Maintenance on AC Unit

Keep your HVAC System in Top Shape with These Maintenance Tips

Spring is here and will be gone before we know it. That means summer—the time when you put your HVAC system to the test—will be here very soon. In order to keep your summer cooling bills low, you need to make sure that your HVAC is up to the task. There are some things that you can do to make sure that your system is running at peak efficiency as well as some routine maintenance tasks to keep it there.

Replace That Filter Now

You have heard it before, but it always bears repeating because it is so important. You filter is one of the easiest to handle yet critically important parts that affects the operation of your HVAC unit. Running a unit with a clogged or dirty filter can degrade the efficiency, cause damage to the unit and spreading all sorts of nasty things through your home. You should change your filter every 60 to 90 days to ensure that your HVAC system is running properly and that your home’s air is clean.

Think about a Filter Upgrade

When you go to change your filter, take a look at what options are out there for you. Even if your HVAC system doesn’t have a special HEPA filter, there are plenty of replacements that you can get that will get the job done? New high efficiently pleated filters are a good example of this. They have an electrostatic charge that can grab very tiny particles—even ones that are carrying bacteria around your home. This can be a great way to reduce allergens. Think about upgrading to a new and more specialized filter than the one you usually get. Your home will thank you for it.

Clear Off that Outdoor AC Unit

Through the winter months of disuse, your AC unit’s outsized part can take a beating. You want to make sure that the unit is clean and has a good two foot perimeter around it for good air flow. Clean out any debris that has collected over the months of disuse. Once that is done, clean off the fins of your AC unit that may have collected any dirt, dust or other debris.

During the summer months pick up and dispose of any sticks or other things that collect around the unit. Be careful when cutting the grass to keep clippings from being tossed into the unit. Also clear away any leaves or other debris that collects.

Check the Insulation on the Refrigerant Lines

There should be one or two lines running from your external AC unit to the inside of your home. Periodically check these lines to ensure that the insulation on them is intact. If you find any insulation missing or broken, replace it immediately.

Hire the Professionals at Executive Air Conditioning for a Las Vegas AC Inspection

Keep your HVAC system running in top shape by having maintenance performed by Executive Air Conditioning twice a year. Click here to learn more.

Electric Furnace or Gas for Heat

Answers to Common HVAC Questions

You may not realize how important your HVAC system is to your home—that is, until it is no longer working. Your HVAC system is a rather complicated piece of equipment that has one purpose: to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Here are some of the more common questions people have about their Las Vegas HVAC systems, and the answers to those questions.

How Long Should My System Last?

Of course, that is a very difficult question to answer. There are many factors that go into determining just how long your HVAC system is going to survive. In general, you can expect to get between 10 and 15 years out of a quality air conditioner and probably 25 years out of the same quality furnace. Of course, ensuring that routine maintenance, care and upkeep of the system is taken care of will help to extend the life of the system. Just remember, the older your system is, the less efficient it will become.

How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?

This is a common question that has a lot of different answers depending on who you ask. The ideal replacement interval would be once a month for disposable filters. If you have a filter that can be cleaned, you can plan on cleaning off the filter on the same time frame.

Of course, this time period could also be shortened by factors like pets, high amounts of dust, pollen or dirt in the home.

Fortunately, most modern HVAC systems have sensors or timers that will report to you when it is time to clean or change your filter. Check your owner’s manual to see if your system has such a notification feature and how to read it.

How Often Should I Service My System?

You should at the very least schedule an annual inspection of your AC system in the spring and one in the fall for your furnace. Any cleaning or minor repairs that need to be done to the system can be handled during that yearly inspection. These visits will help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. They can also help to detect problems with your system that may otherwise go undetected until a critical failure occurs.

How Can I Make My System More Efficient?

There are several ways you can help out with the efficiency of your system. Of course, scheduling yearly maintenance is one good way. Other ways include:

  • Ensuring that your doors and windows all seal tightly and have no leaks that would let outside air in
  • Using a smart or programmable thermostat to control the temperatures of your home when you are not there
  • Keeping your registers open and free to flow air (don’t put furniture or other objects over them and subsequently block the flow)
  • Maintain Your Las Vegas HVAC System by Scheduling an Appointment with Executive Air Conditioning
  • Do you need service, repairs or general maintenance on your HVAC system? Then contact Executive Air Conditioning today.
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

If you need to have your HVAC system checked out or repaired, contact Executive AC 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!

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 HVAC unit

Is It Time to Replace Your Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a great alternative to a traditional HVAC system. Heat pumps are unique in that they are capable of both heating and cooling your home, depending on the mode that you set it to. They are also much more efficient in operation than traditional heating and cooling units.

That doesn’t mean they are immune to breaking down. Even the best heat pump will eventually need to be replaced. Here some of the ones that may indicate that it is time to replace your heat pump.

An Endless String of Repairs

Do you have to repair your heat pump several times a year? If that is the case, then it may be an indication that you need a new one. The older your heat pump is, the more often you will need to repair it. If you have to have more than a yearly or bi-annual visit from your HVAC repair professional, that is a good indication it is time to replace. Eventually, you will spend the cost of a new heat pump in repairs alone!

