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Blog Roundup: 5 of our Favorite Bob Jenson Posts

Now that it’s spring, we have some questions for you: Are you dealing with piled-up clutter from messy kids and adults who have been indoors more than usual? Does everything just feel like it needs a good scrubbing down and airing out? There’s a reason spring is associated with cleaning season, a time for renewal and reassessing the inner workings of your household.

Not only that, but spring is the perfect time of year to check your furnace, examine how well your home’s air ventilation and AC is working, and make sure that you’re saving money on your energy bills as we head into the warmer seasons.

In order to help you prepare for springtime, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite Bob Jenson blog posts that’ll keep your home — and health — in top shape this spring.

Spring Cleaning to Reduce Allergens

Springtime isn’t a bright, sunny picnic for everybody — those who suffer from seasonal allergies can have a tough time in the spring with so much pollen in the air. Spring cleaning can also shift a lot of built-up dust and debris in your house, so it’s no wonder it can be hard for sufferers to find relief.

While you can’t control the trees and flowers blooming, you can get a handle on your household’s allergens. Our handy blog post, Spring Clean These 6 Things to Reduce Allergens, names the top things in your home to clean to reduce allergy symptoms. These are things you’d likely expect (pillows and bedding) and some you might not (when’s the last time you cleaned your curtains?).

Decorate for Better Air Quality

It’s true you can decorate — or redecorate — any time of year, but there’s just something about spring that makes it feel like the perfect time to rearrange things around the home and try something new. This is also a great time to assess your home décor and how it’s affecting your indoor air quality. We’re thinking of carpeting that traps dirt and dust, or using chemical-filled candles and air fresheners.

In 4 Home Decorating Tips for Better Air Quality, we put a heavy emphasis on going green, especially when it comes to adding plants to your home to improve air quality and swapping your air fresheners for natural products. You’ll also want to take the time to replace your furnace and air conditioner filters — they play a huge part in the health of your home!

5 Mistakes San Diego Homeowners Make in Spring

If you’re a homeowner in San Diego, you already know how important it is to take care of particular parts of your house, such as cooling systems for our hot summers and air filters to catch all the dust in your home. It’s smart to use springtime as a chance to examine your property and make sure that you’re not making any of the mistakes we detail in our 5 Mistakes San Diego Homeowners Make in Spring blog post.

For example, although we already mentioned dusting and cleaning your bedding, have you been skipping an annual HVAC maintenance check? Even if you’re diligent about ensuring that the filters are clean, there could be problems you’re missing.

Regular preventive maintenance is necessary to keep your HVAC running smoothly, and it’s especially vital to get it checked before you have to turn on the air conditioning. Check out our Maintenance Program to find out how you can save on these services.

Get Ready for Flu Season

Thinking about flu season in the spring might seem crazy, but bear with us. Although many people think the flu strikes only during the winter, it can pop up in any season, and it can be even worse in the springtime. Plus, if you’ve got children, you know how tough it can be to quarantine your family at home.

Fortunately, our 3 Ways to Get Ready for Flu Season blog post has some tips to help you prepare your household. For example, is your home equipped with a good humidifier? Cold and flu germs have a hard time surviving in humid environments, which is why it’s important to get one running as soon as a member of your household starts sniffling. And of course, making sure your HVAC filter is clean is a big help when it comes to helping everyone breathe a little easier.

Tips for Spring Home Maintenance

If you need a quick refresher for spring cleaning along with some handy tips, our Spring Home Maintenance Tips blog post is a must-read. Even if you think you’ve got a handle on how to clean your home, have you considered what parts of your walls need a good washing? How about your fridge? And speaking of places where there might be mold growth, have you checked your attic’s ventilation lately? We’ve got these reminders for you, and a whole lot more.

Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating installs and services HVAC systems throughout San Diego County. Be sure to keep your eye on our blog for regular posts that can help you make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient, and get in touch with us when it’s time to call in a professional.

Why You Shouldn’t Take a DIY Approach to Your HVAC

Here at Bob Jenson, we’ve heard DIY stories that run the gamut when it comes to folks trying to tackle their HVAC systems. From the guy who improperly installed a replacement cooling unit in his attic and ended up ruining expensive electronics to the woman who didn’t realize something was wrong until her unit started smoking, there seems to be an endless supply of these sort of tales.

Do-it-yourself projects may be entertaining, but they often involve doing it wrong, especially when it comes to HVAC systems. In some areas, mistakes might be part of the learning curve and not that big of a deal, but when it comes to your HVAC, you probably don’t want to risk it.

