Why a Clogged Air Conditioning Filter Is a Problem

Earlier this this week we wrote about how important it is to rely on professionals to take care of regular annual maintenance on a central air conditioning system. However, there are a few simple maintenance tasks that you must see to yourself during the rest of the summer. The most important is to regularly change (or clean) the air conditioner’s filter. Depending on the filter and how often you run the AC, the filter will need to be swapped for a fresh one ever one to three months.

What happens if you don’t change the filter and it becomes clogged with dust, lint, and other debris? A number of unfortunate things:

Reduced energy efficiency

In the desert communities of Southern California, air conditioning bills during the summer often run high.… Read more

Why You Should Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance This Spring

As we move out of spring and into summer, you’re going to start using your air conditioner more and more often. That means increased stress on the system, which means a greater chance that it will develop a problem. If you want your air conditioner to make it through the summer without any major issues, the best thing to do is have some preventive maintenance conducted on it. Read on to find out why you should schedule air conditioning maintenance this spring.

Prevention vs. Cure

Everyone knows the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This applies to air conditioning repairs as well. Problems that develop in air conditioning systems are often not cheap to repair, especially if they happen to afflict a major part like the compressor.… Read more

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.… Read more

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.… Read more

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).… Read more

Why You Need to Change Your AC’s Air Filter (And Where to Find It)

Every year in the spring, you must arrange for a maintenance visit for your air conditioning system from an HVAC professional. This will prepare for the rigors of another hot Southern California summer. But there is an important maintenance task that you will need to perform yourself each month during the summer: changing (or cleaning) the AC’s air filter.

Why do I need to do this?

The air filter protects the interior of the air conditioning cabinet from debris that enters through the return air ducts. As the filter traps dust, dander, and other particles, it will start to become congested. After a month of steady work (the sort you can expect during a California summer) the filter will be fully clogged.… Read more

Why Air Conditioners May Start to Leak Refrigerant

In a post a few weeks ago, we discussed one of the biggest misconceptions that people have about air conditioning systems: that they will eventually run out of refrigerant. Your AC should retain the same charge of refrigerant for its entire service life, with no need to have professionals put in more.

But there is one exception: leaks along the refrigerant lines. When you notice signs that your air conditioner is losing refrigerant (frost along the evaporator coil, a drop in cooling power, a hissing sound from the cabinets) you need to call for repairs right away from HVAC professionals.

What causes these leaks to happen in the first place?

Well, it’s almost certainly nothing that you did wrong. Studies have shown that this problem stems from something called formicary corrosion, which is a type of corrosion that can affect the copper lines of an air conditioning system.… Read more

In Southern California, March Means Prepping for the Heat

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThere’s an old saying about March: “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” (And sometimes the reverse!) The earliest reference to this is from a 1732 volume of “wise sayings,” which means the phrase has been around far longer than that. It’s a cute way to say that March offers some of the most unpredictable weather of the year, sometimes acting like December, and at other times acting like July.

However, here in the deserts of Southern California, our unpredictability is a bit more… predictable. Winters are mild (it was wonderful that we got some much-needed rain this year) and warmer weather arrives early. March is the best time to start getting your home ready to face the extreme heat of the middle of the year, because that extreme heat can come roaring in at any moment.… Read more

It’s Not Too Late to Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningWe’re deep into spring, and the official start of summer is only three weeks away. If you haven’t already arranged for your spring air conditioning maintenance with our HVAC professionals, you might think that it’s too late. Maybe you can skip this year and have maintenance done next spring? What’s the worst that can happen?

Here’s the Worst That Can Happen…

Your air conditioner will break down on the hottest day of the year. That’s not something you want to happen, especially when you consider what hot is down in the deserts of Southern California. Although you can always reach our technicians for repair service—we’re here 24 hours a day to help—this is a situation you want to avoid if at all possible.… Read more

What You Can Expect with Air Conditioning Maintenance

Now that it’s spring, you should definitely schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner sooner rather than later. Southern California warms up fast in spring, and true summer temperatures will start to strike long before the actual summer arrives. A maintenance inspection and tune-up will give your air conditioning system the best fighting chance against the harsh heat of the middle of the year: the AC will have less chance of breaking down, suffering from performance-impairing malfunctions, or wasting energy.

What happens during maintenance?

Understanding what AC maintenance technicians do when they go to homes to inspect and tune-up a cooling system will help you understand why this job is so important. Here are some of the steps technicians go through:

  • Check and calibrate the thermostat.
Read more

Summer’s Almost Over… But the Heat Isn’t! Here’s Some Late Season AC Tips

August is almost out the door, and we’re heading into September. But even though the summer season is in the rearview mirror, that doesn’t mean that your air conditioning system is going to receive much of a break. The hot weather is going to continue through much of the fall, and you risk an overstrained AC that could run into repair problems, inefficiency, even a complete breakdown.

