Which Whole House Fan is Better, QuietCool or Triangle?

quiet cool whole house fan

What Whole House Fans Do

Are you the type of person who likes to open their windows at home?  Whole house fans are mounted in your ceiling and are used to pull cooler air from the outside of the home to the inside.  By opening your windows around the house, the whole house fan will allow air outside to come in.  This way you have fresh air coming into your home, as well as equalizing the temperatures outside and inside.  The second benefit of a whole house fan is that it cools off your attic, so the entire home can perform better, and save you energy.   Don’t confuse these with attic ventilating fans that mount on the gable vent in your attic and point outwards to vent the attic.  The difference here is, a whole house fan will complete this process much faster and probably lower the temperature in your attic more than an attic fan will.

Fox Family carries two types of whole house fans, the QuietCool brand and Triangle brand.  We love them both, but for different reasons, and people usually find themselves really liking one or the other.

QuietCool is a brand that has stormed the industry with innovative thinking and low energy usage fans.   They started up in 2003 out of Temecula, California.  Triangle Whole House Fans are the more traditional style fans.  They are a little bigger and might run at a little higher decibel rating, but they move a ton of air very quickly.  We’ll talk more about that later.

Getting straight to it, I want to point out the features of both fans, and then let you decide which one is best for your home.

QuietCool Fans

The first whole house fan I got for my home was a QuietCool whole house fan.  I was drawn to it because as an HVAC technician, I liked the idea of attaching a flexible duct to the grille that you see in the hallway and placing the fan on the other side of the 10 ft duct.  This insulates the sound of the fan.  QC offers different capacities of fans and a very useful and easy to use sizing formula featured on their website.

The formula on the QuietCool website suggests sizing a system for between 2 and 3 cubic feet per minute, or CFMs, per square ft of your home.  This means if your home is 1,000 sq ft, you’ll want a system that can move between 2,000 and 3,000 cfms of air.  You can then proceed to check out different models and find the Trident Pro 2.5 and Trident Pro 3.3, both of which will move 2,500 to 3,300 cfms of air.

The technology I like about QC fans is in the insulated damper that shuts off any access to the attic when the system is turned off.  This also prevents heat from the attic from coming into the home when the fan is turned off.

In 2011, QuietCool became the first to incorporate ECM motors with the fan.  These motors run quietly and at lower amperages than regular PSC motors.  PSC motors are the ones that you’ve seen on traditional whole house fans since the 1960’s.  They require a capacitor to run properly.  If the capacitor fails, the motor won’t work, and you’ll have to replace the capacitor before the motor will work again. ECM motors are electronically commutating motors.

QuietCool ECM Motors

A point I want to make here about speeds.  In studying the QuietCool ECM motors in the Stealth Pro line, I found that they operate better at lower fan speeds.  A case in point is with my own two-story, 2200 square ft home.  I installed the 1.5 Trident Pro in the master bedroom ceiling, near the door.  I put a 3.3 Trident Pro at the top of my stairs on the second floor.  (See the link at the end of this post to watch my installation video.)   When I turned them on for the first time, I wasn’t really happy with the volume of air it was moving.  It was nice but, I guess I was looking for more.

Since then, I always recommend to people they get the biggest one they can afford and use the 3-speed switches provided by the manufacturer and adjust the airflow accordingly.  You’ll find that the motors run more efficiently at lower speeds.  Okay, point made about QuietCool’s volume issues.  I’ve mentioned it a few times before.

Triangle Whole House Fans

When you mention traditional style whole house fans, people think about loud, whirring helicopters rumbling in their homes.  And QuietCool does a good job of making that point on their website.  But let’s look at an American classic, the CC Series of Triangle Whole House Fans.

As a technician working in hot attics, I noticed how much more air these traditional style whole house fans seemed to be moving.   In fact, we’ll turn these whole house fans on during hotter days so we can bring the temperature of the home up into the attic, which is at times 30-40 degree warmer!  And the homeowner has fresh ambient temperatures coming into the home.

The blades are larger, thicker and more durable than QuietCool’s.  The belt drive is the secret to its quiet nature.  The motor sits on top of the frame instead of near the ceiling joists.  This reduces the vibration and noise from the fan blade.  You really have to hear it to believe it.  (See the link at the end of this post to watch my installation video.)  All the noisy traditional style fans I’ve seen were old — maybe 15 years or older – some even older!  By choosing a new quality-built fan, not some big box store whole house fan, you’ll feel and hear the difference in sound and volume of air once it’s installed.  Think of these as luxury cruisers of the whole house fans.

