Surge Protectors And HVAC: What You Need To Know

Surge protectors and HVAC
Power surges are the biggest threat to electrical appliances. If there are no protective systems to protect a device from voltage spikes, its circuit will be fried during a power surge, making the device useless. This is the reason why homeowners often spend a lot of money on surge protectors. Unfortunately, many of these homeowners forget to protect their HVAC systems against power surges. This can be a costly mistake considering the cost of procuring and installing HVAC systems. Read on to learn more about HVAC surge protectors.

The Importance of Surge Protection in HVAC Systems

A few decades ago, HVAC systems had very few parts that could be damaged by power surges. Modern HVAC systems, however, contain printed circuit boards and electronic components that are susceptible to the destructive power of voltage spikes. A power surge can either cause minor damage that may not have an immediate effect on the performance of the system, or serious damage that will lead to complete system failure.

Common Causes of Power Surges

There are three common causes of power surges. The first is lightning strikes on power lines, which will inject millions of volts into the grid. The second is irregularities in the power generation and transmission processes. These two are external causes. The third possible cause of a power surge emanates from the building. When heavy electrical loads are shut down, the electrical energy is re-routed to other appliances that may be connected to the power supply system of the home. This will cause a power surge in the home’s power supply system. Ideally, surge protectors should protect appliances from power surges, whether internal or external.

HVAC Surge Protection

To protect the entire home from power surges, a whole-home power surge protector should be installed near the main breaker box. This is meant to protect the whole house from external sources of power surges. Since power surges may also emanate inside the house, each power outlet that supplies power to the HVAC system should be fitted with individual surge protectors. Ideally, each electrical outlet in the house should have a surge protector.

Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning can take care of all your heating and cooling needs as well as help you protect these systems from power surges. We have been in the industry for many years, so we know what you expect from our technicians. You can count on us to keep your home, office or business comfortable throughout the year.

Call Us Today For All Your HVAC Needs
818.477.4547

5 Home Cooling Myths You Need To Know

Home Cooling Myths

Homeowners and business owners are always looking for ways to use energy more efficiently with the aim of reducing their utility bills while minimizing their carbon footprint at the same time. However, along the way, certain ideas have surfaced about how people believe they ought to use their AC, versus how the AC actually operates. At Canoga Heating and Air Conditioning, we want to examine and debunk five commonly held home cooling myths many homeowners fall susceptible to so that they can understand the truth about their heating and cooling systems.

Air Conditioners Produce Fresh Air

Contrary to what many people believe, ACs do not let in, create, or generate fresh air. Rather, they refrigerate the air within a room. Air conditioning units have a chemical compound called refrigerant, housed within a closed system of coils. The air conditioner forces this refrigerant to evaporate and condense into a gas, and as this happens, it becomes colder. This chemical compound changes from liquid back to gas in a constant cycle through the condenser. While this is happening, a fan moves warm air from the room over the refrigerant–filled coils to cool it. The heat generated by the conversion process is then pushed outside by a fan and another set of condenser coils.

Setting A Lower Temperature On The AC Will Cool A Room Faster

With the exception of inverter air conditioners, conventional air conditioners only turn the compressor on or off. Therefore, even if one lowers the temperature on his/her air conditioner, the unit will not work any faster to reach one degree over the other. In fact, a lower set temperature will end up using more energy than a higher set temperature on the AC, and if one forgets to re–adjust it, the unit will cool too much and run less efficiently than it ought to. Essentially, the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower the energy usage will be.

Setting Lower AC Temperatures Will Lower Humidity

ACs use energy at a rate based on relative humidity and outdoor temperature. However, the way air conditioner remotes are designed, often cause people to fixate on the power and temperature buttons alone when using other system modes can be more effective in achieving the desired indoor climate. Sometimes, it may be better to raise the AC temperature while engaging the Dry Mode, the function that is more efficient at extracting humidity.

There Is No Need To Check The AC Unless There Is A Problem

Many homeowners tend to forget that all heating and cooling appliances need regular maintenance. As long as their AC turns on and works, they think that everything is fine. However, even if an AC system appears to be running smoothly, one should remember that cooling systems need maintenance to run as efficiently as possible. Skipping on regular maintenance can turn out to be very expensive.

Keeping The AC Running All Day Is Better Than Switching It On And Off

Many homeowners believe that keeping the AC running all day at a certain temperature is better than turning it on at the end of the day. Everyone should understand that an air conditioner consumes less power when completely turned off. Therefore, homeowners should turn off their AC units when no one is home.

One of the best ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency is by installing insulation. Alternatively, homeowners can invest in heavy drapes to insulate their homes.

