When you need heating and furnace services in Hayward, San Jose, and the Bay Area, call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We serve homeowners throughout the south and east Bay. Call us to schedule your heating tune-up, or for heating repair. We also install new furnaces and heat pumps.

4 DIY energy upgrades you can make in your home

Owning a home takes a lot of work and money. On top of the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance costs, Bay Area homeowners can be in for a rude awakening when they open that first summer electric bill. Here’s the good news: there are actually quite a few ways for homeowners to make their home more efficient and lower their energy bills. In this article, we’ll review some DIY energy upgrades you can make in your home this summer for greater comfort and savings.

One of the best DIY energy upgrades is adjusting the temperature of your water heater.

Lowering your water heater temperature is one of the best DIY energy upgrades you can make in your home. If you’re not sure how to do this, call us and have a plumber from ABC adjust the temperature of your water heater.

Start with a home energy audit from our team

Before you can start upgrading your home, you need to know where to start. That’s why we recommend that you call our team to schedule your 26-point home energy assessment. Our certified energy experts run through a professional energy audit, finding the places where your home is both saving and wasting energy. We then translate the data from our tests into easy-to-implement recommendations for improvements.

While some of our recommendations—such as upgrading to a new, more efficient air conditioner or adding attic insulation—require the assistance of a professional HVAC technician, there are many projects that homeowners can tackle immediately to put their home on the road to future savings. If you do have ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing work in your home after an energy audit, we’ll perform another set of measurements after the upgrades have been completed so that you can measure the positive change in your energy efficiency.

Tackle these DIY energy upgrades and start saving!

Add weatherstripping

A majority of the energy used in the home typically goes to the air conditioner and furnace. That means homeowners here in the Bay Area spend a lot of their utility bill cooling and heating their home, depending on the season. Anything you can do to retain more of that cooled or heated air is going to have a positive impact on your energy use and costs.

Here’s a low-cost, easy way to prevent the loss of cooled and heated air: add weatherstripping around your doors and windows. You’d be surprised how much energy is wasted by drafty exterior entryways. Efficiency-boosting weatherstripping can be found at any hardware store, and the minor investment is typically well worth the results.

Lower your water temperature

Without knowing it, many homeowners keep their water heater at a much higher temperature than it needs to be. This is especially true since many manufacturers set the default temperature at 140 degrees, while the minimum temperature recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is actually 120 degrees. Why the difference? For one, higher temperatures in the tank kill off harmful bacteria faster, although the DOE notes that 120 degrees works just as well in that regard for most households.

Too high of water temperature actually has a number of negative effects. First, it can pose a serious scald risk, especially to children. Second, any additional heat in the water heater tank means additional pressure on the tank itself. Finally—and most relevant to this article—continually keeping water hotter than it needs to be for household use wastes money.

Your water heater should have a temperature dial where you can adjust the temperature setting. By lowering the tank temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, you can save between 6-10% on your home’s energy costs. Not sure how to do this? Be sure to talk to the plumbers on our team for water heater service.

Put your lights on a timer

In addition to upgrading any older light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs, you should also watch your household lighting use. Policing yourself or kids when it comes to turning off the lights can get, well, old for everyone in the house. We recommend that homeowners add timers to control when lights turn on and off for the night.

If you want to take things a step further, use smart switches or bulbs that allow you to control the lights from your smartphone. That way, if you forget to turn off the lights when you leave, you can always do it on the go. This upgrade is convenient and will help you cut down on your home’s energy use.

Upgrade to a smart thermostat

Just like your lights, there’s a lot of energy waste that occurs because humans just aren’t good at remembering to do small, repetitive tasks on a daily basis. For many homeowners, adjusting the thermostat back up when they leave is easy to forget, yet—as a mistake repeated day after day—can really lead to a spike in unnecessary energy use and higher electric bills.

A smart thermostat solves this problem by allowing you to put your home on a schedule that accounts for when you’re regularly away from home, such as days you’re at work for 8 hours. With this control, you can have the air conditioner take a break while you’re gone, and then set your home to cool back down 30 minutes before you walk through the door.

Not all smart thermostats are the same! Look for ones with other helpful features, such as learning technology that allows the thermostat to program the most-efficient schedule on its own. If you have questions about smart thermostats and which models are compatible with your HVAC systems, call our team.

For more energy-saving advice and projects, call your friends at ABC!

As it turns out, there are quite a few projects that Bay Area homeowners can take on themselves to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Many of these upgrades have twin benefits: they both make your home more comfortable and lower your energy bills. Just remember: some of the most impactful energy upgrades—from upgrading to a new air conditioner to having new insulation installed—will need to be handled by a professional. Don’t forget to plan and budget for those changes if you really want to start saving.

