Air conditioning is one of the modern-day inventions that everyone in Los Angeles is grateful for. The A/C is convenient and keeps your home at comfortable temperatures all summer long. But most homes in Southern California are equipped with ceiling fans as well. Which begs the question: if you start to feel uncomfortably warm in your home, should you turn on the fan or lower the AC? 

Use Air Conditioning for Convenience

Using your air conditioner is certainly the convenient choice. It’s already built into your home and has refrigeration technology to keep you cool. Just set the thermostat to your desired temperature, and your AC does the rest. The air conditioning system will turn on and off to maintain the indoor temperature. 

If you spring for a smart thermostat, you can set your HVAC system on a programmed schedule. Some models even allow you to change the setpoint from your smartphone or smart speaker. 

So, using the air conditioner is definitely the most convenient option if you are feeling warm. Unfortunately, this method uses the most energy.

Use Ceiling Fans for Lower Energy Bills

Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than an air conditioner. Research from the State of California Air Resources Board concluded that you can reduce your HVAC energy usage about 5% per degree Fahrenheit by using the ceiling fan instead of the AC. 

Similar studies have indicated that you can raise the temperature setpoint on the thermostat by up to 4 degrees, and if you turn on the ceiling fan in the room you won’t feel any difference

Using a ceiling fan is a choice that you have to make. Just like a light bulb or water faucet, you need to turn it on and off. It’s important to remember that room fans work by creating a wind chill effect. In other words, a ceiling fan running in a room with no one in it is just a waste of energy (you could say the same about air conditioners too, which is why we love ductless). So when you use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning to keep cool, you must make it a habit to turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. 

Combining Ceiling Fans and AC to Keep Cool and Comfortable

If comfort is your priority, you’ll benefit most from using a combination of the ceiling fan and your air conditioner. 

We already know that ceiling fans can reduce the need for air conditioning – but it likely will not eliminate it. During the hot summer season, a ceiling fan alone may not keep the indoors as comfortable as you might like. Using a ceiling fan together with high efficiency air conditioning is your best bet. 

Ceiling fans offer personal comfort; family members in the living room can have the ceiling fan off, while those sleeping in the bedroom can turn the fans on. This way, no one has to snuggle under a blanket in the middle of summer. 

Try increasing your thermostat setting by 2 degrees and using ceiling fans when you begin to feel warm. We bet that you will be pleasantly surprised by how comfortable you feel – and delighted by the energy savings on your next utility bill. 

Need More Cooling Help? Brody Pennell is Here For You. 

If your air conditioner and fan is not keeping up with your cooling needs, there may be a bigger problem. An air conditioner that isn’t providing enough cooling is a very common AC repair. Our knowledgeable techs can find the problem and solve it, fast!  Call us at (310) 896-4911.

Keeping your home clean and sanitized is important to promote a healthy environment. Especially right now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles residents are more vigilant than ever. Wiping down surfaces with a disinfectant has become second nature. But what about the enormous part of your home that’s invisible: the molecules that make up the air you breathe? Recent research shows that relative humidity plays an important part in a healthy home- and you may find the results surprising.

Indoor Humidity: Where Does It Come From? 

Air is made up of a lot of different gases, like nitrogen and oxygen. But there is also water vapor in the atmosphere. You might recall from science class that water can exist in a solid, liquid, or gas state. Most of the humidity in a home starts out as liquid H2O, which then evaporates. So indoor humidity comes from a lot of places: 

  • Boiling water on the stove
  • Steamy showers or baths
  • Drying clothes on a rack
  • Sweat from indoor workouts
  • Dishwashers running with scalding water or on the drying cycle
  • Coffee pots, tea kettles, and the steam generated from hot beverages
  • Blow-drying wet hair
  • Steaming clothes to get out wrinkles

You can probably think of many other places where water might evaporate into the surrounding air. But here is the important thing to know: you don’t want too much or too little water vapor in your air.

What’s the Ideal Indoor Humidity for an LA Home?

