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What Can I Do If My AC Is Broken?

An HVAC repairman with a clipboard in his hand.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

A broken air conditioner during the sweltering summer months can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. The discomfort and potential health risks associated with extreme heat make it crucial to address the issue promptly. This guide provides practical steps and advice on what you can do if your AC is broken, helping you stay cool while waiting for professional repairs.

When you realize your air conditioner is not working, it’s important to stay calm and assess the situation. Panic can lead to hasty decisions that might worsen the problem. Begin by identifying any obvious signs of malfunction, such as unusual noises, leaks, or a complete lack of cool air. This initial assessment will help you determine the best course of action and provide accurate information to your HVAC technician.

Check the Thermostat Settings

Sometimes, the problem may be as simple as incorrect thermostat settings. Ensure that your thermostat is set to the cooling mode and that the temperature is set lower than the current room temperature. Also, check if the thermostat’s batteries need replacement. A malfunctioning thermostat can often be the cause of an AC system failure, and correcting the settings or replacing batteries might solve the issue without the need for professional intervention.

Inspect the Circuit Breaker

Power issues are a common cause of air conditioner malfunctions. Check your home’s circuit breaker to see if the AC unit’s circuit has tripped. If it has, reset the breaker and see if the air conditioner starts working again. If the breaker trips repeatedly, it could indicate a more serious electrical problem, and you should call an HVAC technician to inspect the system.

Clean or Replace the Air Filters

Dirty or clogged air filters can significantly affect your air conditioner’s performance. When the airflow is restricted, the system can overheat and shut down. Inspect the air filters and clean or replace them if they appear dirty. Regularly changing the air filters, typically every 1-3 months, can prevent many common AC issues and improve the overall efficiency of your system.

Clear Debris Around the Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner needs proper airflow to function correctly. Debris such as leaves, grass, and dirt can accumulate around the unit, obstructing airflow and causing the system to overheat. Ensure that the area around the outdoor unit is clear of debris, and clean the unit’s fins with a gentle stream of water if they appear dirty. Keeping the outdoor unit clean and unobstructed is crucial for optimal performance.

Check for Refrigerant Leaks

Low refrigerant levels can cause your AC to blow warm air instead of cool. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, look for signs such as ice buildup on the refrigerant lines, hissing noises, or a noticeable decrease in cooling efficiency. While adding refrigerant is not a DIY task and should be handled by a professional, identifying a potential leak can help expedite the repair process once the technician arrives.

Inspect the Condensate Drain Line

A clogged condensate drain line can cause water to back up and potentially shut down your air conditioner. Locate the condensate drain line, typically near the indoor air handler, and check if it’s clogged. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to clear minor clogs. Regular maintenance of the condensate drain line can prevent water damage and improve the efficiency of your AC system.

Utilize Fans and Dehumidifiers

While waiting for your air conditioner to be repaired, use fans and dehumidifiers to help maintain a comfortable indoor environment. Ceiling fans, portable fans, and box fans can circulate air and create a cooling effect. Dehumidifiers can reduce humidity levels, making the air feel cooler and more comfortable. These devices can provide temporary relief until your AC is back in working order.

Avoid Heat-Generating Activities

To keep your home as cool as possible, avoid activities that generate heat, such as cooking, using the oven, or running the dishwasher during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, opt for meals that don’t require cooking or use a microwave. Additionally, keep lights and electronic devices turned off when not in use, as they can also contribute to heat buildup.

Contact a Professional HVAC Technician

If you’ve gone through these troubleshooting steps and your AC is still not working, it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician. Describe the problem in detail and mention any troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken. This information can help the technician diagnose and fix the issue more efficiently. Regular maintenance by a professional can prevent many common problems and extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system.

Prevent Future Breakdowns with Regular Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is key to avoiding unexpected AC breakdowns. Schedule regular maintenance appointments with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure your system is in top condition. Regular maintenance includes cleaning components, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical connections, and more. Investing in routine maintenance can save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and improving system efficiency.

Conclusion: Be Prepared and Stay Cool

Dealing with a broken air conditioner can be stressful, but knowing what steps to take can help you manage the situation effectively. By staying calm, performing basic troubleshooting, and seeking professional help when needed, you can minimize discomfort and ensure a quick resolution. Remember, regular maintenance is crucial for preventing future breakdowns and keeping your AC system running smoothly. At Aire-Rite Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., we’re here to assist with all your air conditioning needs, providing reliable repairs and maintenance to keep you cool and comfortable.

If you need an emergency air conditioner repair in Riverside, CA, please call us today at (951) 336-1541 and we will happily schedule you.

Common HVAC Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

HVAC technician cleaning vent

Fix Your HVAC in a Snap

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems can experience various problems that affect their performance and efficiency. Here are some common HVAC problems and troubleshooting steps you can take.

