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HVAC Troubleshooting: 6 Articles to Help You Solve HVAC Issues

Articles to Help You Before You Need a Pro

HVAC systems are designed to keep your home environment comfortable for years, but that doesn’t mean you won’t face the odd rattle or creak every now and again.

Though in some cases you’ll need to hire a heating and cooling professional to fix your HVAC system, you can do some troubleshooting of your own to get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem. At Bob Jenson, we’ve rounded up our best blog posts for helping you solve the most HVAC common concerns.

1. Spending a Fortune on Temperature Control?

For you to get the most out of your HVAC system, your machine not only needs to be effective, but efficient too. If you’ve noticed your energy bills going up, you may simply have air leaks that you need to fill so your HVAC can perform at its best.

If you notice signs of air leaks within your home, such as drafty spaces or a rising energy bill, check out our useful infographic for an easy-to-follow guide on how to eliminate gaps for good.

2. Does Your HVAC Smell Terrible?

You can’t enjoy the satisfaction of a well-heated or cooled home if it means living with an unpleasant and mysterious odor. Because HVAC systems are designed to circulate air around your entire home, a bad smell coming from the unit will be blasted into every room in no time.

The good news is, if you can get to the bottom of what’s causing that terrible smell, you can fix the problem. Read through our helpful article about the 5 most common causes of unexpected aromas, and discover how you can solve your problem pronto.

3. Have You Noticed a Strange Sound?

Chances are you’ve heard the whines and crackles of various mechanical devices around your home at one time or another. Machines often make strange noises – particularly as they begin to grow older – but certain sounds are a bad sign if they’re new or disruptive.

If the soft buzz of your HVAC system has recently evolved into a clank or rattle, then it’s time to get to the bottom of the clatter. Our handy blog post on common HVAC noises will help you to identify what each noise means, so you can decide whether to fix the issue yourself or call in the experts.

4. Is Something Just Not Right?

Sometimes the problem with your HVAC might not be so obvious. There may not be any strange smells or sounds, but you have noticed your system isn’t performing as well as it used to, and you can’t figure out why.

Whether your unit is taking longer to heat up and cool down than it did when you first had it installed, or you’re struggling to maintain the same temperature across your house, it helps to understand the most common issues that come up with HVAC systems. Our list of the top 8 common HVAC problems will help you figure out if your problem is an easy fix or a case for a professional.

5. Has Your Air Conditioner Suddenly Failed?

If your heating and cooling system suddenly stops working, or if it’s been showing signs that it might be about to give up, you’ll find yourself facing a difficult question: Do you call out a technician for a repair, or do you replace the entire unit?

Our in-depth article “When Is It Time to Replace Your AC?” will take you through all the elements you need to consider before making a careful and informed decision between these two options.

6. Not Sure Who to Call?

Whether you’re in need of repair or a fully new unit, you’ll need the assistance of a professional engineer to get your HVAC back on track. The problem is, it can be difficult to distinguish a reliable HVAC expert from one who’s going to charge you a fortune for a low-quality job.

Our step-by-step guide to hiring an HVAC expert covers everything you’ll need to consider before you hire a professional, to help you make a more confident choice. You’ll learn which questions you need to ask, what you need to know, and how you can ensure you hire the expert that’s right for you.

If you’re in need of HVAC maintenance and repair, or you simply have a question about managing your home temperature, Contact Bob Jenson today to speak to a team of experienced HVAC technicians you can trust.

Do You Have the Right Thermostat?

What Is a Thermostat?

The thermostat is the brain of your cooling and heating system.

Despite being the feature we use most often, it’s perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of a HVAC system. Today, there are various types of thermostats on the market, ranging from basic manual models to smart systems that you can control with your smartphone. The question is: do you have the right thermostat for your home comfort needs?

Read on to find out more about this essential feature, as well as what each type of thermostat could offer you and your home.

The thermostat controls the temperature of your property on your behalf to reach your ideal comfort level. After achieving your preferred temperature, your thermostat maintains it by triggering your furnace or air conditioner when required.