Here in Los Angeles, we are lucky not to have to deal with high humidity too often. You are probably aware of the consequences for having too much moisture in a home. The primary concern for excessive humidity is the growth of mold. For many years, we have known that keeping indoor humidity below 60% can hinder the growth of mildew. 

But research has shown that there is a downside to not having enough water vapor. In a recent study, hospitals with humidity levels under 40% relative humidity (RH) saw a much higher transmission of infectious disease molecules like the flu virus. The numbers increase the lower the humidity gets. Since low humidity levels facilitate the spread of infection, it’s critical that humidity levels don’t get too low. 

Therefore, the ideal indoor relative humidity is anywhere between 45-55% RH. Since humidity levels are relative to the temperature, it’s best to target a range rather than a specific percentage.

Tools for Humidity Control

If you don’t already have a sensor to determine the amount of humidity in your home, that’s an excellent start. Many thermostats come equipped with a humidity sensor. If you have a smart thermostat, you may be able to track humidity over time with a connected app. 

If you find that your home doesn’t have enough humidity to maintain healthy humidity levels, don’t worry. There are plenty of solutions for dry air in your LA house. We recommend installing a whole-home humidifier that will add moisture to your air automatically when it gets to be too dry. 

Stay Healthy with Humidity Control

As research from industry experts shows, humidity levels are crucial to a healthy indoor environment. Contact Brody Pennell to assist with any home humidity and moisture problems you are experiencing. With decades of experience in the Los Angeles area, we can address your concerns quickly and with old-school customer service. Call us at (310) 896-4911.

3 Easy Ways You Can Help Los Angeles get through the Coronavirus Pandemic

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now, you’re not alone. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone in Los Angeles. 

While many essential workers continue to serve on the front lines, many LA residents are sheltering in place and have spent weeks at home. And just maybe, you’re starting to go a little stir crazy. Channel that cabin fever into a force for good with one of these three volunteer opportunities.

It’s true – you can do even more than washing your hands and keeping your distance between others. With less people out and about, there is a greater need for those looking to donate their time. Of course, keep in mind your own personal health considerations before choosing to participate in one of these opportunities!

1) Give Blood

It makes sense that even regular donors have put a temporary pause on giving blood, given that donating requires close contact between people. But unfortunately, that makes our community’s need for blood even greater. 

Blood and platelet donations are urgently needed to support patients in Los Angeles hospitals and critical care facilities. Healthy donors can make an appointment with the American Red Cross at any number of Los Angeles locations. There is also extra need for patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate. 

There are several donation safety protocols in place on top of normal healthcare facility procedures. Some of these safeguards include conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy, following social distancing practices between donor beds, and enhanced disinfecting of equipment. 

2) Supporting Food Banks

With thousands of LA residents being out of work, our local food pantries are bare with long lines of people in need. Low-income citizens need our help now more than ever to put food on the table. 

Pop-up drive-thru food pantries have made it simple for in-need families to get the supplies they need safely. Unfortunately (and logically) volunteer activity has declined, making it difficult to serve the community efficiently. 

Volunteers are needed to staff food banks and pantries all across the Southern California area. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is providing regular updates to the public and has safeguards in place to protect volunteers and staff. 

3) Californians for All

On Tuesday April 21st, California Governor Gavin Newsom called for an “army of volunteers” in order to beat the coronavirus pandemic. The Californians for All initiative connects residents with a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. 

One of the best things about the program is that there are remote opportunities available. That means that you can donate your time right from your home, without needing to visit any location in-person. 

After you sign up on the website, you can choose the issues most important to you. Then, the platform will offer up opportunities that match your interests.

Californians for All is a great program for all Los Angeles residents, even if you have never volunteered for any organization before. The idea is to make a perfect match between volunteers and organizations that need help. 

Brody Pennell is Here to Serve Los Angeles During Coronavirus Pandemic

We know that this is a trying time – and particularly hard as you stay at home for a majority of your time. Brody Pennell continues to serve the Los Angeles community with essential HVAC services. We are taking multiple safety precautions to ensure the safety of both homeowners and our team members as we continue to provide necessary services. If we can help make your home more comfortable during this time, call us at (310) 896-4911.

