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Can Proper Home Insulation Save You Money?

HVAC Parts
The main purpose of insulation is to slow down the transfer of heat from one area of your home to another. Even through floors, ceilings and walls, heat always flows from warmer areas to cooler ones. This means that during the winter season, and due to the cold exterior, the heat in our houses flows outside.

Similarly, during the summer season, heat from the outdoors, transfers into our cooler interior. To remove this heat, during summer months we run the air conditioner, and in winter we run furnaces to maintain the heat in our homes. This is to ensure a desirable room temperature, but this also means higher energy bills!

Does your cooling and heating system run for hours without stopping and without any noticeable change?

If so, you should consider adding insulation to your house.

Insulation Saves You Money

Heat moves from a warmer area into the colder area, but adding insulation to your home makes it difficult for heat to transfer, trapping it in the same place.

What makes our homes have poor insulation?

During the times when heating and cooling systems were not known or used commonly, our houses were built to automatically regulate the indoor temperature. Thick insulation and strategically-placed windows were used as natural insulation. But in modern construction, our heating and cooling systems are now responsible for maintaining the temperature indoors.

In fact, they are the primary source of cooling as well as heating, making insulation a secondary concern. For instance, in many home constructions, builders purposefully cut costs by avoiding insulation.

Adding Insulation is Imperative

Adding insulation is no longer a tedious process. In fact, the whole process to install takes less time than most people think. For instance, insulation in spray form can be installed in the attic, above existing insulation. This stops the cold from transferring through the roof. Similarly, some crawl spaces or basement in your house can also be a source of heat loss. You can avoid this by adding some special insulation panels to the ceilings of all of these spaces.

Call NexGen HVAC & Plumbing

If your home needs proper insulation to avoid losing heat and money, call NexGen Air and we can utilize our high-quality materials to protect the interior temperature of your house. Do you want to save even more? To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

5 HVAC Tips for Fall

repair man walking to truck
As the weather changes and you go from enjoying warm summer days to trying to survive those frigid fall nights there is no doubt that you will begin using your heater much more frequently. We all know there is a direct correlation between heater usage and power bill costs but there are a few tips you could use to diminish some unnecessary costs. There are a few things most people are losing money on that are solved with a quick fix. We will discuss a few things to help you save money, as well as a few other tips to help you be a safe, happy homeowner.  

Air Filter

One of the easiest things you can do to improve your air quality and furnace efficiency is to remember to replace your air filter monthly. Most people ignore this simple maintenance task but it will change everything! If your family is one that struggles with allergies or maybe has pets, changing your filter is crucial to assuring quality air is being sent through your air vents. The US Department of Energy states that changing your air filter monthly can save an average of around 5 to 15 percent in power bill costs yearly. This can be a lifesaver for some people's pockets but also will keep everyone living under your roof healthy and happy knowing they are breathing quality air.

Thermostat Awareness

Using a programmable thermostat can save hundreds of dollars each year. If you are a family who spends most of their time away during the week, it is crucial to have a programmable thermostat that keeps your home at a constant temperature. But not just any temperature, when you are away you should set your thermostat at a lower temperature to assure your furnace will not turn on for no reason. If you aren’t at home there is no reason to be blasting the heat. As routine maintenance, you should try to get your thermostat checked for accuracy whenever you have an HVAC team member around. A faulty thermostat can cause your heater to run because it is reading the incorrect temperature. This can burn a hole in your pocket if this issue is not noticed quickly.

Window and Door Insulation

As a homeowner, one of the most irritating things is knowing you have a leak because of faulty windows or doors. This can be one of the leading causes of high power bills, if air can come in then it can go out as well. Try using a door insulator that slides onto the bottom part of the door, it can kill any sort of draft you may have. Any home improvement store also sells window insulators, they can come in many shapes and sizes. If your windows are very leaky you may want to invest in window plastic covers that cover the entire window frame. They will save you A LOT of money during the winter by creating a barrier to block any sort of draft.

Carbon Monoxide Scares

If you own a gas powered furnace, a carbon monoxide alarm is a must. These heaters can become faulty and exhaust dangers carbon monoxide gas into your home. It is crucial to use an alarm to help you detect any scares. This gas is known to be odorless so it is best to get help.

HVAC Maintenance

To assure your heating and air conditioning is working at the highest capacity make sure to schedule routine maintenance checks with your local NexGen Air staff. This will give your furnace the longest lifespan possible as well as keep your systems working at maximum efficiency, having a huge effect on your entire home.  