How Old Is Your Unit?

As any device ages, it becomes more likely to break down. Typically with electro-mechanical devices this is the most common reason for their need of replacement. Parts wear out over time and eventually quit working.

A typical heat pump should have a life span of between 20 and 25 years. As you reach the end of life for your heat pump, you will be spending the most on repairs of the unit. If you see a spike in the amount of repairs you are having on your aging heat pump, it is probably time to think about a replacement unit.

Loss of Efficiency

Have you noticed over the past few years that your energy bills have been increasing? Yes, some of that may be tied to the rising costs of energy, but it may also be an indication that your heat pump is in need of replacement.

As your system ages it will require more energy to do the jobs that it was able to do in the past. You may have even noticed that it is running constantly as it is unable to reach the temperature that you set for it to keep on the thermostat.

Uneven heating can also be an indication that your heat pump’s efficiency is dwindling. The parts of your home that are furthest from the heat pump will be the first effected.

Consider Having Your Heat Pump Replaced by Las Vegas HVAC Experts

Executive Air Conditioning are your local HVAC experts. We can do an assessment on your existing HVAC system and recommend a replacement unit based upon the size of your home and your heating and cooling needs. Contact us today for a quote on getting that aging heat pump replaced with a new, energy efficient unit.

winterize your hvac system

How to Winterize Your HVAC System

You may be ready for the seasons to change, but is your HVAC system? While it may seem like there is a seamless changeover from heating to cooling, there are actually some things that you should do to prepare your AC to go offline for the winter and your furnace to pick up the slack. Here are some steps to take to winterize your HVAC system.

Change Your Air Filter

Yes, we know we have said this over and over again, but it really is that important. Before you fire up that furnace, take a minute to clean out or change your air filter. Air filters are a very important part of your system and need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.

The change can be very important if your heating and air conditioning are handled by different units. The summer can bring a lot of dust and dirt with it, which clogs up that filter. Remember: change your filters every six months.

Remove the Window Units

If you have window units for your cooling needs, it is time to remove them. While it may seem okay to leave them in the window because the unit will keep out the cold, leaving it in can actually cause excess wear and tear on it. If your window or wall units are not removable, make sure to cover the unit up for the winter. This will keep the seasonal dirt off of the heat exchanger. A dirty heat exchanger makes for a poorly working air conditioner in the summer.

Outdoor AC Unit

If you do have a combined AC/furnace unit, then you probably have an outdoor air conditioning unit. Since this unit is going to be sitting idle for a few months, now is a great time to clean it off. Start by removing any loose debris from around it. If you have plants grown nearby, make sure to cut them back to leave your outdoor unit plenty of space.

Once you get the unit cleaned up, it is time to cover it. You don’t want to cover it the whole way; that can actually trap moisture inside and cause your heat exchanger to rust. Winterize your HVAC system by covering it a little less than halfway. That will keep the majority of the weather off of it and protect it through the fall, winter and early spring.

Outdoor Plumbing

If you have any outdoor plumbing and you live in an area where it may freeze up — i.e. the Nevada desert at night — you need to do a few things to winterize it. First, remove any hose that might be attached. If there is water in the hose and it freezes, you can damage the hose and faucet. If you don’t have a frost-free faucet, turn the valve to the outside off inside of your home. This will prevent frozen pipes.

Going through the process to winterize your HVAC system can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. For season maintenance on your AC or furnace, contact the experts at Executive Air Conditioning today.

Air conditioner in thunderstorm

Running your AC in Extreme Weather

Las Vegas gets an abnormally high amount of thunderstorms. While it doesn’t rain often – when it rains, it pours, and usually with lightning. When bad weather strikes, you may be tempted to crank up the AC and wait it out, particularly if the humidity rises and there is a thunderstorm. Have you ever been told that running the AC during a thunderstorm is a bad idea? Read on to find out if there is any truth behind this claim.

Using AC During Thunder and Lightning

Many people run around their home, shutting everything off during a lighting storm. Others believe that surge protector is plenty of protection against a lightning strike. Which one is right? When it comes to air conditioning, the former wins. Lightning causes a surge of electricity so powerful that a typical surge protector can’t stop it. So even if you do plug your AC unit into a surge protector, it is likely to suffer damage.

When your home is struck by lightning, a surge of power that may be as high as five billion joules will course through the wiring. Any device that is drawing power at that instant will be open to letting all of the power in at once. This can cause serious damage to your AC unit, possibly requiring the entire component to be replaced. Your best bet is to open up the windows and let the cool air from the storm keep the house temperature down until the thunder and lightning passes.

Protecting your Air Conditioner

Is there anything you can do to protect your AC unit? As mentioned above, a surge protector isn’t going to offer much in the way of stopping power. You can, however, have things like lightning rods attached to your home.

A metal rod attracts a lightning strike and directs all that energy straight to the ground instead of letting it course through the wiring inside of your home. The power is never able to reach any of the devices that are plugged in. While a lightning rod isn’t 100% effective, it should provide you enough protection if your AC is turned off at the same time.

