Category Archives: Air Conditioning

Memorial Day Celebrates Veterans and Marks the Beginning of Summer Air Conditioning Season

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With Memorial Day weekend here, Americans set aside time to honor their veterans and commemorate those fallen heroes who have given their lives for freedom. All of us at Ellsworth Home Services say thank you to Arizona veterans and all the servicemen and women of the United States for their service and sacrifice.

Summer Is Definitely Here

For many, Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Schools close, the Diamondbacks’ season picks up steam, and summer heat descends on the valley like a sweltering blast furnace. Triple digit temperatures force kids inside for the hottest parts of the day, and parents face the daily challenge of finding interesting indoor activities for their kids.

There’s Nothing Average About Arizona Summer Temperatures

One thing is for certain, from June through September in the Valley of the Sun, your home provides protection from the scorching and at times, dangerous desert heat. As temperatures average 105 degrees or more and soar above 110 during heatwaves, your air conditioning unit becomes the single most important appliance you own. If you have ever experienced an air conditioning breakdown during an Arizona heatwave, you know how miserable your indoor environment can be without cooling AC. The very qualities that help insulate homes and keep cooled air from escaping make it almost unbearable inside when your air conditioner is down.

Don’t Wait to Schedule Your Annual Air Conditioner Service

Umbrella sales skyrocket when it rains, roofing contractors are deluged with calls after monsoons, and HVAC companies get overwhelmed with service calls during heatwaves. We’re all human, and it’s easy to forget about scheduling AC service, especially if your unit has been quietly getting the job done. Ironically, that’s part of the problem. Many air conditioning units are so reliable, they work for years without a hitch. People often call and say, “We can’t understand, we’ve never had any problems with our air conditioner before.” However, in Arizona, air conditioners run full tilt from June through September which places an enormous strain on the unit. You wouldn’t take a chance on a long drive through the desert without having your fluids checked and your car serviced. You also don’t want to head into the summer months in Phoenix without having your air conditioning unit checked.

For peace of mind and the comfort of your family all summer long, call Ellsworth Home Services for a comprehensive inspection of your entire air conditioning system.

Crunch the Numbers on a New Air Conditioner

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Purchasing a new air conditioner is a big decision, and one that requires a serious look at your potential return on investment. And yes, an air conditioner is an investment, not just a household expense. Let’s take a look at the possible savings.

Most aging systems have a SEER rating of around 10. Thus, moving to a new system of at least 13 SEER will reduce the cost of your air conditioning by 30 percent. This means you can expect to see an 18 to 20 percent savings on your monthly electric bill. With the amount you’ll save each month, you’ll be on your way to paying back what you invested in your system.

How Fast Can You Get a Return on Your Investment?

With a high efficiency air conditioner, you’ll see impressive savings over time. However, if patience isn’t your virtue, you may prefer a less expensive, lower SEER system. This is an ok option, but keep in mind that you’ll take the financial hit over time with higher energy bills.

What about Doing Nothing?

Choosing to wait until your system completely fails is an option, but you won’t begin to see energy savings until you swap out your aging unit. Keep in mind that the refrigerant used in older systems is currently being phased out by the US Environmental Protection Agency. So, you’re going to have to replace your unit sooner or later.

What Else?

Of course, there are more benefits to a new air conditioner than just reduced energy consumption. A new system will also decrease humidity and reduce allergens like mold. Many homeowners discover that they feel better after installation due to the improved indoor air quality. Allergy symptoms often lessen, which can result in reduced medical expenses and improved quality of life.

And once your new air conditioner is in place, you can stop worrying about the potential of a breakdown. Today’s systems typically run for well beyond 10 years. What’s your peace of mind worth?

Want to learn more about the measurable benefits of moving to a new air conditioner? Call Ellsworth Home Services today.

Air Conditioner Drain Lines – What You Need to Know

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Can you believe that summer is nearly here already? It’s time to get your air conditioner in tip-top shape – before the relentless heat kicks in. Yes, this means a spring tune-up to ensure your system is functioning optimally. This includes checking your air conditioner drain line. You may be surprised to learn that clogged drain lines are among the most common sources of HVAC problems – especially here in the Greater Phoenix area during the summer months.

With high levels of dust and high humidity, the conditions are perfect for clogs to occur. And, this is a problem you don’t want to have. A clog that isn’t repaired can cause harmful mold, mildew and bacteria to grow in the line and be pushed into your ducts and ultimately into your indoor air. Blocked lines can also cause fires because they can eventually cause your air conditioner to overheat or cause backed up water to leak onto electrical components which can spark.