There are many different types of thermostats available, and though they all function according to the same principles, each offers different levels of convenience and simplicity. To help you select the thermostat that’s most appealing to your needs, we’re going to look at the three most popular options:

  • Manual thermostats
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Smart thermostats

Manual Thermostats

Manual thermostats are the most basic solution for regulating your indoor heating. They feature either a mechanical or digital dial that you can adjust to your desired temperature. These systems are often found in older homes with more dated HVAC solutions. If you prefer simpler options for home comfort, however, you might want to choose manual thermostats over more complex technical options.

While manual thermostats are cheap and easy to use, they also offer the fewest convenience features of the three main options, and may not be as energy efficient. Some manual thermostats will have a programmable LED display so you can see the temperature you’ve chosen, and there will be an up-and-down button to pinpoint your ideal temperature.

Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are the next step up from manual systems when it comes to technical convenience. These solutions give you more control over your temperature preferences, and feature a digital display, or a touchscreen in some cases.

The most significant difference between manual and programmable thermostats is that programmable models regulate home temperature automatically according to pre-set targets. Your programmable thermostat will allow you to select a heating or cooling schedule that automatically adjusts the temperature of the house without the need for constant input. This way, you can save energy by having the indoor temperature hotter or colder than you’d usually like when you’re at work, but have your HVAC unit turn on before you get home to reach your preferred temperature.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are by far the most exciting option when it comes to temperature regulation. Often connected to the internet, smart models allow you to program your own custom climate schedules for each day. Depending on your chosen model, you can adjust the temperature in real-time via your smartphone or tablet, even when you’re away from the building. You could even be on the other side of the world and still be able to control your thermostat, provided you have an internet connection.

As consumers consistently demand more control over their home comfort, smart thermostat devices continue to evolve with new features. For instance, some of the latest models offer seven-day programming, as well as weather forecasts, analytics that show your energy usage, indoor air quality monitoring, and even automatic reminders to replace your filter. Depending on your HVAC system, you can manage up to eight different zones within your home simultaneously, which can save you as much as 12% on your heating bill, and 15% on cooling costs.

Do You Have the Right Thermostat?

Ultimately, choosing the right thermostat for your home will be a process that requires you to consider the existing setup you have and your future needs. You will either need to choose a thermostat that’s compatible with your current HVAC system, or replace the model in favor of something newer.

With decades of experience, the knowledgeable team at Bob Jenson can help you install the thermostat and HVAC system that’s right for you. Contact us today and speak to one of our experts to learn more about the kind of thermostat you should have in your home.

7 Simple and Effective Green HVAC Tips

Going Green with Your HVAC

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling throughout the country accounts for almost 50% of all home energy costs. The good news is that slashing your energy bill doesn’t mean having to give up on your HVAC. Instead, there are plenty of great ways that you can boost the efficiency of your system and lower your utility bills at the same time.

1. Purchase a Smart Thermostat

New technology is emerging in the heating and cooling market all the time. One of the easiest ways to save money on your utility bills is to take advantage of what that technology can do for you. For instance, a smart thermostat can adapt heating and cooling efforts so that you’re only using energy when you’re in a specific room, or present in the house. You can even get systems that begin to cool or heat your home before you enter the property.

On the other hand, if you want thermostat efficiency on a budget, simply buying a programmable thermostat and using it correctly can be a great way to save on heating and cooling costs. These programmable solutions can allow your heating to adapt according to your schedule.

2. Banish Leaking Ducts

If you have a ducted HVAC system, then you need to make sure that it’s working at its best. Gaps or holes in the ducting might not seem like a big deal from an outsider perspective, but even the smallest amount of damage can significantly reduce the efficiency of your system by making it work much harder. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, taking the time to seal up leaking ducts and inspect them regularly can save you 20% to 30% of your heating costs. The great news is that dealing with leaking ducts is often simple and cost effective, too! You might want to consider a ductless system.

3. Change Air Filters Regularly

HVAC systems are more than just a solution for changing the temperature throughout your home. A good filter can remove outdoor toxins, dust, and dander from your indoor environment, improving the quality of your air. Depending on where you live, and how frequently you use your HVAC system, you may find that you need to change your HVAC filters regularly to keep them working properly. Clogged filters can force the system to work much harder just to perform at a normal standard. Typically, you should change each filter at least every 30 days, and inspect them once a month.

4. Invest in Additional Insulation

You could waste a significant amount of energy attempting to keep your home at a more comfortable temperature if you haven’t taken the time to properly insulate. All of the insulation in your attic and crawlspaces should be regularly inspected to make sure that it’s doing its job properly. You should also check for gaps in the caulking around your windows and doors.

