Common Problems with Furnace Burners

October 31st, 2014

The burner in your furnace is where air and gas meet and combust. It is a critical part of your furnace, and problems with it can result in heat loss. Repairing a burner takes training and expertise, so working on your burner yourself is not recommended. The best way to ensure that your heating, works the way it’s supposed to is to call the professionals at Command A/C. Our certified and trained technicians are available in Cypress, CA 24/7, so if you are experiencing issues with your furnace, call us today.

What Is the Burner?

The burner is the part of your furnace through which the natural gas flows and ignites into jets that heat the air for your home. The burner is a rectangular-shaped component with 4-8 short metal tubes that are fed the gas from the furnace’s manifold. An igniter at the right side of the burner ignites the gas jets, and a flame sensor at the other end monitors the flames. The burner heats the heat exchanger, which provides the warm air for your home.

Common Problems with Burners

Here are some common problems that can develop with a burner:

  • Rust/corrosion – any kind of rust or corrosion on your burner means that the burner needs to be replaced. A rusty burner can leak gas and/or malfunction, leading to problems with heating.
  • Problems with the igniter – there are two types of igniters: intermittent pilot and hot surface igniters. While each works differently, they both do the same thing: ignite the gas in your furnace. When the igniter is dirty, has a crack, or there is no spark, the burners won’t light.
  • Problems with the manifold – the burners are fed the gas via a manifold. The manifold is a pipe that runs the length of the burner, with small nozzles feeding gas into the burner tubes. If something obstructs the manifold from the inside, or the manifold is bent, problems can ensue with the burner, in addition to potential problems with safety.

Without a properly working burner, you may lose heating in your home. Repairing a burner is not a DIY kind of job, so call Command A/C and let one of our certified technicians handle any heating repairs in Cypress, CA.

Why Is Fall Maintenance Important?

October 24th, 2014

We have warm daytime temperatures, but our nights are getting cool. If you haven’t turned your heating on yet, you will need to soon – is your system ready? One of the best ways to prepare your heating system for cooler temperatures is to schedule fall maintenance. When performed by a trained and certified technician, like the ones from Command A/C, maintenance can provide a number of important benefits. Call us today and schedule your maintenance appointment for this fall.

Benefits of Fall Maintenance

  • Helps prevent repairs – during a maintenance appointment, your system undergoes a thorough inspection. This inspection allows your technician to discover any existing or developing problems. If the problems are minor, such as frayed wiring or a worn fan belt, these items will be repaired. Larger problems will be reported to you so that you can schedule a repair appointment. Repairing small problems and taking care of larger ones helps get you ahead of repairs on your system and can prevent new issues from developing.
  • Better energy efficiency – your heating system was made to operate at a certain energy efficiency level. When it is worn, or covered in dust and dirt, it won’t be able to perform at the efficiency level it should. During maintenance, your system’s components are cleaned, adjusted and lubricated, allowing them work optimally; this helps your system retain its energy efficiency.
  • Extends life of equipment – dirt, dust and wear and tear act as a drag on your system, causing stress. When your system operates for a long period of time under stress, it can cause premature aging. Maintenance helps your system run optimally, so it doesn’t operate in a stressed state. This helps reduce the effects of aging, which can extend the life of your equipment.

Maintenance helps your system maintain its energy efficiency, increase your comfort and helps prevent future repairs. Fall offers the perfect window of time to schedule maintenance for your heating system in Cypress, CA, so call Command A/C today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

How Does a Zone Control System Help My Heating?

October 17th, 2014

When you turn on your heating system, you expect to have full control over your indoor comfort. However, sometimes the natural process of heat exchange may get in the way. For homeowners with expansive floor plans, more than one level, or unique home designs, a standard furnace simply cannot distribute heat evenly to the entire home. Zone control can help you keep temperatures under control in any area of the home and keep your family members comfortable throughout the year.

Why You May Need Zone Control

In many homes, a single thermostat controls the temperature in every area. However, in larger homes, this system cannot possibly offer even temperatures. Heat naturally rises, so you may find that the upstairs rooms often feel warmer than downstairs. Or, large windows may make one area of the home feel cooler than the other areas.

Even if the temperatures in your house remain relatively stable, some of your family members may have different temperature preferences than others. If you’re sick of hearing family members argue over the thermostat setting, a zone control system may be the perfect solution.

How it Works

When you call an HVAC company to install your new zone control system, a technician will need access to the ductwork in your home. The technician installs dampers in each area of the ductwork for which you would like zone control. Each damper is connected to its own thermostat but can also be controlled by a master thermostat located in a central area.

When you set the temperature in a particular room or zone, the thermostat controls a damper that opens or closes to adjust the amount of airflow into the room. No longer will you have to deal with uneven temperatures throughout the home. And you won’t hear family members complain about being too cold or too hot in their own rooms. You can also use zone control to save a little money. If no one uses one area of the home throughout the day, shut off the heat in that zone only to save on your energy bills. When you decide to ask a professional about installing a zone control system in Cypress, CA, call Command A/C today!

What is an Upflow Furnace?