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How To Improve Efficiency Of Your Heating & Cooling Systems

Improve Efficiency Of Your Heating & Cooling SystemsIn commercial facilities, the HVAC systems account for as much as 40% of the total electricity used in the facility. Therefore, it goes without saying that improved and more energy-efficient systems will save on your utility costs as well as provide a healthy and productive work environment. Typically, you can do two things to make your heating, cooling and air conditioning systems more energy efficient. The first thing to do is to reduce the loads for your systems before you think about upgrading your systems and the next is, to upgrade your systems or get newer ones.

Reduce Load to Your HVAC Systems

In order to achieve load reduction to your heating and cooling systems, there are a few measures that you can take. They are as follow:

  • You can take steps to better insulate your building. This will reduce leakage and will bring down the operational costs of your HVAC systems.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting systems which emit lesser heat than older systems. Also consider using ENERGY STAR-qualified windows.
  • For warmer climates, consider ways of reducing solar gain. Window tints, cool roofing and other similar technologies can help you in this. Similarly, for cold climates, employ technologies that will help increase solar gain in the building.

Addressing these issues will ensure load reduction to your cooling and heating systems.

HVAC Systems Improvement and Upgrade Tips

  • If you are considering upgrading to new HVAC systems for your home or commercial facility, the first thing to do is to evaluate your heating and cooling loads which you can do by following the appropriate manual guidelines for home and commercial uses. This is important since you never want to oversize your equipment. Oversizing, apart from adding to your upfront expenses by way of higher installation costs, will also increase the operational costs of the equipment.
  • For humid climates, consider getting a supplemental humidifier for your cooling system. A good humidifier will regulate humidity levels inside the conditioned space and will make for extra comfort.
  • Check the life cycle cost of high- and standard-efficiency units before you make your purchase.

The above are some of the basic things that you must consider about your HVAC units. For detailed information on the subject or for any other HVAC requirements for your home and commercial facilities, call Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning and we will be ready to help with all your heating and air condition needs.

 (818) 477-4547

 

Summer Heat Brings Air Conditioning Boost

With the sizzling summer temperatures taking over much of the United States, air conditioning sales and air conditioning repairs have surged. Though, people enjoy the outdoors, swimming, and the sports of July and August, nothing beats running into a nice, cool, air conditioned room.

From the over 100 degree New York temperatures, to the San Fernando Valley of California blazing summer heat, residents are flocking to their local air conditioning repair shops and researching ways to stay cool.

Air conditioning service technicians, A/C installers, and commercial air conditioning high-end experts, stay ready and equipped to bring in the cool temperatures, in every circumstance, and with some helpful tips included:

Keeping your A/C unit running at peak performance during the summer months requires regular air conditioning maintenance and a simple thermostat bump up to 75 degrees. This minor adjustment allows for a cool down and results in savings.

How To Winterize Your Air Conditioner

Other than the usual functional reasons why you should consider winterizing your air conditioner, many homeowners do it because it helps to save some money in the long run. During the winter season, the only way you can protect your air conditioner is to winterize it. It is one way of ensuring that your air conditioner is prepared for the cold weather.

Winterizing your air conditioner technically means preparing it for the cold season ahead. There are several ways in which one can ensure that this is done properly. The first step always involves turning off the system by disconnecting the switch at the breaker panel. When you disconnect the switch, you will be guaranteeing your safety and the safety of the system. This is because the switch can accidentally turn on and cause water to seep into the unit and freeze or it could accidentally electrocute you.

In order to prepare your AC for the cold weather you will need a number of things. One of these items includes a garden hose, which will be used to remove any dirt, leaves, twigs, branches and any other debris that may have collect and got stuck to the compressor. Another item you will need is a tarp or a plastic cover that will be used to cover the compressor. However, before the compressor is covered, it is important to ensure that it is clean and dry. In fact, you ought to blow out the drain that comes out of the unit then leave it for a few hours for it to dry out properly so that it does not rust.

Now, use the tarp or plastic cover to cover the compressor and use bungee cords to secure it. The compressor should be entirely covered to protect it from any form of dirt. As much as the unit is made for the outdoor, you will need to prepare the AC for the cold weather by covering the compressor with a plastic cover. The bungee cord is used to ensure that the cover is not blown away.

Throughout the entire winter season, you will be required to monitor the conditioner to ensure that the compressor is securely covered by the plastic cover. Also it would be important to consider brushing off and removing the snow and ice that build up on the unit.

The process of winterizing the system to protect your AC regardless of weather conditions is essentially easy if the steps are followed properly. Once this is complete, your air conditioning system will be protected and you will be able to save money from the entire process. There is no better way of protecting your air conditioner during the winter and in the long run other than winterizing it.

How To Locate Top Quality Heating Contractors

 

When it comes time to have your heating and cooling units worked on you want to know that the company you work with is a top quality company. You may be a little concerned as to how you can pick the right contractor for your home. Whether it is new construction or you just need some repairs or replacements at home, here are a few tips to help you choose the right contractor.

