The heat has hit here in Los Angeles, which means it is officially air conditioning season! Air conditioners have a longer season in L.A. due to fall months typically staying warm. This means your AC unit has many warm days ahead, and we want you and your system to be prepared. Consider these seven tips to help keep you cool this season and save money on your utility bills!

Schedule AC Tune Up

We recommend air conditioning tune ups to start in the spring time to ensure you are prepared for the heat. Your air conditioner constantly runs when it is hot outside, and your unit needs to be prepared for this change. Tune ups allow your Brody Pennell technician to make sure your unit is functioning properly. Regular maintenance in the spring and fall season can prevent breakdowns and other malfunctions, because your technician catches the problem early. If you have yet to schedule yours, it is not too late! Call us today.

Clear Area Around Unit

Debris such as grass clippings, branches, and leaves can clog your air conditioner. It is important to inspect your unit once a week to maintain strong airflow throughout your house and keep your unit running efficiently. Loose vegetation can interfere with the system’s ability to perform, causing it to work harder and potentially raise your energy bills.

Test Your Air Conditioning Unit

Before turning on your air conditioner for the long haul, we recommend letting the unit run in smaller increments to prepare for running consistently. This tip is recommended sooner rather than later, because there is nothing worse than turning on your AC unit in the L.A. heat and finding out there is a problem.

Utilize Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans have two settings: one for summer and winter. Be sure to set your ceiling fan to rotate counterclockwise in the summertime, which causes air to be pushed down creating a cool breeze. Ceiling fans create the option for homeowners to set their thermostat a few degrees higher without feeling the temperature difference.

Install A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature setting at different times during the day. The adjustment is based on settings imputed into the system, which can also be done from a mobile device. These thermostats can raise the temperature when the home is vacant during the day and lower before anyone arrives back home. Research suggests that programmable thermostats can save roughly $180 a year!

Maintain Air Filters

Changing your air filters regularly is one of the most effective ways to keep you cool. Clean air filters improve air quality, air flow, overall comfort, and your system’s ability to function. A general rule of thumb is to change your air filters every 3 months or sooner depending on other factors such as indoor pets. Your Brody Pennell technician can help determine the best time frame to change your filter and the type of filter needed for your home.

Keep Your Windows And Doors Closed

Air can escape through the smallest openings, and it is important to ensure all windows are closed and latched and doors are shut while your air conditioner is running. Even if both windows and doors are shut, air can slip through. Caulking and weather stripping are cost effective solutions to resolve air escaping through holes.

We love the fresh air, but opening your windows while your air conditioning unit is running can harm your system and your air quality. As air escapes, your unit runs constantly to keep up with the temperature set on the thermostat. Your system can overwork itself and risk a breakdown or shorten its life by running consistently.

Give Us A Call!

We hope these 7 tips help you stay cool this summer and keep your air conditioner running smoothly. Here at Brody Pennell, we are here for you at all hours of the day. Give us a call at (310) 896-4911 for all your air conditioning needs this season!

Have you ever noticed there’s one space in your house that is warmer than the rest? Maybe it is one specific room that feels several degrees warmer than the rest of the house. You can drive yourself crazy trying to fix hot spots, from blackout curtains to ceiling fans. In this blog, we’re sharing why hotspots happen and what you can do to fix them. 

What’s A Hot Spot?

Ideally, your air conditioning system is providing an even temperature to the entire home. But sometimes, there is one space that gives you trouble. A hot spot is a concentrated area inside your home where it feels warmer than it should. And most likely, that hot spot in the summer becomes a cold spot in the winter. 

What Causes a Hot Spot?

There are many reasons why a space in your home may feel warmer than the rest. Some of the most common causes are: 

  • Thermostat Problems – your air conditioner operates based on the temperature sensor inside your thermostat. So if your thermostat is on the fritz, or if the problem area is located far away from the thermostat, that could be why it’s causing trouble.
  • Ductwork and Balancing Problems – another problem could be with airflow. Maybe other spaces are getting too much airflow, or the hot spot isn’t getting enough. You might also have an air leak in the duct that needs sealing. Adequate airflow is critical to delivering cool comfort to the space. 
  • More Heat in the Space – a common culprit of a hot spot is simply that one space has more heat than other spaces. Large windows, lots of electronics, or south-facing walls can all be reasons that space has more heat. If there is more heat in your problem space than in other spaces of your home, that can cause an imbalance. 
  • Spreading the AC Too Thin – if a lot has changed in your home since your air conditioner was first installed, that too could be the cause for a hot spot. This is especially the case if you have finished out a space that previously didn’t have air conditioning, like an attic or a basement. 

