Posts

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 5 furnace tune-up benefits for your home

A furnace tune-up can save you a lot of money. It can ensure that your furnace operates efficiently without any trouble. In this blog post, we’ll run through the top-5 furnace tune-up benefits for your home—and why you should contact our team here at ABC for your furnace maintenance this fall.

The 5 benefits of scheduling a furnace tune-up

If you want to keep your heating system running right (and who doesn’t?), getting a furnace tune-up is not optional. It’s absolutely necessary. Here are some of the benefits of getting a furnace tuned up by the professionals at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing:

Furnace Installation in Hayward1. Maintenance ensures proper airflow

An experienced HVAC technician will always inspect your system to ensure proper airflow. This matters: restricted airflow can not only negatively impact your comfort and energy-efficiency, but it can also put additional wear-and-tear on your heating system. This can result in a shortened lifespan for the system.

If the airflow is restricted, our tech will diagnose the problem and remove the blockage. We’ll also clean or insert a new air filter—an action that can also have a positive impact on the airflow.

2. Lower your energy bills

Another big benefit of a furnace tune-up? Reduced energy bills. In the winter, your heating bills can account for a big part of your energy bills. Without maintenance, your furnace or heat pump will need extra energy to generate warm air. That energy use adds up over the course of an entire winter season!

Regular furnace maintenance will ensure that the furnace works efficiently without any strain, saving you money on your bills.

3. Avoid an emergency breakdown

Our maintenance will also help you avoid a breakdown that puts your furnace or heat pump out of commission. A tune-up will greatly improve the odds that your furnace works all winter efficiently without any problems. That’s because faults with the system that go unaddressed have the potential to turn into a crisis after months of near-constant use at night.

4. Prevent costly repairs

Beyond just the headache, repairs can cost your home a lot of money. A regular tune-up of the furnace will help prevent costly repairs. Initially, many issues with the heater are minor and can be easily resolved. However, left unaddressed, those issues can turn into a much more expensive problem.

Of course, ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all your heating repair needs. However, we recommend maintenance so that you can prevent the need for those repairs in the first place!

5. Ensure that your home remains safe for you and your family

Certain problems with a gas furnace—such as a cracked heat exchanger—can actually lead to problems far more serious than just lower energy-efficiency or costly repairs. Cracked heat exchangers have the potential to release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home. This is a very serious situation that needs to be dealt with immediately.

If you suspect that your gas furnace has some kind of leak, turn off the gas immediately and call the fire department. Once they’ve deemed that things are safe, call our team for repairs.

To see furnace tune-up benefits in your home, call ABC!

There are many reasons to get heating maintenance this fall. Here’s another: peace of mind. That’s what you get when you have an experienced, friendly ABC technician inspect your furnace or heat pump before winter. You’ll know that you’re going to be comfortable. You’ll know that you’re going to save on your energy bills. And you know that your furnace will operate safely.

To schedule your tune-up or to learn more about our services, contact our team or give us a call at (510) 471-8181.

Here are five key AC repair facts you should know

Before the introduction of the air conditioner in early twentieth century, most people spent the summers sweating it out and fanning themselves. That all changed with the air conditioning system. Let’s not relive what used to be this summer. Instead, here are some key AC repair facts that will help you ensure the proper functioning of your air conditioner.

AC Repair Facts From ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

1. Your air conditioner requires regular maintenance

Keep in mind that air conditioners require regular maintenance just like other mechanical devices. The cooling unit has a number of components that should be serviced by a licensed and experienced air conditioner repair technician.

In case any fault is detected, the technician will perform immediate repairs. This will ensure that small faults don’t turn into a major problem.

We’d argue that this is the most important and essential of all these AC repair facts. Schedule your AC tune-up with us today.

2. The proper placement of the outdoor unit reduces wear-and-tear on the system

Another important tip regarding air conditioner unit is that proper placement of the outdoor unit will reduce repair costs. You should avoid placing the outside unit in direct sunlight. This will cause the system to heat up quickly thereby reducing efficiency by as much as 10 percent.

Instead, consider placing the unit beneath a tree or build a screen outside the unit to shade it from the sun.

3. Dirty filters will decrease your AC’s energy-efficiency

Your air conditioner filter keeps dirt, dust, and other debris out of the cooling unit. A dirty filter prevents proper flow of air. The system will heat up due to a dirty filter and struggle to keep the room cool. It will draw more power to keep the room cool, resulting in an increased energy bill.

