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HVAC Maintenance Checklist

replacing HVAC filter

Understanding and Maintaining Your HVAC System

The song says it never rains in Southern California, and some residents will tell you differently, but it does get hot in the summertime! It is that hot weather in the summer why professional HVAC technicians encourage homeowners to schedule routine HVAC maintenance. Seasons having your HVAC maintenance check done is in late spring in preparation for summer and in early Fall to prepare for winter. HVAC maintenance is essential in keeping that air conditioning cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. 

What does HVAC maintenance mean?

Some parts of homeownership aren’t fun or glamorous, and HVAC maintenance is one of those things. However, HVAC maintenance is essential if you want to keep your home comfortable and healthy. 

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and is the critical component that keeps your home at the right temperature all year long. The HVAC system also is partially responsible for keeping the air quality in your home at an optimal level. 

HVAC maintenance means taking preventive measures and being proactive with your HVAC system to experience low to no problems. Without regular HVAC maintenance, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, including air distribution issues, corrosions, and leaks. 

HVAC tune up and maintenance

How often should you have HVAC maintenance?

Unless something isn’t working right, you probably don’t give your HVAC system much thought, and that is the worst thing you can do. Why wait for something to go wrong and call a professional HVAC technician when you can do monthly HVAC maintenance?  

HVAC maintenance for your home is like routine maintenance you have for a car. You have your oil changed, and air filter replaced every so often. You should know how to HVAC maintenance with air filter changing or cleaning along with coil cleaning. Because your HVAC system doesn’t have mileage like your car, you have to use the calendar to track when to change or clean the air filter, typically, every 30 days. 

That isn’t all the HVAC maintenance your system needs, though. There are two ways to maintain the HVAC system. Besides your homeowner HVAC maintenance duties of changing and cleaning the air filter and cleaning the coils, you need to schedule an inspection with an HVAC professional twice a year. 

The least busy time of the year is early Fall and late spring, so scheduling appointments is easier. The technician will do a thorough cleaning, inspection, and tune-up of the internal component and the external component of your HVAC system. 

What is included in an HVAC tuneup?

Most common HVAC professionals do tune-ups using an HVAC maintenance checklist that includes the following items:

  • Condenser coil cleaning
  • Calibrating the thermostat
  • Evaluate refrigerant levels
  • Check for refrigerant leaks
  • Examine, replacing, and tightening all electrical parts
  • Analyzing the blower belt and motor operation
  • Replace worn pulleys and belts
  • Check the humidity level of the house

How do you maintain an HVAC system? It is crucial that as the homeowner, you know How to HVAC maintenance checks, use the following checklist for your preventive maintenance in the spring and summer:

  • Clean or change the air filter.
  • Clean the condenser and evaporator coils.
  • Clean the drain line and clear clogs for proper flow.
  • Clear the drain pan of any standing water.
  • Inspect ducts for debris, dust, mildew, and mold.

If the HVAC technician finds any issues with these items, they will discuss that with you and get your approval to repair or replaced as needed. If your HVAC system is an older system, they may recommend shopping for a new system and provide you a quote accordingly. 

Are HVAC tune-ups worth it? 

Yes!  By spending an hour every month performing homeowner HVAC maintenance and worth the expense of having a professional HVAC maintenance and tune-up twice a year. That expense is cheaper than buying a new HVAC system, which is what will happen if your system burns up due to neglect of HVAC maintenance. 

HVAC maintenance

Our Last Words of Advice

Your home is a major investment and the HVAC system is a vital component of that investment. By taking care of the HVAC system, you’re protecting part of your investment. 

Additionally, having the air duct system inspected and cleaned once a year is recommended. More often if you notice dust collecting on the vent registers or notice a moldy smell when air is blowing through the registers. Some HVAC companies offer air duct services and you may be able to get it all done at the same time each Fall and spring HVAC maintenance appointments. 

