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HVAC Considerations for Southern California’s Dry Heat

Summer is around the corner, which means things are about to get hot in Southern California. The SoCal region is characterized by dry, hot summers, meaning you will want to make sure your air conditioning is in top fighting shape. Below are some factors to keep in mind when preparing your HVAC system for this year’s Southern California summers.

Contact the heating and cooling experts at Bob Jenson today!

Making the Most of Your Air Conditioner

Southern California has a Mediterranean climate that features short, mild winters and long, hot summers. SoCal’s dry seasons typically start in about April and last until late October. Average temperature highs during summer can easily reach the low 90s, and nighttime temperatures rarely dip below the 60s. 

Managing this heat is the main job of your HVAC system, so suffice it to say, that you are going to be using it a lot. Below are some tips to help you get the most performance out of your HVAC split system during the summer. 

Get a Professional Tune-Up

One of the best ways to prepare your system for the SoCal summer is to call in a professional for a tune-up. During routine maintenance, an HVAC tech will test and inspect your cooling and refrigeration system to make sure it’s running at full capacity. Your technician can also identify and fix potential issues before AC usage increases. 

Change Your Filters

Your AC needs sufficient airflow to properly cool your home. Over time, air filters in the air handler become clogged with dirt and dust, which reduces airflow, decreases indoor air quality, and puts a strain on your system. SoCal summers are dry and dusty, so you should start changing your filter more frequently when the season hits. We recommend changing your air filter at least once every two to three months. 

Seal Doors and Windows

Homes can lose a lot of energy through gaps and holes near window frames and doors. Before the summer season comes, consider going around your doors and windows to seal any gaps or holes with caulk. The more airtight your house’s envelope is, the less cool air your home will leak during the summer. 

Replace Your Insulation

You can also replace your insulation to improve AC performance. Good insulation will keep the SoCal heat out of your home more effectively, so you won’t have to rely on your AC as much and risk making your system work too hard. 

Keep Temperature at a Consistent Level

You might think you can save energy by turning off your air conditioner when you don’t need it. In actuality, constantly turning your HVAC on and off uses more energy than just keeping it on at a set level. The ideal indoor temperature during the summer for comfort is between 76 and 78 degrees. 

Heating & Air Conditioning Services Since 1977

The team at Bob Jenson has been providing quality HVAC service to homeowners in Southern California for over 45 years. Contact us online or call today at (760) 282-3748 to schedule an appointment!

How To Extend The Life Of Your Air Conditioner

As the city of San Diego, CA transitions into another season, homeowners immerse themselves in this coastal paradise’s unique charm. From the vibrant beaches of La Jolla to the bustling streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego offers a myriad of attractions and activities tailored to every season. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer to this beautiful city, ensuring your indoor spaces are comfortable after a long day in some of the local spots is vital.

As a trusted HVAC company, Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating provides quality air conditioning services in San Diego, CA, guaranteeing a conducive atmosphere whenever you come home. In this article, we will discuss the importance of air conditioning maintenance and ways to prolong the life of your AC system.

The Importance Of AC Energy Efficiency

Extending the life of your air conditioner is not only a cost-effective strategy but also an environmentally conscious one, especially in a place like San Diego, where air conditioning often becomes necessary during the summer months leading into fall. The key to maximizing your AC unit’s lifespan is reducing the workload on your system. If a component is malfunctioning or the system is operating with an obstruction, it increases the workload and energy usage of your unit. The more efficiently your air conditioner runs, the less wear and tear and repairs your system will require. Scheduling professional inspections by trained HVAC experts is the best way to ensure your air conditioner is performing efficiently and effectively.

Additionally, we encourage homeowners to properly maintain their air conditioners in between maintenance appointments to reduce the workload on your AC system. Simple tasks such as changing air filters can help your air conditioner perform seamlessly and effectively cool your home for its expected lifespan.

Maximizing Your Air Conditioner’s Longevity

In the sunny coastal city of San Diego, a reliable air conditioner is necessary, especially during the summer months. To ensure that your system stays efficient and lasts for years, it’s essential to take proactive steps in maintaining and caring for it. Below we have listed nine ways to enhance the durability of your air conditioner.

  • Professional Inspections
  • Clean or Replace Filters
  • Clear The Area Around The Outdoor Unit
  • Keep Vents and Registers Unobstructed
  • Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
  • Maintain Consistent Temperatures
  • Use Ceiling Fans
  • Seal and Insulate Your Home
  • Avoid Overloading Your AC

Professional Inspections

One of the most critical steps in extending your air conditioner’s life is to schedule regular professional inspections. These annual check-ups ensure that your system runs efficiently and help identify potential issues before they escalate. Our HVAC technicians can clean, lubricate, and fine-tune your AC, improving its overall performance and lifespan. Give the Bob Jenson team a call to schedule AC maintenance in San Diego, CA today!

Clean or Replace Filters

Air filters are the first defense in keeping your AC system clean and efficient. Over time, filters accumulate dirt, dust, and debris, restricting airflow and forcing the unit to work harder. It’s essential to change or clean your air filters every one to three months, depending on your usage and filter type. This simple maintenance task extends the life of your air conditioner and ensures healthier indoor air quality.

