The spookiest month of the year is here, and we thought we’d share some of our most frightful HVAC stories. As Los Angeles heating and cooling professionals, we see our share of “paranormal activity” with HVAC systems. And while our team may not be ghost busters, we’ve tracked down the cause of these happenings. So read on, dear visitor, there’s no need for a garlic necklace. Our team here at Brody Pennell knows exactly how to avoid these hauntings!
Air Conditioner Frozen in Fear
On another gorgeous Los Angeles afternoon, you notice a sight often unseen in Southern California… ice… on your AC unit. A chill runs down your spine, causing goosebumps to rise on your forearms. How is it possible for an air conditioning unit to freeze over, even with our mild LA temperatures?
Allow us to break the spell. A frozen AC unit or coil is not the work of a ghostly creature; it’s typically either a refrigerant leak or an airflow problem. If your AC system doesn’t have enough refrigerant, the pressure inside the pipes changes, causing the coils to freeze up.
The other issue is an airflow problem. Air conditioners need a clear airflow path. So if you have witch’s hats and brooms blocking the vents to your system, that could be the cause. If you need any help, contact our team for AC repair and service.
Screeching and Squealing
Recently, a customer called us complaining about whining and howling coming from their attic. The man said the ghost hunters who came last week were unsuccessful in detecting any paranormal phenomena. The Brody Pennell team arrived on the scene and discovered the high-pitched crying belonged to… the heater.
Screeching noises from the attic COULD be ghosts, but it’s more likely that a damaged fan belt or another component that requires replacement. Squealing sounds like this are a sign that your unit is dying for a repair… or maybe it’s time to put your aging system to rest and replace it. Contact our team for an HVAC professional’s opinion!
Hovering Dust Bunnies
Have you ever been alone in a room and had an unsettled feeling? And out of the corner of your eye, you think you see someone. Maybe it was a shadow. Or a reflection in the window. Yes, that’s it.
Or perhaps it’s the most terrifying of all.
Dust and pollen floating in the air of your home.
There will always be dust in your home, but when the particles are large enough that they are visible to the eye, the air is not being filtered completely. And dust isn’t the only villain; there are invisible particles (such as bacteria and viruses) in your home as well. And if you do nothing about it, they just keep recirculating through your HVAC.
It’s time to take control of your IAQ (indoor air quality). First, replace the air filter in your furnace. If you still see mysterious hovering orbs after 48 hours, it may be time to investigate an in-ductwork air purifier or UV sterilizer to eliminate the problem.
Don’t Get Spooked This Holiday Season!
Brody Pennell wishes you a spooky and safe Halloween holiday! Got an unsolved mystery with your HVAC system? Since 1945, we’ve been courteous and friendly to the ghosts residing in Los Angeles, so you can trust that your HVAC repair, maintenance, or new installation will go on with no unusual activity. Contact us now!
As the weather heats up in Los Angeles, keeping cool is more important every day. That’s why it’s critical that your air conditioning system provides refreshing cold air directly to you. So when you’re expecting cold air, and the air doesn’t feel cool at all, it can spell trouble.
Stay Calm. We Can Figure This Out!
First things first: don’t panic. There are several reasons why you might be getting warm air out of your air conditioning unit. Some of these we can address before calling in a professional.
- Your Thermostat Is Not Signaling for Cooling. Look at your thermostat and see if the space temperature is at or below the setpoint temperature. If so, the thermostat is not sending a signal for your air conditioner to cool (or in industry lingo, the air conditioner is “satisfied”). Try lowering the setpoint a degree or two. If the AC starts blowing cold air, you’re all set. And while you’re looking at the thermostat, confirm that your system is set to cool. It’s possible your unit somehow got set to Fan Only mode, or even worse, Heat. Your unit might have symbols instead of words for these settings. In this case, look for a snowflake to indicate cooling mode.
- Is it Plugged In? (AKA The Unit Doesn’t Have Power). It’s possible sudden surges in electrical demand due to the California heat were met with your circuit breaker tripping. Locate your electrical panel and check for any flipped breakers. You can reset them if needed. If you keep having to reset breakers, it’s probably time to talk to an AC and/or electrical company to address the overall issue. In the short term, resetting the circuit breaker will get you up and running, but it’s important to call a professional right away.
- No Air. Make sure all supply vents in your home are fully open and return grilles are unobstructed. That means no furniture directly in front of or on top of the openings for your AC system. When airflow is blocked, it can cause your system to not operate properly.