Bottom line: Your handyman skills are, well, handy for fixing a stuck door or building a new end table, but here are just a few of the reasons you ought not to try your hand at HVAC repairs and replacement. Instead, reach out to the team at Bob Jenson. Our award-winning, industry-certified technicians are best in class.

You Don’t Have the Right Tools

Though you might have a fancy set of forty screwdrivers and your grandfather’s trusty pair of pliers, you likely do not have the specialized equipment and talent required to work on your heating and cooling system. Watching YouTube videos doesn’t provide the same knowledge as proper training and hands-on experience.

But you know who does have access to these expensive tools and technology? Educated, skilled HVAC field technicians who have trained for years to work on these complicated systems. Bob Jenson’s technicians are not only well-trained, but they’re licensed, insured, and bonded to ensure your confidence in their work.

You’re Putting Yourself (and Your Family) at Risk

Working with HVAC systems can be awfully dangerous if you’re not prepared. Toxic fumes, high voltages, carbon monoxide, sharp metal edges, flammable natural gas — these are but some of the dangers that professionals know how to navigate.

Working with cooling systems also means working with refrigerant chemicals, and the EPA has very specific requirements with regards to handling and disposal of those dangerous materials. Bob Jenson has the know-how and all the necessary safety equipment — like goggles, gloves, earplugs, and respiratory protection — needed to safely complete the job.

You’re Causing Costly Long-Term Issues

Even if you have managed to avoid injuring yourself while tooling around with the ducts in your home, the odds are strong that you will have made your system less efficient. Even small issues or changes can lead to much more significant (and expensive) problems in the future; for instance, even a slight uptick in humidity because of a change you made could lead to a future outbreak of mold or mildew.

Who pays a heavy cost for those small inefficiencies in the long run? Your bank account knows the answer. Leave the fixing to the pros and you’ll save big.

You Might Void Your Warranties

Your HVAC system is comprised of many different parts, machines, ducts, levers, pieces, and assorted components, and many of these have manufacturers’ warranties that will be voided if you tamper with them. Most warranties require a certified HVAC professional to maintain or repair your system. That warranty is valuable — keep it intact by relying on Bob Jenson instead.

You’re Lowering the Value of Your Home

Shoddy HVAC work will negatively affect your home’s resale value. Consider the potential homebuyer who inspects the attic only to find the heating system barely held together with duct tape, the remnants of a botched repair job.

Most people sell two or three homes in a lifetime, so keep your home as valuable as it can be with regular maintenance and proper (read: professionally performed) repair work.

Checklist for a Healthy HVAC System

Even though you’re now aware of many reasons to leave your HVAC system’s repair and replacement to the professionals, you may be wondering what you can do to positively impact your air quality and HVAC system.

Here are some actions you can take:

  • Replace your HVAC system’s air filter regularly, about once each month, but at least once a season.
  • Regularly check and clean other filters in your home, such as air purifier and clothes dryer filters.
  • Clear away any branches and leaves to maintain clear space around your outside unit.
  • Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector, or buy one for each level of your home if you do not own any.
  • Keep aware of any signs of wear and tear, including unusual noises coming from the ductwork.
  • If your air is not blowing cool enough or strongly enough, check that no vents are blocked and all registers and vents are open.

Most importantly, contact us to help with any and all HVAC maintenance, sales, and repair needs. We are always prepared to assist you!

A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician

Meet Marty, a skilled and trusted HVAC technician who lives in San Diego. Working for Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating, an established family business in the San Diego area, means that he calls the whole county his service area. No two days are alike at Marty’s job, and he’d be the first to tell you that every call requires good communication skills, resourceful thinking, and quality training. Above all, he prioritizes his customers above all else.

Come along with Marty to learn what a day in the life of an HVAC technician looks like!

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Marty starts his morning by driving to the office and meets with his Service Manager. He learns which clients require service that day and after a quick appraisal of the day’s jobs, Marty grabs the required gear and safety equipment. Restocking the work van, cleaning and gathering the needed parts and filters takes a few minutes, and then Marty drives to the first location.

8:30-9:30 a.m.

The first stop of the day is a common task for Marty: performing a regular maintenance check on a customer’s HVAC system. Rhonda, who lives in La Jolla, is a decades-long client, partially because of the excellent customer service and the consistency of high-quality work she’s received from Bob Jenson.

