ENERGY SAVING SUMMER TIPS

While we are more than halfway through the summer season, don’t expect temperatures to go down anytime soon.   Summer continues to bring high energy bills to most families and homes due to the heavy use and reliance of Air Conditioning.  However, there are options for cutting down those energy bills!  Here are some tips to help you save money.

Tip #1: Consider signing up for a utility rewards program.  Some rewards programs offer cash back.  Other programs give coupons and reward points based on a comparison of energy amount (in BTU’s) used the previous year, in comparison to energy amount used currently.  Some of the programs give cash back for the authorization of cycling off your air conditioner for short amounts of time during peak-demand hours/days.

Tip #2:  Consider purchasing a new programmable thermostat.  According to Energy Star, new models can save up to $180 a year on energy, provided that they are set to warmer temperatures when nobody is home or even while everyone is asleep.  Additionally, there are now models on the market that allow you to control the home thermostat temperature from your smartphone!  These models can also be set up to turn on based on your smartphones location, in other words when you’re heading home.  It is truly amazing what today’s technology can allow us to do.  One trade-off for purchasing a new programmable thermostat, however, is that most of them are $200 and up, therefore pushing any money saved on energy to the next or following years.

Tip #3: Consider servicing your A/C.  If your unit is a split system and the condenser is outside, then it can accumulate leaves and other debris.  This can block proper airflow and cause the unit to have to work harder than it should.   Also, dust and dirt can build up in your house and collect heavily on the air filters.  Make sure to change your filters once every three months.  Making sure both these areas are properly maintained will guarantee the unit is always running at its highest efficiency, and help keep costs at a minimum.

Tip #4: Consider upgrading your unit.  If your air conditioner is old, it is most likely inefficient.  By replacing your old air conditioner with a new Energy Star rated one, you will have a more efficient unit, which can cut energy bills by up to 30%.  On the other spectrum, a unit that is too powerful for the size of the area it needs to cool/heat, wastes a lot of energy.  Make sure you always do your research and purchase a unit that is the right size and efficiency for your home.

Tip #5: Consider insulating your home.  If your home has air leaks around the windows, door frames, attic, etc., then your air condition unit will be inefficient because it continually has to be run.  You can fix air leaks by purchasing some caulk or weather-stripping.  You can expect a/c energy saving by up at 20% if your home is properly insulated.

Tip #6: Consider running appliances such as ovens, dryers, and dish washing machines at certain times of the day.  To keep heat out of the house, especially during the day, try to run appliances only in the early morning or evening.  This will keep the house cooler during the day, meaning you will be slightly less inclined to turn the A/C on.  Additionally, running your appliances at these times usually saves money on water and power because energy rates during these times of the day tend to be lower.

Tip #7: Consider using a small fan.  Using a small fan, can allow you to set your air conditioners thermostat, two degrees lower.  The air from a fan can cool you down, however, it does not actually cool down your living space.  If you plan on leaving the room the fan is in or even leaving the house, don’t leave the fan on because it does not lower the temperature, instead, turn the fan off to save energy.  Using a small fan and relying a bit less on your air conditioner can save you up to 14% on your energy bill.

If you need service, please call Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. today at 818-340-3644 or schedule now online.

Ductless, Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Ductless, mini-split-system heat pumps (mini splits) make good retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems. They can also be a good choice for room additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible, and very efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system. Be sure to choose an ENERGY STAR® compliant unit and hire an installer familiar with the product and its installation.

Like standard air-source heat pumps, mini splits have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.

This allows zone heating and/or cooling to conserve energy. For example, say you are in the master bedroom and rather than cool (or heat) the entire house, you can save time and energy by doing so only to that specific room. Other examples, for instance, are different rooms can be set to different temperatures. Also, certain units can detect movement so upon entering the room or zone, the unit will automatically start to operate and when the zone is vacant, will shut off.

Best of all, these units produce practically no noise since there is no central blower unit needed to push cold or hot air through the house which usually results in the noise being amplified since the ducts are made from aluminum. The condensing unit itself is also small in size considerably when compared to a traditional unit.

Call us at Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. and one of our certified technicians/experts can help you with the sale & installation of a ductless mini split system!  (818) 340 – 3644.

Refrigeration Leak Detection

Are You Paying for Refrigerant More Often Than You Should?

Is it that time of year to have your machines refrigerant refilled? Did you know that it is actually a common misconception that you need to regularly have your refrigerant refilled? Should your air conditioner become low on refrigerant you are encountering one of two problems. Either (1) your refrigerant was undercharged to begin with at installation, or (2) you have a leak. If the problem is leakage, then adding refrigerant is NOT a solution. To fix a refrigerant leak, call a trained technician to perform service to fix the leak, test the repair, and then charge the system with the correct amount of refrigerant. If properly installed, refrigerant should be able to last many years circulating throughout the machine.

