usage by 25% thanks to maintaining higher thermostat settings.
  • Raise the thermostat temperature at night: You need less cooling during the night because your body is at rest. Set the thermostat ahead by 8°–10°F when you’re asleep. (Having a programmable thermostat will make this much easier.)
  • Replace your aging AC with a high-efficiency unit: This is the most drastic change, but if one of the reasons for your high bills is that the air conditioner is 15 to 20 years old or more, than the best choice for saving money is to replace it. A high-efficiency AC will quickly start to pay for its installation, and you’ll have many years to enjoy the benefits.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Beaumont, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.

What to Do Before the Cooling Season is Over

Yucaipa air conditioning concerns go beyond simple comfort into legitimate health issues. We live in a desert, and our air conditioning systems are the first, best line of defense against scorching triple-degree temperatures. It can be tempting to breathe a sigh of relief as cooling season comes to and end: when we can turn off our air conditioners and give our electric bills a break. Before that happens, however, it pays to take a few steps to help keep your air conditioner running at its peak. Here’s what to do before cooling season is over.

  • Schedule a maintenance session with a qualified service technician. A full summer of use can result in a lot of wear and tear on your system, as parts wear down and fittings become loose. If refrigerant lines develop a leak, you could see a drop in refrigerant levels, which might lead to more serious problems later on down the line. A maintenance session can address all of those issues before the season ends, leaving your air conditioner ready to go in the spring when temperatures start to rise again.
  • Clear the outside unit of weeds and plant growth. Twigs, leaves and other detritus can cause lots of damage if they slip into your air conditioner, and summertime growth can be quite extensive at the end of the season. Do a little gardening by clearing the air conditioner unit of any nearby leaves, vines and branches. It will leave the air conditioner much less vulnerable to those sorts of problems.
  •  Consider an upgrade. You can help save energy before next summer by making alterations or upgrades to your existing unit. For example, you can replace an older thermostat with a programmable one, allowing it to turn on and off automatically when you go to work. Or you can set up a zone control system, allowing you to only cool those parts of the house you’re using. Both will save a great deal of energy, and the end of the cooling season gives you plenty of time to schedule an installation.

If you know what to do before the cooling season is over, call on Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning to help. We handle Yucaipa air conditioning issues of all varieties, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.