Since 1984, AZ Air Conditioning and Heating has provided dependable service and quality products to their Southern California customers. They are committed to the goal of providing their customers with the most dependable, economical and professional heating and air conditioning systems available today.
Most of the country experiences low humidity levels in the winter, when falling temperatures dry out the air. For our service area, it’s the exact opposite problem. Winters are mild in Southern California, but also very wet, and with the high levels of rain we’ve experienced this year, you may be dealing with too much humidity, not too little.
People have a tendency to run their air conditioners as a way of lowering humidity levels. This works to an extent, but it’s also very inefficient, and can cause a number of serious problems for your system. A whole-house dehumidifier can do the job a lot better. Here’s how it works.
Why Is High Humidity a Problem?
High humidity generally translates into that muggy feeling you get in steamy atmospheres. It can be measured in terms of relative humidity — a percentage charting the amount of ambient moisture in the air. Human beings are most comfortable when the relative humidity levels sit somewhere between 30% and 50%.
When it gets higher than that. you can start to feel it. There’s too much moisture in the air to let the sweat evaporate off of your skin, which is the body’s natural way of keeping cool. That leads to an uncomfortable, gross wet feeling in humid air. It can also foster the growth of mold and bacteria in your home, and it can make the air feel hotter too, forcing you to run your air conditioner more often than normal.
Why Not Rely on the Air Conditioner?
Lowering the temperature of the air helps dehumidify it by default. As the temperature falls, the gaseous water vapor coalesces into liquid form, the same phenomenon creating dew in the early hours of the morning. The trouble is that air conditioners are focused on temperature control. They lack the means to capture high amounts of condensate and you can’t adjust the desired levels of humidity. Furthermore, with mild temperatures in the winter, running the air conditioner isn’t a practical option: not unless you’re prepared to put your AC under a lot of strain and pay higher monthly costs in the bargain.
Dehumidifiers Work Better
A dehumidifier lowers the temperature of the air too, but their system has several key differences from air conditioners:
There’s no need to vent hot air from the home — a key part of an air conditioner’s function — which makes the dehumidifier a simpler system overall. It also lets your run the system in cooler weather when needed.
Humidity levels can be specifically adjusted, allowing you to set a level that is comfortable rather than the haphazard way that the air conditioner does it.
The reservoir holding condensate is much larger, eliminating the chances of overflow.
The system will reduce strain on your AC, allowing you to run it at a lower cost. Over time, that will help extend the length of your AC’s life, as well as reducing the risk of breakdowns and wear-and-tear issues.
We live in a very warm climate here in the Southland, and even our winters are unusually mild. But that doesn’t mean you won’t still be facing other common winter problems, like colds and flu bugs. We get them here just like everywhere else does, and they’re not any less aggravating just because we’re not buried in snow. Luckily, there’s something you can do to protect your family from colds and flu bugs: the installation of a UV air purifier in your home.
UV stands for “ultraviolet,” a spectrum beyond our ability to see but which is responsible for tans and sunburns when we go out in the sunlight. At lower levels, it’s perfectly harmless. In fact, if you’ve ever been on Space Mountain at Disneyland, you can see UV lights in action: they make your white clothes glow in the dark. But while it’s harmless to multi-celled organisms like humans and pets, it will kill or sterilize any germs that come into contact with it. That makes it a potent weapon for keeping your home free of illness.
The Best Location
Obviously, you can’t simply cover your home in UV lights in order to sterilize it. You need a spot that can do the most good with the least amount of space. The apex to your duct system makes an ideal spot. As your furnace runs (or your air conditioner runs in the summer), it cycles through the air in your home, pulling it into the ducts after being heated (or cooled) for distribution into your home. By creating a sheet of UV light stretching across the apex, the air can be sterilized as it passes through. Every time you run your HVAC system, it will scrub the air clean, keeping your home happier and healthier as a result.
Call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today for services throughout Torrance, CA.
Here at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating, we usually use this blog to give our customers tips and tactics for making the most out of their heating and air conditioning systems. But we’d like to make an announcement for an honor that we’re very proud of. Our President and CEO, Richard A Copelan, has earned the Better Business Bureau’s prestigious Award of Excellence on behalf of the company!