If your home has a high level of dust and frequent mildew and mold in the air ducts, you may want to consider have an air purifier installed that works with the HVAC system. This will clean the air each time the system cuts on, keeping the air healthy. This can be considered essential for anyone in the house with breathing issues and could be worth the expense of having an air purifier installed. 

What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?

A Couple Enjoys a Mini-Split Air Conditioner.

What is a mini split air conditioner?

Mini-split air conditioners are similar to central air conditioning systems, but operate on a much smaller scale. Like central air conditioning systems, they have an indoor and outdoor unit, but require little or no ductwork to operate. With a mini split, you are able to control temperatures in individual rooms and spaces. You can customize temperatures for each room in a home, and you often have remote access to each indoor unit. In this way they are similar to a wall unit, only they are usually much more energy efficient. You can get these systems for single or multiple rooms. They are ideal for multifamily residences or in an addition to a home, but work just as well for new home construction. If you are interested in ductless mini-split services in Torrance, CA, look to the experienced professionals at Orange Air. We offer multiple heating and air conditioning solutions to fit any situation. Find out more by calling 310-803-5350.

Are mini split AC units good?

A mini-split air conditioner has several advantages over a standard central heating and air system. This all depends on your cooling needs. They are especially advantageous for smaller spaces, and much more energy efficient than a wall unit. You can even retrofit your home’s current cooling system to accommodate a mini-split system. You also have better control over the temperature in each space you are cooling. Unlike a wall unit, mini-splits distribute air evenly throughout the space they cool. Before getting a mini-split, however, you’ll have to consider your individual situation, especially the size of your home. A larger home, for instance, may require several indoor units which may cost more to install than a standard central unit.

Do mini split air conditioners dehumidify

A mini-split air conditioner will work like a standard air conditioning unit. It will remove moisture from the air while it cools, so in that way it acts like a dehumidifier. And these systems do it all without the need for ductwork, which helps make them more efficient as well. 

Are mini split air conditioners efficient

Mini split air conditioners are generally high efficiency systems. They work very much like a heat pump for cooling. They work best in smaller homes or apartments that are well sealed and insulated. You will also need to select a unit sized appropriately for the square footage of the space you are cooling for it to work at maximum efficiency.

How many square feet does a mini split cool?

When installing a mini-split air conditioner, you’re going to have to install the right sized unit for the space you are trying to cool. The indoor units will be able to provide a certain number of BTUs in cooling power. The more square footage of the space you’re cooling, the more BTUs you’ll need. Below are some standard BTU sizes needed to cover square footage for your space.

  • 150 to 250 square feet requires 6,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 250 to 300 square feet requires 7,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 350 to 400 square feet requires 9,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 450 to 550 square feet requires 12,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 550 to 700 square feet requires 14,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 700 to 1,000 square feet requires 18,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 1,000 to 1,200 square feet requires 21,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 1,200 to 1,400 square feet requires 23,000 BTUs in capacity
  • 1,400 to 1,500 square feet requires 24,000 BTUs in capacity 

Can I install a mini split myself?

Yes, it is possible to install a mini-split air conditioner on your own. However, you will need some familiarity with plumbing and electrical work before doing so. Otherwise it is best to let a professional do the installation.

Do I need a mini split for every room?

Although the outdoor unit of a mini-split air conditioner has multiple connections, you do not need a indoor unit for every room in the house. You will, however, normally need more than one indoor unit, depending on the size of the house. Usually, a unit is placed in main rooms of the home, and these units will be sufficient to cool the whole house. It’s usually preferable to install more than one unit, so you can control temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. If you are installing a mini-split in an addition, a single unit might be sufficient, again depending on the size of the space being cooled.

Mini split air conditioner for garage

A mini-split air conditioner can be ideal for a garage, especially if the garage is detached from the main house. Sometimes attached garages will have connections to the central air unit through ducts. As with installation inside the home, you’ll want to install a mini-split that is the right size for the garage space. 

The Outdoor Unit of a Mini-Split Air Conditioner.