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

Electric or Gas Furnace?

tankless water heater
One of the biggest questions regarding furnaces is which type is best? Electric or Gas? Well, there are many factors that weigh in on this discussion regarding the two. They both have their pros and cons, but the biggest question of all, which one is right for you? There are many factors you need to take into account when deciding which one is the best. These factors include cost, efficiency, size, durability, as well as safety concerns, installation requirements, and housing requirements. Some people do not have the availability to debate the two because of their living situation and location. Natural Gas is the most popular fuel source for the United States but some areas are not able to use this because of location restrictions.

Pros of Electric Furnaces

Cons of Electric Furnaces

Pros of Gas Furnaces

Cons of Gas Furnaces

Cost Comparison

The upfront costs of Electric Furnaces tend to be cheaper than gas furnaces. But over time electric furnaces typically end up being more costly than gas because the cost to run an electric furnace is a tad more pricey than gas. The electric furnace also uses a little more energy to heat your home. So it might be worth the upfront investment for the gas furnace because it will save your pockets over time.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

A gas-powered system is less expensive to operate because of the price difference in the utility and a few other factors. Gas furnaces are more effective when it comes to heating an entire home in a cold weather area. Gas tends to be more effective in heating a home because of its ability to create and transfer heat energy. This is why electrically powered furnaces tend to be more costly to operate, especially in cold climates. So if you live in a cold area, a gas furnace might be the right choice for you. If you do not live in a cold area and only see yourself using your heater once in a while then electric may be the choice for you! It is cheaper to purchase and install, as well as safer to operate.

Call NexGen HVAC & Plumbing

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

Broken Furnace? Here’s What You Should Do

water heater

Did your heart stop working and you don’t know how to fix it? There are a few things that could stop your heat from working and we are here today to give you a few tips to diagnose your main problem.

Before you call any sort outside help, you should check to see if your furnace is actually broken or temporarily disabled because of a few fixable issues. Make sure to keep reading to discover the root problem and how you can fix them.

Air Vents

First, you must check the most obvious thing, is air flowing through your air vents into your rooms? You may need to grab a neighbor's ladder or the nearest chair depending on your ceiling height. Reach over to your vent and check to see if you feel the air. If not, try adjusting the vent angle. If this doesn’t work, see if there could be any debris blocking the vent. Sometimes lint and debris can build up in the vent causing airflow issues.

Check the Gas

Most furnaces are gas-powered and will have a pilot light inside one of the removable panels. Make sure to check the manual for the furnace if it is readily available, it will help you find the gas valve and pilot light areas. First, check to see if the pilot light is lit, if there is a lit flame then this is not the root cause of your issue. Keep reading to discover other ways to fix your heat problem.

Thermostat Issues

A lot of the time heating related issues is caused by a broken thermostat. These can become faulty and break over time. To check to see if your thermostat is working correctly try turning up or down the temperature setting and see if your furnace reacts in any way. If it does you will know your thermostat is not the cause.

Furnace Vents

Most furnaces have vents that are used for exhaust and intake. Check to see if you feel any sort of heat being exhausted from your furnace and clear any lint or debris that could be blocking potential airflow.

Furnace Filters

Changing filters is never something people put on their weekly to-do lists. Dirt and lint can build upon these filters and can cause a lot of issues with airflow. Warm air will not be able to pass through the filter and can cause the furnace to break down. Make sure to change your furnace filters every few months to assure your furnace is receiving proper filtering.

After these few tips hopefully your furnace will be back up and running in no time! If these tips did not get your heater back on, it may be time to call your local NexGen Air. We provide great quality work for a great price and promise to get your house temperature back to normal quickly.  

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

Why does ice form in a ductless mini split AC?

Daikin mini split
If your air conditioner does not seem to be working as well as it should, your natural first reaction is to go out and look at the unit to see if there is anything you can do quickly to correct the problem. Of course, you cannot assess the situation unless you know what you are looking for. For instance, if you see ice forming on the condenser coil or anywhere else on the air conditioning system, you will know you found the likely source of the problem.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Ice can form in your air conditioner for a number of reasons. The most common one is that your refrigerant levels are low. The reason a lack of refrigerant can cause this ice buildup is due to what refrigerant itself is. Refrigerant in part transfers heat from the indoor coil and once warm moves to the outside coil where it dissipates heat into that coil. This cools yours home, when there is not enough refrigerant it begins to move more quickly through the system. This means that the heat transfer is not happening. Since this refrigerant is contained in a closed system, a deficiency in refrigerant means that there must be a leak somewhere in that system. Only a certified professional can refill your refrigerant and determine where the leaks are in the system to make the necessary repairs.

