How Do I Get My Air Conditioner Ready for the Summer?

April 4th, 2014

Long Beach enjoys less harsh summer seasons than some other Southern Californian cities because of our ocean breeze. But that doesn’t mean we’ll escape from needing air conditioners working in our homes: the sun beating down on a home turns into heat no matter the cool breeze outside. During the spring, when you can expect your air conditioner to have occasional, but not constant, work, you can take a few steps to prepare the system for its biggest job of the year: making summer pleasant.

To assist you with your AC preparations, call Command A/C and talk to our cooling specialists. We offer excellent air conditioning repair in Long Beach, CA from highly trained technicians.

How you can prep your AC for the summer heat

  • Schedule regular maintenance: You should have a maintenance visit from a skilled HVAC technician once a year to inspect your air conditioning system. Spring is the best time to have this done, since it takes advantage of a slower period for technicians and makes sure you have the time to see to any larger issues. Maintenance will not only catch repairs you’ll need done for the AC, it will also ensure that the system runs at its most energy-efficient so your summer will be less expensive while being more comfortable.
  • Take care of any repairs: You have probably already turned your air conditioning on at least once this year. Did you notice anything amiss? Examples: strange noises from the cabinet, odd smells from the vents, lukewarm air, low airflow, ice on the indoor coils. Anything of this sort means your AC requires professional repairs. Ignoring these issues now will mean headaches later, when you really need the system running to keep you cool. You also risk a complete breakdown on a hot day when HVAC technicians will be busy on other emergency calls.
  • Change the air filter: This is a part of maintenance you can take care of on your own, and it’s particularly important if you have a forced-air heater for the winter that uses the same ventilation system as the air conditioner. The filter catches particles that enter the return vents to stop them from contaminating the inside of the heater/AC cabinet. Congestion of the filter will cut off airflow and lead to debris getting through. The filter should be changed once a month during the height of heating or cooling season. To make sure your air conditioner starts summer with a clean set of “lungs,” put in a fresh filter.

Call us today to schedule maintenance

Let Command A/C help your cooling system have a great summer: call us to sign up for our Ultimate Service Club. Membership means you receive two inspections and precision tune-ups a year, one for your heater and one for your air conditioner. In addition, you’ll save 15% on all service repairs and receive preferred scheduling. Remember Command A/C for your needs for maintenance and air conditioning repair in Long Beach, CA.

Benefits of Heat Pumps as Air Conditioning in Long Beach

March 31st, 2014

Long Beach enjoys one of the most pleasant winter seasons people can imagine in the U.S. Our combination of sun-filled Southern California temperatures with the cool coming off the ocean makes us the envy of many parts of the world. Yet a cool ocean breeze won’t solve all problems with keeping away the heat, and you’ll need air conditioning in Long Beach, CA to help you through many days of summer.

Or perhaps an air conditioner isn’t the best option. What about a heat pump? Despite the word “heat” in their name, heat pumps are dual function systems that act as both heaters and air conditioners. If you are planning in the near future (or now) to scrap your old heating system, you should consider replacing your heater and AC for a new heat pump.

Command A/C can help you find the right model and size of heat pump to make you comfortable all through the year. Call us to set up an appointment.

Advantages of a heat pump working as your air conditioner

Here is the critical thing to know about heat pumps: they are air conditioners. The only important difference is that a heat pump can change the direction it moves heat, but otherwise the process is exactly the same: refrigerant cycles through the indoor and outdoor unit, removing heat from the inside of your home to cool it down and then releasing the heat to the outdoors. In terms of performance, a heat pump has the same level of cooling power that an air conditioner of the same size has.

You won’t drain any extra power for a heat pump as an air conditioner, either. The only component required to create the heating mode is the reversing valve, which shifts the direction the refrigerant flows. The refrigerant will pass through the reversing valve no matter what mode it is in. You won’t have to worry about the heating mode at all during warm days.

Of course, the major benefit of a heat pump as an air conditioner is that you also have your needs for heat taken care of as well without needing requiring a separate system. Although the heating mode for a heat pump is less efficient than its cooling mode, it’s more than sufficient for a Southern California winter. A heat pump also uses less power than gas or electrical furnace, making it a bargain in our warmer climate.

