When Is the Best Time of the Year for an Air Conditioning Installation?

August 15th, 2014

Our Ace Air Conditioning technicians are asked a lot about timing for installation. However, the answer usually depends on the state of your current air conditioner. If your current AC is operational and can last for a bit longer, you may want to wait until fall or spring for installation. However, if your air conditioner is clearly on its last legs, you may need to move forward sooner with your installation. Purchasing and installing a new air conditioning system is a big decision, so it’s best to work with seasoned professionals, like the ones at Ace Air Conditioning from start to finish. For over 25 years, we’ve helped customers with air conditioning installation in Turlock, and we can help you, too.

Signs It’s Time to Install a New Air Conditioner

If you’ve been inching along with your aging air conditioner, here are some signs it may be time to consider a new installation:

Energy Inefficiency

Do you see your bills rise despite not having changed your cooling habits? Older air conditioners, even when properly maintained, lose energy efficiency capabilities after a certain age. Additionally, if your AC is more than 8 years old, it may have a lower minimum SEER number than today’s models. In 2006, the minimum SEER number changed from 10 to 13; if your air conditioner was produced prior to 2006, it is likely the SEER number is 10 or lower. In either case, you may lose money monthly on high utility bills.

Frequent Repairs

Has your air conditioner needed multiple, frequent repairs over the last 18 months? Repair costs can add up, and you may find that the cost of repeated repairs may be close to the cost of a new system. Before moving ahead with more repairs to your current air conditioner, you might want to consider if your money would be better spent on a new system.

Age

The average lifespan of an air conditioning system is 10-12 years; a well-maintained system can last as long as 15. While age isn’t the sole factor to consider for replacement, it should be a consideration when dealing with the above-mentioned factors.

The Best Time Is When You Need It

While spring and fall are the best times to install a new AC, the bottom line is that, if you need an air conditioning installation in Turlock, any time is the best time. To ensure that your installation goes smoothly from beginning to end, call the professionals with over 25 years’ experience for help: Ace Air Conditioning.

What Is SEER and Why Does It Matter?

August 8th, 2014

When you look over your current air conditioning system, or if you are investigating models for a new installation, one of the important specs you’ll find is SEER. This acronym, which stands for “seasonal energy efficiency ratio” is one of the most important specifications for an air conditioner. Although you should always have professional assistance from an HVAC technician when it comes to air conditioning service in Turlock, CA, it is a good idea to know the basics of SEER and why it is so important to your air conditioner and your budget.

For high quality service for your air conditioning system, look to an Ace… Ace Air Conditioning! Since 1991, we have delivered quality heating and cooling to homes that has kept people comfortable without wasting energy.

What SEER Means For Your Cooling and Budget

The seasonal energy efficiency ratio of an air conditioner is a measure of how well the system converts its power source (electricity) into cooling. Unlike a similar rating, EER (energy efficiency ratio), this performance is measured over an entire season of cooling instead of a single test.

SEER is determined by dividing the seasonal output of cooling (in BTUs) by the amount of energy used in watt-hours. The higher the resulting number, the more efficient the system is at energy use, and the less it will cost to run over a season. The SEER for most residential air conditioners ranges from 14 SEER to 22 SEER. The minimum requirement for an AC to receive the ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy is 14.5 SEER.

You can expect to pay less for air conditioning each year with a higher SEER system. However, the higher SEER air conditioning units will cost more to install upfront. You should also keep in mind that SEER only measures how efficiently a system works, not how well it will keep you cooled down. Although SEER is an important part of choosing an AC, it is not the only factor. The most energy-efficient air conditioner ever designed will not mean much if it cannot supply you with the cooling load that will keep your home comfortable. Finding the right balance for comfort and your budget is important, and this is why you should always have HVAC professionals involved in installation.

At Ace Air Conditioning, we take pride in the skill and knowledge base of our technicians. They can help you when it comes to figuring out the right SEER for your home that will help you save money without sacrificing the cooling power you need. Call us today to schedule air conditioning service in Turlock, CA.

Merced Air Conditioning: Should I Replace My Thermostat?