5. Clean the Coils

It’s not just the filters in a HVAC system that can contribute to its energy efficiency, but a range of other components, too. For instance, keeping the AC coils on your units clean can be a great way to prevent excess energy usage. Keep the coils clean by ensuring that you remove any debris around the outside of your unit. In some cases, your system may need more intensive cleaning, and that will require an expert.

6. Keep the Vents Free and Clear

A lot of families accidently block their HVAC vents with furniture, which can be very bad for a HVAC system. Similarly to a clogged filter, a blocked vent can lead to greater pressure within the ducts, which means that the system must work a lot harder. Even if rooms aren’t occupied, it’s important to make sure the space around your vent is clear from any furniture or debris.

7. Buy a New Green HVAC System

Finally, if your HVAC system is getting older, then it’s worth noting that there are countless new, more energy-efficient models on the market today. Consider replacing your unit with a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR-rated unit to boost its performance and minimize your costs.

Today’s HVAC systems are becoming greener all the time, with brand-new technology to help these machines in excellent condition, year after year. However, it’s worth noting that even with a green system, there are still things that you can do to help your HVAC unit perform at its best.

The HVAC professionals at Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Cooling maintain equipment in San Diego made by all brands. Get in touch with us today to get your system serviced and make sure it is functioning at its maximum efficiency.

Ductless Mini-Splits vs. Ducted Systems

Comfort System Showdown

Every summer, air conditioning systems are an essential source of comfort for many homeowners. They allow us to chase away the heat with clean, fresh air when necessary, and freshen the atmosphere of a house. When you choose which air conditioning system to install in your property, you’re going to need to make an important choice: Do you go ductless, or stay traditional?

Ducted air conditioning systems and non-ducted systems, or “mini-splits,” are the most popular options for central air. Though their names outline their key differences, the positives and negatives between ducted and split systems aren’t always obvious. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at your options in greater depth to help you choose an air conditioning solution that’s both efficient and cost-effective.

The Benefits of Ducted Systems

Duct or ducted air conditioners work using a series of ducts to move air to vents in areas throughout the house. These systems include a central fan coil unit that moves cooled air from a single location. Here are some of the key benefits of duct systems:

  • Ducted systems are designed to service the entire home at once, but there also are solutions that allow you to “zone” the air conditioning for specific rooms.
  • If your home already has ductwork installed, and in reasonable condition, then a ducted system might be the simplest and cheapest option.
  • Ducted systems can be effective at managing humidity, as some models come with systems that allow them to remove moisture from the air.

The Problems With Duct Systems

Unfortunately, a ducted system won’t be the right choice for everyone. Installing ducted air conditioning in a new house can require a great deal of work and expense, which means that people in established homes without ducts might prefer to look elsewhere. Additionally, ducted systems can be more conducive to allergy problems, as dust can sometimes gather in the ducts and be transported around the home. Some common problems of duct systems include:

  • They require a great deal of space, which means that they may not be suitable for smaller homes.
  • If you’re looking to cool only a single room at a time, you can close other ducts — but you system will still work as hard, and your energy costs won’t change much.
  • Duct units should be cleaned regularly to minimize the buildup of dust and allergens.

The Benefits of Ductless Systems

Highly efficient solutions for temperature management within a home, “ductless” heating and cooling systems often include a combination of an outside compressor and numerous wall-mounted units. Ductless systems are far more customizable for modern homeowners, and substantially more efficient than traditional ducting options. Here are some of the biggest benefits of ductless systems:

  • Ductless systems are substantially more efficient. In the average home, you lose as much as a quarter of your energy to your ductwork. Banishing the ducts from your system boosts efficiency and reduces costs.
  • Ductless models can provide heating and cooling when you need it, where you need it, with inverter-driven compressors managing the speed and performance of the system according to your requirements. It’s modern components allow the system to use just part of it’s capacity when only small changes in temperature are needed, raising comfort and saving energy.4e
  • These options are better for smaller houses and apartments, and ultimately take up less space than their ducted counterparts.
  • Ductless systems are more flexible than ducted air conditioning. Units can be added or removed from the system if desired.

