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Beat the Heat: Proactive AC Maintenance Strategies For The Summer

TL;DR: With summer approaching, it’s crucial to ensure your AC system is well-maintained to beat the heat efficiently. Regular maintenance enhances efficiency, reduces energy costs, and prevents major breakdowns, improving air quality and extending your AC’s lifespan. Look out for signs like reduced performance, strange noises, or increased energy consumption. Proactive maintenance includes tasks like cleaning filters, coils, and condensate drains, as well as scheduling professional inspections. 


With summer on the horizon, temperatures are going to start to reach that point where we all turn to our ACs for comfort. Given the heavy use of your air conditioning (AC) system in the summer heat, you need to make sure that it’s in optimal operating condition. 

Proactive AC care is the key to beating the heat and avoiding potential breakdowns during the hottest months of the year. By taking the time to give your AC system the attention it needs, you not only guarantee your comfort but also reduce energy costs. 

Are you ready to beat the heat with our proactive maintenance strategies

Today, we’ll walk you through the benefits of proactive AC maintenance and how to recognize the signs that your AC needs attention. So, let’s dive right in!

What You Gain From Proactive AC Maintenance

There are many benefits to performing regular maintenance on your AC system. It enhances the efficiency of your unit, enabling it to effectively cool off your home. Having your AC operate with increased efficiency translates into lower energy bills which means bigger financial savings. 

By keeping your AC system in peak condition, you can also prevent major breakdowns that would require costly repairs or even a premature replacement of the unit. Proactive AC care improves the air quality in your home as long as you keep your filters, coils, and ducts clean. 

Also, by removing dust, allergens, and other air pollutants, your air conditioning system creates a healthy living environment for every household member. And lastly, regular maintenance will help your AC system last longer, extending its lifespan by years and minimizing your environmental impact.

Signs That Your AC Needs Maintenance

It’s vital to know and be able to recognize the signs that suggest your AC system requires maintenance. Let’s go over the most common ones:

Reduced Performance.

If you notice that the cooling performance of your AC is diminishing, it’s a telltale sign that it needs attention. The usual reasons your AC might be having difficulties cooling your household include dirty filters, clogged coils, or a malfunctioning thermostat.

Unusual Noises or Odors 

If you notice strange noises or foul odors emanating from your AC, this is a major red flag. Grinding, rattling, or squealing sounds often mean that there’s a mechanical issue that you need to address. Foul odors could indicate the presence of mold or mildew growth on the inside, ending up affecting your indoor air quality and potentially causing health risks.

Increased Energy Consumption

Another sign of AC trouble to watch out for is an increase in energy consumption. If your energy bills have been steadily rising without any changes in usage, it may indicate that your AC is struggling and is in need of regular maintenance.

Proactive AC Maintenance Strategies for Beating the Heat

To beat the heat this summer and keep your AC system running smoothly, it’s essential to implement proactive maintenance strategies. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Clean and Replace Filters. Clean or replace your AC filters every month to improve airflow and the overall quality of the indoor air. A clogged filter affects the cooling and can put a significant strain on your system, leading to potential breakdowns.
  • Check and Clean Coils. Regularly inspecting and cleaning your AC coils is vital to removing mechanical obstacles that hinder heat transfer, such as dust or debris. Clean coils enhance cooling efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
  • Lubricate AC Fan Motors and Belts. Properly lubricate AC fan motors and belts to reduce the associated friction and protect the system from excessive wear. This maintenance task can significantly increase how long your AC lasts and how it performs.
  • Test and Adjusting Thermostat Settings. Remember to constantly check and calibrate your thermostat so that you receive precise and accurate temperature readings, which help you set up optimal cooling performance. Energy savings are one of the great benefits of a properly set thermostat, but so is a comfortable indoor environment.
  • Checking and Cleaning AC Condensate Drain. The AC condensate drains tend to get blocked over time, so draining helps prevent clogs and water leakage. A blocked drain can lead to water damage and mold growth, compromising both your AC system and indoor air quality.
  • Clearing Debris Around the Outdoor Unit. Make sure to regularly clear up branches, leaves, and other debris that might gather on the outdoor unit. This allows for proper airflow and helps prevent potential issues and subsequent damage to the unit.
  • Scheduling Regular AC Maintenance Appointments. Last but not least, make sure you schedule regular maintenance appointments with a professional AC maintenance service. They’ll perform comprehensive inspections, identify potential issues, and carry out necessary repairs or adjustments.

Hiring a Professional AC Technician for Maintenance

Whether your AC is in a state requiring maintenance, you should turn to professional services for comprehensive AC care. Qualified AC technicians have the necessary expertise and detailed knowledge to asses your system and pinpoint potential issues that you might not be able to notice yourself.

Professional AC maintenance services also have the necessary tools and equipment to identify issues, reach inaccessible areas of your AC, and perform any necessary repairs. Experts can perform tasks such as inspecting electrical connections, checking refrigerant levels, testing thermostat accuracy, and cleaning condensate drains.

By hiring a professional AC technician for regular maintenance, you can rest easy while they address any issues immediately, prolonging the life of your AC system and tuning it up for the hard work it is facing in the summer heat.