What Else Could Be Going On?
Even if you end up needing to call in the pros for AC repair, you might want to know what they’re going to be looking for. Unfortunately, there are a lot of different things that could be going on with your system. After all, that’s why you need specialists to diagnose and treat it.
If there is a refrigerant leak, even a small one, over time you will lose refrigerant. That will cause reduced system performance including a lack of cool air. Our technicians will check refrigerant pressures and temperatures to see if this is what’s going on. Resist the urge to ask for a refrigerant top off, because too much refrigerant can be just as problematic as too little.
Coils can freeze up for a variety of reasons, but the most common will be because of low airflow. When air moves too slowly across the coil, moisture in the air freezes on the coil and will eventually block airflow.
There are several components of your AC system that can fail over time and need replacing. Capacitors, blowers, motors, compressors, and more could have reached the end of their life and you would need a new one. Technicians will use various tools to check these components and let you know what you will need.
My AC Is Blowing Warm Air and I’m Ready For Some Help
Now that you’ve done your research and tried some of the easy fixes, it’s time to get some help to get your AC back up and running. You deserve some indoor comfort in Los Angeles and we will help you get there. Call Brody Pennell for AC repair 24/7! Our technicians are very experienced in troubleshooting issues with warm air coming out of vents when the AC is on. So if you want a resolution as quickly as possible, stop searching the web – call us now!
Are you an optimizer? A maximizer? A person who wants to squeeze every ounce of value out of an investment? This blog is for you! Today we’re talking about how to make the most out of your home’s HVAC system.
These tips and tricks are great for anyone that wants to ensure top performance of their heating and cooling system. The fact is that it’s not always about the HVAC unit you have, but action (…or inaction) you take to interact with it. By understanding more about how your choices impact your home’s heating and cooling performance, you can save energy and money!
Be Aware of Changing Energy Needs
We have all experienced the frustrating feeling of being in a dark room where there’s only one option for lighting: ON, with so much brightness it makes you squint! Sometimes we want that full illumination – like if you’re looking for a missing item. But often in the evening hours, it’s nice to have the option of a dimmer switch, or smaller lamps with a softer glow. And during the daytime, you may only need a bit of light to supplement the sunshine. The moral of the story is that your needs for lighting change throughout the day.
The same is true for your air conditioning and heating. During certain parts of the day, week, and year, your HVAC will use more or less energy. Comfort cooling and heating systems run more frequently and for longer periods in the winter and summer months. Also, your home may need less cooling or heating during the week when the family is out of the home for work or school.
If you’re serious about making the most of your heating and cooling system, you need to install a programmable thermostat. That will allow you to change the temperature setpoint automatically depending on your changing energy needs. To take it a step further, new smart thermostats can allow remote access to your thermostat via your smartphone.
One more tip: don’t forget to set back your thermostat when you are leaving your home for several days at a time.
The very best thing you can do to improve the long-term performance of your heating and cooling system is to ensure you get maintenance every single year. Your HVAC unit is a mechanical device with plenty of moving parts. It needs a professional service annually to ensure top performance and the highest efficiency.
We strongly recommend partnering with a reputable HVAC company with a preventative maintenance program. One of the most valuable benefits of a maintenance program is that the company will track your service schedule for you. Here at Brody Pennell, we also take pictures of your equipment and track performance over time, which can help us provide faster and more accurate service. Plus, our members receive other benefits, like 24/7 emergency service and extended appointment times.
There’s a reason that manufacturers require annual service as a part of warranty agreements. Maintenance helps maintain the performance and reliability of your equipment. It’s that simple!
Investing In Higher-Quality Equipment
When it comes time to replace your equipment, consider investing in the highest quality systems. The best HVAC systems today have new technological advances that make them more efficient, work better, and break down less than the HVAC systems of years ago.
For example, the Carrier Infinity Systems with Greenspeed Intelligence offer performance features unmatched by any other system on the market. When you invest in a premium system, you’ll get enhanced durability, improved serviceability, and outstanding energy efficiency.
Because of the extreme energy efficiency, these high-caliber systems often qualify for discounts and rebates. Plus, financing can ease the burden of a new HVAC purchase. You can get the comfort and efficiency of a new system now, and pay later.
Beyond Tips and Tricks: Call Brody Pennell
Brody Pennell is an award-winning heating and air conditioning company that has served Los Angeles since 1945. We are the longest-standing Carrier dealer in the LA area, so you can trust that we are a reputable company. How can we help you? Contact us today!
