Purl's Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning has been serving the Central Valley since 1952. We specialize in the service, replacement and new installation of HVAC equipment for your home or business. We offer continuous rain gutters, stainless steel counters and back splashes, custom kitchen hoods, duct cleaning and duct sealing.
You may have heard about the tankless water heater as a replacement option for the standard storage tank water heater. A tankless water heater applies heat to the water that passes through its heat exchanger, so it heats up water whenever there’s a demand for it. When a hot water tap comes on, water starts to flow through the heat exchanger, which activates it and turns on the gas jets. The heat only remains on when the water is moving, and shuts off when the demand stops. There’s no need to store the water at any point.
The tankless water heater offers several excellent benefits compared to the traditional tank water heater. Just listing those may make it sound like a tankless water heater is automatically the better option:
Higher energy efficiency
Longer system life
Won’t run out of hot water
But we recommend you look before you leap! If you are getting ready to replace your old water heater, it is best to call on our professionals for the job. They’ll help you select the ideal system to meet your needs and your budget.
A Few Cautions About Tankless Water Heaters
There are several drawbacks to tankless water heaters that may affect your decision about whether to have one installed to replace an older unit. First, tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase than a conventional water heater. They will return higher savings over their service lives thanks to their efficient performance (they only use energy to heat water as its needed, rather than staying on to keep stored water at a set temperature). The systems have longer lives, and that provides even more opportunities to save money. But if your immediate budget is tight, it might not be feasible to go with a tankless water heater.
Second, although tankless water heaters won’t run out of hot water—they will always heat more when there’s need for it—they can be overwhelmed with demand when multiple taps are on. When that happens, the water heater will start to lose its efficiency. A technician can determine if your household uses enough water simultaneously that it might overwhelm a tankless unit and cause it to become inefficient. To overcome this problem, you can have a second tankless water heater installed, but if this is too costly, the technician may recommend using a storage tank water heater. In general, tankless water heaters are better for smaller family homes.
A New Standard Water Heater Can Also Do the Job
If it turns out that a tankless water heater isn’t right for your next installation, you can rest assured that our team will find and install the most efficient tank water heater available. As long as the water heater is accurately sized for your home’s needs, you shouldn’t run into problems with your home’s hot water supply.
We’ve written before about the signs to watch for that will warn you it’s time to schedule professional air conditioning repair in Fresno, CA. But no sign is clearer that you have an air conditioner in trouble than when the air conditioner just won’t turn on when you need it.
Please don’t panic if you find you’ve got a non-responsive air conditioning system. In many cases, there’s a simple issue behind it and you won’t need to call for a repair technician. Once you’ve eliminated the basic explanations, then you should turn to an HVAC professional. Do not open up either cabinet of your AC system and attempt to do repairs on your own!
Troubleshooting Steps for a Failed AC
When the AC won’t come on, go through the following steps to see if the problem is a minor one you can easily correct.
Look over the thermostat: Maybe this seems too basic, but you’d be surprised how many times we’ve arrived at a home for an AC emergency and discovered the trouble was someone mis-setting the air conditioner or playing around with the controls. (This often happens in homes with children.) Make sure the thermostat is programmed the way you want it.
Check/change the air filter: Another common hassle for an air conditioner is a clogged-up air filter that needs to be changed. The AC may shut down if the filter is excessively clogged. If the AC filter is extremely dirty, put in a new one—and continue to do this every 1–3 months.
Check the circuit breaker panel: An air conditioning system draws on large amounts of electricity, and it may cause a circuit breaker to trip. Reset any tripped breakers and try the AC again. If it keeps tripping the breaker, there’s probably an electrical issue and you’ll need pros on the job.
Check on the condensate pan: Below the indoor unit of the air conditioner is a shallow pan that collects the condensate that drips down from the evaporator coils. If the pan is overflowing because of a clogged condensate drain, this will trigger a switch that will shut down the system. If this is the case, we recommend calling for professionals who can use compressed air to clear the drain line.
Find the AC shut-off switch: You might not know about this switch. It allows people to turn off the AC during colder weather so it won’t accidentally turn on during a brief warm spell. The switch is usually located under a lid near to the outside cabinet. It may have been switched on accidentally, especially if the switch is inside the home.
Leave the Rest to Us
There are many other reasons the AC may not be turning on: The compressor has failed. There is a problem with the electrical board. The thermostat has lost its connection to the unit. A motor has burned out. All of these problems must be left to HVAC professionals to repair. Amateur fix-it attempts can often make the problem worse and may void the system’s warranty.