Customer Service Skills

While you want someone knowledgeable with the heating and cooling industry, you also want someone that knows how to handle customers. Do they make you feel comfortable with the process and answer all your questions? How do they handle your calls? Do they call back in a prompt time frame or are you waiting for days with no return calls? These are just a few ways to know if the customer service of the company is one you want to deal with.

Proper Insurance And Regulations

Make sure your contractor you are considering has all the proper insurance and follows the regulations set forth by the state and county you are in. Check with them to see what type of coverage they have and what happens if a problem arises.

Protect The Environment

A quality contractor will assist you in protecting the environment around you. They will assist you in finding the right heating and cooling unit that will give you the maximum benefit without harming your land. Talk with your contractor about the Energy Saver units and how they will help you be energy efficient.

Listens To Your Problems

You want a contractor that will listen to your problems and concerns and help you find the right answer. When you have a quality contractor you will find they will help find the best solution for you not them. They will help you find out why your home is losing heat and help you know what the best way to handle that is.

Maintenance Service

Does the contractor you are considering offer routine maintenance contracts? A good contractor will help you to maintain your unit regularly so that you can avoid major problems in the future. They will help you devise a service plan that helps to keep you up and running and comfortable in your home.

Licenses

Make sure your contractor is trained and licensed in the areas you are looking for. There are companies that are certified with national boards that offer you peace of mind when you choose one of their contractors. These certified contractors have met certain requirements to gain that certification.

Be sure to research the contractor you are considering. Try to get reviews on the company or hear from others who have dealt with them. This will help you to know that the person you have chosen to work with is a great contractor you can trust. This is important to help you save money, stay comfortable and give you peace of mind on all your heating and cooling needs.

How to Diagnose Manual and Automatic Zone Damper Issues with your AC system

Chances are, the bigger your house is the harder it will be to regulate the temperature inside it to keep everyone happy. This results in an area that is too hot in the summertime and too drafty and cold in the winter. As you are attempting to find an even balance, you will end up dueling with your thermostat to keep problem areas and the rest of your home balanced. There is something you can do, however.
You could think about getting a zoning damper system. This is simply installing motorized doors which work by restricting airflow in particular rooms of your house. If you have a bad HVAC damper, you can no longer achieve proper airflow through the duct work. This results in too much or too little airflow through the duct.
Manual Zone Dampers vs. Automatic Zone Dampers
Certain HVAC units are equipped with manual zone dampers for regulating the amount of air conditioning or heat being delivered in a room. A zone control system like this uses levers to control it which are located outside the air vents. The manual zone dampers do not break often and are pretty straightforward. If you want cooled or heated air to be automatically regulated, you should consider the automatic zone dampers. Thermostats control these, and they are situated inside the air ducts. They improve the air balancing of your AC system.
Common Zoning Problems
When zoning problems come to mind, you immediately think of air noise or over conditioning, however, there is a whole lot more to it; problems that arise from cooling and heating equipment are caused by zoning problems. These types of issues can range from minor problems such as tripped high limits and frozen coils, to larger more expensive repairs such as cracked heat exchangers, failed ECM motors, and compressors that are scrambled.
Diagnosing Zone Damper Issues
1. Figure out if your HVAC damper is an automatic or manual control damper. There will be an adjustment handle on the duct work for manual dampers; a control motor for automatic dampers.
2. To figure out which registers the damper goes to, follow the duct work. Check the registers airflow when your system is running.
3. If it is manual, put the damper handle in a closed position. See if the airflow has stopped in the registers. Put the damper into an open position and check the registers once again to see if the airflow starts again. If the damper is closed and you are feeling airflow or none at all, it is most likely a bad damper.
4. For the automatic control damper, turn your HVAC system on. Feel for airflow in the registers. If there is a small amount of airflow and your room is not maintaining temperature, or if there is a lot of airflow and your room feels drafty, this could indicate a faulty HVAC damper.

How to Clean a Boiler Heating System

Millions of people live in houses where the primary source of heat comes from the boiler. This type of heating system accounts for over 60% of what you spend every year on energy bills. Over time, your boiler can get filled up with deposits and sludge. Most breakdowns occur in the winter when boilers – having been inactive for long periods – are forced back into life. Common boiler problems include drips and leaks, weird noises, loss of pressure, and misreading temperature setting.

How Important Is Boiler Cleaning?

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your boiler and improve its efficiency. Cleaning the boiler regularly is the best way to prevent the problems of scale and corrosion. Research indicates that energy costs can increase greatly if the efficiency of this heating system is affected by insulating deposits. Poor boiler cleaning will result in efficiency loss or energy losses.