Marty asks if Rhonda has noticed any heating or cooling issues over the past year and after confirming she hasn’t, Marty continues his inspection. He discovers a part that appears to be malfunctioning slightly and takes note to show Rhonda right away.

Marty get Rhonda’s approval to order the new part and documents the expected arrival date on Rhonda’s paperwork and reviews his maintenance check with her before wishing her well and moving on to his second client of the day.

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The installation of an HVAC unit at a new microbrewery opening up in North County will take the better part of his day, so Marty joins several other colleagues who are already on-site to help with the install.

Because this is building is still under construction, Marty will have to work in cramped quarters and in very cold crawlspaces and ceilings. Marty’s years of experience interpreting blueprints and working to exact specification means he is able to work quickly and efficiently. He’s reminded of a similar installation that took place this past July, in which he helped install rooftop chillers and air conditioning units in a new build across town—incredibly sweaty work!

In the mid-afternoon, Marty gets a call from his supervisor letting him know a nearby customer is having issues maintaining temperature in his home. After he finishes some wiring, he cleans himself up and hops back into the van to visit that client.

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.

Marty Grabs a quick bite to eat on the way to his next call, he knows all the good spots around San Diego!

1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

After arriving on the call and having a brief discussion with Ernesto, the Imperial Beach resident who is having issues keeping his house warm, Marty investigates several possible causes of the problem. He checks that the thermostat is in working order. He performs visual inspections for leaks in the pipes and defective joints in the ductwork. He methodically checks the safety components that would stop the unit from working. Finally, he disassembles part of the HVAC equipment and finds the problem. It’s a simple fix for Marty and his tool bag, but not one that the average person could repair on his own. (While it’s tempting to DIY, many times, it’s best to let HVAC professionals handle repairs and maintenance.)

Marty then provides an efficiency check to ensure that Ernesto’s system is operating as it should. Ernesto is happy when warm air once again flows into his home! Marty cleans up and receives payment, he checks if there is anything else he can do and also recommends particular thermostat settings to keep his home warm and comfortable all winter long. Finally he leaves a review card for Ernesto to be able to leave a review online, he knows how valuable a review from a happy customer can be for himself and the company!

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Marty returns to the office to submit his daily paperwork and returns the borrowed tools and equipment to the office. His service manager lets him know, Ernesto has already left a great review! After getting some kudos, he grabs his personal tools that he wishes to take home with him and signs out, satisfied with another rewarding day of keeping his skills sharp and helping his customers stay comfortable.

Of course, temperature control systems can break down at any point on any day, and in such emergencies, they need to be fixed right away in order to protect people’s health and safety, as well as keep clients comfortable. Like his co-workers, Marty sometimes has to squeeze in unexpected calls, work late and can be on call some weekends in order to assist customers with breakdowns and time-sensitive issues with HVAC systems.

If you have further questions about HVAC services or want to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled techs, call Bob Jenson today. Don’t ask for Marty though, he’s just an example technician! Bob Jenson A/C has been serving the San Diego area since the late 1970s and has continued to be a trusted provider today.

Top 5 Qualities of the Right HVAC Contractor

Forget Brand, Choose the Right Contractor

If all these years in the HVAC industry have taught our staff at Bob Jenson anything, it’s that clients sometimes underestimate just how critical proper HVAC installation is. The wrong installation can result in sweaty summers, winters not warm enough, and utility bills through the roof.

So how can you choose an HVAC provider you can trust? You probably want more info than what’s on Yelp — although if you just looked at our reviews, we’d be okay with that. Before you contact a contractor to install a new system or upgrade an outdated one, learn these five essential qualities to ensure that you end up satisfied with the HVAC provider you choose.

They Have the Proper Paperwork

First and foremost, a proper HVAC contractor in California will be licensed by the Contractors State License Board. This licensure allows a contractor to manipulate electrical, plumbing, and gas lines. Licensed contractors know how to handle refrigerant, especially in compliance with federal restrictions from the Clean Air Act that require newer air conditioning units to use R-410A instead of R-22.

Look for your contractor’s license number on their website (ours is located at the bottom of the page), business cards, informational pamphlets and brochures, and/or their work vehicles. The parent company will also hold worker’s compensation, liability insurance, and a surety bond.

They Meet You in Person

A legitimate contractor will always visit your home or business to provide an estimate or bid. Beware of inexperienced contractors who will try to hustle you with an attractive price over the phone without ever setting foot inside your door. Windows, insulation, ducting, number of registers, square footage — these are all concerns that a proper contractor will take into account during a walkthrough. A contractor will then utilize calculations — known in the industry as Manuals J (for cooling and heating), S (for equipment size), and D (for ductwork) — to create a thorough evaluation.