Since its inception, the Better Business Bureau has acted with one purpose in mind: to objectively evaluate the quality of individual businesses and advise potential customers on the reliability of the business they’re about to employ. It reviews and evaluates businesses based on their efficiency, professionalism and honesty, providing consumers with a reliable source of vetting and objective review. Through their efforts, the BBB seeks to improve consumer trust and promote fair business practices throughout the country.
At AZ, we’ve striven to adhere to the highest ethical practices in all of our dealings since our company was founded in 1984. We believe in doing first-rate work for a reasonable price, and the success we have enjoyed for over 30 years speaks to our dedication to it. That starts with Richard’s tireless dedication to all aspects of our company — from the parts we use to the professionalism of our employees to our simple reliable commitment to you the customer — and emanates out to all parts of our company.
The BBB has recognized our commitment to safe, honorable business practices with their highest rating — A+ — reflecting not only their own assessment of our company, but customer feedback sent directly to them, testifying to our strong service for air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and indoor air quality products.
But a strong rating is just the start. To be honored with their Award for Excellence represents practices that go above and beyond even the most trustworthy businesses. It represents not only Richard’s hard work, but the hard work of our entire team, and the trust we’ve earned over countless hours of quality service.
And we don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. The honor of the award gives us all the more incentive to maintain that sterling example, which we pledge to all of our customers old and new alike. Your home is your castle and your HVAC, plumbing and indoor air quality systems are key to keeping your family comfortable and healthy. We pledge to help you keep it that way, with the best installation, repair, maintenance and replacement services you can find. Whether it’s installing a new system, repairing an old one, performing upgrades to keep your home more energy efficient, or just giving your heater or air conditioner a little extra care, our trained team is on the job 24 hours a day!
Congratulations to Richard and the entire team at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for the BBB’s Award for Excellence. It marks the start of another great year of service for Thousand Oaks, CA and the greater Southern California community. Thanks to all of our customers for their loyalty and trust!
We have terrific civic water systems in Los Angeles, CA, and we can safely depend on clean water for drinking and cooking in most cases. However, our civic sewer systems aren’t set up to take a lot of water, and this winter, the rains have returned in earnest. That puts the entire system under strain, and the chances of contaminated water getting through into your home goes up.
That’s a big concern when the rains fall as heavily as they are right now, but luckily you have some options in dealing with them. Water filtration systems installed in your home by trained professionals can provide an extra level of protection for you and your family alike. Here’s a brief list of a few options for you to consider.
Hard water is a consistent problem in environments like ours. It’s simply water with an excess of certain minerals – usually calcium or magnesium – which aren’t harmful to the body. But they can cause problems with your plumbing and over time result in that gross white build-up on your faucet and shower heads. A water softener can remove the excess minerals from the water, helping it taste better and going easier on your laundry as well as cutting down on that crusty white build-up.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
If you look at certain brands of water in the store, you’ll see the words “reverse osmosis” on the label. This is a means of straining the water through a permeable membrane in a direction opposite to that of natural osmosis. That’s a fancy way of saying it purifies the water of chemicals and contaminants, not just benign mineral deposits. As a result, your water is kept much cleaner and better tasting, as well as remaining safely sterile to drink.
UV Water Purifiers
UV light exists beyond our ability to see, but can be felt every time we go out in the sun: it’s what causes our skin to tan and burn. At lower levels, UV lights are perfectly safe, and are often used at rock concerts and amusement parks to make white clothes glow in the dark. (If you’ve ever been on Space Mountain at Disneyland, you can see it in action.)
But while safe for us, those lights are lethal for germs, mold and biological contaminants. UV water purifiers simply shine a UV light across the apex of the water pipe, filtering out all those pesky creepy-crawlies before they have a chance to infest the water in your home.
You never know when trouble is going to strike your civic water system, and by the time you realize you need a water purification system, it may be too late. We’re looking at plenty more wet weather this winter, and with the drought finally in our rear view mirrors, we can expect plenty of wet winters to come. Water purification is the best way to stop those sewer floods from presenting a threat to your home.