Everyone wants a good deal on big purchases. Replacing your air conditioning and heating system is a major home improvement expense. HVAC rebates can provide some relief to homeowners looking to invest in a new heating and cooling system. We’ve compiled the top HVAC promotions for how Los Angeles homeowners can save cash this year.

How HVAC Rebates Work

Rebates are essentially a discount on your purchase. But instead of receiving your discount at the time of purchase, you receive your discount after the purchase. As the homeowner, you are responsible for claiming the rebates (don’t worry, Brody Pennell can help with this step).

Then, you’ll send your receipt, along with any other required information, to the group that is running the HVAC rebate special. When the organization has verified your system meets the criteria for the rebate, you will receive a check for the qualifying amount.

Top HVAC Rebates for LA Homeowners

This month, Brody Pennell is helping you save. We’re sharing a variety of promotions that are currently available for Los Angeles homeowners who purchase a new heating and cooling system:

The most lucrative HVAC rebate is Carrier Cool Cash. This promotion is available through June 30, 2020 and applies to eligible Carrier systems. When you purchase a qualifying Carrier system, you can get up to $1,650 in rebates. Carrier has a simple online form that can be used to submit your rebate request, making it extra easy to get cash back.

Another set of rebates to look out for is from your utility company. Utility companies provide rebates on more efficient HVAC systems because that would result in less demand on the grid. Los Angeles homeowners can go to the website for their electricity provider and see what rebates are available. Right now, LA homeowners can get up to $1,100 in rebates from local utilities. There are rebates available for replacing older HVAC units that have low efficiency levels. Plus, there are rebates for purchasing high-efficiency HVAC models.

Combine Rebates to Cash in on Savings

Did you know that you can combine rebates? You can take advantage of both the Cool Cash program as well as the utility rebates for up to $2,750 in cash back. That can make your new air conditioner much more affordable.

Financing for HVAC Systems

Even with the help of incentives like rebates, you may not be able to come up with the money to purchase a new HVAC outright. So, we offer HVAC financing to help you buy a new unit while these discounts are in effect. This way, you’ll have a more manageable monthly payment rather than trying to come up with the full amount at once.

Free MERV 13 Filter

Because of the unprecedented public health crisis that is COVID-19, we are taking this offer one step further. For any new system purchase until June 30, 2020, we are offering a free MERV 13 Media Air Cleaner.  Filters are the first line of defense in capturing contaminants in your home’s air, so a high-quality filter is essential to a clean home.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Your New HVAC System Options

Call Brody Pennell today at (310) 896-4911 for a no-obligation consultation on a new HVAC system for your home. We are only one of two contractors in all of North American to be honored with Carrier’s President Award. Translation? We are among the nation’s most elite HVAC dealers for customer service, loyalty, business efficiency, and continued education. We’d love the opportunity to work with you! Call us at (310) 896-4911. 

Feeling like an electricity generator? We’ve all been there. It seems like everything you touch results in a ZAP! Even the gentle touch of a loved one can cause that quick, sharp shock. Static electricity is a symptom of a bigger problem: the air in your house is just too dry. 

Static electricity is frustrating, sure. But dry air isn’t just an annoyance. 

The Problem with Dry Air

The air in your home has two main properties: temperature and humidity. Ideally, the humidity level in your house should be around 45%. 

Most of us are familiar with the problems caused by too much moisture. Besides the dampness, you’d feel, too much humidity can be breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. 

We don’t often hear about the problems caused by air that is too dry. Dry air causes noticeable changes, like static electricity. You might also notice that your skin gets crackly or scaly, or your lips stay dry and chapped. 

But there’s also the changes internal functions to be aware of, like mucous membranes (yes, we’re talking the stuff inside your nose). When mucus is too dry, it loses its natural barrier against inflation of the respiratory tract. As a result, you can be more prone to sickness. 

How do I know if the air in my house is too dry? 