Don’t rely on verbal or over-the-phone promises. Always insist on a written and itemized contract that includes payment due dates and project deadlines, which any reputable HVAC company would be happy to provide.

They Rely on Knowledge and Experience

You want a contractor who will select the perfect HVAC system for your home or business. Choosing the correct size or having an energy-efficient air conditioning unit is far more important than buying the most popular brand. For instance, heating and cooling systems that are Energy Star qualified meet strict federal standards for energy efficiency, thereby promoting long-term savings on utility costs.

Some contractors will attempt to push a certain model on customers simply because they are trying to get rid of old inventory, or they will use gimmicks and act-now discounts to disguise their inexperience. Ethical contractors will also make you aware of your system’s warranties, in addition to any guarantees, incentives, and potential rebates and refunds available to you as the homeowner or business owner.

They’re Certified and Proud of It

The best HVAC contractors stay up-to-date on the latest technologies in order to save their customers money on utility costs. You’re ideally looking for a company that has years of experience installing multiple types and sizes of HVAC systems and a demonstrable skill set in computers and programmable systems.

The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization, the nation’s largest non-profit organization for HVAC installers, also provides rigorous testing to earn their certification, with additional continuous education programs required for recertification every two years. A NATE-certified HVAC installer typically provides the highest-quality service with fewer average callbacks than a contractor without such credentials.

They’re Trusted in Your Community

You will want to brush up on a company’s credentials by reading about their past service, but be skeptical of online reviews that are overwhelmingly glowing or deeply bitter without providing much in the way of specific details. The Better Business Bureau is a solid resource to utilize — Bob Jenson has an A+ rating and zero customer complaints through the BBB — as are Angie’s List and the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America).

Of course, your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors might provide the most honest and important recommendations, and the best HVAC companies work hard to maintain their community standing. Bob Jenson is a highly accredited, certified, licensed, and experienced HVAC contractor, serving the Greater San Diego Area. Contact our trusted experts today to experience the difference!

4 Causes of Hot or Cold Spots In Your Home

Conquer Differing Temperatures in Your Home

Do you have a room that always feels hot — or one that is much draftier than the others in your home? Your house should have a uniform room temperature throughout, which is why it can be frustrating to find that certain areas feel warmer or colder than they should be.

No matter what time of year you notice disparate temperatures, you should investigate the problem as soon as you find it — it could end up saving you a ton of money on your heating or air conditioning, not to mention you won’t have to randomly bundle up (or take off some layers) in particular rooms! Identifying what’s causing this issue can help you get back to an ideal temperature in no time.

Here are a few of the most common causes of hot or cold spots, and what you can do to fix them or prevent them from happening:

Why Hot or Cold Spots Are Happening

Although we’ve heard plenty of spooky stories about ghosts causing cold spots, the real causes are far less supernatural. The same goes for hot spots. They’re both due to certain flaws that are happening within the home’s heating and cooling systems, which also include the windows, the insulation, and more.

These flaws could include:

  1. Your HVAC is too large or too small for your home. Whether your home is old or new, it’s worth taking a look to see if your HVAC unit is the right size to heat and cool it properly. A small HVAC in a large house would be working ineffectively, and a large HVAC in a small house would struggle to properly dehumidify.

    Either way, it’s a recipe for inconsistency and can wreak havoc on how humid or dry your home feels. You should get an expert’s consultation on exactly what size HVAC system your home needs— particularly if you’ve been renovating and adding on units.
  1. The air ducts might not be working properly. If your home’s air ducts have holes or cracks, they could be letting warm or cool air escape. Also, this means your HVAC has to work even harder, since faulty air ducts — even if they’re simply loose or not connected correctly — can lose up to 40% of your heated or cooled air.

    Dirty air ducts are another issue, as debris that’s built up within the ducts can affect air flow from room to room. In this case, you can clean or replace the duct filters yourself, or call in a professional to take care of it. A professional can also assess if there are any cracks in your ducts — again, you can seal those yourself, but it’s a smarter move to have an expert fix them, especially since it can save you from more damage down the line.
  1. Your home has an insulation problem. Since ductwork is typically made of metal, it needs to be insulated to ensure that it can carry the warm or cool air further away from the HVAC unit. If the pipes aren’t properly insulated — or if they aren’t insulated at all — this can cause random hot or cold spots as the temperature leaks. It’s also an issue if you have exposed ducts in areas like basements or attics.

