portable window ac unit

Portable and Window AC Basics

Do you have an older home that does not have central air? Maybe you are looking for a little extra cooling in a garage or other area not serviced by your central AC. Whatever the reason, you are in the market for a window air conditioner or one of the newer portable AC units.

These are a great option for providing cooling, provided that you understand the difference between them, when to choose one or the other, and if you install and use them properly. Here are some basics on window and portable units.

Window and Portable Units 101

Just what are window and portable AC units? Simply put, they are alternatives to the complex process of installing or adding to a central air conditioning system.

Central air works off of the ducting in your home, if such ducting even exists. If you are adding on a room or have no previous ducting installed, this can be an expensive, invasive and time consuming process. Portable and window AC units solve this issue.

Instead of using ducting, they are installed directly into the room or area that they are going to cool. They are smaller and less effective than central air, but that is the way that they are designed.

Window units take up one of the windows in the room or space that you are trying to cool. They sit half inside and half outside using the window as the portal to do this. More expensive units can be set to a specific temperature while cheaper units simply have settings like low, medium and high.

Portable units are similar to window units, but they sit fully inside your home. They still need to exhaust air to the outside, so they will have some ducting on the back of them that needs to be attached to the outside somehow. This may be through a window or a permanent exhaust port put into the wall. A portable unit is different than a window unit in that it is not always in the same position in the room. It can even be moved from room to room as long as the exhaust is long enough or moved to accommodate.

Windows and Portables Do’s and Don’ts

Any space that does not already have air conditioning is a great option for a portable or window AC unit. They are very effective at keeping a specifically sized room cool and comfortable.

Do not put one of these units into a room that is already supplied by central air. If you have a room that just isn’t being kept cool by your central air unit, it can indicate serious problems with your unit. A smaller supplemental system is not the answer.

Also, don’t try to cool large spaces with these units. They are typically sized for small enclosed areas, like a bedroom. Larger areas require more power.

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Save money on air conditioning

Some Money Saving Tips for your HVAC System

Summer is almost upon us, and that means higher energy bills. As the summer heats up there are some great ways to keep the costs of cooling your home down. Not only does this help your pocket book, but it can help to lengthen the life of your Las Vegas HVAC system as well. Check out these tips for keeping your home cooler.

Keep the Diet Light

As strange as it sounds, the food that you eat can have an effect on how warm or cool your home feels. Heavy foods that require boiling or the oven to be on can also affect the temperature directly. Instead, think about having things like refreshing salads or fruit. Keep meals light which will require less cooking and keep the heat out of the kitchen.

Plants Around the Home

One of the best ways to keep your home cool is to have something around the house to suck up some of that sunlight. There are plenty of plants that will thrive in heat while providing your house with shade that can keep the sunlight off. The less direct light your home gets, the less the heat will build up on the inside. Remember, not only does this help to keep your energy bills down, but it reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Use Your Thermostat

Do you have a programmable thermostat? If you do, it is probably one that can be programmed for different times of day (or even learn and detect your cooling behaviors). If you aren’t using your thermostat’s program function, then you are missing out on a great way to reduce your energy bills.

Take advantage of the fact that your home is empty during certain parts of the day. Let the temperatures creep up and program the thermostat to start to get the temperature down about a half hour before you get home. Remember, it is a myth that it takes more energy to cool your house down than to just leave it at an even cool temperature. Leverage that by programming your thermostat on a regular basis.

Close Up Your Windows

Fresh air is great; the issue is that fresh warm air makes your HVAC system work much harder than it should. That leads to wear and tear on the system and higher cooling bills.

Resist the urge to open up a window. While the breeze blowing in might feel cooler, it is really just heating up the inside by letting warmer air inside. It makes the thermostat climb up and your system work harder to compensate. There are much better alternatives to get some air moving in your home, like adding a ceiling fan or even an oscillating fan on a base.

Executive Air Conditioning Can Repair Your Las Vegas HVAC System

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Air Conditioner Outside

Should You Only Replace the Outdoor Unit on Your Air Conditioner?

Are you having issues with your air conditioner? Before the summer heat kicks up, you want to make sure that your AC is in working order. This might mean you are looking at replacing your AC unit instead of having your old one repaired.