What About the Rain?

Once the light show has dissipated, it should be fine to crank the AC back up. As a matter of fact, an air conditioner is designed to remove humidity. This means that on humid rainy days, your air conditioner is capable of keeping the house not only cool but lowering the humidity to make the air feel much cooler.

Make sure to keep an eye on your outdoor unit. If it is raining long or hard enough for your outdoor unit to be in a puddle or in some way submerged, turn your AC off. You could damage your home’s electric system as well as the AC unit.

If you need to have an AC unit repaired from any type of storm damage, contact the AC experts at Executive Air Conditioning. We can have your unit repaired and ready to keep you cool in no time!

How to tell if you're low on AC refrigerant

How Quickly Does my AC Unit Use Up Refrigerant?

Trying to figure out how quickly your AC unit is using up refrigerant is actually a bit of a trick question. In fact, your AC unit should never use up the coolant. Sure, you may have had to have someone come and refill the Freon or other refrigerant in your unit, but that wasn’t because it was being used up like fuel.

A Closed System

In order to understand what job your refrigerant plays, you should understand what is meant by a closed system. A closed system, most simply, means that your AC unit should never gain or lose any refrigerant. While there are some interesting processes that take place in cooling your house, your AC should never have a net loss (or gain) of refrigerant. Refrigerant is never consumed in the process of cooling your home much like anti-freeze is not consumed by your car to keep your engine cool.

What Does It Do?

Air conditioners make use of a very common physical property of liquids and gasses. They work by heating up a gas to make it expand. As the gas expands, it cools down. As it cools, it exchanges the cool temperature with the heat outside in order to expand again, and the process repeats. The hot air in your house is used as the engine to fuel the process.

To understand how this works, consider using a can of spray air, the kind you would use to clean dust out of your computer. As you spray the air out of the can, the can cools off. This is because as the air expands out of the can, the remainder inside must expand to fill the space of what has left. This causes the can to drop in temperature.

Instead of your air conditioner spraying the refrigerant out into the air (that would be very bad for the environment), it sprays it into a device called a condenser. The condenser saves the refrigerant and pushes it back to other parts of the system so it can be used again.

So Why Do I Have to Get a Charge?

The reason you may have to get your AC’s coolant filled up is because it is leaking. The first (and major) symptom that might tell you that you are leaking refrigerant is that your AC unit stops cooling your home as much as it had in the past. This is a much more dangerous situation than you might think.

Your AC unit is balanced to have a specific amount of refrigerant in it. If it is forced to work with less, damage can occur to the components of your unit. If you suspect that you need to have your refrigerant refilled (or charged), don’t wait to have it done.

Having your AC unit serviced regularly by the professionals at Executive Air Conditioning can help you to detect leaks in your cooling system before they become serious. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Furnace protection during Las Vegas summer

Keep Your Furnace Safe During the Summer Months

As the winter winds down and the summer months approach, thoughts turn to keeping the house cool instead of warm. As the summer winds on and vacations and pools fill your thoughts, you may not even think twice about your heater.

That is, until that first cool September night when it doesn’t turn on. If you take a few minutes here and there through the summer to keep an eye on your furnace, you won’t have to worry about it not working in the fall.

Keep Your Furnace Unit Clear of Debris

Since it isn’t running at all for those long summer months, it may be tempting to let things pile up around your furnace unit. Christmas decorations, sleds and boxes of winter clothes all might find themselves stacked up around the heating unit. This is very bad for your furnace.

First, clutter attracts dust and dirt. As that dirt and dust makes its way into your furnace, it can cause serious damage to the internal parts of your furnace. Motors can seize up, heat exchangers can get hot spots that damage them and fans can blow allergens all through your house.

Keep your unit free from clutter and periodically sweep or vacuum the area round your central furnace unit. This will ensure the unit is clean and free from harmful contaminates.

Keep Your Heater Off During the Heat

Even if this is done accidentally, turning on a furnace during the summer heat can seriously damage the unit. Furnaces are designed to add a certain amount of heat to the air. If the air that is pulled into the furnace unit is already hot, this can mean overheating in the heat exchanger.

Serious damage can result from overheating the air inside of the heat exchanger. Make sure to keep the heat off all summer long even if you have to tape over the “warm” switch on your thermostat.

Give Your Unit the Once-over

Just before you shut it down for the summer, take the time to give your furnace a good look. Check it for any signs of rust or corrosion. Listen to the fans and the motors on the inside to see if they sound like they are laboring to operate. Make sure there are no obviously broken or missing parts as well. If you find anything out of the ordinary, make sure to fix them immediately. Don’t wait until the fall rolls around.

Have Your Furnace Serviced before Operation

Before you fire your furnace up in the fall, contact a professional to come check it out and do any required maintenance. Having an annual inspection of your unit is the best way to prolong the life of your unit and make sure that it is operating at peak efficiency.

Executive Air Conditioning has experts who can help you with any furnace or AC maintenance needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to have your furnace serviced!