Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog: Posts Tagged ‘HVAC’

Dean Gilford We Love You

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Dean was 21 when he earned his Contractors License. He already had 6 years of electrical experience under his belt! Here’s Dean with his very first helper Hugo. Thirty years later still waking up early and working hard everyday.

Check out that pager!

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Will Ash and Soot Damage HVAC Systems?

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Last week we had customers send shocking photos and video to us of their homes surrounded by flames.  It was scary. The Skirball Fire was one freeway stop away from Kilowatt! Thankfully most of our customers are back in their homes. Saved from the devastating wildfires by tireless firefighting heroes. We love you guys. (Station 88 are our next door neighbors. )

Unfortunately following an excessive smoke incident to your residential property the interior surfaces of your HVAC system can collect particulates including smoke residue, ash, soot and other contaminants. This can even occur if your system is not even in use.

Performance, corrosion resistance, and health of your HVAC system may be at risk after exposure to fire and smoke. A comprehensive inspection and evaluation of your HVAC system following fire and smoke damage by Kilowatt’s experts can determine the extent of the HVAC system restoration and the services most ideal for your system to be operating at peak performance.

We are finding that some of our customers need a Coil Cleaning to remove the soot and ash.

To give you some idea about how important clean coils are: If 1/100th of an inch of dirt and grime accumulates on your air conditioner’s condenser coil, efficiency will decline by 5-percent.

The condenser coil is the component of an air conditioning unit responsible for releasing the excess heat from your home or building to the outdoors. It is particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of weather, dirt, soot and other outside detriments because the condenser coil is normally part of an outdoor unit. The chances of dirty coils is ratcheted up if you live in the city and your outdoor unit is at street level.

But there is something you can do right now to help your HVAC system stay healthy during this difficult time. You probably already thought of it… CHANGE YOUR FILTER 🙂

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We LOVE Hiring Veterans

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

If you have served our great nation in the military THANK YOU.

If you are looking for a job please know that we welcome you to the front of the line. Please send your resume to We really like hiring Veterans first.

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Why Old Air Conditioners Pose Health and Safety Risks

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Upgrade Your HVAC System For Better Safety & Health

We rely on our air conditioners to escape the heat, which, in Southern California can be year-round. Unfortunately, older units may not provide much relief, tend to need more repairs, and can sap electricity. But did you know they could also put your family at risk? Replacing a damaged or outdated A/C system could not only keep your loved ones cool but also safe and healthy.

Safety Risks

Old air conditioning units rely on outdated parts and power sources, including old electrical wiring, which can be a fire hazard. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association reports that old wiring in HVAC equipment, including A/C units, space heaters, and fans, caused 14% of all electrical house fires between 2007 and 2011. Since electrical wiring is often hidden within the equipment, problems can go unnoticed. One added benefit of hiring an HVAC company to professionally install or upgrade a system, notes The Refrigeration School, is that technicians gain access to all the wires that powered the original unit. Before they install your new equipment, they thoroughly check these wires and identify any red flags to prevent hazardous electrical damage.

Health Risks

A good air conditioner can improve indoor air quality, but old units may sometimes cause or intensify allergies and asthma, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common problems that can leave your family sniffling and sneezing include inadequate draining pans, contaminated ducts or filters, poor ventilation power, or other flaws that affect air quality and filtration. Older units can also have problems with mold—which we definitely don’t want in our homes!

If you have seasonal allergies, you’re probably well aware of the pollen, dander, and other allergens that fill the outdoor air every spring. Most modern, well-maintained A/C units will filter out these contaminants before they reach your indoor spaces. Outdated systems, unfortunately, just aren’t up to the task—another good reason to upgrade to a cleaner, more efficient and safer HVAC system.

Cooler Homes, Cleaner Air, Lower Utility Bills

Like our other appliances, our air conditioners only live so long. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the majority of central A/C units will last an average of 20 years. Updating your system sooner, however, could cut electricity usage by to 40%. The DOE recommends replacing old units after 10 years to reap these savings. Of course, the health and safety of your family is the best benefit of installing a new air conditioner—cutting costs on your utility bills is just an added bonus!

written by Monica Gomez

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Your Air Conditioner’s Worst Enemy

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

If your home air conditioner could speak it would probably tell you that it hates winter. Surprisingly, the mild winter we are having this year in Los Angeles can do even more damage to the outdoor components of home heating and cooling systems. Danger to your air conditioning equipment comes from an unexpected source.

You may remember making a wish on the fluffy seeds that float in the air.

Now that you are a homeowner you will wish for those seeds stay far away from your air conditioning condenser!

The assault on your HVAC equipment starts with the leaves in fall making their way through the grate on top of your outdoor equipment, the AC condenser, which is located either next to your home or on the roof. The condenser includes a coil of tubes which carry refrigerant. Fins, aluminum blades, are mounted on the condenser coil and they are thin enough to transfer heat very rapidly. Leaves that fall into your condenser lay for months against the delicate fins. Rain tamps them down and turns them into a moldy mess.

When spring comes seed pods across Los Angeles break open and millions of pounds of seeds are released into the atmosphere. Fluffy hair like fibers help the seed float through the air, giving it a wider range of distribution. Similar to true cotton, these fibers can be gathered and woven into fabric if properly prepared or used as stuffing if enough fiber is gathered.

What these fluffy fibrous seeds do to your air conditioner is disastrous! AC condenser fins must be kept clean and free of damage for them to work well. Nothing gets more deeply embedded in the fins or blocks the air flow better than these kinds
of cottony seeds.

Proper care of your Air Conditioner

Air conditioning equipment manufacturers require regular professional maintenance in order to preserve their warranty. We typically recommend two maintenance visits per year to:

  • Correct refrigerant levels
  • Seal minor duct leakage in central systems
  • Standardize airflow through the evaporator coil and interior equipment
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
  • Lubricate motors and replace belts as needed
  • Check the accuracy of the thermostat

Sometimes additional cleaning is needed for the outdoor condenser or evaporative coil to remove the seeds and leaves. We use a non-toxic cleaner that safely and effectively removes caked on and dirt and debris.

A Great Solution

Some of our customers opt for a vinyl condenser cover during the winter months. These are great at blocking out the elements that cause damage. The concern is that you must remember NOT to use the air conditioner during the occasional hot winter days we get when you may be tempted to turn on the AC! Condensers need plenty of room to for proper air flow, 18 to 24 inches of side clearance and 4 feet above is recommended. If the air conditioner is turned on with a vinyl covering on the condenser, air flow is restricted and the motor can easily burn out.

If you would like a condenser cover, we can order and deliver the proper one for your unit.

If you notice that your outdoor condenser is dirty or if your air is not blowing as cold as it used to, give us a call and schedule an HVAC maintenance visit. The money saved on your energy bill will more than make up for the cost.

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