DIY AC Maintenance Tips

Most AC maintenance and repair tasks should be left to the professionals. However, there are several things you can do on your own to help improve the AC system’s performance.  

One of the easiest things you can do on your own is to regularly clean your filters, or maybe replace them. Dirty filters restrict airflow, reducing the efficiency of your system. A good rule of thumb is to clean them monthly and replace them at least once during the what season to ensure proper airflow and cleaner indoor air.

Cleaning your AC system’s coils is another vital maintenance tip you can do by yourself. With regular use, these coils accumulate debris and dirt particles that can get in the way of heat transfer and reduce the cooling capacity of your AC. You only need a soft brush to clean the coils gently, or alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner. 

Additionally, lubricating AC fan motors and belts can reduce the risk of your AC breaking down by way of preventing wear and tear. Ensure you use the appropriate lubricant recommended by your AC manufacturer to avoid any damage.


In conclusion, proactive AC care is essential for beating the summer heat and creating a comfortable, cool environment in your home. By understanding the importance of regular maintenance, recognizing signs that your AC system needs attention, implementing easy DIY tips, and seeking professional assistance, you can ensure optimal performance and prolong the lifespan of your AC unit. 

With proactive AC care, you can stay cool, save on energy costs, and enjoy the summer months to the fullest. So, if you’d like to be prepared to beat the heat this summer, Sempre Fi Heating & Cooling has proactive maintenance strategies to cater to your needs. 


Contact us to schedule a tune-up and enjoy a cool and carefree summer! 


The ROI of HVAC Maintenance: How It Adds Value to Your Property

TL;DR: Installing a new HVAC system can cost between $5,000 to $12,000, but it’s a valuable investment for homeowners. Regular maintenance, costing $75 to $200, offers significant returns in energy efficiency and property value. Energy-efficient systems with modern features like smart thermostats attract buyers and fetch higher prices. Compliance with regulations and green certifications adds to desirability. Keeping professional maintenance records and following practical tips maximize HVAC value. Regular check-ups, filter replacements, cleaning, and choosing upgrades tailored to your needs ensure optimal performance and longevity. Overall, investing in HVAC maintenance is crucial for preserving property value and ensuring comfort.


Installing a new HVAC system can be a significant investment and cost homeowners anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000, depending on the system’s size and complexity. Unsurprisingly, most new home buyers see great value in properties equipped with a functioning HVAC system.

However, the condition of the HVAC system is closely tied to your property’s overall value. When the HVAC system runs perfectly, it saves energy costs and makes the property more attractive to potential buyers who recognize its value. So, let’s closely examine the ROI of HVAC maintenance, how it adds value to your property, and how to keep your system in perfect shape.

Calculating the ROI of HVAC Maintenance

If you are trying to understand the return on investment (ROI) of HVAC maintenance, start by considering your initial maintenance expenses. These include regular check-ups, part replacements, and repairs to avoid other issues. That will cost you around $75 to $200. That price tag might seem like a lot at first, but you must weigh it against the savings on buffer repairs.

Savings come in several forms, notably through energy efficiency. When your system is well-maintained, it can run on less energy, meaning lower utility bills. Similarly, regular maintenance includes replacing all worn-out parts and extending the unit’s life. 

If you have an HVAC system running without issues, that can help you increase the value of your property if you ever decide to sell. Properties that have systems with environmental certifications can fetch a higher price. This increase in market appeal contributes positively to your ROI, making the investment in maintenance even more worthwhile.

Increased Property Value Through Energy Efficiency

Real estate buyers are more aware of the long-term benefits and savings of having energy-efficient features in your home. As a result, properties with modern HVAC systems often attract the attention of energy-conscious buyers. A recent study found homes with energy-efficient features sell more often and at a higher price point. 

Modern HVAC systems operate more efficiently, using less energy to heat and cool the home, translating into significant savings over time. For your HVAC to be energy efficient, it must have at least a SEER 14 rating. Modern systems use the latest technology to maintain optimal temperatures and use minimal electricity compared to outdated HVAC units. That can reduce your property’s carbon footprint, which will likely appeal to potential buyers.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Recently, Mesa, Arizona, has had issues with air quality, so you must ensure the air you breathe indoors is better quality. You can upgrade the HVAC system with high-efficiency air filters or add air purifiers to reduce the presence of pollutants and allergens. 

These pollutants are not just outdoor intruders like pollen and dust. They include indoor particles such as pet dander, household chemicals, and mold spores. Not having them in the air can help you be more healthy. 

Having your HVAC not contribute to low air quality can make your property more appealing and increase its value. Prospective buyers or tenants often look for homes that promise a healthy living space, and if their new home already has an air-purifying system, that is one less expense they have to worry about.

The Appeal of Smart HVAC Technology

Prospective homebuyers are looking for homes that are not only move-in ready but also equipped with modern conveniences that make life easier. Smart thermostats and HVAC systems offer them total control over the home’s temperature directly from their smartphone or voice-activated devices. They can even teach the system their preferences, and it can automatically adjust the settings for maximum comfort. 

Beyond comfort, these systems are also more energy-efficient, translating into potential savings on utility bills. They usually come with detailed usage reports, helping homeowners understand their energy consumption and identify further opportunities for savings.

