Should I Invest in a High-Efficiency Air Conditioner?

AC replacementWith summertime just around the corner, an effective air-conditioning strategy starts to become a priority, and with good reason. A home without effective climate control can be stifling, frustrating, and in some cases even dangerous. Some regions of the country experience heat waves with temperatures creeping into the triple digits. While it is ultimately important to keep your home cool no matter what, accomplishing this can be an expensive endeavor. Consumers know this, so that’s why many of them are searching for ways to both cut costs and beat the heat.

Immediate Savings

A lot of older air-conditioning units are simply inefficient in their distribution of energy. The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of these machines can be as low 65%. This means that 35% of the fuel burned in regulating the temperature of your home is wasted, and wasted fuel is money not well spent.

On the other hand, recent tech innovations have resulted in high-efficiency HVAC systems with AFUE ratings of at least 90%. Not only are the savings dramatically improved, but the impact on the environment is significantly reduced as well. What’s more, higher efficiency machines tend to cause a lot less wear and tear on their constituent parts, leading to increased longevity.

Long Term Benefits

In addition to providing a much longer operating life, most companies that produce modern, high-efficiency air conditioners believe in their product so much that they offer comprehensive extended warranties lasting up to 10 years.

A well-made and durable heating and cooling system can be expensive, but consider the value it can add to your home. Homeowners with low-waste, effective, and bill-busting systems tend to see their investments returned if and when they decide to put their properties back on the market.

When Should I Replace My Old Air-Conditioner?

Most experts agree you should consider replacing models that are more than 15 years old, especially if you have noticed diminished functionality, too much noise coming from the unit, or a sizable increase in your electricity bill. Whatever your situation, it is important to have an expert inspect and give a thoughtful evaluation of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The highly trained professionals at Aliso Air are qualified to come inspect, replace, and maintain most any system.

For more information on high-efficiency air-conditioning and any other HVAC needs, contact us here at Aliso Air. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and determine the best machine for keeping your family comfortable through the summer and beyond.

The Value of HVAC Maintenance

air conditoning installationLike a car or any advanced piece of machinery, your heating and air-conditioning equipment is complex, with an array of parts and pieces that all need to work together in unison for the entire machine to function properly. Also like a vehicle, gas furnaces and air conditioners need to be checked for general wear and tear, oil and refrigerant leaks, potential safety risks, and they need to have their air filters replaced. In other words, they require regular maintenance in order to last.

Most of us would agree, it is essential that your HVAC system be in great working condition year-round, especially during those summer months when the heat is unbearable or during the frigid cold of winter. Maintaining your heating, ventilation, and cooling systems is vital for optimum enjoyment of your home. Not only does it ensure peace-of-mind and lasting comfort, but proper HVAC maintenance can also help save you a lot of money by reducing energy waste and lowering your electric bill.

HVAC Maintenance Agreements

There is no doubt that heating and cooling equipment is complicated and costly, so most homeowners decide to protect their investment by enlisting the help of experts. Giving a small amount of attention to your system and contacting your HVAC service provider about an appropriate maintenance agreement will pay off in a big way in the long run.

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid major breakdowns and costly repairs. Comprehensive service agreements include visits from certified HVAC technicians who are well versed in the intricacies of all types of thermal comfort systems. At Aliso Air, almost all of our agreements offer free labor on maintenance performed during a preventative maintenance service call.

When and How Often

Experts recommend, at the very least, performing a comprehensive pre-season examination of your heating and cooling apparatus. Even in a moderate climate, it is important to make sure every single hose, coil, screw, and bolt is in top shape before the seasonal weather hits. A system breakdown during a cold snap or a heat wave is extremely uncomfortable and may even be dangerous for you and for your family. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in a home without heat in the middle of winter or sweltering without AC when temperatures rise.

It is important to remember that unlike an auto mechanic, these highly trained professionals provide at-home, consistent, and hassle-free checkups whenever it is most convenient for your schedule. They can keep your HVAC system running smoothly year round.

For more information on maintenance best practices and HVAC maintenance agreements, contact us here at Aliso Air. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and find the right maintenance agreement for you and your home.

What Can Programmable Thermostats Do for You?


Programmable Thermostats

Long gone are the days of adjusting the temperature of your home or office by spinning a rickety dial on your ancient regulator. With Wi-Fi ready, programmable thermostats, your climate control system is not only versatile, but also interactive and intelligent.

As part of a larger automation strategy, programmable thermostats offer you a greater amount of power and flexibility when it comes to making your home more comfortable. Not only do smart thermostats give you control over your home’s heating and cooling from almost anywhere, they can help you save money and lessen your impact on the environment. A better understanding of when, how much, and what kind of energy you use in making your family safe and comfortable allows for worry free peace-of-mind both in and away from the home.