You may have heard this idea that replacing the outdoor unit while leaving the indoor unit intact is a good way to keep the costs of replacement down. While this might save money in the short term, it can cause long term issues that end up costing more in the long run.

What Does That Outside Unit Do?

What does the outdoor unit do in the first place? In order to cool your home, the warm air on the inside must be cooled and exchanged with cooler air; that’s at the heart of what the outdoor unit does. It is made up of a compressor, a condenser, coils with refrigerant in them and an air handler. All of these components work together to absorb the heat from the air in your home, expel it outside and subsequently return the cool air to the inside of your house.

An Issue of Compatibility

Companies that manufacture air conditioners pair their outdoor units with specific indoor units, which means that there is a certain compatibility built into the two units that allow them to function together to cool your home. If you pair two units that are not compatible, even if that mismatch is small, it can lead to several issues. This can be particularly worse if the indoor unit is significantly older than the outdoor unit.

  • Energy Efficiency – New units contain the latest technology in order to make them as energy efficient as possible. If your older unit is not designed to be able to handle this efficiency, it can cause the two units to be even less efficient and significantly increase your energy bills.
  • Reduced Cooling Capacity – While the outdoor unit does the heavy lifting of cooling the air, the indoor unit has to be able to distribute it through your home. If the indoor unit is not able to handle the outdoor unit’s high efficiency coils, it can put extra wear and tear on the motor, eventually causing the motor to break down.
  • Incompatible Geometry – Sometimes the newer units simply cannot fit into the spaces that are left when old parts are removed. Radiator coils are one of the main parts that can significantly change from model to model, year to year, making it possible that the parts simply won’t fit at all.
  • Thermal Expansion – The system that controls how the refrigerant runs through the outdoor unit uses something called a thermal expansion valve. The controls for these valves may be incompatible from new units to older ones.

Have Your Las Vegas Air Conditioner Repaired by Executive AC

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Attic Insulation in Las Vegas

Get Rid of that Old Attic Insulation

“Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t just what your teacher told you when you were paying more attention to something other than the lesson at hand; it’s also appropriate to describe how many people forget about their attic insulation.

Unfortunately, the insulation in your attic is one of the most critical barriers between you and the outside weather. If the insulation in your attic isn’t in its best shape, you could be losing a lot of money in heating and cooling bills, probably because your HVAC system is running more than it should and subsequently putting wear and tear onto itself. Here are some problems that your attic insulation might be causing for your HVAC system.

Strange Noises in the Attic

If there are strange noises coming from upstairs, particularly the attic, it probably isn’t an indication that your home is haunted. The more realistic probability is that birds, rodents or other creatures have made their homes inside of yours, and old insulation provides a great temptation for them to do this.

However, this might also mean that these creatures have moved into your duct work since they will quite literally make a home anywhere (and even construct nests for their young). It goes without saying that it’s clean air, and not these animals, that you wanting flowing through your HVAC system’s ducts, especially if they’re blocking air flow to your home’s interior. If you have an infestation in the attic, get your ductwork checked!

Water Damage

Even the most solid roof eventually falls victim to a little moisture; even small cracks can lead to leaking during heavy rains and begin letting water into your attic. If insulation in the attic gets wet, it can be a breeding ground for molds, a leading cause of increased symptoms of respiratory issues and allergies.

Molds that start in the attic can quickly spread into your ductwork, in turn spreading throughout your house. If there’s mold in the insulation, you should have the ducts of your HVAC system checked to make sure that mold is not growing there as well.

Ever Changing Temperatures

Does it seem like the temperature in your house is always changing? Does it swing quickly from too warm to too cool then back again? This might be another sign that there is a problem with your attic insulation, so head from room to room in your home and see if there are large changes in the temperature. If you notice that some rooms are much cooler or warmer than others, it can be an indication that your attic insulation is in need of changing.

These changing temperatures can put undue stress on your HVAC system, causing it to work harder and for greater lengths of time than it should, eventually wearing it out long before it should actually stop working. After you have your insulation checked, you should also make sure to have your HVAC system inspected for any issues caused by overworking.

Increased Energy Bills

Have you noticed a steep increase in your heating and cooling bills? This might be an indication that your home is leaking its air through the attic’s insulation. Just as we’ve stated before, increased power bills mean an increased load on your HVAC system’s part, which can in turn lead to early repair issues or even an early replacement.