  1. Dirty Air Filters:
    • Problem: Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow, reduce system efficiency, and can cause the system to overheat or freeze up.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the air filters and replace them if they are dirty or clogged. Most filters should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on usage.
  2. Thermostat Malfunction:
    • Problem: Incorrect thermostat settings or a malfunctioning thermostat can result in improper temperature control or system failure.
    • Troubleshooting: Verify that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and mode (cooling or heating). Replace the batteries if needed. If the thermostat is unresponsive or inaccurate, consider replacing it.
  3. Refrigerant Leaks:
    • Problem: Low refrigerant levels due to leaks can cause the HVAC system to malfunction, resulting in inadequate cooling or heating.
    • Troubleshooting: If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact a professional HVAC technician to locate and repair the leak and recharge the refrigerant levels.
  4. Frozen Evaporator Coils:
    • Problem: Restricted airflow, low refrigerant levels, or dirty coils can cause the evaporator coils to freeze, leading to reduced cooling capacity or system shutdown.
    • Troubleshooting: Turn off the system and allow the coils to thaw completely. Inspect the air filters, coils, and ductwork for obstructions or damage. Clean the coils and ensure proper airflow around the indoor unit.
  5. Clogged Condensate Drain:
    • Problem: A clogged condensate drain can cause water buildup and overflow, leading to water damage and system malfunctions.
    • Troubleshooting: Locate the condensate drain line and check for obstructions, such as algae, mold, or debris. Clear the blockage using a wet/dry vacuum, bleach solution, or plumbing snake.
  6. Electrical Issues:
    • Problem: Electrical problems, such as tripped breakers, blown fuses, or faulty wiring, can cause the HVAC system to malfunction or fail to start.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the circuit breakers or fuses associated with the HVAC system and reset or replace as needed. Inspect the wiring for signs of damage or loose connections.
  7. Fan Problems:
    • Problem: Malfunctioning fans, including the blower fan and outdoor fan, can result in poor airflow, inadequate cooling/heating, or system overheating.
    • Troubleshooting: Check the fan blades for damage or obstruction. Lubricate the fan motor if it’s making unusual noises. Replace the fan motor or capacitor if they’re faulty.
  8. Uneven Heating or Cooling:
    • Problem: Uneven temperature distribution throughout the home can be caused by blocked vents, inadequate insulation, or ductwork issues.
    • Troubleshooting: Ensure that all vents are open and unobstructed. Check for leaks or damage in the ductwork and seal as needed. Consider adding insulation to areas with poor insulation.

Need Some Help? Give Us a Call

Some HVAC problems can be remedied fairly easily. For more complex HVAC problems or if troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s best to contact a licensed HVAC technician for professional diagnosis and repairs. Aire-Rite Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. is proud to offer HVAC repair in Riverside, CA. We also install and inspect HVAC units. Regular maintenance and professional inspections can help prevent common HVAC problems and ensure optimal system performance, so reach out to us at (951) 336-1541 today.

What is the Most Expensive Part to Replace on an A/C Unit?

Air Conditioner Parts Replacement

While there are areas of California that are cool year-round there are other areas of the Golden State where working air conditioning is a must. And like in states with hot summers, when the air conditioner quits working, the residents seek services of an authorized repair service that will have approved air conditioner parts replacements and services. 

What is the lifespan of an air conditioning system? 

Like your vehicle, your HVAC system needs routine maintenance to keep it running properly. And from time to time, when repairs are needed, the proper, high-quality air conditioner parts replacements are used. These can affect the lifespan of your air conditioner along with these things:

  • Installation quality
  • The proper size of the unit 
  • Climate issues 
  • Air quality issues 
  • Thermostat settings for personal care
  • Regular maintenance and upkeep

With all of these factors considered, a quality air conditioning unit can last between 15 years and 20 years on average.

How much does an air conditioning repair service cost?

It is impossible to quote the exact cost for anything, including air conditioning repairs here in the Riverside, California area. Many considerations will affect the cost such as: 

  • The Replacement Parts

Some air conditioner parts replacements are extremely expensive, while others are more cost-friendly. Average air conditioner parts replacement costs can range between $5 and as much as $2,000 or more. At that point, it is time to consider if replacing the entire unit would be the better cost.

  • The Repair Type

The repair type will have an impact on the amount of labor. Some air conditioning repair service companies will charge by the hour, others may have a flat rate. Then there is the option of taking a service contract with the company that installed your unit. In that case, you’ll typically pay only for parts but not the labor. 

The cost of an air conditioning repair in this area, on average, ranges between $100 and $500. 

What are the main parts of an air conditioning system? 

The concept of an air conditioning system is to transfer heat using a refrigerant and an assortment of components and parts. The refrigerant transfers the heat from inside your home to the outside and replaces it with cooled air.  The main parts of an air conditioning system are: 

  • The Evaporator Coil: THIS PART Absorbs the heat INSIDE YOUR home.
  • The Compressor: This part circulates the refrigerant and then pressurizes the system. 
  • The Circulating Fan: The circulating fan draws air in through intake vents, through the air filter and evaporator coil before blowing it throughout your home. 
  • The Condensing Coil & Fan: Once the hot refrigerant absorbs the heat from inside your home, it flows through the condenser and then the fan blows the air over the cooled coils.

What is the most expensive part to replace on an air conditioner?

As we mentioned above, when it comes to air conditioner parts replacements, some are so expensive that replacing the unit is the better option, such as the compressor. Consider this part to be your air conditioning system’s heart. 

This is what makes the refrigerant flow through the system like the heart pumps your blood through your body.  The refrigerant is what cools the air blowing through your system. Just as you would want the best heart replacement you can afford; you should want the best air conditioner parts replacements that you can afford.

What are other parts that typically need to be replaced on an air conditioning unit?

As the air conditioner ages, certain parts will wear out first. The typical parts include:

  • The condensation pump – this part removes the water that your air conditioning system accumulates. 
  • The air filter – this part should be replaced every 30 days as it is what keeps the air clean that blows through the vents.
  • The fan motor – this part keeps the other components and parts from overheating and is especially important for the condenser.

Which air conditioner parts replacements are worthwhile?

This will depend on the age of your air conditioning unit and the frequency of previous repairs.  An essential part is the evaporator coil because this is what cools the refrigerant that has absorbed the heat. Because this unit is subjected to constant wear and tear, the inner lining erodes over time, and then refrigerant leaks.

The Takeaway

Keeping the maintenance and upkeep as recommended with your air conditioning system will minimize the need for air conditioning repairs, including the labor and air conditioner parts replacement costs. Taking a service contract with a company will ensure that there are accurate service records and the technicians will be familiar with your system, advising you when parts replacements is worthwhile or if it is time to purchase a new unit.

How Long Do Commercial Air Conditioners Last?

Learn More About Commercial Air Conditioner Features

Just like plumbing, commercial air conditioning is heavy-duty because it typically is cooling a larger area. Commercial air conditioners cool large, open spaces of factories, office buildings, and warehouses. Typically, they are more energy-efficient than a residential air conditioner and have several features that allow the building management to customize the cooling needs. Not only is commercial air conditioning more expensive to install, but commercial air conditioner repairs can be more expensive too. 