If you’re ready to get started using less energy and saving money, our home energy audit is a great place to start. With a checklist from our team, you’ll be able to start knocking out items and watch your electric bill decrease every month.

Here’s why you should schedule your spring heat pump tune-up

As implied by their name, heat pumps should only be used in the wintertime, right? Not at all. Heat pumps are unique in that they don’t actually generate heat, just transfer it both inside and outside your home. ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing wants to show you the importance of a spring heat pump tune-up.

A heat pump tune-up in the spring could prevent a number of problems in the summer.

A heat pump tune-up in the spring could prevent a number of problems in the summer.

Why you should schedule a spring heat pump tune-up

Heat pumps work hard

Because heat pumps operate year-round providing your home with both heating and cooling, they work twice as hard as furnaces and air conditioners. That means you need to be extra vigilant about taking great care of your heat pump, so it continues to operate effectively and efficiently for as long as possible. Without regular maintenance from the seasoned pros here at ABC, your system can see minor issues spiral out-of-control due to the regular use and wear-and-tear on your heat pump.

Get ready for the warmer months of the year

Something else to think about is the fact that if your heat pump develops issues over the winter, scheduling a tune-up now means you don’t have to worry about those issues carrying over into the warmer months of the year.

An ounce of prevention is undoubtedly worth a pound of cure when it comes to appliances. That goes double for your heat pump. Staying on top of your HVAC maintenance by calling our team is sure to be the smart play in the long run.

Optimal performance

Just as you perform better at work when you’ve had a good night’s rest, a good meal, and exercise, the same principle applies to your HVAC systems and your heat pump. With proper upkeep and regular maintenance, your heat pump will continue performing at its best, keeping you and your family comfortable no matter what the weather is outside.

Save money

Heat pumps and other HVAC appliances can cost you money when you don’t take proper care of them. For instance, clogged air filters compromise the overall operation, which means they have to work harder to move air. This costs you unnecessary money in the long run. Keep that from happening with a tune-up.

Here’s what to expect during your heat pump tune-up

During your heat pump’s tune-up, you can expect it to be cleaned, and the air filter may need to be changed. Additionally, your pump may be low on refrigerant, which could indicate a leak. You can also expect the compressor and electrical components to be inspected.

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we’re here for all your air conditioning, plumbing, and heating needs. Give us a call if your heat pump needs services or a tune-up—no matter what time of year it is.

When do you need an expert for common furnace problems?

Your furnace is an essential part of your home, especially during the colder months. Regular maintenance can help with some common furnace problems, but there are times when it is best to call in a specialist to help.

If you are wondering if you need an expert, compare these three common issues with your own furnace to find out if you need an ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing professional to help with your furnace repair needs.

Common furnace problems can include issues with your thermostat that prevent it from communicating right with your heating system.3 signs you need furnace repair this winter

1. A lack of heating

If your furnace isn’t putting out any heat into your home, there is a problem. Rather than tackling this by yourself, hire an HVAC expert to determine and fix the cause of your lack of heat. It may be a simple fix or it may be an issue that requires new parts. Here are some of the most common causes of heating breakdowns:

  • The thermostat settings
  • The pilot light or electric ignition
  • Mechanical issues
  • No power or gas to furnace

Whether your system has completely stopped working or it’s just not heating quite like it should, call your friends at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for emergency heating repair.

2. A faulty pilot light or ignition

The pilot or ignition is what turns on the furnace. When it does not work properly, it will be unable to heat your space. This may be due to malfunctioning mechanisms inside the equipment, as well as clogs or drafts.

A trained professional can take care of your furnace problems safely and correctly so you do not have to go through a winter without proper heat in your home.

3. A noisy furnace

If you’re hearing loud clanging, squeaking, or even rattling sounds, they may indicate that there is something wrong with your furnace. In fact, a noisy heater could indicate issues with the following:

  • A lack of airflow
  • A burner that is clogged
  • A mechanical issue

All three of these could very quickly lead to a system breakdown. You need to call the pros at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for emergency heating repair.

Call ABC for solutions to common furnace problems

Here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we can help you with all your common furnace problems, so you do not have to worry about them. If your heating system is acting up in any way, contact our team today to hire an expert to solve your HVAC needs.

What are the 5 major signs you need a new furnace?

You and your family rely on your furnace to keep your home warm during the winters here in the Bay Area. But, if you’re seeing ever-increasing energy bills, hearing odd noises, or experiencing hot-and-cold spots in your home with your older furnace, it might be time to consider replacing it. In this blog, we’ll review the 5 major signs you need a new furnace.

