Call it intuition – or just being observant – but most Los Angeles homeowners know when there is a problem with their central heat. It’s like the furnace is trying to tell them that there is a problem. But besides that pit-of-your-stomach feeling, there are some sure signs that your furnace is just not working right. 

Your System Isn’t Heating 

Let’s tell it like it is, shall we? If your heater isn’t heating, that’s a sign that something is wrong. So if you wake up feeling chilly and you’re sure your thermostat has power, all signs point to a repair. 

Similarly, if your furnace is cycling on and off frequently, it could be cause for concern. Many times this is a simple fix, but it definitely shouldn’t be ignored. Short cycling could be an indicator that your system is near the end of its life. If that’s the case, now is a good time to research a new heating system. It’s better to do that research while you still have some heat, than when you’re stuck in the cold and trying to make a quick decision. 

Unusual Noises or Odors

It’s important to use all your senses when troubleshooting heaters. Besides how you feel (too hot, too cold, or juuuust right) you should also consider the sounds and smells. A furnace that is rattling or making other noises is a definite indicator that there is a problem. Another sure sign? If your carbon monoxide monitor is beeping away. Take any CO alert seriously: carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless, so it’s not always apparent there’s a problem.

Colors of the Flame

Another warning signal is the color and shape of the flame. If your heater is in good condition, the flame visible through the opening in your furnace should always be a pretty hue of blue. That’s indicative of a system that’s stable and burning clean. 

An abnormal flame inside your furnace is one that appears to be yellow or orange. When a burner gets dirt built up in or around it, yellow to orange flickering flames will be present. But a dirty burner is not always the reason for an unstable or yellow flame; these can also be signs of a gas leak or other problem. 

Don’t Wait to Call For Repair

Any of these problems – or a combination – could mean a major dollar sign in the future. And remember, broken furnaces don’t heal themselves. In fact, holding off on repair can make things worse and more costly in the long run. Call Brody Pennell for heater repair and we’ll resolve your problem quickly. 

Many issues can be avoided by scheduling an annual furnace maintenance and keeping up with it year over year. The best way to stay on top of these things is with an HVAC maintenance agreement like our BPM club! It’s a simple and easy way to make sure your furnace stays in tip-top condition for the long run. Whether you need repair today or if you’d like to schedule a tuneup, we’re here for you. Contact us today!

On. Off. On. Off. The heater clicking on and off is not only annoying – it may be cause for concern! So, what exactly could be the cause for a heating system to shut off repeatedly? To answer this question, it is important to understand the typical operation of a heating system. 

Heating System Cycle for Los Angeles Homes

The average on/off cycle for a heating system is three to six times an hour.

Most homes in Los Angeles have a central heating system, like a furnace. The furnace turns on and off based on signals from your thermostat. When your thermostat senses that it is too cold, your heater turns on. And once it’s warm enough, your heater turns off. It’s normal for this cycle to happen several times an hour. 

If a unit is going through its cycles more often, we call that short-cycling. Short-cycling is just what it sounds like: the cycling on and off is happening faster than we expect. A furnace that is short-cycling definitely needs repair. Besides it being irritating to hear, short-cycling causes extra wear and tear on your system, leading to a shorter system life. It’s also the cause for higher than normal energy bills. 

Why Your Heating System Is Shutting Off All The Time

Instead of immediately calling for a furnace repair, there’s a chance you can determine and resolve the root cause of the short cycling. Here are a few things to check: 

Thermostat Causing Mixed Signals

Since your thermostat is signaling the furnace, it’s a good place to start troubleshooting. First, check the thermostat and make sure you have set it to operate in heat and at the right temperature. Next, see if the thermostat might be sensing extra heat. For example, is your thermostat in direct sunlight? Or, is it possible there’s another heat source nearby that might cause funky readings? Space heaters and even hair dryers used near the controls or the thermostat might make it sense that the home has reached the set temperature and cause short-cycling.