Refrigerant leaks are both harmful to your health and the environment

As you may be aware by now, all pressurized HVACR systems can eventually leak refrigerant. A tight system, with minimal leakage that doesn’t affect system performance, may not pose a problem; however, a more serious leak will do so and can occur at any time. This is why refrigerant leak detection can sometimes be a service technician’s nightmare.

However, fortunately there are various methods of leak detection that can determine the site(s) of the leak. Furthermore, not just one method fits every situation and the technician must determine and make a decision as to which method(s) will be used.

First, when verifying a refrigerant charge, any system appearing low should be immediately suspected of leakage because as we mentioned, the system is air tight and any drop in refrigerant level should indicate the possibility of a leak.

The following are several methods most commonly used by today’s service technicians….

Isolation Method: Used when areas of the system or tubing can’t be accessed. This requires breaking open the refrigerant piping system, then resealing it and pressure-testing it for leakage.

Bubbling Liquid Solutions: The liquid solution can be applied by spray, dabber, brush, or immersion. This will determine specific leakage points in the system so that a technician can proceed with repairs.

Dye Injection Method: Dye is injected into the refrigerant-charged system. It will seep out of system cracks, and is then usually detectable.

Ultra-sonic Devices: This is used to listen for leaks. The leak noises will be amplified and give specific area to the location of the leak.

Electronic Leak Detector: Similar to the ultrasonic, this will emit a beeping sound the closer it gets to a leak as a metal detector does when detecting metal.

These mentioned methods along with others may be necessary to conduct a thorough system diagnosis and top off the system.

In closing, here at Airplus Refrigeration, we care about the health of you and your loved ones, as well as your happiness with properly running refrigeration and air conditioning units.

Problems:

1. Refrigerant was undercharged at installation

2. Your refrigerant is leaking

Solution:
Call our expert trained technicians at Airplus Refrigeration Inc. (818)-340-3644

Is Your Air Conditioning a Hazard to You and Your Family’s Well Being?

With spring surrounding us in full bloom, and summer just around the corner, chances are, you’re running your air conditioning in order to escape the heat. While everybody loves cold air during times of extreme heat, rarely do people know and understand some of the negative effects running the air conditioner can have. When air conditioners are run, over time, condensation collects on the cooling coils and drain pans.

This condensation allows for the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms and mold. These organisms are spewed throughout your home when the air conditioner is run, which can have serious negative health effects on you and your family. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) central air condition units can “spread indoor pollutants such as bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, pollen, and animal dander.” People who already suffer from asthma or other respiratory ailments may get shortness of breath, wheezing, or contract deadly lung infections. Even healthy individuals can be affected in ways such as coughing and wheezing!

You shouldn’t have to worry about you and your family’s health every time you turn on your central air conditioning unit. What can you do to remedy these negative health effects? According to Harvard’s Department of Environmental Health, inadequately maintained air conditioning systems are directly correlated with higher percentage of health symptoms.
Scheduling to have your air conditioning unit regularly inspected and cleaned will allow you to avoid this hazard. Here at Airplus Refrigeration, we care about the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones. We know how important your health is and by scheduling a checkup with us, we can ensure that you will receive the highest quality of service and clean air. What are you waiting for? Don‘t sacrifice you and your family’s health…SCHEDULE NOW or call Airplus Refrigeration today at (818)-340-3644 or visit our website at www.airplusrefrigeration.com

MCDONALD’S: HVAC & Refrigeration Contract awarded to Airplus Refrigeration

Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. has just been awarded a major HVACR maintenance contract by McDonald’s to service 59 McDonald’s restaurant locations throughout Southern California.

Under the new agreement, Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. will undertake scheduled and emergency maintenance and repair of restaurant kitchen equipment, including refrigeration and HVAC systems, walk-ins and reach-ins, ice machines and ventilation equipment.

“We have been working for the past 10 years, with Adam Young – Installation Service Coordinator with Franke Foodservice Systems, Inc, installing refrigeration equipment at McDonald’s” locations said Nicholas Zastoke, Vice President of Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. “We’re thrilled to have earned the ability by the quality of work we have provided over the past decade with Franke Foodservice Systems & McDonald’s Corporation to service these additional McDonald’s locations.”

Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. has worked extremely hard to build a team of experienced professional service technicians that service both HVAC and Refrigeration service needs. “We thank McDonald’s Corporation for their confidence in our firm.”

For more information, visit www.airplusrefrigeration.com.

What is going on with R-22 Freon?