Mini split air conditioner installation

If you are interested in installing a mini-split air conditioner in Torrance, CA, get in contact with professionals at Orange Air. We offer several installation options at affordable prices. Find out more about how we can help by calling 310-803-5350.

What is Geothermal Heating and Cooling System?

Underfloor heating system under wooden floor. 3D rendered illustration.

Learn More About Geothermal Heating

There are many energy efficient and sustainable improvements available with HVAC systems and a growing implementation can be seen with geothermal heating. Geothermal heating is not as well known in the states yet they are widely used in other parts of the world as the go-to method of heating and cooling. Essentially, you’ll get 4 times more energy efficiency out of your heating and cooling system while also having it last 2-4 times longer in years! If you’re curious as to how geothermal heating can be beneficial for your property contact your local HVAC company for more information. Until then, here is some general background information about geothermal heating that may prove useful to you.

How does geothermal heating work in a house?

How geothermal heating works is by using the Earth’s natural resources with the heat underneath the ground. The ground naturally absorbs 50% of the Sun’s energy and with pipes which carry liquid placed in a loop design underneath the ground it will naturally become heated until they reach your heat pump.

How well does geothermal heating work?

Geothermal heating is an energy efficient method of heating and cooling and on average is 400% more efficient than traditional oil or gas furnaces which typically max out at about 75-98% efficiency.

How warm does geothermal heating get?

Geothermal heating systems will deliver warm air and not hot air. If the room temperature is around 70℉ the average air temperature be at around 90℉-95℉ from a geothermal heating system.

How cold can geothermal HVAC get?

Geothermal heating with heat pumps can work in any climate be it hot or cold since the constant temperature underground lies between 45℉-75℉ depending on the location.

Do you need backup heat with geothermal?

A correctly sized geothermal heating system will not need a backup system so make sure they match with your property specifications. As they use the constant temperature the ground carries the geothermal heat pumps won’t need a backup furnace or radiator even on extremely cold days.

underfloor heating in construction of new residential house

Geothermal Heating Loop Design

  • Closed Loop: Most geothermal HVAC systems circulate refrigerant or water through a closed loop of plastic or copper pipes inside walls or underneath floors. 
  • Open Loop: Geothermal systems with open loops use water from a well, nearby lake or pond and circulates between the pipes and the water source.
  • Horizontal: Horizontal geothermal HVAC systems usually use closed loops underground in horizontal trenches.
  • Vertical: Vertical systems have pipes inside holes that are hundreds of feet deep and only a few inches wide so it won’t disturb your landscaping.

Do geothermal systems run all the time?

A geothermal heating system will typically have a longer run time than natural gas or propane in order to achieve maximum comfort. 

How long do geothermal systems last?

Geothermal heating systems that are indoors will typically last about 25 years and ground loops will last more than 50 years. This can be a really big advantage as conventional furnaces and AC units will typically last for around 15 years or less. 

How do you maintain a geothermal system?

When it comes to maintaining geothermal heating systems there ar several points to consider. First, consider using the right kind of thermostat such as wired and programmable ones. Secondly, change the air filter once a month in order to avoid obstruction of airflow, make sure that the filters are rated to handle the system. Thirdly, check the condensation pans for standing water and clear the drains of any blockages. Make sure to rinse the drain annually with a diluted bleach solution in order to keep it flowing freely. Fourth, make sure to close any vents in the home and keep an eye out for any debris or blockages. If there is any ductwork make sure to repair leaks with regard to tears, gaps or punctures. Fifth, get familiar with the indicator lights and system accessories as can be referred to with your owner’s manual. Lastly, schedule seasonal maintenance with your local geothermal heating professionals as they will be able inspect the system thoroughly and check the refrigerant levels, electrical connections, and conduct other maintenance duties as needed.

Is geothermal heating and cooling worth it?

Geothermal heating systems are worth it as you can save money on energy costs and won’t need to make HVAC system replacements for 2-4 times as long in years with conventional methods. They are initially inexpensive to install so consider the pros and cons if you’re thinking about committing to the system.

