Fox Family is at Sacramento Home and Garden Show

An Obvious Choice for Fox Family Heating, Air Conditioning and Solar

Hey everyone!  I wanted to reach out to you from the Sacramento Home and Garden Show this weekend, March 1-3, 2019.  We’ve talked about getting a booth in the past and finally decided to go ahead and participate this year.  As we look for more people to provide with our heating and air conditioning services, this show seems like a great opportunity and an obvious choice.  And just like every year, a lot of people are expected here all weekend.

Where We Belong

Fox Family continues to grow.  Our philosophy — treating people the way they want to be treated, rather than like just a number like some big HVAC companies do — is really paying off.  This year at the Home and Garden Show at Cal Expo we see ourselves settling in amongst the major home services companies that have been around for decades.

This is exactly where we belong!  Among some of the most well-known companies in the area are Armstrong Plumbing, Byers Leaf Guard, Yancey, Cal Spas, Cal-Vintage Roofing, Renewal by Anderson (Windows), and a half dozen HVAC companies, including ourselves.  There are some other superb companies represented as well. I think I like being among the elite.

The Ebb and Flow

It’s fun and easy to walk around the Cal Expo pavilion building.  There’s plenty of room in the aisles to peruse each and every vendor.  It’s a relaxed and bustling marketplace, with hundreds of products to shop and giveaways for your canvas bag.

Friday was Senior Day, with half off tickets for those who could come on a day when most people are at work.  Saturday and Sunday were the big days.  Folks filed in when the doors opened and headed straight to the booths.  And it really didn’t slow down all day, straight through until the doors closed at the end of the day.

Building Our Brand

The goal for exhibiting at a home show is to gain a following and name recognition in the community, a solid marketing plan for us.  Fox Family will continue to return to this show and present ourselves as the company we are.   When people think of heating or air conditioning, we know they will remember Fox Family. Gaining exposure to people who are looking for the best of the best in home improvement is always a positive!

Wrapping Up

Next week, we’ll return to providing more great HVAC and solar blog posts, but I wanted to tell you all how this new endeavor went!  Perhaps we’ll see you here next year.

You can check out the Sacramento Home and Garden Show at CalExpo at http://www.sachomeandgardenshow.com/.

What Happens on a Fox Family Air Conditioning Tune-Up?

What Is It?

An air conditioning tune-up is what responsible homeowners do to maintain their home’s HVAC system.   It’s a thorough cleaning and testing of the air conditioning system, to ensure that it’ll work when you need it to this summer.  We operate with the understanding that a clean system will run longer than a dirty system.

Not every HVAC company in town performs air conditioning tune-ups.  I would say it’s because they feel they’re not very good money generators for them.  I get it, wiping down air conditioners and testing parts aren’t very exciting for some.  But I don’t think they understand the opportunity they have to create a relationship with someone and their HVAC system.

I like to develop relationships with my customers by taking care of their AC system every spring.  If we can perform an AC tune-up every spring, for years and years, I know my customers will, at the very least, allow us to provide a quote for a new system when the time comes.  At the same time, our customers get to work with Sacramento’s most honest air conditioning company.  Our technicians will only bring up parts or repairs that will make the system return to factory standards, help it last longer, and make it safer for their families.

What Will Happen at My Tune-Up?

When we are on the way, our technician will call you and let you know.  We are proud to park on the street in our bright white vans with the Fox Family logo on it.  After you open the door and allow us to come in, we usually start at the air filter and thermostat.  I like to ask if there are any areas of the house that need any attention.  Do any rooms not get the right amount of air?  Does it cool the house down to your satisfaction in the middle of summer?  Questions like this can establish how you like your system to run.  Because not every homeowner is the same, right?

Once I know what’s going on in your mind as a homeowner, we will turn the AC system on, together, at the thermostat, listen for the air to come on, and walk outside to make sure everything out there is at least running.  Now we all know the system was running when we arrived!  From here, you’ll be able to sit back and do whatever you need to do while the tech goes out and runs through a list specifically designed for your type of air conditioning system.

