HVAC Maintenance posts

Beat the Heat with these 4 Summer AC Maintenance Tips

When the summer months hit, many people choose to stay indoors in order to stay cool. Even if you have a fully functioning AC unit, there are ways to make it work even better. Proper maintenance of the unit is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay as cool as possible no matter how hot it gets outside. Check out these air conditioning tips to help you make the most of this and every summer!

1. Program Your Thermostat 

Using a programmable thermostat helps to preserve the life span of the unit, because it stops the unit from over working on a daily basis. By keeping the temperature in the home at one steady number instead of constantly changing the temperature manually, the unit tends to experience less stress. Programming your thermostat can save key components from wearing out and extend the length of time you can expect to get good results from the unit. This also helps to keep your utility bills low in the hotter months, when many people find their cooling costs spike.

2. Change Your Filters Often

While it may seem like a small thing, changing your air filter can actually have a big impact on how well the unit works. Clean filters trap dust, debris, animal dander, allergens, and other pollutants that tend to reduce the air quality over time. Many homeowners find it hard to remember to change the filters regularly on top of all the other home maintenance tasks they do. If you find it hard to remember to change your air filters regularly, try putting a reminder on your calendar. You can also schedule a regular maintenance check with an HVAC technician so that you don’t have to worry about it.

3. Be Mindful of Unusual Sounds and Smells

When your AC unit is working properly, you shouldn’t hear or smell anything unusual. Knocking sounds or burning smells can be some of the first signs that an issue exists with the unit. If you do smell or hear something funny, it’s important to have the unit checked immediately by an experienced HVAC technician. Otherwise, you may end up having to make an emergency repair call in the middle of the night once the unit stops working. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can be way more expensive than just addressing the issue when it initially appears.

4. Schedule Regular Maintenance with an HVAC Professional 

No matter how diligent you are inside the home, issues can arise outside that cause your HVAC unit to stop working. Curious insects and rodents can find their way inside the unit. rain can get where it shouldn’t be and short circuit components, and components can wear out and need replacement. Only an experienced HVAC professional can identify the signs of these and other common issues and fix them quickly. As an added bonus, a regular maintenance check from a qualified technician will give you a better idea of the current status of your unit and keep you aware of issues that may be taking hold with the unit.

Keep Your HVAC System Maintained Year-Round

If you want to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently year-round, you’ll need to keep up with air conditioner maintenance through every season. At Sheldon’s, we make year-round maintenance easy with our HVAC maintenance plans. With experienced HVAC technicians serving clients in the Riverside and Los Angeles County areas, our maintenance services can help identify and fix any issues that might plague your AC unit.

Contact us to schedule a maintenance service.

Choosing an HVAC System for Your Multifamily Housing Complex: A Guide

Managing a multifamily housing complex can be a challenging balance of constantly justifying your qualitative and quantitative initiatives. From ensuring the financial security that keeps your building running to maintaining your tenants comfort, it can be a constant back and forth.

Perhaps the most evident example of this is in the building’s HVAC system. Your tenants will want as much control of their individual comfort as possible. However, achieving the heating and cooling needs of dozens of families can be expensive and energy inefficient. In order to achieve the right balance of fiscal responsibility and comfort, you’ll want to pay close attention to the details within this guide and work closely with your dedicated HVAC services provider.

Peak load flexibility

Choosing a system that is rigid in its capacity is a major risk for multi-family property owners. Estimating how much energy will be required for the system to function throughout the year is extremely challenging. Owning a system that can withstand a variety of peak energy loads will ensure that no matter what the weather brings or your tenants do, your system can handle it.

Individual comfort controls

This is the key differentiator between centralized and decentralized HVAC systems for apartment complexes. A centralized system, while being more efficient, will not provide temperature controls in each housing unit. This can be a major negative towards tenant retention.

Decentralized HVAC systems offer each family or individual their own unit for heating and/or cooling. While this may lead to certain tenants choosing less efficient comfort settings, it can go a long ways towards accomodating a variety of occupants long-term. Consider the long-term benefits of your building’s reputation for treating tenants vs. the long-term costs of a more expensive HVAC system. We recommend securing tenants to sustain your building and saving on HVAC expenses through other means.

Ease of maintenance

On larger systems, routine maintenance is an absolute necessity and even still, repairs will be needed. Choosing a system that is relatively easy to maintain, will ensure that HVAC contractors don’t have to charge double the time to perform their work. You will also save money over the span of your system’s life if parts are cheaper and easier to obtain for your contractor. Consider these ongoing expenses when choosing your new multifamily HVAC system.

Centralized vs. Decentralized

For a multi-family complex, owners have two options for HVAC systems – Centralized and decentralized. Centralized systems are more expensive upfront, but are much more energy efficient. Centralized systems work to heat the entire building from a centralized location (typically the basement or a penthouse). This makes it challenging to achieve comfort control for all tenants, but allows the owner to control energy costs. Centralized systems are often preferred in larger complexes due to their energy savings and upfront cost (once the complex reaches a certain number of units, it is no longer cheaper to install individual systems for each tenant).

