Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog:
Archive for September, 2014

Does Installing Ductless Mini Splits Make Sense in an Area Like Los Angeles?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

A new air conditioning installation offers several benefits, one of which is being able to choose a new system that may be different than one you’ve used previously, and that fits your current needs better. There are several types of air conditioning systems available for residential use, and each has its own benefits. One type that has become popular over the last few years is the ductless system. Ductless mini-splits can offer both heating and cooling, which is just one of several benefits of the system. We’ll explain more about the system below, but if you are interested in a ductless system, call the professionals who can help you from start to finish: Kilowatt.

Some Benefits of a Ductless System

Here are some benefits a ductless system offers:

  • No need for ductwork – as the name states, the system does not use ductwork to deliver the air. Instead, individual blowers that are about 35” long deliver the air.
  • Customized cooling and heating – the indoor blowers of a ductless system operate individually. This allows you to cool the area you want at the temperature you want. This kind of cooling is equivalent to a having a zone control system.
  • Easy installation – the installation for a ductless system is straightforward: an outdoor unit similar to a traditional split system resides outside, and the indoor blowers are mounted to a wall or hung from a ceiling. A small hole, about 3” wide, is drilled through an exterior wall to connect the blower to the outdoor unit via a conduit. A single outdoor blower supports up to 4 indoor blowers.
  • Quiet – indoor blowers are made to be very quiet, so there’s no worry about excessive noise when they are running.
  • Easy maintenance – the blowers are easily accessible for cleaning and have washable filters.

The best way to determine if a ductless system is for you is to consult with a professional. Call Kilowatt today and schedule service for your ductless mini-split system in Los Angeles with one of our experts.

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What is Coil Cleaning, and Why Does My AC Need It?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

If you own an air conditioning unit in Sherman Oaks, it’s important to keep it maintained in any way possible in order to increase efficiency and avoid urgent repairs. And one of the most important steps of annual professional maintenance is coil cleaning. While there are a few steps of maintenance you can do on your own, such as changing the filter and keeping the outside unit away from large debris, this particular maintenance task is best left to an experienced professional. In this guide, we’ve detailed why coil cleaning is such an important step of owning an AC.IMG_7543

How the Coil Gets Dirty Over Time

Your condenser unit is very susceptible to the buildup of dirt and debris because of its location outdoors and because of the large fan. The powerful condenser fan helps your unit to condense refrigerant by pulling in the outside air and blowing it over the condenser coil. As this happens, refrigerant condenses, and the heat from inside of your home dissipates from the refrigerant. However, the fan is bound to suck up a lot of dirt in the process, which then gathers on the coil.

Problems that Result from a Dirty Condenser Coil

It’s important that your outside unit is in top shape because heat must dissipate before refrigerant can absorb more heat out of the air in your home. But a dirty coil cannot effectively give off heat, which means your unit will have to work harder to compensate. And because your unit will have to run for a longer period of time, you may spend more in utilities every month. Professional coil cleaning can prevent repairs, increase efficiency, and extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system.

How Professionals Clean Your Coils

Often, professionals will rinse the coils with water during maintenance. However, if your unit has not been cleaned in several years, a technician may recommend chemical coil cleaning. In this case, water would just push the dirt further into the coil, and chemical coil cleaning is the best way to remove dirt and residue for good.

During any standard maintenance visit, a technician will clean and adjust components of your unit and alert you of any further services you may need. To schedule professional air conditioning maintenance in Sherman Oaks, and to determine whether your unit could benefit from chemical coil cleaning, call the dependable technicians at Kilowatt today!

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How Spiders Can Burn Out Your Air Conditioning System

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, affects millions of people in the United States. Although most of these uninvited guests to our homes and workplaces do not harm humans, arachnophobia continues to be one of the most common fears in the U.S. However, you may be surprised by the damage that spiders can do to an important component of your home.

Today, Erik from Kilowatt discusses a hidden danger outside of your home—spiders damaging the outdoor condenser unit of your air conditioner. If you haven’t scheduled air conditioning maintenance yet this year, there’s a possibility that dirty components, low refrigerant, or even spiders are keeping your unit from running at peak performance and lowering its efficiency.

For one, any kind of dirt and dust in your outside unit can cause problems for your system. If all of the parts in your air conditioner are not working as well as they could, the AC has to run for longer periods of time, which means you’re actually paying more for air conditioning. If there is dirt and debris inside of your indoor condenser unit, it simply cannot perform at its best, and spider webs are a common way this may happen. During professional air conditioning maintenance, a technician will clean out any part of your unit that may be afflicted with webs and other blockages.