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we not only offer furnace repair service, but we also offer free in-home estimates on new heating systems. To schedule your service, call us today!

Furnace Installation in HaywardHere are the signs you need a new furnace

1. Your heating bills are heating up

If it feels like you’re paying more on your heating bills every year even though you maintain the same temperature and use roughly the same amount of heating each year, the issue could be that your furnace isn’t as energy-efficient as it used to be.

Getting a new one could cool down your spending and boost your comfort.

2. You’ve had the same furnace for a while

Usually, furnaces last about 10-15 years, although they can last longer, if properly taken care of by a technician through a tune-up. However, it pays to be proactive. Instead of sitting around waiting for your furnace to run out of time, keep an eye out for the signs you need a new furnace discussed in this article. This could help you not only avoid a major breakdown during the colder months of the year, but could also help you save with the new system’s greater energy-efficiency.

3. There are odd noises coming from your unit

Is your furnace bumping, rattling, wheezing, or anything similar? It could be trying to tell you that it’s ready to retire. Even if you temporarily put an end to the noise, you should have a technician come out to take a look to determine whether you need to start looking for a new, quieter furnace.

4. You’re always changing the thermostat

Constantly being too hot or too cold no matter how much you adjust the thermostat could mean that your furnace isn’t spreading heat as evenly as it used to. Get back to being comfortable in your own home with a replacement.

5. Your burner flame is no longer blue

Upon taking a glance at the burner flame in your furnace, you may notice that it’s yellow instead of blue. This may indicate that carbon monoxide is pouring out from your furnace, which is highly dangerous. Should you ever notice a yellow flame, turn the furnace and gas off, leave the house, and contact a HVAC professional.

If you’re noticing theses signs you need a new furnace, call us at ABC!

To explore your options for a new, energy-efficient furnace, reach out to us here at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us.

Here’s why you should join ABC’s Guardian Maintenance Club

Between busy days at work and taking care of daily tasks at home, it’s easy to forget about what goes on “behind the scenes” in your home. Postponing maintenance on your heating and cooling system could lead to costly repairs down the line, but ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing has the solution. Just join the Guardian Maintenance Club!

In this blog, we’ll run through the reasons why you should join our maintenance club, from priority service to a discount on repairs.

Pictured: When you need air conditioning repair, call the friendly techs at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.We’ll help you remember

When you join the club, you won’t need to worry about remembering those maintenance tasks on your own anymore. We provide our club members with seasonal phone calls to remind you it’s time to perform maintenance on your HVAC system. All you need to do is schedule your appointment when we call.

You get priority service

Nobody wants to call for HVAC maintenance or repair service only to find out the company is backed up for days or weeks. We provide priority service for members of our maintenance program. If you call us to schedule an appointment, we bump you in front of non-members, including new customers.

We offer a 90-day guarantee

Spending money on HVAC maintenance means you don’t want to pay for repairs just a few weeks down the line. That’s why we offer a 90-day guarantee to club members. On the off-chance that your heating or cooling stops working within 90 days of your maintenance appointment, we’ll credit the cost of the maintenance service toward your repair.

You receive a discount

Joining our club means saving money. Members of the maintenance club receive a 15 percent discount on any services rendered. Whether we repair your furnace, install an entire system, or offer you our plumbing expertise, you’ll keep more money in the bank.

Your energy bill will thank you

Discounts, guarantees, and priority service are great, but they aren’t the only reasons to check out the Club. Routine maintenance means your systems work more efficiently. Efficient systems use fewer resources, so you may even see a drop in your utility bills.

Call ABC and join our maintenance club!

ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing has been keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly for more than 60 years. Contact us today to learn more about Guardian Maintenance Club or to schedule a service appointment.

Your guide to buying a new heating system this fall

Fall is a magical season when leaves change color, but it’s also the best time to prepare for another long winter. You might not want to think about buying a new heating system during the last few weeks of summer, but it’s actually the perfect time to consider a new furnace ahead of the start of fall.

If you are looking to upgrade to a new system this season, here are some things to keep in mind when shopping. Also, a good place to start is with a free in-home estimate from the team at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Tech Repairs Furnace in Hayward CAThe actual size of your home

It takes a properly sized unit to effectively heat your entire home, but it’s important to measure your whole building. If you simply work off of the square footage, you’re disregarding the extra power needed to provide warmth in rooms with features such as vaulted ceilings.

In addition, a furnace that is too small for your home will also struggle to keep up with the demand. It’ll be constantly running, using more energy than it should and leading to a greater risk of a heating breakdown.

How energy-efficient is the new system?

