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!

Why Consider a Heat Pump for Heating

Both your air conditioning and heating system no longer perform the way you’d like them to. You know it’s time for replacement, but you’re not sure if you want to go through the trouble of replacing both systems. This is the situation that leads many homeowners to decide to purchase a heat pump. A heat pump is a heating and air conditioning system all in one that works perfectly in the Yucaipa weather. In fact, heat pumps are one of the most efficient types of systems available on the market today. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of using a heat pump for heating.

Optimal Performance

Heat pumps generally work like air conditioners, with both an indoor and outdoor unit. Refrigerant cycles through both the inside and outside portion of the AC, absorbing heat from the air in your home as a fan blows over an indoor coil and refrigerant converts into a gas. Heat is dispersed from the refrigerant as it condenses at the outdoor coil. In the winter, this system works in reverse. Refrigerant flows in the opposite direction, absorbing any heat from the outdoor air and moving it into your home. This is the distinguishing feature of a heat pump. And while a heat pump may struggle in some harsher climates, it works just as well as any other forced-air heating system here in Yucaipa.

Energy Efficiency

A key reason homeowners choose a heat pump for heating is the energy efficiency. Heat pumps are certainly efficient for cooling as well, with extremely high SEERs (seasonal energy efficiency ratios). But few systems can beat the heating efficiency of a heat pump. This is because heat pumps move heat from one place to another, which require far less energy than heat production.

Longer Lifespan

Finally, a heat pump may actually have a longer lifespan than some other types of heating and cooling systems. While a standard air conditioner tends to have a lifespan of 10-15 years, a heat pump may last longer, especially with proper care and maintenance. Be sure to change the air filter every month (more or less, depending on usage), and schedule heat pump maintenance every year. During maintenance, a technician inspects, cleans, and adjusts components of your system which can help keep it running in top shape for years to come.

Call Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning to hear more about your options for heating in Yucaipa.

Why a Furnace Tune-Up in Fall Is Important

We’re deep into October, and although the weather is still warm, we can expect to start running into cooler evenings in the near future. Eventually, furnaces will start firing up to provide comfort during these nights and even some of the days. If you haven’t already arranged for a fall tune-up for your furnace, we strongly recommend that you have it done during the next few weeks.

Yes, Furnace Maintenance Is an Annual Service

We understand that when you live in a place as warm as the Southern California deserts that taking care of a home heating system may not seem like that much of a priority. Air conditioners are the comfort systems that people here tend to worry about. But even though a furnace doesn’t receive the same level of workout each year as an air conditioner, it still must have an annual fall maintenance tune-up and inspection.

  • Safety: This is the most important reason for a yearly furnace tune-up. The majority of furnaces are gas-powered (an inexpensive fuel compared to electricity) and can potentially turn hazardous if they are not looked after. A brief professional inspection each year does marvels when it comes to preserving a furnace’s safe operation. The peace of mind alone is worth the cost.
  • Efficiency: You don’t want to spend a huge chunk of money on the short period that your furnace must run during a Southern California winter. A regular furnace inspection will find where the heating system may be losing its energy efficiency and correct it so you won’t have to pay more than you need to.
  • Prevent repairs: Another expense you don’t want to incur with your furnace is for unnecessary repairs. Annual inspections prevent up to 85% of the repairs that a furnace may need—and that adds up to huge savings on repair jobs.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning provides heating maintenance in Moreno Valley, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.

Furnace Guide: 3 Components You Should Know

Furnaces are one of the most commonly-used heating systems, and while they are durable, it is likely that at some point your furnace will require repair. Heating systems are complex, and working with a system that uses fossil fuels requires expertise and training. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning has offered comprehensive heating services in Yucaipa since 1980, so if you experience problems with your furnace, call us right away.

3 Main Components

Here are 3 main components of a gas furnace:

Igniter

The igniter is responsible for lighting the gas so that combustion occurs. There are two types of igniters:

  • Intermittent pilot – a small pilot gas line opens when the thermostat cues the ignition process, and an electronic spark lights the pilot.
  • Hot surface – a hot surface igniter is a small probe that heats via electric current. Once the surface of the probe reaches the right temperature, the gas flowing from the burner is ignited.

Out of the two igniters, hot surface igniters are used more commonly, but both types help reduce the energy usage of standing pilot lights.

Burner

The burner is a metal component where the air and fuel source mix, and are ignited by the igniter. The size of the burner will depend on the size of your furnace. The burner has short metal tubes through which the gas flows, and the when the gas streams are lit, they heat the heat exchanger.

Blower Fan

The blower fan is responsible for blowing the warmed air from the heat exchanger into your ductwork so that it can be distributed to your living spaces. On an upflow furnace, the blower fan is located in the bottom of the unit, and on a downflow furnace, it is located in the top part of the unit.

It is good to understand how the main components of your furnace work, but heating repairs should be left to the experts. The trained and certified technicians at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning are available around the clock, so call us today.