There are a variety of ways to monitor the moisture level of the air inside your home to ensure it is not too dry. Any of the following methods would work: 

1 – Sensing – If your home is at the right humidity level, you won’t have any of the problems associated with dry air. For example, no one in your home will suffer from extra-dry skin, chapped lips, or bloody noses. Also, you won’t be subjected to static electricity at every doorknob. 

2 – Changes in your Home – Dry air will pull moisture from your house’s structure and furnishings. So, warped and creaky wood is an indicator of air that’s too dry. You can also check for chipped and flaking paint. 

3 – Monitoring – Many thermostats these days come with a humidity sensor built-in. This way, you can know for sure the moisture content of the air in your house. But if your thermostat doesn’t have this feature, not to worry. You can purchase temperature and humidity monitors very inexpensively. 

What solutions are there for dry air? 

Although there are many short-term solutions for dry air, we encourage you to consider a permanent solution for your house. Installing a humidifier alongside the rest of your HVAC equipment will ensure that your humidity levels never drop below the acceptable range. This way, you can avoid the inconvenience of air with low humidity levels. 

And yes – there are many cheap space humidifiers available. The problem with these local humidifiers is that you have to remember to turn them on, power them off, and then to add water. And, a small humidifier will only help the air nearby – not all of the air inside your house. 

A whole-home humidifier is installed with your heating and cooling equipment. This way, all of the air in your home will get treated. And best of all, you’ll never have to worry about turning it on or off, or remembering to refill any water reservoirs. A whole-home humidifier is connected to your water line. 

In short, a whole-home humidifier can help preserve comfort and healthier air in every space.

Dry Air Solutions from Brody Pennell

Don’t let dry air make you uncomfortable or susceptible to illness. Take control with a whole-home humidifier and enjoy the air all year long. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on adding a humidifier to your HVAC system.

As a homeowner living in the Los Angeles area, you know how important it is to keep your home in good condition. Regular heating and air conditioning maintenance is essential to ensure a comfortable home and prevent unexpected breakdowns. 

We know that many homeowners want an idea of what to expect from a service visit. Maybe you want to get an idea of what you’re paying for. Or, perhaps you’re anxious about someone poking around in your attic. We get it! That’s why we put together this quick guide to walk LA homeowners through a typical HVAC tuneup visit from Brody Pennell. 

Schedule an Expert HVAC Service Technician

Scheduling your HVAC tuneup visit is simple. Our online form collects all of your information and your preferred day and time for the visit. After submitting the form, one of our friendly customer service representatives will call you to confirm your appointment time. If you prefer to speak to someone right away, you can call us at (310) 896-4911. We can schedule most appointments within just a few days!

We Care for Your Home Like It’s Our Own

When our smiling technician arrives at your front door, he or she will be wearing our collared logo-embroidered uniform.

 After introducing themselves, the technician will them don shoe covers before entering your home With these shoe covers on, you can trust that no dirt or dust will be tracked into your home from our team. We will also take care to lay plastic cling over any carpet or rugs where we will be providing service.

 Inspection, Testing, and Tuneup

For one heater or air conditioner, the entire visit will take about 1.5 hours. It may take longer if your system hasn’t had recent service, your unit is in a tough to reach location, or if you have more than one unit requiring maintenance.

Our visits include three main areas: 

Inspection – We will inspect the condition of your equipment by doing some visual checks. We look for rust or other visual signs of wear and tear. We will also check for common problems, like blockage in the condensate drain. 

Testing – Using modern tools and equipment, we’ll check to ensure your system has proper voltage, refrigerant charge, and airflow. Our technicians will operate your equipment in different modes and ensure it is functioning correctly. 

Tuneup – We will lubricate any moving parts, rinse dirty components, and change out your air filter. If your system requires any small, quick fixes we will take care of it right then. 

Our HVAC tune-ups are comprehensive and include inspection of the most critical components. We know that many homeowners wonder, do I really need HVAC maintenance? To put it simply – if you want your air conditioner and heater to last as long as possible before replacement is required, annual maintenance is a no-brainer. 