How Much Air Do They Really Move?

QuietCool fans are sized in 1.5 for 1500 cfms, 2.5, 3.3, 4.8, 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0 models.  So, 7000 cfms is the max you can get from a QuietCool fan.  Triangle fans are sized in 24”, 30”, 36” around here.  They do have a 42” and 48” but we don’t have them around here.  The most common 36” fan moves over 9700 cfms of air, almost 3000 cfms more than QuietCool’s biggest fan.  That’s pretty impressive to me.

Where Are They Installed?

Both of these fans are ceiling mounted.  The triangle fan is mounted on top of the ceiling joist in the attic, bringing the fan blade further back to reduce noise, with no cutting involved.  The QuietCool fans can also be installed between the ceiling joists without having to cut anything.

Most people don’t create a whole new dedicated circuit for these fans, instead, it’s more typical to tie into the existing HVAC circuit for the furnace.  This is because nobody runs both the whole house fan and their furnace or air conditioner at the same time.

DIY or Contractor?

The best DIYers can install these themselves.  A little electrical knowledge about switches and proper ventilation of the attic will go a long way installing these.  Be sure to check out the card at the end of this video if you’d like to see an install.  If you do need a little more help with installing a whole house fan here in the Sacramento area, we’d love to be the company that gets to do that for you.  And if you’d like to learn more about how whole house fans work, you can also check out my post What is a Whole House Fan?

A Word About Warranties

The QuietCool Systems come with a 15-year warranty.  Triangle Whole House fans only offer a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.  So that’s kind of lopsided there.  QuietCool says they will replace any part that fails for the warranty of that system.  When I searched the website of Triangle Engineering, I couldn’t find the warranty info on the whole house fans, although they confirmed their warranty by phone.

What do you think?  Have you seen or heard these older style fans?  What do you think about them?  And what do you think about QuietCool’s fan?  Is it strong enough?  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks so much for tuning in this week on our blog.  See you next week!

Don’t miss our video on this topic:

See also

Installation of a Triangle Whole House Fan
https://youtu.be/qICIrdBGIz8

Installation of a QuietCool Whole House Fan
https://youtu.be/du1K7b4gaE0

Myths About Ductless HVAC Systems

Fox Family Heating, Air, Solar

[mk_page_section full_width=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title size=”32″ font_family=”none” align=”center”]

Myths About Ductless HVAC System

[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1538772022869{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Many myths and misconceptions exist regarding ductless HVAC Systems. Read on and discover the truth about some of those myths. Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar aims to be your source of education  before you consider installing a ductless HVAC system on your residential property.

Myth 1: Ductless System Heat Pumps Require More Maintenance

Some people in Sacramento think that the advanced technology from which ductless heat pumps are made makes the system more costly to maintain. The truth is that ductless HVAC systems are easier to maintain. For example, the filter can be removed easily and hosed down by you, the homeowner. This is unlike the filters in central heating and air conditioning systems that usually require regular replacement. (Depending on the make and model of your central heating and air conditioning system)

Furthermore, the indoor unit of a conventional heat pump is often located in a hard-to-reach place, such as the attic with a tight crawl space. This makes it harder (and more expensive) to access that component for routine maintenance. The components of ductless systems are within easy reach inside the building. This makes the components easier to access for maintenance work.

Myth 1 Debunked: Ductless System Heat Pumps DO NOT Require More Maintenance

Myth 2: Ductless Heat Systems Don’t Filter Air

Some Sacramento homeowners may have been held back by the misconception that ductless systems result in poor indoor air quality since they don’t filter the air passing through them.

As stated earlier, the filter of a ductless system can be removed and cleaned easily by any homeowner. Secondly, the absence of a complicated network of ducts means that ductless systems provide cleaner air since there are no corners and surfaces onto which dust and other debris can cling. You should, therefore, have no fears about installing a ductless system since you are likely to have cleaner indoor air when compared to the air provided by a ducted system. Contact a Sacramento air conditioning repair technician in case you indoor air quality issues in your home.

Myth 2 Debunked: Ductless Heat Systems Do Filter Air

Myth 3: Ductless HVAC Systems Are Only for Residential New Construction

It isn’t true that ductless system pumps are for new constructions only. In fact, their very innovation was based on the need to meet the HVAC needs of older homes or properties where it was hard to install a network of ducts. East Sacramento and Land Park are good examples of that. The minimally disruptive installation of ductless systems makes them suitable for a wide range of applications, such as retrofit installation or beefing up the air conditioning provided in the distant sections of a building having a central AC system. Many homeowners often purchase a ductless system for in-law quarters or a guest house that was not built with central heat and air.