    A trained professional can take a look at all areas of your home and note where there should be more insulation around the ductwork — and they can also check to see if your windows and doors need stronger seals to prevent drafty leaks.
  1. You need better zoning. If you’ve got a large home, it may be difficult for your HVAC’s output to reach every single area. This is where zoning comes in: It allows you to set different temperatures for different rooms, which is especially handy when the heat rises within a multi-level home.

    Setting the temperature from room to room can also save money on your heating and cooling bills. And it allows everyone to choose how warm or cool they’d like their bedroom to be! A similar solution is to go ductless, which will give you an even higher level of customization.

Get the Right Fix

You shouldn’t have to live with hot or cold spots in your home, particularly when it’s an annoyance that could also be costing you money. Although it could be as small an issue as a dirty duct filter, it could be something as serious as an embattled HVAC straining itself to service a larger home.

Whatever the problem may be, contact Bob Jenson for an evaluation and consultation — we’ll make sure you’re not too hot and not too cold, but just right!

How HVAC Care Can Help Your Fall Allergies

Dealing With Frustrating Allergies

Allergies occur when your body overreacts to a typically harmless foreign substance, causing symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Allergic reactions are a commonly shared misery, with over 50 million Americans suffering each year, and are the sixth-leading chronic disease in the U.S., according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

In the San Diego area, indoor and outdoor allergy sensitivities can flare up any time of the year, though the culprits vary. Common types of seasonal allergies in San Diego and Southern California include:

  • Winter/Spring: Pollination from local trees including ash, cypress, mulberry, olive, oak, maple, and acacia
  • Spring/Summer: Grass varieties such as Bermuda, orchard, meadow fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and Timothy-grass
  • Fall/Winter: Weeds such as pigweed, sagebrush, goldenrod, marsh elder, and nettle

Despite the fact that allergy sufferers cannot change the course of nature, there are some environmental controls you can try that may improve your allergy symptoms this fall. One of the easiest and most effective remedies is to install and maintain the right HVAC system for you and your family, and this requires knowing a bit about filters and system maintenance.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting and fine-tuning your HVAC system for allergy relief:

HVAC Filters

Changing out HVAC filters once per month is a must during seasons when the system runs continuously, but you also need to be sure you’re using the right air filter for your system. The type of air filter you use will impact how many pollutants make it into the air of your home or workplace – and then circulate back into the air again.

Consider these four types of filters before deciding which one is right for your needs:

  • Flat panel filters. These are basic air filters that are not designed to improve air quality but intended to simply protect the HVAC unit.
  • Medium efficiency filters. A step up from basic flat-panels, these filters are pleated in design and therefore have more surface area to collect more particles from the air.
  • High-efficiency filters. A high-efficiency HVAC system filter can remove even smaller particles from the air, ensuring cleaner air for the people who breathe it in.
  • HEPA filters. Short for high-efficiency particulate air filters, HEPA filters are not generally used with older HVAC systems because of the strain on the system. If you are interested in using HEPA filters, contact an HVAC professional first to discuss your options.

HVAC Maintenance

Ensuring that mold and other allergens stay out of the air ducts is vital to avoiding allergy symptoms. Scheduling a duct inspection by an HVAC professional is recommended — he or she will look for mold growth and other allergen potential issues, both inside the ducts and near the HVAC unit. An HVAC professional can also offer tips on how to avoid future mold and other allergens.

If you suspect you have an issue with mold or another allergen and you can’t seem to find the source, always call an HVAC professional right away. However, don’t just be reactive: Having your HVAC unit inspected at least twice per year is an important part of keeping indoor air quality high and allergens low.

When the time comes to update your HVAC system, you might want to consider a system that mechanically pushes more outdoor air into your home – but this decision also depends on how severe your outdoor allergy sensitivities are. While outdoor air offers a fresh take on the air inside and can improve air quality and ventilation, thus aiding in asthma and allergy relief, only an HVAC professional can tell you if such a system would work in your home.

Understanding how indoor air quality impacts allergies is an important step in finding allergy relief. Rely on the HVAC professionals at Bob Jenson to keep you in the know when it comes to the reduction of allergy-causing agents in your home. We can also advise on the right air filter for you and show you how to properly change it.

Why a Portable Air Conditioner Won’t Cut It in San Diego.