July 30th, 2014

Many thermostats can last years, but that doesn’t mean you should keep yours for years. Over the last decade, thermostats have come a long way. Today’s new thermostats offer benefits for you, your family, your home and your air conditioner that you may not get with an outdated thermostat. Have you been thinking about upgrading the thermostat for your air conditioning? Ace Air Conditioning carries all the latest thermostats, and here are some reasons why you may want to upgrade to one:

  • Better precision – a digital thermostat is precise when it comes to temperature settings, whereas a slide or dial thermostat typically lists degrees in fives, i.e., 65-70, 70-75, etc., giving you a range of temperatures rather than an exact setting.
  • Better energy efficiency – one of the natural benefits of better precision is better energy efficiency, particularly if you upgrade to a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for different times of day, including times of low-or-no occupancy. This can help improve your energy efficiency and save on monthly utility bills.
  • Better comfort – inaccurate thermostats can comprise your comfort. By upgrading your thermostat, you no longer run this risk.
  • Less wear on your system – malfunctioning thermostats can trigger constant cycling, which can accelerate the level of wear-and-tear on your system.
  • Easier to use – the face on digital thermostats is easy to read, and the buttons are more intuitive, making operation of your thermostat easier.
  • More convenient – even the most conscientious person can’t always remember to turn the thermostat up or down to save on energy costs. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to worry about running back and forth to change it – simply set your program and you’re done.

Is It Time to Replace?

There are many different types of upgrades you can do to your air conditioning to help improve performance, energy efficiency and indoor comfort; one of the easier ones is replacing your thermostat. Ace Air Conditioning carries all of the latest types of thermostats, and our installation experts are ready to help you. Call us today and schedule specialized air conditioning service in Merced and upgrade your thermostat.

Ways to Save Money with Your AC This Summer

July 21st, 2014

Summer in Merced doesn’t have to cost you a bundle in order to cool down your home. You are probably already spending at least 10% more on cooling costs than you should, and perhaps much more. You don’t need to make major comfort sacrifices and sit around in sweltering temperatures in your home to save money with your air conditioner. There are some basic steps you can take and updates you can make to your AC that will lower those high cooling costs.

The best way to keep your costs in control each summer is to rely on professional AC repair service in Merced, CA from a reliable HVAC company like Ace Air Conditioning. We can keep your cooling system humming without it draining power and placing a burden on your bank account. Our 25 years of experience have shown us numerous ways to make air conditioners more energy-efficient, and we’re here to bring that knowledge to you.

Maintain steady, higher temperature settings on the thermostat

Homeowners often waste a good deal of money on air conditioning costs simply through careless settings on the thermostat. Dropping the setting down to the lowest temperature (50°F on many systems) will not cool you down any faster; it will instead keep your air conditioner running longer and wasting energy in order to reach the target temperature—which isn’t even a comfortable temperature! The U.S. Department of Energy advises that homeowners maintain their thermostats around a comfortable 72°F during the day, and then raise it during the evening.

Change the air filter regularly

Here’s another common mistake that AC owners make: leaving the same air filter in place for months at a time. The air filter that guards the interior of an air conditioner’s cabinet from dust and debris will develop extreme clogging after a month of hard summer work, and this will cut down on airflow. The air conditioner will need to strain to compensate, and this will cause your bills to jump. Make sure you change the filter once a month (or clean it monthly if you have a permanent filter).

Update the thermostat

An aging, out-of-date thermostat with either manual or non-programmable digital controls will cost you extra money every day. Manual thermostats are imprecise, and digital models that do not allow programming are robbing you of an opportunity to exercise more efficient control over the temperature, such as automatically shutting the cooling off when you are not home and turning it back on a half hour before you return.

Keep up with regular maintenance

This is the most important step toward lowering your air conditioning costs. Annual maintenance from an HVAC professional will see that your AC is running at its most efficient. During a maintenance session, the technician will provide cleanings, fine-tunings, and adjustments that will make sure the cooling system isn’t wasting money. Maintenance will also head-off expensive repairs and give your AC a longer life.

For maintenance or AC repair service in Merced, CA, call up Ace Air Conditioning today. We are committed to helping you receive the best and most economical performance from your air conditioner for this summer and the summers beyond.

How Does a Dehumidifier Help my Home?

July 16th, 2014

We have a relatively dry climate here in Turlock, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have humidity, or that your home can’t feel the effects of humidity. Pervasive humidity can be a problem for you, your family and your home, and room dehumidifiers may not do the job you need them to. A whole-home dehumidifier not only removes the excess humidity in your home, it can offer health benefits small dehumidifiers may not.

Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier in Turlock, CA

  • Less stress on your air conditioner – our summer daytime temperatures average about 100 degrees. Humidity holds heat, so even a low level of humidity in our climate can make our already-high temperatures that much harder to cool. Removing excess humidity means your AC isn’t working harder to achieve the cooling you need.
  • Helps prevent mold and mildew growth – mold and mildew thrive in moist, cool environments, and can damage personal items like books and photos, linens, furniture and clothes.
  • Helps with energy efficiency – excess humidity makes your air conditioner work harder than normal. When your AC has to work harder to achieve the cooling you need, it uses more energy to do so – something you’ll most likely see in your monthly utility bills.
  • Increased comfort – humidity in a cool climate can make the air feel cold and clammy. Removing the excess humidity gives you the cool, dry air you want from your AC.
  • Better for allergy sufferers – as previously mentioned, mold and mildew thrive in moist environments. Unfortunately, so do dust mites, and pollen loves to cling to moisture molecules. Reducing your indoor humidity can help you reduce the level of allergens in your home.