If you’re arranging for a new heating system installation, it’s worth considering energy-efficiency when deciding between designs. A high-efficiency furnace might have a higher initial cost, but you can make up for the extra expense through decreased fuel usage. You’ll also be more comfortable due to lower noise and even warmth.

At ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, we’re a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer. We install new, energy-efficient Carrier furnaces and heat pumps, right here in the Bay Area.

Which type of fuel?

Furnaces require fuel to provide heat, and each one has its own advantages of disadvantages. For most homes, you can generally expect to use one of four different energy sources:

  • Heating oil, which is a fossil fuel that requires you to have your own tank on the property. While it does burn hotter and heat faster, it also costs much more than natural gas.
  • Natural gas, which requires a connection to a municipal supply. It’s much less expensive than oil, but it still produces greenhouse gasses, which can be minimized with a high-efficiency system.
  • Propane, which works similarly to natural gas, but requires you to have a storage tank and regular deliveries. Propane is less expensive than oil, but doesn’t burn as efficiently as regular natural gas.
  • Electricity, which uses a device called a heat pump to exchange cool air from inside your house with warmer air outside. They offer a combination of heating and cooling, but don’t work well in harsher climates. Luckily, this means that they’re ideal for the winter climate here in the Bay Area.

Interested in buying a new heating system? Call us today!

Now you know what to look for in a new heating system, trust the experts at ABC Cooling & Heating to help you find the perfect unit for your home and budget. To learn more about our new furnace installation process or to request a free estimate, contact us today.

DIY HVAC repair is a bad idea: Call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, instead

It has become increasingly popular for homeowners to take on more and more projects themselves. The “DIY” movement has blossomed because of easy, video guides online and quick access to craft and hardware stores. However, there has to be limits. In this blog, we’ll discuss why DIY HVAC repair is a bad idea for your home.

Here are four reasons why Bay Area residents should make the call to ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

You can make the problem much worse

This is typically the outcome of most DIY HVAC repair projects that we hear about. A homeowner looks up the problem online, sees the solution in a helpful guide, and decides to give it a shot. Hours later on a frustrating afternoon, they’re no closer to getting the air conditioner fixed.

It’s not you. It’s that air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces are incredibly complex pieces of machinery. Our techs have to undergo training, and then field work, to become the pros that they are today.

You can put the safety of yourself or others at risk

First, air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces are complex mechanical devices that all use electricity or gas to condition your home. By their very nature, they’re complicated and can be dangerous for an untrained person attempting DIY HVAC repair.

Working with air conditioners and heat pumps, you risk electrocution. With furnaces, you risk damaging the heat exchanger, which can eventually lead to carbon monoxide entering your home’s air.

Let’s contrast this with working with a professional HVAC technician. Our technicians at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing are experts who have repaired, maintained, and installed all types of HVAC systems for years. They know how to fix your system safely, with no risk to themselves or you and your family.

You can void your system warranty

Many air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps come with a manufacturer’s’ warranty protecting the system for years. To be fair to them, that’s under the all-too-reasonable condition that only a professional should be working on your system.

On the other hand, when you pry your system open, typically that’s a violation of the warranty, voiding it and meaning that any problems you cause—or that just happen down the road—are your problems.

It’s one of the primary reasons that we recommend even technically savvy homeowners call ABC for their HVAC repair. That warranty is worth it.

You can cause future problems

Even if you’re able to successfully maintain or repair your air conditioner or furnace on your own, you don’t know what future problems might arise from the way things were put back together.

For example, it might be too late by the time, in late summer, that you realize your air conditioner has been extremely inefficient.

Or, the consequences of this DIY HVAC repair might not be felt for years later, when a part fails and your system dies prematurely.

Call ABC with your HVAC repair needs

If your air conditioner is acting up, don’t try to fix it yourself. Instead, call the licensed, bonded, and insured professionals at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer AC repair and heating repair throughout much of the Bay Area.

Here are the signs you need heating repair this winter

Here in the Bay Area, we’re almost through winter and entering into spring. That means it has been a full season of your furnace working at its top capacity. Here are the signs you need heating repair this winter.

In this blog, we’ll review four reasons to give ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing a call.

What are the signs you need heating repair this winter?

Obviously, a furnace that won’t turn on is as sure of a sign as any that you need heating repair—and fast.

However, it’s possible for your furnace to still need to be repaired, but still technically be working. Let’s run through the signs you need heating repair.

#1. Your home isn’t comfortable

Your comfort is the entire reason you have a furnace in the first place. If your home isn’t comfortable, something needs to change or be fixed.

In many cases, a furnace that’s having issues with continue to operate—technically. But, it’s virtually hobbled, unable to keep up with the needs of your home and family.