Make sure a heat pump is right for you

You should always consult with HVAC experts before you decide on a new installation for a heat pump or air conditioning in Long Beach, CA. It requires the knowledge of skilled technicians to determine if your house is suited for a heat pump, and how large the heat pump should be. The technician will also need to do the installation work.

Command A/C has all the skills necessary to find and install the right heat pump for your comfort every month of the year.

Should You Get Your Air Conditioner Tuned Up Before the Summer Strikes?

March 28th, 2014

In Southern California, air conditioners live tough lives… much like what furnaces experience in Minnesota. You can expect your AC to run during most of the summer and during many days throughout the rest of the year, December included. However, a tough life doesn’t have to mean a short life—provided you take good care of your air conditioner so that it doesn’t age prematurely and break down before it reaches its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan.

The most important step you can take to make sure your AC has a full service life is by scheduling regular air conditioning system maintenance in Cypress, CA. Because Southern California has warm weather around the year, almost any time is the right time for maintenance. But the best time is during the spring, as we’ll explain.

If you’re ready to start now, before reading further, then call Command A/C right away and ask about our Ultimate Service Club and its membership privileges.

Springtime is the right time for AC maintenance

We recommend this timetable for home comfort maintenance: an inspection for your heater in the fall, and one for your air conditioner in the summer.

Your AC will be one of the most important appliances in your home during the summer, so you don’t want it draining energy while it runs, or skirting close to a breakdown. It can be unpleasant waiting for repair work to reach you on the hottest day of the year… and if your AC breaks down, it’s almost guaranteed to happen on the hottest day, when you have to push it to its limits.

That brings up another good reason for scheduling AC repair in the spring: it’s one of the slower times of the year for HVAC repair technicians. Summer keeps them busy with emergency air conditioner repair calls, but during the milder spring heat, it’s easier to schedule a maintenance appointment with a technician that’s convenient for you.

Finally, having a maintenance check done in spring will give you enough time to arrange for any necessary repairs the technician might uncover. By the time Memorial Day arrives, you’ll be set to sail through the summer scorchers.

Sign up for the Ultimate Service Club today!

The Ultimate Service club from Command A/C does more than tune-up your air conditioner. It also tunes up your heater (best done in the fall), saves you 15% off all service repairs, and priority scheduling as a preferred member. When you want quality conditioning system maintenance in Cypress, CA, call Command A/C.

Don’t Put Off Heating Repairs

March 17th, 2014

With the beautiful weather in Huntington Beach that often stretches through the winters, scheduling repairs for your home’s heating system often drifts far from your mind. How often to you really need that heater working, after all?

But when you stop and consider it, you’ll discover that your heater does a lot more work than you realize—in particular those times when you least expect cold weather. June can be a surprising month in Southern California, and winter often brings stormy weeks when a good heating system working for you, especially at night, is essential for your comfort.

So as we move toward the summer, our staff at Command A/C would like to remind you about scheduling heating repair in Huntington Beach, CA if you have any troubles gnawing at your furnace or heat pump. There are some good reasons not to delay these repairs, no matter how pleasant the weather.

Reason #1: You’ll save money

If you have a heating system running with a malfunction, whether a worn-down heat pump blower motor or a dirty furnace burner, it will drain extra power in order to reach its expected level of operation. To get the heat level you want, you’ll end up paying more. Every time you need to switch on the heater for a few hours during a June gloom night, you’ll waste money. Taking care of those heating repairs will start saving money immediately.

Reason #2: You’ll have less risk of an unpleasant breakdown

Any heating system breakdown is an unpleasant one. But the worst sort of breakdown is the one that happens on the first day of cold weather during the winter… the moment when you need the heater the most. Chances are high that many other homeowners will have the same problem that day, making scheduling a convenient appointment with repair technicians difficult. You can avoid this with a basic preventive repair long before you actually need to have your heater working for you.

Reason #3: You’ll avoid more expensive repairs later on

Malfunctions inside a heater tend to be insidious: they start to spread as they put more of the heating system under stress. As long as a repair need goes without attention, it will start to grow worse and cause other systems to malfunction. You can expect that when you finally get around to those repairs (maybe when the heater breaks down?) they will cost much than they would’ve if you had jumped on them earlier.