We usually start out at the air handler in the attic or closet.  As a responsible business owner, if the furnace is in the attic, I need my techs to get in and out quickly.  It’s hard to ask a tech to spend time cleaning a furnace in a hot attic.  The furnace gets physically cleaned during the furnace tune-up, rather than during an AC tune-up, but there are some really important things to check here, so we try to get in and get out effectively and safely.

The most important thing we’re testing is the temperature difference between your supply and return air ducts.  If it’s not where it needs to be, we have a series of checks we will do to get it right.  A quick look at the evaporator coil can make a huge difference in the comfort of your home this summer.  If it’s dirty or clogged it will make your system underperform.

We also need to make sure your blower and the flywheel is clean and ready to run a lot in the coming summer months.  The tech will pour water down the drain lines to make sure the condensate drains properly.  We always offer the option of a condensate safety switch to protect your home from potential damage.  The secondary drain pan under the evaporator coil in the attic is a potential source of problems as well, so we make sure it’s ready for any emergencies.

Additionally, we’ll make sure the metering device for your refrigeration system is mounted properly while checking for any obvious refrigerant leaks in the copper tubing.  We’ll also check for proper insulation levels in your attic because it creates such an effective barrier between the hot air in the attic and the cool air you’re trying to keep in your house.  It pays to have a thick layer of insulation up there!

Once we’re done in the attic — and I really only want my techs up there maybe fifteen minutes on warmer days — we’ll head to the outdoor unit where the majority of the AC tune-up is done.  Here, we test the components inside the panel, focusing on things like your refrigerant levels to ensure your system isn’t running too long, unnecessarily.  The high and low voltage electrical running the AC needs to maintain a certain sizing, workmanship, and integrity to it.  All in all, we check about 35 items on the outdoor unit and 20 items on the indoor unit.  If you happen to have a packaged unit that sits on the side of the house or even up on the rooftop, we still check all 55 items.

After we check the entire AC system, if there are any parts that need to be replaced, we’ll let you know about them.  Our trucks are stocked with almost every part you need for your AC to get back up and running properly the same day.

If your system is running well, we get right to work washing your AC.  Many air conditioning manufacturers are switching to materials like micro-channel which can’t be washed with soapy or chemical solutions, and we pay attention to things like that.  If you have a dog that runs around in your back yard, we try not to use soapy solutions that drain into the area around the AC, so your best friend doesn’t get sick.  We are so thorough cleaning the AC, it’s not uncommon to see a tech vacuuming out your AC to get rid of the sticks and other debris that can be a nuisance to a healthy air conditioner.

What’s the Benefit?

When the air conditioning tune-up is complete, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your system is in tip-top shape.  Making sure a professional completes these steps every year will really pay off in the later years of your HVAC system’s life.  As a technician, my 20-year-old system is so clean, it runs like a champ.  It’s old and loud, but it keeps my house cool just fine!  Even on 105-degree days.  Why?  Because I take care of it.  If you’re curious and would like to learn more about how your air conditioner works, check out my blog post on this topic.

So, give Fox Family a call here in Sacramento County, the Foothills and the Mother Lode.  We would be honored to service your HVAC system in 2019!

Thanks for checking in on our blog.  See you next week!

Greg

Don’t miss our video on this topic:

Average Cost of Furnace Repair

Average Cost of Furnace Repair

Average Cost of Furnace Repair in Sacramento

Nothing could be as bad as your furnace breaking in the evening just as temperatures are dropping rapidly in winter. The first thing that is likely to occupy your mind is the cost of fixing that furnace or heat source since a replacement is often very expensive. Sacramento furnace repair experts explain that the repair cost will depend on the type and model of furnace you have as discussed below.

Repairing an Electric Furnace

Electric furnaces move air over coils in order to heat that air. The heated air is then distributed to the different rooms in your home by a network of ducts. Electric furnace units tend to be small, so the cost of repairing them also tends to be lower than the cost of repairing the other types of furnaces. Sacramento furnace repair experts estimate that it requires a maximum of $300 for repairs but the cost varies depending on the particular make/model of the electric furnace.