That’s why it’s essential that you have the filter cleaned by a professional air conditioner repair technician at least twice a year. If you live in a highly dusty area, you may need to get the filter cleaned or replaced more frequently.

4. Any air leakage will decrease your cooling efficiency

Air leakages can make the air conditioner strain to generate cool air. This will result in increased wear-and-tear, ultimately requiring repairs. In order to ensure operational efficiency, make sure that there are no leaks around the house.

Small gaps can be sealed using foil tape, while large ones will require duct mastic. Insulation in the attic can also reduce air leakages.

For more AC repair facts — or to schedule maintenance — call ABC!

In case you reside in Hayward or parts of the Bay Area, call us at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for experienced and licensed air conditioner technicians.

Save money with these summer AC maintenance tips

Summer AC Maintenance Tips to Save MoneySummer has arrived. Most people use air conditioners to beat the heat during the season. However, you can keep your energy bills down and have more money in your wallet with good summer AC maintenance.

Here are three air conditioner maintenance tips that will ensure efficient operation resulting in reduced energy bills.

1. Have the pros at ABC inspect and replace your air filter

Air filters keep dust, dirt, and other debris out of the system. However, over time, the filter becomes clogged. This results in inefficient air flow that strains the system.

You should have the air conditioner air filter inspected by a professional technician, and replaced if necessary. It’s recommended that you have the air filter checked every month during the summers as the filter gets dirty due to heavy use.

There are several kinds of air filters, so call ABC and we’ll walk you through what type of upkeep you’ll need to do throughout the summer months.

2. Our technicians should check your air conditioner coils

Another important summer air conditioner maintenance tip is to have us check the coils. If the coils are defective, the system will strain to generate cool air. Ultimately, the system will draw more energy to cool the room.

In this way, your energy bills will spike up. Also, there are increased chances of the system breaking down due to overwork.

To avoid this situation, you should have the coils inspected by one of our experienced air conditioner technicians at the start of the summer season.

When hired, a technician will check the coils and fins of the outside unit. In case the coil is dirty, the technician will use special equipment to clean the coil.

While cleaning the coil may seem like an easy task, you should not try to do the task yourself. You can accidentally damage critical components inside the unit when cleaning the coils. It’s better that you leave the task to an expert air conditioner technician.

3. For true summer AC maintenance, schedule a complete tune-up

Apart from replacing the filter and cleaning coils, a complete summer AC maintenance service from ABC can also lead to reduced energy bills. Our technician will check the entire system and perform repairs if required. This will ensure that small issues with the air conditioner that could turn out to be a bigger problem are resolved instantly.

What’s more, you won’t have to face the prospect of emergency breakdown right in the middle of a hot day.

Call us for summer AC maintenance

A proper air conditioner tune-up will ensure that you remain cool and comfortable during the summers. Contact us at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for all kinds of air conditioner issues. We have a team of certified, licensed, and experienced air conditioner technicians who can perform the job professionally for you.

5 tips for the best cooling of all rooms of your home

5 Tips to Ensure Best Cooling of the Rooms During the summer, it’s natural to be concerned with getting the best cooling in your home. For that reason, an air conditioner that does not cool your rooms effectively will not just result in inconvenience, but also in higher energy bills.

A system that does not cool the room properly will most likely have a fault that causes it to draw extra electricity. This will result in increased energy bills.

If your air conditioner is not cooling the room efficiently, you can take a number of steps to resolve the issue and get the best cooling out of your system.

1. Purchase the right size of air conditioner

An air conditioner that is either too big or too small for the room will typically result in inefficient and ineffective cooling. Large air conditioners will start and stop quickly and often, resulting in inefficient cooling. On the flip side, small air conditioners will struggle to keep up with demand and cool the room.

An air conditioner that’s too small for your space is just not powerful enough to cool the room adequately.

When you purchase a new air conditioner from ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing, our technician can advise you on the best size to get for your space and cooling needs. We accomplish this through our free in-home estimate. Schedule yours today!

2. Inspect the SEER rating

Most air conditioners sold in the United States come marked with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the air conditioner will be when cooling the room.

An efficient air conditioner can optimally cool the room without taking too much power. You should not buy a cooling device with a SEER less than 14. For the best results, the SEER should be 16 or above. To learn more about SEER and our line-up of Carrier air conditioners, read here.