Why Does My Heating System Smell Funny?

One of the early warning signs that a heating system needs professionals to repair it is when strange, often unpleasant smells start to come from the vents. The smell of rotten eggs, burning wires, and mold can all point to major problems. There are some odors that are only minor issues, but when you have any doubts, don’t try to fix the problem yourself! Just call our repair skilled and honest professionals to take care of the heating repairs necessary.

Some warning odors from your home’s heating system

  • Musty, moldy smells: This probably means that the air filter of the furnace or heat pump has mold developing inside it. Change out of the filter or clean it, and keep doing this once a month. If the problem persists, you may have mold developing within the ventilation system or the furnace itself, and this will require professionals. You might also have trouble with air leaks in the ducts that are allowing moldy air inside. Technicians can seal the ducts to solve this problem.
  • Rotten egg smell: The odor of rotten eggs comes from an additive put into natural gas to make it easier to detect in case of a leak. When you perceive this foul smell from your gas furnace, shut the system down, open up doors and windows for ventilation, and then call on professionals to resolve the trouble safely.
  • Burning: An acrid smell like burning wires or plastic usually means that a motor or other component inside the system is overheating. This needs to be attended to quickly to replace the part (and find out why the overheating is occurring) or else other parts of the heater will be affected, possibly causing an expensive breakdown.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Banning, CA and the rest of the Inland Empire and Desert Communities. If you’re a first-time customer, right now we’re offering 15% off service. Call for more information or to book an appointment.

Advantages to Installing a Package Unit for Heating

Here in Redlands, heating services often have to handle package units, which combine traditional heaters with air conditioning systems. Heat pumps – which function as heaters in the winter and air conditioners in the summer – and similar systems make a lot of sense in desert communities like ours. If you’re looking at installing a new heating system, you might want to consider some version of a package unit. Here are some advantages to installing a package unit for heating:

  • It’s efficient. Heat pumps are prized for their ability to warm and cool the air while using much less energy (and costing much less money in monthly bills) than gas furnaces. That efficiency drops when the temperature goes below 40 degrees, but that’s not a huge concern in towns like Redlands, and if it is, you can include a smaller electric furnace as part of your package unit to make up the difference. Even then, the monthly cost of running the system is less than you might pay with a more traditional system.
  •  It’s space friendly. Package units don’t need a lot of extra space: combining everything into one box that can be easily placed in an appropriate nook or out-of-the-way spot such as an attic. That frees up space for additional storage, which both private homes and businesses can always use more of.
  • It improves the resale value of your home. Once it’s installed, a package system makes your home more attractive to buyers adding to its resale value. Depending on the circumstances, it make even be enough to offset the cost of installation.

The advantages to installing a package unit for heating are numerous, but it still entails an up-front investment, which means you need to consider your options carefully. The Redlands, CA heating service technicians at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can provide solid advice on the kind of system that works best for your home. When you’re ready, we’ll perform the installation with professionalism and care. We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction in all aspects of the operation. Call us today to schedule an appointment, and let us show you what we can do!

Do I Need Heating Maintenance—In the Desert? (Yes!)

To the rest of the world, Southern California is a vision of warmth. When you mention the desert areas of Southern California, places like Palm Desert, people can only imagine intense heat through most of the year, with maybe a touch cooling off to merely “very hot” during other parts of the year.

Why would a home need to have maintenance for its heating system in a place like the deserts of Southern California? There are a few reasons that, even in our hot climate, professional heating maintenance is an annual fall necessity.

Yes, it can get cool at night

During December, the days usually peak at a pleasant temperature in the high 60s or low 70s. This is ideal comfort weather for most people. However, going below 68°F is the point where people may start to feel cold … and the nights in December often get down into the mid-40s. You’ll definitely want some heat then. The annual temperature dips further in January before starting to rise again. Of course, there’s always a chance of a cold snap hitting and the temperature going into the 30s. You want to make sure you have a heating system that can handle such surprises.

Safety

No matter what part of the world you live in, if you have a central heating system for your home, it must have professional attention each fall to inspect its parts and clean it and tune it up to prevent it from developing safety issues. This is essential for gas-powered furnaces, which are the most common type of heating system in the country. Although gas furnaces aren’t inherently unsafe, they can develop major hazards if they’re neglected. Only a licensed professional is certified to work on a gas furnace.

Energy savings

A downside of not needing a heating system often in Southern California is that a heater tends to collect plenty of dust and dirt during long stretches of inaction. When the heating system actually needs to work, it will waste power because of this neglect. You don’t want to spend more to heat your home than necessary, and regular maintenance is the best way to see that your heating system—no matter its type—works at its most efficient whenever it has to do its job.

Equipment longevity

Replacing a worn-down heating system is expensive, and you want any heater in your house to last for as long as possible. A heating system can last on average from 10 to 20 years depending on the type: electric furnaces can endure the longest, while a heat pump will probably have a shorter lifespan. You can probably add on a few more years here in Southern California because of the reduction in stress. But without maintenance, a heater won’t make it to its estimated lifespan and will need to be replaced earlier.