October 10th, 2014

There are a number of characteristics that homeowners use when selecting a home heating system. Size, fuel type, and AFUE rating are all common factors in making the right decision. When selecting a furnace, however, something is commonly left out. Do you want an upflow furnace or a downflow furnace? Despite not being as well known as the other differentiating factors, this question has a definite impact on the performance of your furnace. Read on to discover the qualities of an upflow furnace, and whether it’s right for you.

Up and Out

Essentially, what makes a furnace upflow or downflow is where it takes in cold air to be heated. An upflow furnace takes in cold air at the bottom of the unit, heating it and circulating it from the top. There are a couple of implications with this kind of furnace, the first being efficiency. Hot air naturally rises, and sinks when it cools. This makes an upflow furnace more efficient, because it is taking advantage of heat’s natural behavior. This will result in heat being more easily distributed throughout your house, requiring less work from the furnace and lowering your heating bills.

The other implication is the location where the furnace needs to be installed. Because of the way upflow furnaces operate, they tend to be installed in basements. This allows them to waste very little heat, as it all rises into the house through the floor. This is also viewed as a more comfortable method of heating. A downflow furnace heats from the top down, which results in much of the warm air becoming trapped in the ceiling where it isn’t much use.

The disadvantage of an upflow furnace is that it isn’t necessarily viable in all homes. Not all homes have basements, especially those on the west coast. This can make proper installation of an upflow furnace more troublesome, perhaps even impossible.

If you are thinking about installing an upflow furnace, call Command A/C. Our heating experts operate throughout the Cypress, CA area. We will find the right furnace for your living space.

How Does a Ductless System Provide Heat?

October 3rd, 2014

Ductless heating systems are a fairly new technology that is quickly gaining traction in homes across America. Rather than utilizing ducts, a ductless unit is comprised solely of an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor blower. This allows the ductless system to avoid the 30% of heating efficiency lost to duct leaks that forced air systems experience. Let’s take a look at how ductless heat systems compensate for not having a furnace to rely on.

Ductless Heating

In forced air systems, a furnace is used to heat the air which is then circulated to the rest of the house. A ductless system does not have a heat pump to rely on, so it acts as a heat pump does. Thermal energy is drawn from the surrounding air into the outside unit. From there, it is sent back to the indoor unit, where it is warmed to the desired temperature and released into the house. The use of this thermal energy allows the ductless system to be just as efficient as a forced air system, without needing a furnace to provide heat.

A ductless system has no way of transporting warm air between rooms. If you want to warm every room of your house, you will need multiple units. Fortunately, all units can be linked to one thermostat for convenience. A ductless system is easier to install than more traditional systems, since it does not require that ductwork be installed all over the house.

Of course, there are a couple of considerations before you install a ductless heating system. Because the ductless system relies on outdoor thermal energy, it does not work as efficiently in very cold environments. The lack of thermal energy in the surrounding air forces the heat system to work much harder to reach the target temperature. As long as the condenser unit is kept free of frost, a ductless heater can heat your home just fine. Just don’t expect it to do so as easily as at lower temperatures.

If you are considering installing a ductless heater in your home, call Command A/C. We offer heating services throughout the entire Cypress, CA region.

Is It Time to Replace My AC?

September 26th, 2014

Air conditioners have an average lifespan of about 12 years, so if your AC is getting close to that age, or is older, it may be time to consider replacing it. Replacing your air conditioning doesn’t have to be an inconvenience; in fact, a new air conditioner can offer you the opportunity to install a system that may be better suited to your needs. But deciding whether or not to replace is the first step in the process, and to help you, the certified technicians at Command A/C have put together a list of factors to consider:

How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?

As we mentioned above, the average lifespan of an air conditioning system is 12 years; this can stretch to 15 years if the system has been well-maintained. However, once an air conditioner reaches a certain age, it may not be able to cool as you need, and making costly repairs may not be worth it.

Does Your Air Conditioner Use R-22 (Freon)?

Age is part of the equation when considering your replacement and the type of refrigerant your system uses is, too. This is because R-22, also known as Freon, has been in phase-out since the 1990s, and by 2020, won’t be available at all. Right now, R-22 is available for recharge only; you can no longer purchase a system that is made with R-22. Unfortunately, you can’t put another type of refrigerant in your system, so there is no ability to switch to another type of refrigerant. The bottom line: if you have an air conditioner that uses R-22, you are paying a lot for any recharges, plus you are going to have to replace your system anyway.

Does Your AC Need A Lot Of Repair?

If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, it may be time to consider where your money is better spent. This is particularly important if your air conditioner has reached a certain age.

The question of whether to repair or replace an existing AC is one that many homeowners face. If you think it’s time to replace your air conditioning in Cypress, CA, call the people who can help you from start to finish: Command A/C.

How Does a Zone Control System Help with Energy Efficiency?

September 19th, 2014

During a heat wave, many homeowners look for new ways to save money on their energy bills. You run your air conditioner throughout the day to cool your entire home even though you may not use many of these rooms for long periods of time. You can increase the efficiency of your air conditioner by taking advantage of a programmable thermostat, changing the air filter once a month, and scheduling maintenance every year. But one of the best ways to save money while staying comfortable in any room of the house is with a zone control system.