Humidity can take a toll on you, your family and your air conditioning system; a whole-home dehumidifier may be the help you need in combatting excess humidity. For over 25 years, Ace Air conditioning has assisted customers in Turlock with their air conditioning needs. If you are interested in finding out what a dehumidifier can do for your property, call Ace Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

How AC Repair Technicians Detect Refrigerant Leaks

July 8th, 2014

Refrigerant, sometimes called “Freon” after a trademarked blend created by DuPont, is the chemical vital for the process of heat exchange that allows an air conditioner to cool down a space. The chemicals of refrigerant can easily transition between gas and liquid stages, and as they move between the indoor and outdoor coils of an AC, they change from one to the other, absorbing heat form the indoors and releasing it outdoors.

During this process, refrigerant does not dissipate; it remains at a set level known as its “charge.” The only way an AC can lose refrigerant charge is due to leaks along the refrigerant lines or at connectors. Should this happen, it will hamper the air conditioner’s cooling ability and can risk damaging components due to overheating and pressure changes.

When you notice ice forming along the coils of your air conditioner, hear a strange hissing sound from the cabinet, or sense a drop in cooling power, call for technicians right away to locate the leaks, seal them, and recharge the refrigerant.

Ace Air Conditioning has 25 years of experience with heating and cooling: call us first for AC repair in Merced, CA.

How Leak Detection on Air Conditioners Works

It is difficult to find refrigerant leaks on your own: they are often small, but still large enough to permit high-pressure gas to escape. Professionals use special equipment and methods to locate these leaks. Here are a few of them:

  • Electronic detectors: Also known as “sniffers.” These devices create a high voltage spark that the technicians run along the refrigerant lines. If the current on the spark drops, it indicates that some kind of insulating gas is present, such as refrigerant. The more refrigerant is leaking, the more the current will drop.
  • Bubble solutions: This is an old method of detection, but it still works. The technicians apply a special soap solution using a squeeze bottle to places where they suspect leaks. The refrigerant will create bubbles from where it is escaping. This will not always work with smaller leaks.
  • Halide torches: This technique will only work for refrigerants that contain chlorine (such as R-22). Halide torches emit a flame that changes to a green hue when exposed to chlorine atoms.
  • Fluorescent detectors: To use these devices, the technicians must first place a fluorescent-colored dye into the AC’s system. UV lights than scan over the system, which will pick out escaping fluorescent dye as a green color.
  • Ultrasonic detectors: These are listening devices that can pick up the high-pitched noise from escaping refrigerant and pinpoint where it is coming from.

When technicians come to your home to detect refrigerant leaks, they will probably use a combination of methods so they are certain they have found all refrigerant loss points. They will then seal the leaks and use the proper blend of refrigerant to restore your air conditioner to normal operation once more.

Call Ace Air Conditioning as soon as you think you need refrigerant leak remedy. We are ready for any AC repair in Merced, CA that you may need.

 

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Ace Air Conditioning hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

Problems Caused by Blocked AC Vents

June 27th, 2014

If you live in Merced, a lack of airflow from your AC system can mean a very uncomfortable summer. Limited airflow could lead to serious AC repair later on. If you have problems with airflow from your AC system, it could be a result of blocked vents. A vent may become blocked if you leave one shut by accident or if a duct has collapsed. A qualified technician can inspect the ductwork of your home to let you know whether this is the case.

When a blocked AC vent is limiting the airflow in your home, you may be spending more than necessary on cooling costs. The ducts are sized according to your home and the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. Because the ducts are meant to accommodate a certain capacity, a blocked AC vent can interfere with the layout of the ductwork, thus forcing your system to work harder than needed. This can cost you extra on your monthly bills, and it can also affect performance due to the extra strain put on your system.

In fact, limited airflow could lead to some serious repair issues. Your air conditioner is designed to allow a certain amount of airflow across coils. When cool air becomes trapped along the evaporator coil, the coil may freeze. This diminishes the performance of your AC system and could also damage your compressor, which could eventually lead to a whole-system breakdown.

Don’t let blocked AC vents cause you discomfort this summer. Check your vents for any accidental closures. If this is not the issue, your system may be having ductwork issues which are causing limited airflow. Call a technician immediately for any airflow issues that require professional repair. If you do not have issues with your AC system, schedule maintenance once a year to check for any issues that could cause limited airflow or other serious problems in the future. A technician can inspect your ductwork for any leaks and recommend any further services your system may require.

If you experience problems with your AC system, call Ace Air Conditioning, experts on AC repair in Merced.