Myth 3 Debunked: Ductless HVAC Systems Are Great for Retrofitting an older home with no central HVAC or smaller spaces like a guest house.

Myth 4: They Have a Shorter Lifespan Due to All-Year Operation

This myth may be based on the general thinking that the more you use an appliance the shorter its lifespan will be. However, experts at Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar say the longevity of any air conditioning system (ductless or central AC) depends on the quality of the unit and how well it was sized. It also depends on how it was installed and if it is maintained during its service life. The longevity of an HVAC system will, therefore, have nothing do with its design as a ductless system or ducted/central air conditioning.

Myth 4 Debunked: Ductless HVAC Systems lifespan is relative to care, and installation quality.

Myth 5: Ductless Systems Are For Spot Heating or Cooling

This is one of the worst misconceptions about ductless heat pumps. The roots of this myth may be in the observation that some homeowners install ductless systems to heat or cool a particular room which isn’t served adequately by the central AC. For example, a garage extension may have a ductless system since the central HVAC system cannot supply sufficient heating or cooling to that modified garage. However, this doesn’t mean that ductless systems are for spot heating or cooling. They are a standalone heating or cooling system. Granted, they are not right for every home so it is important for you to consult with an HVAC Installer for the best options for your home. This post is not meant to endorse or sway you in any way towards installing a ductless mini split system. Our goal here is to be a source of education. The best way to determine whether a Minisplit is right for you is to schedule a FREE in-home evaluation with one of our team members.

Myths and misconceptions thrive in an environment where people don’t have accurate information about something. Don’t be a victim of the myths in the discussion above. Contact Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar and we shall be glad to answer any question that you may have about ductless system pumps or anything related to the HVAC industry.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

Why is My AC Overheating?

Why is my AC overheating?

[mk_page_section full_width=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title size=”32″ font_family=”none” align=”center”]Why is My AC Overheating?[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535571972071{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]The compressor is one of the most important (and expensive) components of your air conditioner. This crucial component can sustain irreparable damage in case it overheats, and the cause isn’t identified and fixed quickly. This article discusses some of the reasons given by a leading Sacramento heating and air conditioning company, Fox Family Heating and Air, to explain why your AC compressor is overheating.

Electrical Issues

Any defect in the electrical supply can cause the compressor to overheat. For example, a spike in the power supply to your Sacramento home will trigger overheating in the sensitive electrical components of the compressor. Loose connections and compromised insulation can also cause overheating in the compressor. Air conditioner repair professionals in Sacramento can fix this problem before it causes your AC to stall.

Blocked Suction Lines

The compressor of the AC may overheat in case something has constricted the refrigerant line from the indoor unit. This constriction will prevent the refrigerant from flowing at the right pressure and volume as it gets into the compressor. The compressor is therefore likely to overheat as it tries to compensate for that low pressure by sucking harder on the refrigerant.

Dirty Condenser Fins.

The fins on the condenser help to dissipate the heat carried by the refrigerant when it leaves the compressor. This heat may not be lost fully in case those fins are caked by dirt. Consequently, the refrigerant will go back to the evaporator when it isn’t as cool as it should be. The net result is that the refrigerant will be further heated by the warm air in your home and that excessively hot refrigerant will cause the compressor to overheat. Technicians at Fox Family Heating and Air warn that such a problem can cause the compressor to fail and require replacement.

Poorly Sized Refrigerant Lines

The compressor can also overheat in case the refrigerant lines are either too small or too wide. This improper sizing may cause the compressor to overheat as it works overtime to compensate and keep the refrigerant at the required pressure. Get an experienced air conditioner replacement (Sacramento) technician to inspect the AC in case it recently underwent repairs, and you suspect that the wrong refrigerant line was used.

Incorrect Cycling

Oversized or undersized AC units can also cause the compressor to overheat. For example, an undersized AC will stay on for very long to keep the temperature in your Sacramento home at the desired level. This strains all the components, especially the compressor. Overheating becomes inevitable in such situations.

Conversely, an oversized unit will start and stop more times than is usual for a correctly sized unit. These short cycle times also cause overheating because the compressor strains a lot as it is starting up. Contact a Sacramento air conditioning company for help in replacing that oversized or undersized AC.

Insufficient Refrigerant

A refrigerant leak can leave your AC with less refrigerant than is required. Inadequate recharging after air conditioner repairs can also leave the system low on refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels cause the compressor to overheat because the AC will work harder to cool your home. This situation needs to be corrected urgently before it causes a total breakdown of the compressor.