Unclogging Air Conditioner Drain Lines

While there are plenty of air conditioner problems that require the expertise of a professional technician, if you’re handy, you can tackle unclogging an air conditioner drain line. It requires a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the blockage. Start by locating the main drain line, which is usually near the ground on the outside of your home. It will be a PVC pipe coming out of your home. Connect the vacuum to the drain line and make sure you have a good seal on the pipe. Turn on the vacuum and let it run for several minutes. Turn off the vacuum and see if any debris, like dirt, algae, bugs, and water were sucked up.

Turn to Your HVAC Professional

At Ellsworth Home Services, we understand that not everyone enjoys do-it-yourself projects. If you suspect a clogged drain line or just need a seasonal tune-up, give us a call. We’re here to ensure you have an enjoyable summer without an unexpected HVAC breakdown. Family-owned and operated, we’re dedicated to getting the job done right the first time.

Air Conditioner Replacements and Your Tax Refund

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Tax seasons is here, and you’re likely to get a refund coming your way soon. In fact, the IRS reports that more than 80 percent of tax returns result in a refund, which means you may have some spare cash. While it may be tempting to spend this money on a trip to the mall or even a vacation, it may make better sense to spend it on an air conditioner replacement.

For many homeowners, investing in a new air conditioner can result in significant benefits.

It’s an Investment in Your Home

Financial planners will tell you that you’ll gain little out of using your tax return for personal purchases that hold no long-term value. Instead, putting your refund towards a new air conditioner will add immediate and long-term value to your home. If you are considering selling your home in the next few years, your new air conditioner can result in a significant increase in your home’s appraisal.

It Will Save You on Your Utilities

A new air conditioner is an investment that actually provides monthly dividends. Your new AC unit will likely be far more efficient than what you’re currently using, resulting in less energy consumption and a lower utility bill. In fact, the return on your investment will help pay it off in a surprisingly short amount of time.

It’s Peace of Mind

If you’ve been hoping for the last several years that your aging air conditioner won’t give out on a hot summer day, your luck may run out this year. It’s never fun being hit with the financial impact of a costly AC repair or replacement that you weren’t expecting. By replacing your unit now when you have a little extra money in hand, you can gain the assurance that you’ll be cool and comfortable all summer long – and for many years to come.

With Ellsworth Home Services, you have an HVAC team of specialists on your side that makes finding the optimal air conditioner for your home a simple process. Call us today for a free in-home estimate. We’ll calculate, measure and ask you some important questions to determine the optimal air conditioner for your specific needs. Find out more about our air conditioner replacement services today by calling 480-593-2265.

Do You Know Your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Index and Why It “Particulately” Matters in Phoenix?

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Humans can live weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. Breath is life, and clean air is essential. However, it’s not always guaranteed for you and your family. Given that most Americans live up to 90 per cent of their lives inside their homes and work environments, indoor air quality is a cornerstone of healthy living. Most people find it hard to believe that in many cases, indoor air quality (IAQ) can be worse than the air outside. With punishing summer heat, Phoenix residents tend to spend more time indoors than most which makes air conditioning and IAQ a genuine health priority.

What’s a Particulate?

Phoenix weather anchors report the local air pollution index on a daily basis. Unfortunately, due to the desert climate and dust, the geography of the valley, our proximity to the mountains (which hold air in, creating inversions) and exploding population growth, Phoenix air quality is less than ideal. Particulate matter is defined as tiny particles resulting from the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil and gas, as well as small airborne debris from lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Automobile and truck exhaust contribute to air pollution while Arizona spring brings pollen, ragweed and other allergens into the mix. Dust storms add to the particulate matter that floats in our valley atmosphere. The brown haze, clearly visible throughout Maricopa County is a mixture of particulate pollutants, carbon and nitrogen dioxide gas. These pollutants and allergens put many Phoenix area residents in the high-risk category for conditions such as asthma, hay fever, bronchitis and other respiratory related conditions.

The Air We Breath Inside Our Homes

If the outdoor air quality index is poor, then your indoor air quality is going to suffer accordingly. As an added factor, new construction techniques have greatly increased insulation to protect houses against heat while air tight window, and door installations create fewer opportunities for openings to bring fresh air inside your home. It’s all designed to keep your air conditioning running at maximum efficiency. However, the downside can be recirculating air inside which is less than perfect. It’s also important to note, installing heat exhaust vents in the roof can also greatly increase the proper ventilation of your home and improve the air quality index inside.

