Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

What Is Included in Fall HVAC Maintenance?

November 5th, 2018

American-Standard-UnitBecause the winter season is short and mild in Southern California, it usually isn’t until now (i.e. November) that homeowners start to consider special home maintenance needs for the season. That’s fine—if you haven’t arranged yet for fall HVAC maintenance with our team, it’s certainly not too late for it. Call us to schedule heating maintenance in Beverly Hills, CA or elsewhere in our wide service area.

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Why We Recommend Getting Rid of Window AC Units

October 22nd, 2018

ductless-mini-splitAlthough Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley are known for hot weather, many homes built here were not designed with central air conditioning in mind. Because these homes didn’t need much in the way of heating, and opening up doors and windows was thought to be “adequate” when it came to cooling down, these homes often lack the ventilation networks that make it easy to upgrade to central air conditioning.

But then the window AC unit came along, and these homes could enjoy cooling—in some rooms, at least—without trying to find a way to put in ducts.

Today, however, you don’t need window air conditioning units to have central cooling for your older home. We recommend you get rid of those old window ACs.

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What Does NATE Certification Mean for an HVAC Contractor?

October 8th, 2018

nate-logoWe care about our customers. We not only want to provide the best service for them on every job, we want to make sure they feel safe having our experts in their home. This is why we are fully licensed and insured (100% insured for both Liability and Workers Compensation) and do full background checks and drug-testing on all our employees so they earn the Technician Seal of Safety.

One of the most important certifications of quality we have as an HVAC contractor is NATE certification. You might have heard of this before but weren’t certain what it meant. We’ll explain what NATE means and why you only want to work with Los Angeles, CA, HVAC contractors who are NATE-certified.

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Do I need a UV Air Purifier?

October 5th, 2018

Mold inside of air ducts can make you sick!

Flu season is coming up and it’s great to know that the very same technology used in hospitals to keep staff and patients safe is available to you in your own home.

UV Air Purifier

UV light is effective at eliminating living airborne organisms. Namely, viruses, mold and mildew. With the use of germicidal UV light in air purifiers, you not only trap mold spores, you effectively destroy them, keeping the spores from forming new mold.

Symptoms that mold allergies cause include:

  • Cold or flu like symptoms
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Irritated, itchy throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Irritated, itchy skin
  • Skin rash, hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Hair loss, baldness
  • Hay fever symptoms

Please call Kilowatt 818-780-0701 to find out about the special cost we give to our Maintenance Club customers on a UV Air Purifier.

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DWP is Giving Away $100,000,000 for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

September 24th, 2018

LADWP offers the Consumer Rebate Program (CRP) to their residential customers to promote the use of energy-efficient products.

DWP Customers who install attic insulation can see energy reduction and savings of $200 to $374 in a year, depending upon the size of the home and its location.

Installing attic insulation might seem daunting and expensive, but the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) can help pay for insulating your attic. Qualifying customers can receive rebates up to 80% of the total insulation installation costs or $1.00 per square foot of attic floor insulation (whichever is less).

Insulation Materials

Insulation materials are defined as material/product used to slow down heat flow, which is measured in terms of thermal resistance or R-Value. Qualified attic insulation types include blanket (batts and rolls), loose-fill, blown-in, attic-applied rigid foam, sprayed foam, and foamed-in-place insulation systems.

Installed insulation materials must achieve a minimum thermal resistance of R-30 (or R-19 if less than 24 inches of attic clearance is available and R-30 cannot be achieved) to qualify for the program.

Insulation Costs

Installation costs are defined as the cost of the insulation materials plus the labor associated with the installation of insulation materials, including labor undertaken to comply with codes and regulations, such as sealing attic air leaks, weather-stripping attic hatch or door, attic ventilation modifications, and installation of rafter vent/insulation baffles. Complete attic insulation coverage is required above all air conditioned spaces. New construction or non-living building, such as a detached garage, do not qualify for the insulation rebate.

Customers interested in the program should:

  1. Decide on hiring a licensed contractor or installing the insulation materials themselves; LADWP strongly recommends working with a licensed contractor.
  2. Take pictures of the attic BEFORE installation to submit with application package.
  3. Install insulation materials in accordance with the program requirements.
  4. Take pictures of the attic AFTER installation.
  5. Submit Consumer Rebate Program (CRP) application by mail to LADWP with required documentation.

If you are interested in attic insulation call Kilowatt now to schedule a FREE estimate 818-780-0701. The rebate money is given out on a first come first served basis.

 

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I’ve Got Power Strips, Why Would I Need a Surge Protector?

September 24th, 2018

usb-outlet… or, to put it another way, “Aren’t power strips surge protectors?”

Yes, power strips offer some protection for precision appliances such as computers and HD televisions from damage in case of a voltage surge. We encourage people to use power strips rather than attempting to overload a circuit with an octopus plug, and any important electronic device should be plugged into a power strip.

But these power strips are not whole-house surge protection. They only serve as one layer against the expensive problems voltage surges can create. We recommend you arrange for whole-house surge protection installation with one of our licensed electricians.

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Cloth Wiring Hazards

September 10th, 2018

Cloth wiring is a common type of older electrical wire that was used in residential wiring.

If you have an older home, there may be an older version of wiring present which is much more dangerous than the new types of electrical wiring that are being used in homes today.

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Strange Smells from the AC? Here Are Some of the Possibilities

September 10th, 2018

HVACkidNobody wants a smelly appliance in their house. But a smelly air conditioner… that’s not something people expect to happen. But it does! You may notice odd smells wafting from the room vents in your house when you have your air conditioning system running. These smells can indicate simple, innocuous problems. Or they could indicate a need for Los Angeles, CA air conditioning repair on the double. We’ll go over some of the more common bad AC odors, what they may mean, and what to do about them.

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The Thermostat Setback Is Still a Way to Save on Cooling

August 27th, 2018

You’ve heard the advice before: to save energy cooling your home, setback the temperature on the thermostat (i.e. set the temperature higher) during times when you’re not home or during the evening when people are asleep. The standard recommended setback temperature is 8°F. For example, if you keep the thermostat set to 78°F during the day when people are in the house and awake (this is a setting the US Department of Energy advocates for the best combination of energy savings and comfort), then the setback temperature would raise it to 86°F. If you own a programmable thermostat, you can have the setback as the standard evening/away setting and then not have to think about adjusting the temperatures after that.

Thermostat technology has advanced rapidly over the last decade, and you may have heard contrary advice: thermostat setback isn’t useful and won’t save money. But this is wrong for a number of reasons. Let’s look at why the thermostat setback is still a basic way to save money on cooling costs.

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What Does It Mean to Be “Up to Code” for a House?

August 13th, 2018

proper-electrical-panel-wiringIf you are shopping for a new home or are planning to sell your current one, you may have heard about how important it is for the house to be “up to code” or “code compliant.” What does this actually mean, and how do you find out if the house meets the code?

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