It’s a simple thing to schedule heating repair in Huntington Beach, CA now: call up Command A/C and talk to one of our friendly staff members. We can arrange a fast and effective repair for whatever ails your heater.

Ways to Reduce the Risk of Heating Repairs

March 5th, 2014

You will need to use your heater much less than your air conditioner if you live in Long Beach, so you want to make sure you get the most economical use out of it. Having to schedule heating repairs because of avoidable problems will make your bills much higher. Unfortunately, many people make simple errors that increase the risk of these malfunctions.

But simple errors have simple corrections: here are some tips from the professionals at Command A/C for how you can keep away unnecessary repairs on your heating system in Long Beach, CA:

  • Change the filter regularly: For furnaces and heat pumps, an air filter protects the internal components from debris such as dust. Should the filter become too clogged (which it will eventually if it is not changed), it will not only begin to restrict airflow into the unit, it will also begin to allow contaminants inside. This can cause many types of damage, from burnt out motors to bent fan blades to dirty coils. You should change the filter once a month during periods when the heater is working regularly.
  • Avoid overworking the system: It’s common for southern California residents to turn up their heat too high for the brief times they use it because they think this will cause the heat to rise faster. However, it only keeps the heat running longer until it reaches the target temperature, and this is stressful for the heater and will make it run down faster. Maintain a steady lower temperature during periods of cold—the low 70s is a good point—and also add an extra layer of clothing during modest low temperatures and keep the heater off.
  • Schedule yearly maintenance: Having your heater regularly maintained is the best way to keep it running with a minimum of repair needs. Quality heating contractors will offer a program that provides you with two maintenance visits a year—one for your heater and one for your AC—that will clean, adjust, and tune-up your system so that it will run without excess stress. Maintenance techs will catch potential repairs early and fix them. You will end up with a heater that lasts for many years with only a few repairs.

Command A/C can help!

You can start with maintenance right now with a call to Command A/C. If you sign up for our Ultimate Service Agreement, you’ll receive two precision tune-ups a year, a 15% discount on all service repairs, and priority service. You can also count on our staff at Command A/C to bring you quality repairs for your heating system in Long Beach, CA when necessary.

Alternatives to Traditional Heating Systems in Huntington Beach

February 27th, 2014

When it comes to heating our homes in Southern California, the gas-powered furnace is the most common option. These effective and efficient systems have remained popular for decades, and there’s no indication they will ever go out of use.

Although natural gas furnaces are excellent choices for heaters, they aren’t your only option among heating systems in Huntington Beach, CA. Perhaps you don’t have a natural gas line, or maybe you dislike the potential safety risks of using a gas furnace. Maybe you simply want to make a change. You do have some great options available as alternatives, and we’ll go over some of them. When you want to know more, call Command A/C and talk to our heating technicians to get started on finding the ideal alternative heater for your home.

Some alternative choices for heating

  • Heat pumps: Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, which makes them superb picks for Southern California’s weather—and they eliminate the need for two separate systems. Heat pumps operate on the same principle as an air conditioner, except they can reverse the direction of heat exchange. You’ll also save money, since they use only a small amount of electricity to operate. A family of four can save up to 30% on their heating bills by switching from a furnace to a heat pump.
  • Ductless mini splits: These are heat pumps that come with an added feature: no need for ducts! Ductless mini splits don’t use a central indoor unit, but instead separate blowers mounted in different parts of your house that send the conditioned air directly into your living spaces. If you are building a new home or adding on a room to your current home, ductless mini splits are a great choice.
  • Electric furnaces: If you still want the convenience of a furnace in your home but don’t have a natural gas line, the electric furnace is always an option. Electric furnaces last longer than their gas-powered brothers, cost less to install, require fewer repairs, and don’t have safety issues because of carbon monoxide. Although they cost more to run, this isn’t as much an issue in Southern California because you won’t need to use the furnace often.

Find the right heating system for your home

Houses are as individual as their owners, so each one will have specific requirements for heating. Before you make a decision about the heating system you want for your family, contact professionals like those at Command A/C and find out exactly what type of heater will do the job you need. You’ll require professional installers eventually, so have them involved from the start so you won’t go wrong when you have to choose from the many available heating systems in Huntington Beach, CA.

