Understanding the Flame Sensor in Your Furnace—And When It Needs Repairs

January 10th, 2022
open-gas-furnace

We like to reassure our customers that gas furnaces are built to high standards of safety, and it’s not difficult to keep a gas furnace running without health hazards. As long as you have your furnace regularly maintained and schedule any repairs it may need promptly, you shouldn’t have any concerns about running the heater safely.

One of the key safety features in your gas furnace is the flame sensor. We’ll examine what this part does to maintain safe furnace operation, as well as when to know you need to call for heating repair in Van Nuys, CA to fix or replace it.

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Important Electrical Safety Advice for an Older Home

December 27th, 2021
cloth-wiring

Although most homes in Southern California would be considered “new” compared to those on the East Coast (where there are still many inhabited homes built at the beginning of the twentieth century), there are still a significant number that are more than 40 years old. That’s considered an older home when it comes to important home services, such as electrical safety. 

We’re older home specialists when it comes to electrical and HVAC needs, and we’ve helped many homeowners with the improvements they need for better, safer living in a vintage house. If you are living in a vintage home, you’ll find this list of safety advice a great help. We’re the electrician in Van Nuys, CA you can count on to meet all your electrical needs, from general to highly older-home specialized.

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Your Gas Furnace DOES Use Electricity: We’ll Explain How

December 13th, 2021
furnace

Have you ever heard a person say something like this…? 

I’m sure glad I’ve got a gas-powered heating system. That way, if I have to deal with a power outage during the winter, my heating system will still run and keep me comfortable.

You may have thought something didn’t feel right with that logic. Gas-powered furnaces burn natural gas to run, and natural gas continues to flow to homes even if the power grid goes out. But can a gas furnace keep running if there’s no electricity?

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5 Important Facts About Heating Repair You May Not Know

November 15th, 2021
Safe-and -reliable-furnaces

You can find lists of interesting information about home heating all around the internet, mostly fun facts about the history of the development of central heating. 

This isn’t one of those lists. These aren’t necessarily “fun” facts (although we hope you enjoy reading them), but they are important facts that can help you know more about your heater and why professional heating repair in Burbank, CA is often essential. We think this is useful information that can make central heating easier for you. 

Okay, let’s dig in…

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November Is When We Recommend Scheduling Heating Maintenance

November 1st, 2021
open-gas-furnace

We’ve started to experience our first true cool fall days during the past few weeks. Although the Southern California temperatures will never drop down much farther than 50°F during the winter, those temperatures still make it necessary to have a working heater for a house—especially for older homes that don’t have enough insulation to keep out drafts. 

November is the best month to prepare your heating system to ensure uninterrupted warmth when you need it and energy bills that won’t get out of control. And this means it’s time for … heating system maintenance! We want to make sure you don’t forget to schedule your heater maintenance in Encino, CA, a job that often escapes people’s minds in our milder weather. We have a long history in HVAC services, and we understand how beneficial routine maintenance is.

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Old, Outdated Wiring That May Be in Your House

October 18th, 2021
proper-electrical-panel-wiring

The oldest homes in Southern California are much younger than the oldest homes on the East Coast. That doesn’t mean we’re free of problems that come from older construction styles, outdated plumbing, and wiring that isn’t up to the standards of modern electrical loads and which may not be safe. At least we don’t have the troubles of knob-and-tube wiring, a frighteningly unsafe style of household wiring that electricians still find in homes in places like New England. 

If you live in a house that’s more than 40 years old—and you’ll still find plenty of those in Southern California—you may have outdated wiring. Call a Sherman Oaks, CA electrician to check on the electrical system to see if it needs updating. In fact, we recommend you call us, because we’re older home specialists: we understand how best to bring a vintage home into the 2020s. 

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How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

October 4th, 2021
Tankless-water-heater

It works great! We recommend looking into getting one for your next water heater installation.

Okay, obvious comment aside, people who haven’t owned a tankless water heater before are often curious about just how these systems work. They’re used to the standard type of water heater that most homes have used for a century: a large tank of water that’s kept hot (either with gas burners or electric heating elements) and ready for use whenever there’s demand for hot water. Remove the tank from the equation, and how does a water heater work?

We’re here to explain the basic operation of a tankless water heater. This information can help with your future water heater purchase decisions.

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Why We Recommend Upgrading to LED Lights

September 20th, 2021
outdoor-string-of-lights

Are you thinking about making some big lighting changes to your house? Changing old and tired lighting decor can enliven your home, but it’s also an opportunity to do much more: upgrade from old incandescent lights to LED lights.

LED stands for light-emitting diode, and these lights work using semiconductors rather than running electricity through a filament. This isn’t new technology: the first LED lights were developed in the early 1960s. For many years their primary use was commercial. Gradually through the ‘80s and ‘90s, they emerged as a replacement option for standard lightbulbs. Today, you can purchase LED lights from your local grocery store.

If you want a full upgrade for your house to LED lights, you’ll need the assistance of a skilled professional Burbank, CA electrician. We recommend you give this upgrade serious thought, and below are the best reasons:

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Does Your AC Have Enough Space to “Breathe”?

September 6th, 2021
ac-maintenance

Most homes with central air conditioners have split systems. These are air conditioners with a set of indoor and outdoor units. The indoor unit contains the evaporator coil and the air handler that sends cooled air into the ventilation system. The outdoor unit, also known as the condenser, is a cabinet that holds the compressor, evaporator coil, and exhaust fan.

Any resident of Southern California knows the sight of these outdoor condenser units. They’re usually located along the side of a house or in the backyard, sometimes disguised behind a fence because people generally don’t find them the most beautiful part of the outside decor. Homeowners sometimes try to hide condensers behind shrubs or other plants, making them disappear into the landscaping. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious AC problems! The condenser of a central air conditioner must have a clear area around it to give it room to “breathe,” as we’ll explain below.

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Should I Shut Off My AC When I’m Away From Home?

August 23rd, 2021
hand-setting-thermostat

The central air conditioning system is one of the biggest consumers of electricity in a house. When the AC goes into active cooling mode and powers the compressor, it can use on average 3,500 watts per hour. The only appliance that might use more is an electric water heater.

Because AC’s can take up such a significant chunk of your electrical budget during a hot So. Cal summer, it makes sense to limit how much you have it running. This is why we recommend keeping the thermostat at around 78°F during the day: it’s a comfortable temperature that won’t force the air conditioner to run too long.

What about when you’re away from home? It sounds like it makes sense to just turn the AC off so it won’t use any power. The situation isn’t so simple, however. Unless you plan to be away from home for several weeks, we advise you to keep the air conditioner on—but not necessarily at the same settings.

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