If only 3/100 of an inch of soot is deposited on the tubes, the efficiency of your boiler will drop by over 2.5%. That is $1250 per every $50,000 spent. Water impurities will leave solid deposits as steam evaporates. Boiler explosions were common until people learned how to regularly clean their boilers. Proper cleaning removes solid deposits from the boiler tubes, which improves the stability of boiler chemistry and improves the heat rate.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Boiler

There are several ways to clean your boiler. Regardless of which method you choose, you should first shut off the boiler and let it cool down. Remove the flue pipe and vacuum the soot. Boilers are made up of several cast iron sections with nubs on each side. Sometimes these tubes get packed with soot that needs to be cleaned out. You can use a steel brush for this purpose. Make sure you remember where all the little pieces go. Consider taking pictures of the parts you are working on so that you will have a visual reference of where each piece goes.

After cleaning the boiler tubes, wash them with clean water and then let them dry. Check the fireside of tubes for slag, carbon and soot. These deposits reduce the boiler’s efficiency and should be removed. Now you can start cleaning the whole unit. The whole procedure should take two or three hours. For more efficient cleaning, use a power flush. Vacuum out the bottom of the unit. Clean the inside and outside of the metal jacket covering your boiler.  Use a high pressure hose to wash the unit. This will remove any loose scale and residual sludge.

Once you cleaned all the separate parts, it’s time to put them all back together. Make sure you also clean the vent sack with a brush. Place the burner tubes first, then the unit covers and vent sack. Turn the power on and let the thermostat go all the way up. Keep in mind that cleaning alone will not solve the most common boiler problems. The only way to prevent future corrosion is to treat the unit with a chemical inhibitor.

Home Improvements: 3 Tips to keep cool air in your home this summer

Having a cool home is important for those who want to stave off the summer heat. There are plenty of things that you can do in order to ensure that your home remains cool even during the hottest of summers. While some of these are going to be quick solutions, others are going to require a little bit of planning. The technique that you choose to use is going to depend on how often the temperatures rise in your area. Sometimes it may not be worthwhile to invest in a full air conditioning system. You need to make sure that you are spending your money wisely, so you will definitely need to take your local climate into account.
Shutters
If you happen to live in a particularly warm part of the country, then shutters can make all the difference. These can be used to cover up the windows during the hotter part of the day. You will also be able to match them up with the exterior of the house. This will make the place look good and keep it cool at the same time. A lot of people enjoy shutters because they offer a number of other benefits as well. One of the biggest is the benefit of security. If you live in a bottom floor apartment, then this will often help to give you a greater feeling of safety, especially if you live in the middle of the city.
Fans
A fan is often a great alternative to a full air conditioning system. This is because some people may only need air conditioning for a few months of the year. Having a large fan that can be put away when not in use is a much better idea. A lot of people will also know how to expand the cool air by placing a bowl of ice in front of their fan. This can make the room nice and cool and ensure that you are always comfortable.
Air Conditioning Units
An air conditioning unit will help you if you need to use them frequently. Before you decide to buy one, however, it is important to consider how much energy they consume. Nowadays a SEER rating is given to every residential air conditioning unit. Getting one with a good SEER rating will mean that the machine is efficient and will therefore save you a lot of money when it comes to energy.

Have You Had Your Home Winterized Yet?

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that as much as 30% of energy in a home is wasted because of drafts. However, there are a few fixes that you can accomplish yourself that can cut down on this and make your home more energy efficient. One way is to use the old fashioned draft snake to keep cold air from entering your home or warm air from escaping under the door.

The old snake at the door is a great solution, but there are some even better ideas that will go a lot farther in creating a warmer climate indoors when the weather is cold outside during long winter months.

One of the best ways to add to the energy efficiency of your heater is to have regular heater maintenance performed each year. Your professional HVAC service company can schedule this for you and that way there will be no need to worry that everything is all set when outside temperatures begin inching their way toward the freezing mark. Heating service will also increase the efficiency of this appliance. If you are thinking about new heater installation, this is a good time to discuss that with your HVAC contractor.

While doing heater maintenance, professional technicians typically replace or clean the furnace filter. However, there is no reason to wait until they stop by. A good practice is to check and clean the filter at least one time each month during winter, and if it is a dual use system with air conditioning included, it is also a good idea to schedule it into your calendar every month during the year. A clean filter means better airflow which will decrease the energy demands on your furnace as it works harder to keep up when the filter is dirty.

You may have never thought of it, but did you know that running your ceiling fans during the winter will help keep warm air distributed to where you need it most. Hot air rises, so if you can keep it lower in the room you and your family will stay more comfortable. Just switch the fan to a clockwise direction to circulate the air back into your living spaces and you could actually cut energy costs by 10% during the winter.

If you don’t have them already installed on your home, consider installing storm windows and doors to increase its energy efficiency by as much as 45%. This will reduce unwanted air flow by sealing off drafts. The good thing about storm windows is that you can remove them during warmer months so that it is easier to let in cool breezes and reinstall them as the weather begins to get colder.