A new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect and start fresh. When thinking about what you’re hoping to accomplish in the new year, consider some resolutions around home improvement. With the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the California wildfires, we’ve been spending many more hours inside. So don’t wait another twelve months! Resolve to make 2021 the year of home comfort with these 5 key home improvements.
1) Resolve to Breathe Better
One thing that became crystal clear over the last 365 days is that the simplest thing of all – the air we breathe – plays a critical role in our health.
2021 is the time to investigate your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality). IAQ is not just the dust floating around in the air. The air inside your home contains viruses, bacteria, allergens, and odor-causing pollutants. High humidity and low humidity can both cause many additional issues from mold to structural damage.
At Brody Pennell, we provide a variety of IAQ services and products to improve your home comfort beyond the temperature. Our air purifiers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and duct cleaning services will ensure that your family breathes the best possible air all year long.
2) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
One of the best goals you can set for the new year is to take better care of our environment. Conserving energy is a big undertaking. Fortunately, you can do your part right at home. Putting a greater focus on reducing the use (and waste) of energy in your home will not only contribute to the health of the Earth, but to your bank account as well. When you put a greater focus on eco-friendly choices throughout your home, it will reduce your bills right along with your environmental impact. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Buy energy-efficient appliances
If you plan to replace your refrigerator, washer and dryer, furnace, or virtually any household appliance this year, put efficiency first. Choose those that are Energy Star rated and which mention energy conservation as a prominent feature.
Disconnect your energy-suckers No matter how innovative your appliances and devices might be, they’ll still expend energy when you aren’t using them. Turn off and unplug anything that you’re not using consistently.
Be mindful of maintenance Many appliances and devices overuse energy in your home because they haven’t been properly maintained, are being misused, or because they need repair which would help them perform more efficiently. Make sure every appliance is functioning at its best to prevent energy overuse.
Prevent energy loss If you notice your heating system is constantly cycling, your home might require weatherization. Outdated windows and doors let cold air into your home, while ducts that require sealing lose that warm air to your attic. That means your heater must work extra hard to warm your home. Weatherize your home to prevent any unnecessary energy loss.
Stay informed Looking for more information on how you can keep your home energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint? We have an entire library of energy efficiency resources — start here.
3) Walk the Perimeter
When was the last time you really looked at the outside of your home? If you’re like us, you probably come in and out of your home daily and never give it a passing glance.
This year, check the exterior of your home with every new season. Look for peeling paint, cracked foundation, overzealous plantlife, and errant gutters. Perhaps you’ll power-wash in the spring, patch the roof this summer, and clean the ivy off of your AC unit this year.
Whatever your home needs, don’t neglect the outside. You don’t want to be surprised when the outdoor problems come crawling inward.
4) Put Safety First
It’s never a bad time to put the safety of your family above all else. Unfortunately, many of us neglect safety updates for too long, assuming we won’t need to. Don’t make that mistake this year. Make sure your home is ready for anything:
Upgrade your CO Monitor Don’t wait to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are upgraded and well-functioning. This could save a life. Brody Pennell can ensure your home and family are secure and safe with an up-to-code Carrier CO detector.
Update your prevention plans Do you have a plan in case of fire or natural disaster? As your family grows and changes, update these plans to account for new occupants or different bedroom arrangements. No matter where they are in your home, your family should know how to react to any emergency.
Invest in security and surveillance If you haven’t already, this year could be a great time to install cameras, floodlights, motion detectors, or even a privacy fence. Even on the safest streets, surprises happen. Don’t let them happen to you.
Deter unwanted pests Not every pest is potentially harmful or hazardous, but no pest is a good pest. Protect your humans, animals, and the house structure from infestations that are costly to remediate.
Make all-over safety updates
From baby-proofing your house to making updates that suit aging family members, your home constantly needs something new. Make sure that your new bathroom has a no-slip bar for grandma and that you take this winter to finally fix that loose step to the basement. Don’t put off any project that could keep your loved ones safe.
5) Commit to Heating System Maintenance
Do you have a maintenance plan for your heating and air conditioning systems? If not, this is one of the best investments you could make for your home and the entire family. The benefits of ongoing HVAC maintenance include:
- Keep equipment warranty intact
- Fewer surprise repairs
- Lower repair costs
- More consistent home comfort
- Prevention of hazards
- Early detection for system replacement
Prioritize the reliable comfort of your home and the cost-savings that come with investing in ongoing heating and cooling maintenance.
