How to Get Your HVAC System Ready For Colder Weather

September 12th, 2014

We still have some very toasty temperatures in our part of California, but it won’t last forever as the Fall Equinox is right around the corner. Fall doesn’t just offer great foliage and cooler days; it also provides an opportunity to get your HVAC system ready to switch from cooling to heating. Here are some tips from our Ace Air Conditioning technicians to get your HVAC system ready for heating your home:

Schedule Bi-Annual Maintenance

The two best times of year to schedule maintenance are spring and fall. Each provides you the chance to ready your HVAC system for the coming season. Maintenance helps to prevent repairs, increase energy efficiency, and extend the life of your HVAC unit. Ace Air Conditioning includes the following in a heating maintenance appointment:

  • Check and adjust thermostat & and heat anticipator
  • Check fire & combustion air
  • Check air temperature and furnace fan switch
  • Check and clean burners
  • Check operation of automatic pilots
  • Check for heat exchanger
  • Oil evaporative motors
  • Check fuses and breakers
  • Check voltage, amperage and tighten electrical connections
  • Check Freon levels in heat pump
  • Check reversing valve and heat strips (heat pumps)

Change Your Air Filter

A simple yet effective way to help get your HVAC system ready for cooler weather is to check your air filter and change it if necessary. Clogged air filters can cause problems with your system and with indoor air quality. A quick change can help prevent these kinds of issues from developing.

Make Needed Repairs

Whether needed repairs are discovered during a maintenance appointment, or you’ve been ignoring those strange noises, it’s best to make repairs sooner rather than later. Problems with your air conditioner rarely resolve on their own, and certain problems, like low refrigerant, will only get worse with time. Plus, malfunctions with your AC can cause stress to your system, and this can increase your energy usage. If you have seen the signs of developing problems, or just suspect that something isn’t right, it’s always best to call a professional.

Help your heating this winter by getting your HVAC system ready – call Ace Air Conditioning to schedule your HVAC maintenance in the Merced area today!

Typical End of Summer Repairs

September 9th, 2014

Around the end of summer, it may be frustrating when you need to schedule AC repairs. It may seem like a hassle if your air conditioner has made it through the entire summer before you finally hear loud noises, feel limited cooling, or notice other problems indicating the need for repairs. But this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. In Merced, CA, our air conditioning systems work hard to cool our homes, and the stress on your system throughout the summer may eventually damage your AC.

Have you been inconvenienced by a sudden repair need this late in the season? You’re not alone. Take a look at these common end-of-the-summer repairs, and be sure to call a technician at the first sign of a problem.

  • Low Refrigerant: One common reason air conditioners fail at the end of summer is low refrigerant. This is not to say that this chemical blend naturally leaves your system, however. The refrigerant in your system should stay at a set level and will only leave your system if there is a leak. While a small leak may cause the cooling capacity of your system to reduce, as more refrigerant leaves your system you may feel no cool air at all.
  • Blown Capacitor: Another common problem with many air conditioners at the end of summer is a blown capacitor. The capacitor provides power to the motors and the compressor of your AC. While this is a relatively small repair need, your air conditioner may not be able to turn on if the capacitor has blown.
  • Damaged Compressor: The compressor adds pressure to the refrigerant to your system, which is a necessary process that allows it to continue to move through the AC. Excessive wear on your AC, low refrigerant, or any other problem within your system may cause the compressor to become damaged by the end of the summer. Alternatively, your compressor may fail due to old age.

You may be able to prevent such problems from occurring by scheduling maintenance once or twice a year. If you need air conditioning services in Merced, CA, talk to one of our experts at Ace Air Conditioning today!

 

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at Ace Air wishes your family a happy end of summer.

Why DIY Air Conditioning Repair Is a Bad Idea

August 22nd, 2014

Have you ever noticed how easy it looks on TV to repair something in your home? That’s because most of the time, the person demonstrating is a professional with years of experience. DIY has become very popular, but the simple truth is that most people do not have the working experience and knowledge to fix complicated things, like an air conditioning system. This is why it’s important to call professionally trained specialists for your air conditioning repair in Turlock, CA. Ace Air Conditioning brings more than 25 years of air conditioning installation and repair experience to every customer we service, ensuring your AC will be repaired properly the first time around. Still thinking about DIY AC repair?

Here are some things to consider before you break out the tool box:

Can You Really Fix It?

Air conditioning systems are complex and require in-depth knowledge of closed-system mechanics and electricity. Unless you really know and understand how these things work, and more specifically, how they work in an air conditioner, you may want to leave repairs to an expert.

Mistakes Can Be Costly

Are you ready to shell out money – possibly a lot of it – to make up for mistakes you may make while trying to repair your system? Also – it is worth the money to do this? It is more cost-effective to go with an expert the first time around.

It Can Be Dangerous

We’re not trying to be alarmists, but there is plenty of room for error when working on a large electro-mechanical system, and if you aren’t careful, you can run the risk of getting hurt.

It May Take You a While

Trained professionals work on air conditioning systems every day, so not only do they understand exactly what they are doing, they can make the repair quickly. Are you prepared to live without air conditioning, if needed, while you repair your system?

When you put a price on your time, cost of supplies and tools needed to repair your air conditioner, you may be surprised to see that those costs are equal to, or possibly more than, the cost of hiring a professional for your air conditioning repair in Turlock, CA. Interested in finding out how Ace Air Conditioning can help you? Call us today and speak to one of our trained specialists.

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.