If your home is far too cold and it seems like the thermostat is unresponsive, give us a call. It could be an issue with either your thermostat or your furnace, and you’ll need an experienced, professional HVAC tech to inspect the situation and figure out what the root of the problem is.

#2. You’re hearing strange sounds

A furnace that’s operating right should be quiet and calm, with only occasional noises, such as the ductwork “flexing” with heat meeting cold metal.

In contrast, consistent, loud “grinding,” “shrieking,” or “exploding” noises are not normal. They’re most likely a sign that something has gone wrong with your system.

Exactly what sounds match up with what problems is up to our tech to find out. In many cases, the same sound could indicate one problem when they’re actually caused by something completely different. Contact our team to have us come out and inspect your furnace.

#3. Your energy bills are on the rise

No homeowner likes opening their utility bill and being surprised at how high it’s been getting. Here’s the thing: a malfunctioning furnace is generally an inefficient furnace. Your energy bills could very well be the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to furnace headaches.

If you’ve been noticing that your monthly bills are spiking, give ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing a call. We’ll send a technician to inspect your system and see what could be the cause of your additional energy use.

#4. Your furnace is stopping and starting constantly

This is related to the noises coming from your furnace, since it’s something you’ll have to listen for when you’re at home. If you notice your furnace is constantly starting and stopping (also called “cycling on-and-off”), it’s probably a sign that something is wrong.

“So, it starts and stops frequently. Does that really require repair?” We certainly think so. A cycling furnace is one with problems; a properly installed and properly running system should run consistently.

By cycling, you’re going to see problems #1 and #3 from this list, and your system is going to experience greater wear-and-tear than normal.

Call ABC for furnace repair in Hayward and the Bay Area

If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned signs you need heating repair, contact us. We offer emergency heating repair service in Hayward in the Bay Area.

5 signs you need a new heating system installed by a professional

Here in Hayward and the Bay Area, winter has arrived, and the nights are getting cold. The last things you want in your home is an old, dying furnace or heat pump. If you have one, it might be time to get a new heating system. In this blog, we’ll run through the signs that it’s time for an upgrade.

ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is your source for professional furnace and heat pump installation here in the south and east Bay. Contact our team to get started.

5 signs you need a new heating system

Here are five signs that indicate that your old heating system needs replacement.

1. You feel cold all the time

Do you feel cold, even when you turn up the heat? Are different rooms radically different temperatures? This is a clear sign your heating system needs to be replaced or repaired.

With an older furnace, repairs to a burner or blower might not be worth the cost if the unit is having other problems. Talk to your ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing tech about what you can realistically expect in terms of lifespan for your system moving forward.

2. Your furnace is getting up there in age

If the furnace has been with you for 15 or more years, you need to consider replacing it with a new one. Most heating systems have a lifespan of around 15 to 20 years; after that point, they may be technically operating, but using far more energy, with far more repairs needed, than when they were new.

If you’re caught paying for higher energy bills every month and expensive repairs, a new furnace or heat pump might be the answer. A new heating system may be an initial investment that saves you in the long run, especially if your old furnace is on the verge of dying, anyway.

3. Your system is constantly starting and stopping

A properly installed furnace or heat pump should be able to operate without constant starting or stopping. This action not only leads to extra wear-and-tear on the system, but it negatively impacts your comfort and your energy-efficiency.

However, older furnaces often get to the point where they can’t keep up with your home’s heating demand, from an effectiveness or efficiency standpoint. They’re constantly running to catch up, leading to wear-and-tear that can cause a final breakdown.

4. Your furnace is making loud and strange noises

Loud noises coming out of the furnace also indicates that your furnace may be at the end of its life. The noise can occur due to many reasons. You should get the system checked to find out whether there is some serious fault with the furnace.

5. Your energy bills are on the rise

Older furnaces and heat pumps are a double-whammy. Not only are they less efficient because of their wear-and-tear over the years, but they’re also technologically behind newer models. Think about it this way: your computer from 20 years is probably far less powerful, fast, or efficient than your computer today. It’s the same concept for your furnace.

If your energy bills have been rising during the winter, you’ll have to weigh just how much a new system could save you versus how much it will cost upfront. The truth is that an energy-efficient new heating system may represent a great value.

BLOG: How to minimize your heating bills

 

Call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing to schedule a free in-home estimate

The above signs indicate that you need a new heating system. But, which one? Where do you start?

If you live in the Bay Area, the right team to call is at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We offer free in-home estimates on new furnaces and heat pumps. Our experienced techs can help measure your home and find the system that’s right for you. We’re a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer.

To get started on your free quote, contact us.