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

Wildfires and Cleaning Your AC’s Coils

Monday, November 4th, 2019


Air conditioning maintenance in Van Nuys, CA and elsewhere in So. Cal is usually something you schedule during the spring. That way your AC is ready to go when the hottest weather arrives.

But right now during the fall, we have an emergency situation in Southern California, which is the outbreak of major wildfires. These fast-spreading fires are an unfortunately regular occurrence at this time of year, but the fires of 2019 are more numerous than usual. We’re hoping you are reading this email from your own house and that you and your family have been safe during the fires. We also recommend you take steps to protect your comfort and valuable HVAC equipment with maintenance. Not the regular maintenance that’s done in spring, but a specific maintenance job—cleaning your air conditioner’s coils.

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The Troubles With Aluminum Wiring in Your Home

Monday, October 7th, 2019

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An important job of any electrician in Van Nuys, CA is keeping homes safe from fires due to faulty wiring. Bad wiring takes many different forms. Our electricians often run into terrible DIY jobs or amateur work on rewiring parts of a home that are against code. You may have this type of electrical danger in your house and not even know it because the previous resident was responsible.

There’s another wiring concern we often deal with: aluminum wiring. This metal was used extensively for wiring in houses built between 1965 and 1972. If you live in a home of this vintage—and there are plenty in L.A. and the San Fernando Valley—you may have a fire hazard lurking in your walls.

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How to Handle a Second Floor That’s Too Hot

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

One of the reasons window air conditioning units are only useful for apartments or for a single office is because of their limited reach. The only way to cool a whole house with window units is to place them in windows in every room—which isn’t always possible and blocks up so many windows you’ll end up with a perpetual twilight in the house! And even with all the window ACs, you’ll still end up with hot spots.

With a central air conditioning system, you don’t have to worry about having rooms all around the house cool. Or you shouldn’t. Unfortunately, uneven cooling still happens, and the most common case we run into is an upper story of a house that’s hotter than the lower one. Heat rises, and in the San Fernando Valley the AC may not be equipped to deal with it.

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How Efficient Are Ductless Mini Split Systems?

Monday, August 12th, 2019

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As older home specialists, our Kilowatt team often works with ductless mini split systems. Going ductless is an excellent choice for these homes because they allow for cooling and heating around the house, much like a central HVAC system, but without needing to add an inch of ductwork.

But ductless mini splits offer other benefits for homeowners, such as improved energy efficiency. How much of a difference can a ductless mini split make in home comfort? We can’t give you specific dollar savings amounts because every home is different, but we can show you how ductless systems improve efficiency.

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Unhealthy Air Quality Concerns in Southern California

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

We’ve written about indoor air quality for homes before, since making IAQ (indoor air quality) improvements is part of what we do. But it’s urgent to talk with customers and potential customers in Southern California because of the recent destructive fires that blazed through the region during November. By the time the fires ended, more than 20 cities in California had unhealthy air. The Woolsey fire in Malibu was the most destructive for us in Southern California, and it released into the air many harmful particles that can lead to respiratory issues and worsening of previous medical conditions.

Even though the fires are vanquished and we’ve had rain, air quality doesn’t automatically switch back to “healthy.” The short-term concerns about being outside may be gone, but your home may be suffering from poor air quality for the near future. Sadly when homes burn the smoke is much more toxic than the smoke from a wood campfire. But you can do something about the air quality inside your home!

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The Thermostat Setback Is Still a Way to Save on Cooling

Monday, 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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Problems With an Air Conditioner’s Condensate Pan and Drain

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

ac-unit-insidesAn air conditioning system doesn’t use water to cool off the inside of a house—but water condensation is a part of the AC’s heat exchange process. If you listen to the air conditioner’s indoor cabinet when the system is running, you’ll occasionally hear the drip of water. This is the vapor from the air that gathers along the evaporator coil. As the coil evaporates the cold refrigerant moving through it to draw heat out of the air, it also draws out moisture in the air, where it condenses on the coil.

What happens to this water? It drips off the coil and falls down into a shallow condensate pan. A pump then removes the water through a drain and removes it from the house. For the most part, you won’t have to think about it. Unless…

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Never Let Those AC Repairs Linger at the End of the Year

Monday, November 6th, 2017

air-conditioner-unit-being-repairedWow, it’s finally cooled down here in Southern California. There was a week there in October when the temperatures were rising above 100°F. We hope your air conditioner was able to keep your home cooled down during this rough pre-Halloween heat wave—and if you did have troubles, we hoped you contacted us to have them fixed.

If you’ve noticed that your AC was having some problems during the recent heat, but it continued to run, you still need to have the system looked at to see what needs to be fixed. Don’t hesitate to schedule air conditioning repair in Van Nuys, CA or elsewhere in our service area at the end of the year. There are some good reasons why you never want these problems to linger over to the next calendar year, even though you don’t think there will be another heat wave coming up in November and December.

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Installing Air Conditioning and Figuring Out Tonnage

Monday, July 10th, 2017

outdoor-condenser-units-fenceWe always recommend our customers arrange for a new air conditioning installation in Van Nuys, CA or elsewhere in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley during early spring. That way they can get a head start on the heat of summer and have the work done in a period when they can stand to be without cooling for a few hours.

However, we understand that sometimes planning doesn’t work out the way it should, or that an air conditioner that seemed to be in good shape in spring might break down abruptly during the intense summer heat. If you need an air conditioning replacement right now, you can count on our trained team to do the job right. We stand behind all our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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Customer Question: “What’s the Difference between SEER and EER?”

Monday, May 1st, 2017

question-markWhen you start the quest to have a new air conditioning system installed in your home (and right now is a good time to have it done; we’re coming up on the hot days of summer) you’ll encounter numerous numbers and stats. It can all be a bit confusing. You probably already know that BTUs has something to do with how much cooling an air conditioner can put out. The higher the BTUs, the more cooling power the AC has. Technically, BTUs are a measure of how much heat the AC can remove from the air—but the effect is the same as far your comfort is concerned.

But what about the two efficiency ratings you find on the list of an air conditioner’s stats, SEER and EER? You might know that the higher these numbers, the more energy efficient the air conditioner is. But what’s the difference between the two numbers? Why the extra “S” on SEER? What does it mean, and is it important?

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