Propane Gas Furnaces

Propane gas furnaces run on liquefied propane. The gas burns in order to push heated air around your home. A pilot light sets off the operation of the furnace by igniting the burners located inside a combustion chamber. Heat travels from the combustion chamber to the heat exchanger from where it continues to the rest of the home. Propane furnaces are more expensive to repair and the cost will range from $300 to about $1,200 depending on the specific component affected. The heat exchanger is the most expensive component to repair (about $1,200 to replace it).

Natural Gas Furnaces

Fox Family Heating and Air technicians explain that natural gas furnaces only differ from propane gas furnaces due to the fuel used. The rest of the components and mode of operation are identical. Consequently, the repair cost for natural gas furnaces is similar to the cost you are likely to incur if you had a broken propane gas furnace.

Boilers

Some homes are heated by hot water. This water starts out in the boiler where it is heated before a network of pipes moves it around the home. Radiators amply the effect of the hot water so that each room feels cozy and warm.

Hot water systems rarely develop major problems suddenly. Instead, minor issues build up until the system malfunctions. For example, mineral deposits can slowly accumulate inside the water tank until they finally cause it to spring a major leak. Honest furnace repair experts will tell you that the repairs will cost from $180 to nearly $600 depending on the exact defect found.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work by transferring heat from outside to the interior of your home during winter. The pump then reverses and channels indoor heat outside during the hot months of the year. The heat pump is usually linked to your air conditioning system. Some heat pumps rely on geothermal energy while others rely on heated water to operate. Repairing a heat pump costs more than repairing an electric furnace. For example, the thermostat alone will cost you about $300 to replace while a damaged defrost control board will cost you double what the thermostat costs.

How to Limit Furnace Defects

As you can see from the estimates above, you will spend a lot of money on furnace repairs if you don’t take steps to preserve the condition of your furnace. Greg Fox recommends two key measures to avert most furnace issues.

  • Annual Inspections. Ask technicians from Fox Family Heating and Air to inspect and service your furnace once each year. So, that any developing problem is detected and fixed early before it causes more costly damage to your unit. For example, a faulty seal can be replaced before it causes the blower motor to fail.
  • Furnace Filter Replacement. The Sacramento furnace repair professional should also change the furnace filter during the annual service visit. You can also learn how to perform this simple maintenance task to save time and money.

Talk to Fox Family Heating and Air, a professional Sacramento HVAC company, before you have any repairs done. You will be given advice regarding the suitability of repair or replacement of the furnace unit based on several factors.

 

5 Simple Furnace Fixes You Can Perform

5 Simple Furnace Fixes You Can Perform

5 Simple Furnace Fixes A Sacramento HVAC Company Says You Can Perform 

You may not need to wait for a professional to perform each repair needed to get your furnace working again when it breaks down. Here are some simple repairs that you can perform on your own if you are handy with tools and have a basic understanding of how furnaces work. Call a Sacramento HVAC technician from Fox Heating and Air if you aren’t familiar with the components of your furnace so that you avoid exposing yourself to needless risks or damaging the furnace further.

  • Check the Thermostat

A furnace that fails to work may have a simple fault in its thermostat. Start your DIY repair by confirming that the switch is set to heat rather than cool the home. Check the temperature setting and be certain that it is appropriate for the general conditions at that time of the year. For example, try setting the thermostat to a higher temperature than the ambient temperature and see if the furnace kicks in. Make sure that the day and time settings are accurate (the thermostat isn’t reading p.m. during morning hours, for example). Contact a Sacramento furnace repair technician in case you suspect that the thermostat has failed due to electrical issues.

  • Shutoff Breakers and Switches

Find the switch on or close to your furnace and confirm that it is turned on in case your furnace isn’t working. Fox Family Heating and Air technicians often respond to calls and find that someone accidentally turned the furnace off. Check the breaker too in the breaker panel. Get professional help from a Sacramento heating and air company in case the breaker keeps tripping each time you reset it.