Clogged Air Filters

You should replace air filters every three months at a minimum, but if you have many people or pets in your home, check them monthly. A clogged filter is one of the most common causes for short cycling. Without proper air flow through the system, warm air cannot circulate through the home as it should and a cold house is the result. The unit works harder than it should without providing the desired comfort, and that can lead to mechanical problems.

Other Reasons for Your Heating System Shutting Off Repeatedly

Why else could your heating system shut off? Heaters are complex mechanical systems, and there are hundreds of components that could be the cause. Some other causes for short-cycling in a heating system are:

  • Undersized ductwork or equipment
  • Corroded flame sensor
  • Objects lodged in air vents or chimney
  • Dislodged air ducts
  • Low refrigerant in a heat pump 

Call in The Experts at Brody Pennell

Our expert team at Brody Pennell will quickly diagnose the cause for your unit short-cycling. Sometimes, the only cure for short-cycling is a new heating system. This could definitely be the case if your heater is not sized correctly for your home and lifestyle. Our comfort consultants at Brody Pennell can say for sure. We offer many affordable options and special financing to ensure you can get the comfort you need. Call us today to learn more about efficient heating options and rebates for Los Angeles homeowners. Book an appointment online with one of our professionals to get your heat pump or furnace fixed right away!

There is only one thing worse than having a faulty furnace: not understanding what the problem is. Furnace and heating systems are extremely complex machines, which is why it is critical to hire a licensed & insured HVAC company for heating repair. Still, there are some common heating problems we see repeatedly.

So what’s the culprit that’s causing your heater to go on the fritz? If we had to bet on it, it’d be one of these five common heating problems:

1. Thermostat Problems

Your thermostat could be the troublemaker. Those wall stats are the brain of your heating system, telling the system when to turn on, when to turn off, and how long to run. Then you have smart thermostats, which can do even more thinking and learning. So when your furnace acts funny, the thermostat is one of the first places to look. 

There are a few indicators that point to an issue with the thermostat: 

  • Digital thermostat has no power
  • System is short-cycling, or constantly turning on and off
  • Heater turns on, but turns off before it warms the entire home
  • Thermostat is changing the setpoint or mode, like it has a mind of its own!

The good news is that thermostat problems are an easy and affordable fix compared to other problems. During a repair, our expert team at Brody Pennell will check your thermostat first – and get it fixed up, or rule it out as the source of the problems.

2. Air Flow Problems

In a central heating system, warmth transfers from the furnace to the living spaces by way of air. So if air isn’t making it to your space, it’s no wonder you’re feeling chilly. 

There are many causes for airflow problems:

  • Problem with the fan stemming from fan motors, belts, and bearings
  • Trouble with the ductwork, like a blockage or leaks in the ducts
  • Issue with the grilles, vanes, or internal dampers causing unbalanced airflow

No matter the cause, if you have an airflow problem it can cause furnace overheating or poor heating control. One way you can test whether you have an airflow problem is by holding your hand or a piece of tissue up to the supply grilles. The amount of airflow should be about even from any outlet in your home. 

3. Clogged or Dirty Filters

Yes, a clean air filter really does impact the performance of your heater. One of the most common heating problems we see is a dirty, clogged filter. Not only is that bad for your IAQ, but it can seriously impact the energy usage and heat production of your heater. 

Filters are beneficial for keeping the air in your home clean. But left too long without replacing, and they can become an airflow obstruction. Replace your filters every 3 months at minimum. You should replace air filters more frequently if you have a household pet that sheds, or anyone in your household suffers from indoor allergens. 

4. Furnace or Heating System Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

For furnaces that generate heat using natural gas, there is a small flame that is kept lit all the time. We call this the pilot light. When the furnace turns on, it releases gas to the main burner, and the pilot light ignites the gas to provide heat. 

An issue with your pilot light or ignition can cut out heat altogether, or they can cause intermittent heating throughout the home. A reliable contractor with plenty of experience, positive reviews, and industry credentials will be able to spot and repair this problem right away. 