What Types of Issues Can Commercial Air Conditioners Experience?

The following are the most prevalent causes of commercial air conditioner repairs: 

1. Lack of routine maintenance

The best way to eliminate needing commercial air condition repairs is to purchase and follow a preventative maintenance program. With routine maintenance, minor issues are found and addressed before becoming major commercial air conditioner repair problems. 

2. Clogged air filters

Clogged filters force the air conditioning system to work harder. This uses more energy and wears the unit out faster. Just like your home air conditioner, it is important to have the air filter changed or cleaned every 30 days, in some cases, twice a month. 

3. Refrigerant leaking

Refrigerants are what make the air cool from the air conditioner and it is contained within the coils. When these coils have a leak, the refrigerant isn’t able to do its job of cooling the air. When this isn’t addressed, it can cause bigger problems. 

4. Malfunctioning thermostat

Not all problems arise and need major commercial air conditioner repairs. Sometimes, simply replacing the thermostat is sufficient. 

5. Improper air balance

The cooled or heated air coming from the vents moves through a series of ducts and cools or heats each room. When the dampers that help control this air flow are closed, it reduces the airflow in one room and pushes more out in another room. 

What are the Indications that Commercial Air Conditioner Repairs are Needed? 

The following are indications that you need to schedule a commercial air conditioner repair service:

  • Odors or poor IAQ (indoor air quality)
  • Strange, unfamiliar noises
  • Inconsistent, uneven cooling or heating airflow
  • System efficiency declines
  • Cooling and heating costs increase more than normal

What are the Benefits of Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance? 

There are 5 important benefits to having a commercial air conditioner maintenance contract with a professional commercial HVAC service:

1. Major Commercial Air Conditioner Repair Issues Minimized

By having your commercial air conditioner under a regular preventative maintenance program, you minimize, even eliminate the need for expensive commercial air conditioner repair. The technicians will inspect and address those small issues before they become major problems. 

2. Familiarity with Your System

With regular maintenance of your air conditioning system, you’ll usually have the same technicians. This allows them to become familiar with the system which can save time when commercial air conditioner repairs are needed. 

3. Reduce Emergency Commercial Air Conditioner Repairs

Regular professional commercial maintenance will prevent those expensive commercial air conditioner repair emergencies. This eases the strain on the budget and minimizes employee and customer discomfort.

4. Reduce Energy Costs

A routine maintenance program on a commercial air conditioner system, it keeps the system running more efficiently which keeps energy expenses in line. 

5. Helps the Environment

With a routine commercial air conditioner maintenance program, your HVAC system will keep running more efficiently which helps the environment by minimizing the number of harmful pollutants being expelled into the atmosphere. 

What Should You Expect When You Have Commercial Air Conditioner Repairs Done? 

When you do need commercial air conditioner repair service, make sure you hire a local company with experience in commercial air conditioning. Industry experience can make a difference in the outcome because they will either have parts in stock or have connections with reliable suppliers. 

Experienced commercial air conditioner repair companies are equipped with the latest in technology. Air conditioning equipment changes every year, and a commercial air conditioning service company should be abreast of those changes.  

Ask about their pricing as you call for professional commercial air conditioner repairs. A legitimate company will offer upfront pricing so that you can budget your needs. A professional company will offer 24/7 support and a comprehensive warranty.

When you schedule a commercial air conditioner repair service call, the technician will inquire about what problems you’re having. They will then inspect the system, test various components, and advise you what the problem is and the cost of repair.  

In Conclusion

A professional commercial air conditioner repair company will make suggestions to having the best air conditioning system for your building. They will consider keeping the comfort level adequate while maintaining the best green solutions. The technician should have your company’s best interest in focus on all points for your commercial air conditioner repairs and maintenance that is beneficial financially and time-wise.

The Benefits of Whole House Air Purification

Why is Air Purification Important?

After a year or more of Covid quarantine, many of us started wondering just how healthy it is to be staying in our homes, 24/7.  With that concern, you may wonder if a whole-house air purification system is something to consider. Before making that investment, you probably have several questions, such as: How do whole house air purification systems work? 

While there are room purifiers, and they are better than nothing, a whole-house air purification system filters the air all throughout your home. In most homes, the whole house air purification system is installed as part of the HVAC system. It removes airborne pollutants like allergens, dust, and more from the air. Standard features of a whole-house air purification system include: 

  • HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Ionization

With these features, it improves the air quality throughout your entire home, not just one room. 

What factors should be considered when selecting a whole-house air purification system?

Urbanization and the increase in air pollution have us thinking about how healthy this world is, right? After the COVID scare, even the standard flu during the winter has increased our concerns about our indoor air has increased.  If a whole-house air purification system may be in your future,  you need to consider the following:  

1. Bacteria & Viruses Protection

This feature may be the timeliest feature after the COVID-19 quarantine. There are still variants spreading around the world, and infections are still present, even for those who are fully vaccinated. Choose a whole-house air purification system that can achieve that offer the following:  

  • HEPA filtration is a fine mesh filter that will trap airborne particles including those particles associated with COVID-19. 
  • Ultraviolet light is a mechanism that produces UV) light that has been shown to neutralize some viruses like COVID-19 and stop them from reproducing. 

2. VOC Protection

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) come from your basic household products that put gases into the air. These products include aerosol sprays, building materials, cleaning products, lacquer, paints, pesticides, computer printers, and even your furniture! Choose a whole house air purification that states it removes those VOCs. 

3. Remove Allergens

The allergens in your home aren’t the only ones to worry about. There are allergens are inside your home, and on your body. They accumulate and get sucked into your home’s HVAC air ducts, then blow throughout your home. A whole house air purification system will collect those allergens, keeping them from spreading through your home. Those allergens include: 

  • Cockroaches
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Smoke

If your home has anyone affected by seasonal allergies, a whole-house air purification system can make their life more pleasant. 