If you scheduled a routine maintenance visit in the spring for the AC, the unit should be in good shape even with all the summer work. This reliability is one of the main reasons to have maintenance annually. There are still some concerns to watch for and steps you should take to see that the air conditioner remains in top shape.… Read more

February Is Already AC Maintenance Time Around Here

If you told people in most other parts of the U.S. that they should start thinking about taking care of their air conditioning systems during February, they might laugh at you. They might even think you’d gone a bit nuts. But here in the deserts of Southern California, the temperatures are in the 80s during February, and allergy season is already getting underway. That means it’s time to plan for the big heat of the coming spring and summer with AC maintenance.

No, you don’t need to go grab a toolbox and find your best set of wrenches. Maintenance is something that requires trained and licensed HVAC professionals with the best tools and know-how. There’s only one maintenance task you can do on your own, and that’s to change out the air filter for the HVAC system.… Read more

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.… Read more

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.… Read more

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.… Read more

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?… Read more

As the Summer Scorcher Arrives, Watch for Warning Signs from Your AC

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningTemperatures here in the deserts and inland areas of Southern California are already rising above 100°F during the day—and it isn’t even officially summer yet! We hope you’ve already arranged for maintenance for your air conditioning system, but don’t panic if you haven’t: it’s not too late to contact our technicians to schedule this vital service.

But even the best maintenance job can’t stop all air conditioning problems, and the intense heat we experience puts immense strain on household cooling systems that can lead to malfunctions. During these first days of scorching hot weather, pay close attention to your AC system when it’s running. If you detect signs of anything that’s out of the ordinary, you’ll be able to arrange for air conditioning repair in Indio, CA or the surrounding areas in time to prevent more expensive repairs or even a complete system breakdown during one of those sizzling 100°+ days.… Read more

Client Question: “Can I Get My AC Maintained in March?”

The spring weather starts early in Southern California. In fact, it doesn’t really ever leave. We enjoy a perpetual spring and summer season here with occasional winter-like interruptions. You do have to be prepared for those interruptions with a quality heating system, but most of your attention to your home comfort needs will go toward the air conditioner.

Professional maintenance for air conditioning systems should be done in the spring, and the earlier the better. So the simple answer to the question, “Can I get my AC maintained in March?” is “yes.” The longer answer is, “Not only can you, but you should.” March is actually an ideal time to have this job done, and below are some of the reasons why.… Read more

Start the New Year with an HVAC Maintenance Plan!

Are you making New Year’s resolutions? Or simply planning for 2017? We would like to suggest an item to add to your list: signing up for our HVAC maintenance plan. This program provides you with regular service for your air conditioning system and whatever type of heater you have installed. There’s no better way to save money with your cooling/heating and make the equipment reliable year after year.

What Professional HVAC Maintenance Does

Maintaining heating and air conditioning equipment isn’t something that you can do yourself (aside from a few tasks such as routinely changing the air filter in a forced-air system). It takes trained and licensed HVAC experts to do all the necessary inspections, cleanings, and adjustments. And if you use a gas-powered heater, only licensed professionals are allowed to work on it in most jurisdictions because of potential safety hazards.… Read more

Is It Worth It to Sign Up for an HVAC Maintenance Program?

Here is a piece of advice that you will hear from any professional heating and air conditioning contractor: you should sign up for a regular maintenance program to take care of your AC and heater during the year. The standard maintenance program includes a spring tune-up and inspection for the air conditioning system, followed in the autumn with the same service for the heating system.

People are always cautious when signing up for any type of regular program. They want to know if the benefits are really worth it. With heating and air conditioning maintenance, the answer is an emphatic yes! Getting started with maintenance now (preparing your home’s heater) provides many benefits. Here are a few of the ways that a maintenance program will pay you back across the years.… Read more

Heat Pumps Need Fall Maintenance as Well!

While we’re on the topic of regular maintenance, we would like to bring up the subject of heat pumps. Because heat pumps are single units that do two different jobs, some homeowners think that they only need to have maintenance done once a year. After all, an air conditioner only needs to have maintenance once, in spring, and a heater only needs maintenance once, in fall.

It’s very important if you live in the Desert Communities, where the heat is intense during the summer, that you schedule maintenance for your heat pump during the spring. That way the system is ready to keep you cool during the tough regimen it undergoes throughout the summer. However, you also need to schedule the heat pump for maintenance in the fall.… Read more

More about AC Filters: Different Types and When to Swap Them Out

Maintaining an air conditioning system involves many different steps, and you can count on professionals to go through all of them to make certain that your AC is prepped for the intense summer weather. One of these steps is swapping out the old HVAC system air filter for a new one. During the rest of the summer, all the way until your heating maintenance in the fall, you’ll need to take care of changing the filter yourself so it doesn’t become heavily clogged with debris. If you don’t know how to do this or where the filter is located, ask your maintenance technician for assistance.

How frequently should you change the filter?