Trust Executive AC for Your Las Vegas HVAC Repairs

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Maintenance on AC Unit

Why Annual AC System Checks Matter

It’s an understatement to say Las Vegas is a hot place to live. Many people in this area rely on their central air to get through the sweltering days. To keep your system running strong, you need to stay on top of the regular repair work and preventative maintenance. Many aren’t sure how often they should have their system checked (or whether they can do the maintenance on their own). While there are some things you can tackle, it’s vital to have your system checked every year. Learn why annual AC system checks by a qualified, professional HVAC technician can make the difference between keeping or losing your cool!

Annual AC System Checks

Even if your system seems to be running strong and reliable, there can be underlying problems that you don’t notice until it’s too late. Your AC system can very literally work fine one day and then blow warm air, or no air at all, the next day. This is why it’s vital to have your system checked every year by a qualified heating and cooling technician. Make no mistake—annual AC system checks are vital.

Saving Money

A system that is clean, serviced and running smoothly will save you money. Everyone knows that central air can raise your electricity bills, but the better it runs, the more efficient it will be and the more money you’ll save during those sweltering summer months. A poorly-maintained system, on the other hand, will have to work much harder to maintain the temperature, costing you money in the long run.

Healthier Living

A properly-functioning air conditioner can actually improve the health and well-being of you and your family. AC units do much more than just keep the air cool; they help to clean the air by filtering out dust, pollutants and contaminants such as pollen and allergens, things that can make life miserable for those who are sensitive to such substances. Because annual AC system checks keep your system running optimally, annual servicing also helps keep you healthier!

What Can I Expect?

When your tech comes in to service your AC, they will give the entire system a thorough top-to-bottom checkup. They will look at the cooling unit, evaporator and condenser. They will check over the fan and motor. They will inspect the ductwork, and they will professionally clean the entire unit to get rid of dirt, dust and debris that could clog up the ducts and drainage system. You will be left with central air that runs like a dream and keeps you cool throughout the summer.

Professional Las Vegas HVAC Technicians

At Executive Air Conditioning, we offer the best in professional, friendly and reliable Las Vegas HVAC technicians to keep your system running strong and reliable through the hottest summer months. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your system serviced, or if you’re just looking for a new tech for your annual check, we’re here to help. Check out our Air Conditioning Services and give us a call for an appointment today!

Man replacing home air filter

Las Vegas HVAC Maintenance: Things to Watch For

Certainly it’s important to have a professional technician come to service your AC system every year—it keeps your system efficient and working strong, and can even make a difference in your health and wellness. There are, however, some things you can do on your own to help keep an eye on the system and make your technician’s work easier. Learn a few things you should lookout for when it comes to Las Vegas HVAC maintenance so that you know when to call in the professionals!

Las Vegas HVAC Maintenance

We all know how hot it gets in those summer months, so keeping your HVAC system in good working order is vital to your comfort and well-being. While most Las Vegas HVAC maintenance should be performed by professionals, things like changing filters, visual inspections and the like can be done by the homeowner to make the tech’s job that much easier.

Changing Filters

Did you know your AC system is connected to your furnace? It’s all one big heating and cooling system, and the filter is a vital part of this—it helps to keep the air clean and flowing smoothly. Changing the filter is a simple matter of locating it on your furnace, pulling the old one out and sliding the new one in—it’s that simple! Do it every three months or so for the best results.

Visual Inspections

Every couple of months, look over your system for signs of trouble. If there’s ice or dirt on the coils as well as any leaky connections or moisture, you’ll want to call in a professional for service. When your coils freeze over, they need to be addressed immediately, or it can cause more serious and expensive problems to fix.

Thermostat Control

Did you know that one or two degrees of temperature can make years of difference in your system? It’s true! You probably won’t notice the difference between 72 and 73 degrees, but your air conditioning system will thank you for that minor change. When it’s hot out, lower the internal temperature by about one or two degrees. When it’s cold, raise it by one or two degrees. Not only will this save a great deal of wear on your system, but it’ll save you on utility bills as well.