Ellsworth Home Services – the Solution to Indoor Air Pollution

In an air tight, highly insulated Phoenix structure, the HVAC unit basically becomes the “lungs” of your home or commercial building. Having newly installed air filters and clean air ducts is essential to maintaining the indoor air quality that you and your family deserve each and every day. Remember, if you’re recirculating air loaded with dust, dander, pollen, pollutants or mold, it’s going to negatively impact every member of the household. As central as they are to healthy living, air conditioning systems are often overlooked until they break down. Why wait for trouble? Summer is just around the corner, and heatwaves are the worst time to call for AC service. Spring is the perfect season to get out in front of this yearly challenge. Why not call us for a maintenance check? Indoor air quality, as well as HVAC and ventilation solutions are our specialties at Ellsworth Home Services. Call us today at 480-593-2265.

Air Conditioning and More – Preparing Your Home for Summer Heat

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It’s no secret that Arizona is a great place to live, and it seems a lot of people agree. In the greater Phoenix area, population has grown from just under one million in 1990 to 4.5 million in 2017. That’s incredible growth, and it means there are hundreds of thousands of people streaming into Phoenix from other regions of the country and around the world. Many people arrive in Phoenix without truly comprehending how blistering hot the summers are, the intensity of the sun or how to deal with extended periods of triple digit heat. What are the best ways to get ready for summer? How can you best prepare your home for the scorching months ahead? Keep reading!

Air Conditioning – Your Best Friend

You don’t need to be a genius to know it’s a good idea to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Yes, summers in Phoenix are simply unbearable without a well-functioning air conditioner. Be proactive with regular maintenance and replace an old unit before it completely fails. This will save you a lot of summer headaches.

Insulation – Hidden Shield Against the Blistering Sun

For thousands of years, Arizona’s native Americans created adobe homes with extremely thick walls to keep out the heat. Today, insulation works the same way in homes. An under-insulated home can lose up to 40 percent of its conditioned air through the attic and walls. Don’t suffer with high utility bills and sweltering temperatures. Gain the advantage of a thoroughly insulated home.

Ventilation – Let Your House Breath

Ventilation is also essential for staying cool all summer long. At Ellsworth Home Services, we highly recommend insulation and air sealing, combined with attic ventilation to maintain your home comfort. As experts in attic ventilation solutions, we have the products and installation to substantially increase the energy-efficiency of your home.

Be a Cool Customer This Summer

Arizonans know the secret to surviving summer in the Valley of the Sun can be summed up in these words – insulate, ventilate and air condition it. This means calling the experts in home comfort – Ellsworth Home Services today at 480-593-2265.

Too Warm or Too Cold? It Could Be Your HVAC System

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Just like Goldilocks and her porridge, you want the temperature in your home to be just right. Yet, it’s a common problem to have one room considerably colder or hotter than the others. The knee-jerk reaction to address this problem is to adjust the thermostat. Yet, this often makes the problem worse by making rooms even colder or hotter. Instead, you may want to consider the following factors:

Inadequate Insulation

Often rooms that lack sufficient insulation, such as additions or attics, can have temperature differences. If the temperature shifts from extreme cold to extreme heat with the seasons, insulation is often the problem and can be easily corrected by adding insulation to walls and above the ceiling.

Poor Duct System Design

According to the US Department of Energy, the average HVAC duct system is only about 60 percent efficient. This means air can’t flow throughout your system and home efficiently. Consequences of this problem include hot and cold spots, along with more wear and tear on your air conditioner, poor air quality and unbalanced air pressure. Common design issues include undersized ductwork, the equipment being too far from the spaces being cooled and sharp bends that decrease air flow.

Duct Leakage

Ducts that are incorrectly sealed or supported can also create temperature variations. A single leak can cause cooled or heated air to be distributed into the walls or above the ceiling, instead of into rooms.

Windows

Whether you have single or double-paned windows, the Arizona sun can be relentless, causing rooms to heat up quickly during certain times of the day. If your temperature problem seems to follow the sun, it may be well worth it to invest in some quality sun shades or screens.

It Could Be an HVAC System Problem

Of course, temperature issues can be the result of a problem with your HVAC system. If you can’t pinpoint the problem, it’s a good idea to contact a specialist who can. At Ellsworth Home Services, we have a variety of solutions to solve uncomfortable temperature variations, ranging from air conditioner services to insulation installation. Call us today at 480-593-2265 to learn more.

Could It Be Your HVAC System’s Compressor?

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You don’t always get a clear warning when something is about to fail, but you often get subtle hints. This is especially true when it comes to your HVAC system’s compressor. Because your compressor is located outside of your house and is probably not something you think about every day, you could already have a growing problem and don’t even know about it. By being able to identify some early warning signs, you may be able to prevent a costly compressor failure before it’s too late.

Where’s the Cool Air?