There are different types of filters for HVAC systems, and they need to be swapped out on different schedules.… Read more

3 Ways We Can Help You Save Money on Summer Cooling

We live in a part of the country that experiences summer weather best described as frequently brutal. When it gets hot in the Southern California deserts, it gets hot. Simply getting through the day requires a powerful air conditioning system putting in steady work. This translates into high electrical bills during the season.

You may just accept the steep costs of keeping your home livable during this time of year. There’s no way to avoid a rise in how much electricity you use during the summer—but you’re probably paying too much. Something as simple as poor use of the thermostat can waste power. (The Department of Energy has some good tips on effective thermostat settings for cost-cutting.)

We want to focus on the ways our team can assist you with making air conditioning costs less painful.… Read more

What We Check During Your AC Maintenance

It’s May already, and summer is closing in fast. You don’t actually have to live in a place like Palm Springs, CA, to know what kind of heat we experience during the summer. And the hot weather starts early and stays for a long time. This is why we emphasize the importance of regular air conditioning maintenance during the spring. There is no better way to prepare your home’s air conditioning system for the rigors of yet another desert summer in So. Cal than to have professionals inspect it and give it a thorough tune-up.

Here’s What We Check during a Maintenance Visit

Maintenance involves (broadly) two tasks. One is tuning up the system by doing tasks such as tightening electrical connections and cleaning coils.… Read more

Why Your Air Conditioner Might Overheat

An air conditioning system is supposed to work when it’s hot outside. That’s what an air conditioner is for, after all! HVAC manufacturers design these systems to operate in scorching temperatures so they shoulder the work that homeowners need from them.

But no matter how well an AC is built, the summer temperatures we experience in the deserts of Southern California are the definition of “unforgiving.” When our temperatures fly up into the 90s and 100s, the stress on an individual air conditioner can become extreme enough for the system to overheat and stop working. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen, so when you need Palm Desert, CA air conditioning services to get your cooling system working once again, don’t hesitate to call our technicians.… Read more

Russell's Heating and Air Conditioning

How Often to Change Your HVAC Filter

Spring is the season to arrange for air conditioning maintenance Indio, CA and elsewhere in the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. The majority of maintenance services must be handled by an HVAC professional, which is why we recommend you sign up for our regular maintenance program. One of our highly trained technicians will come to your house to tune-up the AC, lubricate moving parts, check on refrigerant, clean components, and change the air filter. The program includes maintenance for your heater in fall as well.

We would like to talk a bit about the air filter, because changing it is something that needs must done on a routine basis, not only during spring maintenance. You must remove and change the filter yourself during the rest of the summer, and the continue doing the job during the fall and winter when the heating system is running.… Read more

Another Late Summer AC Tip: Clean the Outdoor Cabinet

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningEarlier this month, we did a full post of tips to help you with your air conditioning system during the end of summer. The end of August is a time when the blistering heat can, at last, overwhelm a cooling system that’s already labored for a few months in the California deserts. You can always rely on us for air conditioning repairs in La Quinta, CA or elsewhere in the Desert Communities and Inland Empire. But we’d also like to help you avoid problems in the first place: your comfort is our #1 priority!

We’d like to add another tip to the list from our post earlier in August, which is to give the outdoor cabinet a cleaning.

A Clean AC Is a Better AC

We mentioned previously how you should keep the area around the outdoor condenser cabinet of your air conditioner clear of debris and plants trimmed away from it.… Read more

A Closer Look at Air Conditioning Maintenance

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningIt’s now officially spring. The weather in Southern California never obeys exactly what the calendar says, so we’ve already encountered some hot days even before March 20. But now that we are actually in the season itself, it’s harder to ignore the need to take care of your air conditioning system. If you haven’t done so already, now is the ideal time to arrange for air conditioning maintenance in Palm Springs, CA or elsewhere in the Desert Communities and the Inland Empire.

Maintenance is easy and hassle-free when you sign up for our professional maintenance program. This program includes both air conditioning and heating tune-ups during the year. Talk to one of our specialists to find out the details and benefits.… Read more

Ways to Increase Your Air Conditioning Efficiency

As we come closer and closer to the summer (the official start is less than a month away now!) our residential air conditioners are going to do more and more work. You know what this means: higher electrical bills. But your bills may not need to be too high. If you take some of these steps below, you can significantly increase how efficiently your air conditioner uses energy. This will not only save you money, it’ll help the AC system work longer.

Read more

Is It Too Late for Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Here in Yucaipa, our air conditioners tend to work harder than in many other areas of the country. They need to be powerful, of course, but they also need to be energy efficient in order to keep costs to a minimum during the hottest part of the year.

If you haven’t already signed up for routine AC maintenance, then you may be wondering if it’s too late, considering it’s nearly August. It’s not. In fact, there’s never a bad time to call for routine care for your HVAC system. While we do recommend enrolling in a maintenance program, you can still benefit from a comprehensive tune-up. 

The Benefits Remain the Same

Whatever time of year it is, it’s vital that your system remain clean.… Read more