How Long Can I Wait to Have My HVAC System Repaired?

Keep Your AC Running the Rest of the Summer

Today on the VLOG (Video Blog) I talk about what happens when you make quick-fix or band-aid repairs on your HVAC system.  If your system is operational but you know it needs a repair but you just don’t want to spend the cash, what can you do?

something else to consider, if your furnace or home air conditioner is more than 8-10 years old, and you are not having regular maintenance performed on it once or twice a year, you could be in for multiple repairs in the years to come. I share the details of what is under warranty and what is not.

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Top 5 Things You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running the Rest of the Summer

Keep Your AC Running the Rest of the Summer

Keep your AC in Good Shape for our “Second Summer” in Sacramento

Can you believe it still gets up to 100 degrees around Labor Day?  I guess we could say we typically have a bit of a “second summer.”  I think it safe to point out we will typically still be using our air conditioners for at least another month.  As we head into September, I’d like to point out a few things you can do to make sure your AC system keeps running the rest of the summer and through the end of another year.

  1. Get Any Remaining Repairs Done

If you had us out this year to diagnose a problem or got an AC tune-up, we may have repaired the immediate cause of the failure.  I’m sure we made some other recommendations for your system that will not only make your system last longer but make things more secure for your home.  These add-ons, like a condensate safety switch or a compressor start assist kit can really help out your AC and keep it running the rest of the summer.  Also, if there were any items that were running low, maybe now is a good time to get that fixed.  You really want a well-performing system heading into next summer.

  1. Don’t Cover the AC Too Soon

Some of our customers like to cover their AC for the fall and winter so no debris falls into the bottom or snags on the fan blade.  This is a great idea, but just make sure you’re not going to use your AC anymore this year before doing so.  You can cause an overheating compressor, which is the most expensive thing to replace on your system.

  1. Change Your Filter One More Time

I know I say this a lot, but changing your filter is the single most important thing you can do as a homeowner to protect your system and extend the life of it.  I always recommend buying the cheapest filters, so you are more inclined to change them out more often.  Remember, if your filter is not perfectly white anymore, it’s time to change your filter.  That’s the air you’re breathing, and I know you wouldn’t purposely hold a dirty air mask to your face and breathe through it.  So, change those filters!

  1. To Keep Your AC Running, Keep the Coils Clean on the Outdoor Unit

Washing the coils on the outside unit is relatively straightforward, assuming the fins on the outdoor coils aren’t completely impacted or overgrown with pollen and dirt.  You should be able to simply use your garden hose to spray downward from the top of the fins towards the ground.  This rinses you fins off so they have more surface area to transfer heat.  You really just don’t want to use something like a power washer.  A little pressure is fine but if you start bending the fins, you’re going about it with a little too much strength.  Watch my video about “What happens on an AC Tune-up” to see me clean my old AC’s condenser coils.

  1. Make Sure Condensation is Dripping on the Side of the House

Last but not least, there is a 3/4 inch drain probably on the side of your house that drips water from it every summer when your AC is running.  This is a good thing, and even this late in the year you want to make sure it’s still draining properly.  If not, there might be a clog within the AC drainage system that needs to be taken care of.  High-pressure air or a vacuum cleaner on the pipe can free up the clog.  Whether you take care of it or you let Fox Family come out and take care of it, this is one thing you don’t want to neglect.  Water damage is no fun!

Take this advice as we deal with this late summer heat.  I’m sure you’re going to be using your AC a little more this year.  Its really important to take care of your AC, so it will take care of you when you need it.

If you haven’t already had your AC tune-up this year from Fox Family, let us come out and do a thorough check of your AC system and get it cleaned up so next year you don’t have any surprises sneak up on you.

Thanks so much for stopping by and we’ll see you at the next blog post.

Don’t Miss Our Video on a Related Topic:

What Happens on a Fox AC Tune-Up?

After Mild Start to Summer, 100 Degree Temps Linger in Sacramento

100-degree days linger in Sacramento

Week long stretches of high temps continue

This summer has been almost as screwy as this past winter.  Mark Finan on KCRA News says we usually have about 22 days above 100 degrees every year.  Sacramentans are used to the high temps and don’t normally panic until it hits the 90’s.  While 100 degree temps linger in Sacramento, this is when the service calls ramp up for HVAC companies in this area.  This summer started out with some cooler temperatures in June and is surprising us later in August with some week long stretches of 100-degree temps that we usually experience in July.

The hottest month of the year is typically July, without a doubt.  June, which usually heats up, only had 13 days total over 90 degrees while July had 19 days total over 90 degrees.  But this year we only had two days over 100 degrees in July and only four in June.  This was really surprising for us at Fox Family because we are typically running our vans all over town, running AC service calls and trying to get folks cool again.