The friendly professionals at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating can advise you on the best system for your home, then perform the installation with quality and pride!
Homes in the Thousand Oaks area come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for one home might not work for another. Accordingly, you need to think carefully about the kind of HVAC system your home uses.
Most of us are accustomed to traditional centralized heating and air, in which a single unit generate hot air or cool which, then blows it through the ducts into your home. It’s an efficient system, but it’s not the only one out there, and another type may actually serve your home better.
In particular, ductless heating systems can benefit a number of homes which might not be well-suited to central air. Ductless systems essentially divide your home by sections – often by room, but not always – then install a single unit to each section.
This allows you to raise or lower the temperature in different rooms separately, and shut off the heat in rooms that aren’t being occupied. It provides unparalleled control, as well as helping you save money by only heating the parts of the home you need. That can theoretically benefit any home, but in particular, the following homes tend to work well for ductless systems:
Older homes built before the advent of air conditioning, which lack the capacity to support a system of ducts.
Homes with unique architecture that similarly make ducts impossible.
Larger homes with multiple floors or occupants.
Homes that struggle with high heating or air conditioning bills.
Homes that house multiple occupants with separate living sections, such as hospices and boarding houses.
Homes that want a little luxury by tailoring different temperatures to different rooms.
If you own such a home, or you’re looking for an alternative to traditional central air conditioning systems, then a ductless system may be right for you.
Call the pros at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today!
Like most of Southern California, Burbank residences tend to rely on forced-air furnaces for heat. They’re simple and efficient, able to do the job in our mild climate without a lot of energy being expended.
Furnaces are further divided into two basic categories: gas furnaces and electric furnaces, denoting the fuel source they use for heat. Both models tend to have benefits and drawbacks If you’re looking to replace your furnace — either in the spring or sooner — it pays to understand the benefits and the drawbacks.
Gas furnaces use natural gas piped in from a civic source in most cases, feeding burners that warm the air through a heat exchange. They usually cost more to install than electric furnaces, but operating costs from month to month tend to be lower (since natural gas is cheaper than electricity).
They tend to work more quickly as well, and do better in especially cold weather than electric models. On the downside, they suffer breakdowns more often than electric models — proper maintenance is a very good idea — and they don’t always last as long as electric models do.
Electric furnaces don’t cost as much to install, and since they don’t require a connection to a civic gas line, they are easier choices for rural homes or those similarly off the grid. They also tend to last much longer and they don’t require as much upkeep as gas-fed furnaces do.
There’s no chance of a gas leak with electric models either. On the other hand, they cost much more to run from month to month, and they don’t do quite as well when the weather gets extremely cold (as it can do in the evenings this time of year).
For quality furnace replacement services in the greater LA area, trust AZ Air Conditioning and Heating.
Torrance, CA enjoys mild winters like a lot of Southern Calfornia, and that can make for an interesting dilemma when the time comes to replace it. Back east, if an old heater breaks down before spring arrives, you have to replace it. The weather is simply too cold otherwise. But here in So Cal, a heater that’s on its last legs might be able to limp through until spring, giving you the time to make the change at a more leisurely pace. In the end, only you can make that decision, but here are a few guidelines to help you make that choice.
What is the exact condition of the heater? You should never try to run a broken heating system under any circumstances, and if yours won’t function, you should consider replacing it immediately. On the other hand, it may simply be inefficient — costing you more in monthly bills than you might want to pay, but otherwise functioning fine. In those cases, you might be able to wait a few months until the weather warms up before scheduling a replacement.
How comfortable is your house without heating? Houses with insulation and other amenities can often stay warm without regular heating. If your comfort or safety is in question, you shouldn’t hesitate to replace the system, but luckily, So Cal’s weather can be gentle in the winter months.
Do you have the resources to handle replacement now? This means more than money. A replacement heater is a big investment and you want to commit the time to studying your options, making a selection and scheduling the installation. That may be a little easier in the spring than in the winter.
Whether now or in the future, you can always turn to AZ Air Conditioning and Heating for high-quality heating installation and replacement services!