Resolve to Live Healthy & Happy in 2021
With New Year’s resolutions, the goal should be personal and true to you. At Brody Pennell, we believe there’s nothing more sacred than your home. If you plan to give your home some love and attention in 2021, we’re here to help. We can be your partner in helping you achieve your home improvement resolutions. Contact us for all of your heating, cooling, and home comfort needs. Call today at (310) 896 4911.
Fall is in full swing and that means the holiday season is underway. With modern families spread from coast to coast, it’s more important than ever to create a warm and hospitable environment for traveling guests. That’s why we’ve made this checklist to help you get your home ready for the holidays!
Holidays should be spent having fun and making memories with the people closest to you. However, if you find yourself underprepared to entertain holiday guests, it can quickly turn the holidays from special to stressful.
Whether it’s just for day-of festivities or you’re housing aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and surprise plus ones. Run through this pre-holiday visitor checklist to get your home ready for the holidays!
1. Prep Your Plumbing System
Anyone who’s ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their house knows the toll that it can place on the home’s plumbing system. From the mountain of dishes left in the kitchen sink to the increased use of the home’s bathrooms. Calling out a plumber to inspect and, if needed, fortify your pipes can save you from any disastrous holiday plumbing problems.
2. CO Monitor Check
There’s a good likelihood that holiday cooking is going to lead to increased use of your stovetop. If you have a gas range, this enhances the probability of an accidental CO leak from one of your stove’s burners. With even more loved ones under your roof, checking your carbon monoxide monitor is an especially wise task to address before your guests arrive.
3. Have Essentials Available for Guests
You don’t have to fold your tissues into origami swans for your closest friends and family. But, you will want to make guests aware of where to find certain essentials. Help your guests feel at home by placing things like extra towels, pillows, blankets, Tylenol, allergy medications, hand lotion and band-aids in your guests’ quarters.
4. Examine Your Exterior
As homes are filled to the brim with friends and relatives, it’s not uncommon for a holiday party to spill over into the yard. While you don’t have guests to accommodate, it can be easy to adopt an out of sight, out of mind mentality for your outdoor maintenance.
Keep your friends and family safe while they play yard games, football or enjoy a fall fire by clearing up your yard and securing railings and steps.
5. Light the Way for Guests
Traveling can be unpredictable, so guests can arrive at all hours of the day – or night! This makes something as simple as changing a light bulb a vital task to help guests acclimate to your home.
From pavers and porch lights to hall and attic lights. Wherever guests are staying should be well lit to help them comfortably navigate your home during their stay.
6. Heater Tuneup
We know Southern California falls are fairly temperate. Still, it’s important to call in an HVAC technician to ensure your heat system is ready for the winter ahead. If your furnace has any issues, you’ll want to find out before your house is set to entertain ALL of your relatives. A heater tuneup should be a mandatory task to get your home ready for the holdays!
7. Pad Up Insulation
Insulation is one of the smartest investments homeowners can make to improve home comfort AND energy efficiency (source). Once you’ve shored up your heat system with seasonal maintenance, the next best step is to more efficiently retain the heat your system produces. Avoiding heat (and therefore energy) leaks will prevent cold spots. Plus, it will keep your utility bills down as you heat up your home.
8. Consider Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Ensuring your home is comfortable for your family and guests may require some attention to your indoor air quality. With the weather getting colder outside, there may be an increase in time spent inside. This, along with a higher number of visitors, can cause a spike in air pollutants. Guests traveling from other regions may also be more sensitive to local allergens.
One way to address the air quality of your home is an air purifier. Air purifiers can be integrated within your central air system or a stand-alone as an individual unit. Running an air purifier throughout colder months can help counteract the buildup of indoor air pollution.
You can check off a number of items on this list with a quick call to the LA HVAC experts at Brody Pennell. Schedule your furnace maintenance appointment today! Ask your technicians about other ways to improve your home comfort ahead of the herd of holiday guests your home is set to support this year.
If you get sticker shock each month when you see your energy bill, you may be looking for ways to save energy around the house. Here’s a common question our customers ask: “Should I set back the temperature when I leave my house?” After all, most people turn off lights and water when they aren’t using them. Why cool an empty house?