They can also offer a myriad of programmable settings that can be personally tailored to any family’s preferences. You can use your smart thermostat to make sure your home is warm and toasty upon waking and more energy efficient when your home isn’t occupied.
To further help you save money on HVAC costs, smart thermostats offer usage and environmental metrics that leave you better informed about your habits and provide tips for how to better augment your home’s HVAC capabilities. Most of these state-of-the-art thermostats have additional features like smart setback that will automatically adjust manual programming for greater efficiency. These technologies help save most homeowners about 20% per month on their heating and cooling costs.

Rewards for Consumers

Some electricity and power providers offer rebates to families and businesses that opt for a smart thermostat. Southern California Edison has created the Save Power Days program with Aliso Air and many of their other service providers. As part of this incentive program, you can receive up to $125 in credit on your next SCE bill by introducing a smart thermostat into your home.

Honeywell’s Programmable Thermostat

There are many companies that make smart thermostats, so it is important to choose a trusted brand. Honeywell has been a leader in innovation for a long time, and their Wi-Fi 9000 7-Day Programmable Thermostat is one of the best on the market. With a stunning high-definition touch screen and vibrant display, this machine comes with a five-year limited warranty, an easy-to-use control panel, seven-day programming, and advanced modes for optimizing comfort. In addition, you can download the Total Connect Comfort App to your smartphone or tablet to get access to auto alerts, usage specifications, energy savings, and detailed information about your own personal ecosystem.

For more information on the Honeywell programmable thermostat and other HVAC needs, contact us here at Aliso Air. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions to see if a Wi-Fi ready, programmable thermostat makes sense for your home.

Advantages of a Maintenance Agreement

air conditoning installationYou may have read or even heard people telling you that a HVAC maintenance agreement is beneficial. Sometimes, the HVAC technicians who visit your home may suggest you to consider looking into entering a maintenance agreement with the company. If so, you are probably wondering what the advantages of a maintenance agreement are. Should I spend the money needed for annual maintenance, or should I worry about repairs only when the air conditioning or heating system actually breaks down?

The Need For Regular Maintenance

Air conditioning and heating units are electro-mechanical devices. In other words, they consist of motors, pumps, and parts that are constantly moving – just like your car’s engine. As your HVAC equipment functions, it draws in air from the outside, heats or cools it, and then pumps the air into your home. Sounds simple enough, but of course it’s actually a lot more complicated than that.

But most importantly, as the HVAC unit runs, wear and tear happens. Ball bearings get worn. Motors become weak, and pumps don’t pump enough. To this general wear and tear, add all the dirt that settles in every nook and corner of the HVAC system. As time passes, the regular use of your HVAC unit makes it less efficient and increases the possibility of breakdowns.

What HVAC Maintenance Does

With regular HVAC maintenance, your unit gets treated with kids gloves with two objectives – one; to identify any potential issues and catch them early, and two; to extend the life of the unit. Here is what a trained HVAC technician will do during maintenance.

Run Diagnostics

Every trained HVAC technician has extensive knowledge on the cooling or heating unit and knows what problems to look for. In spite of this, he is trained to run routine diagnostic programs that will test every part of HVAC system. In addition to testing the health of the unit, the diagnosis will also verify the efficiency of the unit. These tests will tell the technicians potential problems with the HVAC unit that may not be visible to the eye. He now has a set of points on which to execute any potential repair or replacement.

Maintenance Cleaning & Lubrication

This is one of the most important tasks a technician will execute during the maintenance calls. He will clean the HVAC unit thoroughly. With professional equipment including blowers, washers, and vacuum pumps, all debris will be removed. Motors and pumps will be cleaned and oiled. Coils, filters, blower wheels, and the ducting system will be inspected and cleaned. Replacements of small parts such as gaskets, connectors, and fasteners will be done automatically. If electrical wires are frayed or open, they will be replaced or insulated. Motor and pumps parts that are burnt will be replaced.

Coolant Levels

It is important that the HVAC unit has enough coolant to function optimally. Depletion of coolant will reduce cooling, and also make the system work for a longer time to achieve the same cooling. This will only increase the wear and tear on your system.

All these steps are designed to reduce breakdowns and enhance the efficiency and life of your HVAC system. Check with us on our HVAC maintenance plans. In the long run, maintenance with our trained technicians will keep you more comfortable, reduce wear and tear, and ensure your HVAC unit runs for the factory stipulated number of years.