  • Check the Filter

The heat exchanger of your furnace will shut off fast in case the filter is clogged and air can’t flow freely through it. Change the filter in case you hold it up and light doesn’t travel through its filter media/pleats. Ask a Sacramento furnace repair expert to demonstrate the correct way to install a new filter so that you start performing that basic task yourself. Remember that the filter change interval will depend on the type of filter and the conditions in your home. For instance, homes with pets may need to change the furnace filter more frequently than the change interval for homes with no pets.

  • Turn the Gas On

Someone in your home could have turned the gas valve off accidentally thereby stopping the furnace from working. Check the gas line from the furnace back to the gas meter. Locate the valve (handle) and turn it so that it is now parallel to the gas line. Check the pilot light in case you have an older furnace. That pilot light has to be lit in order for the furnace to generate heat.

  • Flush the Drain Lines

Greg Fox from Fox Family Heating and Air advises that homeowners should check the furnace drain lines frequently in order to confirm that they aren’t blocked. The furnace will shut down in case the flow of water through the drain lines is hindered by a clog or when the line is constricted by a heavy object. Biological matter can also grow in the lines and limit the flow of water. Flush such lines with a mixture of bleach and water so that any bacteria or other microorganisms can be flushed out.

It is important that you restrict your DIY repair efforts to the most basic fixes when your furnace develops a fault. Take all the necessary precautions, such as turning the power off, before you attempt any repair (if you must). The safest option is to find an affordable Sacramento furnace repair technician, such as those from Fox Family Heating and Air so that the professional can inspect the entire system before fixing any defects found. The money that you pay the technician will be much less than what you will spend in case you make a mistake and cause irreparable damage to the furnace unit.

Preparing Your Furnace for Fall

preparing your furnace for fall

[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”]Preparing Your Furnace for Fall[/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_1537811159451{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Preparing Your Furnace for Fall

The onset of fall or winter triggers an avalanche of calls to Fox Family Heating and Air to address furnace issues. While furnace problems are at times inevitable, many of those issues can be prevented. Read on and discover some of the ways through which furnace maintenance can avert many of the potential problems during the heating season (fall and winter).

Replacing Dirty Filters

Dirty furnace filters can cause airflow issues around the home. This will become apparent once the entire home or parts of it aren’t getting enough heat even if the furnace is working. You can prevent such furnace problems by checking and replacing the filter once you find that it clogged. The filter can be located in the air inlet or within the furnace itself. Refer to the user manual and perform this crucial preventive maintenance activity. HVAC filter replacement is a routine task conducted by Sacramento heating and air conditioning companies during scheduled HVAC maintenance visits.

Fixing Unusual Pilot Light Functioning

The pilot light or furnace ignition can flicker or change color to yellow. This may be an indication that exhaust gases, such as carbon monoxide, have accumulated within your furnace. Could there be a blockage in the exhaust vent? Check whether the fan is working as it should. Ask for professional help in case you cannot immediately identify why the pilot light is flickering or appears yellow.

Stop Frequent Cycling

You can also prevent the furnace from cycling on and off at short intervals by prepping your furnace for fall. Confirm that the settings of the thermostat are correct. Incorrect settings (settings close to the ambient temperature, for example) may cause this frequent cycling. Airflow problems or clogged filters could also trigger frequent cycling. Call an expert from Fox Family Heating and Air if the frequent cycling doesn’t end once you implement the DIY fixes suggested.

Prevent Blower Belt Malfunctions

The blower belt can become frayed or it could slip. This can trigger an unusual sound in the furnace. Heated air may also fail to move around the home since the blower won’t be able to do its work of passing air over the heat exchanger. Have the blower belt checked as summer is coming to an end so that the furnace will be ready for the demands of fall and winter. Contact a Sacramento heating and air conditioning repair company for help if the blower develops a defect suddenly after the onset of fall.

Ensure Sufficient Clearance

Another way to prepare your furnace for fall is to inspect the area around it and remove any objects preventing airflow around the unit. This step is important in case you store belongings within the same location as the furnace during the months when the furnace isn’t needed. Remove everything that is within the clearance radius recommended by the manufacturer of that unit. This simple undertaking will avert those problems which originate from a congested space around the furnace.