Contaminants

The compressor of your air conditioner is also likely to overheat in case contaminants, such as particulates and other gases, find their way into the refrigerant. Those contaminants are harmful because they prevent the compressor from compressing the refrigerant as it usually does. Insufficient compression strains the compressor and causes it to overheat.

Old Age

The AC may overheat due to age-related wear and tear. The increasing inefficiency of the aging air conditioner makes the compressor to overheat as it tries to keep up with the demands placed upon it during the cooling season of the year. This is particularly common in ACs which have been in use for more than ten years. Such units should be replaced instead of trying to pay attention to the compressor alone.

Although the causes of overheating in an air conditioner compressor seem unrelated, only one measure can keep most of them at bay. Proper maintenance can prevent many of the reasons why compressors overheat. Negotiate an AC service contract with the experts at Fox Family Heating and Air so that your air conditioner is kept working at its best for its entire service life.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

How Long Should My Air Conditioner Last?

[mk_page_section full_width=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title size=”32″ font_family=”none” align=”center”]How Long Should My Air Conditioner Last?[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531609092741{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]How Long Should My Air Conditioner Last? Many Sacramento homeowners are interested in knowing how long their air conditioning units will last upon installation. While there is no exact answer to that question, Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar technicians point to several factors which may affect the longevity of the AC unit. This article discusses some of those factors.

The Quality of the AC Unit

On average, air conditioning units last for about 15-years. However, this expected lifespan can vary widely based on the quality of the components which were used to manufacture a given AC unit. It is therefore important for you to select a product from a manufacturer who has a reputation for making durable equipment. Work with air conditioner replacement experts in Sacramento to identify and invest in the best brand if you want long life from the AC installed.

Proper Sizing

AC unit durability is also affected by the appropriateness of the unit for the home or other building. Oversized units wear out sooner than correctly sized units because the oversized unit will have shorter cycle times (intervals between running and turning itself off once the desired temperature is attained).

Short cycle times strain the different components of the system, such as the compressor, in several ways. First, the energy surge during startup strains the electronics of the AC. Secondly, friction is higher during the startup period since the lubricant will have settled at the bottom of the components. Consequently, the AC will age faster if it turns on and off at shorter intervals. Undersized units also wear out quickly since they work harder to combat the heavy loads which have been imposed on them. Such threats to your investment can be avoided by hiring a heating and air conditioning company in your area to size the unit correctly before you purchase it.

Frequency of Use

Air conditioning units that are used for more months of the year wear out faster than AC units used for a shorter time each year. AC components are designed to work reliably for a given number of usage hours. Using your unit for more hours each day depletes the useful life of the unit quickly. It may, therefore, be helpful for you to restrict your use of the AC to the periods when you need it. You should also adjust the thermostat settings to a level that doesn’t strain the unit excessively. For example, don’t set the AC to cool your home to the same temperature as what you would find in a walk-in cooling unit at a mall.

The Installation Location

How the AC is installed can also affect its longevity. For instance, outdoor units which are exposed to direct sunlight will age faster than those in a shaded area. Similarly, places with contaminants, such as homes near farms where pesticides and other chemicals are used routinely, lead to faster aging of ACs. Coastal areas also pose corrosion risks to air conditioning units due to the saltwater to which the units are exposed. Always let the AC technician that you have hired in Sacramento to select the most appropriate installation location so that any environmental threats present there are minimized or avoided.

System Maintenance

Maintenance is important to air conditioner longevity. Poor maintenance, such as ignoring to provide adequate component lubrication, will result in accelerated wear of the AC. A high-quality unit will, therefore, fail prematurely if it isn’t well maintained. Conversely, a unit of lower quality may last longer if it is given the necessary preventive maintenance and it is repaired promptly before a defect affects other components. Work with Fox Family Heating and Air conditioning so that a customized maintenance schedule can be designed for the AC in your Sacramento home to avoid premature system failure.

Having a durable air conditioning unit starts by identifying the best heating and air conditioning company to size, install and maintain that air conditioning system. Talk to several air conditioner replacement professionals in Sacramento and select the best company, Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar, to trust with your investment.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

Is an AC tune-up worth it?