4. Mold Reduction

A whole-house air purification system that doesn’t feature mold reduction isn’t worth the investment. Technically, mold is not an allergen, but it can cause serious illnesses, especially for those who suffer from allergies. Make sure the system you choose states it deactivates mold. 

5. Remove Odors 

Every home that has activity will have odors. If not from the allergens, mold, or VOCs, then from cooking and simply coming and going, especially if there are pets in the home. A whole house air purification system should filter the smallest micron, killing bad smells by removing the droplets with gasses, particulates, and more. 

6. HEPA Filter

Choose a whole house air purification that comes with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filters. These remove up to 99% of those airborne particulates and effectively reduces the allergens, mold, viruses, and VOCs in the air. 

7. Replacement Parts

Plan for obsolescence and choose a whole house air purification system that has addressed possible artificially limited useful life. In other words, choose a brand that can supply replacement parts to give you the most life possible from your new investment. 

How do I know if my home needs a whole house air purification system? 

The following are indications that you should consider investing in a whole-house air purification system for your home: 

  • Constant Sneezing

If anyone in your home is continually sneezing, there is probably an accumulation of particles like dust pollen, pet dander, and others.  particles in your home. A whole house air purification with high ratings that has a small mesh size will filter those particles out of the air in your home. 

  • Stuffy Air

If the air in your home doesn’t feel or smell fresh, you need a whole house air purification system. 

  • Dust Mites

With a whole house air purification, you can reduce dust and dust mites under beds,  behind furniture, and in other hiding places. 

  • Snoring 

If anyone in your home snores loudly, a whole house air purification will remove the things that block their airways, causing congestion. 

  • Constant Illnesses

If you a household member is always sick, it may not be their system. It may be your home!  A whole house air purification will reduce air particles as it alleviates the things that cause respiratory-related illnesses.

What are the benefits of a whole-house air purification system?

Making it simple: 10 benefits of a whole house air purification system: 

  • Reduces airborne illness risks
  • Relieve allergies
  • Extends the HVAC system lifespan
  • Health protection for family members
  • Improves the odor in your home
  • Eases asthma symptoms
  • Allows superior sleep
  • Improves the overall wellness of the household
  • Improves climate control
  • Makes housekeeping easier with less dust

What are the most common pollutants that need to be removed?

There are 5 common air pollutants found inside a home: 

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide 
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter 
  • Sulfur dioxide

How often should a whole-house air purification system be serviced? 

This will be determined by the brand you purchase. There will be a recommended service schedule in the owner’s manual and you want to adhere to that as close as possible. This keeps the unit working as it should and extends the lifespan too. 

How much does a whole-house air purification system cost?

Again, this will be determined by the brand and the features of the one you purchase. They can vary, and while a whole-house air purification system can be expensive, the benefits will give you a quick ROI! 

Saving Those Dollars! 

Speaking of how much they cost, are whole-house air purification systems energy efficient? This will vary based on the brand, again, and which model you choose. There are models that can use as much or more energy than your refrigerator, so make sure you choose one that has a high energy star rating. If you are interested in whole-house air purification in Riverside, CA, please reach out to us at (951) 336-1541 today!

What does an AC blower do?

technician removing a blower in an air conditioner

Keeping Your AC Running

As summer hits, many areas are hitting temperatures in the 90s and 100s. Crazy weather from north to south, east to west, and here in Riverside, California, having a working air conditioner is important. This means that the compressor and AC blower need to be in top working order. 

What is the use of a blower in AC?

The HVAC AC blower sends the conditioned air throughout the home after the system cools or heats the air. It forces this conditioned air through the duct system, usually found in the attic, and out vents in each room of the house. 

What is the function of the blower?

AC blowers are devices or equipment that increase the air or gas speed that passes through equipped impellers installed within the HVAC system. The main purpose AC blowers are used for the flow of air or gas that is required for aspirating, cooling, conveying, exhausting, ventilating, etc. The industry term for AC blowers is Centrifugal Fan. 

What is the difference between a blower and a fan?

The term AC blower is often referred to as the blower fan, but there is a difference. An AC blower has a marginally higher pressure increase than a fan. The definition of pressure rise is the pressure discharged over the inlet pressure. AC blowers are used when the system resistance is too high for a fan.

Many of us will use a fan in a bedroom to keep cool on hot summer nights. The fan creates forced convection cooling of the skin by moving air across the body at a sensible velocity. In general, a fan is a device used to move larger amounts of air with a minimal increase in pressure.

Do AC and heat use the same blower?

The cooling and heating system in your home has several components that work hand-in-hand, providing your home the comfort you appreciate.  It makes you wonder if they do two different things, how do they work together, right? Here’s a step-by-step summary: 

  1. The air conditioner evaporator coil removes heat and humidity during the summer
  2. The condensation line carries the excess moisture to the floor drain
  3. The compressor circulates the refrigerant through an evaporator coil and then ejects the heat outdoors
  4. Cooled or warmed air is supplied to your home
  5. The thermostat sets the desired temperature
  6. The air is returned to the furnace for air conditioning
  7. Humidity is added to the water
  8. The air is then cleaned then recirculated into your home

Is a blower a pump?

To the everyday homeowner, it is confusing how AC blowers, compressors, fans, and pumps are related when it comes to air conditioning. A pump works on a liquid instead of gas and raises the pressure of the liquid. A pump doesn’t have the developed breakdown in pressure ratio that AC blowers, compressors, and fans do for gas functions.

Because each of these devices has a different requirement for their performance, pressure rise is relative to the flow rate is different for each one. 

What happens when a blower motor goes bad?

Power to the AC blower motor comes from the blower motor resistor. If the resistor fails or has any issues, the blower motor power is cut off. Without any power, the blower motor can’t produce the needed air pressure. This means there isn’t any air to come through the vents, and ultimately, the air conditioner isn’t working.

Can you run the AC without a blower?