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Furnace

February 17th, 2014

Furnaces can last for many years if they receive regular maintenance and timely repairs. However, no furnace can endure forever, and you need to know what signs to look for to indicate that your furnace has come to the end of the road. We’ve put together a list of the most tell-tale warnings about the need for furnace replacement.

If you’re wondering where to go for new heating system installation in Long Beach, CA, look no further than Command A/C. We have the experience and training to deliver you excellent new heating for your home.

Three signs of impending furnace replacement

  1. Constant loud operation: Strange noises from a furnace cabinet are good early warning signs about repairs. When these noises become the rule instead of the exception, the furnace has probably moved beyond the point where repairs will do any good. Schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional to find out if it’s time for a new installation.
  2. Rise in heating bills: If you have had your furnace long enough—and if you are considering replacement, you probably have—you should have a solid idea of what to expect from your heating bills each month. A sudden leap in those bills often means that the furnace needs repairs. If the heating bills gradually rise and remain that way, however, it often indicates that the furnace is coming to the end of its service and can no longer do the efficient job it once did. If repairs do not change the situation, ask the repair technician if retiring the heater and scheduling new installation is the best choice.
  3. The furnace begins to rust: Furnaces do not use water to create heat, but nonetheless they can rust because of a reaction between metal and the exhaust gas. This usually takes many years to occur; when you do start to notice rust along the cabinet or on interior parts, it is a strong sign that the furnace has outlived its usefulness and should be replaced. Because rust can cause cracks in the heat exchanger and carbon monoxide leaks, you should have the replacement done as soon as possible.

Always account for furnace age

When considering any of the three signs above, always keep your furnace’s age in mind. A furnace that has worked for over 20 years is due for a replacement, even if it is operating well in most regards. At the first sign of trouble, you should consider replacing it. For younger furnaces, look into repair possibilities first—and always remember to schedule regular maintenance for it so it won’t prematurely age.

For the knowledgeable technicians you need, call Command A/C. We can help you determine if it’s time for new heating installation in Long Beach, CA.

The Original Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

February 14th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day without the traditional greeting cards, whether accompanying a gift of flowers and candy, or sent between children in a school room. For commercial greeting card companies, February 14th is as important to them as the December holidays, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love predates printed greeting cards by a few centuries. In fact, the reason that sending romantic greeting cards became popular was because of the most un-romantic thing you can imagine: a reduction in postage rates.

In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of “Penny Posts” that used a uniform rate of one old penny per letter throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Printers took advantage of the ease with which people could send letters to each other on Valentine’s Day by crafting cards with love poems on them. Many of these verses were collected in 1797 in the book The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which was a resource for the lover with a romantic soul but not the most confident poetry style.

By the mid-19th-century, the Valentine’s Day greeting card was flourishing across England. Although people still followed a tradition of creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards from lace, ribbons, and flowers, commercially produced cards now overtook them. In 1835, the English post office mailed 60,000 valentines. As production expenses dropped, the English card manufacturers branched out creatively with humorous and sometimes vulgar cards… many of which we would find startlingly familiar in the 21st century. One of the common jokes on these cards was to design them to look like marriage certificates or court summons.

Across the Atlantic, the United States was slower to embrace the popular British custom. It wasn’t until 1847 that a U.S. printer mass-produced greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. Only two years later, American journalists noted how rapidly people in the country had embraced the tradition, turning into a fad that has never died down. The woman who printed the first U.S. Valentine’s Day card, Esther Howland, is today recognized by the Greeting Card Association with the annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.”

The greeting card industry certainly has reason to thank Ms. Howland. Her idea of going into business printing romantic greeting cards, which came to her after she received a traditional English valentine when she was 19 years old, now sells 190 million cards in the U.S. every year. That number doesn’t include the smaller exchange cards used in elementary school classrooms, which would swell the number to 1 billion. (Who receives the most Valentine’s Day cards each year? Teachers!)

Whether you send out Valentine’s Day cards—handmade, store-bought, digital—or not, we at Command A/C hope you have a happy February 14th.

Why Does Heating Matter in Long Beach, CA?

February 6th, 2014

The weather in Long Beach is almost as wonderful as you can find in the Continental United States. We have warm summers that only occasionally reach uncomfortable highs, and winters that hover around mere ten degrees colder on average than the summers.