5. Lack of Maintenance

Just like any other important piece of equipment or electronics that you own, your HVAC system and furnace requires maintenance. Skipping on routine maintenance can lead to costly and unexpected breakdowns, and increased energy consumption and bills.

Unfortunately, maintenance is the type of thing you really wish you would have done… once it’s too late. At Brody Pennell, we know Los Angeles homeowners have much more on their mind than scheduling HVAC maintenance. That’s why we have the BPM Club, a membership program which ensures you get your annual AC and heating maintenance along with many other benefits. We’ll be the ones to remember to take care of your equipment, year-round.  

We Can Handle All the Common Heating Problems – And More

Brody Pennell is an established Los Angeles based business, serving our beloved city since 1945. You can bet we have the knowledge and experience to tackle any heating problem – whether it’s one of these common heating problems or a completely different issue. Call us and ask for an opinion – we’re friendly! If you’re ready for honest, old-school service, with the latest training and certifications, call Brody Pennell. Whenever you need us, we’re here.

Are you an optimizer? A maximizer? A person who wants to squeeze every ounce of value out of an investment? This blog is for you! Today we’re talking about how to make the most out of your home’s HVAC system.

These tips and tricks are great for anyone that wants to ensure top performance of their heating and cooling system. The fact is that it’s not always about the HVAC unit you have, but action (…or inaction) you take to interact with it. By understanding more about how your choices impact your home’s heating and cooling performance, you can save energy and money! 

Be Aware of Changing Energy Needs

We have all experienced the frustrating feeling of being in a dark room where there’s only one option for lighting: ON, with so much brightness it makes you squint! Sometimes we want that full illumination – like if you’re looking for a missing item. But often in the evening hours, it’s nice to have the option of a dimmer switch, or smaller lamps with a softer glow. And during the daytime, you may only need a bit of light to supplement the sunshine. The moral of the story is that your needs for lighting change throughout the day. 

The same is true for your air conditioning and heating. During certain parts of the day, week, and year, your HVAC will use more or less energy. Comfort cooling and heating systems run more frequently and for longer periods in the winter and summer months. Also, your home may need less cooling or heating during the week when the family is out of the home for work or school. 

If you’re serious about making the most of your heating and cooling system, you need to install a programmable thermostat. That will allow you to change the temperature setpoint automatically depending on your changing energy needs. To take it a step further, new smart thermostats can allow remote access to your thermostat via your smartphone. 

One more tip: don’t forget to set back your thermostat when you are leaving your home for several days at a time. 

Preventative Maintenance

The very best thing you can do to improve the long-term performance of your heating and cooling system is to ensure you get maintenance every single year. Your HVAC unit is a mechanical device with plenty of moving parts. It needs a professional service annually to ensure top performance and the highest efficiency. 

We strongly recommend partnering with a reputable HVAC company with a preventative maintenance program. One of the most valuable benefits of a maintenance program is that the company will track your service schedule for you. Here at Brody Pennell, we also take pictures of your equipment and track performance over time, which can help us provide faster and more accurate service. Plus, our members receive other benefits, like 24/7 emergency service and extended appointment times. 

There’s a reason that manufacturers require annual service as a part of warranty agreements. Maintenance helps maintain the performance and reliability of your equipment. It’s that simple!

Investing In Higher-Quality Equipment

When it comes time to replace your equipment, consider investing in the highest quality systems.  The best HVAC systems today have new technological advances that make them more efficient, work better, and break down less than the HVAC systems of years ago. 

For example, the Carrier Infinity Systems with Greenspeed Intelligence offer performance features unmatched by any other system on the market. When you invest in a premium system, you’ll get enhanced durability, improved serviceability, and outstanding energy efficiency. 

Because of the extreme energy efficiency, these high-caliber systems often qualify for discounts and rebates. Plus, financing can ease the burden of a new HVAC purchase. You can get the comfort and efficiency of a new system now, and pay later.

Beyond Tips and Tricks: Call Brody Pennell

Brody Pennell is an award-winning heating and air conditioning company that has served Los Angeles since 1945. We are the longest-standing Carrier dealer in the LA area, so you can trust that we are a reputable company. How can we help you? Contact us today!