Everyone has seen drastic increases in the price of R-22 (Freon) over the past few years. The EPA has set more restrictions on the Freon recently, so price per jug has practically tripled in price the last few years with more increases to come.  On January 7, 2013, according to DuPont Refrigerants the EPA issues a “No Action Assurance” letter reducing virgin R-22 production and important allowances an additional 16 million pounds, a 29% decrease compared to 2012.  In total, over 71 million pounds of R-22 have been removed from the marketplace since 2010. This is sounding crazy…

 

What does this mean to the end user and consumer?  Well it’s imperative to know what type of refrigerant is used to heat and cool down your residence.  The demand for R-22 refrigerant has sky-rocketed and if you indeed have an R-22 HVAC system then you could find a hard time finding someone to repair your system this summer and if you do find someone, it will be very EXPENSIVE $$$.

The team at Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. is not trying to scare you, but rather educate you on making an informed decision.  This may be the year to upgrade your system and get a away from the old and expensive refrigerant and into a system that is more environmental green and safe while running more efficiently at the same time.  If your system is still using R-22 you might want to upgrade before major problems arise. Call Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. today at 818-340-3644.

Please schedule a visit online by clicking SCHEDULE NOW!!

New True Manufacturing Warranty

As of January 1, 2013 True Mfg. has revised their warranty policy – (3) years parts & labor and (5) years compressor. This ONLY applies to units that were purchased on or after January 1, 2013. To view the complete details please visit the site here

True Manufacturing – YouTube Channel

Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. is a factory authorized service provider for most leading refrigeration manufacturers, offering a complete line of repair, installation & maintenance services. With a fleet of GPS tracked vehicles and factory trained service technicians, we provide the highest caliber of service in our industry. Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. is always ready to respond as needed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With our radio, cell phone and e-mail dispatch capabilities, Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. provides customer with rapid response if emergency service is ever needed. While many refrigeration service companies consider factory warranty service a headache, at Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. we see it as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to total client satisfaction and to forge new business relationship with customers, who will appreciate our commitment to quality and value. Contact us to set an appointment for your True Mfg. unit(s) at 818-340-3644, of schedule an appointment online now for ALL warranty and non-warranty related services. SCHEDULE NOW.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. has just been awarded a major HVACR maintenance contract by Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar to service 5 Fleming’s restaurant locations throughout Southern California.

Under the new agreement, Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. will undertake scheduled and emergency maintenance and repair of restaurant kitchen equipment, including refrigeration and HVAC systems, walk-ins and reach-ins, ice machines and ventilation equipment.

“We have been working for the past 7 years, with Jeffrey Harrelson -Managing Partner of Fleming’s in Woodland Hills, California,” said Nicholas Zastoke, Vice President of Airplus Refrigeration, Inc.  “We’re thrilled to have earned the ability to service these additional Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar locations.”

Airplus Refrigeration, Inc. has worked extremely hard to build a team of experienced professional service technicians that service both HVAC and Refrigeration service needs. “We thank Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for their confidence in our firm.”

For more information, visit www.airplusrefrigeration.com.

HVAC Systems and Mold

 

A variety of factors can contribute to the growth of mold in institutional and commercial facilities, but one all-too-common culprit is HVAC equipment. The HVAC system, including piping and drain pans, can be sources of mold growth and a transportation mode for dispersing mold spores throughout a building. Mold thrives wherever there is moisture and HVAC systems provide an ideal breeding ground in which mold can grow. Mold spores and their food source are introduced to air handlers via warm humid air. There, in a continuously damp environment the mold can freely grow. Routine cleaning and Maintenance of HVAC Systems is the #1 recommended course of action to fight against mold.

When Mold Poses a Problem

Indoor molds typically are considered a problem when they are visible or when they are amplified or vary in species compared to outside air. Molds generally need water, a food source and the right temperature range to grow.

Indoor environments contain a host of food sources, including drywall, carpeting, cardboard, paper, fabrics, wood and building furnishings. In addition, indoor environments are designed to maintain relative temperatures that are conducive to mold growth.

The best bet for controlling mold is to control, reduce or eliminate indoor moisture. Active fungal growth can cause building occupants discomfort and irritation, and it can increase the risk of respiratory illness.

Fungicides, biocides, and cleaners can kill mold, however, it might not remove the problems. Leaving non-viable mold spores in indoor environments, especially in the HVAC system, might end up complicating indoor air quality (IAQ) complaints.

HVAC systems have a significant impact on condensation, a source of moisture for mold. The system can also transport mold spores between areas of a building. Poor design, operation and maintenance of the system also can provide moisture to support mold growth, and the system can provide a viable transportation mode for mold spores throughout a building.

  • minimizing dust and dirt build-up, especially during construction or renovation work
  • promptly repairing leaks and water damage
  • keeping key system components dry
  • cleaning coils and drip pans
  • performing proper filter maintenance
  • performing proper housekeeping in occupied spaces.

Return-air plenum. Technicians must vigorously maintain all exhaust systems passing through the plenum to prevent leaks and prevent exhaust from being released into the plenum. Technicians also should check for condensation on pipes in plenum areas.