The most obvious sign in your home of a looming compressor failure is blowing warm air when you turn on your air conditioner. While this symptom could also signal a refrigerant leak or other issue, it’s commonly a compressor problem. Don’t be tempted to give your unit some time to “reboot” or “rest.” This is a problem that needs attention right away. Call for help and let a qualified HVAC specialist diagnose the problem and make recommendations on repairs.

Did the Power Go Out Again?

Are you heading to your electrical box again to reset the circuit for your air conditioner? This is not a minor annoyance. It’s a serious red flag that your HVAC system is tripping the circuit because it is pulling too much power – a common sign of a compressor problem. Again, don’t delay in scheduling an appointment.

That Doesn’t Sound Quite Right?

Every HVAC system has its own unique sounds. But, when normal sounds turn to odd noises, or even worse, full-blown vibrations, you have a problem – and likely one that is related to your compressor. Noises don’t fix themselves so don’t be tempted to ignore them. Call for help immediately.

The good news is that the majority of compressor problems are repairable, especially when they’re caught early. By paying attention to anything that is out of the ordinary and being proactive about scheduling service, you can ensure that you have a fully operational system when those hot days of summer return. Call Ellsworth Home Services today to schedule an appointment.

Is It an Air Duct Problem?

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When you think about your HVAC system, the first things that come to mind are probably your air conditioner and furnace. However, your air ducts also play a vitally important role in your home’s cooling and heating, as well as its energy efficiency. While your air conditioner and furnace control your indoor air temperature, your HVAC system air ducts are necessary for circulating the conditioned air through each room of your home. Thus, an air duct issue can cause major problems.

Duct Blockages

Twists and kinks in your system’s air ducts can greatly reduce airflow and efficiency. Tears, gaps and holes in ducts can also result in air leaking out and not reaching your interior spaces.

Layout Problems

Many homes simply have inefficient ductwork layouts. For example, a home that has air running through a long stretch of ductwork in an attic can cause the system to work harder than necessary. Oftentimes, a redirect of ducts can produce a more direct route and increase overall system efficiency.

Insufficient Airflow

A lack of airflow can also cause systemwide problems. Your HVAC system requires ample supply of air to cool and heat your home. Without it, your system will work harder and can’t generate the cooled or heated air you need to keep your interiors comfortable.

Dirty Air Ducts and Filters

You may be surprised to know that indoor air can be up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Dust, dirt, pollen, dander and smoke can continuously circulate through ductwork. When you add humidity and hot temperatures to the mix, there is also often growth of mold, fungus, spores and dust mites. In other words, regular cleaning of HVAC system air ducts is essential to maintaining your indoor air quality.

At Ellsworth Home Services, we can ensure your air ducts and entire HVAC system are working optimally. Call us now at 480-593-2265 to schedule an appointment.

Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace and Air Conditioner at the Same Time?

Many of our customers ask us if they should replace their furnace and air conditioner at the same time. While some HVAC companies always say, “Yes,” we say, “It depends.” There are certain advantages to replacing your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, but it may not always be necessary. Let’s consider the important factors.

Average Lifespan

While the average lifespan of an air conditioner is 10 to 15 years, the average lifespan of a furnace is 20 to 30 years. In other words, you may have a furnace on your hands with 10 years of life left on it when you need to replace your air conditioner. However, you can figure out an optimal time to replace both with some simple math. Once a furnace and air conditioner are over 15 years old, you’re reaching the time when both have the potential of failing within the normal range.

Location

Is your furnace in a 2-foot crawl-space under your house? Is your air conditioner on the roof, surrounded by antique, hand-made tiles? One of the factors that impacts the price of a new furnace or air conditioner is installation. If the location is difficult to access, it may make more sense to schedule the installation of both units at the same time to save on installation costs.

Do You Want a High Efficiency Air Conditioner?

If it’s time to replace an outdated or malfunctioning air conditioner, you may opt for a newer, more energy-efficient unit. A high SEER rating model will save you on your monthly utility bill. Yet, it’s important to note that your furnace doesn’t impact your air conditioner’s efficiency. However, it does use the same blower motor (fan) that runs your air conditioner. This is what pushes air through your home’s ductwork. If your furnace doesn’t have a variable speed motor, any air conditioner you buy with a 16 SEER rating or higher may have reduced efficiency.

In other words, it’s not always a good idea to mix and match your HVAC system components. The alternative solution is to install a variable-speed blower motor in your existing furnace. However, this is akin to installing a Porsche engine into a Volkswagen bug. While it may be possible to do, it’s probably not a great idea. If you are considering replacing an aging air conditioning unit with a higher efficiency SEER model, it’s good practice to replace your furnace, as well.

Want to learn more about timing furnace and air conditioner replacements? Call the experts at Ellsworth Home Services today.