Regulatory Compliance and HVAC Systems

You might already be aware that various regulations and standards dictate how HVAC systems should operate within homes. These rules cover everything from installation and maintenance to efficiency and emissions. Ensuring your HVAC system complies with these standards prevents potential fines and makes your home more attractive to future buyers. It’s a straightforward equation: compliance equals desirability.

Green certifications, such as Energy Star or LEED, are benchmarks of efficiency and sustainability for HVAC systems. Such certifications prove that your HVAC system effectively heats or cools your home with less energy, significantly reducing your home’s overall carbon emissions. That is a main selling point in today’s market, where energy efficiency and environmental responsibility are increasingly important to buyers.

Professional Maintenance Records as Proof of Care

When you sell your home, potential buyers want assurance they’re making a wise investment. Keep your maintenance records as proof that you’ve cared for the HVAC system, following regulatory standards and best practices for system upkeep. These records can show potential buyers that the HVAC system is in excellent condition and won’t need expensive repairs or replacements shortly after purchase.

Practical Tips for Maximizing HVAC Value

Your HVAC system can add the most sales value to your property if you inspect and maintain it regularly. Maintaining your HVAC system won’t be burdensome if you stick to a servicing schedule. Some of the things you can regularly do are:

  • Replace HVAC system filters every three months, but possibly more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area.
  • Keep the area around your outdoor units clear of debris and foliage. That allows your system to breathe easier, improving efficiency and prolonging its life.
  • The indoor unit can collect dust and other particles that affect air quality and system performance. Ensure the coils and blower components are clean, which will help your system operate more effectively.
  • Dust and debris can accumulate in your ducts over time, blocking airflow and forcing your system to work harder, which, in turn, can lead to increased energy costs and reduced system lifespan. Duct cleaning is something you should entrust to a professional, but still do often.
  • Regular professional check-ups by HVAC specialists at least once a year can help catch any potential issues before they become big problems, saving you money in the long run.

Tips on Choosing HVAC Upgrades

Energy-efficient HVAC models can be a more significant initial investment but often pay for themselves through lower utility bills. Smart thermostats are another excellent upgrade, allowing homeowners to control the heating and cooling remotely and set more efficient schedules. When selecting these upgrades, consider your home’s size, climate, and specific needs to ensure you’re making the most cost-effective decision.

Invest In HVAC Maintenance in Mesa, Arizona

Regular HVAC maintenance is a sound investment in your property’s value and your wallet. An efficient system will reduce energy costs, make your unit more long-lasting, and ensure high-level air quality. That highlights the undeniable impact that proper care and maintenance have on the value of your property.

There are more benefits than drawbacks to regular HVAC maintenance. Once you decide to ensure proper care for your HVAC system, hire the HVAC experts Semper Fi Heating & Cooling in Mesa, Arizona. Our regular maintenance service can keep your system in perfect condition for years.

We can help you with all your heating, cooling, or air quality needs. Don’t let your investment go down the drain – call us today and get your HVAC back in shape!



How often should I schedule HVAC maintenance?

It’s recommended to schedule HVAC maintenance at least once a year to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling in Mesa, Arizona, offers professional maintenance services tailored to your system’s needs. Regular check-ups by our HVAC specialists can help detect and address any issues before they escalate, saving you money in the long run.

What are the benefits of upgrading to a smart thermostat?

Upgrading to a smart thermostat offers several benefits, including increased convenience, energy savings, and improved control over your HVAC system. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling provides expert guidance on choosing and installing smart thermostats that integrate seamlessly with your heating and cooling setup. With our help, you can enjoy enhanced comfort and efficiency in your home.

How can I improve indoor air quality in my home?

Improving indoor air quality is essential for a healthy living environment. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling offers solutions such as high-efficiency air filters and air purifiers to reduce pollutants and allergens in your home. Our HVAC experts can assess your indoor air quality needs and recommend the right products to ensure clean and fresh air throughout your property.

What sets Semper Fi Heating & Cooling apart from other HVAC companies?

Semper Fi Heating & Cooling stands out for our commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. With years of experience serving the Mesa, Arizona, area, we have built a reputation for delivering top-notch HVAC services at competitive prices. Our team of skilled technicians is dedicated to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, ensuring your comfort and peace of mind year-round.

Can you repair an AC compressor?

Understanding the main components of AC compressor failure, understanding the signs of a faulty AC compressor, knowing the importance of professional repairs of your homes AC compressor, and being aware of common AC compressor problems are necessary steps in keeping your AC unit in good condition and ensuring it functions at its peak.

Understanding The Main Components of AC Compressor Failure

AC compressors are one of the most important components of an air conditioning system. Without them, the system is unable to cool the air or remove humidity from it. However, like any other mechanical device, an AC compressor can fail. Understanding the main components of AC compressor failure can help diagnose and repair problems.

The first component of AC compressor failure is a malfunction in the compressor’s motor. The compressor’s motor uses electrical energy from the air conditioning system to power a piston, which compresses the system’s refrigerant. If this motor malfunctions, the compressor will not be able to compress the refrigerant and cooling will be impaired. Other common causes of motor malfunction include faulty wiring and burnt out bearings.