There are many other possibilities for why a hot spot exists, but no matter the reason there is good news. You don’t have to live with a hot spot! We can make adjustments to your home comfort system to ensure that EVERY space feels comfortable, even on the hottest days. 

How To Fix a Hot Spot in My Home

Luckily, there are better and more permanent solutions than cranking a ceiling fan to high and darkening the room with blackout blinds.

The first course of action is to check all the air vents in your home. If there are some rooms that feel frigid while others are sweltering, try changing the vane position on your vents to allow for more airflow in the spaces that are warm. Our team can also check any balancing dampers that are located inside your ductwork to make sure the spaces are getting adequate airflow.

One option could be to add a temperature sensor to the problem area. Depending on the type of thermostat you have, additional temperature sensors can be used to give the air conditioning system a more accurate representation of the temperature throughout your home rather than one specific area.

Another solution is a ductless mini-split. A ductless mini-split provides a dedicated air conditioning to a single space. This is a fantastic solution for a hot spot, especially if you have recently done renovations where there is added square footage. Mini-splits are also an excellent choice for a room that are used intermittently, like an office or a guest bedroom. The person using the space is able to choose the temperature that makes them the most comfortable, and can turn off the A/C when they leave the room. 

Finally, considering weatherizing your home. Weatherization can help not just with your indoor comfort, but also with saving on your energy bills.

Need Help With a Hot Spot? Call Brody Pennell!

Call Brody Pennell to diagnose and fix your hot spot issues for good! Our team can help you navigate all the solutions, from zoning to ductless, and recommend the best solution for your home. You can trust the team that has been serving Los Angeles since 1945. Whatever it is you need, we’re here for you! Call us at (310) 896-4911.

It can be a constant battle to keep the temperature of your home at a cool and comfortable level while not breaking the bank to pay your electric bill. Many families are feeling the heat, literally and figuratively, during the warmer months. However, there are some cooling tips for your home that can help create a comfortable balance and be better on the environment. For the benefit of your budget, your comfort, and the environment, follow these summer cooling tips:

Cooling Tip 1 – Keep Blinds Closed

One of the simplest house cooling tips is to keep the blinds closed. Keeping shades and blinds closed during the day can keep several degrees of heat out of your home. In the morning, make sure the windows are covered on the east side of the house, and in the afternoon the west side of the house. In addition, you can take this a step further and buy shades that reflect and further block the sun’s heat out of your home.

Cooling Tip 2  – Give Your AC a Break

If the temperature drops enough in the evening and at night, open your windows to let the cooler air in. This can give your air conditioning unit a break during the night, yet still keep your house at a tolerable temperature. In the morning when it starts to warm up again, close your windows and consider turning on the air conditioning before it gets too hot and the unit has to overwork to catch up.

Cooling Tip 3 – Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

It is essential to keep your air conditioning unit well maintained. Each summer before the weather gets warmer, schedule AC maintenance with a certified technician from Brody Pennell.  This will help ensure it is running at its best and less likely to break down when you need it most. If your unit needs work, you can possibly do the work now to avoid a larger bill in the future when you really need your air conditioner functioning properly.

Cooling Tip 4 – Use Those Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep cool. In fact, you can keep your air conditioner setpoint up to 10 degrees higher than you’d normally set it and still feel comfortable if you have a ceiling fan operating overhead. Bonus: ceiling fans use much less energy to operate than your AC, making it the affordable and eco-friendly choice for comfort. 

Cooling Tip 5 – Check Your Thermostat’s Settings

The months before summer are a great time to check your thermostat settings. Look for any schedules and see if you need to adjust timing or temperatures for the warmer months. Smart thermostats may have a wide range of advanced settings that can impact your comfort and energy use. If you need help checking your thermostat settings, don’t hesitate to call us. 