Below are the options for centralized (left) and decentralized (right) HVAC systems for multi-family complexes. The systems are in order from cheapest to most expensive to install as well as from least to most energy efficient.

Centralized Decentralized
Hot water baseboard – These units work to provide tenants with hot water from a central location. The water will flow through the radiator as the radiator pulls in cool air and heats it. Electric baseboard heat – These are simple baseboard units that are only capable of providing heat.
Two pipe systems – The two pipes are for sending hot OR cold water and returning the water back to the system. Because of its design, only hot OR cold water can be sent at once, meaning all units receive either hot or cold air at a given time. Wall unit A/C – Simple units that are mounted on the wall. Typically these systems only provide cooling.
Four pipe systems – Just like the two pipe system, this system operates with a central water boiler and a central cooling plant. Unlike the two pipe system, the four pipe system has double the capacity and so can provide both hot or cold water different apartments or condos. Packaged thermal air condition – Commonly used in hospitality buildings, these are forced air systems that are mounted on the wall. They are capable of providing both heating and cooling.

*These systems are not very efficient

Geothermal – Geothermal gets its name because it utilizes a water loop in the ground to heat and cool water. These systems can utilize either a two or four pipe delivery method. Self-contained systems – These are forced air systems capable of heating/cooling that are installed in individual units (wall mounted or closets). They offer the best efficiency of individual comfort control systems.

To ensure that your building’s heating and cooling needs are being executed effectively and efficiently, work with an HVAC company with the knowledge, capacity and honesty to provide quality work. Whether you just need routine maintenance, general guidance or emergency servicing, Sheldon’s has the team you can trust to get the job done right the first time. Give us a call @ (877) 411-9888.

Get Your AC Ready for Summer in Riverside, California

Summer is just around the corner, so there is no better time to get your air conditioner checked and ready to go for the months ahead. For an intricate system such as an air conditioner to run efficiently and consistently for months at a time, it’s important to ensure that each and every component is up to the task. Ideally this just requires minor maintenance, however the longer an AC unit goes unchecked, the more potential there will be for expensive malfunctions to occur. A functional and reliable air conditioner is an important investment for homeowners in Riverside. Maximize the potential of your air conditioner and get the most out of your investment with necessary seasonal care. Here’s how:

Perform an Inspection of Your Property

There are a lot of components that can impact your air conditioners efficiency and stability. As a home or business owner, you can look for obvious signs of issues to come, even without a complete understanding of the HVAC industry. Here is what YOU can do to get your air conditioner ready for summer:

  • Look for obvious signs of wear and tear.
  • Clear away debris and dirt from your outdoor unit.
  • Inspect your unit for leaks.
  • Listen for signs of strained performance.
  • Check for cracks or misalignments along entry points, vents, ducts, windows, etc.
  • Investigate your attic and exterior wall insulation.

Your system’s effectiveness relies on more than just its own components. If air is leaking out of your property, it won’t matter how great your air conditioner is, you’ll lose money on over-use. Addressing these issues before the heaviest heat has hit will majorly help your monthly energy bill.

Test Your Air Conditioner

Running your air conditioner can not only provide necessary quality assurance that your system is ready to keep you cool this summer, but it’s also a terrific way to diagnose potential issues. You’ve likely had your AC on for the spring months, but it’s important to really pay attention to what your AC could be telling you. Ask yourself these questions when listening and watching your air conditioner:

  • Is your system louder than you remember?
  • Does it make an grinding noises?
  • Is there any visible leakage from any component of your air conditioner?
  • Will your system run and shut off properly, or is it over cycling?
  • Is your air conditioner in sync with your thermostat (does it feel like what your thermostat is set to)?

Change/Clean Your Filter

You likely haven’t been thinking about your AC filter since you haven’t been running your AC as often through the cooler months. However, just because your unit hasn’t been running, doesn’t mean your filter hasn’t been sitting and collecting dust throughout the year. If you didn’t change your filter before the spring, you’ll absolutely want to do it now. Your air filter helps to protect your system from dust and debris. The dirtier your system is, the less efficient it operates, the higher your energy bills become and the shorter your system’s lifespan will become. Don’t let something as simple as cleaning or replacing your air filter affect your air conditioner; DIY this task or give one of our Riverside HVAC technicians a call.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Already have plans for summer vacation? Utilizing a smart or programmable thermostat can help you schedule your system to work less hard while you’re gone. The most high-tech thermostats can even intuit this information based on household activity (or lack thereof). If you’re on the fence about replacing your old thermostat, these months just before summer are the perfect time to consider an upgrade.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

The best way to ensure that your system is ready for summer is through bi-annual maintenance appointments. Having an HVAC technician come out and examine your system will guarantee that there is nothing holding your system back from operating at its maximum capacity. Small details won’t get overlooked and underlying issues will be serviced on the spot. Keeping your system clean and error-free will improve its overall lifespan and current performance and give you the peace of mind that your home comfort is guaranteed through the heat season.

Don’t let any detail get overlooked. Call (877) 411-9888 to schedule your routine maintenance today!

If Your HVAC System Works Better, Your Employees Can Too!