Air conditioning is one of the appliances that uses the most energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, air conditioning makes up 17% of the energy used in homes in mixed-dry climates like Los Angeles. So, it’s no surprise you might be thinking about your AC when you think about saving energy.
By the way, what is setback? Setback is a term used to describe the act of changing your thermostat from the normal, comfortable temperature set-point to another temperature in order to save money on HVAC operation. The setback temperature might not feel comfortable to you if you’re sitting in a space that is cooled to the setback temperature, but the idea is that you won’t be there while setback temperature is in operation!
Is it worth it to change your thermostat when you leave the house?
Before deciding whether or not to set back the temperature, there are a few things to consider.
First, think about how long you’ll be away. Will it be a few hours, or several days? Next, is how much to set back the temperature by. Setbacks are not created equally – setting back your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees is different than setting it back by 5 or more degrees. Finally, is humidity a problem in your house? For LA customers closer to the coast, battling humidity in your home may be more of an obstacle than for those in the city.
Leaving the house for a couple of hours
It may be tempting to leave your AC running when you leave for work or head off to run errands. It’s one more thing to think about as you scramble to get out the door. Plus, it’s nice to come home to a nice, cool house.
But if you’re serious about saving energy, it’s important to adjust your thermostat while you’re away.
The Department of Energy indicates you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling if you set back the temperature while you are away for 8 hours. Turning the temperature back 7°-10°F is your best bet. The ideal summertime temperature for setback is 78°F.
The truth is that you won’t get much benefit from setting back the temperature by only one or two degrees – but something is better than nothing. We always recommend our customers set back the temperature, even when they only leave for four hours.
If remembering to set back the temperature is a problem for you, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. When you use a programmable thermostat, you can set up your thermostat to set back automatically. And, you can start cooling your home before you arrive home by programming your thermostat to automatically turn on sooner.
When you’re away for several days
If you’ve read this far then you already know: it is absolutely beneficial to set back the temperature if you’ll be away from your home for several days. If your home is empty for weeks on end you may be tempted to turn off your AC completely.
But, there are a few more considerations when you’ll be gone for a long period of time. The most important consideration is humidity. Air conditioners help remove humidity from the air in your home. So, it’s important to keep your AC running even if the home is empty.
If you’re leaving for travel, set back your temperature setpoint by at least 10 degrees. But, don’t turn it off completely!
Another benefit to temperature set back
Setting back the temperature is an easy way to save energy. But, you’ll get even more bang from your buck when you turn up the temperature.
Because your air conditioner won’t be working so hard, you’ll be adding years of life to your AC system. When you run your AC at full-blast even when you’re not home, it is more likely to break down sooner. So, all the more reason to set back the temperature.
Spring is here! And you know what that means: spring cleaning. There are plenty of excellent tips on deep cleaning your home, but what about spring cleaning for your HVAC? Here’s three things you can add to your deep cleaning checklist:
1. Replace air filters
Be sure you replace your HVAC filter this spring! Consider this: the most important thing of all to be clean in your home is the air that you and your family breathe! All the air in your home travels through your filter.
But here’s a question you might not have thought about. Should you replace your HVAC filter before or after you clean? If you replace your filter before you dust, all of those airborne dust particles will get trapped on your new filter. That means your filter will be dirtier much sooner than normal. And those particles will just sit there until you replace your filter next. The result will be a less efficient HVAC system, and air that’s not as clean as it could be.
So if you’re going to be doing a ton of cleaning and dusting, wait to change your air filter until a day or two after you’re done. That way, all of the chemicals and dust bunnies you’ve created that are floating in the air will get captured on your old filter. Then, you can promptly throw it away and get the dust out of your house for good!
2. Wipe down your vents
Here’s another tip for your HVAC this spring: give your air vents a quick once-over. Allergens and dust build up on vents. If you skip cleaning them, they’ll have a dirty and dingy look. Also, whatever is sitting on your air vents will become a part of the air you breathe.
If you’re already vacuuming the rooms in your house, swap over to the extender rod to suck up the dust from your air vent. Or if your vent is near the floor, use damp rag or towel to wipe up any grime.
3. Get a tune-up scheduled
Sometimes, you gotta bring in the professional. A preventative maintenance visit is of utmost importance to keeping your air conditioner running smoothly. Since a new HVAC is an expensive investment, it’s critical to ensure your system works for as many years as possible. Give us a call to schedule your seasonal tune-up. Or, consider joining our maintenance agreement program. You’ll get a tuneup in both the spring and the fall, so your entire system stays in good condition.