Cooling Tip 6 – Check What’s Around Your Thermostat

While you are looking at your thermostat, take a peek around. Are there any heat-generating sources located within a few feet of the controller? Ovens, stoves, coffee makers, hair dryers, and even lamps can cause your air conditioner to run longer than it needs to. Move heat sources far away from your thermostat, or if you need to relocate your thermostat give us a call!

Cooling Tip 7 – Weatherize Your Home

Now is the time to check your home for anywhere cool air could leak out or the outside heat can get in. Caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows can be really helpful in retaining coolness inside. Adding insulation to attics and crawl spaces can also be a huge help. Replacing old, leaky windows can have a dramatic effect on your AC bill, too!

Cooling Tip 8 – Let Air Move Freely

Your air conditioner works by recirculating the air in your home. For the best performance, make sure air can easily move throughout your home. That means keeping doors and corridors open when possible. Homeowners should avoid placing any furniture or other items directly in front of a return air vent. 

Cooling Tip 9 – Replace Your Air Filter

Right before summer is a good time to replace your air filter. In fact, we recommend replacing every 3 months at a minimum. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your filter, it’s time! 

Cooling Tip 10 – Get a Quote for Replacement

If your air conditioner has been running for more than 8 years, it’s a good idea to get an estimate for an AC replacement. The possibility of summer breakdowns increases as your unit ages. And while we do everything we can to keep repairs affordable, sometimes the parts to fix a unit are downright expensive. Getting an estimate on a new system is free – which means no strings attached. You wouldn’t wait to shop for a new car until your current vehicle has reached its end, right? The same is true for an air conditioner – at least knowing what type of unit you’ll replace with can be helpful even if you decide not to replace your AC before summer. And don’t worry about having all the money saved up- we offer financing to make replacements affordable.

Call Brody Pennell for Cooling Help this Summer!

Use these tips to keep your home at a comfortable temperature during the warmer months, as well as keeping your electric bill within your budget. Whenever you need us, we’re here: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Call us anytime!

If you own your home for an extended period of time, you will almost certainly need to replace your air conditioner or furnace sooner or later. These heating and cooling systems cost much more than the typical household appliance, and if you buy a unit that’s not well-suited to residence, you may regret your purchasing decision for as much as a decade or longer. Fortunately, you can increase your chances of buying a suitable AC or furnace by avoiding a few common pitfalls.

Buying an Inappropriately Sized Unit

Furnace and air conditioner manufacturers design their products to work under a certain set of conditions. Key factors here include the size of your home, as well as your home’s layout. If you buy a heating or cooling unit that’s too powerful or too weak for your needs, you can easily experience a number of serious problems, including spikes in your monthly heating or cooling costs, an inability to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home and premature failure of one or more components in your AC or furnace.

Not Verifying Your Contractor’s Reputation

Most HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors are reputable businesspeople who will do their best to provide you with quality work. However, quite frankly, some contractors are incompetent or dishonest. If you don’t verify your contractor’s reputation with other homeowners in your area or (better yet) a trusted service like the Better Business Bureau, you have no way of knowing if he or she will do good work and maintain a safe working environment on your property.

Basing Your Choice Solely on Price

Some HVAC contractors will work for what seems like a very low price. However — as the cliché goes — you get what you pay for, and a cheap contractor may try to cut corners in important ways or simply deliver inferior work. Even if you have a limited budget, it makes sense to balance pricing considerations with the short- and long-term quality of the work you will receive.

Not Locking Down Your Contract

All trustworthy HVAC contractors should be happy to supply you with a contract that details the work they will perform and the price they will charge for this work. This type of detailed contract is critical to your ability to take legal action if something goes wrong or the contractor fails to complete the agreed-upon work at a reasonable price or within a reasonable timeframe.

Leaving Energy Efficiency Out of the Equation

A highly energy-efficient furnace or AC will likely cost you a good deal more money up front than a unit with a much lower efficiency rating. However, the energy-efficient option may actually cost you less money over time if you factor in the long-term impact on your monthly utility bills.

Consulting a Single Contractor

Prices among trustworthy HVAC specialists can vary considerably. If you only talk to a single contractor, you could easily miss out on significant savings in the cost of your unit or your installation fees.

Make sure to follow this blog for ongoing advice on best practices for household heating and cooling.