Wrapping up a Tuneup Visit

Once our tuneup procedure is complete, we will share our findings from the visit. One of the main benefits of an HVAC tune-up is that you’ll know about potential problems before it causes a breakdown. 

If there is anything that concerns us that might need your attention, we will explain the problem in detail and provide solutions. Our team will inform you how critical a repair may be and whether it needs to be done right away or if it can wait a few months. 

In some cases, we can take care of repairs during the same visit. But other times we will need to return for the repair. This is especially the case if a specific part is required to complete the fix.

Maintenance Agreements – The Simple Approach!

Like most people in LA, you are a busy person. You may fully intend to schedule an HVAC tuneup, but it just doesn’t happen. It slips your mind, or you just keep putting it off. 

That’s why we offer HVAC maintenance agreements. As a member in Brody Pennell maintenance agreement program, you’ll never have to remember to schedule. We will reach out to you – making it as easy as possible. Our members get preferred scheduling time, like evenings and weekends. Plus, the cost of a maintenance agreement is more affordable than scheduling maintenance visits individually.  We encourage you to read more about the benefits of a maintenance agreement, and give us a call if you’d like to sign up. Our number is (310) 896-4911.

When it comes to your health, indoor humidity levels is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But, relative humidity can actually play a big role in how you’re feeling day to day. And since we spend over 90% of our time indoors, it’s definitely something worth paying attention to.

Here in Los Angeles, it’s more likely that you’re feeling dry. Despite the proximity to the coast, we don’t experience the extreme humidity and afternoon showers like our friends in Florida. Still, you could encounter either high or low humidity levels in your home. 

While indoor humidity levels may seem inconsequential, the impact it can have on your health can range from minimal and annoying to severe and life-altering.

Humidity and Asthma, Allergies and Immunodeficiencies in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one suffers from allergies or immunodeficiencies, especially respiratory conditions like Asthma, humidity will have an even greater impact. 

Indoor air is notoriously polluted (containing up to 5x the pollutants as outdoor air) due to poor circulation. Humidity can either foster these pollutants or exacerbate your symptoms. 

For some people, humidity swings cause flare-ups in symptoms. Those that are more susceptible and sensitive to humidity will experience a host of health issues, even in their own homes. 

Luckily, there are solutions that work to improve the quality of indoor air. Outfitting your LA abode with IAQ products that work to purify the stuffy air can address the negative effects of humidity and common allergens.

Understanding Humidity

Humidity is expressed as the amount of water vapor in the air. 

Humidity can be measured as absolute humidity (the total amount of water vapor in the air regardless of temperature) and relative humidity (the percentage of humidity in the air compared to how much the given temperature could support). Most commonly, meteorologists and HVAC professionals will cite humidity in terms of relative humidity. 

As air warms and cools, the moisture in the air also heats up or cools down. That creates another element of discomfort to contend with. 

Consider the difference between a sauna and a steam room. While they are both very hot in terms of air temperature, the amount of moisture creates a different feeling for the body. You might be very uncomfortable in the dry environment of a sauna, or feel suffocated in the 100% humidity of the steam room. The difference isn’t the temperature – it’s the humidity. 

The ideal humidity range is between 40-50%. Not only do most people feel most comfortable at this range, it’s the ideal level for health purposes too. Read on to discover the concerns and solutions with moisture levels that are too high, as well as too low. 

High Humidity in Los Angeles Homes

Most people in LA won’t ever deal with high humidity. But, there are some special cases where humidity could become a problem in your home. When we experience those rare rainy days, moisture can make its way into your home. High indoor humidity can make a rainy day even worse! Here’s why:

Why High Humidity is Bad

High humidity in your home will not only lead to physical discomfort, but it could also impact your health and wellbeing. High humidity can cause these symptoms:

  • Overt mucus production 
  • Moisture in lungs – coughing, trouble breathing 
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps

The risks of mold exposure

High humidity is the ideal environment for mold, mildew, and fungus to spawn. Many household items as well as building materials support the development of mold. While some reactions to mold exposure can be mild, others can be severe. 