The Basics Of Furnaces


This year, we seem to be looking at a wild winter. To keep ourselves warm, we need furnaces that generate heat. The furnace works by blowing hot air across the house through ducts. In the room, the ducts end at a grill or an air register through which the heated air is blown into the room.

Furnaces can be powered by oil, gas or electricity. In an oil or gas furnace, air is mixed with fuel and burnt. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger. A fan sends cold air into the exchanger to be heated up. The heated air is then pushed into the ducting system for distribution through the house. Furnaces can waste a lot of energy (as much as 30%) and follow standards set as early as 1987. New standards are being set and should be operational from the spring of 2016.

In the US, furnaces are monitored by standards set by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). In addition to using load as a factor, AFUE takes into account start-up and cool down losses, as well as the energy used by fans, air handlers and controls. Modern furnaces must have a minimal 80 AFUE. Today, it is common to have furnaces with AFUE in the 90s, though you do get ones with 98 AFUE.

Furnace Installations

When you need a new or replacement furnace it can be quite overwhelming with all the decisions to make. Deciding on the right unit, financing the unit and other questions are all popping around in your mind. Get an experienced representative from Aliso Air to come in and help you make informed decisions. They will evaluate your home and heating needs and recommend the right product for you. Some of the installations also have rebates and you can also opt for financing.

Furnaces cannot be installed as a DIY. You need technical knowledge, experience and special tools.

Furnace Maintenance

Cleaning your furnace regularly and having inspections annually are two great ways to keep it up and running. This is easily done through service agreements. A maintenance agreement ensures a certified technician comes out to your home and inspects your furnace on a regular basis. This helps you to reduce the repair costs you may face and also helps your unit be efficient. By taking this simple step you can easily extend the life of your furnace by 10-15 years.

Furnace Repairs

Our service department services all makes and brands of equipment. We feature a fleet of service vans that are fully stocked with furnace and heater repair parts. We can also usually get hard to find parts within 24-48 hours of your service call. We are fully equipped to meet all of your repair needs in a timely and efficient manner and are available to you any time you need us.

Furnaces that are close to their estimated lifetime could cost quite a lot for repairs. If your repair estimates are 50% or more of a new furnace, it is time to seriously looking at replacing your furnace.

How often should you change your Air Filter?

changing hvac air filtersPeople using HVAC system are often overwhelmed by the question, when or how often they should change the air filter of their HVAC units. In fact, it is one of the most important things that they need to know, if they wish to extend the life of their system. Truly, changing air filters on a timely basis will help your air conditioner to work to its fullest capacity and efficiency for a long time. However, you need to make sure that you change the air filters once every 3 to 6 months or more.

Each and every household is different in many aspects and this makes a lot of difference in the running life of an air conditioner. Also, there are other critical factors that determine the gap that one needs to give between filter changeovers. Waiting too long will cause the efficiency of the unit to nosedive drastically, causing a sharp rise in energy consumption, resulting in an increase in power bills. On the other hand, changing the filters frequently might be an unnecessary practice, resulting in some pointless expenses.

It is imperative that the users keep in mind that a lot depends on the air filters. The more efficient they are, more often they will need to be replaced or cleaned. Take, for instance, the pleated filters. These are highly efficient filters and they do a marvelous job. Most of these filters score 60 to 70 percent in efficiency quotients, and there are certain famous companies, whose products score even more. It is ideal to change or replace the pleated filters at least once in every 3 to 6 months. Again, for those who stay areas that are dusty and windy, dry and hot, then it is best to change them at least once in every 3 months.

Those who are expecting their air conditioners to filtrate more efficiently must opt for electrostatic, HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) or electronic filters. These are extremely efficient filters, and more efficient they are they will accumulate dust faster and hence will ask for more frequent cleaning or replacement.

Electrostatic filters are the best choice, as it is a perfect combination of efficiency and value. These are an expensive variant of filters and might cost two to six times the cost of a fair quality disposable filter. However, the catch is that you will be able to wash and clean them, dry them when are dirty, and reuse them.

Now let us talk about electronic filters. These filters will never become dirty enough to prevent airflow. They just become inefficient, and hence once that happens, their capacity to remove dirt and dust from the air minimizes as they become old and dirty. These filters need to be cleaned often and for doing that the electronic cells need to be removed and soaked in HVAC cleaning solutions and then rinsed and dried and then reinstalled for further use. It is ideal to perform this cleaning once in 3 months.

HEPA filters, on the other hand, are an extremely efficient variety of filters, which get clogged by dirt quite fast. Hence, this variety of filters needs to be checked once every month and needs to be cleaned if they cause too much restriction in the way of air flow. However, this variety of filters is best replaced or cleaned by a professional.