The Highest-Rated HVAC Company in Los Angeles
At Brody Pennell, we believe in excellent customer service. We do things old school: like giving our customers value before they even use our service. That’s why we provide tools and checklists like this one.
Though no one wants to imagine a burglary or other crime happening on their property while they are away, these types of things happen. If you plan on leaving your home to travel for the holidays, it’s important that you take some extra steps to secure your house before you leave. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind in knowing that your home is safe and undisturbed in your absence.
Here are a few tips for keeping your home safe during the holidays while you’re away:
1. Pause your mail delivery.
If you’re going to be gone more than just a couple of days, you may want to pause your mail delivery. There is no bigger sign that you and your family are away than mail piling up in your mailbox or packages left for several days on the porch. If a neighbor or friend is able to pick up your mail, that’s great. But if not, you may want to pause it while you are gone and resume delivery once you’ve returned.
2. Purchase a light switch timer.
You don’t want to leave your lights on the entire time you are gone. This is a waste of energy and money! Instead, purchase a light switch timer. This will turn your lights on and off on a programmed schedule. With the lights on, it will appear as if someone is home. But by using a timer, you don’t have to waste energy to benefit from this tactic.
3. Don’t mention your travel plans on social media.
One common mistake that homeowners make when leaving for an extended period of time is chatting about their travel plans on social media. When you make a post about the dates and times you will be gone from your home, this opens you up to a potentially harmful situation. Notify your friends and family members separately and privately rather than posting publicly on your social media.
4. Ask a friend to check in while you’re away.
If you have a neighbor, friend, or family member who will be home during the holidays, you may want to ask them to check in on your home while you’re gone. Whether they just drive by a few times during the week or actually enter your home to bring in the mail, water your plants, etc. – this can make a big difference in helping keep your home safe.
5. Adjust your thermostat before you leave.
You may be tempted to just turn off your heating and cooling system before you leave for the holidays. However, your HVAC system plays a vital role in keeping your home environment balanced, including humidity control. If you want to return to a home that’s comfortable instead of one that’s sticky or stale, then you should adjust your thermostat before you leave closer to the average temperature outside. This will help you save energy (and money) while still keeping your home climate balanced.
If you’re staying home this holiday season and experience an HVAC issue, don’t hesitate to give us a call: (310) 896-4911.
Whether you’re an L.A. native who has lived in your home for a decade or a new transplant to our beautiful city – and new to your home too – feeling comfortable is probably on the top of your list of priorities. We spend a LOT of our lives in places where we’re not comfortable like work, school, the grocery store, a first date, a job interview, and a whole host of other places where everything feels rigid, awkward, too hot, too cold, or utterly unwelcoming. Your home should be different.
At home, you should feel like the atmosphere, the look and feel, the temperature, and even the air you breathe is catered to your preference and desires. You are the king or queen of your own castle, and it should feel that way year round. We’ve rounded up some of the BEST, easiest ways to improve your home comfort whether your home is old, new, or somewhere in between.
Embrace Your Space
Whether you’re in a minimalist one-bedroom home with a partner or roommate or you’re living in a four-bedroom family home with kids and pets, it’s important to love the space you’re in. This means that every room in your home is functional for your needs and that whether you’re working to transform tight spaces or happy spreading out, you can make it yours.
How to make your L.A. house a home:
There are many different ways that you can make your house feel more like home. House Nerd suggests tips like:
- Diversify where you buy your home goods from.
If everything in your home comes from IKEA, Target, Crate & Barrell or Pottery Barn this year, your home is going to look more like a catalog of stock images and less like an expression of you and yours. Pick up pieces as you go, and don’t take ALL your cues from the store display.
- Display sentimental or personal items.
Your home will feel less staged and more comfortable when you see yourself reflected in every space. This might mean hanging photos, shelving books that mean something to you, or putting up your kids’ artwork.
- Add some greenery.
Your home can really feel like you and like a place where real life happens when you infuse your spaces with plant life. Add a hanging pot, a succulent, or a 6-foot tree wherever it suits you, and watch how that little touch of green can impact your environment.
- When all else fails, relax.
Don’t worry so much about how your home will appeal to others. Instead, focus on making it work for YOU, and watch how quickly you become more confident and comfortable in every room. That comfort will be contagious when you entertain, and you’ll feel proud to share your home with others.