Lack Of Airflow

Another reason that ice can develop in your air conditioner is because the air is not flowing fast enough through the system and across the coils. This can happen because of a problem with the fan or because there is an actual physical impediment to the air flow. This lack of airflow is most commonly caused by a buildup of dirt between the fins of the coil. Regardless of the reason, the ice will form because without adequate air flow the condenser coils will get too cold.

These coils are typically kept just above freezing by the constant flow of air across them. When the air passes by them at this temperature, the moisture from the air condenses on the surface of the coil. But because the coil is not quite freezing, the water then runs down into a collection pan. When the coil is too cold, however, the moisture from the air will freeze on the coil before it can run off.

This ice actually manages to insulate the coil and keeps it from properly cooling the air or removing any additional moisture. If left unattended, the ice in your central air conditioning system can cause real damage to the unit. Plus, it is not allowing the air conditioner to do its job and cool your house down. So, if you notice any amount of ice at all beginning to form on any part of your air conditioner, be sure to call for professional service right away.

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

3 Desert Air Conditioning Tips

When 110 degree weather is a normal occurance, you know you live in Palm Springs. Sure, that desert heat is great for a day out at the pool, but keeping your home cool can become a nightmare.

Don’t worry:

We’ve created a list of the top 3 desert air conditioning tips you need to know to keep your AC working right, and keep your home cool without breaking the bank.

#1 Change Your Air Filter More Often!

The recommended air filter maintenance you hear about from other sources are for ordinary environments. When you live in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or anywhere else in the Coachella Valley, you need to adjust your air filter maintenance accordingly. The Coachella Valley is windy, and that hot wind carries a lot of dust.

Think about it:
Your AC is filtering out all that desert dust to keep the air in your home pleasant to breathe, every single day! Tack on 100+ degree weather, and your AC is working really hard to keep you happy! Pay it forward by replacing your air filter more than once per year. In fact, we recommend you change your air filter every season. Extreme desert weather calls for a new air filter at least once every 3 months.

Your AC unit will thank you, and you’ll be much happier knowing your AC is working efficiently. You may want to also invest in a high quality air purifier for even higher quality air in your home!

#2 Make Sure Your AC is Getting Proper Air Flow.

Have you ever felt short of breath?
That’s what your AC is feeling when the outside unit is covered in dirt and debris.

When was the last time you checked your outdoor AC unit?
We’re willing to bet that it’s been a while. Go out back and really inspect your AC condenser (that’s what the outdoor part of your AC is called).

You may be surprised!
If you went ahead and checked your AC right now, you may be surprised as to all the junk you found lodged in the grates.

That’s right!
All that junk is blocking your AC’s air flow which is pretty bad for your AC unit’s lifespan and efficiency. Factor in the extreme desert heat and you’ve got a recipe for a broken air conditioner.

#3 Don’t turn off your AC!

Have you ever heard of the saying, “it’s hard do get a train going, but once it does, it’s hard to stop?”.

That train is your AC unit! It’s much, much easier on your AC unit to maintain a constant temperature throughout the day than to cool the house on and off. In a way, you can call this temperature momentum. Once the house is cooled down to your desired temperature, you home’s AC has a lot of momentum going and it doesn’t have to work as hard. In Palm Springs where inside temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, it can cost a fortune trying to pull the temperature back down to 70 all the time. Set it to 68-78 and keep it there! If you want the most bang for your buck, check out these cool Nest thermostats!

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

What is a Good SEER Rating? SEER Rating Meaning and Importance

technician looking at a gas furnace
A SEER rating is the maximum rating of efficiency for your HVAC unit. This means that though the SEER rating displays a certain number, it’s not always working at that number - the SEER rating number only displays the maximum level of efficiency it can operate at.

SEER ratings are super simple if you just think about them the way you think about MPG in a car. Your car displays a certain MPG, but if you're revving the engine and speeding down the interstate, you're probably not going to get the listed MPG. Apply this concept to your AC unit, and you can see how constantly changing your home's temperature can result in a decrease in efficiency and a suboptimal SEER rating.