The longer mold is left to fester in a home, the larger it will grow. This creates a greater likelihood of residents experiencing adverse health effects including all of the aforementioned symptoms of high-humidity, as well as fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, the potential for a fungal infection.

Solutions for High Humidity Homes

Even if symptoms are manageable, no exposure to mold is healthy to endure for any extended period. It’s best to take preventative measures by outfitting your home with these products designed to combat high-humidity:

Low Humidity in your LA Home

A more common curse for LA residents to contend with is low humidity. During droughts, Los Angeles can experience significantly low levels of humidity. While this skirts the issues presented by high humidity, moderate humidity (40-50%) is more ideal than low levels that fall below 40%. 

Why Low Humidity is Bad

Beyond a few instances of static shock, you will also experience further discomfort if your home is too dry. The symptoms of low humidity closely reflect allergy or asthma symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Dryness of the throat and eyes
  • Dry, unproductive cough
  • Itchy skin and cracking
  • Bloody noses 
  • Raspy breathing
  • Brittle hair and nails

Solutions for Low Humidity Homes

Addressing low humidity indoors is a simple approach. The first step is to produce humidity through a whole home humidifier. This ensures that every inch of your home is accounted for. 

Sure, there are mini humidifiers you can buy at local stores. But to get the same results as a built-in humidification system, you’d need one of those small units for every 100 square feet of your home. Plus, you’d need to keep the trays full of water and remember to turn them on and off.

A whole-home humidifier is a set-it-and-forget-it system.These units will keep your indoors at the ideal humidity levels all year round. We’ve had many customers call us back after installation to remark what a difference it has made within just a few HOURS! 

Start at home to limit humidity’s impact on your health

We spend a significant amount of time at home, even if just for a good night’s sleep. If you or someone in your family is especially susceptible to humidity, you unfortunately can’t snap your fingers and uproot your family to move to an area with ideal humidity. However, you can utilize HVAC products, IAQ products in particular, to combat humidity within your own home. 

At Brody Pennell, we know the Los Angeles climate better than anyone. Let us recommend a unique solution to calibrate the humidity level in your home. From self-correcting HVAC systems to IAQ products that purify and restore your air, we provide solutions for every threat to your air quality. Together, we’ll take your air quality from top-of-mind to peace-of-mind. Give us a call at (310) 896-4911 or schedule online to start breathing easier!

As we turn over a new year, and a new decade, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect and start fresh. For 2020, expand your resolutions to include both self improvement and home improvement! From minor maintenance to major remodels, your home could always use extra care. Don’t wait until next year (or the next decade). Resolve to make 2020 the year of home comfort with these 5 key home improvements.

1) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

One of the best goals you can set for the new year is to take better care of our environment. Conserving energy is a big undertaking. Fortunately, you can do your part right at home. Putting a greater focus on reducing the use (and waste) of energy in your home will not only contribute to the health of the Earth, but to your bank account as well. When you put a greater focus on eco-friendly choices throughout your home, your bills will be reduced right along with your environmental impact. Here’s a few tips to get you started: 

Buy energy efficient appliances
If this is a year that you plan to replace your refrigerator, washer and dryer, furnace, or virtually any household appliance, put efficiency first. Choose those that are Energy Star rated and which mention energy conservation as a prominent feature.

Disconnect your energy-suckersNo matter how innovative your appliances and devices might be, they’ll still expend energy when you aren’t using them. Make sure to turn off and unplug anything that you’re not using consistently.
Be mindful of maintenanceMany appliances and devices overuse energy in your home because they haven’t been properly maintained, are being misused, or because they need repairs which would help them perform more efficiently. Make sure every appliance is functioning at its best to prevent energy overuse.
Prevent energy lossIf you notice your heating system is constantly cycling, your home might require weatherization. Outdated windows and doors let cold air into your home, while ducts that require sealing lose that warm air to your attic. That means your heater must work extra hard to warm your home. Weatherize your home to prevent any unnecessary energy loss. 