Things to Consider with Ductless Systems

Perhaps the biggest consideration with ductless systems is that they require consistent maintenance to keep them performing at their best. Ductless filters and fans can easily accumulate debris that leads to poor air quality within the home, and can shorten the life of a system. It’s a good idea to purchase a maintenance plan with your system if your looking to keep it in top condition without any hassle. Other things to weight with ductless systems include:

  • The high initial cost of the system can be significant for some homeowners. However, the energy savings could make up for this cost over time.
  • The external condenser unit needs to be maintained just as frequently as the internal unit. It’s important to keep both parts of the system free from debris to ensure efficient performance. Again, a solid maintenance plan can take care of this.
  • The internal units are only able to condition so much air, meaning you need to buy the right unit for the each room based on size.

Choosing the Right Option for You

Ultimately, both ductless systems, and ducted systems offer their own share of positive and negative features. The truth is that the decision of which option is right for you will be a personal one, based on your own unique requirements. If you want to cool your entire home and you aren’t worried about energy efficiency, then a ducted system might be fine for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for cost-efficiency, and you can manage the ongoing maintenance, a ductless system may be more appealing.

No matter which option you choose, make sure that you invest in professional installation and management from an experienced, professional team. The team at Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating has been working on HVAC systems all all kinds in San Diego County for 40 years. Get in touch with us today for help with your system.

6 Energy-Efficient HVAC Trends

Where is the HVAC Industry Headed?

Every year, we see new developments in the world of technology and home comfort. In the HVAC industry, the most prominent focus has been on finding solutions that deliver more efficient heating and cooling, with the goal of cutting costs and protecting the environment. Smart, green technologies are earning worldwide respect, and the industry should continue seeing significant growth all the way through to 2020.

As consumers search for more efficient homes, the trend for greener HVAC solutions continues onward. We’ll take a look at some of the most popular trends, from radiant heat to smart systems.

1. Ductless Air Conditioning

Ductless air conditioning units are not new, but mini-splits are only just beginning to become popular in the U.S. These unique AC units can provide everything from zoned heating solutions to whole-house temperature control. A ductless system is energy efficient because it can deliver 30% savings or more in heating and cooling bills. What’s more, thanks to the ability to have one condensing unit outside but four or more wall units inside, these systems offer extensive flexibility when it comes to customizing the indoor temperature of different parts of your home.

2. Geothermal Temperature Control

An old-fashioned option that’s beginning to gather momentum, geothermal HVAC products have been around since the 1940s. However, the use of these products has only begun to grow in popularity recently as a result of the green movement. A geothermal pump uses heat from the Earth via looped piping fitted into the ground. During the colder months, the fluid in the pipes moves underground and absorbs heat from the ground, before bringing that heat back into the home or property.

3. Radiant Heat Solutions

Radiant heat simply refers to a heating process that requires no ductwork. As we’ve learned with ductless air conditioning solutions, without the ductwork, it’s possible to eliminate huge sources of energy loss almost immediately. Radiant heat solutions can also deliver a more balanced comfort level indoors. According to ASHRAE, even at lower temperatures, radiant heat is often more comfortable than a forced-air solution.

4. Green Construction

Solutions for energy efficient heating and cooling don’t have to begin only after a property is built. Across the world, the construction industry has begun to invest in energy-efficient solutions that allow AC systems and heating solutions to work more efficiently within a property.

These green buildings make the most of designs intended to carefully absorb and distribute heat so that electrical devices don’t have to work as hard. Additionally, they often come with plenty of air filters that help to provide clean air, protecting the HVAC and reducing energy use.

5. Smart Homes

In recent years, we’ve begun to discover new and exciting applications for technology throughout the home. Devices that can communicate with each other are making our lives simpler, more convenient, and energy-efficient. The smart home market is expected to reach a value of $80 billion by 2022, and a smart thermostat can allow you to control the temperature in your property from an app.

This means that homeowners can control the temperature of their house when they’re at work, and they’ll never have to worry about forgetting to turn the heating off. Many systems even allow you to print out energy reports each month to show you where you’re using the most energy.

6. Variable Speed Air Conditioning

Finally, the technology used in variable speed solutions for air conditioning provide homeowners and property owners with a chance to adapt their heating and cooling preferences according to their needs with the highest level of efficiency. Unlike standard systems, variable speed options allow you to handle your heating and cooling cycles more precisely, because the system automatically changes to adapt to the needs of your home. According to research, simply switching to a variable speed solution could save homeowners as much as 40% on energy costs each year.

