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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.

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.

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.

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

Signs that you need professional furnace repair

It’s a cold winter night here in Hayward, and you’re a few weeks into using your furnace for the season. Suddenly, it stops working, leaving your home without heat. Or, maybe you see your energy bill spike. Or, something smells weird or you’ve been hearing strange sounds coming from the furnace. Why is the blower fan constantly running?

Truth is, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a furnace, and that’s why ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing offers professional furnace service to homeowners in Hayward and much of the Bay Area. In this blog post, we break down some of the most common signs that indicate that it’s time to have an expert ABC technician look at your system.

Professional Furnace Service Hayward

When something goes wrong with your furnace, call ABC for professional furnace service

Out-of-control energy bills

You think your furnace is running great. Your home is cozy, but you haven’t been doing anything excessive temperature-wise and you’ve been smart about turning it off during the day. Then, you open your November energy bill and your costs are much, much higher than you expected, and certainly far above where they were the previous year. If your heating use didn’t change, then what happened?

A mechanical or airflow problem with an otherwise great-functioning furnace can cause your system to work harder to heat your home, burning far more energy in the process. Take the system’s air filters, for instance: as they become clogged with dirt and dust, the furnace has to double its efforts to circulate the home through your vents into your living spaces. A mechanical issue could also cause constant cycling for the furnace, or a blower that runs continuously.

These energy bills can start to add up. Address the issue head-on by giving ABC a call for professional furnace service. You may also want to consider getting a new furnace: most furnaces last between 12-15 years, and an aging furnace can encounter performance issues as time goes on.

No heat, or limited heat

You turn up the heat in your home, but, after time passes, you notice that the thermostat isn’t changing. The furnace sounds like it’s running, but there’s no hot air coming out of the vents. This could be a sign that something is wrong with your furnace, or that it needs to be replaced through our furnace installation.

It’s possible that your furnace just has a clogged filter that is restricting airflow to your home’s ducts. However, the problem could be more serious. It might have a mechanical issue that is preventing it from operating properly, or that the thermostat is having issues connecting to the furnace. Listen for any noises or patterns. One common effect of a clogged filter is a furnace that keeps cycling on and off continuously, never really heating the space or sending heat through the vents.

Then, give ABC a call for professional furnace repair. Our experienced technicians will diagnose the problem and provide you with an upfront, honest estimate for how much the repair will cost. We’ll get heat going in your house in no time.

Strange noises or odors

As you might expect, any strange noises or odors coming out of your furnace and your home’s air ducts may indicate a serious problem. You shouldn’t be hearing any rattling, rumbling, grinding, or squeaking. Such sounds are a sign that something is wrong mechanically with the system, and ignoring them (if you can even sleep through them!) could be a mistake that could end up destroying the entire furnace for good. The best thing to do is to call ABC for emergency service. We don’t charge you anything extra for work on weekends or holidays, and our friendly techs are always willing to help you find the source of any obnoxious furnace noises—and provide you with the professional furnace repair you need.

Odors are another problem. It’s not uncommon to have odor problems as a result of dirty air ducts—our indoor air quality testing can help with this—but a burning smell or any smoke coming from your vents is obviously not a good thing. Turn off the system immediately and call ABC for emergency, professional furnace repair.

Call us for professional furnace service

Worried about other signs of furnace trouble that we didn’t cover here? This infographic has some handy tips on other signals of furnace problems. You should also note that you can prevent most of the furnace issues listed here by scheduling your annual furnace tune-up with the professionals at ABC. Our technicians will make sure your furnace is in great shape for the winter ahead, which reduces the changes of weird noises, smells, bills, or performance.

If you need professional furnace service and repair, give ABC a call at (510) 471-8181, or contact us online. We look forward to helping make your home warm and cozy again!

Furnace repair versus replacement

When your furnace dies for good, the furnace repair versus replacement debate is settled. You’ll need to get a new furnace. That’s an easy decision. However, what if it’s possible to fix your current furnace? Are there any advantages to choosing to upgrade to a new system when your current furnace technically still works?

In this blog post, we’ll weigh in on the furnace repair versus replacement debate that all homeowners have at some point, and discuss some reasons that changing to a new furnace makes sense.

How do I decide between furnace repair versus replacement?

As we discussed last month, decisions about furnace repair versus replacement often come down to the age of the system. As a furnace ages, the money you spend repairing it has diminishing returns. After all, furnaces become less energy efficient and more likely to break down as they age. If your furnace is more than 10 years old, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. If it’s more than 20, you should probably make the switch.