Professional HVAC Technicians

When the time comes to have your system serviced for regular maintenance or needed repairs, you want to turn to only the best service in the area. Executive Air Conditioning is here with the most professional leading AC services in the area. Don’t wait and risk your system breaking down when you need it the most. Look over the air conditioning maintenance and repair services we offer, and give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

improve indoor air quality

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The air quality of your home is very important. It can directly affect the health of everyone living in your home. There can also be very detrimental effects on someone who has repertory issues or asthma if the quality of your indoor air is low.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of simple ways that you can work to improve the quality of your indoor air, and most of them don’t cost much at all. Here are some easy to implement suggestions for keeping your indoor air quality high.

Keep Control of the Humidity

Humidity has an impact on the quality of your air. If you have too much humidity, it can encourage the growth of mold and dust mites in the house. Too low humidity, and there can be irritation of the nasal passages or bronchial tubes of asthma sufferers.

You need to have a good balance of humidity in your home. This might mean installing a humidifier to your existing HVAC system. If that isn’t possible, you can use external humidifiers (or dehumidifiers if you need to) to control the humidity in your home. Make sure to keep a hydrometer (a device that measures the relative humidity of the room) on hand to get a reading of what the humidity is. That way, you can adjust it if it creeps too high or too low.

Control the Contents of Your Home

While there are some things that can affect air quality that you have no control over, there are some things that you can actually control. First, if there are smokers that live in the home, don’t let them smoke inside. Any kind of smoke contributes to degrading air quality.

If you have any chemicals in the home, this includes cleaners, make sure that all of the lids on them are secure. You might even want to consider storing them in an out of the way location that is well ventilated. This can help to keep the fumes out of the indoor air.

Take Advantage of Natural Ventilation

Having a well-sealed home is great for keeping the warm air in during the winter months and the cool air in during the summer months. The problem is, it also keeps in all of the things that you don’t want. A good way to refresh the stale air in your home is to open a window or door every now and again to refresh the air on the inside.

Change Your Air Filter

Your HVAC system has a filter to try to catch all of the nasty particulates before they get blown all over your house. It can only do its job if it isn’t clogged with dirt and debris it has already caught. Make sure to keep your filters clean so that they are keeping the air as clean as possible.

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Installing thermostat in home

HVAC Myths and Misconceptions

Lots of people have wisdom to share with you about the right way to run your HVAC system. Unfortunately, a lot of these truths aren’t even close to being true. That is why we are going to take the time to debunk some of myths you may have heard about your HVAC system.

Putting the Thermostat Higher (or Lower) Makes It Work Faster

How many times have you walked over to your thermostat and continuously bumped it up or down because it was too hot or cold in your home? Did you take a minute to see if the HVAC system was already running? If it was, then you really have done nothing.

Putting the temperature higher or lower has no effect at all on how the system operates. It just makes it run longer which puts more strain on the system in the long run. If your system is already attempting to change the temperature in your home, the only thing you can do is wait. Changing the thermostat isn’t going to do anything.

A Convenient Spot for My Thermostat

Have you taken a minute to look and see where your thermostat is located? If your only thought was that it was in a location that was easy to reach, you may have an issue with your thermostat. The temperature of a thermostat is influenced by its location. This means that if it is near a heat source (spot lights, fire place, vent) then these could be affecting the readings it takes. This can have an effect on the temperature all over your home.

Your thermostat should be located in a place that it will get the most accurate reading for the whole home. If you need help finding that spot, contact an expert from Executive Air Conditioning.

I Need a New Furnace Because It Can’t Keep the Right Temp

Many times your HVAC system seems like it is struggling to meet the temperatures that you set for it. You may take this as a sign that your HVAC system is too small and needs replaced. This may not be the case.

Many times there are mechanical reasons that your HVAC system is struggling. You may need to have your unit serviced to get it working at the right levels again. There may be something partially blocking your ducting that is causing issues. It may be even leaking ducts that are causing the system to lose efficiency. Have your system checked out by a professional before heading down the road of replacement. You may be wasting money on a new unit when all your old unit needs is some maintenance.

Your Las Vegas HVAC System Only Needs Air Filters Changed for Maintenance

Yes, you should be changing your air filters regularly, but your system might need a little more TLC to keep it running. Have your yearly maintenance done by Executive Air Conditioning. Click here to contact us today.