Another component of AC compressor failure is a problem in the compressor’s impeller. The impeller is a wheel-like part that helps assist in moving the refrigerant throughout the system by forcing it into a rotary motion. If this part becomes clogged or breaks, the circulation of the refrigerant will be impaired and the compressor will not be able to do its job properly.

The final component of AC compressor failure is a leakage in the system. This leakage can cause a decrease in pressure in the system, leading to a decrease in the amount of cooling available. Leaking hoses or valves are common causes of this type of AC compressor failure. This type of failure can also be caused by a faulty liquid receiver or a broken seal in the system.

In order to properly diagnose and repair an AC compressor system, it is essential to understand the three main components of AC compressor failure. Once the source of the malfunction is known, the necessary repairs can be made and cooling restored to the system.

Signs of a Faulty AC Compressor

AC compressors are important components of air conditioning systems, as they help to move the cold air into different rooms in the home. A faulty AC compressor can create problems for the entire air conditioning system and can seriously affect the performance of the unit. It is important to be aware of the signs of a faulty AC compressor, so that any issues can be quickly identified and resolved.

One common sign of a faulty AC compressor is loud noises coming from the unit. This could be the sound of grinding, clicking or squealing coming from the unit itself. If the compressor is struggling to handle its load it can cause these sounds to occur, which can indicate problems with the compressor itself, or potentially other elements of the air conditioning system.

Leaking or dripping fluid from the AC compressor is also a significant sign of an issue. This fluid can come from internal components or condenser lines that have become worn or deteriorated. If this occurs, it is important to turn the AC unit off immediately and have it inspected as a matter of urgency.

If the cold air from the AC is not coming into the room properly, this can be an indication of a problem with the compressor too. If the air conditioning system is not running as efficiently as it should be or is not cooling the room sufficiently, this could point to the compressor having to work too hard, potentially indicating a problem.

Finally, issues in airflow can also be a sign of a faulty AC compressor. If there is a reduction in the airflow coming from the AC unit then this can be a sign that the unit is struggling, potentially due to the compressor not being able to do its job properly.

It is important to remain vigilant for any of these issues and act quickly to attend to them. If the signs persist then it is advisable to contact an experienced specialist to inspect and diagnose the issue, so that it can be repaired or replaced if necessary.

The Importance of Professional Repairs of Your Homes AC Compressor

A functioning air conditioner compressor is an important part of any home’s cooling system, as it controls the air flow throughout the rooms and helps maintain a comfortable temperature. A broken AC compressor can cause a variety of problems. Aside from sporadic warm air, a faulty AC compressor can cause a rise in energy bills and create additional mechanical damage due to an increase in the fan’s cycling and the air handler becoming overworked. Professional repairs are important to ensure that all parts, including the AC compressor, are effectively maintained and repaired.

Hiring a trained professional to repair your air conditioning system can save time as well as money. Professionals have years of experience working with such systems and can be counted on to properly diagnose the issue and perform the required repairs quickly and correctly, often with little disruption to your home lifestyle. Furthermore, their work is usually backed by a guarantee, ensuring that you are getting the best service for your money.

If the AC compressor is not working correctly, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid additional damage to the system. Deciding to leave the issue unresolved can not only lead to inconvenience but also to potentially catastrophic problems, including irreparable damage to the compressor and thus your cooling system.

Signs that the AC compressor is not functioning properly can include a lack of air coming from vents, excessive noise coming from the unit, and a yellow pilot light which will notify when the compressor is not engaging properly. It’s important to be vigilant and to address any of these signs as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to your unit.

An air conditioner compressor repair can be a difficult task for an untrained individual to undertake, as specialized knowledge and tools are required. Professional technicians at Semper Fi use a number of repair techniques, including refrigerant recharging, air ducts cleaning, oil changing, and filter changing. Having a professional taking care of the repair process will ensure that the unit is operated efficiently and safely, while also maintaining the integrity of the system.

Repairing an air conditioning compressor can be costly, but it’s worth the expense when you consider the cost of an entirely new system. Because of this, it’s important to address problems as soon as possible to prevent bigger issues from arising which may require more costly repairs in the future. Professional repairs can provide peace of mind by extending the life of the AC system and providing safer operation of the same.

Common AC Compressor Problems

A broken air conditioner compressor can cause a multitude of potential problems and, if it is not repaired or replaced quickly, can lead to a complete AC system shutdown. The compressor is the most expensive component of the entire air conditioning system as well as being essential to its function; this means that it is imperative to identify and address any AC compressor problem as soon as possible. Common AC compressor issues can include overheating, failure to start or stop running, loud noises, and tripping of circuit breakers.

Overheating is one of the most common AC compressor problems, and can be caused by a number of issues, including low refrigerant, a thermostat malfunction, or debris build-up in the condenser coil. To check for overheating, look for signs of reduced airflow, increased pressure, or a decrease in cooling capacity. If diagnosed with an overheating issue, contact a certified HVAC technician for proper maintenance and repair.