[mk_page_section full_width=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title size=”32″ font_family=”none” align=”center”]Is an AC tune-up worth it?[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1532371583382{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Is an AC tune-up worth it? People who have just bought their first home or have recently installed a new AC may not be certain whether it is necessary to have the air conditioning system tuned-up annually. This article discusses some of the key benefits that Sacramento homeowners will enjoy when they hire a Sacramento heating and air conditioning company like Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar to tune-up the AC.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Dirt, dust and other forms of debris gradually accumulate on the different components of the AC, such as the evaporator coils. Those accumulations affect the efficiency of the system in different ways. For example, the dust can prevent the exchange of heat from the evaporator coils. This impediment causes the system to use more energy as it struggles to maintain the desired temperature in your home. Regular tune-ups avert such causes of inefficiency.

Warranty Protection

Manufacturers of air conditioning systems offer buyers warranties that have conditions. One of the common conditions is that the air conditioner must be maintained regularly (at least annually) by certified professionals. Any warranty claim made without proof that the AC was tuned-up at the required intervals can result in a rejection of that claim. Air conditioning repair technicians in Sacramento can perform the required maintenance so the AC manufacturer honors any warranty claim.

System Longevity

It is also worthwhile to have your air conditioner tuned-up because that maintenance helps to enable the system to last for as long as the manufacturer intended it to. For example, Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar technicians check the lubrication of the moving parts of the HVAC equipment. Proper lubrication protects the components from premature wear due to excessive friction. Tune-ups are therefore a good investment since they save you from having to buy a new AC sooner than expected.

Eco-Friendliness

Air conditioning tune-ups have the added benefit of making your HVAC systems environmentally friendly. How does this happen? Tune-ups help to detect problems, such as refrigerant leaks before they worsen and discharge greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Secondly, barriers to efficiency are removed so that the system uses the least amount of energy needed to keep the home within the desired temperature range. You will be contributing towards protecting the environment when you have your AC tuned-up.

Reduced Repair Costs

Sacramento air conditioning repair professionals perform tune-ups as a way of averting frequent system failures. The tune-ups forestall bigger problems by catching them early. For instance, the technician may check how much energy the motor is consuming as it works. This tune-up activity helps to fix any defects before those defects cause a malfunction that may be costly to repair.

Improved Air Quality

The air that you and your family members breathe while inside your home depends on how well the air conditioner is doing its work. For example, a defective filter can allow contaminants to keep recirculating within the home. Similarly, a clogged condensate line can result in higher humidity levels in the home. This can allow mold and other biological matter to thrive and compromise the health of the home’s occupants. Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar can provide AC system tune-ups to improve quality of living.

It Gives Peace of Mind

Having an air conditioning system tune-up performed helps to remove any nagging fears or concerns which you may have about your AC. That professional tune-up gives your AC a clean bill of health after any anomalies found are fixed. Rest assured that the AC will not suddenly fail, unless an unforeseen calamity, such as a flood, damages the equipment.

The cost of having the annual air conditioner tune-up done pales in comparison to the higher costs and inconveniences that you may expose yourself to when you neglect to have the tune-ups done. Hire an experienced heating and air conditioning repair or maintenance company in Sacramento. Contact Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar to take care of keeping your home’s AC at its best throughout the year. Our maintenance club is an affordable solution many clients find to be a great value, while enjoying comfort and peace of mind. [/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

When You Should Consider Upgrading Your Sacramento Home HVAC System

Many Sacramento homeowners often find it hard to decide whether they should keep repairing their existing HVAC system or replace it with a new one. This article discusses some of the things which can alert such homeowners that it may be time for some HVAC upgrades.

Frequent Sneezing or Coughing

The HVAC system plays an important role in ensuring that the members of your household breathe high-quality air. Frequent coughing or sneezing is an indicator that the system is failing in this role.

Upgrading to a better HVAC system may improve the indoor air quality in many ways. For example, a properly sized system is able to extract most of the particulates from indoor air.

Spiraling Energy Bills

Have you noticed that your energy bills are higher than they used to be? The HVAC system may be responsible for that increased energy consumption. This is particularly possible in case the system is aging and its components can no longer work as well as they once could.

Upgrading such an HVAC system will result in a reduction of your energy bills since the energy consumption of the new system will be lower. Energy Star or SEER rated systems are particularly energy-efficient.

Noisy HVAC Operation

You should also think about upgrading your HVAC system in case it has become unusually loud as it is working. Some systems may remain noisy even repairs have been conducted to fix any components which were defective.

The only way to restore calm and quiet conditions is by replacing the noisy HVAC system with a newer one which operates more quietly.

Extended Run Times

Be observant and find out whether your heating and air conditioning system in Sacramento cycles on and runs for a longer duration than it used to. Those extended run times should concern you because they indicate that your system is finding it harder to keep your home within the desired temperature range.