Clear The Area Around The Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your AC needs adequate airflow to dissipate heat effectively. Overgrown vegetation, debris, or clutter around the unit can obstruct this airflow, leading to decreased efficiency and increased wear and tear. Regularly clear the area around the outdoor unit to maintain proper airflow and ensure a minimum clearance of at least two feet.

Keep Vents and Registers Unobstructed

Indoor vents and registers are equally important for efficient airflow. We ensure that furniture, curtains, or other obstructions do not block these openings. Proper airflow throughout your home helps the air conditioner distribute cool air evenly, reducing the workload on the system.

Invest In A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat in San Diego, CA is a valuable addition to your HVAC system. It allows you to set specific temperature schedules, preventing your unit from running constantly or working too hard when no one is home. This extends the life of your air conditioner and helps reduce energy bills. In addition, you don’t have to worry about scheduling emergency AC replacement in San Diego, CA.

Maintain Consistent Temperatures

Avoid drastic temperature fluctuations by setting your thermostat to a moderate and consistent temperature. Frequent adjustments force your AC to work harder to meet the changing demands, leading to more wear and tear on the system. Keeping your home at a steady temperature can help prolong its life.

Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can complement your air conditioner by circulating cool air more efficiently. Running ceiling fans with your AC allows you to set the thermostat slightly higher while maintaining the same comfort level. This reduces the workload on your unit, increasing its lifespan and minimizing the risk of costly AC repair in San Diego, CA.

Seal and Insulate Your Home

Proper insulation and sealing gaps and cracks in your home’s exteriors can significantly reduce the workload on your AC. When well-insulated, your home retains cool air more effectively, allowing your AC to run less frequently. This extends your AC’s life and lowers your energy bills significantly.

Avoid Overloading Your AC

During peak summer heat, it’s tempting to crank up the AC to the lowest setting. However, this can lead to overloading the system. Instead, aim for a comfortable yet moderate indoor temperature. If you’re feeling too hot, consider other cooling methods, such as using fans, closing blinds or curtains to block out direct sunlight, and wearing lightweight clothing. In addition, scheduling routine AC maintenance in San Diego, CA goes a long way in mitigating further deterioration.

Why Are AC Maintenance Tasks Important?

Proper AC maintenance in San Diego, CA offers a multitude of benefits, with one of the most significant being the improvement of the unit’s lifespan. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning, lubricating, and fine-tuning the system, ensures that the air conditioner operates at peak efficiency and prevents small issues from escalating into costly problems. When your AC unit is well-maintained and energy-efficient, it faces less strain during operation, reducing wear and tear on its components. This reduced workload extends the unit’s lifespan, lowers energy bills, and minimizes the risk of costly AC replacement in San Diego, CA.

Call Bob Jenson For AC Maintenance In San Diego!

Ensuring the longevity of your air conditioner is not merely a matter of convenience but also a smart investment in your home and comfort. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, from regular maintenance to efficient use and prompt repairs, homeowners in San Diego and beyond can extend the life of their AC units.

Contact us at Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating for quality HVAC services at competitive rates, including AC repair in San Diego, CA.

Why You Should Call A Professional For AC Repair

Whether it’s the gentle waves of Coronado Beach, the captivating sights at Balboa Park, or the vibrant atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego is buzzing with excitement. But while you’re relaxing soaking in the sun, your home’s air conditioner is working hard to keep your sanctuary cool and comfortable. What if it suddenly breaks down? The inconvenience of a malfunctioning air conditioner can turn your perfect summer day into a sweltering nightmare. But fear not, because Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating is here to make sure that never happens with professional AC repair services in San Diego, CA and surrounding areas.

Why Professional AC Repair In San Diego, CA Is Essential

In the scorching heat of San Diego, a malfunctioning AC isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a disruption to your daily life. While tempting, trying to fix it yourself could lead to more complex and costly problems. AC repair isn’t merely about tinkering with wires and components; it’s a complex process that demands precise expertise, tools, and adherence to safety regulations. A professional HVAC Company in San Diego, CA, like Bob Jenson, brings years of experience, certification, and an in-depth understanding of different AC models to provide a seamless, efficient, and reliable solution.

6 Benefits Of Professional AC Repair

Choosing professional AC repair in San Diego, CA is more than a practical decision; it’s an investment in comfort and peace of mind. Here’s why hiring a professional HVAC company like Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating should be your go-to choice for AC repair:

  • Expert Diagnosis and Repair
  • Safety Assurance
  • Cost-Effective Solutions
  • Prolonging AC Lifespan
  • Peace Of Mind
  • Environmental Responsibility

Expert Diagnosis and AC Repair

With a thorough examination of your AC system, Bob Jenson’s expert technicians pinpoint the root causes of problems, ensuring accurate and lasting solutions. Our expertise translates into quick fixes without repeated interventions that may come with DIY AC repair, saving you time and stress. But it’s not just about fixing the problem; it’s about educating the homeowners. Our technicians take time to explain the issue and the remedy and offer tips to prevent future troubles, making you an informed and empowered consumer.