What Are Some Reasons to Install a Dehumidifier in the Turlock Area?

June 23rd, 2014

What’s worse than a blazing hot summer day? A blazing hot humid summer day. When the humidity level rises, comfort drops, and both people and homes can suffer other problems as well.

However, there is help available: you don’t have to tolerate humidity just because it happens. Thanks to the technology of a whole-house dehumidifier, you can keep humidity in check when it rises above 50% and enjoy benefits that include increased comfort, elevated health, and reduced costs for air conditioning.

To find out more about having installation of a dehumidifier in Turlock, CA, call the indoor air quality advice specialists at Ace Air Conditioning. We also offer installation of air filtration, air cleaners, and UV germicidal lights to bring you the healthiest air possible.

Reasons to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

  • Better summer time comfort: Humidity makes heat feel hotter. The reason for this is that the increased amount of moisture in the air makes it harder for the human body to perspire. Sweat does not evaporate as fast in humid weather, and this ends up trapping more heat inside the body, and the temperature feels hotter than it is. A dehumidifier can make your home feel 10°F cooler during hot summer days.
  • Savings on air conditioner costs: A dehumidifier won’t just make you feel more comfortable; it will also save energy. With the temperature feeling less stuffy and closed-in, you will need to run your air conditioner much less to keep comfortable. Dropping humidity down to 50% or lower during the summer often translates into running the AC more than a third less often, and that can mean tremendous savings off your energy bills.
  • Improved health: High humidity can lead to a variety of health problems, such as congestion and the easy transmission of flus and colds. Worse, it encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and fungus inside your home that will put toxic spores into the air. A dehumidifier takes away one of the main sources of bacterial growth in a home.
  • Protect your furnishings: All that excess moisture in the air will lead to water damage inside your home that will wreck wood surfaces and peel paint and wallpaper. Wood rot is one of the most common problems, but the presence of mildew can eat right through drywall as well. A dehumidifier removes the moisture that can lead to large bills to repair water damage.

You need to have professionals select and install a whole-house dehumidifier; picking the wrong unit and installing it incorrectly can lead to a further imbalance in humidity that might make the situation worse.

Call Ace Air Conditioning today, and let us handle your needs for a dehumidifier in Turlock, CA. We’ve helped protect people’s indoor air quality since 1991.

How the Condenser Array Works in Your Air Conditioner

June 20th, 2014

Your air conditioner has 3 main parts to it: the compressor, the evaporator and the condenser. Each part plays an important role in conditioning the air for your home. The compressor and condenser are the components housed in the outdoor unit, surrounded by a metal cabinet that protects it from the elements. Your air conditioning counts on all three parts to work well in order to supply your property with cool air, so we’re going to take a look at the condenser’s role in the air conditioning process.

The Cycle

Your air conditioner starts up when triggered by your thermostat. When the system clicks on, the mechanics begin to operate and the refrigerant in your system starts a new cycle by entering the compressor. Refrigerant is used because its physical properties allow it to transform from a liquid to a gas and back to a liquid, all within the closed system of your air conditioner.

When the refrigerant enters the compressor, it is a cool, low pressure gas. The compressor then compresses this gas, turning it into a hot, high-pressure gas, where it flows into the condenser coils.

The Condenser

The condenser’s main job is to remove heat, so when the hot, high-pressure gas begins to flow through the condenser’s coils, the heat releases into the outdoors, cooling the refrigerant as it does so. The condenser fan blows air onto the coils, further cooling the refrigerant gas. By the time the refrigerant leaves the condenser coils and enters the expansion valve, it is a high-temp, high-pressure liquid.

What Problems Can Occur with the Condenser?

There are several common problems we see over and over again at Ace Air Conditioning:

  • Dirty condenser coils – the condenser coils can become covered with dust and dirt. If the dust and dirt aren’t removed in a timely fashion, they can create a layer that will act as insulation on the coil, hampering the heat release process. Once there is an imbalance in the heat release process, your whole system can operate poorly.
  • Problems with condenser fan – the condenser fan not only helps with the removal of the heat in your air conditioning system, it helps with the air conditioner’s air flow. The types of problems that can occur with the condenser fan are bent, loose or broken fan blades, fan motor issues, wiring issues, and worn or broken fan belts.
  • Bent fins – there are delicate metal fins on the outside of the condenser coils that can be easily bent. When this happens, the air flow in your system can become constricted.

Maintenance Is the Key

The best way to help prevent the above problems from occurring with your air conditioning is with bi-annual maintenance. During a maintenance appointment, your entire outdoor unit is inspected, including the individual components, and the coils are cleaned.

Think you may have a problem with your air conditioning? Call Ace Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment for air conditioning service in Turlock, CA with one of our trained technicians.