You can, but experts recommend not doing that very often. Occasionally running the fan without the AC or heat on will help circulate the air throughout the house. It can clean and freshen the air, a bonus for those with allergies. However, it isn’t the most efficient thing energy-wise, and doing it on a continuous basis will shorten the lifespan of the AC blower and fan up faster. 

How do I know if my AC blower is bad?

Four common symptoms that will of a bad blower motor:

  1. Low or no airflow: A classic indication of a bad AC blower motor is when there is restricted or no airflow coming from the air vents. 
  2. Strange noises:  AC blower motors will make different sounds, and those sounds will depend on the issue. A grinding, vibration, high pitched noise is common for an AC blower motor going out. 
  3. Circuit breaker tripping: An AC blower motor that is seized up will trip the circuit breaker. 
  4. Burning or hot smell: A bad AC blower motor can overheat, causing a burning hot smell to come through the vents. 
close-up of an air conditioning unit

In Closing – Blowing In The Wind 

With all the components and devices, it takes to make your air conditioner work, just what is a blower machine? These are commonly used in industrial and manufacturing facilities and are typically referred to as industrial blowers. 

This device enhances the airflow effectively and efficiently in a workspace. This type of blower contains airfoils, an electric motor, impeller, and airfoils. The purpose of industrial blowers is to provide a permanent addition to increase airflow while removing contaminants, dirt, dust, and other particulate matter. 

Why is my AC compressor not working?

close-up of a modern AC unit sitting outside

Taking Care of Your AC

When you’re running your AC day after day, there is a lot that can happen. That includes damage to your AC compressor. So, now, before those hot summer days get even worse, it is a good time to have your HVAC system checked out and to have any necessary AC compressor repairs taken care of.

What does the AC compressor do?

There are several different types of air conditioning systems, but every one of them will have an AC compressor.  This is the component that does the cooling down, so when it goes out, AC compressor repair is a must if you’re going to stay comfortable. 

The AC compressor is the part that controls all the other components by compressing the refrigerant. This is the hardest working component in an air conditioning system. The process of the cooling down function is a bit complicated, which is why you should always have a licensed technician do any AC compress repairs needed. 

This component moves the outside air into the Freon, aka the refrigerant, and that converts that heat into colder air. After the air has cooled down, the liquid refrigerant becomes a heated vapor that travels back to the AC compressor. There it pulls the heat out of the house and moves the excess heated air out using fans and air ducts. work. This process continues until the desired temperature setting is reached on the thermostat. 

What happens when an AC compressor goes bad?

Here are five things that can happen when the AC compressor isn’t working: 

1. Compressor won’t turn on

The first thing you’ll notice is how hot it is inside your house. The fan will be blowing, but the air coming out isn’t cool. Adjusting the thermostat down doesn’t help, that is when it is time to call professional help for AC compress repair. 

2. System blows warm air

If the air condenser seems to be running, but just warm air is blowing, this means the compressor isn’t getting the refrigerant pumped through the system. AC compressor repair may fix it, but if it is leaking the refrigerant, it is time to replace the unit. Turn the system off and schedule an appointment for an inspection of possible AC compressor repair.

3. Circuit breaker keeps tripping

If the circuit breaker to the condensing unit keeps tripping, this is often an indication that AC compressor repair is needed, but it can also be a problem with the circuit breaker.  A professional AC technician can check both issues, as well as other possible issues, and advise you on the best solution. 

4. Outside unit vibrates on start-up

If the condensing unit shakes each time it starts up, that is a “hard start” and an indication AC compressor repair or replacement is needed.  A certified technician can advise you accordingly. 

5. Air condenser is noisy

If the outside unit of your air conditioner is sounding louder than usual or there are strange noises coming from the unit, it is time to call a professional for AC compressor repair. 

What causes AC compressor failure?

The following are the 10 most common causes of a failing AC compressor, repairs should be made immediately:  

1. Electrical Failure

This can be from damaged contactors, fuses, and wires from acid build-up in the system. Power surges can also cause AC compressor failure. A trained AC professional will detect any acid buildup during routine inspections and make any AC compressor repair needed before this happens. 

2. Condenser Coils Blocked

Maintenance is key in your air conditioner working correctly, so when you neglect basic maintenance, like changing the filter, the condenser coils can become blocked from dirt, dust, and grime. When they are blocked, they can’t release the heat as needed and the compressor will overheat and quit. 

3. Overheating Compressor

A common problem that makes AC compress repairs are needed is an overheated compressor. This can be caused by the direct sun on the outside unit or inadequate ventilation around the outside unit from tall grass and trash. 

4. Evaporator Motor Displacement

When the evaporator motor is displaced, the refrigerant is forced to return to the compressor, and the oil is pushed out of the compressor. This removes all needed lubrication, and the AC compressor becomes less efficient, causing it to quit working. 

5. Refrigerant Level Low

If the AC compressor doesn’t have the right level of refrigerant, it can’t work correctly. No, you shouldn’t have to get the refrigerant refilled, because the unit should use it up. If it is low, it is because there is a leak in the system. A professional technician can inspect the issue and make any AC compressor repair or may recommend replacing the unit. 

6. Too Much Refrigerant 

This can only happen when an inexperienced, untrained person has refilled the refrigerant. Never have anyone that isn’t certified or licensed work on your air conditioning system, especially when it comes to AC compressor repairs. 

7. Lack of Lubrication

Without proper lubrication, an AC compressor can’t function optimally, which will wear the interior components out and the AC compressor must work harder. Lubrication is needed so the internal parts of the compressor work smoothly. Routine inspections and maintenance by a licensed professional will keep this from happening. 

8. Damaged or Clogged Suction Lines

The suction lines in the refrigerator part of the compress will develop cracks and holes which can affect how the refrigerant flows through the system. This creates stress for the AC compressor to pump harder and longer than needed and will decrease the cooling power of the unit. A professional HVAC technician can inspect the problem and make any AC compressor repairs needed to the lines.

