Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

An AC That Isn’t Cooling Enough? Here’s What Might Be Happening

The temperatures are warming up, summer is almost here … and your air conditioning system is already disappointing you.

You don’t want to go through the summer with an air conditioner that is struggling to keep up with the heat. If you’ve noticed that it’s taking too long for the AC to deliver the comfort you want, or the AC isn’t getting the house to its regular level of cooling, you may need to look into air conditioning repair in Irvine, CA from our pros.

There may be a simple explanation, so we’re going to climb a ladder of possibilities, from the simplest to the most complex, to see what’s causing the AC’s capacity problem.

#1. A clogged air filter

Clogged air filters are a leading cause of preventable air conditioning (and heating) problems. In this case, a filter that’s been left in place for too long will have enough debris caught in it that it will severely reduce how much air passes through the AC to be cooled. Put in a clean filter and make filter changes a regular task you do every one to three months.

#2. Obstructed condenser

The condenser is the outdoor cabinet of a split system AC. It needs to have at least a foot of clearance on all sides so its fan can exhaust the heat moved from inside the house. If the condenser is obstructed (branches, leaves, mulch, shrubs), an air conditioner will begin to overheat and not be able to cool the house.

#3. Miscalibrated thermostat

You set the thermostat for 78°F (a recommended energy-saving setting), but the house still feels too warm. That might be the fault of the thermostat: if it’s miscalibrated, it may sense the house is cooler than it is and shut off the air conditioning system early. Please don’t push the thermostat down lower to try to get around this, since it will place too much strain on the AC. Instead, call technicians who can recalibrate or replace the thermostat.

#4. Refrigerant leaks

ACs have a set amount of refrigerant that won’t decrease during the system’s life—unless the refrigerant lines leak. These leaks put the whole AC in jeopardy, but before they cause the compressor to burn out, they’ll lower the cooling capacity of the air conditioner. Call technicians to find the leaks, seal them, and then restore the lost refrigerant so the AC will work properly.

#5. Short-cycling

For some reason, the AC is starting and stopping rapidly rather than finishing a full cooling cycle. Not only will this prevent the air conditioner from cooling the house evenly, it will put immense wear on components and cause electric bills to skyrocket. Technicians must find out what’s causing this and fix it.

#5. The AC is too small

Is this a new AC? Did an amateur install it? Then we have bad news: the air conditioner is probably undersized and cannot get the house cool enough, no matter what. You’ll need us to replace the system. We’ll make sure you have a new AC that’s the correct size.

What to Expect When You Install a Tankless Water Heater

Just to be clear about the title: you don’t want to do the actual tankless water heater installation yourself. This type of work requires professionals. In this post, we’re looking at what to expect when you choose to have us install a tankless water heater for you.

Now that’s out of the way … great news to hear you want to get a tankless water heater! More and more homeowners are making the decision to have their old storage tank water heaters replaced with tankless “on-demand” water heaters. There are a few things you can expect and maybe one of two things to consider. Let’s jump into it below.

A tankless water heater might not be right for you

“Wait a minute! You just said it was great news to get a tankless water heater and now you’re trying to talk me out of it?”

No, we’re not trying to talk you out of installing a tankless water heater. But we want you to know that not every home receives the same benefits from going tankless. In some cases, a standard water heater is a more cost-effective replacement. Tankless water heaters can have trouble with large households where multiple hot-water taps are on at once. They also are more expensive than storage tank water heaters, although the energy-savings can often make up the difference. Always consult professionals first before making a hard choice about what type of water heater you’ll have installed.

You’ll probably save money on heating costs

No water heater model can guarantee money savings, but tankless water heaters have the potential to significantly reduce your annual heating costs. Tankless units only consume energy when there is demand for hot water, unlike storage tank water heaters that use energy to replace standby heat loss even when nobody needs hot water.

You’re going to enjoy (almost) unlimited hot water

If you’ve worried before about being the last person in the shower in the morning and getting lukewarm water, we’ve got good news: tankless water heaters don’t run out of hot water because they are always heating up more as needed. However, if too many hot water taps come on at the same time, it can affect the water heater’s efficiency. And we encourage water-conservation, so don’t stay in the shower too long just because you can.

You’ll get some extra space in the garage (or closet)

Where is your current water heater located? More good news, you’re about to get additional space there! Tankless water heaters are smaller than water heaters that need massive tanks to store their heated water supply. In fact, tankless units can often hang on a wall, freeing up some floor space as well.

You won’t need another water heater for a long time

The standard storage tank water heater can last from 10 to 15 years before it’s time for a new one. A tankless water heater can last for more than 20 years thanks to its lower energy consumption and reduced workload. You can relax knowing you’ve probably got two decades’ worth of great performance from your new water heater before you’ll need to consider a replacement.

Making Bathroom Plumbing Replacements During a Remodel

Everybody is looking to make some changes this year, to get a fresh start or some new energy into their lives after a not-all-that-great previous year. Doing some home remodeling is a great way to make a change to your house, and the bathroom is one of the best places to remodel. It may not be as flashy a remodel as a kitchen, but it contributes greatly to your personal comfort.

If you are considering a bathroom remodel this year, something to focus on is making important plumbing replacements. The bathroom has more plumbing in it—from pipes to drains to fixtures—than any other room in the house. A remodel is more than new countertops and cabinets and storage; you’ll have some choices to make about plumbing replacements.

Repiping

You don’t have to do a complete replacement of the pipes in the bathroom when you remodel, but it’s a good idea to have most replaced. This does two things. First, it helps extend the life of plumbing in the remodel, especially if you live in an older home and the same plumbing has been in place since you moved in. Second, it makes the rest of the remodel much freer, since the design doesn’t have to be built around the plumbing. The plumbing remodelers will use the most up to date materials for the piping, such as flexible plastic that can best handle the hot water lines.

Low-flow toilet

We think this is one of the best additions to a bathroom. Toilets are not “forever” appliances; they wear out over time. Worse, old models are immense water wasters, sometimes using up to 6 gallons per flush. New low-flow models can use less than 1.5 gallons per flush, and there are also dual flush toilets that can decrease water use without any loss of performance. Bathroom toilets account for the most amount of water used in a home, so this change can make a huge difference for your water bills.

New shower

Do you not like your old bathtub-shower combination with a curtain that needs to be swapped out every year? A walk-in shower is a fantastic and stylish upgrade. Not only are walk-in showers more attractive and easy to use, they are flexible in their size so they can fit into any type of remodel.

New sink

You can get creative with a new sink, because there are so many options for styles. Pedestal sinks bring an old world charm, vessel sinks are beautiful and modern, undermount sinks allow for more storage space, overmount sinks are the easiest to change out, etc. When changing the sink, you can also opt for new designs on the faucet as well.

The way to get the best from your remodel is to work with the pros who know how to tackle bathroom plumbing remodels in Newport Beach, CA and the rest of Orange County. We have a long history of working on local plumbing, and we can help make your remodel the best it can be.