Whether your employees are in an office environment, retail establishment, warehouse, or any kind of business, their comfort impacts their performance. Ergonomic chairs and standing desks help office employees feel more at ease – which leads to a greater focus on work and a higher morale to power through the day. There are tools and systems in place to keep retail, service, and industrial employees safe from harm. Often overlooked, however, is the threat of harm and discomfort from a mismanaged or under-maintained commercial HVAC system. That’s where we come in.

 

The Cost of Waiting to Repair Your Commercial HVAC System

Most facility managers or commercial property owners don’t think about their HVAC system until there’s an obvious issue – the system stops working entirely to the point where the environment is unbearable or the energy bills rise so much that repairs are unavoidable. While it might feel economical to wait until your system needs an obvious repair, it’s likely that you will save money overall by investing in routine maintenance to prevent big issues in the first place. By being preventative, you can not only save on energy costs and the cost of big repairs, but you won’t lose productivity to employee distraction and dissatisfaction.

A more well-tuned and maintained HVAC system won’t just afford you better energy efficiency and less need for surprise repairs, but it also helps impact your employees’ comfort and wellness at work in four key ways:

How Does HVAC Maintenance Impact Employees?

Temperature consistency and control

Don’t ignore the data. According to a Consumer Report presented by SoftwareAdvice, 50% of surveyed employees report feeling dissatisfied with temperatures at work several times every month – 10% are dissatisfied every day. 60% of the same group report that having greater control over the temperature in their office – or being satisfied in general – would increase their productivity during the work-week. The fact is, women and men and employees older vs. younger did have different opinions about what the ideal temperature would be – while it’s your role to mitigate those differences and find a balance, it’s our job to make sure your thermostat, your vents, and your system are up to the challenge. Further, routine maintenance can prevent hot spots, cold spots, or complete system failure which would leave everybody uncomfortable.

Healthier, cleaner air to breathe

If your system isn’t routinely maintained, your air filter may have a greater chance to become dirty and contaminated, you may have allergens or dust flowing through your unclean ducts, and your employees may be unfairly subjected to allergy issues, asthma flares, or a generally uncomfortable environment in which to work. Dusty desks, sneezy coworkers, and general discomfort would impede anyone’s energy, productivity, and satisfaction at work. By having your system maintained, we can ensure clean ducts, fresh filters, and prevention of system issues that could negatively impact your air quality.

Humidity control for comfort and safety

Optimal indoor humidity levels are essential to comfort, productivity, and even safety. Luckily in California, outdoor humidity is largely kept at bay compared to balmier areas of the country. However, depending on the nature of your business, increases in humidity can and do happen, even here in the beautiful Inland Empire. The trouble with excess humidity is that it creates a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and other airborne contaminants that could put your employees and your entire building at risk. Routine commercial HVAC maintenance can also ensure that your humidity levels don’t drop too low, as dryness can cause coughing, dry eyes, and other discomforts as well.

Avoidance of disruptive noise

Something unique about the way we install and maintain systems here at Sheldon’s is how much we care about the neatness, quietness, and aesthetic of our work. We’re cognizant that our residential customers have nights of sleep to lose if we leave their systems running noisily and we take the same consideration for our commercial customers. Your employees deserve to work in an atmosphere free of distractions like loud air conditioners and furnaces, and routine maintenance can help de-escalate or prevent those issues.

Start Your Service Plan Today

Your employees will rave about the increase in temperature comfort, air quality, quietness, and ability to focus when you partner with us. Your company will benefit from their productivity, satisfaction and retention. Bonus: If you have business partners, vendors, or customers who visit your building, they’ll be happier too! Choose a commercial service plan that will keep your employees happy, your company productive, and your air clean and cool. Call Sheldon’s Today to get started. (877)-411-9888

The Importance of Annual HVAC Repair and Maintenance

It’s one thing to have an up-to-date, energy efficient HVAC system in your home, but don’t forget about the importance of annual maintenance! There are many great reasons why you should consider having your HVAC system checked out at least once per year (and ideally twice per year). Read on to find out why you shouldn’t skip your HVAC system’s annual maintenance check.

Why Annual HVAC Repair and Maintenance is Important

If you’ve ever wondered whether your HVAC system needs routine maintenance, we’re here to tell you that it does! Find out why below:

Importance Annual HVAC Maintenance

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Pre-Summer HVAC Checklist for Southern California Homeowners

With summertime quickly approaching, you’ll want to make sure that your air conditioner is ready to go! Have a look at our handy checklist, which outlines the steps you’ll want to take in maintaining your AC unit and prepping it for the summer season. A Southern California summertime can get hot! Prepare your home today by following this simple checklist.

These easy steps can be accomplished quickly and easily, and will set your mind at ease for the entire summertime season. Prevent AC emergencies this summer with our pre-summer HVAC checklist for Southern California homeowners.

Best Pre-Summer HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

Pre-Summer HVAC Checklist

To schedule a maintenance check, that will help ready your AC unit to combat the sweltering summer temperatures, give us a call. We also offer 24-hour emergency service… just in case any problems arise when you least expect it. Contact at 877-411-9888