What Is Zone Control?

A zone control system, installed as an extension of your HVAC system, allows for more even cooling in homes with multiple stories or unique architectural designs, or you can vary the temperature in different rooms, or zones, of the home. When you call for zone control installation, a technician will install a set of dampers throughout the ductwork in various zones. Every damper is connected to its own thermostat, or you can control each zone with a master thermostat. When you raise or lower the temperature, the damper closes or opens to adjust the temperature in that area only. Not only does this help family members to be more comfortable, but it can also save you a lot of money every month.

How Zone Control Helps with Energy Efficiency

  • Unoccupied Rooms: Throughout the day, some of the rooms in your home are likely unoccupied. With a zone control system, you can shut off the air to these rooms only in the day time, which will have a significant impact on your bills.
  • Two-Story Home: Similarly, you can turn up the air on one floor of a multi-story home when only a single part is occupied. Besides, two-story homes are difficult to cool evenly, but with thermostats in multiple zones on both floors you can keep the first and second story comfortable and use less energy in the process.
  • Unique Architectural Features: It also takes more energy to cool some rooms with architectural features like vaulted ceilings or large windows. Zone control can help you target these areas so you won’t use energy cooling your entire home.

If you want to make your family more comfortable and save a lot of money in the process, call the experts at Command A/C. We install zone control and can give you tips for more efficient air conditioning in Cypress, CA. Give us a call!

What Are Capacitors?

September 12th, 2014

There are some small components in your air conditioner that can have a big impact on how it operates. One such component is the capacitor. Capacitors are used in many appliances because they help store and regulate electrical voltage. Capacitors are used in your air conditioning to start the AC cycle and keep it running evenly. Due to their smaller nature, many people think it’s easy to switch out a capacitor should it start to malfunction, and it is – if you have expert knowledge of electrical systems. If you don’t, it’s best to call professionals, like the ones at Command A/C.

Why Does an Air Conditioner Need Capacitors?

Whole-home air conditioning systems run on an electrical circuit known as single phase. This means that your air conditioner operates from a power source (your electrical box) with singular distribution of alternating current electric power (AC power). With this type of power supply, the voltages vary in unison, meaning they come all at once and have various voltages. The varying nature of the power requires the use of components that can a) help your air conditioner motor start and; b) keep it running evenly even though the electrical current is uneven. This is where capacitors come in.

Two Types of Capacitors

There are two types of capacitors in your air conditioner:

  • Start capacitor
  • Run capacitor

Start Capacitor

There are three motors in your air conditioning system: the blower (fan) motor, the condenser fan motor and the compressor motor. Each needs a large load of electricity to start up. The start capacitor helps provide this burst of energy to the motor so that it has the power to start. The torque measures about double the amount of the system’s voltage.

Run Capacitor

The main job of the run capacitor is to keep the motor to which it’s attached running at full power. To do this, the capacitor helps smooth the “bumps” of the uneven voltage, and then conducts the power to the motor in an even way, as the motor needs it. Feeding your motor the right amount of power keeps it operating optimally and efficiently.

Capacitors are important components of your air conditioning system, but any repairs involving them should be handled by a trained professional. If you suspect you may have a capacitor issue, call Command A/C today and schedule your AC service in Cypress, CA with one of our experts.

3 Problems That Can Affect Energy Efficiency

September 9th, 2014

Even though summer is coming to a close, you can still maintain and improve energy efficiency. One of the best ways to do this is to make repairs as quickly as possible. There are a number of problems that can affect the energy efficiency of your air conditioning, and we’ll outline three of them here today. But whatever your repair needs, always call the people you can trust: Command A/C.

3 Common Problems That Can Affect Energy Efficiency

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks can occur in multiple places in your air conditioning system. The refrigerant in your system has to be at an exact amount for your AC to work properly; leaks lower the amount of the refrigerant, putting stress on the system. Anytime your AC has to work harder to achieve your set temperature, it uses more power to do so, increasing its energy usage.

Clogged Air Filters

The air filter in your air conditioning system should be changed every 3 months as it can become clogged. Clogged air filters restrict air flow in your system, which can cause a decrease in cooling. Restricted air flow also forces your system to work harder to cool your home, which can increase its energy usage.

Dirty Coils

Your air conditioner has two sets of coils: the evaporator coils and the condenser coils. During normal usage, dirt and dust can build up on the coils. If they are not cleaned annually, this buildup can become a layer that acts as insulation on the coils. This layer can interfere with the heat release/cooling process of the refrigerant cycle, which stresses your AC.

Even though the end of the cooling season is near, it’s still important to maintain your energy efficiency. Making repairs as soon as possible helps you maintain your energy efficiency and keep your air conditioning running optimally. Also, scheduling bi-annual maintenance in fall and spring can help with all of these problems. If you are experiencing issues with your air conditioner, call Command A/C and schedule AC service in Cypress, CA with one of our experts 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 Command A/C wishes your family a happy end of summer.