9. Debris and Dirt in the Outdoor Unit

As we stated earlier, debris, dirt, and grass that is sucked up against the outside unit of your system will block the air vent and cause the system to overheat, even quit working. This is another issue that can be avoided with routine inspections and maintenance services by a professional. 

10. Incorrect Suction Lines Sizes

If the suction lines aren’t the right size, it will cause the AC compressor to overheat because of too much pressure.  This happens when an inexperienced person has worked on the unit.  Wrong sizing can build pressure and cause the compressor to overheat.

How do I check my AC compressor?

Checking the AC compressor motor can be done by following these steps:

  1. Disconnect the unit from the power source.
  2. Take off the top of the outdoor condensing unit.
  3. Unplug the compressor’s three-prong plug.
  4. Measure and record the resistance of each winding with a multimeter set to OHMS.

There are three possible motor winding failures. They can be broken or separated, which is referred to as an open winding. The insulation on the windings can come off or become loosened, which leads to a short in the windings. Meanwhile, a grounded winding can occur if the wire is broken inside the insulation making contact with the compressor’s casing or the ground.

The best scenario is to call a professional technician to inspect and test the AC compressor, repairing or replacing it as needed. The work will come with a warranty, and you can be more certain the repair is done correctly.

How long should an AC compressor last?

With proper maintenance and upkeep, an AC compressor, and the refrigerant inside it should last no less than 12 and a typical maximum is 15 years.

Can you repair an AC compressor?

Many times, yes, an AC compressor repair is possible by a certified technician that knows how to repair air conditioning components. 

Is it worth it to replace an AC compressor?

If the unit is 8 to 10 years old and all the other components are in good working condition, then replacing the compressor could give you another 5 years before replacing the entire unit. 

Why did my AC compressor overheat?

This can be caused by several factors, typically it is a dirty air filter. Cleaning the air filter and around the inside of the HVAC system will often fix this. If not, it could be the suction hoses or a wiring issue, which should be checked by an experienced technician. 

row of modern AC units sitting outside a building

In Closing 

When the AC compressor is freezing up, check the filter and make sure it is clean and clear. Check the outside unit is free of any dirt, debris, or grass up against it. Turn the unit off for 30 minutes to an hour, allow it to thaw, and try again.  If it still freezing up, it may be low on refrigerant, which could indicate it has a leak.  This will need a professional service call. 

How Can You Purify The Air In Your Home?

dirty air filter inside a home

Keeping Your Air Clean

As if we didn’t already know it, the before and after the COVID quarantine of cities’ skylines proved the amount of pollution and smog problem. This includes pictures of Los Angeles, California.  What there aren’t any pictures of was the indoor air quality inside our homes and businesses.

Why is air quality a problem? 

The elevated ozone levels that cause poor outdoor and indoor air quality are linked to increases in emergency room trips and hospitalizations, and even premature death. Since the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) implemented laws in 1971, there has been great progress in improving outdoor air quality. Visible air pollution has reduced, but not air pollution is visible, especially inside the home. 

Everything in our homes has fine particles that come directly from or are formed from gaseous emissions including nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Yes, one place you should feel safe, the indoor air quality could be making you sick, but you may not even realize there is a problem with the IAQ inside your home. 

Can poor air quality make you sick?

Absolutely! So, what are the symptoms of poor air quality? If anyone in your home is suffering from any of the following 5 health issues, it could be an issue with the indoor air quality of your home: 

  • Common Colds

Bad indoor air quality can affect many people with what appears to be a common cold or the flu. Symptoms are short-term periods of coughing, dizziness, fatigue, itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing,. All of which are easily treated with OTC medications for most of us. 

These symptoms can occur following common air quality issues of single or multiple exposures to a variety of airborne pollutants like bacteria, dust, mites, pollen, and viruses that rapidly spread within closed-in areas with limited air circulation and/or a high level of humidity. 

  • Asthma 

If any member of your household suffering from asthma and experience an increase in their symptoms at home, it could be because of the indoor air quality. Any increased amount of wheezing and coughing, complaining of a tight chest, or having difficulty breathing, can result in an asthma attack. If incidents of emergency room visits or doctor appointments, or missing school or work increase, the indoor air quality could be the culprit. 

If these asthma symptoms appear after somebody gets home, the airborne particles, endotoxins, and the ozone are common irritants that create asthma symptoms indoors. The ozone is created from sunlight encountering other air pollutants, triggering asthma with irritated airways and lungs. Bacteria and outdoor soil can cause endotoxins that are brought inside by humans, pests, and pets.

  • COPD

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term condition that results from inhaling pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality. Similar to asthma, the symptoms include breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and wheezing, and often include a chronic cough, fatigue, respiratory infections, weight loss, along with feet and leg swelling.

COPD symptoms are often triggered by indoor pollutants like asbestos, combustible pollutants, mites, pet dander, pollen, radon, and 2nd hand cigarette smoke. These irritants can affect some persons more than others.  

  • Lung Cancer

Long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality levels can increase a person’s risk of lung cancer with different pollutants contributing to the development of this condition. Those pollutants include combustible pollutants, radon, 2nd hand cigarette smoke, and volatile organic compounds, with radon being known as a leading cause.  Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced in the soil. It enters the home through cracks and other openings in floors and walls from the ground beneath your home.  

  • Cardiovascular Disease

In addition to poor indoor air quality causing damage to the respiratory system, it also affects the cardiovascular system by impeding the movement of the blood through the blood vessels. This often results in blood clots, and disrupts the heart’s functioning, resulting in the risk of heart attacks or strokes, and creating heart disease. The irritants that cause this are carbon monoxide, dust, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, soot, and sulfur dioxide.      

What causes poor air quality?

Poor indoor air quality in the home can be caused by several issues, including things we listed above, along with the following being the 3 biggest culprits:

1. Poor Ventilation: Poor or a lack of adequate ventilation results in contaminants building up and the HVAC system recirculates those contaminants. Inadequate or lack of HVAC maintenance is a contributor to poor indoor air quality, including the monthly change or cleaning of the air filter. 