That extended operation increases the amount of energy that the HVAC system uses. The rate of wear also increases since the components will be working harder to condition the air in your home. Upgrade the system before it fails completely.

High Repair Costs

It may be time to upgrade your HVAC system if the frequency of having repairs done is increasing. High repair costs point to a system which is breaking down, one component at a time.

It is never a good idea to hang onto a system that needs HVAC upgrades because it will become there’s no guarantee that nothing else will fail and require more money. Upgrade to a better/newer system so that you avoid those high repair costs.

Uneven Temperatures

It can be inconveniencing to have some rooms of your Sacramento home warmer or colder than others are. A functional Sacramento ventilation, heating and air conditioning system should maintain uniform conditions across all the rooms of a home. Any difference detected could be a sign that the system can no longer meet your requirements. Upgrade to a better system so that you can enjoy uniform conditions in all parts of the house.

Age

Age is an important factor to consider when contemplating whether or not your HVAC system should be upgraded. Each system comes with a manual which stipulates its expected service life, such as 15-years.

HVAC Upgrades

However, the way in which that system was maintained over its life can shorten or increase this useful life. It is generally advisable to upgrade the HVAC system if it is nearing the end of its expected useful life. This is because that end-of-life period tends to be characterized by the failure of the major system components, such as the compressor. Upgrading saves you from incurring those high repair costs for a system approaching the end of its life.

Each of the signs above may not on its own justify the decision to replace your HVAC system. However, a combination of those signs is a sure sign that you may be better off upgrading the system instead of sinking money into a system which is showing multiple signs of failure. Contact a Sacramento air conditioner replacement expert so that you can get help in selecting the best replacement system.

How Long Can I wait before getting my HVAC System Repaired?

A couple of things have broken on your furnace the last couple years now. Some people get itchy and start thinking, “How long can I wait before getting my HVAC system repaired?” An igniter went out two years ago. Last year the control board failed. Now my compressor has just gone bad. It can’t be repaired because the compressor is hermetically sealed and they can’t get into it to fix the broken widget. How many more things can go wrong with this system? This can honestly happen to systems that are anywhere from 8 years old to 30 or 40+.

How long can I wait for HVAC System Repair?

Most furnaces and AC’s last about 15 to 25 years. Fifteen without maintenance, and 20 or more with maintenance. If someone is coming out once or twice a year and pampering that machine, cleaning it, checking all the components, and trying to catch early warnings of failure, you’re going to very likely have a system that will keep you cool 20-25 years.

HVAC System Repair Experience

I bought my home when it was nine years old. The HVAC system is still going, but I have had to make some repairs on it. I have a York Diamond 80 from 1999. It came with the house in our nice neighborhood in a quaint sub-division near Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, CA. The hot surface igniter cracked and was replaced. At 14 years old, the AC’s compressor blew. I replaced that. But that’s it so far! The thing is, I know a guy! I can just go out to my truck and grab what I need to fix my AC and be ready to go in a matter of house. You have to pay real dollars for the parts and labor involved in making these repairs.

I haven’t had to replace my inducer motor, control board, blower motor, condenser fan motor, or heat exchanger. All parts that cost $500-$1000 or more. The pressure switches, safeties, transformer, relays, ignitors, capacitors, contactors, ducts, etc. are the smaller repairs you can encounter, too. These parts are usually in the 0 to $500 range. These are easier to pay off because they don’t come in the thousands.

Warranties and Rebates

Warranties on HVAC systems made before 2015 carried a five-year parts warranty, and a ten, twenty, or lifetime heat exchanger warranty. That meant any part that came on the system and broke within five years the owner would only have to pay labor to get the part replaced by a licensed HVAC tech. Nowadays warranties boast ten-year parts and twenty years or lifetime warranties on heat exchangers that are made with better materials than twenty years ago.

Incentives to buy a new HVAC system are there if you look for them. If you want to save money on the cost of a new HVAC system, ask if there are rebates available for upgrading your HVAC equipment now instead of later when these rebates and tax credits can be taken away by those fortunate enough to give them to us. In Sacramento, we can offer $400, $500 and $850 rebates through the SMUD Utility company if you were to put in an Energy Star rated AC systems like the Trane XL16i and a matching Trane coil and furnace.

Deciding What to Do on Your HVAC System

The ability to save more money when you are even running the system would be great. The furnaces today can be up to 97-98% efficient in fossil fuel usage. They usually come with two stages of heating too, so it uses a less power consuming mode most of the time it is operating. Same with the AC! They come with two stages and even fully variable systems that can dial in your comfort level.