3. Schedule a regular AC tune-up

The regular inspection of the air conditioner is also important for ensuring optimum cooling. Consider scheduling an air conditioner tune-up with the ABC team at least once a year. During the routine inspection, the technician will look at the air conditioner inside out to ensure that everything is in good condition.

If any problem is detected, the technician will perform the repairs then and there. As a result, your air conditioner will continue to generate optimal cooling throughout the summer months. This will also save you cost in the long run as there will be less need for repairs.

If you’re looking for a convenient way to get both a cooling and heating tune-up, sign up for our Guardian Maintenance Club!

4. Use a ceiling fan in combination with an air conditioner

Use of a ceiling fan can also help in optimal cooling. The ceiling fan will help in making the room feel cooler even when you set the thermostat at a high temperature. This will result in less strain to the cooling device. Apart from efficient cooling, using the ceiling fan will also help cut down the energy bills.

5. Set the right temperature for best cooling

Energy Star recommends that the air conditioner temperature should be set at 78oF during the summers for optimal cooling. In case you are not comfortable with this temperature, you should consider lowering the temperature by one degree to see how it affects the home comfort as well as energy bill.

Contact our team at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for more AC advice

In case you want to get in touch with experience and professional air conditioner technicians in San Jose, Hayward, or other parts of the Bay Area, you can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Three Reasons To Consider A Spring AC Tune-Up

Spring AC Tune-Up from ABCSpring season has arrived in all its glory and loveliness. Now is the perfect time to tune up your air conditioner so that you can pass the hot days ahead in complete comfort inside the house.

The equipment gives respite from the sweltering heat, which is the reason you should make sure that it is always tuned up and working without a problem.

Whether you have a window or split air conditioner, it’s important that you consider having it tuned up at the start of spring.

With all the hustle-and-bustle, daily chores, and to-do lists after the end of the winter season, having to add one more task to your busy schedule might seem like it’s too much. However, it’s important you squeeze a spring AC tune-up in your things to do list, as it will likely save you money in the long run.

Here are the three main benefits of a spring AC tune-up from the certified professionals at ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

1. Prevent emergency breakdowns

A regular tune-up will ensure that the cooling system does not break down during the hottest part of the day. You won’t want to be covered in sweat while waiting for a technician to repair the unit, would you?

With a regular AC tune-up, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding this predicament and the prospect of having to replace the unit due to a major fault.

“Prevention is better than cure,” normally applies to people’s health, but it is applicable to an air conditioner unit, as well. During the regular checkup, a certified air condition technician will thoroughly examine the unit to identify any red flags.

The technician will look at the components that require immediate repairs and recommend appropriate actions. You will not only avoid the inconvenience of having to sweat it out in case of an equipment failure, but you also won’t have to pay a large sum for costly repair or replacement of the unit.

2. Improved energy-efficiency

Another important reason you should consider an AC tune-up is that it will result in increased efficiency for the unit. When the filter gets clogged or the system develops a major fault, the unit will strain to produce the cool air.

This will not only result in inefficient cooling, but also result in increased energy bills. Keeping the system tuned up during the spring will ensure that it performs efficiently during the hotter months. So, you will remain comfortable inside the house and do not have to pay increased energy bills, as well.

3. Safer for the environment

A properly tuned system will be safer for the environment, as well. Apart from saving energy bills, an efficiently performing unit will reduce the home’s carbon footprint on the environment.

By having a professional tune up the system at the start of the spring season, you will be doing your part to ensure that the environment does not get negatively affected due to increased carbon emissions.

Schedule your spring AC tune-up with ABC!

If you want to get in touch with expert technicians in the Bay Area, you can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

How to Properly Shut Down Your Furnace After Winter

Seasonal furnace shutdown tipsThe winter season is about to end in most part of the United States, including California. It’s important that homeowners make preparation for the change of season, and that includes a seasonal furnace shutdown.

In fact, the furnace that keeps the home warm during the winter months should be shut down at the end of the season to conserve energy.

A seasonal furnace shutdown does not just involve turning off the system. You need to perform a number of other steps to prepare furnace for the next winter. Here are 5 furnace maintenance tips to when shutting down the system at the end of the winter season.

Be sure to call ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing for help with this and all your other furnace maintenance needs!

1. Shut off the gas supply

Older furnaces have a standing pilot light. If you have such a system, you should shut off the gas supply to turn off the pilot light. The pilot light consumes gas, so it should be turned off when the furnace will not be in use for a long time.

