A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog : Archive for March, 2014

How to Prepare for Air Conditioning Season in Riverside, CA

Monday, March 31st, 2014

As another long warm season approaches us in the Inland Empire, we will start thinking about our air conditioners. Or at least, we should start thinking about them. Like any complex machinery that does a large amount of work, an air conditioning system requires care and attention to make sure it runs when it needs to. Large farming equipment must always be prepared for harvesting season; in the same way, air conditioners must be prepared for the summer heat waves.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air has cooled down the Inland Empire for over 60 years. When you need help with AC preparations for the heavy summer heat, you can turn to us for maintenance, repairs, or even the full installation of new air conditioning in Riverside, CA. Whatever your needs, we are available 24/7 to assist.

Some tips for getting ready for air conditioning season

  • Schedule maintenance for your AC: We place this first because it’s the #1 step you need to take to guarantee top performance from your cooling system during the summer. Air conditioning maintenance is ideally handled at this time of year, the spring, so the system will go into summer with a complete tune-up and cleaning, as well as any repair needs caught early and remedied. Make sure you keep up with annual maintenance and enroll in a program that will send a technician each spring to keep your AC in its best condition.
  • Change the air filter: If you have a furnace for heating, it uses the same ductwork system as the AC and the same air filter along the return vents. You need to change this filter before your air conditioner starts working on a regular basis, otherwise clogging from lint, dust, and dirt will choke off airflow and may eventually cause damaging debris to enter the air conditioner’s cabinet.
  • Bolster your insulation: Here’s a way to help prepare your air conditioner with improvements to other parts of your home. Make sure that you have effective insulation in your walls and especially inside the attic. The attic turns into a heat sink during the summer, and it can raise your home’s temperature 10°F unless it has effective insulation stopping heat transfer. Sealing your home from the outside heat will keep your air conditioning system from overworking.

Look to Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air for summer preparedness

At Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air, we can take care of all the tasks you need to get ready for the cooling season. Not only do have an excellent team to take care of repairs for air conditioning in Riverside, CA, but we offer the Comfort Club to handle your regular maintenance (it includes your heating system as well). You can also count on us to handle air sealing and insulation so that your home will help your air conditioner, not hinder it. Give us a call today to set up an appointment for summer preparations.

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Reasons to Schedule Heating Repair for Your Heat Pump

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Any heating or cooling system is only as good as the maintenance and care it receives. You can have the most efficient and effective heater ever invented installed in your home, but without necessary repairs and regular maintenance, it would degrade in performance rapidly and probably not even make it to half its expected lifespan.

If you have a precision instrument like a heat pump providing your home with comfort, you need to take special care to watch for when you should schedule repairs. Here are some of the reasons you will have to call for repairs.

For fast heating repair service in Ontario, CA, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air… any time of the day or night.

  • The heat pump stops blowing cold or warm air: If your heat pump stops being able to do one of its two jobs—heating or cooling—then it most likely has a broken reversing valve. You will need to call technicians to replace the valve.
  • Grinding or screeching noises from the cabinet: Any sound aside from the hum of the fans and the compressor as it comes on is a caution that something may be wrong inside the heat pump. Mechanical grinding and shrieking noises are the clearest sign of a major failure occurring, usually a motor on the verge of burning out or a dying compressor. Call in a technician to look into the cabinet, find out what’s wrong, and discover a way to fix it.
  • Ice and frost form along the coils: If you see ice along either the indoor or outdoor coil, don’t scrape it off and forget about it. This can mean that the coil has become too dirty, or refrigerant is leaking somewhere. Technicians will need to remove the coils to clean them, or else seal the refrigerant leak and recharge the lost refrigerant.
  • Insufficient airflow: If the airflow from your heat pump drops, it could be from a clogged air filter, or trouble in the air handler. You’ll need to have it fixed before it negatively effects your comfort level.

Aside from repairs, make sure you enroll in a regular maintenance program that will tune-up and check-up your heat pump annually so it will work with as few repair needs as possible.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air has over 60 years of experience with bringing heating repairs to Ontario, CA and throughout the Inland Empire. We’ve installed, repaired, and maintained many heat pumps, and we can help yours. Call us today.

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What Happens When Heat Pumps Leak Refrigerant

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Refrigerant is the life blood of a heat pump. This chemical that moves through the coils and lines of a heat pump is responsible for the heat exchange that brings you cooling in the summer and heating during the winter. Refrigerant does not dissipate during normal operation: it switches easily between liquid and gas and back again, and its level (“charge”) doesn’t lower.

However, a heat pump can start to lose refrigerant because of leaks, often at connector points such as at the compressor. Lack of maintenance can contribute to this, so make sure that you have regularly scheduled visits for your system to help prevent this from happening. Contact Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air for both maintenance and the necessary repairs you may need for your heat pump’s cooling and heating in Corona, CA.

A number of malfunctions in your heat pump will start once leaking occurs. The most immediate problem—and the biggest warning that you have refrigerant leak—is that icing will start over the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is the indoor coil during cooling mode and the outdoor coil during heating mode. Icing happens because the reduced levels of refrigerant means the coil cannot absorb the same level of heat, and the temperature of the remaining refrigerant causes the moisture along the coils to freeze. As the ice develops along the coils, it halts further heat absorption, which increases the icing. Eventually, a solid block of ice will form along the coils and completely halt the heat exchange. You can’t scrape the ice off the coils to solve this problem; it requires technicians to seal the leak and then recharge the refrigerant.

Low refrigerant also puts components in your heat pump under stress, particularly the compressor, but the damage will spread throughout the unit, leading to inefficient performance. Just a 10% loss in refrigerant can mean a 20% increase in electrical costs.

When you suspect a refrigerant leak—or any kind of problem with your heat pump—you need to have professional repair technicians look over the system and identify the leak, then seal it. Recharging the refrigerant to its normal level is an important step, since using the wrong refrigerant blend or either undercharging or overcharging the amount in the heat pump will make the problem worse. Make sure you call on experienced technicians for this task.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air can help you with your cooling and heating system in Corona, CA any time of the day or night. Call our NATE-certified technicians when you need the skilled help necessary to restore your heat pump.

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Cleaning and Maintenance Services for Your Heating System

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Yearly maintenance for your heating system is essential for keeping it working efficiently, effectively, and without break downs and repair needs that can lead to a reduced service lifespan. Heating maintenance usually happens during the fall, but if you have neglected to schedule it for over a year, it’s never too late to have it done. If that much time has passed, you should consider having your maintenance visit before the heater goes off for most of the summer. You want to make sure it will come back on when you first need it again.

To get started with maintenance, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. We’ve provided professional heating repair and maintenance to Riverside, CA for over six decades.

Maintenance and cleaning: what the annual visit actually does

When a service technician visits your home for the heating maintenance inspection, he or she will examine all the major components, conduct tests, and see where adjustments and cleaning will improve performance. Here are some of the many maintenance and cleaning services a technician can do for your heater:

  • Clean the heat exchanger: The heat exchanger is the crucial part of a gas furnace that transfers heat from the combustion gas to the air. If the exchanger has gotten dirty, the technician will brush the exchanger, then vacuum it and also vacuum the burner tray, blower compartment, and around the furnace nox rods so that the heat from the burners will efficiently transfer to the air.
  • Clean out the exhaust flue: Another important part of furnace operation, the exhaust flue allows the escape of the left-over vapor from the heat exchanger. The technician will clean it of soot and other obstacles if needed.
  • Burner and pilot assembly replacement: If necessary, the technician can replace an older or corroded burner assembly with a new one.
  • Clean return air grill: This is where the air from indoors enters the heating system for recirculation. Sometimes it requires cleaning so it won’t impede airflow.
  • Thermostat calibration: Sometimes a thermostat can begin to sense incorrect temperatures, and a maintenance technician will need to readjust it.
  • Clean condenser/evaporator coils: For heat pumps, a clean set of indoor and outdoor coils are necessary for proper heat exchange. To clean them, the technician must first detach them from the refrigerant line.

Schedule maintenance from the Comfort Club

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air offer membership in our Comfort Club to provide you with top level maintenance. With membership, you’ll receive maintenance for your heater and your air conditioner with a worry-free payment plan. You’ll find peace of mind—and save with reduced heating repairs in Riverside, CA.

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