Things to Consider About Portable A/C

At this point, we all know air conditioning is a non-negotiable, but what type is best for you? If you are trying to avoid the time and cost of a full HVAC installation, you might be considering a portable air conditioner. Portable air conditioners are a common replacement for a full HVAC installation; however, the average portable air conditioner is more limited than you’d expect: these units are more expensive, noisier, and less efficient than their HVAC counterparts.

While a portable air conditioner is more effective than a ceiling fan, it won’t offer the temperature control to combat the warm summer months we face in San Diego. In fact, Consumer Reports found that most portable air conditioners struggled to reduce indoor temperatures below 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let’s identify why using a portable air conditioner won’t cut it when compared to an HVAC system.

They Use a Lot of Energy

You may think that getting a portable air conditioner instead of a full-sized HVAC system will save you some cash but the truth is, you’ll spend more money in the long-term.

Most portable air conditioners don’t meet the minimum seasonal energy efficiency (SEER) requirements, and because of this, they often consume more electricity. The SEER ratings are defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and help to clarify an air conditioning unit’s energy efficiency. Even if your air conditioner has a high SEER rating, it’s not a guarantee of energy savings, especially if your unit runs for long periods of time.

A portable unit also won’t be as powerful as a full HVAC system, which means it has to work harder to cool your room or home. And when a portable air conditioner works harder, it also consumes more energy — increasing your energy bill.

Limited Portability

One major selling point of a portable air conditioner is in the name itself: portability. You can relocate it throughout the day depending on where you need it most. Unfortunately, these bulky devices aren’t as easy to move as they may initially seem. Portable air conditioners are heavy and if you have carpet or stairs to navigate, moving your unit could be a real struggle.

Portable air conditioners also need a window or point of ventilation, which makes them location-dependent — and you must keep power requirements in mind to avoid breaking a fuse. This is unlike an HVAC system, which uses ducts and fans to help seamlessly ventilate your home and is installed by a professional, taking all of the guesswork out of the equation.

There’s a Condensation Problem

Air conditioners cool a room and pull humidity out of the atmosphere at the same time. But when this moisture leaves the air, it has to have somewhere to go. You’ll need to either place your unit near a window, where an exhaust pipe carries the water outside, or you’ll need to use a water pan inside the unit. This means more personal maintenance and attention than an HVAC system would require.

Portable Air Conditioners Are Noisy

An HVAC system is quiet, efficient, and powerful, discreetly working in the background to keep your home cool and comfortable. Portable air conditioners, meanwhile, have all of their components packed into one unit. This means you may experience excessively high noise levels while the compressor or fan is running. The harder your portable air conditioner has to work, the louder it will be, with some units becoming so loud that they drown out all conversation, music, or television in the room.

Limited Humidity and Temperature Control

It’s no secret that the summer months in San Diego can bring hot temperatures and humid days. Unfortunately, a portable air conditioner is only able to combat these temperatures and humidity issues in the short-term — it is not a quality long-term solution. Even if a portable air conditioner does offer some relief, it can only cool one small space at a time. You’d have to purchase multiple units to effectively cool an entire home — and the cost of these can quickly add up.

Instead, central air conditioning offers a comprehensive solution to beat the summer heat. A full HVAC system gives you the temperature control you want to cool your entire home — without having to relocate a unit or find a ventilation window.

Portable Air Conditioners: Worth Your Time and Money?

If your AC suddenly stops working or you’re temporarily between homes, a portable air conditioner might make sense and could provide some temporary relief from summer temperatures. However, these devices aren’t enough to provide long-term comfort, especially in places with long summer seasons like San Diego.

Talk to our experts at Bob Jenson about setting up a home evaluation to see how easy and cost-effective an HVAC solution could be for your home.

5 Mistakes San Diego Homeowners Make in Spring

Outta Site, Outta Mind.

As winter turns to spring, homeowners start thinking about spring cleaning and home maintenance. Most of us have the basics covered, and it’s easy to remember the tasks that are in plain sight — but, have you thought of the things you can’t easily see?

The air quality in your home isn’t a visible aspect, and many of the causes of poor air quality are easy to overlook or ignore, until it’s too late. Here are some of the most common springtime maintenance mistakes that San Diego homeowners make — and how you can avoid them this season.

1. Not Replacing Your HVAC Filters

Replacing your HVAC filters is usually quick and easy, but many homeowners forget to do it regularly. A dirty filter forces your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy. It also allows more dust and other allergens to remain in your home.

Set yourself a reminder to change the filters at least every 90 days, and possibly more often during times of heavy use, like the summer season.

2. Neglecting to Check Seals on Doors and Windows

The transition from winter to spring comes with changing temperatures and an increase of moisture in the air — both of which can affect the seals on your doors and windows. If the entryways of your home are letting air leak through, your HVAC system will have to work that much harder to control the temperature and air quality of your home. This can result in an unexpectedly ugly energy bill towards the end of the spring and summer.

Check to make sure your seals are in good condition and aren’t letting drafts in or out of your home. Minimizing air leaks allows your HVAC system to work more efficiently. Reinforcing and replacing seals are relatively simple tasks, but they can make a big difference.

3. Failing to Clean Mattresses and Pillows

You wash most of your bedding regularly, but remember that your mattress and pillows get dirty, too. Dust mites and other allergens can build up and over time, this negatively affects the air quality in your bedroom. Since you spend a significant portion of your time in close contact with your mattress and pillows, this is a critical oversight. Be sure to add these two items to your spring cleaning list.

Most pillows (with the exception of those made from a foam material) can be put in your washing machine; but you should refer to the care instructions on your own pillows to learn how to clean them correctly. Once they are clean, you also can use anti-allergen pillowcases that zip around the pillow and help repel allergens. Anti-allergen mattress pads also are available.

While your mattress obviously isn’t machine-washable, you can use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery tool to remove dust near the surface. Check the manufacturer instructions for your mattress to see what kinds of cleaners you can use to remove stains and disinfect the surface without doing any damage.

4. Forgetting to Dust Fans and Vents

It’s easy to remember to dust objects at eye level, but don’t forget to look up! If dust has built up on your ceiling fans and air vents — which have been sitting dormant during the winter months — you’ll be in for a nasty surprise when you turn them on and all that dust blows around the room.

The brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner is a great tool for this task. Remember to do this before you clean the rest of the room, so any dust that may fall during the process isn’t landing on surfaces you just cleaned.

5. Skipping Your Annual HVAC Maintenance Check

This is a big one, because skipping your annual HVAC checkup can become very costly and inconvenient. Just because you don’t see or hear anything unusual when you run your air conditioner doesn’t mean everything is fine. Regular preventive maintenance is necessary to keep your HVAC running smoothly and identify any potential problems before they become emergencies.

It’s best to schedule your annual maintenance for the early spring, before it’s hot enough to turn on your air conditioning. Your HVAC professional will clean and inspect your unit(s) and recommend any necessary repairs. This reduces the chance that your unit will break during the spring and summer, leaving you in a swelteringly hot house with a large repair bill coming.

It’s also a good idea to have your air ducts checked and cleaned to eliminate dust, mold, and other problems that lead to poor air quality in your home.

This spring, contact the experts at Bob Jenson to schedule your annual HVAC inspection and maintenance before it becomes necessary to run your air conditioning. Make the call now, so you can stay cool later.

How HVAC is Getting Smarter

Technology is Changing HVAC

In the not-too-distant future, you may rarely have to touch your home HVAC unit. With cloud technology becoming more involved in how we heat and cool our homes, smart HVAC systems are already making thousands of Americans more comfortable – while saving them money.

Driven by the boom in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, today’s thermostats not only sense the changing temperatures outside, but they can also align with your schedule. This creates the ideal solution for your needs, whether you’re out of the house or at home entertaining guests.

Read on to learn more about how smart HVAC is changing the home heating and cooling landscape, and what we can expect to see in the near future.

How IoT and Smart HVAC Work

If you’re unfamiliar with IoT, think of it as devices connected to the internet via sensors. The sensors themselves are not machines; rather the sensors exist to collect data for evaluation. After the information is analyzed, the devices connected to the sensors (such as your thermostat) can react accordingly.

A smart HVAC system can be controlled remotely, and advanced sensors in thermostats can adjust the system automatically to run efficiently in different conditions. What’s more, smart systems can alert you when they need routine maintenance or repairs. Ultimately, the main goal of IoT-connected HVAC units is to save you cash by controlling your home’s climate more efficiently and with minimal input from you.

Special Features of Smart HVAC Systems

A smart home HVAC system tackles problems your standard heating and cooling unit simply cannot.

For example, smart sensors monitor external conditions and adjust to maximize your home’s energy use for heating and cooling. Each degree your thermostat is off by can make up as much as 3% of your annual energy bill, which means accurate, self-adjusting HVAC units can save you plenty in money and energy.

Changing the temperature of your home couldn’t be easier with a smart system. You can preheat or cool down your home remotely before you return, or adjust it for sudden changes in your temperature needs. Each area or room in your smart HVAC-regulated home can be individually adjusted by IoT sensors, receiving more or less cold or hot air as needed.

The collection of real-time data, stored on the cloud, means your system’s performance is followed very closely. With more accuracy and attention focused on your HVAC, your system lasts longer, which helping you save even more over time.

The Future of Smart HVAC

Some experts estimate that by the year 2020, more than 20 billion devices will be connected through an IoT solution – and smart HVACs of the future will boast even more advanced features.

Thermostats are just now becoming available which have the ability to detect any room’s humidity level and how many occupants are inside. It’s only a matter of time before other variables will be added to the list of IoT-connected HVAC capabilities.

Other IoT-controlled units will now automatically sync with your calendar on your phone or through the cloud. This gives units the ability to constantly adjust temperatures without you even having to touch a button. Whether you’re away on vacation or at a quick doctor’s appointment, your home will be smart enough to change its climate as needed.

Future HVAC units will also be better equipped to handle power or internet outages as these systems become the norm. Fallback plans and backup systems will have to become more sophisticated and seamless, so that the loss of power or WiFi doesn’t disrupt a smart HVAC system.

Regardless of where technology is moving HVAC in the future, industry professionals can help you start saving money today. Contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating for more information on the ideal smart HVAC solution for your home.

Making Evaporation Cool: Explaining DeVAP HVAC

Could DeVAP HVAC be the Future?

Air conditioning is a costly expense for any home or business, especially in Southern California. More than half of our average yearly energy bills are derived from our HVAC systems. A new technology in air conditioning, however, could soon change the way we heat and cool buildings.

Desiccant Enhanced Evaporative (DeVAP) HVAC has the potential to dramatically cut energy costs. Some projections show potential energy reductions as much as 90% depending on where you live and your energy needs. Here is a look at how DeVAP works and the effect it could have on the energy industry.

How Does DeVAP Work?

In order for air to be cooled by a traditional HVAC, the humidity must first be removed. This is where much of the energy is used. Traditional air conditioners first absorb hot air, condense the air, and cool it before pushing it back into a room. This process of dehumidifying the air becomes extremely energy-consuming, especially in climates where the air is moist.

In DeVAP air conditioning, new evaporation technology is blended with a form of liquid desiccant to dehumidify the air. Desiccants use the water in the air to create a cooling effect. In DeVAP, energy is only used when the air is being dehumidified. The cooling that occurs during evaporation only amplifies the cooling effect.

Natural gas is expected to power most of the DeVAP units; however, solar and other alternative energies should also be able to integrate with this new technology.

The Benefits of DeVAP

As stated above, the most attractive benefit to DeVAP versus traditional HVAC is cost savings. With DeVAP, the savings will vary depending on your home or business, how much heating and cooling you use, and the air around you. Although a saving of 90% is on the high end of savings projections, many businesses in Southern California can count on seeing reductions of at least 40% in overall energy consumption.

Energy companies themselves will also see the benefits of DeVAP, as the technology could cut overall demand during peak hours of the day, meaning brownouts and blackouts could be reduced.

DeVAP is beneficial for the environment, too. Substituting traditional air conditioning’s method of dehumidification with DeVAP ensures harmful refrigerants and other chemicals used in traditional air conditioning are removed. That makes DeVAP the greener choice, as coolant chemicals used in standard air conditioning have been linked to damaging the ozone layer.

Another perk of DeVAP HVAC units is that they will be able to better control temperature and humidity, since each is treated separately. The air produced by DeVAP is also known to have less of an artificial feeling than the standard air conditioning. This means the air may feel less stuffy and more comfortable.

Developing DeVAP for the Future

DeVAP technology has the potential to have an enormous impact on the HVAC industry. Businesses and homeowners would have the opportunity to keep their homes cooler and keep the environment cleaner for a fraction of the cost.

It will likely be some time before DeVAP technology is widespread and widely used. It could be a fixture in more buildings in a few years, but it will take time to implement on a wider scale. The goal of DeVAP technology currently is to reduce the size and cost of HVAC. While it will be more efficient, making the units themselves as affordable as traditional air conditioners is still a long-term obstacle.

Developers will continue to refine the components until there is a version of a DeVAP HVAC unit that can become marketable. Commercial air conditioning will likely see the first applications of DeVAP, with residential units not too far behind.

Contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating today for more information on DeVAP technology. Learn how it could fit your future heating and cooling needs.

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