Cooling towers. Periodically monitoring water quality and chemical treatment to prevent microbial growth is essential for proper IAQ. Physical cleaning to prevent sediment accumulation and installation of drift eliminators also might be necessary.

Air intakes. HVAC technicians should pay attention to areas where outdoor air enters the HVAC system. They also should investigate accumulations of organic material in or near HVAC air intakes. Areas near Dump-sters, garbage cans, boxes, paper, standing rain water, pond, lagoons, freshly disturbed earth and vegetation can contribute to elevated indoor measurements of airborne fungal spores.

These materials include bird or bat droppings, which support the growth of pathogenic fungi and plant material that generally supports fungal growth. Exposure to pigeon droppings on window sills or air conditioning units in urban office buildings has been linked to fungal contamination.

If you’re experiencing a problem with mold, please call FUN GUY INSPECTION LLC. for a consultation

For any HVAC issues, please call AIRPLUS REFRIGERATION INC. today at (818) 340-3644 or schedule an appointment online by clicking here.

Key components to check in an HVAC system installation:

Coils and drain pans. Cooling coils dehumidify air and cause condensate water to drip into a drain pan and exit via a deep seal trap. Standing water accumulates if the drain pan is not properly designed and maintained, creating a microbial habitat. Proper sloping and frequent cleaning of drain pans is essential for healthy IAQ.

Humidification and dehumidification equipment. Technicians should drain and periodically treat wet surfaces as necessary to prevent microbial growth, and they should not allow duct linings to become moist from water spray.

Outdoor air dampers. Dust and debris that can support mold growth can obstruct screens and grilles. Cleaning these surfaces regularly can remove dust build-up.

Air filters. Technicians should replace filters regularly, either on the basis of pressure drop across the filter or on a scheduled basis. Technicians also should shut off fans when changing the filter to prevent contamination of the air. Filters should fit tightly in the filter housing.

Ducts. A small amount of dust on duct surfaces is normal. Parts of the duct most susceptible to contamination include areas with restricted airflow, duct lining and areas subject to moisture or condensation. Technicians should identify and remediate excessively wet areas, including the system’s chronically damp internal lining. Technicians can prevent problems with biological pollutants in the duct work by:

Carbon Monoxide Prevention

Now that fall has arrived and winter is gradually setting in, you, like many other households across Southern California are cranking up the thermostat and turning on your furnaces. But did you know that before you do, you should check to ensure that your furnace is operating properly and efficiently?

One of your biggest concerns should be carbon monoxide. Here are some quick facts of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Hundreds of Americans die every year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Carbon monoxide in the home can come from many sources. (e.g. furnace)
  • If you experience CO poisoning symptoms, get fresh air immediately.
  • Prevention is the key to protecting you and your family.
  • Make sure your CO alarm meets the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or International Approval Service (IAS).

What is carbon monoxide?

You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide (CO), but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. It is the leading cause of poisoning death, with over 500 victims in the United States each year.

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. The amount of CO produced depends mainly on the quality or efficiency of combustion. A properly functioning burner, whether natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), has efficient combustion and produces little CO. However, an out-of-adjustment burner can produce life-threatening amounts of CO without any visible warning signs.

When appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced usually is not hazardous. But if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can collect in an enclosed space. Hundreds of Americans die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Many more people are harmed to some degree each year.

What are the symptoms and how will I know if I’ve been affected?

The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu but without the fever. They include headache, fatigue, and shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, disorientation, and loss of consciousness.

In more technical terms, CO bonds tightly to the hemoglobin in red blood cells, preventing them from carrying oxygen throughout the body. If you have any of these symptoms and if you feel better when you go outside your home and the symptoms reappear when you go back inside, you may have CO poisoning.

If you experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances, and leave the house. Go to an emergency room and tell the physician you suspect CO poisoning.

Because CO is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that is quickly absorbed by the body and the symptoms often resemble other illnesses, it is often known as the “silent killer.”

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

At the beginning of every heating season, have a trained professional check all your fuel-burning appliances: oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. Make certain that the flues and chimneys are connected, in good condition and not blocked.

Whenever possible, choose appliances that vent fumes to the outside. Have them properly installed, and maintain them according to manufacturers’ instructions. Read and follow all instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device. If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or kerosene space heater, carefully follow the cautions that come with the device. Use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open. Crack a window to ensure enough air for ventilation and proper fuel burning.

These problems could indicate improper appliance operation:

  • Decreasing hot water supply.
  • Furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly.
  • Sooting, especially on appliances and vents.
  • Unfamiliar or burning odor.
  • Increased condensation inside windows.

For any heating service needs in the Southern California area, give Airplus Refrigeration a call today at 818.340.3644!