Heating breakdowns always seem to happen when you least expect them, and with winter officially here in Los Angeles, CA, you can’t afford to wait around for a repair service. But just because your heating system won’t turn on, that doesn’t mean that the problem requires a professional technician. While laymen should never attempt to repair a faulty furnace themselves, you can always check your system for basic fixes that require no training to resolve. They could help you avoid a service charge from bringing a technician to your home for no reason.
Is the Thermostat Set Properly?
Thermostats almost never require repairs, but some of them run on battery power, and if the battery wears out, the heater may not turn on. In addition, another family member may have altered the settings, or someone might have accidentally brushed against the controls. The thermostat should be your first stop when checking for problems.
Are a Large Number of Vents Closed?
Generally speaking, you should never close more than one or two vents in your home at any given time. Closing more than 20% of your vents will keep the heat out of unwanted parts of the home, but it could also cause the hot air to back up into the body of your furnace. Most systems will shut down automatically rather than risk important components overheating. Opening the vents may alleviate the problem.
Is the Breaker Switch Set?
An external power surge could trigger the breaker giving power to the heater (and almost all heaters use at least a little electrical power, even those that run on gas or other types of fuel). Check the breaker box and reset the switch, then run the heater for a bit. If the problem doesn’t repeat itself, it should be good to go.
If these steps don’t work, turn off your heater and call in AZ Air Conditioning and Heating right away!
Winter has arrived in Burbank, CA, and if you’re looking at replacing your HVAC system, now is actually a very good time. Our cold weather never gets that cold in sunny Southern California, and replacing an old air conditioner – or even a heater – is rarely an emergency. That gives you the time to make a duly-considered solution, which might include an alternative to the more traditional models of heating and air conditioning. Heat pumps, in particular, do quite well in climates like ours, and if you need a new system, this might be an ideal solution to your HVAC problems.
How It Works
Heat pumps tend to resemble traditional air conditioning system, which circulate refrigerant through a series of valves and coils to pull heat from the air. Before the air is cooled, however, the refrigerant is subjected to a great deal of heat and pressure, which is usually bled off outside the home. (The air is cooled inside the home.) The only difference with a heat pump is that the process can be reversed: releasing hot air inside the home and lowering temperatures outside the home.
That pays dividends during the winter. Because refrigerant isn’t spend during this process, it can be reused, which means the heat pump doesn’t consume nearly as much fuel as a gas-fed furnace or electric furnaces. That can translate to big savings on your monthly bills. Heat pumps are most effective in parts of the world with mild winters, where the temperature rarely gets below freezing. That makes it a perfect match for our homes, and because they’re built to last, you can expect them to keep doing their jobs for many years.
If you need a new heating and air conditioning system, a heat pump might be the perfect fit for you. Call the professionals at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today to discuss your options!
We don’t think about our heaters nearly as often as we do our air conditioning systems here in the Los Angeles, CA area. Winters are so mild here that our heaters rarely get a serious workout, and heating bills tend to be very low when compared with other parts of the country. That doesn’t mean we should pay more than necessary for reliable heating, however. You can take steps to improve the efficiency of your heater, which will not only lower those monthly bills, but can help prevent wear and tear on your system too. Here are a few suggestions on the best ways to do that.
Most homes in Southern California could use more insulation, which helps retain warm air and ease the burden on your heater. Insulation can help you in the summer too: keeping hot air outside just as easily as it keeps warm air inside.
Energy Recovery Ventilators
Energy recovery ventilators and heat recovery ventilators (or ERVs and HRVs) are placed in the attic of your home, and swap the stale air inside for fresh air outside. A heat exchanger ensures that the incoming air stays as warm or as cool as the outgoing air. That has the effect of easing the strain on your heater (and in the case of ERVs, your air conditioner in the summer), and allows you to refresh the air in your home without losing the warmth it’s worked so hard to generate.
Thermostats can work for decades without needing replacement, but if you’ve had yours for a while, you may have missed some of the developments in the field. New smart thermostats can make automatic adjustments based on the current weather, and/or allow you to turn them on and off remotely with an app on your phone.
If any of these sound like good fits for your home, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating today!