When your home’s air conditioning system is running during the summer, you will occasionally hear the sound of water dripping coming from the indoor cabinet. This is normal—you are hearing the sound of the water condensation that collects along the evaporator coil dripping down into a pan beneath it. This water (called condensate) is a standard part of how your central air conditioning system removes heat from the air. Once the water collects in the condensate pan, it leaves the house through a drain and line that leads to the outside.
However, you only want to hear water dripping in the air conditioner. You don’t want to actually see water leaking from the unit and pooling around it. When this happens, it means a problem in the condensate removal system that needs to be fixed.
Below, we’ll look at why you may have water leaking from your AC system.
Blocked condensate line
The condensate line that transports the water from the indoor unit to the outdoors may be blocked on the outside. This blockage will cause the condensate pan to rapidly fill up (it’s shallow, only about an inch deep) and start to overflow. Locate the end of the drain line outside and make sure there isn’t anything stuck in the end, like dirt or grass.
Broken condensate pump
For some air conditioning systems, the water drains from the condensate pan through the force of gravity. If gravity isn’t enough to drain the water, the condensate system will have a pump. The motor in this pump can burn out, and then water won’t leave the pan, leading to overflow. It requires an HVAC professional to fix this, usually by replacing the pump.
Corroded or leaking condensate pan
The condensate from the evaporator coils may simply be dripping right through the pan. Corrosion can lead to holes in the pan, or the drain connection may become loose, which will also allow water to leak through the bottom of the air conditioner’s cabinet. A repair professional can replace the damaged pan and reattach the drain. Please don’t try to do this job yourself.
Mold, mildew, and algae in the condensate drain or line
Any environment as damp as the condensate pan and drain is a breeding ground for algae, mold, and other organic growths. In an older air conditioner that isn’t draining properly, the residual water makes it easy for these growths to begin, and they will soon clog the drain. Although there are some home remedies to clear away the drain, we recommend working with a professional to find out what is causing the mold to develop in the first place. If the line is filled is algae, mold, and mildew, sometimes the best repair option is to have technicians replace the plastic line.
No matter what trouble you are having with your air conditioning in Fresno, CA that is creating leaks, you can trust to our HVAC experts to diagnose and fix it.
Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning is proud to sponsor the Davidson Racing team. And we’re even prouder to announce the team’s fantastic race on March 23rd at Madera Speedway. Beans Davidson placed 3rd and Kurt Davidson Jr. placed 4th in their class!
At Purl’s, we create custom sheet metal for many of the Central Valley’s local race teams. We’re proud to support all types of racing and to help our local teams bring to life their custom sheet metal designs and ideas.
Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning: “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success” since 1952!
Residential central air conditioning has a long history going back to the 1920s. But many decades would pass before central AC systems became common and affordable for homeowners. Today, 90% of new houses are constructed with central air conditioning systems, which is a significant change from only twenty years ago.
The central air conditioning system has replaced the old window units that were once the main way for homes to enjoy cooling. Window units have a limited use, conditioning only small areas. They’re also unattractive-looking, block light, and make a home less secure. All around, central air conditioning is the superior choice for a home, and it also allows for indoor air quality improvement additions.
Are You Thinking of Adding Central Air Conditioning?
If you don’t have a central AC system in your home but are considering upgrading to one, you’ll want to know what’s involved in the process. It depends on your house.
Do you already have a forced-air furnace?
If you use a forced-air furnace to warm up your home in winter, then you already have a good start for a central air conditioning system—you have ductwork! The first step for putting in an air conditioning system is to have our professionals look over your furnace and the ducts. We can see if the current ductwork and the air handler of the furnace are suitable for the addition of an AC. We’re experts with ventilation systems (we first entered the HVAC industry designing sheet metal ductwork in the 1950s) and we’ll make the proper assessment about what work needs to be done to allow for central cooling. The job may end up being as simple as just putting in an indoor evaporator and an outdoor condenser and using the ductwork as-is.
Do you need ducts installed?
Your house may require the addition of ducts to allow for central cooling. This doesn’t have to be as destructive or drastic as you may imagine—our team is experienced with complex ductwork designs that take advantage of available spaces, such as in the attic or putting ductwork through closets.
The ductless mini split option
Another choice for whole-house cooling is to use a ductless mini split. This type of cooling system uses multiple indoor air handlers rather than a single indoor unit connected to ducts. Each of the air handlers in the rooms connects through a hole in the wall behind it to an outdoor condenser.
Central Cooling and Ventilation Professionals
You can trust Purl’s with your needs for air conditioning in Fresno, CA. We have a long history of helping outfit both homes and businesses with new ventilation systems and central air conditioning. We do customized sheet metal fabrication to meet any HVAC need. If you think central cooling for your house is something that’s out of reach, we would love to show you differently! Speak to our experts today to discover how we can meet all your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation needs.
At Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning, “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success!” Schedule an appointment today to find out more about your central cooling options.
We’re thrilled to announce that MadTown Robotics won the 2019 World Championship at Houston!
Purl’s is a proud sponsor of MadTown Robotics, which was founded in 2004 at Madera High School by math teacher Alan Hollman. The original four-student team of young robotic engineers soon grew and is now comprised of more than 50 students from three local high schools: Madera High School, Madera South High School, and Sherman Thomas. MadTown Robotics is dedicated to furthering the curiosity and knowledge of students and training them to excel at teamwork.
The team has received many awards over the past fourteen years, including winning the Central Valley Regional and the Sacramento Regional Championship. Now they’ve gone all the way to win the World Championship! Congratulations to all the winners from our family at Purl’s!
At Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning, “Quality Is the Cornerstone of Our Success!”
Our summer weather can sometimes arrive abruptly during spring. We’ll switch from cloudy and cool weather straight to the big heat. You want to know that the first time you need your air conditioning system for the year that it will turn on and do its job right.
Before you switch on your AC for the hot weather, go over these recommended steps. They’ll help you prepare the air conditioning system and give it a better start to the season.
Check the air vents around the house
The room vents are a part of an HVAC system that’s often overlooked. But if these vents are closed or obstructed in some way, it will create uneven cooling and cause damage to the AC and ducts because of spikes in pressure. Movement of furniture, rugs, and curtains over the winter may have blocked the vents, or someone could’ve shut the vent slats. Make sure all room vents are clear and open.
Replace the air filter with a clean one
The HVAC cabinet has an air filter located where the return air ducts connect to the blower. (In some cases it’s behind the grill of the return air vent.) This filter protects the interior of the cabinet from debris, and it works when either the furnace or AC is running. The filter will have accumulated dust and lint over the winter, especially if it wasn’t changed during that time. We recommend putting in a fresh filter so the AC has a good start to the season. Think of this as letting the AC “breathe” freer.
Check around the condenser
The condenser is the outdoor cabinet of the air conditioner. It houses the compressor, the condenser coils, and the exhaust fan. For the condenser to work efficiently and avoid internal damage, it needs to be clear for about a foot on all sides. Remove branches and leaves, trim back plants, and remove rocks from around the condenser. You can also gently hose down the cabinet if it’s dirty. (Don’t use a high-pressure nozzle to blast water into the unit.)
Check the electrical power
You may have shut down the power switch to the air conditioning system in the fall so it wouldn’t accidentally come on during the winter. Find the switch, which is located under a lid near the condenser, and turn it back on. Also check the circuit for the AC in the electrical panel to make sure that it’s also on.
Arrange for Air Conditioning System Maintenance With Our Professionals
Last step—and the most important one. Schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance tune-up and inspection. Our Ultimate Service Agreement is designed to provide you with the finest maintenance air conditioning service in Fresno, CA each spring. The agreement also takes care of your heating system in fall. This annual maintenance work is essential for reliable air conditioning system performance throughout the year. It also extends the life of the system. Our technicians will handle the deep cleaning and the special inspections you can’t do on your own to ensure you have an AC that’s ready for summer.
Two-story homes often encounter problems with their upper floors getting much warmer than the lower floors. Heat rises, so heat tends to gather in the upper levels of a house. Another cause is heat coming through the roof on sunny days. A hot upper floor can happen even in a home with a powerful heating and air conditioning system and well-designed ductwork, and it can occur at any time of the year. However, ineffectual ducts and malfunctioning comfort systems can contribute to the problem.
How to Fix the Second Floor Heat Problem
Are you just stuck with a stuffy and warm upper floor? There are ways to fix this problem, and you can count on our professionals to help you discover what needs to be done.
One of the first things to investigate when you have a hot second story in your house is if trouble in the heating or ventilation system is behind it. A furnace or other heater that is running longer than it should will lead to an uneven distribution of hot air, and most of it will rise to the second story. The ductwork to the second floor may be poorly designed, making proper circulation of air difficult. Technicians can repair your heater or take care of duct repair and replacement services.
Upgrade the HVAC System With Zone Controls
Zone controls allow you to manipulate the climate in different sections of your home (“zones”) separately from each other. A home can have as many zones as there are rooms, but a two-story house may be good with only two zones: upstairs and downstairs. Dampers inside the ductwork can block off the flow of air to the different zones, and the variable speed blower fan controls how much energy the system uses. To prevent overheating the upper floors, zone controls can be set so the upstairs and downstairs are cooled/heated at different times to allow for a more even spread.