We’re the Palm Desert, CA HVAC contractor to call on to schedule residential heating maintenance. Our maintenance program covers both air conditioning and heating. We’ll see that you have energy-saving performance, and safeperformance, from your heater during the short winter season. Contact us to hear more about our maintenance program.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning is open 24 hours a day to serve your AC and heating needs in the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.

What Type of Heating System Is Right for Your Home?

There’s a reason Palm Springs is a famous vacation spot, popular enough to inspire the jazz classic “Palm Springs Jump” by Slim Gaillard: beautiful warm weather around the year. But… cold weather happens, and if you want to stay comfortable during those December-through-February days when the temperature can drop to the 40s at night, you’ll need an efficient heating system. What sort of Palm Springs, CA heating installation will work best for you?

We can’t give you a direct answer to that in a blog post, because we don’t know your home’s specific needs. However, we can find out: give us a call at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning and we’ll look over which of these options (and others) will give you the comfort you need:

Heat pump: These are superb systems for a location with hot summers and mild winters, since they act as both air conditioners and heaters. Heat pumps operate similarly to  standard air conditioners (indeed, an air conditioner is a kind of “heat pump,” although it’s not what we mean when we use the term): refrigerant moves heat from indoor condensing coils to the outdoor evaporator coils. A heat pump can reverse the process, making the two coils swap jobs. Heat pumps aren’t as effective in extreme cold—but for Palm Springs they are ideal.

Furnace: These old standbys remain popular to this day because of their relative low initial cost, flexibility with fuel source, effective heat levels, and easy installation if you already have ducts. With so many varieties of furnaces available, we can easily find a model that’s right for your home.

There are many more options to consider, and each of them involves further choices to get you to the type, model, and size of system that will match your home. Make sure you have professionals helping you each step of the way. Contact Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning for quality heating installation in Palm Springs, CA. Since 1980, we’ve given our Palm Springs customers year-round home comfort.

Why Do I Have Hot and Colds Spots in My Home?

This is a question that we sometime hear from our clients: “Why am I finding cold and hot spots around my house?” This is a result of uneven heating and cooling, and there are a number of different reasons for it to occur. We’ll look at some of the more common as well as what you can do to restore the even comfort in your household.

Hot and Cold Spots—Why It Happens

  • The simplest reason is because of heat escaping or entering a room through a window or other air leak. Check to make sure windows in the hot/cold areas are secure and there are no draughts entering.
  • Problems with the ventilation system are one of the most common reasons for uneven temperatures around a house. If the ductwork develops leaks or gaps along its length, it will cause a loss of air flow to certain rooms, making them either too hot or too cold. The air inside the ducts will also change temperature as heat either enters from outside or escapes. This is a serious situation that will not only affect your comfort, it will cause a rise in your energy bills and place unnecessary stress on the AC and heater.
  • It’s possible that the problem is a loss of output for the air conditioning and heating system. When either starts to malfunction and lose its capabilities, the more distant rooms along the ventilation system will start to experience a loss of comfort first. Uneven heating and cooling is therefore often an early warning sign that the AC or heater needs to have professional repairs.

It’s vital that you don’t ignore these hot and cold spots appearing in your living space. Call for HVAC professionals to come to your assistance and discover what needs to be repaired.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers ductwork sealing and heating and air conditioning repair in Palm Springs, CA and through the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.

Furnace Replacement? Now Is a Good Time For It!

Here’s a problem that we’ve seen in Southern Californian homes before: a furnace starts to fail to do its job, producing inferior heat, struggling to start up, or shutting off too early. And yet the homeowners don’t do anything to replace it because they imagine they can bundle up a bit and wait until the warm weather starts again.

But, if your home has an old furnace that’s no longer able to do its job, you have to have it replaced. Leaving it there not only means discomfort, but also a spike in costs to run it and the possibility of safety hazards (if it’s a gas furnace, which are the most common type). Upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace will give you many years of worry-free comfort, and the energy savings will help it begin paying for itself the moment it turns on for the first time.

Safety, safety, safety!

We can’t emphasize this enough—we talked about it yesterday when discussing heating maintenance. For any gas-powered heating system, there’s a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning and combustion damage when the system becomes decrepit. The effect of combustion gasses on the metal in a furnace over time can lead to corrosion, and this creates a higher chance of hazardous cracks in the heat exchanger. Don’t let an old gas system hang around if it isn’t working right!

Upgrading your furnace is easier than ever right now!

Until the end of the month (January 2017), we are offering a special to make putting in that new, better furnace as easy as possible. You can have a furnace upgrade for as low as $17.25 per week with no interest. (On approved credit. Some restrictions may apply.) Call our heating professionals to find out the details—and to schedule your new furnace installation.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers heating services to Redlands, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.