Contact Your Local HVAC Company Today

If you’re interested in geothermal heating get into contact with your local HVAC company for more information. They will be able to discuss more in-depth options with you and let you know more about the benefits of switching to this type of heating and cooling system. A geothermal heating system is a great way to provide energy-efficient and sustainable performance with your HVAC system. Improve your property today with a geothermal heating system.

If you’re interested in geothermal heating in Torrance, CA call 310-803-5350 with Orange Air!

Is Cleaning Air Ducts Worth It?

An air duct that needs to be cleaned.

Should I keep my air ducts clean?

When it comes to air ducts for a house, having them cleaned is not necessarily the right thing to do at all times. However, there are multiple circumstances where this is the best course of action. For example, if you suspect they are moldy, are full of rodents or pests, or if you think areas are clogged, you should consider getting your ducts cleaned throughout your house. To learn more about air ducts in Torrance, CA, keep reading.

Where are air ducts located?

In most circumstances, Air ducts are found within the walls or in the ceiling throughout your home. They normally run the span of the house, at least in the areas that are cooled through your air conditioner.

What does an air duct do?

Air ducts are a series of ducts that run throughout your home and bring air and heat to the proper places, and they remove air from your house too. It is a vital part of your HVAC system. 

How do I know if my air ducts need cleaning?

There are a few ways to know if your ducts need cleaning. These include if you determine that there is mold in the system if there is an air duct banging noise coming from them, and if there seems to be too much dust in your air. More reasons include that that you haven’t changed the filter for your air conditioner in a long time and if the airflow isn’t uniform in all of your rooms. Any of these things are signs that you likely need professional cleaning.

Can dirty air ducts make you sick?

They can attribute to feeling sleepy, aggravating allergies, and may make it easier to get sick. When dust, dander, and other allergens are freely flowing through your air, this is bad for your breathing and can increase the chances of catching a cold or getting a sinus infection.

Can mold grow in air conditioning ducts?

It is possible for mold to grow in your Air ducts, although that isn’t all that likely.  It is more common if there is something wrong with your actual air conditioner since they essentially dry out the air in your home.

Cons of Dirty Air Ducts

Here is a look at the cons most associated with dirty ducts. 

  • It may make you feel and look older. When the air in your house isn’t clean, it will make you feel tired and you may look run down. For example, if your sinuses are always clogged or you don’t get good sleep at night because of the particles in your air, it will start to show up on your face. It may make you start to look older than you are. No one wants that.
  • There could be pests living in them. There is a chance that pests, such as rodents, can be living in your air ducts. If you start to hear noises, this is something that you may want to have looked at.
  • Smells could be permeating your home. If the airflow is not proper in the house due to dirty ducts, it could make your home smell less fresh than you want it to be. In the case of air ducts and mold, it can cause your house to smell a bit sour and off-putting.
  • Cooling bills may be more expensive. When the airflow isn’t the same throughout each room, this can make you want to run the system for longer and at a lower temperature. Overall, this may cost you big bucks on your electricity bill. A clean duct will be able to deliver the same amount of air to all relevant rooms.
  • Makes your house dirtier overall. When the ducts are dirty, the air is likely dirty in your home as well. Unclean air ducts and allergies go hand in hand, so you want to be sure to get them cleaned whenever you find yourself sneezing too much, or having to dust too frequently. In fact, it may even lead to more serious problems, such as respiratory issues, if the air is dirty for an extended amount of time.
An air vent cover that is being placed back after a cleaning.

What should I do about my ducts?

If you feel like you want to have your ducts cleaned, there is no time like the present. There are many benefits to having clean air ducts and a professional company can look at them and give you their expert opinion. Furthermore, they can provide services related to Air duct sealing, which can be a problem in older systems, if they have not been taken care of properly. If you need cleaned air ducts in Torrance, CA, you can call Orange Air to help you out. We can be reached at 310-803-5350 to make an appointment to look at your HVAC system and to clean your ducts. It is something that needs to be addressed from time to time.