Another common AC compressor problem is that the unit might fail to start or might start, but not stop running. This can either be caused by faulty wiring connections or a failing start capicator, a device which ensures that the AC compressor starts up properly each time. In addition, most AC compressor units produce a loud noise when running. If the unit is exhibiting louder than normal noise levels, there may be an issue with the bearings, which should be examined and serviced by a certified technician.

Finally, the AC compressor may possibly trip a circuit breaker if it has been installed improperly, or if the unit is trying to run on too few amps. If the unit is not properly drawing the right amount of power, it can cause the breaker to trip. To fix this issue, either install the AC compressor to a dedicated line and breaker, or else upgrade the breaker to a higher amperage. It is important to have an electrician assess the power situation before attempting to run the AC compressor on a different power line or circuit.

Regardless of the AC compressor problem that is encountered, identifying it early is the key to resolving any issues quickly and efficiently. Having a certified air conditioner technician assess the system can ensure that any related problems are diagnosed, serviced, and repaired with the utmost care.

Final Thoughts

Due to the complexity of AC compressors, it is crucial to be aware of all the components of AC compressor failure, the signs of a faulty AC compressor, and the importance of professional repairs. By doing so, homeowners can identify common AC compressor problems to be able to repair it or replace it as needed. Since AC compressor failure can lead to major problems in AC performance, it’s important for homeowners to hire experienced, certified technicians when dealing with a faulty AC compressor or other problems with your AC.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an AC compressor and what is its role in the cooling system?

An AC compressor is part of an air conditioning system. It is responsible for pressurizing the system and circulating the refrigerant throughout the system. The compressor compresses the refrigerant vapor thereby raising its temperature as well as its pressure. This hot, high-pressure vapor then flows into the condenser, where it is cooled and condensed back into a liquid. The cooled liquid then flows back into the compressor, and the cycle repeats. The compressor is essential to the cooling system, as it is what keeps the process in motion.

How do I know if my AC compressor is malfunctioning?

You may be able to tell if your AC compressor is malfunctioning if you experience any of the following problems:

– Poor cooling performance
– Strange noises coming from the compressor
– A burning smell coming from the compressor
– Increase in energy bills
– Leaky refrigerant lines
– Unusual vibrations from the compressor
– Unusual condensation build up
– The compressor continuously switching on and off

Can I repair my AC compressor myself or should I hire a professional?

It is generally recommended to hire a professional when repairing an AC compressor as the system can be complicated and also potentially dangerous if not handled correctly. A professional HVAC technician will have the necessary training and experience to make the repairs correctly and safely.

What are the benefits of professional AC compressor repair?

The benefits of professional AC compressor repair include improved system performance, more reliable operation, and increased energy efficiency. By repairing any malfunctioning components, such as the compressor, you can help your system run more consistently and efficiently. Additionally, professional repair can extend the life of your system and help keep your energy bills down, as a properly functioning system can be more energy efficient.

How much does it typically cost to repair an AC compressor?

The cost to repair an AC compressor depends on several factors, including the type of compressor, the severity of the issue, and the cost of parts and labor. Generally, it can range anywhere from $200 to $1,500.

Heating & Cooling Terms You Should Know – Part 2

More heating and air conditioning phrases, words and acronyms that you may need to know.

  1. A Heat Exchanger is the part of a heating system that transfers heat to the air that circulates throughout a home. The heat exchanger is the largest component of a furnace. Over time, a heat exchanger can develop cracks, causing incomplete fuel combustion and dangerous carbon monoxide to be released into the air that is circulating in a home.
  2. HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to a furnace, air conditioner, and some method of circulating warm and cool air throughout a house. H-VAC is the generally accepted name for the entire industry.
  3. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a rating for air filters. Air filters have tiny holes that allow air to pass through while trapping small particles in the air. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes and more efficient filters.
  4. Micron is a unit of measurement. One micron is one-millionth of a meter, or 1/25,000th of an inch. Tiny particles of mold, viruses, dust and dander circulate with your home’s air. An air filter can trap these tiny one-micron particles. If allowed to circulate, the particles can have harmful effects on your health.
  5. NATE Certification (NATE) North American Technician Excellence is an industry training and testing organization that certifies that service technicians have passed rigorous testing and are certified experts in the HVAC industry. Homeowners can be comfortable knowing that NATE-certified technicians are installing and servicing the heating and cooling equipment in their homes.
  6. Particles are substances that measure less than 100 microns in diameter. Some large particles like dust and dander are visible to the naked eye. Others like bacteria and viruses can only be seen with a microscope. All particles can become airborne and sometimes cause serious health problems.
  7. Refrigerants are chemical compounds that produce a cooling effect while expanding. R22 refrigerant, also known as Freon, is still found in many home air conditioners but has been banned from new systems. R410-A refrigerant is the most common replacement for R22. It does not contain the ozone-depleting qualities of R22.
  8. A Ton is a unit of measurement of cooling capacity. One ton of air conditioning can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat in one hour. Home air conditioners or heat pumps typically come in the 2-ton to 5-ton range.
  9. A Smart Thermostat will observe the time you wake up, go to work, return home, and go to bed. Then it adjusts its settings to match your daily routine. It will even observe that your house is empty for multiple days and adjust accordingly. If your smart thermostat is online, you can tell it to warm or cool your home just before you arrive.
  10. Zoned HVAC is a heating and cooling system that can direct air to specific areas of a home. With a zoned system, it is possible to use dampers in the ductwork to customize temperature zones throughout the home.