2. Clean the surrounding area

Is your furnace located in a storage closet or the basement? If so, you should consider cleaning all the junk or boxes that lie around the furnace. You should keep the area around the furnace clean and free of any items. This is important, as it will ensure that dirt, dust, and other items do not enter the system and damage it.

3. Inspect the carbon monoxide detectors

You should always check the carbon monoxide detectors when shutting down the furnace at the end of the winter season. This is important as the furnace usually detects small cracks inside the combustion chamber that is not visible. Carbon monoxide can leak from these cracks so it’s imperative that you ensure that the detector is in good working condition.

4. Inspect the air registers

Sometimes dirt and debris accumulate inside the return and supply registers. That’s why it’s important that you have them checked and cleaned by a professional technician. Also, you should walk around the home and make sure all the air registers are kept open and clear of obstructions.

5. Clean or replace the filters

Lastly, you should have the furnace filters cleaned or repaired by a professional. Dirt, dust, and other debris tend to accumulate inside the filters. If the filter becomes clogged, the debris might get inside the system thereby doing costly damage to the system. Having the filter cleaned or repaired is, therefore, important after the end of the winter season.

Call ABC for seasonal furnace shutdown help

You should always contact a professional to maintain or clean the furnace. If you want the help of expert technicians in the Bay Area, you can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing.

Our technicians can make a thorough inspection of the system and make the necessary repairs. We serve the areas of Hayward, San Jose, and the surrounding areas in the east and south Bay area.

Oil vs Gas Furnace: Which is Better for Your Home

Oil vs Gas FurnaceA furnace is a great blessing in areas where the temperature dips into single digits during the winters. Okay, that may not describe the Bay Area. But a properly functional oil or gas furnace ensures that homeowners have a pleasant time inside the house during the winter.

When it comes to buying a furnace, one important point that comes to the mind of most homeowners is whether to go for an oil or gas furnace.

Choosing between gas or oil furnace is not just about cost. The reality is that oil furnaces deliver more heat per gallon as compared to gas. This means that oil furnace units will cost less as compared to natural gas furnaces. However, you have to look at many other things apart from costs in order to make the right choice.

Here are a 3 important points that can help you in making up your mind as to whether oil or gas heater is right for your home.

1. Heating bills

When it comes to heating, natural gas furnaces are a clear winner. Gas had become a more affordable heat source as compared to oil. The average American homeowner paid about $728 to heat the home using gas furnace this winter, according to the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). In contrast, the cost of heating the home using oil has been a whopping $2,161. So, this means that you will save a lot in heating bills if you buy a gas furnace for your home.

2. Maintenance and care

While the upfront cost of oil furnaces is lower, they generally require more maintenance and care as compared to natural gas heaters. Gas furnaces, in contrast, require less upkeep and care. As a result, you will save on repair and maintenance costs when buying the oil heaters.

3. Emergency situations

When disaster strikes such as a leak in the main supply pipeline, you are more likely to shiver in the cold if you have a gas furnace as compared to an oil furnace. The reason is that oil furnace uses independent oil supply. You have more control over the supply with much lower chances of supply disruptions as compared to a natural gas.

Both oil and gas furnaces have pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision. After reading this article, you will have come to a definite conclusion as to which one is a better option to heat up your house.

Call ABC for more advice on a oil and gas furnace installation

Do you want to get in touch with a reliable furnace technician in the Bay Area? You can contact ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing. We have a team of highly experienced and professional technicians who can take care of all types of furnace installation and repair tasks.

5 Tips to Minimize Heating Bills

Heating bills during the winters can pack a real punch, having a big impact on your home budget. Managing the bills is a challenge for a number of people. If you’re searching for tips to minimize heating bills, you’re at the right place.

5 Tips to Minimize Heating BillsAs winter settles in and that cool breeze starts blowing, the heating bills of most homes tend to go through the roof. If you are also facing a similar predicament, you can proactively take steps to lower the monthly heating bills by following these tips. Also, consider schedule a heating tune-up with us.

1. Reverse Fan Direction

Do you have ceiling fans installed in the house? If so, you should consider installing a device that reverses the direction of the ceiling fan. The ceiling fans normally operate in the counter-clockwise direction and push the air downward.

By reversing the direction of the ceiling fan, the cool air inside the room will be pushed upwards. This will create an updraft that will allow the hot air to circulate inside the living room. As a result, you won’t have to crank up the thermostat to keep the room warm during the winters.