Troubleshoot Electrical Component Issues

The limit switch can fail. Worn wiring can also cause the furnace breaker to trip. It is advisable to ask a professional to inspect the furnace before fall so that any defective electrical components can be repaired before they affect the performance of the furnace during the colder months of the year.

As you can see, you can perform some of the activities needed to make the furnace ready for fall. However, it is best to ask an expert from Fox Family Heating and Air to service the furnace so that it performs reliably and efficiently throughout fall and winter.[/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 Should I Change My Air Filter at Home?

When should I change my air filter at home?

[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”]When Should I Change My Air Filter at Home?[/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_1536350353203{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]When Should I Change My Air Filter at Home?

It may be unwise for you to base only on the recommended air filter change intervals indicated by the manufacturer of that filter. This is because many other factors come into play to determine how often those filters should be changed. This article discusses some of those contributory factors which Sacramento heating and air conditioning companies, such as Fox Family Heating and Air, have in mind as they formulate a filter replacement schedule for Sacramento homeowners.

The Size of Your Home

Larger homes generally require the indoor air to be turned multiple times by the HVAC system before the desired temperature can be reached. The filters in those larger homes will clog up faster since they will have more air to clean up (removing contaminants). The filters in smaller homes generally do less work since there is less air to clean. The filter in a smaller home may require to be replaced at longer intervals than is the case for filters in a larger home. However, this can change based on the size of the filters installed. Your preferred air conditioning repair technician in Sacramento will advise you accordingly.

HVAC Usage Patterns

The air filters in a home whose HVAC system operates 24/7 may need to be replaced more frequently when compared to the filters in a summer home which stays locked up for most of the year. Greater HVAC system use exposes the filters to more contaminants. With greater use comes shorter replacement intervals, such as once each month as opposed to twice a year for the summer home.

Number of Home Occupants

Sacramento heating and air conditioning companies also consider the number of people in your home when recommending how often the air filters should be replaced. The more the occupants, the more dust and other contaminants will be stirred. Homes with three occupants will have a longer filter change interval than homes with ten occupants, for example. This is assuming that the two homes in question are of approximately the same size.

The Presence of Pets

People who have pets in their homes have to change the air filters more often than are the filters in homes without pets. This is because the pet dander can clog the filters quickly, thereby necessitating frequent filter replacements. It follows that the more pets you have, the sooner you will have to change the air filters in your home.

The Health Status of Home Occupants

Homes which have people that suffer from asthma or allergies require more frequent air filter changes when compared to homes whose occupants don’t suffer from these health challenges. Any delay to change the filters when they are dirty will expose the sensitive people to contaminants which can trigger flare ups in their condition. Air conditioner replacement professionals in Sacramento can advise you to switch to a different kind of filter in case the asthma or allergy attacks aren’t addressed by the filter replacements you have been using.

The Type of Filter Installed

It is a known fact that not all AC filters are of the same quality. For example, a manufacturer of one type of filter will recommend that you change out that filter every month while a manufacturer of another type of filter (whose quality is better) will recommend that you replace the filter after three or four months of use. So, it is necessary for you to keep the manufacturer-recommended change interval in mind when planning how often you should replace the air filters.

The Location of Your Home

The location of your home can make it necessary to change the air filters more frequently or less frequently. For instance, a home in a busy metropolitan center will be exposed to more contaminants (car exhaust fumes, for example). The air filters in such a home will need to be changed frequently to maintain acceptable indoor air quality. In contrast, a home located away from industrial or commercial locales may be exposed to less dust and other pollutants. Such a home will require less frequent air filter changes.

As you can see, the right air filter replacement schedule can only be developed once all the factors above are kept in mind. Work with a professional from Fox Family Heating and Air to develop an appropriate air filter replacement schedule for your home so that you don’t take too long or replace those filters too soon. You can also inspect the filters each month and notice when light no longer penetrates through the filter media. That will signal that you should change the filter since it will be dirty/clogged.[/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]