Adapting With the Times

As the world progresses towards greater convenience and comfort, and with new technologies always on the horizon, it makes sense that the HVAC industry would continue to evolve. From thermostat solutions that learn your preferences and adapt to your home, to greener homes designed to support your HVAC systems, there are plenty of ways to make your home more environmentally friendly.

Combined with other green-living solutions, the HVAC systems of tomorrow should deliver greater efficiency and comfort without damaging the earth.

Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating services HVAC systems made by all brands. We can ensure that your unit is performing efficiently to the best of its ability. Get in touch with us today.

5 Common Reasons Your A/C at Work, Isn’t Working!

Find Out What Has Gone Wrong

An air conditioner that doesn’t work as it should is a serious problem in the heart of summer. We rely on our AC to keep us feeling cool and comfortable — especially in the workplace, where discomfort leads to lowered productivity.

The average cooling unit lasts between 10 and 15 years, and there’s a good chance your workplace unit will need a repair or two during its lifetime. Even if the unit is newer, you may find that problems occur, particularly if the unit is not frequently serviced.

If your workplace AC is acting up, one of these 5 things is likely to blame. Here’s how you can spot the signs of these problems so you know to seek help from a professional.

1. Refrigerant Leak

A refrigerant leak may be the culprit if the AC unit is blowing air with no problems — it just isn’t cold air. Refrigerant is a crucial chemical inside your unit that cools the air that will circulate. If there’s a leak, you’ll need to get it filled with the right level of refrigerant.

Leaks are trickier to diagnose and fix than you might think. You should always call a technician not only to recharge your missing refrigerant, but to find the source of the leak. Never attempt this process yourself — refrigerants can be hazardous.

2. Condenser Malfunction

Your workplace AC unit likely works through a process of condensation, taking gaseous vapors and cooling them into liquid form. Heat moves throughout the coils and is transferred into the air outside, but if the condenser fan or compressor cannot run, then your air conditioner can’t cool properly.

Before calling in the experts, check that your thermostat is set at an appropriate temperature. If adjusting the thermostat doesn’t work, then you may need to clean the condenser on the outside of the building, removing any debris or sticks that might have entered the cabinet. If this doesn’t solve the problem, then the issue is probably electrical, and will require the attention of a technician.

3. Airflow Issues

Airflow is crucial for an effective AC unit. However, there are various factors that can block or disrupt airflow. Change filters frequently to reduce airflow problems. If they aren’t replaced often, the restriction of air could lead to poor performance from your AC. If you see the filter looking “domed” — this could be a sign that the unit needs more air, so replace your clogged filter.

If replacing filters doesn’t repair issues with airflow, then the problem may be deeper in your system. Although you can clear away debris and replace filters yourself, you’ll want to contact a technician if the problem goes beyond that.

4. Short Cycling

Short Cycling is a problem that often happens when the AC unit is too powerful for the area it’s attempting to cool. When this problem occurs, it will turn on and off frequently in an attempt to regulate the indoor temperature. This switching between on and off settings can cause compressors and controls to stop working properly.

When a motor or other electrical components begin to malfunction, you should contact an expert. This is another one of those elements on an AC unit that you’ll need a professional to repair and diagnose.

5. Insufficient Maintenance

Finally, allowing your air conditioner to run over long periods without maintenance is likely to cause issues as time passes. Many people don’t realize that a lot of problems arise within an AC unit as a result of both neglected maintenance or improper repair.

Hiring the wrong technician, or failing to seek one out, can set you up to face costly issues down the road. For the sake of your AC unit and the comfort of your employees, it’s always best to seek out the help of a professional.

Caring For Your AC Unit

Remember, you should never allow someone to work on your unit who isn’t certified as a technician. Air conditioning units can differ depending on make and model. Make sure that you always choose trained technicians who are certified to support you and your business.

At Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating, we service AC units from all brands. If you’ve got a problem with your AC unit at work or at home, get in touch with us so we can get to the bottom of the problem.