Stay informed Looking for more information on how you can keep your home energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint? We have a whole library of energy efficiency resources — start here.

2) Walk the Perimeter

When was the last time you really looked at the outside of your home? If you’re like us, you probably come in and out of your home daily and never give it a passing glance. 

This year, make an effort to seasonally check in with your exterior. Look for peeling paint, cracked foundation, overzealous plantlife, and errant gutters. Perhaps you’ll power-wash in the spring, patch the roof this summer, and clean the ivy off of your AC unit this year. 

Whatever your home needs, don’t neglect the outside. You don’t want to be surprised when the outdoor problems come crawling inward. 

3) Put Safety First

It’s never a bad time to put the safety of your family above all else. Unfortunately, many of us neglect safety updates for too long, assuming we won’t need to. Don’t make that mistake this year. Make sure your home is ready for anything:

Upgrade your CO Monitor
Don’t wait to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are upgraded and well-functioning. This could save a life. Brody Pennell can ensure your home and family are secure and safe with an up-to-code Carrier CO detector.

Update your prevention plansDo you have a plan in case of fire or natural disaster? As your family grows and changes, these plans should be updated to account for new occupants or different bedroom arrangements. No matter where they are in your home, your family should know how to react to any emergency.
Invest in security and surveillanceIf you haven’t already, this year could be a great time to install cameras, floodlights, motion detectors, or even a privacy fence. Even on the safest streets, surprises happen. Don’t let them happen to you.
Deter unwanted pestsNot every pest is potentially harmful or hazardous, but no pest is a good pest. Protect your humans, animals, and the whole house from infestations that are costly to remediate.
Make all-over safety updates   
From baby-proofing your house to making updates that suit aging family members, your home is in constant need of something new. Make sure that your new bathroom has a no-slip bar for grandma and that you take this winter to finally fix that loose step to the basement. Don’t put off any project that could keep your loved ones safe. 

4) Commit to Heating System Maintenance

Do you have a maintenance plan for your heating and air conditioning systems? If not, this is one of the best investments you could make for your whole home and the entire family. The benefits of ongoing HVAC maintenance include:

  • Fewer surprise repairs
  • Lower repair costs 
  • More consistent home comfort
  • Prevention of hazards
  • Early detection for system replacement 

Prioritize the reliable comfort of your home and the cost-savings that come with investing in ongoing heating and cooling maintenance. 

5) Resolve to Breathe Better

Does anyone in your family have indoor allergies?  This year, commit to improving the air quality and stabilizing humidity levels in your home.

2020 is the time to start investigating your IAQ (Indoor Air Quality). Your IAQ can impact how your family breathes, especially if you have allergies, asthma, or immunodeficiencies among you. High humidity and low humidity can both cause a whole host of additional issues from mold to structural damage. 

At Brody Pennell, we provide a variety of IAQ services and products to improve your home comfort beyond the temperature. Our humidifiers and dehumidifiers, air purifiers and cleaners, and duct cleaning services will ensure that your family breathes the best possible air all year long. 

Resolve to Live Healthy & Happy in 2020

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, the goal should be personal and true to you. At Brody Pennell, we believe there’s nothing more sacred than your home. If you plan to give your home some love and attention in 2020, we’re here to help. We can be your partner in helping you achieve your home improvement resolutions. Contact us for all of your heating, cooling, and home comfort needs. Call today at (310) 896 4911

Modern inventions have made our life more convenient, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. From vehicles to the dishwasher, our generation is enjoying the benefits of years of innovations. Unfortunately, some of those advancements come at a cost. That’s the reason behind southern California’s low NOx requirement for furnace equipment.

Here in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, there are now local regulations that have to do with something called low NOx furnaces. But why should any LA homeowner care about this rule? Read on to learn how it impacts you.

Break it down: What the heck is a NOx?

You might know that water is simply the compound H2O, made up of hydrogen and oxygen. Or table salt is an ionic compound sodium choride or NaCl. These are simply chemical terms!