Revamp a Room Affordably
We all have those rooms that were the last to get the golden touch. Perhaps when you moved into your space you made the living and dining rooms the oases that they should be – ripe for entertaining – but the poor bathrooms lack the luxe finish.
Brainstorm ways to start giving these rooms the attention they need without a pricey, stressful overhaul. Swap out hardware, paint an accent wall, or add a new texture with drapes, a rug, or even a set of fresh towels in the half bath. A quick touch-up will feel like self-care when you walk into a room and feel at home instead of ill-at-ease.
Breathe Cleaner Indoor Air
This might seem like a rookie tip, but you’ll be surprised how many people aren’t giving their indoor air quality enough attention. For many homes, swapping out filters as recommended is enough to breathe easy. However, Los Angeles can fall victim to smog, emissions, wildfires, and other outdoor influences that can seep indoors. Indoor air cleaners and purifiers can help ease the burden on your filter and help your HVAC system (and your lungs) work as they should.
Control Humidity in Your Home
Imbalanced humidity is the enemy of comfort. Too much humidity and you’re going to feel clammy, phlegmy, and overcome by that sticky, summertime feeling you DON’T want. Especially here in California, humidity just isn’t that common, so having an excess of humidity in your home will feel strange and uncomfortable for you. Likewise, if your home is too dry, you’ll feel it too. Dry eyes, bloody noses, itchy skin, and red, dry eyes are all signs that your home needs a humidifier.
A professional can come and analyze your home to let you know where your humidity level stands and how to rectify any imbalance but you may be able to identify that need for yourself, too. Once your humidity level is within an ideal, comfortable range, you’ll feel so much better.
Invest in Home Security
If you and your family don’t feel safe, you can’t feel comfortable. Security and comfort go hand in hand. For you, this may mean installing security cameras or an alarm system or having regular pest control appointments to avoid creepy crawlies.
It is also essential that your home is equipped with working and reliable smoke detectors and CO detectors. Learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide here. Once your home is secured with these measures of safety, you can rest easy knowing that you are doing everything you can to keep your family safe.
Upgrade to a Smart Home
While technology can sometimes feel like a burden, it isn’t the enemy. Smart and conscientious scientists and technicians work to improve our world by inventing and improving technologies to make life easier, safer, and more comfortable for us.
While some “smart home” technologies might be extravagant for your lifestyle, and not everyone needs a refrigerator that carries on conversations with you, there are some smart home upgrades that could make you happier and more comfortable. For example, an Amazon Alexa or other smart device can play music for you, turn your lights on and off at your request, make phone calls, provide answers to your questions, and a lot more that could make life easier.
A smart thermostat is also a good move for individuals looking to upgrade the comfort in their home. The more control you have over your temperature and home environment, the more comfortable you’ll be. Not only does a smart thermostat give you more control over your home comfort, but it can also help you save more energy over time, leading to lower utility bills. (And who doesn’t like to save money while keeping comfortable?)
Feel Cozy Year-Round
So much about home comfort comes down to temperature, doesn’t it? When you’re too cold, it won’t matter how beautiful your wall décor is or how fluffy those bath towels look folded in the master bath – you’re going to be uncomfortable. Similarly, if you’re feeling sweaty in these hot SoCal summers, nothing will make you feel comfortable until the air conditioner steps up to save the day.
At Brody Pennell, we like to think of ourselves as home comfort experts. We’ve been in the business long enough to know exactly what it takes to keep L.A. homeowners comfortable year-round. Below, we’ve put together a little guide with our top 5 expert tips for keeping your temperature RIGHT where you want it.
How to Control Your Home Temperature
- Learn to program your thermostat.
When your thermostat is more intuitive to your patterns of life and knows when to level your temperatures up or down, you’ll be able to feel comfortable and catered to all the time. Don’t want to bother changing the temperature every time you leave and return? Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature for you for optimal home comfort and energy savings.
- Consider zoning your space.
If you and your family members tend to prefer different levels of warm and cool temperatures OR if parts of your home tend to retain heat or feel more drafty, zoning could help you keep things more comfortable throughout your home. When you use zoning to customize the comfort levels in each room of your home, you can make sure that everyone stays comfy, no matter what their preferences are. You can also use zoning to help balance temperatures throughout your space to make sure that the comfort you feel in the kitchen travels with you to the den, your bedroom, and beyond.