What Size Furnace Do You Need?

Hint: Bigger Isn’t Better

Time will come when your old furnace is not worth attempting to repair. You can live with rattles, squeaks and uneven heating in your home. You could even live with small repair bills. But no heat on a cold night is over the limit. It will be time to look for a new furnace. Then, don’t think about moving up to a larger-capacity furnace unless you know your old furnace is undersized. An oversized furnace usually creates more problems than it solves.

It’s Less Efficient

A properly sized furnace is an optimally sized furnace – not too big and not too small. Every time a furnace starts up for a heating cycle, it takes a few minutes to warm up. During the warmup, it is operating at less than peak efficiency. After it is warmed up, it operates at peak heating efficiency. An oversized furnace may warm up the house too quickly and shut down before or shortly after the warmup. Repeat that over and over all day and all night and the furnace is always operating less efficiently than it should.

Life Expectancy

Over years of service, the on again/off again cycles will cause excess wear to system controls and ultimately shorten the lifespan of the large furnace. An optimally sized furnace is more efficient and will have a longer operational life. A well-maintained, high-quality, properly sized furnace should provide efficient heating for 15-20 years or more.

Short Cycling

A common problem with oversized furnaces is called short cycling. It happens when sensors in the furnace cause it to overheat and shut down before the house has warmed up. The oversized furnace produces more heat than the system needs. The most positive identifier of short cycling is when the thermostat’s two temperatures—room temperature and thermostat set temperature—never match. Short cycling is a safety hazard. If sensors fail to shut the furnace down, the furnace is a real fire hazard. The end result of short cycling is that the house is not comfortable, fire risks increase, and the life of the furnace is reduced.

Distribution of Heat Will Be Uneven

It isn’t unusual for one area of a house to be cooler or warmer than others. Replacing a properly sized furnace with an oversized furnace will not solve the uneven heat problem; it will make it a bigger problem. The comfortably warm areas in the house will become overly warm and the cool rooms may not get any warmer.

Part of the procedure of installing a new furnace is to check the size of the existing furnace to make sure it is properly sized. The professional, licensed technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling are experts in getting the right furnace for your home. They will spend the time necessary to recommend a high-quality replacement furnace. A truly optimized furnace will provide energy efficiency, long life, comfortable living space, and home safety. Give them a call today at 480-616-3636.

The Language of HVAC – 10 Terms You Should Know

Most people think they know the meaning of many of these furnace and air conditioning terms. It’s actually a little more complicated than that.

  1. What do the letters HVAC stand for? Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. In other words, furnace, air conditioner and some method of circulating warm and cool air throughout a house. H-VAC is the generally accepted name for the entire industry.
  2. A furnace creates heat. It does that by burning natural gas, bottle gas, heating oil, or electrical heating coils. Not all furnaces create heat with the same amount of energy usage. Nearly all new furnaces are more energy efficient than their not-so-distant replacements, but a well-maintained furnace in a well-insulated home can operate efficiently for many years.
  3. An air conditioner produces cool air, but, like a furnace, some do it more efficiently than others. Typically, the years of operational life are fewer for an air conditioner; a fifteen-year air conditioner is usually approaching the time when repair costs begin to mount, and replacement seems like a good option.
  4. An air handler is the part of the ventilation system that draws in warm or cool air for the furnace or air conditioner to turn it into cool or warm air, respectively, then blows it out into ducts that deliver it throughout a home. While operating, an air handler continuously circulates home air. Along with ductwork and a blower, an air handler is the V in an HVAC heating and cooling system.
  5. There are two sets of ducts in a conventional central air heating and cooling system. Air flows through intake ducts to your furnace and air conditioner and is discharged into a second duct system that delivers it to the rooms of a home. The same air circulates over and over, getting heated or cooled along the way.
  6. Smart thermostats truly are smart, and they get smarter over time. A smart thermostat will observe the time you wake up, go to work, return home, and go to bed. Then it adjusts its settings to match your daily routine. It will even observe that your house is empty for multiple days and adjust accordingly. With a connected smart thermostat, you can even send it a message that you are on the way home and it will have your house comfortable when you arrive.
  7. Ductless, or ductless mini-splits, as the name implies, do not have ducts to circulate air. Small units are located in one or several rooms. They can provide heat or cooling or both. They are excellent for keeping a newly added room or garage comfortable or even an entire house.
  8. Heat pumps are energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. A heat pump does its job by moving heat. In the summer, it removes heat from a house and discharges it outside. In winter, it draws heat from outside and circulates it inside. Contrary to common logic, there is plenty of heat outside on even the coldest days.
  9. Internal Air Quality (IAQ) is a measure of the pollutants in the air circulating in a home. The main line of defense against dirty air is the air filter in the home heating system. Heating and cooling professionals have a variety of other options to clean harmful gases and particles from indoor air.
  10. SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, sometimes called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. SEER ratings are given to heating and cooling systems to help consumers evaluate energy efficiency. Ratings range from 13 to 25. As of January 1, 2023, SEER 13 is the lowest approved efficiency rating by government mandate.