Are High SEER Ratings Worth it?

If you've heard the common sales pitch "this SEER rating will pay for itself in 10 years", or something like that, then we hope you haven't fallen for this. Remember, the SEER rating is a measurement of maximum efficiency. It's the limit of your HVAC unit. This means that if you are putting some heavy usage on your AC unit, then you're definitely not getting that high SEER rating number that is labeled on your unit.

In all honesty, we'd prefer to be the HVAC contractor that achieves success by customer trust and long-term repeat customers, not sales pitches on expensive high SEER equipment - that's why we're telling you all of this. In fact, we'd prefer it this way, otherwise, our customer service line would be flooded with irate customers. We don't want that, you don't want that - let's move on.

Upgrading Your Condenser to a higher SEER Rating Does NOT Make Your Entire System that SEER Rating

Many of our customers wonder how they can save money while at the same time upgrading their SEER value. The biggest misconception out there is that you'll improve your SEER rating by purchasing a higher SEER condenser. Well, you can't! You can't just upgrade one HVAC component at a time and expect a higher SEER rating. Not to mention that many components are not compatible with each other causing a whole other batch of headaches to deal with. Stick to this rule of thumb - if you really want that higher SEER rating, have an entirely new HVAC system installed, please.

We hope this sheds some light on SEER ratings and that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your new HVAC installation, repair, or maintenance. Thank you again for reading and please call or contact one of our NexGen technicians for any questions you may have about SEER value or any HVAC-related concerns.

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

3 HVAC Tips For Choosing the Best HVAC Contractor

man and woman with paperwork

1. Watch Out for HVAC Contractors that Give You an Estimate Over The Phone

Remember, every home is unique and has many nuances that make each HVAC installation or maintenance on a case-by-case basis. Watch out for HVAC contractors that give you a bid over the phone because there is no way they can know what exactly what your system consists of. There are many factors that go into a proper estimate such as ducting, insulation, and even windows. Make sure your contractor performs a Manual-J calculation for your air conditioning system. None of this can be done over the phone. If you get a phone estimate, take it with a grain of salt and make sure you get a proper estimate when the HVAC contractor comes over to check out your system.

2. Make Sure Your HVAC Contractor Installs the Proper Unit

Many contractors opt to install the same unit (albeit a newer model year) as before. Assuming the average HVAC unit lasts 10-15 years, you should make sure the newer model of your old unit has similar specs, otherwise, you should find something that is actually compatible with the dimensions of your home. A seasoned HVAC contractor will recommend several options to best improve the quality of your home's HVAC system.

3. Don't Take an HVAC Contractor's Years of Experience for Face Value

Many HVAC companies claim they have over 50 years of combined HVAC experience or something like that! Sure, that may be true, but when it comes down to the job, you may only have one or two new contractors with little experience actually working on your HVAC system. HVAC contractors that have nothing else to show other than their "years of experience" should raise a red flag. Make sure your contractor also has great customer reviews and a lot of photos from recent projects.

Also, watch out for HVAC contractors that say they've been following the same process for years. HVAC is still a technology that evolves, and with all evolving technologies come evolving methods and processes. Make sure your contractor is on the leading edge of HVAC technology.

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Spring

HVAC system outdoors
As winter melts away and birds begin to chirp, you’ve told yourself multiple times: “I need to look into how to prepare my HVAC system for spring.”

Wise homeowners will ensure that their air conditioner is in top working order for that first warm day. By following the five tips below, you can be ready when summer weather hits and set yourself up for energy-efficient and cost-effective cooling all summer long.

1. Change Your HVAC Filters

If you want to know how to get rid of allergies this spring, you can begin by simply replacing the furnace filter on your HVAC system. As every allergy sufferer knows, spring brings ample amounts of pollen and other airborne allergens. Remove these seasonal allergens from your home with a brand-new furnace filter. If your air conditioning unit employs additional air filters of any kind, you should replace each of these as well. There’s no telling what has settled on them over the long winter months!

2. Inspect the Ducts and Insulation

Leaking ducts and missing insulation on your HVAC system will have your air conditioner working overtime. A professional technician can insure that your ducts are airtight and well-insulated, leading you to cheaper monthly utility bills throughout the summer. Hate warm spots in your otherwise cool home? An optimized duct system will ensure that each corner of each room has an even and comfortable temperature.