It’s tough making that decision. It also doesn’t have to be an impulse buy either. Take time to think about it and find the right contractor who will pull all the necessary permits and do the work for you right the first time. The most important day of an HVAC system’s life is the day it was installed. Just make sure you do your homework and choose the right one for you, that you feel comfortable with. Check out our blog FAQs about Replacing HVAC Systems for more on this big purchase and the decisions that are made in the process of getting a new HVAC system installed.

HVAC System Conclusion

If you decide to make that repair, that’s fine. Some people are really into making the equipment that they have last as long as possible. If the parts are available for that equipment and you can safely make the repair without compromising the original factory specifications, then why not? Because it’s your money. You can either choose to keep putting your money into your current HVAC system or upgrade to the new standards of HVAC equipment sold today. The equipment just keeps getting better every few years. The manufacturers and their engineers out-do themselves every few years and come out with the next cool technology for the industry.

Good luck in making this decision! Let Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar come out to your house and have the discussion with you in person. We’d love to be part of your HVAC system’s life. Whether it’s doing the preventive maintenance on your aging system or installing and maintaining a new one for you.

How Long Should My Furnace Last?

how long should my furnace last

How long do furnaces last?

Most people don’t know that 95% of furnaces out there are not going to last much more than 20 years. Anything past 20 years and your furnace are likely operating on borrowed time. The warranties from the builder of those furnaces were made with 5-year parts warranties, so even they were only thinking 10, 15, maybe 20 years. I get asked that question a lot. How long should my furnace last? I tell them most furnaces last about 20 years.

Can furnaces last longer than that?

It is true that we run across service calls on systems that have safely made 35-40 years.  So, it can happen! As long as the parts are still available to make repairs that allow the machine to operate at or above original factory specifications. Also, if the system is still safe to operate, meaning the fire box or heat exchanger is NOT cracked, potentially releasing carbon monoxide through the supply registers in your rooms, it’s safe to operate. Fox Family techs take a special class every year to ensure we are capable of inspecting any heat exchanger to ensure the safety of your family.

Maintain your furnace

If the furnace is maintained properly over the years, like mine, the furnace can easily last 20 years. Sure, some things may break along the way, but a properly trained HVAC technician can get your furnace up and going again. Some other major parts that can break on a furnace are the inducer motor, blower motor, gas valve, and control board. Some of the minor repairs are the pressure switch, capacitors, ignitors, roll-out and high limit switches.

How do I know my furnace is not working?

Inducer Motor

An inducer motor that doesn’t work is going to cause the flame and its exhaust not to shoot into the furnace the proper way. This can cause a serious safety issue in the home. Fortunately, there are safety switches all along the firing up sequence to make sure this doesn’t happen. The control board knows what should work and when it should be working. It’s a very intelligent furnace that has been made over the last 20 years.

Blower Motor

Another component that the furnace can tell is not working is when the blower motor stops working. The blower motor pulls the air from the room and pushes that air through the hot furnace and into your rooms. It’s supposed to be running at a very specific speed. If the blower is running too slow, or not at all, the furnace will overheat. This lets one of the safety devices in the furnace to sense the high heat and shut the system down.

Gas Valve

The gas valve is another major component that must be checked on a regular basis. It’s responsible for emitting the proper amount of gas to the burner assembly which shoots the flame into your heat exchanger. The gas valve is capable of getting stuck in the open position too. Sometimes we get calls where the homeowner is smelling gas in the house, or near the furnace. We have come in to diagnose the system and found that the valve is actually stuck in the open position, albeit ever so slightly. This is obviously a dangerous situation to have. An odorant is added to natural gas and propane gas to help homeowners/customers sniff out leaks. If you smell gas, and no stove burners were left on, evacuate the house and call 9-1-1. Then, call your natural gas provider (your utility).

Control Board

Finally, the control board is one of the major components of your furnace that can go out. If it does, the system just won’t know what to do and when to do it. The control board is the brains of the system. The symptom I see the most on controls boards that have failed is when the solder connections on the back of the board have started to fracture. They started out as complete solder points relaying signals to other parts of the board. But these fractures make it difficult to send the electronic signal. This causes a slow and sometimes very annoying failure of the system because sometimes the system works and sometimes it does not. Maybe in the mornings, it will work but in the afternoon it does not. This usually indicates something is wrong with the furnace control board. Not always, but in my experience has been a good place to start.