In the world of heating and cooling professionals, there is a sizable lexicon of words and phrases to know. The pros at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling can guide you through the repair and/or replacement process for HVAC machinery. Give them a call today at 480-616-3636.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Furnace

You spent some money on repairing your furnace last year and now it isn’t working again. Should you consider a new gas furnace? Maybe a heat pump or mini split would be a better choice. You are wondering what the best way to heat your home is. What about efficiency for lower utilities, financing, air quality, discount pricing, and more? It’s your decision, but you will feel better if it is an informed decision. Heating and cooling systems have a long life expectancy. You want to make a decision that you won’t regret in a few years. You need to talk to a trusted HVAC professional like the good people at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling.

  1. Repair or replace?If your system was installed before 2006, congratulations! You have enjoyed many years of home comfort, but it is time for a replacement. Your system is very likely at the end of its operational life expectancy. It does not meet modern energy efficiency standards. The good news is that your new system is going to be more efficient and you should save on utility costs.If your system is newer than 2006, the decision is not so clear. Repair history is a factor. If you have been experiencing expensive repairs every year, replacement may be a better choice. If your system has not been getting regular preventative maintenance over the years, it may need replacement sooner. Is your system keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer? If it is not providing you a comfortable home year-round, consider replacement.
  2. What type of system?Should you stay with the gas furnace and central heating and cooling or switch to a heat pump? It is usually a little less expensive to stay with what you have. The unique size and configuration of your home matters. Local utility availability and costs are a consideration. Your HVAC professional can help you with the decision. However, the most important consideration is how happy you are with what you have.Another decision is if you should replace only the furnace or furnace and air conditioner. Furnaces have a longer life expectancy than air conditioners. If your air conditioner has been replaced in the last five to eight years, you may not need to replace both. If neither have been replaced for 20 years, then both should probably be replaced.
  3. What size for my home?The right size for an HVAC system is slightly larger than the smallest size that provides the home comfort level you are satisfied with. Too small and you will be cold in winter and hot in the summer. Too large and you will be paying for a larger system and higher utility bills. If you made an addition to your home since the current system was installed, you will need a larger system as a replacement. An HVAC professional can calculate the right size for you.
  4. Is financing available?Like Semper Fi Heating & Cooling, most HVAC companies offer quick, easy, and flexible financing options. Equipment manufacturers sometimes offer rebates. Tax credits are also available for some new equipment. HVAC companies may offer pre-season or end-of-season reduced pricing on full system replacement. Uniquely, Semper Fi Heating & Cooling offers a 20% discount to veterans, first responders, and their families.
  5. Will a new furnace be more efficient?If your system is old enough that you are considering replacement, the system you replace it with will be a higher efficiency system. Efficiency standards have evolved significantly over the past few years. You can be sure that your new system will be highly efficient.

For more information about furnace replacement, tune-ups, or other heating and cooling problems, call the expert technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636.

Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for Your Home?

A conventional water heater is like a good and loyal dog. It eagerly awaits being called on to provide warmth and comfort. No matter how often you ignore your water heater, it stays ready for you. When you sleep at night, it keeps the water in the tank hot. When you leave for a day at work, it keeps the water hot all day long. When you take a two-week vacation, it never misses a minute of keeping your water at the perfect temperature for when you return. Like the loyal dog, it’s there for you when needed.

Therein lies the fundamental problem; a conventional water heater keeps the water hot 24 hours a day, 365 days a year whether you need it or not. It only runs out of hot water when you use so much that the tank empties before the last person in your family finishes showering. When a conventional water heater runs low on hot water, it takes time before more hot water is available.

A tankless water heater has a different personality. It doesn’t heat up the water until you ask for it. When you are not using hot water, a tankless water heater does not run up your utility bill by reheating the water in your tank. As long as there is cold water coming into your home, you can have hot water coming out of your faucets. A tankless water heater almost never runs out of hot water. Yes, almost never. If multiple family members are showering at the same time, the tankless water heater may not always keep up. It isn’t absolutely clear-cut; there are pros and cons to tankless.

Pros & Cons
  1. Tankless heaters can run out of hot water when there are multiple users. Tank water heaters can do the same but a properly sized water heater with a tank will usually outlast a tankless system before the water cools down. However, with tankless, the hot water comes back almost instantly when there is only one user.
  2. The initial cost of a tankless water heater system is higher than a conventional tank water heater. Consumer Reports estimates that a typical tankless system is 22% more efficient than a traditional system. Also, tankless models last longer, typically twice as long as a tank before needing to be replaced.
  3. Tankless systems take up less space than conventional systems; they can usually be mounted on a wall. A water softener is sometimes needed for the tankless system to work properly. When a water softener is needed, the amount of extra space is reduced.
  4. Like a conventional water heater, a tankless water heater can be either gas or electric. For replacement in a home that already has gas lines in place, there may be some extra cost to adjust the gas lines for tankless.
  5. One pro with no con is the elimination of standby loss energy cost. With a tank system, energy is being used to reheat the water in the tank even when no one is at home. That cost is completely eliminated with tankless. It’s tankless, but not thankless; it will definitely lower your utility costs.