3. Make Sure That Your HVAC System is Clean

Although a new furnace filter can work wonders in terms of the overall air quality of your home, the dirt that already rests within your duct system can quickly clog it. For this reason, experts recommend scheduling professional duct cleaning every five to seven years. Homeowners should also ensure that all indoor and outdoor air conditioning equipment/infrastructure is completely free of dirt and debris. When it comes to outdoor air conditioning units, you must also protect against invading plants and pests that may cause unexpected damage. Keep grass and weeds away from all vents and call a pest control specialist to handle any insect/animal intruder.

4. Consider a Programmable Thermostat

When you’re at work or outside in the summer sunshine, you simply don’t need to cool an empty house. Stop running your air conditioner constantly by installing a programmable thermostat. Unlike traditional thermostats that must be set by hand, this device incorporates a timer that can trigger a new temperate setting for each hour of the day and night. It even knows the difference between a Wednesday (when you’re hard at work) and a Saturday (when you’re relaxing around the house).

5. Schedule a Spring HVAC Tune-Up

To get the most out of your HVAC system, you should schedule professional maintenance visits at least twice a year. For all of the reasons detailed above, spring is an ideal time for one of these visits. In addition to inspecting, cleaning, and/or repairing your ducts, you can ensure that all components of your air conditioner are in perfect working order. And a trained HVAC technician can also install that programmable thermostat you’ve been considering!

NexGen Air provides comprehensive HVAC services for both residential and business clients. Schedule your seasonal tune-up with NexGen Air today before spring has sprung!

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.

5 Reasons Why Your HVAC System Could Be Causing Your Allergies

man blowing his nose

It has been proven that the quality of your home's indoor air can directly affect your family's health. According to the EPA, exposure to poor indoor air quality can cause immediate discomfort. They warn that the long term effects from extended periods of breathing indoor air pollution can also cause lingering and chronic illnesses. Many respiratory diseases and allergies have been linked to living in a home with dirty air.

After long periods of time, the concentrations of indoor pollution will continue to build up, and the resulting health effects can be debilitating and are often the cause of allergies. It is important to have regular maintenance of your HVAC system to eliminate or reduce the circulation of contaminants in your home. HVAC technicians that perform regular inspection and cleaning  of your HVAC units and ductwork can also detect more serious conditions, such as carbon monoxide leakage which can be deadly.

1. Dust and Dirty Air Filters

HVAC maintenance may include removing dust from the register and return vents in the home. Also, a yearly replacement of your home’s furnace filters is crucial for good indoor air quality. Speak with your HVAC technician about the choices in high quality air filters that remove a greater amount of airborne particulates.

2. Mold in Home or AC Unit 

Mold can thrive within different areas of you AC unit that are prone to humidity and moisture. These include the drip pan, evaporator coils, and within air ducts. Technicians are trained to detect mold and will advise on the best measures the homeowner should take for removal. If mold is circulated from other parts of your home by way of the duct system, the fungus spores will enter nose and lungs, presenting symptoms that resemble hay fever.

3. Pet Dander and Pollen Circulation

If someone in your family already experiences environmental allergies, then poor air quality from outside sources can enter your HVAC system and cause increased symptoms. According to WebMD, using HEPA filtersto trap these pollutants can help bring relief from allergies. With a HEPA filter, air is forced through such a fine mesh, that harmful and allergy-causing particles are trapped. If you are considering a HEPA filter, consult with an HVAC expert to determine if an upgrade to your HVAC system is required to handle the high energy required to pass air through these filters.

4. Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Low exposure to carbon monoxide can present symptoms that resemble allergies.  Low concentration levels of CO in your home over long periods of time can cause nausea, headache, dizziness, and weakness. The mucous membranes are also affected and may eventually appear cherry red in color - this is an allergic reaction to the gas. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, your HVAC technician can recommend a high quality CO detector to protect your home.

5. Lack of HVAC Maintenance

The overall health of your HVAC system can contribute to your indoor air quality and reduce or increase allergies.  From regular cleaning, to high quality filters, and regular inspection for signs of biological contaminants - regular HVAC maintenance will help reduce the allergic symptoms that your family is experiencing.

Call NexGen Today

Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction make us the leading HVAC company in Southern California. To learn more about our equipment, services, and protection plan, book an appointment online or call 888-277-0415.