Heat Pump Diagram

Some Myths about Heat Pumps

Not that you want to be facing the prospect of buying a new HVAC system in the middle of winter… but it might be a possibility. HVAC systems are mechanical and that means that eventually they are going to break down. If you are going over the options on replacing yours now, you may have run across heat pumps as a possibility. What about all of those bits of wisdom that you have heard about heat pumps? Odds are, they aren’t true.

“Heat Pumps Can’t Get the Job Done”

You may have heard some variation of the myth that a heat pump can’t keep the house warm in cold climates and vice versa, and that you thus need something to supplement it.

While that myth may have been true in the past, heat pump technology has advanced significantly in the past few years. Companies that produce heat pumps have spent a lot of time and money investigating the best ways to make the systems more efficient and more effective. There is no reason to believe that a heat pump can’t handle 90 to 95% of the heating and cooling your home needs throughout the year.

“Heat Pumps Break Sooner than a Conventional Furnace and AC Unit”

As with any system in your home, it comes down to the maintenance. If your heat pump is carefully maintained and taken care of, there is no reason that it should break down any sooner than a traditional HVAC unit. In some cases a heat pump might actually last longer than a traditional furnace or AC unit, depending on the use that it sees through the year and load that is put on the unit.

“The Cost to Run a Heat Pump is Higher”

This usually accompanies the myth about a heat pump not being able to get the full heating or cooling job done. This one is simply not true. In fact, a heat pump is more efficient that most traditional units, which is one of the things that makes them attractive to homeowners. They can save you thousands per year depending on your local climate, how well the unit is maintained and what type of energy that you use to power your heat pump. You might be pleasantly surprised to see your heating and cooling bills dropping over the year instead of rising after installing a heat pump.

“Heat Pumps Smell Bad”

While there was some truth to this rumor in the past, modern heat pumps to not suffer from these issues. They are now built to be able to handle internal moisture and wick it away so that bacteria and mildew don’t build up causing a smell.

Executive Air Conditioning Can Help with Your Las Vegas HVAC Needs

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Winter furnace checkup

Half Time Checkup for Your Furnace

It looks like we are rolling quickly into the second half of winter. Before you know it the weather will be warmer, and the air conditioner will be turning on. There is still plenty of time left before that happens, so it might be time to have that heating system looked at.

If you didn’t have a pre-season checkup doing a checkup, now might be the difference between coming home to a cold house that requires an emergency call to Executive Air Conditioning or having us do a routine maintenance call that prevents the problem from ever happening.

Moisture

Do a quick walk around your furnace. Do you see puddles or other signs of moisture building up somewhere? If you do, that could be a sign that there is a serious problem with your HVAC unit. Not only can water damage the electronics inside of your system, but it can also indicate that something mechanical is malfunctioning and is ready to stop working altogether.

If you see signs of moisture, particularly on parts of your unit that have electronics, carefully shut your system down and give us a call.

Change that Filter

You didn’t think we would get the whole way through an article about furnace maintenance without mentioning this did you? The filter is one of the most important and yet easily overlooked parts of your system. Filters keep all of the bad things out of places that they don’t belong, including your lungs. During the winter months, when your system is seeing heavy usage, you should be checking your filter monthly to see if it needs replaced.

Always remember to shut the system off before doing any maintenance that includes checking the filter. It helps prevent damage to the system and potential injuries to you.

Frequent Cycling or Long Running Times

Do you find that you notice your system turning on and then turning off quickly? The opposite might also be true, where your system just runs non-stop and never seems to shut off. These can both be indications that your system just is not properly sized for your home.

Executive Air Conditioning can come out and help you to check if the size of your unit is correct. If it isn’t, there may be things you can do to correct the problem or possibly replace the unit.

Things that Go Bump

Turn off the television, and put the kids outside for a minute. Now, listen carefully as your furnace runs. You should be familiar with how it sounds by now. Do you notice any strange rubbing, grinding or squeaking noises? If you do, they might be an indication that something is wrong with your system. You may have just caught the problem in time. If you can, do a quick inspection to see if you can find the source, then give the professionals a call for some help.

Executive Air Conditioning can Fix your Las Vegas HVAC Issues

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