 2. Combustion Products: Automobile exhaust, furnaces, water heaters, scented candles, oil lamps, fireplaces, gas cookstoves, wood-burning stoves, and tobacco. When there isn’t proper ventilation, these things can generate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide, and respirable particulates, all combustion products that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, cause dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.

3. Organic Vapors: Organic vapors are released from everyday household products that have been linked to adverse health effects like irritated nose and throat, causing dizziness, headaches, and nausea. The products of concern are fuels, paints, solvents, strippers, and pesticides. Products used for cleaners and deodorizers, hobbies, and more contain matters that can cause these results. Formaldehyde is found in new fiberboard, particleboard, paneling, plywood, and cigarette smoke, which can cause health issues. 

Do air conditioners purify indoor air or does an air conditioner bring in dust?

Air conditioners do not purify the air inside the home. The air filter within the HVAC or window units is located at the return air duct or air handler filters the air within the unit, not the air outside and around the unit.  Two components of an air conditioner that collect dust is the air handler and the condenser. The air handler is where the air filter is located, but it cannot catch all the particulate matter that will pass through it. 

Regarding the concern that the air conditioner brings dust into your home, this is typically coming from the ductwork or where the connections of the air ducts aren’t broken. With the air duct compromised, it allows any dust collected in the air ducts to be blown inside your home. So, in essence, it is not the air conditioner, but the air duct system causing poor indoor air quality for your home.

How can you improve your indoor air quality?

The following steps will boost your home’s indoor air quality and improve your family’s health:

  1. Minimize pollutants: Some common pollutants that can affect your home’s indoor air quality include: 
  • Radon
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cleaning products
  • Test the air quality
  1. There are DIY indoor air quality testing kits, or you can have it tested professionally. 
  1. Control allergens: You can control many of the allergens that are affecting your home’s indoor air quality such as: 
  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pet dander

This can be done by more frequent dusting and vacuuming, and by keeping pets bathed and brushed. Replace any carpeting, drywall, or flooring that has been wet that may have hidden mildew and mold. 

  1. An air purifier: Purchasing an air purifier for the home is one of the most effective ways to make indoor air quality better. 
  1. Ventilation: Make sure your attic has sufficient ventilation that keeps the air flowing, open windows and doors when the outdoor conditions are good and the pollen count is low. Keep a routine of changing or cleaning the air filter every 30 days or more frequently. Make sure all gas-powered appliances are properly ventilated.
  1. Reduce dampness: Dampness creates mildew and mold, make sure to remove anything that is damp and can increase the humidity. 
  1. The heating system: Make sure all methods you use for heating your home are inspected and performed correctly, including the fireplace and chimney.
  1. Indoor plants: Yes, indoor plants can improve indoor air quality when you choose the right ones and place them where needed. Not all plants remove all pollutants. Do your research and choose the best plant for your problem areas. 
indoor air conditioning vent next to a green plant

In Closing – So, how can I purify my air naturally?

In addition to things we have already mentioned, other ways you can improve your home’s indoor air quality naturally include using Salt Crystal Lamp for accent and nightlights and using beeswax candles and essential oils throughout your home.  Placing activated charcoal and bamboo charcoal inside your home will the toxins that other items are bringing into your home. 

Which should I choose: gas or electric heating?

man in a coat turning on the thermostat

The Heat is On

Even in the southern part of California, the nights can get chilly. While it may not be used as much as in the states in the far north, homeowners here in the Riverside area still need and want the best home heater for their homes and their budget. So, which is better for them, electric heat vs gas heat? 

There are several states across the country that are currently placing a ban on gas heaters. For now, heating installation is a homeowner’s choice. So, we’re going to review the differences between the two power sources for home heaters and answer a couple of common questions: 

How does electric heat work? 

There are various types of furnaces when it comes to home heaters, each working in a different way, and each having its pros and cons. Electric home heaters are unique, operating similar to a hairdryer. Electric home heaters and hair dryers both pull air in through a heat exchanger. From there, the electric heating elements warm the air that is pushed by the blower. With electric home heaters, that warm air is blown into the ductwork where that warmed air is distributed throughout your home.

Electric home heaters have several heating elements that work like those in a toaster. Heating elements consist of long coil wounded wires that are mounted inside electric home heaters. There are electrically charged particles that move through metal wires, producing heat. Other important components of electric home heaters include: 

  • Contactor – Tells the thermostat when to turn the heat on.
  • Sequencer – Turns the heating elements off and on. 
  • Transformer – Provides electric home heaters power that controls the contractor, sequencer, and thermostat by transferring the electrical energy from circuit to circuit. 

What are the benefits of electric heat? 

As we stated earlier, there are various types of home heaters, and depending on where you live and your home’s layout, one type of home heater may be better than another. If you choose electric powered home heaters, here are three benefits that you can enjoy: 

  • Safe and Reliable

Electric home heaters don’t burn any materials or use combustible gas that can create noxious fumes. This makes electric home heaters one of the safest heating solutions. With few moving parts, there is less opportunity of breaking down, providing a long-lasting heating system.

  • Affordable and Efficient

The cost of operating electric home heaters has remained stable the past few years, and with electricity being the lowest cost option for heating, experts predict that it will remain that way for many more years. Most electric home heaters are inexpensive, and installation is easy. They also have a longer lifespan than other methods of home heaters. Electric home heaters are easier to repair, keeping maintenance costs minimal.

  • Environmentally Friendly

Because electric home heaters do not rely on other materials for burning, there isn’t any carbon dioxide released. Electric home heaters preserve our natural resources and without creating any emissions, there are no risks like gas home heaters can experience, such as gas leaks.

What are the benefits of gas heat?

Natural gas is one of the most reliable fuel sources we have today. With gas-powered home heaters, there are several benefits to be enjoyed.


Factors that are to be considered are the efficiency and cost of fuel; natural gas has typically been the more affordable option compared to electricity or oil. The gas home heaters on the market today are highly efficient for reducing monthly energy bills.