Make sure you are getting the proper maintenance done on your HVAC system so it can last up to 20 years. If you don’t, chances are you will be replacing your furnace sooner, because of neglect, just like your car. Let Fox Family come out and get your furnace tuned up for the season every year. My system is so perfectly clean and functional year after year because I clean it and check all the components every year. My system is 19 years old this year too!

Furnace Repair in Sacramento

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As 2018 progresses through February, it seems more and more people are still needing furnace repair in Sacramento. A lot of our calls coming right now are ones where customers are saying their furnace is just blowing cold air. Nobody wants that right? You go to turn on the furnace and it sounds like the system is working but it really is just not blowing warm air.

About Your Furnace

The furnace has a sequence of operation that it goes through every time you call for the furnace to come on. The thermostat tells the control board at the furnace to turn the inducer motor on. The inducer motor pulls the exhaust out of your furnace and sends it through the flue pipe and out of the house. When the inducer motor comes on, the pressure switches will verify the inducer motor is working by sensing a negative pressure the manufacturer has preset to a specific setting.

As long the pressure switch pulls in and tells the control board it’s working the ignition sequence begins. An ignitor will perform a controlled spark or hot surface ignition. If that happens correctly, the control board tells the gas valve it can now open and pour gas across the spark or hot surface ignitor. This will cause the flames to ignite in a controlled fashion specifically the way the manufacturer wants it done.

After the flames ignite a flame sensor stands in the middle of the flame and senses that the flame is indeed on and sends a signal back to the control board that the ignition has started up safely and according to the engineer’s specifications. Once the flame is on, the blower motor will push your room temperature air across the heat exchanger, heating it up anywhere from 30-60 degrees. That will end up being the warm air that comes out of your registers in your rooms!

Is Your Furnace Failing?

If at any point in the sequence of operation for your furnace, any of these steps fail, the furnace will go into safety mode automatically and shut the flame down. Most of the time it will shut down and try again three times. After the third time, it will just start blowing room temperature air. Eventually the homeowner will notice the furnace is not working right because it’s just blowing cold air. This is what alerts the homeowner to call for a furnace repair service in Sacramento. Nobody wants cold air blowing in their house when it’s 32 degrees outside and this is the reason people need a good furnace repair service in Sacramento.

Call Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar

Fox Family technicians are trained to thoroughly evaluate your furnace from head to toe so that you can get your home heating again at the most crucial times of the year. If your furnace needs heating repair, there is no one more that you can trust than the Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar technicians here in Sacramento.

We know its honor to be invited into your home to service your furnace and HVAC system. In addition, we promise to try to earn your trust and respect because we know there are so many HVAC companies here in the Sacramento area to choose from. We’re not like the big companies who are just trying to sell you a new furnace! We can actually repair any part on your furnace as long as they make the part still. Some furnaces are so old they just don’t make the parts for them anymore. Usually that is around the 20-year mark for a furnace. So, if you are dealing with a furnace repair in Sacramento, trust Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar, Inc. to come out and let you know what is going on with your furnace.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]

A Day in The Life of an HVAC Technician: Episode 4

[mk_page_section full_width=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title size=”32″ font_family=”none” align=”center”]

Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar wants to show you our

team and what it is they go through on a regular basis to be an HVAC company.

Check out our latest video to see a day in the life of an HVAC Technician.[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1517597313580{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

In this episode, Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar takes on a house that wants to convert from an all-electric heating pump to a gas furnace. The tricky part is, it’s under the house and the furnace and coil won’t fit. Check out this episode to see how we get the job done.

Liking our Day in The Life HVAC Technician episodes? Check out the other episodes here.  Contact us for all of your Sacramento area repairs.[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider][vc_video link=” https://youtu.be/fNZRoYdYG7I”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/mk_page_section][mk_page_section bg_color=”#ed4622″ full_width=”true” has_top_shape_divider=”true” top_shape_color=”#ffffff” top_shape_bg_color=”#ed4622″ bottom_shape_color=”#ffffff” sidebar=”sidebar-1″][vc_column width=”2/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ color=”#ed4622″ size=”36″ force_font_size=”true” size_tablet=”20″ size_phone=”15″ line_height=”90″ font_weight=”bold” txt_transform=”capitalize” margin_bottom=”0″ font_family=”Lato” font_type=”google” align=”right” drop_shadow=”true”]Need Service? Call Now: 916-877-1577[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][mk_padding_divider][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” align=”center” margin_right=”0″ bg_color=”#0066cc” btn_hover_txt_color=”#ed4622″]BOOK NOW[/mk_button][/vc_column][/mk_page_section]