- Don’t work against your HVAC system
Being cognizant of your lifestyle and how it impacts your home comfort will allow you to help your HVAC system perform at its best. For example, by turning off lights, drawing window blinds closed, or using fans wisely, you can help make sure your air conditioner isn’t working too hard. This will save you money on energy costs, keep your AC in better shape for longer, and prevent wear & tear. Similarly, by running your heat just a little lower, keeping your filter clean, and warming your home with a fireplace or space heater when possible, you can keep your heat pump or furnace happy and functional for much longer. Using your heater more efficiently will result in cheaper operating costs and more comfort for you.
- Have your system properly maintained.
Having your system maintained both DIY and by a professional can extend its life and help ensure that the system keeps working effectively and efficiently. Proper maintenance can also help you get ahead of a major issue, preventing the need for costly repairs or uncomfortable downtime for your system. Though there are some maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, like changing your air filter, you may want to call in the professionals for help with other tasks like cleaning and lubricating your equipment. When your HVAC technician is staying abreast of issues, he or she can help you avoid waiting so long to repair that the system fails and you’re uncomfortable in your own home.
- Replace your unit when it makes sense.
HVAC systems – air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, ductless systems, and all of their components – have a lifespan. They do not live forever. This means that at some point, your system will need to be replaced. Heed the warnings of your HVAC system itself and consult with a professional if you think you’re getting close to needing a replacement. Waiting too long could result in system failure that will leave you sweaty in July, frozen in the winter, and unhappy with the atmosphere of your home. Here are some signs that your system might need to be replaced.
If you find yourself in the market for a tune-up, a repair, or maintenance on your HVAC system OR if you would like to consult about upgrading your HVAC system, contact Brody Pennell today!
Ultimately, feeling comfortable, safe, healthy, and happy in your home doesn’t have to be expensive, impossible, or difficult to attain. With a few tweaks and more focus on the important things, your home comfort is 100% in your control.
Which tips will YOU be implementing this summer? What else do YOU think makes a home more comfortable? Let us know on Facebook or poll your friends by hitting the SHARE buttons below!
When it comes to heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, we know that you have a variety of options for choosing an HVAC service provider. However, we have also been in the business long enough to know that not every HVAC technician or company is created equal. If your HVAC tech isn’t making you feel comfortable and empowering you to make the right decisions for your home comfort system, it’s time to replace him.
Choosing an HVAC Technician: Importance of Education
The one thing that sets a great HVAC technician apart from the other guys is customer education. A trustworthy HVAC contractor will give you the information you need to understand your HVAC system and any issues you may be dealing with. Not only will they be knowledgeable and experienced, but they’ll be able to show you what they’re talking about.
By educating you as a homeowner, the HVAC technician is showing you why they need to do the work. This gives you the information you need to make the right decision about your home comfort system. Be sure to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. If your HVAC technician can’t address these questions or concerns, it may be time to replace him.
Get to Know Your HVAC Contractor
Whether you are getting a new HVAC system installed or calling an HVAC tech to diagnose and repair your heating and cooling system, it’s important for you to know that you can trust your HVAC company. Though many homeowners may be tempted to go with the company that offers the lowest price, they may soon find out that this doesn’t always get you the quality service you need for long-lasting home comfort.
To avoid HVAC company scams, make sure that you are working with a reputable HVAC company. Choose an HVAC company that has a history of reliable service and complete customer satisfaction. This is the type of company that will be there for you when something goes wrong with your HVAC system. That type of peace of mind is priceless for homeowners!
Brody Pennell: We Want to Help You!
At Brody Pennell, our ultimate goal is to be helpful. That involves going beyond just installing or fixing your HVAC system. Our entire team is dedicated to educating and building relationships with our customers. We aim to empower each and every one of our customers to make the best decisions for their home comfort.
As part of this dedication to quality service, every member of the Brody Pennell team is Trust-Certified. This means that they are trained to the highest standards, bonded and insured, and committed to 100% customer satisfaction. Not only are our HVAC technicians NATE-certified, but they wear ID badges, shoe covers, and have passed stringent drug, background, motor vehicle, and technician training exams.
When you meet with a Brody Pennell HVAC technician for the first time, you know that you’re dealing with a knowledgeable professional who is there to serve you. You should never be afraid to ask questions about your system or service options. We want you to know what is going on with your HVAC system and help you make the best decisions for your home comfort.
For more information about choosing an HVAC company, check out our guide for choosing the right contractor.
If you need help right away, don’t hesitate to call us: (310) 896-4911.