Here are some other things to consider when debating furnace repair versus replacement:

  • Your future energy costs: An older furnace uses more energy than a new one, both because of age and because the technology used to construct new systems has improved significantly in the past decade. You can better energy efficiency out of your furnace with a furnace tune-up, but even that only goes so far. Every winter that you run your old system, you’re losing out on potential energy savings. Take that into your cost consideration.
  • Your future repair costs: Not only are older furnaces more likely to break down after years of heavy use, but the manufacturer’s warranty that protects them has usually expired by that point. This means you’re paying for any needed repairs out-of-pocket. If furnace repairs are adding up, consider how saving on repair factors into your buying decision.
  • Your future home comfort: In addition to being inefficient and more likely to break down, older furnaces often have difficulty heating like they once did. This can result in cold spots, inconsistent heating, and constant, noisy running. If your home’s comfort matters, take that into consideration when you’re debating between furnace repair versus replacement.

How to decide between furnace repair versus replacementHow do I get started?

ABC Cooling, Heating & Plumbing offers both heating repair and heating installation services. We recommend starting with furnace repair. Give us a call, and we’ll send a technician out to inspect your system and determine what the problem is. From there, we’ll give you an upfront, honest quote for how much it’d take to repair the system. This may factor heavily into your furnace repair versus replacement decision, so it’s good to have that upfront.

From there, you may decide that you want to get a new furnace. We can help with that, as well. We offer a free in-home estimate on new furnaces, and we’ll measure your home to help you find the perfect new system. As a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer, our technicians are furnace installation experts, each with years of experience. They’re also equipped with the training and tools to do the job right.

Ready to get started? Give ABC a call at (510) 471-8181, or contact us online. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you resolve the furnace repair versus replacement debate.

Replace your aging furnace with a newly installed furnace

It’s fall. The night temperatures in the Bay Area are beginning to fall, and it’s almost time to turn off the air conditioner for the year and turn on the furnace. There’s just one problem: your furnace may be older than the dinosaurs and barely made it through last winter. In fact, you had to get it repaired twice last year. Deep down, you know that you need a newly installed furnace in your home.

If you’re frugal, your first instinct is to keep running that ancient furnace until it doesn’t run anymore. After all, it’s still a furnace, and it still provides heating, right? Unfortunately, this logic just doesn’t hold up on closer examination. In this blog post, we’ll review some of the reasons that replacing an older furnace with a newly installed furnace makes more sense than running it into the ground. ABC provides furnace installation services to most of the Bay Area.

Pictured: An ABC technician works on the wiring inside of a newly installed furnace in a Bay Area home.Your old furnace is an energy hog

Your aging furnace has two things working against it. First, if it was manufactured two decades ago, it’s only as good as the technology two decades was. In 1996, not only was furnace manufacturing technology not as advanced, but there wasn’t as much of a focus on energy-efficient design. Here’s the second part of the double-whammy: furnaces get less and less efficient as they age. So, your furnace most likely has both age and design against it.

As any homeowner can tell you, energy costs can really add up throughout the year. If your furnace is running half the year and it’s inefficient, that’s a ton of extra money you’re spending every month on gas or electricity. Each season you stick it out with your current furnace, this situation will get worse and worse.

Your furnace might be performing poorly

“Okay,” you might say. “So, my old furnace is a tad on the inefficient side. At least it still runs.” While that’s true, take a moment to think: how good is the heating in your home with this older system?

In most cases, furnaces see performance dip as they age, and are no longer as good at heating your home as they were on the day they were installed. Even in the beautiful winter climate of northern California, your furnace is expected to run nearly constantly for season-after-season. Even with maintenance from a professional HVAC team, parts and the system as a whole will eventually wear down.

The result? Your home will probably experience spotty heating, complete with cold, dead zones. Sure, your kitchen is nice and toasty, but your living room is an icebox. Parts of your bedroom are hot, while others are cold. It’s an uncomfortable experience, but older furnaces can often have trouble maintaining consistent temperatures throughout an entire home.

In contrast, a new furnace will be able to do just that, keeping your home a consistent temperature.

It’s the final breakdown

When death comes for your furnace, when will it come? Will it be at 2 a.m. in December, so you and your family can wake up to a cold home in the morning? It could be anytime. Your dead furnace will no longer be able to heat your home, and you’ll have to quickly make arrangements to have it replaced. In the meantime, your home will be pretty frosty. Had you replaced your furnace before this point, you could have chosen the time and place when you changed out your furnace for a new model.

Get a newly installed furnace this fall

So far, we’ve outlined several reasons to replace your furnace this fall. Here’s another one: you’re going to really enjoy your newly installed furnace. You’ll love the consistent heating, lower energy bills, and reliability. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your system is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. And when you purchase a new Carrier furnace from ABC, you’ll know that your new heating system has been professionally installed by certified technicians.

If you’re ready to make the upgrade to a new furnace that will heat your home for winters to come, contact our team. We offer free, in-home estimates on installed furnaces, and we can help you find the perfect furnace to replace your old one. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying a warm home this winter.