2. Wear Warm Clothes

When you wear warm clothes inside the house, you can keep the thermostat at a lower temperature without feeling cold. Turning down the thermostat by even a degree can help you minimize heating bills.

You can cut 12 percent of the energy bill when you turn down the thermostat 4 degrees. So, if your monthly energy bill comes to around $350, you can save up about $42 every month by lowering the thermostat and wearing warm clothes.

3. Install A Programmable Thermostat

You can cut your energy bills even more by installing a programmable thermostat. According to energy.gov, a programmable thermostat can result in savings of about 10 percent on your monthly energy bills.

You can program the thermostat to turn the heat down to 60 degrees when you sleep at night covered with a blanket, and then turn up the temperature to 70 degrees when you wake up in the morning. You can also have the thermostat to turn down the temperature when you are away at work and then again turn up the temperature when you reach home at night.

4. Close the Curtains at Night

Keeping the windows drawn at night will reduce the heat loss. The benefit will depend on the type of curtains that you hang over the windows. Curtains having high-density or acrylic foam insulation and reflective film greatly help in keeping the room warm.

You should also take advantage of the solar heat by opening the curtains during the day. This will effectively increase the temperature. Keeping the windows closed at night will help in retaining the heat.

5. Get the Heating Unit Serviced Regularly

Regular servicing of the heating unit will not only ensure that it continues to keep the house warm, it will also help you avoid increased energy bills. An improperly functioning heating unit can bloat the energy bills. This is because a fault in the heating apparatus makes the system draw more power, thereby raising the heating bill.

Heating repair service by an experienced technician can ensure that the heating bills do not take up a major portion of your monthly expenses.

Minimize heating bills with the help of ABC Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

If you want to get in touch with a professional and experienced heating service technician in the Bay Area, give our team a call at (510) 471-8181.

5 Common Air Conditioner Problems

Your air conditioner is an essential appliance that keeps your home cool in the summer. A faulty air conditioning unit can cause a lot of inconvenience. The system must be serviced regularly to avoid a breakdown of the air conditioning unit.

5 Common Air Conditioner ProblemsWhile a lot of things can go wrong with the home air conditioner, a few air conditioner problems are relatively common. These problems, if not resolved quickly, can lead to a breakdown of the cooling device and the need for a replacement.

Here are 5 common air conditioner problems that must be addressed immediately by calling a professional technician for air conditioning repair.

1. Clogged Air Filter

The air filter prevents dust from entering the cooling device. Over time, the filter becomes clogged and must be cleaned by a skilled air conditioning professional. This is essential, as the clogged filter prevents optimal cooling. The filters need be cleaned about once a month, especially during the summers.

2. Your Fans Are Not Working

The fan prevents the compressor of the air conditioning unit from being heated up. The fan conveys the heat from the room to the outside. Sometimes, the fan does not work due to a mechanical problem. A faulty fan can trip the safety overload and may also damage the compressor unit.

That’s why it’s important that you regularly check the outside air conditioner fan regularly and have it serviced in case it’s not working.

3. Low Refrigerant Level

The refrigerant allows the air conditioner to generate cool air. A reduced refrigerant level prevents the device from properly cooling the air. In most cases, the refrigerant level is reduced due to a leak. A professional air conditioning technician can locate the leak and repair the problem.

4. Water Leak from the Air Conditioning Unit

A clogged condensate drain line can cause water to drip from the air conditioning unit. The drain line can become clogged with dirt, dust, mold, or sludge. The leaking water may result in ice building up over the coils.

The problem will also prevent proper cooling inside the house. You must call a professional technician to get the air conditioner serviced in the case of a water leakage problem.

5. Strange Noises from the Blower Motor

If you hear a screeching noise from the blower motor of the air conditioning unit, it indicates a major problem with the unit. Most likely, the issue is caused by a problem with the motor bearing or a damaged belt. In addition, a rattling, clanging, or banging noise may indicate a fault with the blower motor assembly.

If you hear any of these noises from the blower motor, you must immediately close the unit and call a professional technician to service the air conditioning unit.

Some final notes on air conditioner problems

Regular servicing of the air conditioning unit by a professional technician is important. An experienced technician can detect the problems and perform the appropriate repairs immediately.

To get in touch with a professional air conditioning technician in the Bay Area, give us a call at (510) 471-8181