Simple Tricks To Lower Your Company’s Energy Bill

Shut Down at Night

Between air conditioning, lighting, and electronics, energy bills can start to skyrocket, especially in the summer. But with the right tricks up your sleeve, your company can actually reduce its energy costs during the hottest months of the year. Read on to discover our top tips for a smaller energy bill this season.

Think about all the things that get properly shut down when your employees head home. Are you just turning off the lights? What about the computers? And how about the air conditioning?

Depending on your climate, you may be able to drastically reduce your air conditioning bill by turning the air conditioner off at night. Simply designate someone to come in early in the mornings to turn the air on, or invest in a programmable thermostat.

Raise the Thermostat

It may seem smart to turn the air conditioning on full-blast during office hours, but you may be working it too hard. Chances are employees won’t notice a degree or two difference in the thermostat settings. Raising the thermostat by a couple of degrees can make a big difference to your energy expenditure and power bill. How much you change it depends on the temperature difference between the inside air and the outside air. The greater the temperature difference, the more work your air conditioner has to do.

Be sure that you don’t keep heat-producing equipment, such as computers, directly next to the thermostat. It will sense the heat from the device and cause the air conditioner to run longer and cooler than is needed.

Install and Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to reduce your air conditioner’s energy expenditure without using much electricity themselves. Ceiling fans create a wind chilling effect to help people cool off. That means you can raise the temperature in the office considerably — about 4 degrees Fahrenheit — without compromising comfort. Not only that, but the fans help improve air circulation. In the summer, the fan blades should be spinning in a counterclockwise direction.

Shade Your Office

There are many factors at play when it comes to your office temperature. If people are always coming and going, the constant opening of doors means cool air is escaping while the warm outside air is coming in. People, lighting, and electronics all contribute heat that raises the temperature in the office. However, one of the big factors at play is the sun. If you can block out some of it, your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to cool the space. Some ideas include installing blinds on your office windows or planting trees on the sides of the building where the sun shines most.

Service Your HVAC

As long as you’re aiming to reduce the work your air conditioner has to do, make it a point to service your HVAC system. Something as simple as changing the filters can help boost the air conditioner’s efficiency so it uses less energy to reach the same temperature in the office. The drain on the unit should also be cleaned and serviced since dirt and moisture can build up in it and leave it clogged. Not only that, but an uncleaned drain can grow mold, which can be hazardous to your employees, partners, and customers. Talk to an experienced HVAC professional to see what you can do this summer to boost your air conditioner’s efficiency.

The vast majority of your summer energy bill comes from your air conditioner. By trying our solutions, you can keep your air conditioner from overworking so you don’t have to pay as much to cool your office.

Imagine A World Without Air Conditioning

Fewer People Would Live in Hot Areas

Modern technology like air conditioning is not just a luxury. It’s a necessity. Lifestyles have changed a lot in the last generations, and without air conditioning, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Here’s what life might look like if we didn’t have this vital piece of modern technology.

It’s no secret that places like Florida and Arizona are hot year-round. The average daily high temperature in Phoenix tops 100 degrees Fahrenheit three months out of the year. Prior to the 1950s, few people lived in deserts like this because the excessive heat is not only unpleasant — it can be life-threatening.

During the latter half of the 20th century, areas like the Southwest and parts of the South saw above-average population growth as air conditioning became a common technology in modern homes. The population of Phoenix, for example, has roughly tripled in the last 50 years. Without air conditioning, these areas would never have seen these population spikes. This could have brought with it a side effect — an overcrowding of places with more neutral climates.

Architecture Would Be Different

Different parts of the country have different architectural styles that reflect the culture, history, and influences of that particular area. But that’s by choice, not by necessity — we can build any style of home pretty much anywhere. It wasn’t always that way, though. Homes used to be built to suit the weather because we had no means of controlling the temperature indoors.

For example, prior to air conditioning, architects would use overhangs as a functional aspect of a home rather than an aesthetic one. South facing windows would be shaded from the sun to help reduce heat in the house. If designed correctly, these overhangs could allow the sun in during the winter, but not in the summer. Shading also involved strategic planting of trees to keep the sun off the house in the summer.

Another architectural concept used before air conditioning was transom windows, which are mini windows above interior doors. These windows allowed light into areas that didn’t have windows, such as hallways. Not only that, but they acted as ventilation, allowing hot air to move throughout the building without having to open doors and reduce privacy. You might still see these transom windows in old buildings.