Similarly, NOx is shorthand for the compound of nitrogen and oxygen. In referring to furnaces, NOx is a quick term to refer to both nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide. So, a low NOx furnace is one that has a reduced quantity of nitrogen oxide & nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Where does NOx come from?

Your furnace works like a gas stovetop. On stove, when the you turn the knob on the dial, the valve for gas opens. When combined with the spark of the starter, you get a flame. Similarly, when there is a signal for a furnace to heat, a gas valve opens directing gas toward a small flame called a pilot light. This process – the creation of a flame from fuel – is called combustion. 

When combustion happens, nitrogen is released. That nitrogen ‘clings’ to oxygen in the surrounding air, creating nitrogen oxide or nitrogen dioxide. So, furnaces emits NOx compounds during the combustion process. These emissions are contained inside a special duct called a flue, which are then expelled into the air around your home.

What’s the big deal – why does everyone care about NOx?

According the Environmental Protection Agency, nitrogen oxides are “a family of poisonous, highly reactive gases”. Multiple EPA research reports reveal that NOx is a key contributor to ozone, which manifests as smog. Smog is not just ugly to see – it can cause serious breathing problems, and has a long-term impact on the environment.

You might correlate vehicles and high volumes to traffic. It’s true that cars are a big contributor to smog. That’s because cars – just like furnaces – combust fuel in order to work. That means cars create the NOx compound too. For many years, there have been regulations on car manufacturers to reduce the emissions of vehicles. Now, these regulations are being translated to other machines.

Low NOx Furnace Requirements in Los Angeles

Here in LA, we fall under the regulations of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). Because of the long-standing problems our city has had with smog, the requirements are especially stringent.

As of October 1, 2019, any furnace must meet the new ultra low NOx requirement. Furnaces offered for sale, supplied, sold, or installed must emit less than 14 nanograms per Joule of NOx.

What Ultra Low NOx means for LA Homeowners Looking to Purchase a Furnace

If it’s about time to replace your furnace, then it’s essential you are aware of these new regulations. The main point to remember, is that homeowners in LA can only purchase an Ultra-Low-NOx furnace.

First, when furnace shopping ensure you’re looking for the words ultra low NOx. Many manufacturers found it challenging to develop a furnace with such low fuel emissions and some don’t even produce a compliant unit.

Luckily, Brody Pennell partners with a world leader in heating and cooling, Carrier. Carrier has developed the Infinity Ultra Low-NOx furnace. Besides meeting the requirements of the new emissions standard, this heater has several other innovative enhancements like noise reduction. Plus, this unit is covered by a 10-year parts limited warranty and lifetime heat exchanger limited warranty upon timely registration. 

Beware of scams! Look for a reputable HVAC dealer like Brody Pennell

As always, make sure you are working with a service provider you can trust.

Some HVAC installers may be left with extra inventory of furnaces they are unable to sell because of the new requirements. These scam artists may try to offer you a great deal on a furnace in exchange for not reporting them to the AQMD.  If a contractor is trying to sell you a furnace that does not meet these requirements, they are in violation of the law. Start looking for a more trustworthy partner immediately!

Call Brody Pennell and ask about your options for a new Low NOx furnace. Our team understands the details of the regulation, and can help answer your questions. Allow us to put your mind at ease with a visit from one of our expert comfort specialists. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Is your air conditioner more than eight years old? If so, your AC may use Freon® as a coolant, which is part of a federally regulated R22 phaseout. Translation: your air conditioner repairs will soon get more expensive.

Your air conditioner contains a refrigerant fluid. Depending on the make and model of your system, the coolant inside your system could be R-22. R-22 is a coolant known by other names, such as R22 or Freon®. The EPA identified this refrigerant as a cause for ozone layer depletion, so the government is phasing out the use of it in different equipment. As of January 2020, refrigerant suppliers can no longer produce or sell Freon®. That means the only R-22 available will be recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies.

Check out our infographic to learn more about what you can do to prepare for the upcoming R22 phaseout: