A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2015

When is a Good Time to Replace Your Air Conditioning System?

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Your air conditioning system has served you well for a number of years, but recently it’s been giving you some trouble. Maybe your unit has lost a little bit of cooling capability or maybe it’s been making some strange noises lately. Perhaps your AC system has even quit working entirely, in which case calling a technician is urgent. But how do you know whether your unit needs repairs or replacement?

If you seem to bring your air conditioner in for repairs too frequently, it may be about time for replacement. Of course, a few small repairs here and there shouldn’t sound any alarms. You should expect to repair or tune up your system every now and then, and a blown capacitor, dirty coil, or blown fuse once in a while shouldn’t worry you very much. However, very frequent repairs or parts replacements may mean that your AC system is approaching the end of its life. It’s much cheaper to replace your entire air conditioner now than it is to replace each part piece-by-piece.

The age of your heating system should also tell you that it’s time to replace. Traditional air conditioners have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years and heat pumps have a lifespan up to 20 years, though the average is lower. Keep in mind that the lifespan will be even lower if you haven’t scheduled regular maintenance with a professional. However, even maintenance doesn’t guarantee longevity. Sometimes, an air conditioner fails too soon because it is installed improperly or because of other unforeseen circumstances. But if it is approaching the end of its expected lifespan, then you should try to replace it soon, before it fails suddenly.

Another way to tell it’s time to upgrade your heating system is if you decide you want to upgrade your air conditioning system to a heat pump. A heat pump is an air conditioning and heating system in one that essentially runs in reverse in order to bring heat into the home. These are incredibly efficient, and can replace both your AC and furnace.

Call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air for quality air conditioning installation in Riverside, CA from trained professionals who care about your home comfort.

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Lupercalia: The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Many people may think of Valentine’s Day as a holiday essentially created by card and gift companies, but the truth is that the holiday has long-standing roots going back to the Roman Empire. The name “Lupercalia” has its origins in the word “lupus”, which means wolf, and the reason for this is that according to Roman pagan religion, the she-wolf Lupa nursed the two orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome.

 

The Festival

The Festival of Lupercalia spanned two days each February, from February 13th to 15th. The festival was about fertility and was led by Luperci priests, known as “brothers of the wolf”. The festival was serious with intention (fertility) but was executed as quite a romp for both the priests and citizens of Rome. The process was this: two male goats and a dog were sacrificed at the beginning of the festival by the priests; two young Luperci were then anointed with the blood from the animals, and the hides of the animals were cut into straps. As food and drink flowed, the male priests would run around the city wearing nothing but thongs made from the animal skins, and they also carried a strap from one of the sacrificed animals. The strap was used to strike the palms of Roman women waiting for the priests in the city, as it was believed that being hit with the strap could help with infertility issues and a safe, healthy labor for women who were pregnant.

 

The Transition to St. Valentine’s Day

The Christian influence of the holiday came around the 5th century. The Roman Empire was still strong, but Christianity was rapidly taking hold throughout the world. It is believed that to try and remove the paganism from the holiday, the deaths of two men, supposedly both named Valentine, were added into the mix. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, a law created by Claudius II forbade young men eligible for military service to marry, because Rome wanted a strong army. The two men named Valentine were priests, and married young couples in secret. Both were found out and executed on February 14th, although in separate years. The Church made Valentine a saint (they chose one), and Lupercalia became St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Here’s wishing you and your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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3 Common Heating Repairs

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

There are hundreds of different ways a heating system could break down, in varying degrees of severity. However, some problems are far more likely to occur than others. The more you know about these common heating issues, the better equipped you’ll be to know when to call an HVAC professional. Let’s examine 3 of the most common heating repairs you’re likely to deal with.

Short-Cycling

Short-cycling is a behavior in which your heating system keeps rapidly turning itself on and off throughout the day. Though this may seem only a minor annoyance, short-cycling can actually dramatically limit the lifespan of your heater by locking it into the most stressful part of its cycle. This wears out the heater very fast, causing more breakdowns and damaging vital parts of the system. Short-cycling is caused by the system overheating, which activates a safety measure and shuts the heater down in order to prevent a fire. Once the system cools off, it restarts and overheats again and the cycle repeats endlessly. If you notice your heater short-cycling, you should call a professional immediately.

Ignition Failure

Ignition failure is a very common problem with heating systems, especially among older combustion systems like furnaces. Any time your heater fails to start, that’s ignition failure. Ignition failure is often caused by a failure with the pilot light, whether standing or intermittent. In a standing pilot light system, the problem is usually the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a flame sensor that opens the gas valve to keep the pilot light lit when subjected to the initial flame. A bad thermocouple will fail to open the gas valve, causing the flame to die from lack of fuel.

Electric and intermittent pilot lights often fail due to burned out parts, like the electrode or heating element. These are a bit harder to diagnose, because they’re a lot more complex. Either way, however, if your system is simply not starting you should call an HVAC technician.

Air Handler Breakdown

Every forced air system has a section called the “air handler.” The air handler is what is responsible for actually circulating air throughout the house. Occasionally, a part in the air handler can break down and render the heater unable to circulate heat. If your heater is on, but air isn’t coming out any of your vents, then it’s a safe bet that your air handler is broken.

If your heater is having issues, schedule an appointment today by calling Avis Plumbing, Heating, and Air. We provide quality heating repair in the Chino area.

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