Speaking of windows, without air conditioning, homes might have more of them today. Architects used to design buildings so that windows were placed on opposite sides of the room to allow air movement when the windows were open. If two windows couldn’t be placed in one room, the rooms would be lined in a row so air could flow between them.

We’d Hang Damp Laundry to Cool Us Down

One of the more creative ways people used to cool down in the summer heat prior to air conditioning was to hang their wet laundry in doorways or in front of windows. This cools the air coming into the house or room as the water evaporates off the fabric. Chances are that without the popularization of air conditioning, we’d still be using life hacks like this to cool our homes — and they wouldn’t be nearly as effective as the tools we have today.

Our Schedules Would Change

These days, we have air conditioning to keep us comfortable while we work. Back before air conditioning, people would nap during the hottest parts of the day to help cope with the heat. They’d work later in the afternoon and then socialize after the sun set. People still do this in some parts of the world, such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Philippines, to name but a few. Without air conditioning, this might be a much more common practice.

It’s safe to say that our day-to-day lives would be quite different without air conditioning. It’s now become a necessity we’ve built our lives around. So that’s all the more reason to take good care of your air conditioning unit today!

5 Home Improvement Highlights from Our Blog

Spreading Some HVAC Knowhow

Since 1977, Bob Jenson A/C has consistently delivered top-notch customer service, equipment installation, and system repairs in the greater San Diego area.

Forty years of experience has taught our dedicated team a thing or two about the ins and outs of home improvement. With that experience, comes a great responsibility: passing on the knowledge we’ve gained to benefit homeowners everywhere. When it comes to property upkeep, you don’t have to be an expert in every facet of home maintenance; you just have to know where to look to find the answers you need.

Through our dedicated blog, we strive to provide the comprehensive and practical answers our customers are looking for. Here are 5 of our favorite home improvement tips, featuring expert advice from our most recent blog posts:

1. Do HVAC Systems Increase Home Values?

If you’ve been thinking about impactful ways to increase your property value, this article is for you. This post is designed to help you decide whether an HVAC upgrade is worth the investment for your home. We specify what factors to consider, such as how often you should replace current HVAC models, and to what extent an upgrade can truly add value to your home. The post covers the cost saving incentives — both at the onset of homeownership, and when selling your property.

2. Home Buying Checklist

Purchasing a new home (or investment property) comes with an overwhelming number of things to consider — the least of which is how the home looks from the outside. This article guides you through the key questions to ask before you buy a home. Some of these questions will have an incredibly large impact on whether you say yes or no to the property. Plumbing, electrical systems, and basement problems are just a few of the many issues we cover in this blog post. With these tips, prospective homeowners can buy with confidence and address problems efficiently as they arise.

3. Sustainable Home Solutions [Infographic]

Families are faced with more decisions than ever when it comes to energy efficiency; and it’s hard to tell which “green” solutions will have the biggest influence on your home’s sustainability. We are always on the lookout for ways to reduce energy waste, through everything from improving indoor air quality to upgrading energy-draining appliances. Check out our stunning infographic detailing the four most impactful ways to maintain and improve your sustainable home.

4. Effective Insulation for Any Situation

One of the most important (and energy efficient) decisions a new homeowner can make is the choice of insulation for the attic. If you weren’t previously aware that there are different types of insulation, now is your chance to learn about them. From Batt Insulation to spray-on insulation, and everything in between, this blog post outlines what to expect from each insulation type — as well as which conditions each one performs best in. Selecting the right insulation will have a long-term impact on the efficiency of your home, and the cost of your energy bills.

5. Water Heater Q&A

Having trouble getting consistent hot water throughout your home? Hearing strange noises coming from your water heater? Our helpful Q&A provides the most common answers the age-old question: why does my water heater do that?

If you’ve ever noticed a bad odor or strange color in your water supply, this is the blog post you must read. With the average American spending one-third of his or her annual income on home improvement, it pays to understand what your water troubles may indicate — and whether you need to call a professional or not.

At Bob Jenson A/C, our aim is not only to provide affordable, safe, and efficient installation services; but to also offer informative guidance and advice to our customers. These five home improvement posts just scratch the surface of our expertise. Make sure to follow our blog for current advice from our experts, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have a specific question.

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