Another surprising problem that stems from spiders on your outside unit is electrical issues. A panel on your outdoor unit holds the contactors and wires that send an electrical charge to the motor and compressor of your unit. This is a common area for spiders to make a home and lay their eggs. But as webs buildup inside of this unit, they may interfere with the electrical connections. In fact, a buildup of spider webs can act as conduits, allowing power to move through the webs. This can cause problems with electrical components, tripping the breaker or affecting the circuit board.

Spiders in the condenser unit are just one of the many reasons to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Sherman Oaks. Call the maintenance experts at Kilowatt today!

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A Million Thanks – Letters For U.S. Troops

Friday, September 12th, 2014

For several years now Kilowatt has been a drop off location for a Million Thanks.  Collecting letters has been an honor and a source of inspiration for everyone who works here. Here’s how it works: Customers give a hand written note of thanks to their service technician or AC installer, and we make sure it is delivered to an active duty soldier or wounded veteran. Simple. We also work with Operation Gratitude.  Sometimes boxes filled with letters and cards are delivered to our office from schools or churches in Los Angeles and we happily make sure that every beautiful letter is delivered. We all feel honored to participate.

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Custom card.

If you want to send a letter or card to a soldier we will make sure it gets to someone who will appreciate it. Sometimes the soldiers keep these letters in their pockets when they go out on missions. The kids letters are so cute and funny, the soldiers get a big kick out of them. Your appreciation really helps keep their morale up.

Here are a few letter writing tips:

  1. Do not put letters or cards in individual envelopes or include additional postage. 
  2. Send multiple letters together in the same envelope or box.
  3. Do not send edible items or other care package items.
  4. Do not use glitter, confetti, or anything that is not securely attached to the letter or card.
  5. Only include positive messages. Any negative messages will be discarded.
  6. Be creative! Draw pictures, talk about you, and let them know their service does not go unnoticed.
  7. Include your address or email address if you wish. Most military will write back to you!
  8. *Attention parents and/or teachers of minors: We ask that you review the letters your kids write to ensure you are comfortable with the address/method by which they are asking for return military correspondence.
  9. *Attention parents and/or teachers of young children: We ask that if children are too young to include a message of thanks, please write one on their behalf so our service members get a message along with a drawing.
You may also drop off or mail to:
Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical
4925 Sepulveda Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

 

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Can I Clean My HVAC Filter?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Your HVAC system—air conditioner and heater—contains an air filter that is vital for proper operation of the system. The filter is designed to catch debris, such as dust, dirt, and hair, that comes into the ventilation system through the return ducts. The filter prevents these pollutants from entering the cabinet of the heater and air conditioner and causing damage to their components. However, after a month of steady work, the filter will start to become clogged, and if left this way, it will restrict airflow into the HVAC system, resulting in the system overworking and possibly even leading to freezing across the air conditioning coils.

 

If you have disposable air filters in your HVAC system, you should change them once a month during the height of heating and cooling season. But what if you have a permanent filter? You don’t change it, you clean it, although you need to be careful when you handle the filter. We’ll explain how to perform regular cleaning for the air filter in your heating and air conditioning systems.

Should you encounter any serious problems in your AC or heater due to an air filter clog, or any other issues with your HVAC system, contact Kilowatt any time of the day or night.

How to best clean a re-usable filter

First, detach the filter from the system. It resembles a plastic grill filled with thin fibers. To clean it, we recommend that you take it outside where you can use a common garden hose on it. Don’t try to scrape off the accumulation of dust and dirt. Instead, use the water from the hose to clean it off.

Put the hose at lower pressure, not high pressure, which might damage the filter by spreading out the fibers too wide. Direct the water spray from the backside of the filter, not the side that has the dust across it. The reason for this is that you want to push the debris off the filter, not try to push it through.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned of the debris, allow the air filter time to dry. You shouldn’t return the filter to the system until it is 100% dry. A wet filter will cause the HVAC system to send excess humidity into your home.

If you have any concerns about the filter, or if your air conditioning and heating continue to work inefficiently and with low airflow after you have cleaned the filter, please contact Kilowatt and ask for professional assistance. We can help with any repairs for your air conditioning in Sherman Oaks, CA. We also handle yearly maintenance, which will help keep your air filter clean.

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