For those who are using economy panel filters from a local hardware store, it is worth opting for a pack of 4 to 5 of them, as that will be economical. However, this is not a very efficient variety of filters and might not need that frequent cleaning or replacement. In fact, these filters at times prove to be so inefficient that one can leave them intact for even a year, and then also they will not acquire not enough dust and dirt that will need changing or cleaning.

Hence, the bottom line is that the type of filters used will determine the frequency of their cleaning or replacement.

Choosing the Right Air Filter for Your Home

air filters in orange countyAt one point or another in our life we are sure to experience the confusion associated with the buying the right air filter for our homes. Finding the best among several brands and sizes can be a challenging task. Also, you may wonder whether a particular brand of home air filter is worth a big investment or not. All these aspects can make it overwhelming. However, if you are assisted by experts, then making a choice will definitely get easier. You should take into consideration the size, material and MERV rating while buying air filters in Orange County.

• Filter size – This is probably the easiest thing to figure because a look at the old air filter will give you an idea of the size. Refer to the label of your existing or old air filter and find out the measurements. Usually we get to see 1” thick air filters in our homes but they are available in a variety of sizes. You need to understand that air filters can be thicker in some of the systems, so just consider the same when you buy Air Filters in Orange County.

• MERV Rating and Material – Every air filter is rated on a scale of 16 for its efficiency. This is known as the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating. As a user, the number informs you about the efficiency of your air filter under the least efficient conditions. It informs you about the contaminant holding capacity of an air filter.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind while choosing air filters in Orange County on the basis of their MERV ratings. A higher MERV rating is always an indication of superior quality filtration but you must also understand that it costs higher to operate such HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. The air filters with higher MERV ratings does not allow too much air to pass through and your system is compelled to work harder. You need to strike the right balance between air filtration, air flow and energy efficiency.

You cannot just use an air filter that restricts too much air flow as that would force your HVAC system to work harder. Thus, a MERV between 6 and 8 is considered to be the standard when you are buying air filters in Orange County. It is best to call up a service expert or HVAC technician to find out whether a particular filter is suitable for your system or not. There’s no point in giving up energy efficiency for better filter efficiency. You have to balance the elements in play and consider your needs carefully before making a decision.

In case you have to deal with respiratory problems and allergies, you will have to choose higher MERV air filters in Orange County. You should always look at the bigger picture and go for an air filter that is both energy efficient and at the same time ensures better air quality at home.

Filtration has undergone several changes over the past few years and there are better and more efficient air filters in Orange County. You will need to do a little research before you can find the one that suits all your needs perfectly. In case you find it difficult to arrive at a decision, hire an expert consultant to guide you during the purchase.

The Importance Of Expert Air Conditioning Installation

air conditoning installationAir Conditioning has become an integral part of our life that most of us take for granted. We switch the air conditioner on and fiddle with the thermostat to set the correct and comfortable temperature in the room.

But, what about installation? Most of us expect the air conditioning system to be installed by the dealer when we buy one from them and there are good reasons for that.

We will explain why in this article.

Size Matters. So Does Technology

One of the most important aspects of air conditioning installation is the size. Even if you have the most expensive calculator in the world and the complete calculation logic in your fingertips, you can never get what an air conditioning installation expert has – experience and training. Having installed air conditioning systems a large number of times, and in different homes, an expert has the knowledge and experience to be alert for small nuances that make a huge difference. These are things the average eye would just skip through. Does the room have an alcove? Does it have a large window? How many hours of sunlight does it get? How is the heat shield in the ceiling? The eye to look for these and much more such factors and the knowledge to tackle them only comes from experience.

Companies like Carrier constantly train and re-train their dealer technicians. The reason or need for this is the speed at which air conditioning technology is changing. Carrier is pushing technology to eke out the last bit of efficiency from its blowers and compressors. Modern air conditioning systems work with an intricate network of sensors that constantly watch the inside and the outside environment, and constantly send data to onboard computers. It is the computers that decide how the air conditioning system functions.

An expert air conditioning installer is taught to understand where to install the sensors, how to accurately calculate the size, and execute an optimal installation.

The Perils of Incorrect Installation

Inefficient Operation. An air conditioning and heating system not installed correctly will be operating inefficiently all the time. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has determined that faulty installation could lead to nearly 30% increase in utility bills all the time.

Frequent Breakdowns. When an air conditioner is not working within its prescribed limits, it will have more wear and tear and will fail more often. This means you are not only uncomfortable all the time, you will also have to spend more just to keep the air conditioning running.