Why is gas cheaper than electricity? You can save as much as $350 a year with gas-powered home heaters versus electric home heaters. Electricity is developed from a variety of sources, even natural gas. When homes are heated with gas-powered home heaters, the majority of that energy is heating the home.

Electrically powered home heaters burn fuel in other places, converting that power to electricity, which is distributed to homes. That entire process has inefficiencies using that energy. Considering the cost of system maintenance, it costs more for electrically powered home heaters. 


Natural gas is the cleanest option for home heaters today. The emissions from gas home heaters consist mainly of water vapor and 45 percent less carbon dioxide than coal-powered home heaters and 30 percent less carbon dioxide than using wood for home heating. Using natural gas, homes are heated cleaner and leave a small carbon footprint.


Natural gas is dependable for home heaters, with the gas lines running underground, they are protected from outdoor elements compared to highline wires that electric home heaters during storms. Natural gas is in constant supply compared to oil or propane that must be delivered. 


Gas home heaters make for a cozy, warm home, heating the home faster than electric home heaters. 

Home Value

Home values increase where home heaters are powered by natural gas. More potential home buyers are appealing, giving you a faster sell for more money. 

woman in a blanket shivering on a sofa

Closing Words of Concern

Are you still wondering, “Should I change to electric heating, or is it cheaper to heat a room with gas or electric?” This is an important decision for any homeowners, and if you have a choice with a new build, or are in the process of converting your existing one. 

To help you make the decision, schedule a home visit with your local professional heating company that offers both electrical power and gas power home heaters. They can inspect your home and provide you with statistics showing you the best option.

How does an electric furnace work?

close-up of a thermostat being adjusted

Ready for Electric Furnace Repair?

Even in sunny California, the nights can get chilly, and with winter knocking at our backdoor, those nights are almost here again. Now is the time to get the professional annual inspection, cleaning, and electric furnace repair if needed. 

What are indicators that electric furnace repair is needed? 

Schedule an appointment with a professional furnace contractor, and they’ll ask if you had any problem with the unit th last time it was used. Think back to last winter, and if you remember anything, they need to know. For example, tell them that when it’s turned on, the electric furnace smells like burning. Other issues you may have had would be: 

1. Lights Flickering 

If the lights flickered, or the circuit breaker tripped each time the furnace kicked on, there could be an electrical issue with the unit. This should have been addressed last winter, but now is better than never to get any electric furnace repairs done like this. Never wait when it appears to be an electrical issue. 

2. Humming Sounds 

A buzzing or humming sound is often an indicator of electrical issues too. Again, when you hear these sounds, which are often accompanied by the lights flickering, call for professional electric furnace repair service immediately. 

2. Popping and Rattling Sounds

There should be nothing more than a slight humming when you turn on your electric furnace. If you are hearing clicking, popping, rattling, rumbling, scraping, or high pitched screeching and squealing, you should call for professional electric furnace repair immediately. Make sure you mention this to your technician ASAP. 

3. Condensation

If you had any issues like condensation building up and leaking from your electric furnace, repairs to the condensation line may be needed. The line could be broken, cracked, or disconnected. This repair is fairly simple for the technician. 

5. Cold Air 

If you aren’t sure why the electric furnace blows cold air, and that’s what it did the last time you used the unit, speak up now. A properly working electric furnace should not be blowing cold air – this usually indicates a mechanical issue. 

What size electric furnace do I need?

When the technician that is providing you electric furnace repair recommends it is time to replace the unit with a new one, do you want to stay with electric or would a gas furnace be cheaper? Well, the electric furnace would be less expensive for the installation, averaging between $800 to $1,500. Meanwhile, with a gas furnace prices can range from $1,200 to $6,000 for the furnace and labor. 

For that kind of money, you want to make sure you’re getting the proper size of electric furnace for the size of your home. California has 3 out of 5 zones when it comes to determining the size of heater and air conditioner needed. Your electric furnace repair technician can advise you on what zone you’re located in. Then go by the size of your home to choose the right BTU, using this info as a guideline: 

1200 to 1500 square ft: 55,000 BTU2 tons
1500 to 1800 square ft: 60,000 BTU2.5 tons
1800 to 2500 square ft: 70,000 BTU2.5 to 3 tons
2500 to 3500 square ft: 90,000 to 100,000 BTU3.5 to 4 tons

How efficient are electric furnaces?

When it comes to a gas vs electric furnace, electric furnace efficiency is at 100% AFUE. This means that all the energy an electric furnace generates goes to heating the house. A gas furnace has to use gas to heat the burner before it turns on the actual heat to the house. 

When making the comparison of electric furnace vs heat pump, you also have to remember the heat pump uses electricity too, just not as much as the electric furnace does directly. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump will transfer 300% more of the electric energy than it consumes. A high-efficiency gas furnace is approximately 5 percent efficient. 

Does an electric furnace use a lot of electricity?

It costs pennies to operate basic household items every day on electricity. For example, it costs you 7 cents a day to leave a light 75-watt bulb lamp on for 14 hours! Of course, who leaves a light on for 14 hours? To keep your food refrigerated, it costs you around 20 cents a day and to cook that food on an electric range, using all 4 burners AND the oven, around 84 cents per hour. 

Electricity is a deal when it comes to an electric furnace. For less than $3.00 an hour, you can use up to 25 kw to operate a central electric furnace. If you’re using a three-ton Air Source Heat Pump, without backup running, you’re spending less than 75 cents an hour.

close-up of hands working on a furnace

Last Questions – What is the life expectancy of an electric furnace?

When natural gas isn’t available, electricity is the only choice, but that doesn’t mean you’re getting the short end. The installation of an electric furnace is a straightforward procedure, and it won’t need venting like a gas furnace. 

An electric furnace is the quieter way to heat a home too. A new electric furnace that is installed by a professional will give you a lifespan up to 30 years when taken care of as recommended by the manufacturer. Ready to learn more about electric furnaces? Call us today at (951) 336-1541.