The trouble with a hot upper floor may be due to poor insulation in the attic or sealing around windows. A well-insulated attic will stop heat from seeping down to the second floor.
Change the HVAC Air Filter Regularly
When the air filter in your HVAC system becomes clogged up, it restricts airflow into the ventilation system. This is a common cause of uneven heating and cooling. We recommend you change the filter every 1 to 3 months during the year. The stronger the filter, the less often the filter needs to be replaced.
Run the HVAC Fan When Not Heating or Cooling
The “fan only” mode on your HVAC system is helpful for keeping comfort distributed evenly. The fan doesn’t use much energy (much less than running the air conditioner’s compressor or the furnace’s burners) and helps air circulation through the house that will remove hot spots.
If you need ventilation or heating repair in Fresno, CA to fix a hot upper story, trust to our technicians. We’re not only experienced and trained with heating and air conditioning system service, we have a long history in duct repair and duct design.
When you move into a new home, usually the AC and the furnace were installed at the same time—and usually they’ll need to be replaced at the same time as well. In other cases, either the AC or furnace will run down before the other (air conditioning systems in general don’t last as long as either gas or electric furnaces), and you’ll arrange to have the older unit replaced.
However, there’s a third possibility. What if one of the two comfort systems needs a replacement, and you decide to replace both, even though the other system is still in good working order?
This isn’t an outlandish idea. Homeowners often make this choice on the advice of professional HVAC installers and enjoy benefits from it. It isn’t automatically the right choice, but it’s something to consider.
The Age of the Two Systems
The first thing to consider when it comes to replacing a heating or air conditioning system is the equipment age. ACs can last between 10–15 years, and gas furnaces can usually make it past 15 years. If the two systems are only a few years apart, then replacing both at the same time is a more attractive option.
Example: You have a furnace that’s 16 years old, and an AC that’s 13. The AC shows signs it’s starting to fail, and you want to replace it. Even though the furnace is still working, it’s a good idea to replace it along with the AC. The furnace will need to be replaced in a few years anyway, and replacing it now prevents you from running into a major heating failure or a furnace that starts wasting money. But there are other reasons to schedule a simultaneous replacement …
Matching Systems Work Better
Mixing old and new HVAC technology can present problems. You can end up with a mismatched system, which won’t work as efficiently or effectively as it should. Staying with the example above, if you want to put in a high efficiency air conditioning system to replace the old AC, it may not work well with a furnace that’s a decade and a half older than it. The efficiency of both may decline, and you’ll end up paying more for both heating and cooling in your house. Matching systems are more likely to improve efficiency and performance.
Easier, Less Costly Installation
Arranging to have a new AC and heater put in at the same time is also a less costly job, and you’ll save time. Both systems will be under warranty, making it easy to schedule repairs.
Better Comfort Controls
In general, it’s best to have a new thermostat put in only when a new system is installed. If you are looking to upgrade to better thermostat technology, this may not be possible if you’re replacing only the heater or only the AC. With a complete new installation, you can have the exact type of thermostat to get the most from your HVAC system.
To schedule AC and/or heater service in Fresno, CA, make an appointment with our professionals. We can guide you about the choice to replace one or both.
Adding a zone control system to your home adds many benefits and cost savings. A zone control system allows you to control your family’s home comfort by maintaining different temperatures in different areas of your home. Each zone has its own thermostat and temperature setting. This can eliminate the “hot” and “cold” spots in your home, while saving energy and money.
How does zone control work?
Zone control systems give you the ability to adjust the temperature for different parts of your home. Traditional systems use a thermostat that sets one fixed temperature for the whole house. Zone controls gives the homeowner ability to adjust each area of the home individually by using a series of dampers installed in the ductwork. These dampers can close off areas of your home and allow you to only heat or cool the parts of the home your family is using.
Zone control can reduce the amount of energy your HVAC system uses. The zone control application can work in any type of home. This system will save energy and
money. When you divide your home in distinct zones, you make it possible to heat and cool only the rooms you are currently using. For example, you can increase the cooling in just the kitchen when cooking a meal. Zone control is an upgrade to your system. The money saved in heating and cooling costs will pay for itself.
Zone control will increase energy efficiency and energy savings when used properly in your home. You can set the ideal temperature in the bedrooms to sleep at night and use the dampers to close off the other rooms you are not using. This will save money on your monthly electrical bills.
It is important to hire a professional to install your zone control system. Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning offers complete zone control installation in Madera, CA. Our technicians a trained and skilled in comprehensive zone control upgrades. If you are ready to learn more about upgrading to zone control, give us a call to schedule an appointment.