Cooling Down Weather—Is Your Home Insulation In Good Shape?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThis has been a hot October. Air conditioners put in serious overtime deep into fall to handle the major heat waves we’ve experienced. But we’re finally getting a break, with temperatures set to drop into the high 70s. For people in other parts of the country, it may sound bizarre to hear us call this cooling down, but life is different in the Southern California deserts.

Whatever else the temperatures are like in other places, you need to be focused on your heating and cooling needs. We’ve already discussed the need for heating maintenance (yes, even here, it’s important). Today we want to address another part of your house that may need improvement to help handle the change in seasons: the insulation.… Read more

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

Some Late Summer Air Conditioning Tips

August is officially “Late Summer,” even though the season doesn’t official stop until the end of September and the heat in Southern California will continue for a bit after that. But as far as an air conditioner is concerned, it’s late in the season if it’s already built up quite a bit of wear and tear from a few months of steady work. In our desert climate, any home AC puts in a tremendous amount of labor starting in May, so by August the system might either face trouble with malfunctions or start to run inefficiently and raise electrical costs.

We have a few tips for helping your air conditioner during the dog days of summer. When you need the assistance of professionals for repairs or other air conditioning services in Cathedral City, CA, we are here 24 hours a day.… Read more

Why Is My Ductless AC Wall Unit Sagging?

You may live in one of the many homes in Southern California that uses a ductless system for its air conditioning as well as its heating. These ductless mini splits are an excellent way to provide comfort without the need for space-eating ducts that collect dust and often lose air through leaks.

But ductless air conditioning systems can run into problems as well. If you notice that one of the indoor units—the air handlers—is sagging on the wall or looks like its crooked, you might imagine something’s wrong. And you’re probably correct.

Why this is may be happening

One possibility is a poor installation job. Did you try to install the system yourself, or allow an amateur to do it? If so, the air handler was probably mounted incorrectly so it wasn’t secured to the wall.… Read more

Reminder: Heat Pumps Need Maintenance Twice a Year

This is the time of year when we remind homeowners in Southern California to prep for the coming heat (you know how intense the heat gets here in the desert!) by arranging for a regular maintenance visit from an HVAC professional. We offer superb air conditioning maintenance in Cathedral City, CA and the surrounding areas, so all you have to do is contact our office and we’ll be out to inspect and tune-up your home cooling system.

But I have a heat pump, and it was maintained in the fall

This is a common misunderstanding we run into, which is that heat pumps—systems that work as both air conditioners and heaters—only need maintenance service done once a year. Superficially, this makes some sense.… Read more

Be Prepared with Your AC for More Hot Weather

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningThe early fall is still a hot time of the year in Southern California, and although we’ll have short cool spells, we will also experience periods of extreme heat. This is why you have to be vigilant about your air conditioning system at this time of year. With all the work the AC has already done over a hot summer, the stress on it places it in danger of a possible breakdown when further heat waves strike. Ensuring your air conditioner can still take on this late-year heat is important.

What You Can Do to Help

First, give your air conditioning as much of a break as possible during cool stretches. It’s common for people to keep their air conditioner running when they come out of summer, even during mild warm days.… 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

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

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

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

What’s the Point of Having My Ducts Professionally Cleaned?

Most homes use a network of ducts in the walls and ceilings to provide circulation of air from the heater and the air conditioner throughout the year. But every few years, it’s necessary to call on ductwork professionals to clean the entirety of this ventilation network.

But why is it necessary? And couldn’t you just do the job on your own with a vacuum cleaner?

Duct cleaning is necessary for two very important reasons!

First, the amount of dust and debris that can build-up within ductwork over only a few years is enough to seriously harm the energy efficiency and performance of your whole HVAC system. It only takes a thin layer of dust to start to place strain against airflow through the ducts, which places extra strain on the AC and heater.… Read more

“It’s a Dry Heat” Isn’t Always Good News!

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningWelcome to another summer in the desert region of Southern California. You know what that means: scorching hot temperatures. A cool day might drop into the low 90s. Hot days may climb above 110°F. We already had one of 110°+ days last week. And we can expect these conditions to remain with us through September.

Ah, but it’s a dry heat, right? We’re much better off than someplace like Florida where they’ve got all that icky humidity making the heat feel substantially worse.

Well, yes and no. As we’ll talk about below, dry conditions do make it easier to tolerate hot temperatures. But it’s better to have humidity levels balanced between too humid and too dry, since extremely dry air causes trouble as well.… 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

Hot Spots in Your House: Is It Bad Ducts or a Bad AC?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningAs the hot weather starts to really get underway here in Southern California, you’ll have your first opportunity to see how well your air conditioner is operating. If you had it professionally inspected and tuned-up, it should have a great start for the hot season. But no amount of maintenance can make an AC 100% repair-proof. If you notice hot spots in your house when the AC is running, it might mean the system needs repairs.

There’s another possibility, however: damaged ductwork. Air leaks in the ducts steal away cool air on its way to rooms, resulting in warmer air from the vents.

So which of these two is giving you grief during hot weather?

When Good ACs Go Bad

The simple answer to the question is “Call the professionals!”… Read more

What’s That Clicking Sound from My AC?

Russell's Heating and Air ConditioningWe don’t get much of a reprieve from the heat in the Southern California deserts when October arrives. This last week we dealt with temperatures high up in the 90’s during the daytime, and that means air conditioners are putting in just as much work around Halloween as they were during Labor Day.

This is a time of the year when we recommend you pay special attention to any odd behavior from your home’s air conditioning system, since the system has already put in months of hard work and the stress may finally cause parts to fail. One common warning sign you might encounter is a clicking sound coming from the outdoor cabinet.

What Does This Clicking Noise Mean?

There are a couple of possibilities for what causes this clicking sound.… Read more