A Break from high temps

Don’t get me wrong.  We were running all over town, but usually it’s so slammed we can’t get to everyone.  People end up calling around until they find a company that can come out the same day.  We still had a little bit of that, but not to the extent we usually experience.  The weather this summer was letting us catch up after a brief heatwave so we could be ready for the next wave of calls.  A welcome experience for sure!

While we usually average low 90’s to mid-’80s by now, this August has just been progressively warming up.  We started with some low 90’s but it just kept getting warmer and warmer.  As we enter the last week of August, we have nothing but high 90’s and 100-degree temps in the 10-day forecast.

Stretches of High Temps linger

If most people’s AC’s were going to break this year, it usually happens in that Late May-June-July madness.  With 100 degree temps lingering, I imagine several systems will break down towards the end of August.  These long stretches of high temps really take a toll on AC systems.  It’s those long stretches where systems that are running and running and running all day long start wearing out.  Condenser fan motors and compressors that are starting and stopping repetitively weaken as the stretches linger on.

Looking Ahead

I’m really wondering what September and October will bring.  Those months are usually ones where service calls and system replacement estimates are few and far between.  I imagine it will follow that trend but, wow what a late summer it turned out to be!  I expect the calls that we do get during those months will be for whole house fans which are great for bringing in the outside air on the cool days.  This cools off the walls, floors and ceilings so the house doesn’t heat up so easily as it does on the hot summer days.  See our videos on whole house fans below.

What’s Your Plan for 100 degree days?

While 100 degree temps linger in Sacramento, how are you staying cool during these late months of summer?  Hopefully your system is nice and cool with a perfectly functioning AC system.  I know we are going camping for the weekend up in the higher elevations of the El Dorado National Forest.  Snow melting off the peaks of the mountains are literally draining right into the reservoirs down below which makes for some seriously icy waters to go take a swim in.  Sounds like a perfect way to cool off!

Let me know in the comments below how you are beating the heat this summer.

Thanks so much for stopping by and we’ll see you on the next blog topic!

Don’t Miss Our Videos on These Related Topics:

How to Install a Whole House Fan

Quiet Cool Whole House Fans vs Traditional Style House Fans



Why Attic Insulation is Important in Your Sacramento Home

Why Attic Insulation is Important in Your Sacramento Home

You may not need to look further than your attic in case you suspect that your home is no longer as energy-efficient as you want it to be. The insulation of your attic may have deteriorated. This article discusses some of the compelling reasons why you should have the attic of your Sacramento home insulated this summer.

Keeping Cool Air In

Warm air has a tendency to rise or flow to places that are cooler. In this case, the warm air outside your home will try to find its way inside through the attic and other gaps in the exterior envelop of your house.
Such heated air will end up displacing the cool air within the home if the attic isn’t properly insulated to prevent such air movements.

Proper insulation serves the role of blocking heated air from outside from getting in. Consequently, your Sacramento home will stay cool during the summer heat.

Keeping Interior Temperatures Stable

Another key reason why you should insulate the attic of your Sacramento home is the effect of such insulation upon the regulation of the temperature inside the home. Homes with poor attic insulation are likely to have hot and cold spots due to the leakage of conditioned air through the attic.

The cool air provided by your air conditioning system can keep escaping to the attic as warm air from outside gets in. This entry of warm air ends up causing the affected sections of the home to have fluctuating temperatures even if the AC is working as it should. Adequate insulation in the attic averts such temperature differences.

Reduced Energy Bills

As you may have already noticed, proper attic insulation has a beneficial impact upon the energy needed to keep your Sacramento home cool during the summer. This benefit comes about because less energy will be lost in trying to make up for the conditioned air which has escaped through the attic. The air conditioning system will, therefore, find it easier to maintain the temperature which you have set for the home.

HVAC System Longevity

The lifespan of your Sacramento HVAC system will also benefit from attic insulation. This is because the unit will not run for extended durations in a vain attempt to keep the home within the temperature range that you have selected.
The shorter run times (and longer intervals before the system cycles on again) will cause less wear and tear. Expensive repairs come when different components of your air conditioning system are overworked. Consequently, the system components will last longer than the AC components in another home whose attic isn’t properly insulated in the summer.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Many homeowners in Sacramento complain of unpleasant odors within the home. People who suffer from allergies may also experience frequent flare-ups in homes where the attic isn’t adequately insulated. Such problems may arise because condensation or moisture may accumulate within the attic due to the frequent temperature variations that take place at different times of the day or year. That moisture promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and rot.

The filters of your AC system may also end up getting clogged quickly due to the heavy load of pollutants which must be removed as the air is recirculated within the home. Attic insulation can go a long way towards preventing mold and other pollutants from compromising the air that you breathe inside the home.

Attic insulation is available in different forms, such as foam insulation and batt rolls. Talk to an HVAC repair professional in Sacramento so that he or she can help you to select the most appropriate attic insulation in order to make your HVAC system more energy-efficient.