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Archive for the ‘hvac maintenance’ Category

Heating Season Tune-ups Save Money, And Maybe Your Life

If it’s sweltering outside, the last thing you have in mind is cranking up the furnace. But cooler temperatures are not far away. It’s time to schedule a heating season combustion adjustment, professional cleaning and safety check.

An annual heating system “tune-up” is one of the best home maintenance investments you can make. Homeowners who neglect it tend to pay the following penalties:

  • Fuel bills rise as much as 10-15% as a result of inefficient equipment operation. It’s like having a fireplace that burns money. Our service technicians will perform a variety of tests to measure the combustion efficiency of your system both before and after tuning it up.
  • Accelerated equipment wear. Annual maintenance extends equipment life as much as 5-10 years for your furnace.
  • Our long experience tells us that about 75% of all HVAC system repairs we do could have been avoided with regular maintenance. Repairs cost a lot more than maintenance, and breakdowns never happen at a convenient time.
  • Most important, annual heating inspections can save your life and those of your loved ones. Small cracks in a heat exchanger or problems with the flue system could allow deadly carbon monoxide gas to seep into your home. Dozens of people in the U.S. lose their lives each year to these tragedies. Our trained service technicians know how to spot danger signs in the system.

Modern HVAC systems are very sophisticated. Our well-equipped service technicians have an array of electronic measuring devices and tools to properly service these units. You can trust their professionalism and experience to do the job right.

While heating inspections can be done at any time, early fall is the most popular time for most home owners to schedule these visits. Many of our clients have their fall heating inspection done as part of an annual service agreement. They receive priority in scheduling and discount pricing for any repairs not covered by the agreement. A service agreement also is a good way to ensure you don’t forget about scheduling heating system maintenance. We’ll remind you. If you are not on our list, give us a call to ask how you can be included.

Beyond a certain point even the best maintenance cannot save an antiquated system. Efficiency improvements over the last few decades have been so dramatic that if your furnace is more than 20 years old, it’s quite possible that it would make economic sense to replace your present system even if it is still operating okay. Ask our service technician to perform an energy audit of your home to see how many years of energy savings it would take to pay back the initial cost of a new installation.

Also ask about low-cost energy efficiency improvements that can be obtained from devices such as automatic flue dampers and programmable setback thermostats or internet compatible thermostats.

Repair vs. Replace

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Boilers and furnaces are like cars: at some point you have to ask yourself if it’ll go another 10,000 miles or if you should park it for good.

Here are some important considerations when making this decision:

Safety First
Most people don’t consider this when deciding on a new heating system, but you could be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning from an old furnace with a cracked heat exchanger. Another safety aspect is whether you run the risk of having a boiler break down during the coldest time of the season (which is when it tends to happen). It’s more than just comfort. Exposure to low temperatures for too long has health impacts, especially for the elderly and young babies.

Why Repair?
When things are tight and you’re trying to save cash, sometimes a simple repair may be more than sufficient, depending on the age of the boiler or furnace. Just remember to consider labor costs, as well as the cost of parts. The first thing to make a note of is the age of the equipment compared to its life expectancy. Furnaces typically last in the 15-20 year range while boilers can go for 20-30 years. Some boilers even last up to 40 or 50 years!

When to Replace
There are times when repairing your old furnace or boiler just won’t work. If you have to wait several weeks to get parts because your heating equipment is obsolete, it’s definitely time to consider replacement. Even if you can still get parts, you have to face the reduction in efficiency as your equipment ages. This translates into more of your money in the utility’s pocket. As long as you can afford it, there are some real benefits of replacing your system:

You have the opportunity to upgrade to a more efficient system. It’s more than just getting the 80% efficiency a new furnace would give. Nowadays, condensing type equipment can give upwards of 95% efficiency.

Even if you stick with the standard efficiency heater, your bills will come down simply because you regain your initial efficiency.

Once you have that new furnace or boiler, it’s smooth sailing for the first five years. Not only is the heater new, but you get warranty coverage for anything that does go wrong in that time.

The Right Support
Regardless of what you decide, you need the right technical support. Give us a call and we’ll make sure your home stays warm for the winter!

5 Inventions to Be Thankful For

We’ve come a long way from burning fires in caves and going to theturkey bathroom in a hole in the ground.

Here are five inventions that would make medieval royalty envious of our luxurious living:

The flushing toilet was first proposed by Sir John Harrington in the sixteenth century but didn’t become mainstream due to a lack of sewage disposal piping in England. Thomas Crapper came up with the modern version of the flushing toilet when he invented the valve and siphon design in 1891. Since then, innovations have made the “crapper” more efficient in terms of water consumption.

Water heaters became a fixture in the household thanks to Edmund Ruud who, in 1889, improved on the previous design by Benjamin Maughan. Ruud’s design added safety features like flue gas venting to Maughan’s water heater which burned natural gas to heat water entering a tub. Prior to that, people would boil water in a pot and pour it into a basin for bathing and washing. Water heaters are fundamental for washing machines, dishwashers, and warm showers.

The air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier who worked at a printing plant that needed a way to control humidity and temperature to protect the paper. His initial design consisted of a fan blowing air over coils filled with cold water. In 1933, his company created the basis for the modern version of the air conditioner with a condensing unit, evaporator coil and proper controls.

Central furnaces became a mainstream appliance in the 1800s, but due to a lack of proper oversight and standards for building and rating furnaces, they fell out of favor in the early 20th century. The National Warm Air Heating and Ventilation Association was created in 1914 to address this and now the majority of homes in North America are heated with furnaces.

Thermostats are vital for keeping the temperature in your home at the set point you desire. Imagine having to go down to your basement six times a night to adjust valves, dampers, and fan flow so you can stay comfortable. Believe it or not, this was what people did before several thermostats were invented, starting with Andrew Ure’s bimetallic thermostat in 1830. Modern electronic thermostats allow us to program temperatures to save energy and still keep cozy warm in winter and cool in summer.

Fortunately for us, technology keeps growing by leaps and bounds. To upgrade your home with the latest of these inventions, give us a call today!

Don’t Wait for Unexpected Problems to Find You!

The Importance of HVAC Maintenance in Los Angeles & Orange County

People always say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” and in our industry that’s probably the worst thing you could do! The most important staple of maintaining any healthy home system is routine preventative maintenance check. A little extra care goes a long way! By checking the health and safety of your heating and cooling system, you can save yourself time, money and stress by adjusting your units before problems find you.

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It’s important to regularly service your HVAC systems. At RPB Inc.,we suggest maintenance twice a year, usually before the summer and winter months. By having the health and status of your systems checked, you can catch problems before they happen. The older and less taken care of that your HVAC units are, the more likely they’ll be to give you serious problems. Avoid unnecessary stress, headaches and time wasted by avoiding costly repairs and replacements. With preventative maintenance, your wallet is sure to benefit.

Here are some reasons why you should get a maintenance tune-up this season; you will:

  • Save up to 30% on your utility bills
  • Improve the indoor air quality of your home
  • Do your part for the environment through energy and fuel conservation
  • Prevent expensive repairs
  • Expand the lifespan of your HVAC systems
  • Have peace of mind! 

At RPB Inc. , our certified HVAC technicians perform maintenance on all aspects of your heating and cooling systems. If for some reason a problem should present itself, we also specialize in repairs and replacements. If you are in need of HVAC services or would like to set up an appointment for an HVAC tune-up, don’t wait until problems find you! Call your trusted Los Angeles CA, Orange County CA and surrounding area specialists at RPB Inc. today.

 562.925.2838 | 714.994.0254

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