Is a tankless water heating system right for you? Talk to the plumbing professionals at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636 to learn more.

Fall/Winter Maintenance Checklist

In central Arizona, winter tends to arrive late and leave early. Even though freezing temperatures are extremely rare, winter does arrive every year, and your furnace needs service and preventative maintenance every winter. Here are five checklist tips to get you through the winter.

    1. Interior air qualityInterior air collects dust, allergens, and other pollutants. Does your furniture need dusting occasionally? The fine particles that you collect when you dust are the same that are circulating in your interior air day after day. In most cases, the quality of your interior air is much poorer than outside air. Your heating and cooling technician can measure your indoor air quality and recommend methods to clean it and reduce harmful pollutants.

      The first line of defense against dirty indoor air is your air filter. Change your furnace filter frequently, use a high-quality air filter, and change it often. If you remove a filter and it is noticeably darker from accumulated dust, you aren’t changing it as often as you should.

Over the years, dust and other pollutants accumulate in ductwork. Professional duct cleaning and sealing will remove years of accumulated grime and improve the quality of the air that is circulating in your home. Devices can be installed in ductwork to kill bacteria, viruses, mold, and other harmful materials in your air. Ask your technician for recommendations.

  1. Thermostat settingsA good rule of thumb for a thermostat is to set it at 68 degrees for the winter and 76 degrees for the summer. In winter, many homeowners choose to lower their thermostats overnight. Every one degree higher in winter or lower in summer will add about 1% to your utility bill. A programmable or smart thermostat will adjust the settings to accommodate your daily and weekly routine. In most cases, programmable and smart thermostats pay for themselves through reduced utility costs.
  2. Furnace maintenanceAn often-overlooked way in which programmable thermostats pay for themselves is that your furnace will run less often, usually giving it additional years of service before needing to be replaced. Regular tune-ups and preventative maintenance will also prolong the efficient operating life of your furnace. Annual service plans pay for themselves, but equally important is the peace of mind that you are not going to have a system breakdown on a cold night or when your family is gathering for the holidays.
  3. Unpleasant smellsWhen furnaces get turned on for the first time after not being used for months, it is not uncommon for homeowners to notice a burning smell. It is likely that the smell comes from the dust that has accumulated over the months of not being used. As the dust burns off, it emits a burning plastic smell. Allow 10-15 minutes for the dust to burn off, and the smell should go away. If the smell lingers longer, there might be a different problem and you should turn the furnace off and call Semper Fi Heating & Cooling. They will send a technician to check it out.
  4. InsulationGood insulation, properly installed, helps keep the cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer. Inadequate insulation—along with windows and doors that are not sealed properly—lets in the outside air and causes your heating and cooling system to work harder year-round. Good insulation allows your furnace and air conditioner to work less and with fewer repairs for longer.

For more information about furnace problems, tune-ups, or other heating and cooling problems, call the expert technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636.

Do You Have Problems with Your Heating and Cooling Ducts?

Your ductwork is probably the part of your heating and air conditioning system that you think about the least. You may have kept up with regular repairs and maintenance on your furnace and air conditioner. You may have even replaced your furnace or air conditioner in recent years, all the while giving little thought to your ductwork. However, there are heating and cooling problems that are caused by ductwork issues. The problems can develop whether your ductwork is newer or vintage. The technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling can help you identify and repair ductwork issues that are keeping your system from operating as it should. Look for these ductwork-related issues:

  1. When your ducts develop air leaks, your systems need to run longer to provide the warm or cool air required. This will cause your energy bills to go up. If your system provided even heating and cooling when it was new, then it was properly sized for your home. If your air conditioner and furnace are in good working order, then the proper amount of air is going into your ducts. If the air coming out of your ducts is inadequate, it may very well be the result of leaking ducts.
  2. Uneven heating or cooling can often be traced back to leaking or improperly sized ducts. More air may reach some rooms more than others. Ask your service technician to evaluate your uneven heating and cooling problems. Repairing ducts to correct the problem is often the least-expensive as well as the best long-term solution.
  3. All of the air that circulates in your home comes through the ducts. If you have indoor air quality problems, as many homes do, it could be the result of dust and pollutants in your ducts. Air cleaning devices can make a big difference in contributing to removing the pollutants that cause health problems like asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections. Air cleaning devices plus duct cleaning will do even more to clean the air that you and your family breathe.
  4. Air that leaks out of your ducts contains moisture. The moisture condenses on the ducts and other surfaces and creates perfect places for hazardous biological substances to grow. Seal and clean the ducts and the biological growth goes away, making your home safer.
  5. If you frequently see insects or even rodents around your air vents, it may because they have found their way into your ductwork. Spraying for insects may not reach them; duct cleaning and sealing the leaks will eliminate them.
  6. Air conditioners and furnaces are hard-working home appliances. Most need to be replaced in less than 20 years. Keeping your ductwork clean and sealed will increase the life of your system. Leaks and dirt in your ducts will cause your heating and cooling system to run more often and longer, which will lead to total system failure.

If you are having duct problems, call the experts at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636.