Faulty Airflow. An improper installation could also lead to improper and air flow. Leaky ducts and windows, blockages and other factors can force an air conditioning system to work harder and even longer that it really should. This will inevitably lead to more repairs and maintenance costs, and even early system failure. You would certainly be looking at a shorter life of the air conditioner.

Common Myths On Air Conditioners

Orange County Air Conditioning

Rumors have a nasty habit of spreading fast. With the Internet, this has become even more prevalent. In the HVAC industry, unfortunately, we have a large number of ‘experts’ who give their opinions online on many things. But let’s take a closer look at some of these myths.

A New Energy Efficient Air Conditioner is a Solution to All Issues

Modern air conditioning systems have certainly been designed to be more energy efficient. But, for an energy efficient new air conditioning system to save you money, you must look at a number of other factors. Are you rooms well insulated? Are all the ducts clean and dust free. Have your filters been cleaned? A professional air conditioner service technician is trained to look for issues that can affect an air conditioner’s efficiency. He knows how to locate these issues and how to resolve them. Such a step will certainly help your air conditioner be more energy efficient.

Keeping the AC on All Day is Cheaper

It is surprising how this myth has taken a strong belief among many users. Maybe, because, when you enter a cold room, you feel things are working well. But remember, your utility cost is not for how much effort an AC takes in cooling a room, it is simply for how long the AC runs. So if you keep the AC on for the full day when no one is using the room, you are just throwing your money away. To cool down a hot room may cost a few dollars more, but that will be far less than the money you will spend keeping the air conditioning on all day.

AC Fans Can Cool Rooms By Themselves

There is hardly any difference between a regular ceiling fan and an AC fan by itself. Both just move air. If you stand in front of an AC fan and feel better, it is the not fan that is doing the trick. The sweat on your body evaporates faster when air is blown at it. As the sweat evaporates, it absorbs the heat around and thereby makes your skin feel cooler. The fan is doing nothing but providing momentum to the air. Air conditioning fans by themselves do not cool, so keeping them on has no value.

The Internet is a great place to learn. But it has its share of myths and false information. Always depend upon your manufacturer manual or, when in doubt, call us here at Aliso Air. We have the technical knowledge and experience to resolve all your air conditioner issues.

This Summer, Choose The Perfect Air Conditioning System For Your Home

Carrier AC

You may be asking if there is such as a thing as a perfect air conditioning. Maybe not. But at the same time, modern air conditioning is at its peak in term of technical advances and energy efficiency. Today’s air conditioning is better than what you got just a few years ago by a factor of at least 4-6 times. SEER ratings have improved, drive mechanism has improved, the gas used is safe for you and the environment, and modern AC units are literally computer controlled. They constantly measure multiple factors including temperature, moisture, energy consumption, and adjust their output to deliver better results.

Here are some factors you have to consider when choosing an air conditioning system.

Choose the Right Capacity

Before we discuss the features and efficiency factors, let us not overlook one simple factor. And this factor is often overlooked by homeowners. A rough measure states an area of roughly 100-300 square feet will require 5000-6000 BTU of air conditioning. Similarly 350-950 square feet will need 9800-12500 BTU capacity. Choosing a low capacity to save money is practically suicidal. The unit will be stressed all the time, consume more energy and work inefficiently. Similarly, choosing an air conditioning with excess capacity has its own issues. A good estimator will know exactly how to calculate the capacity of air conditioning needed for a room or a house. Today, he is equipped with advanced software that can calculate to a high degree of accuracy. Don’t hesitate to use that.

Energy Efficiency

After sizing, we would say this is the second most important factor. Look for the SEER rating. The higher the SEER rating, the lower your utility bill. When you go near 20 or so in SEER rating, you get extraordinary efficiency. A 20-SEER air conditioning unit will cost just half as much to run as a 13-SEER unit. Of course, the higher the SEER rating, the more the cost. Again, your estimator should be able to calculate and show to you the cost of purchase and the cost of running over, say, 5 years. Sometimes a little extra investment in the initial stages will go a long way in saving on your utility bills.

Split Or Window

This again is a factor of modern technology. Today’s window air conditioning systems are so good, that it will be foolish to ignore them. They also cost less than split unit for the same tonnage. Split ACs, of course, are quieter, more pleasing, and provide more air distribution.

Air Quality

The way the air conditioning unit treats the air before pumping it into your home is important. Filters are critical. They should be easy to remove and clean. Depending upon where you live, moisture management through humidifiers and dehumidifiers might be needed. Moisture can lead to mold growth and this will affect the Indoor Air Quality.

If you take care of these factors with a bit of knowledge, your air conditioning system will function flawlessly, consume less energy and keep you comfortable all summer. Is that not as close to having a perfect air conditioning as possible?