With this kind of balmy climate, it seems odd that you should think about your home’s heating system—but heating still matters here, as we’ll explain. For the heating repair service in Long Beach, CA that will make every day wonderful, call Command A/C.

Yes, it can get cold here

With an average winter high in the upper 60s, Long Beach is a perfect vacation escape. However, the average low during that same time is the mid-40s, mostly during the evenings. That’s cold enough for most homes to need heaters, especially houses with large windows or inferior insulation. Occasionally, the temperature can take some surprising plunges. The record low for winter is a chilly, sub-freezing 25°F, and the high-30s can strike at almost any time during the season. You can’t expect it to always be sunny and warm, so make sure you have a solid heating system.

We need to take special notice of our heaters

Paradoxically, the less we use our heaters, the more careful we have to be about maintaining them. In a region of the U.S. with heavy winters, homeowners use their heaters often enough to pick up on repair needs quickly and respond to them. In a climate like Long Beach, it’s easy to ignore a malfunction in a heater and let it slide, hoping for the next warm day. This can mean getting caught off-guard when the heater suddenly breaks down from neglect.

We need heating efficiency as much as anyone

No matter how much you operate your heating system each year, you don’t want to pay more than you have to when it runs. If you don’t take good care of your heating system with maintenance and prompt repairs, it will waste money each time you turn it on, often without you realizing it because you aren’t as used to watching carefully over your heating bills.

It’s true that you aren’t likely to encounter the kind of heating malfunction emergency that people would in places that can endure three-day ice storms. But a heating emergency is uncomfortable to wait through and expensive to repair. It’s important to keep your heater working at its best for whenever you need it, so call for heating repair in Long Beach, CA as soon as you notice a malfunction, and enroll in a regular maintenance program so that you’ll have your yearly check-ups taken care of.

Call Command A/C to help keep your heater healthy. Ask about our Ultimate Service Club: it’s not only a yearly check-up on your heater, but also a check-up on your air conditioner… and you don’t need us to tell you how much that matters!

Why a Heat Pump Works Best for Long Beach, CA Heating

January 27th, 2014

Long Beach has one of the most pleasant climates in the United States, enjoying resort-like conditions much of the year. Because of the warm seasons, heating our homes presents a tricky situation. Heating is necessary—it won’t be sunny and 72°F every day of the year—but that heating shouldn’t be a large energy drain when we turn it on. For this reason, homeowners are often reluctant to invest in a large system such as a gas furnace.

Gas furnaces do work well, and for some large homes they can be ideal. But the system that we find works best for Long Beach, CA heating is the heat pump. We’ll list a few reasons why the heat pump is one of the best options for your comfort.

To learn more about your choices for heat pump installation, call Command A/C today and talk to our Long Beach heating system experts.

What makes a heat pump a great choice for Long Beach

  • Heating and cooling in one: A heat pump isn’t just a heater. It’s also an air conditioner. Essentially, a heat pump is an AC that can reverse the direction it moves heat so that instead of taking the heat outside, it brings it inside. Since an effective air conditioner is your first priority for Long Beach, a heat pump has you covered for most of the year. Think of the heating as a bonus!
  • Energy-efficiency: Furnaces, whether electric or gas-powered, must use their energy to directly create heat. A heat pump, however, does not create heat at all; it moves it from one place to another. The only energy it needs to do this is the electrical power required to operate its mechanics. This is significantly less than what a furnace uses. U.S. government studies found that a family of four can save as much as 30% off their annual heating bills when switching to a heat pump.
  • Effective heating: In cooling mode, heat pumps can compete with standalone AC models for the amount of comfort they provide. They are not as effective at providing heat, however, when the outdoor temperature drops too low, and for this reason heat pumps often need a backup system in colder climates. But none of this applies to a heat pump in Long Beach: you will get the right level of comfort that you need, and your heat pump will never have to struggle with sub-freezing temperatures.

Double-check: Is a heat pump your best choice?

Although we just spent most of this post talking up the heat pump, there is no such thing as a heating system that is always the best choice for every home. Schedule an appointment with the heating specialists at Command A/C for knowledgeable advice about the best way to keep your home warm without spending a fortune on energy costs. We have your concerns about heating in Long Beach, CA covered.