Safety Assurance

The electrical work required for AC repair is no playground. Our team’s safety-first approach not only adheres to industry standards but also ensures that your home and family are protected from potential hazards. By employing state-of-the-art tools and following stringent safety protocols, we turn potential risks into non-issues. You can rest easy knowing that your home is in safe hands and all procedures are being performed to the highest safety standards, with every precaution considered and every regulation followed.

Cost-Effective Solutions

Hidden faults, undetected leaks, or incorrect fixes can become financial sinkholes. Bob Jenson’s professional touch goes beyond mere repairs; it’s about understanding your system and applying the most cost-effective and long-lasting solutions. You’re not just saving money now; you’re avoiding future expenses. With a keen eye on quality and cost, we ensure that the repair suits your budget without compromising on the performance of your AC system, translating into value-added AC repair service that resonates with true financial wisdom.

Prolonging AC Lifespan

Your AC is an investment that should stand the test of time. Regular, professional care not only preserves its performance but also extends its life. Our technicians look beyond the immediate issues, optimizing the entire system for endurance and efficiency and maximizing your investment. By maintaining your AC system’s health, we are preserving its vitality and vigor, giving it a longer, more robust life that translates into years of uncompromised comfort.

Peace Of Mind

Entrusting your AC repairs to Bob Jenson means enjoying a worry-free experience. From transparent communication to our satisfaction guarantee, every step is designed to put your mind at ease. We believe in building trust, one successful repair at a time. The comfort goes beyond the temperature of your home; it seeps into the experience of knowing that there’s a team standing by, ready to assist you at any moment, with respect for your time, property, and individual needs, creating a relationship that lasts far beyond a single AC repair in Chula Vista, CA.

Environmental Responsibility

Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating is committed not just to your comfort but also to the well-being of the planet. Our technicians employ eco-friendly practices and materials when conducting AC repair that minimize waste and energy consumption. This commitment to sustainability means we’re not only fixing your AC but preserving the environment as well. From recycling old parts to recommending energy-efficient systems, our approach ensures that comfort doesn’t come at the expense of our beautiful San Diego surroundings. We turn your AC system into a model of efficiency, contributing to a greener future for all.

Our Team Is There For You With 24/7 Emergency Support

Life doesn’t follow business hours, and neither do we. When an AC emergency strikes, Bob Jenson’s team is just a phone call away, any time of the day or night. Our 24/7 emergency support is more than an AC repair service; it’s our pledge to be there when you need us most. Our technicians are always on standby, ready to bring immediate relief in times of unexpected breakdowns. No matter the hour, no matter the problem, we ensure that you’re never left stranded, offering prompt, professional, and compassionate service. In a city that never sleeps, neither does our commitment to your comfort.

Keep Cool With Confidence: Schedule Your AC Repair Today!

Summer’s vibrant energy should be celebrated, not marred by AC woes. Don’t let an unexpected breakdown steal your joy or comfort. With Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating, you’re choosing more than an AC repair service; you’re choosing a partner who cares for your comfort as much as you do. Our dedication to excellence, safety, and customer satisfaction is your assurance of cool, blissful days ahead. Keep cool with confidence by scheduling AC repair in San Diego, CA and surrounding areas with Bob Jenson. Call us now, and let’s make this summer unforgettable!

Why Did My AC Stop Working?

San Diego, with its oceanic ambiance and the thrill of the Alpine and Coronado landscapes, serves up picturesque vistas that lure in locals and tourists alike. As summer approaches, sun-soaked afternoons are spent lounging on Coronado Beach or hiking through the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in Alpine. Returning to a warm, uncomfortable home after a fun-filled day in the sun could quickly dampen your summer spirits.

To enjoy a refreshing homecoming, ensuring that your air conditioner functions optimally is paramount. Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating can assist with AC repair in San Diego, CA and surrounding areas and help you enjoy everything the area has to offer without the added stress.

How Air Conditioners Operate

Understanding the basic operation of your air conditioner can help you identify early signs of trouble and eliminate them before it turns into a bigger and costlier AC repair in Bonita, CA. Essentially, an AC unit uses refrigerant to absorb heat from the indoor air. The warm refrigerant then travels outside to the condenser unit, where it releases the heat. The now-cooled refrigerant returns inside, and the cycle repeats. Key components include:

  • Evaporator Coil: This is where the refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air. The coil is located inside the air handler, and as warm air passes over it, the refrigerant inside the coil soaks up that heat.
  • Compressor: An integral part of your AC system, the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, preparing it to release the absorbed heat. It’s the driving force that propels the refrigerant through the system.
  • Condenser Coil: Located in the outdoor unit of your air conditioning system, the condenser coil expels the heat absorbed by the refrigerant. As the pressurized refrigerant moves through the coil, it cools down and turns back into a low-pressure gas.
  • Air Filter: The air filter traps dust, allergens, and dirt that is pulled into the unit from the air. A clean filter ensures the efficiency of your AC system and maintains good air quality in your home.
  • Thermostat: This is the control panel for your AC system. It detects the room temperature and regulates your AC’s operation accordingly. Proper calibration of the thermostat is crucial for your AC to function optimally.

Understanding Why Your AC Stopped Working

When your air conditioner fails, it is usually due to one of a handful of common issues. Below we have listed four issues that may require AC repair in Alpine, CA.

  • Low Refrigerant
  • Clogged Air Filter
  • Faulty Thermostat
  • Worn-out Compressor

Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the lifeline of your AC system and cannot function properly without it. This special chemical compound is what cools the air within the unit, which is then circulated around your home. When refrigerant levels drop, usually due to leaks or undercharging at installation, your AC’s cooling capacity diminishes. Fortunately, Bob Jenson’s certified technicians can diagnose these issues and replenish the refrigerant to the necessary levels, restoring your AC’s cooling power.

Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter restricts airflow to your AC system, making it work harder than necessary and potentially causing the unit to freeze, leading to a need for AC repair. Regular filter changes and cleanings can alleviate this issue, saving you money in the long run. Let Bob Jenson’s professionals help with periodic maintenance to prevent such occurrences.

Faulty Thermostat

If your thermostat is not reading temperatures accurately, it might signal your AC to stop too soon or to run for too long without ever reaching the optimal temperature and interfere with your comfort. Professional calibration can rectify this issue, and modern, programmable thermostats may be a worthy upgrade.

Worn-out Compressor

The compressor is the heart of your AC system, circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. When it malfunctions, your AC won’t cool effectively. Compressor issues usually demand professional intervention. Bob Jenson’s skilled technicians are adept at diagnosing and providing AC repair in San Diego, CA for your compressor-related problems, helping to get your AC back in shape.

AC Repair Services We Offer

It is easy to figure out the mystery of what is wrong with your AC with the right knowledge. At Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating, we specialize in diagnosing and fixing the intricate problems that can lead to AC failure. Here are some of the AC repair services we provide:

  • Refrigerant Recharge: Low refrigerant is often the culprit behind an ineffective air conditioning system. If your system is low on refrigerant, it can’t cool effectively. Our expert technicians can check the levels and recharge the system if necessary.
  • Filter Replacement: As we discussed earlier, air filters trap dust and pollutants from the air. When they’re clogged, the system can’t effectively circulate air, leading to overworking of the system. Our service includes checking and replacing your filters to ensure smooth airflow and efficient cooling.
  • Thermostat Calibration: Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the AC unit itself, but with the thermostat. If it’s not properly calibrated, the AC won’t get the correct instructions, causing it to cool inadequately or excessively. Our technicians will make sure the thermostat is functioning correctly and properly calibrated.
  • Mechanical Repairs: AC units are complex machines. Any mechanical failure like a broken fan, a malfunctioning compressor, or a leaky coil can lead to an underperforming unit. With decades of experience, our technicians can diagnose and repair these issues, ensuring your AC unit operates at peak performance.
  • Regular Maintenance: Last but not least, to prevent unexpected and often costly breakdowns, we offer routine AC maintenance in Alpine, CA and surrounding areas. These involve checking the entire system, from electrical connections to moving parts, ensuring everything is working as it should.

Keeping Cool With Confidence

Air conditioner issues can turn a relaxing summer day into an uncomfortable ordeal and ruin your plans. Understanding why your AC might stop working is the first step in rectifying the problem. For comprehensive AC repair in Coronado, CA and surrounding areas, trust Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating. Our team of experienced technicians is dedicated to restoring your comfort in no time. Don’t let AC troubles dampen your summer joy, call our team today!

How To Prepare Your Home For a Heatwave

Nothing beats the sunny weather and all the fun-filled activities that summer offers. However, those occasional heat waves can be a serious cause for concern for any homeowners that have failed to prepare for them. But how can property owners protect themselves against the intense discomfort and potentially serious health issues that arise with these heatwave conditions?

In this article, we share tips on how to prepare your home for a heatwave in San Diego, CA so your home remains comfortable when temperatures are high.

Stay Cool & Comfortable With These 6 Tips!

The onset of a heatwave is unpredictable. And once a heatwave strikes, taking action becomes almost impossible, so it’s best to prepare in advance. Luckily, there are several tips homeowners can follow to prepare their home before the summer season approaches, including the following maintenance tasks:

  • Install A Programmable Thermostat
  • Replace Air Filters
  • Seal Air Leaks
  • Check Insulation
  • Switch To LED Lightbulbs
  • Schedule AC Maintenance

Install A Programmable Thermostat

One of the best ways to manage hot temperatures is by using a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature according to your personal temperature preferences. While regular thermostats do its job, programmable thermostats offer various convenience features and can improve AC energy efficiency.

With an upgrade, you can set your programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature depending on the time of the day. This can be beneficial for homeowners because it can adjust your home’s temperature while you are away or asleep. Adjusting your home’s temperature whenever possible can help you save on air conditioning costs each month.

Installing a programmable thermostat in Chula Vista, CA before a heatwave can help keep you comfortable and lower the workload on your air conditioner when temperatures are high.

Replace Air Filters

Air filters block out nasty particulates, including dust, pollen, and debris. Over time, debris build up within the air filter and will need to be changed or cleaned. Dirty air filters can harm various factors about your home comfort, such as indoor air quality, airflow, and system efficiency. An air conditioner operating with a dirty air filter struggles to push air through and can result in a breakdown or AC repair in Spring Valley, CA.

We recommend keeping your air filters clean and changing them every 90 days. Air conditioners can be overworked and break down when temperatures are high in the summer. It is important that homeowners maintain factors such as air filters to keep their systems working efficiently and effectively.

Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks affect your home’s temperature by interfering with your air conditioning’s cooling process. If air is escaping, your air conditioner must work harder to meet the thermostat setting. Windows, doors, and walls are susceptible to small cracks that let cold air escape or let in hot air. To keep your air conditioner efficient and home comfortable during a heatwave, we recommend caulking and weather stripping to seal air leaks.

Check Insulation

Household insulation might keep you warm during the winter, but it keeps you cool during the summertime as well. Just as it retains heat during cold temperatures, insulation keeps cold air inside your home and prevents hot air from entering it. However, even high-quality insulation will decay over time.

Some parts of a home also need more insulation, such as elevated areas on higher floors. Installing extra insulation will reduce strain on your air conditioner and lower your utility bill in the process. If you are considering upgrading or installing more insulation in your home, we recommend doing so before a heatwave arrives.

Switch To LED Light bulbs

Conventional light bulbs provide steady lighting, but they also generate heat and raise your home’s temperatures. More efficient lighting options, like LED light bulbs, will lower your property’s indoor temperatures as well as the monthly electricity bill. Experts like Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating will recommend swapping out traditional bulbs for LED light bulbs to decrease heat generation and support more efficient air conditioning.

Schedule AC Maintenance

Homeowners might be able to handle their dirty air filters. However, heavy-duty tasks and those that require electrical knowledge should only be handled by a local HVAC company in San Diego, CA for safety and warranty reasons. At Bob Jenson, our certified technicians possess the experience and equipment to give your home’s system a thorough checkup, identify potential problems, and fix your unit fast.

AC maintenance in Spring Valley, CA is the best way to prepare your home for summer and heatwaves. Our qualified technicians can catch problems early by performing a full system inspection. The last thing you want to experience during a heatwave is AC repair in Chula Vista, CA, so give our expert technicians a call for reliable AC maintenance services!

Benefits Of Preparing Your Home

Knowing how to prepare for a heatwave is one thing, but why put in so much effort? Preparing your home in advance for adverse heat conditions offers you the following benefits:

  • Avoid costly repairs. Summer weather conditions strain your air conditioner. However, proactive maintenance and preparation will mean less chance of needing expensive AC repairs in San Diego, CA or early replacements.
  • Lower utility bills. Utility costs directly relate to your air conditioner’s energy usage. The more electricity your unit requires to run, the more you have to pay. Preparing for heatwaves in advance helps you increase your air conditioner’s energy efficiency to mitigate those potentially higher cooling costs.
  • Increased comfort. Cool air helps you feel refreshed and relaxed throughout the summer. Intense heat won’t matter when you have a reliably comfortable interior to come home to.
  • Prevent health problems. Heatwaves cause health issues, including heat cramps or heat exhaustion, muscle pain, fevers, and headaches. Heat stroke can even put your life in jeopardy. Don’t take that risk—prepare the air conditioning system to keep you cool and healthy all summer long.

The professionals at Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating believe that our customers’ health and comfort matter above all else. Maintain your home’s air conditioning system and take these other vital steps to protect you and your loved ones—simple but intentional heatwave preparation can go a long way to ensuring that this summer is the best one yet.

Schedule AC Maintenance In El Cajon, CA Today!

Now, you understand how to prepare your home for a heatwave. However, it’s crucial that you schedule AC maintenance with a trusted HVAC company in Spring Valley, CA to help you handle any issues with your home’s system as they arise. Consider Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating, a team that proudly offers comprehensive air conditioning maintenance, repair, and installation services in El Cajon, CA. Call Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating at (619) 202-5726 today to learn more about what we can do for you!

Thermostats and Controls

Quicklinks to other articles in this series:

What Are Thermostats and HVAC Controls?

Your thermostat is the part of your HVAC system that measures the temperature of your home. It also controls the system to turn on and off heating and cooling cycles.

Where Are Thermostats & Controls Located?

The ideal location for thermostats is in a hallway near the center of your home or business. Make sure to keep them away from air conditioning vents and direct sunlight. Because this can throw off the accuracy by extreme differences in temperature.

Since stoves and ovens in the kitchen can create large amounts of heat, avoid placing thermostats there . The same logic applies to a thermostat in a bathroom since the steam heat from a shower will produce a wrong reading.

How Do Thermostats Work?

Mechanical thermostats use a magnetic strip or a mercury bulb that energizes the heating or cooling system. Also they have a part known as a heating anticipator that must be set according to very specific instructions. Further they can contain mercury, a highly toxic and hazardous material. And so these thermostats are illegal to install. They have been upgraded to digital versions.

Digital thermostats use a device called a thermistor to measure the indoor temperature. A thermistor reacts to changes in temperature. Then a brain inside the thermostat converts the thermistor reading to a temperature reading.

What Makes Them Important?

The energy bill of your home or business is directly related to how efficiently a thermostat performs. The thermostat is the point of control over the entire HVAC system. Some homes and businesses use system zoning. This is a control panel that opens and closes duct dampers thru series of multiple thermostats. So it better regulates the temperature inside the home.

Different Types of Controls and Thermostats


Thermostats are either mechanical or digital. However, mechanical thermostats are older models, and most homes and businesses now use digital thermostats. Frequently, digital controls have digital displays that feature heating and cooling modes, fan speeds, and temperature adjustments. Many modern thermostats work well with whole-house air cleaners and/or variable-speed air conditioning systems.

Newer devices, like the popular Nest brand, have program features that can record energy use and adjust themselves to save money. In addition, others offer wireless access to control your thermostat from any mobile device. This results in more efficient energy use and savings on utility bills. Also, some work with automation bridges to combine with lighting controls, security systems, and even watering systems!

Maintenance and Repairs

Most thermostats do not need a lot of maintenance or repair. So before calling a technician, check your breaker panel for any tripped breakers. Make sure your thermostat has fresh batteries. Remove the thermostat’s front cover panel and clean any grime or dirt. A dirty thermostat that results in a difference of three degrees between its set temperature and the actual temperature can result in an increased fuel bill of 7 percent!

If those troubleshooting tips do not help, you should contact an experienced technician to replace the thermostat. The team at Bob Jenson is ready and waiting to assist if you need help or have questions with anything about your HVAC system.

How the Indoor Coil and TXV Work

Quicklinks to other articles in this series:

What Are the Indoor Coil and TXV?

Indoor Coil and TXV

The indoor coil is the portion of the air conditioner that absorbs the hot air from inside your home and transfers it to the refrigerant. It pairs with the condenser coil to create a continuous loop of heat transfer.

The TXV, which stands for thermostatic expansion valve, acts as a metering device for air conditioning systems. It regulates the rate at which liquid refrigerant flows into the indoor coil.

Where Are They Located?

An indoor coil will be located inside your home or business. The installation of the indoor coil is in line with the furnace, in a closet or in the attic.

You will likely find the TXV mounted near the indoor coil on the liquid line. Also the sensing bulb is mounted to the outside of the larger suction line.

How Do The Indoor Coil and TXV Work?

The radiator-like device mounted in the airstream is the indoor coil. As warm indoor air passes over the evaporator coil, heat from the home is absorbed into the refrigerant. Likewise moisture is naturally removed from the air . The combination of cooling and dehumidification provides the total cooling effect for the home. In contrast, a heat pump reverses this process. In the winter, heat transfers from the refrigerant into the home or business thru the indoor coil.

Through the liquid line, refrigerant enters the TXV valve at a high pressure. The TXV limits the amount of refrigerant entering the evaporator thus reducing it’s pressure. Along with this pressure drop, the saturation temperature, or “boiling point” of the refrigerant drops as well. This allows a change of state from liquid to gas which is the most efficient time to transfer large amounts of heat from the surrounding air into the refrigerant.

What Makes Them Important?

A well-maintained indoor coil is, along with the outdoor coil, essential to an efficient air conditioning system. Indoor coils that have fallen into disrepair will not be able to transfer heat effectively, causing your home or business to feel less cool. Restricted airflow to the coil can cause the coil to start icing up and even freeze over.

After regulation changes in 2006, most air conditioning systems now require a TXV. It controls the refrigerant flow to create maximum efficiency for the indoor coil. It also prevents excess refrigerant from returning to the compressor and flooding it.

Different Types of Indoor Coils and TXVs

The most common indoor coils in air conditioning systems are divided into three types:

“A” coils, which get their name from the shape they take, are common for vertically aligned air conditioners.

Indoor Coil Uncased

“N” or “W” coils, also named for their shape, work for vertical or horizontally aligned systems. They are smaller than other options.

Slab coils are less common and used for horizontally aligned air conditioning systems.

Similarly, uncased coils are uncommon as well. They easier to build as custom coils for unusual air conditioner designs. A third indoor coil design is the vertical coil, which is suitable for upward and downward air flow.

TXVs come in two major types, internally equalized and externally equalized, which refer to how the TXV senses pressure. Indoor coils with multiple refrigerant circuits typically use an externally equalized TXV.

Maintenance and Repairs

Dirty indoor coils are less efficient, sapping your air conditioner of its efficiency and leading to energy usage up to 30% above average. You can save money and keep cool by checking your air conditioner’s air filter monthly and replacing it as necessary. If you notice that the air filter looks “domed,” this is a sign that the air conditioner is not receiving enough airflow. Replace the filter immediately.

Do not attempt to clean the fins on the indoor coil as they are quite delicate and can bend easily. Instead, call a professional technician who has the right tools and expertise.

A faulty TXV forces an air conditioning system to work harder than necessary, putting stress on other components. Also improper installation of the TXV bulb, such as mounting it to the underside of the indoor coil’s output line, might provide false readings and cause malfunctions.

Refrigerant, Copper Lines and Filter Driers

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What Are Refrigerants, Copper Pipes, and Filter Driers?

Refrigerants, copper pipes and filter driers

Refrigerant is the liquid chemical blend that soaks up heat and releases it as part of the air conditioning process; it is the lifeblood of the air conditioner. Copper pipes act as refrigerant lines to transport this vital fluid throughout the air conditioning system. The filter drier provides physical filtration and absorbs water and other contaminants that can be found in the refrigerant.

Where Is the Refrigerant & Filter Dryer?

Refrigerant runs throughout the air conditioner, from the evaporator coil to the condenser and back again, creating the basic flow necessary for cooling to occur. A technician can maintain refrigerant levels by access ports found on the outdoor unit.

The two main lines of copper piping run from the condenser to the evaporator coil and back. The larger is called the suction (or return, or vapor) line and the smaller one is the liquid line.

You will find the filter drier on the liquid line outside near the condenser or inside near the evaporator coil. It looks like a blue or grey soda can.

The Science Behind Refrigerant

Refrigerant Gauge Up Close

Refrigerant is contained within copper coils inside an air conditioner. As the hot liquid refrigerant is pumped into your home to the indoor coil it is metered by the TXV which only allows a small amount to enter the coil. This creates a drop in temperature of the refrigerant allowing the heat from your home to soak up like a sponge and transfers into the refrigerant to be taken outside as a gas back to the compressor. Finally, once your thermostat senses that enough heat has been removed, it shuts off the system at just the right temperature.

Larger refrigerant lines that carry cold gas need to be insulated. For example; on a warm summer day condensation would form, like the outside of a glass of ice water. In contrast, the liquid line needs no insulation because it contains warm refrigerant.

Filter driers remove moisture from refrigerants. To acheive this, dryers use desiccants, such as activated alumina or silica. Some use molecular sieves, which trap moisture on a molecular level. Also, to keep out common contaminants, filter driers use screens and depth filters, such as bonded desiccant cores or fiberglass pad filters.

What Makes Them Important?

Refrigerants need to have low freezing and boiling points, a low condensing pressure, a high vaporization heat, high vapor density, and a high critical temperature. Moreover, they should be non-corrosive, non-flammable, and non-toxic. For those reasons, refrigerants are carefully synthesized chemicals.

The filter drier’s essential role is to remove water from the system. Water can cause freeze-ups and corrosion from organic acid compounds, so moisture must be eliminated.

As far as materials go, copper tubing is economical and eco-friendly since it is strong, light-weight, and relatively inexpensive. In addition, refrigerants are contained in copper tubing because the copper is efficient at transferring heat.

Different Types of Refrigerants, Copper Pipes, and Filter Driers

R410A Refrigerant Jug

Refrigerants come in two types: the older version, R-22, commonly known as Freon; and R410A, known by its brand name, Puron. For many years the main refrigerant in air conditioning systems was R-22, but due to its effect on the ozone, it was severely restricted from production and will be banned entirely by 2020. R410A is the industry standard now. This is because it is efficient and less harmful for the environment, while providing the same cooling as R-22.

The two main types of copper pipes are hard-drawn copper and soft copper. Hard-drawn copper is very rigid and straight. Soft copper is flexible and comes in 25- or 50-foot rolls. There are markings that indicate that the pipes have been cleaned and dehydrated for use in air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Filter driers come in various forms, including spun copper, steel liquid-line, steel suction-line, and steel bi-flow. Steel driers provide added filtration and water capacity over copper driers.

Maintenance and Repairs

Be aware that R-22 and R410A are not interchangeable. Your air conditioning system will use only one of these refrigerants. Newer air conditioners will use R410A as its refrigerant. A trained technician should handle refrigerant replacement because these coolants can be dangerous to handle and must be disposed in specific ways.

If you notice oil stains around your air conditioner, you might have a leak, potentially caused by damaged copper pipes. Harsh weather, internal contaminants, or installation in high traffic areas can damage copper pipes. Therefore never reuse old copper refrigerant lines when repairing or upgrading your air conditioner.

And finally, filter cores and drier shells may need to be replaced over time, but thankfully, the market provides a wide range of replacements. Often, these replacement cores and shells are a simple installation for a professional technician.

Outdoor Condenser Coil and Fan

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Outdoor Condenser Coil

What Are the Outdoor Condenser Coil and Fan?

The outdoor condenser coil, is very much like the radiator in your car. That is to say, copper tubes that run thru aluminum fins hold the refrigerant. This design allows air pass over them and efficiently release heat. The condenser fan is its sidekick in this endeavor, providing the necessary cool air for heat transfer.

Where Are the Outdoor Condenser Coil and Fan Located?

As the name suggests, in a traditional split air conditioning system, the outdoor coil is found outside. The condenser fan is also outdoors in the same unit. The outdoor coil is the silver or sometimes black looking wall that wraps around your entire outdoor unit. Also a metal grid or panels surrounds the coil is designed to protect the delicate fins. The outdoor condenser fan motor is attached under the top of your air conditioner to be able to pull air in thru the coil and out thru the top of the unit.

How Do They Work Together?

Refrigerant coming out of the compressor is in vapor form and very hot when it reaches the outdoor coil. The outdoor coil must cool the vapor back to a liquid form in order for the cooling cycle to continue. This is where the condenser fan becomes essential.

By blowing outdoor air, which is cooler than the hot refrigerant vapor, across the outdoor coil, heat transfers from the refrigerant to the outdoors. With enough heat transferred, the refrigerant starts to condense back into a liquid form halfway thru the coil and is fully liquid before it leaves the coil.

What Makes Them Important?

The better the outdoor coil releases its heat, the more efficient the air conditioner is. That is why higher efficient A/C units are larger in overall size, they have more coil surface area! A properly functioning outdoor fan keeps the right amount of air moving across the coils which causes that change from vapor to liquid. In addition, modern fan motors can run at various speeds depending on the cooling needs, saving energy. If your old fan motor goes out the compressor will overheat and shut off to protect it.

Outdoor Condenser Fan

Maintenance and Repairs

Regularly clean outdoor coils to maximize cooling performance and ensure that your air conditioning system has a long and efficient life. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a dirty outdoor coil can increase a home’s energy consumption by up to 30 percent! Especially near the ocean, the salt air can destroy coils very quickly and need to be cleaned more often.

You can help by removing leaves, sticks, debris and cutting back any landscaping from around the your outdoor unit. However, opening up and cleaning a condenser coil is one of those projects that you should not attempt to do yourself. Leave it to a technician and schedule an annual maintenance call.

Condenser fans have a set temperature at which they will safely operate, often around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. However, sometimes they can overheat, often due to an incorrectly sized motor, poor airflow, lack of lubrication, or over-ramping.

You can quickly check if your condenser fan motor is working by placing your hand over the top of the outdoor unit; you should feel hot air blowing pretty strongly and see the fan spinning. If you hear your a/c running but don’t see or feel the fan working, you should call one of Bob Jenson’s professional technicians to diagnose the problem.

In the next article we will talk about the copper lines that connect the two parts of your split system and the interesting science behind how refrigerants remove heat from your home!

How an Air Conditioning Compressor Works

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What is an Air Conditioning Compressor?

The air conditioning compressor is at the core of how an air conditioning system functions. It’s basically a large electric motor that turns a compressing mechanism which pumps refrigerant thru the entire air conditioning system. It draws in cooler, low-pressure refrigerant gas and compresses it into a high-pressure gas. This allows the cooling cycle to move in a continuous fashion.

Air Conditioning Compressor

Where is the Air Conditioning Compressor Located?

The compressor is located in your outdoor unit. It’s in the center of the condenser and is the heaviest part of your outdoor unit. Look down thru the top of your outdoor condenser and you will see it sitting at the bottom.

How Does a Compressor Work?

Since most air conditioning compressors today are scroll compressors, we’ll explain how they work. When you turn down the temperature on your thermostat it allows electricity to run to the compressor. The motor inside the compressor requires a lot of power to start up. Because of this, a capacitor which stores electricity helps kickstart the motor. A scroll compressor has the ability to start up “unloaded”, then gradually begins to fully compress the refrigerant. To illustrate; If you try and push your car without power you would strain yourself. But if a few people helped you push until you got up momentum then you could easily do it.

The motor shaft turns a scroll within another scroll to compress the gas at several points along the way. Once the gas is compressed it is discharged thru the top of the compressor as a very hot gas. It now travels thru the outdoor coil to continue the next step of the process.

What makes the Compressor Important?

Without a properly functioning compressor, you won’t have a cool home. Like a pumping heart, a compressor moves refrigerant thru copper lines to complete the cycle of the air conditioning process. The only difference of an air conditioning system from your circulatory system is we are exchanging heat instead of oxygen!

Different Types of Compressors

Most newer air conditioners use scroll compressors, which use a single fixed scroll, with another scroll rotating within it. Scroll compressors have increased in popularity because they have fewer parts than conventional compressors and therefore require less maintenance. They also have many safety features built in to protect them from failure. They can handle small amounts of liquid refrigerant which would break most other compressors.

A common type of compressor used in older units is the reciprocating compressor. It uses pistons and cylinders much like the motor inside your car. These are less efficient compressors than the scroll and have more moving parts.

3D view inside an air conditioning compressor

Rotary compressors are extremely quiet and small. They use a cylinder within a cylinder design to simultaneously push and compress refrigerant. A rotary compressor can only compress refrigerant gas at one point along the walls of the cylinders. They sometimes use external components that can vary the incoming electricity and refrigerant flow, to help them to become very efficient. A version of rotary compressors know as inverter compressors can vary their compressor speed based on the cooling needed. These are popular in small ductless mini-split systems.

Extra-large and industrial HVAC systems might use a centrifugal compressor. This type of compressor uses centrifugal force to rapidly spin refrigerant gas with an impeller. Centrifugal compressors have no valves, pistons, or cylinders, so they wear down less.

Maintenance and Repairs

You cannot directly maintain an air conditioning compressor because they are hermetically sealed. Most of the care of a compressor comes from basic system maintenance. Things like changing dirty air filters and cleaning coils debris will reduce stress on the compressor.

The most critical part of compressor care is the initial installation of the condensing unit. Air conditioner compressor parts should not come in contact with moisture; which turns into acid. Acid that enters the compressor, will result in reduced efficiency and will lead to damage of internal components. Using a vacuum pump and a micron gauge during will remove all traces of moisture before startup!

A system that loses its refrigerant charge due to a small leak will cause the compressor to overheat and shutoff. If you suspect a compressor issue, because your system won’t cool your home, call Bob Jenson’s helpful technicians immediately.

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