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill. It’s something we take very seriously as a provider of repair, service, and installation of heating systems, because furnaces are a source of carbon monoxide gas. Here at Brody Pennell, we see this as a very important health and safety issue. Homeowners should have a full understanding of the dangers of carbon monoxide and know what the warning signs are of CO poisoning. And most important of all, what you can do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your household. 

How is Carbon Monoxide Produced?

Carbon monoxide is found in the fumes of any fuel-burning device. The gas is created when there is an incomplete combustion of fossil fuels or hydrocarbons. It’s normal for fuel-burning equipment to produce carbon monoxide; the problem is more in how the CO is dispersed. 

Since the gas is poisonous to living beings, it’s important to ensure that systems are in place to remove any carbon monoxide gas to the outside air. Some examples of this include the exhaust pipe on a car, or the chimney on a fireplace. When these exhaust systems become blocked, enclosed, or leak, it becomes a safety risk. 

The most common sources of carbon monoxide include: cars with gasoline or diesel engines, stoves, furnaces that use heating oil, grills, lanterns, furnaces, and any other item that works by burning fuel. 

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

Since carbon monoxide has no color or smell, you may not even be aware when the air in your home has high concentrations of the gas. So, it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning. 

The onset of symptoms is usually gradual, and sometimes the individual may not be fully aware that it’s even happening. The most common symptoms include: 

  • Dizziness, headache, and fatigue
  • Nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of alertness or consciousness
  • Weakness

As you can see, these symptoms are very similar to other conditions. A person might think they have the flu or a bad migraine. That’s what makes carbon monoxide poisoning so dangerous. Many people who suffer from CO poisoning do so while intoxicated, sleeping, or even just sitting in a chair. 

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning at Home

While CO poisoning may have serious consequences, prevention is actually very easy. 

Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector. It is your first – and best – line of defense in detecting high levels of carbon monoxide. According to the EPA, locate your carbon monoxide detector at least 5 feet above the floor and nearby sleeping areas so it can wake you up in the night. Although it might make sense to put it right next to the garage doorway or near your furnace, that may trigger false alarms. Finally, remember that every floor in your home needs at least one carbon monoxide detector. 

Here are some other ways to prevent CO poisoning at home: 

  • Make sure heating appliances, such as stoves and furnaces, are well-vented. This will prevent accumulation of carbon monoxide in the room.
  • Schedule heating maintenance annually and make sure the service is done by a qualified HVAC contractor.
  • Never burn charcoal indoors or underneath an overhang.
  • Do not use a fuel-burning generator indoors, in a garage, or underneath an overhang
  • Ensure the doorway to your garage is well-sealed and never run a vehicle with the garage door closed.
  • Improve the ventilation of your home by opening screened windows on a nice day or adding a mechanical ventilator to your HVAC system. 

Keep Reading About Carbon Monoxide:

Tips For Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Your HomeShould I Be Concerned About Carbon Monoxide In My Home?

When hiring an HVAC service technician, there are many credentials you should look for to ensure quality work. A contractor that is committed to excellence will employ NATE-certified technicians. So, what is NATE certification anyway? 

What is NATE Certification?

The non-profit organization North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is an independent association serving the HVAC industry. NATE is primarily a certifying organization, so their primary purpose is to certify installation and service technicians. 

NATE is the only nationally accepted certification program for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. It is endorsed by the entire HVACR industry, the technicians themselves, manufacturers, contractors, and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, ACCA. It is the culmination of years of effort by the ACCA and other industry stakeholders to come up with a single, nationwide certification.

Although NATE is a voluntary certification, tens of thousands of technicians are certified to date, and the number continues to grow. However, not all candidates who attempt the test pass it the first time; in fact, close to 35% of all those who take it fail. This is a strong indication that those who pass are the very best in the trade in terms of skills, experience, and knowledge of heating and cooling installation and service.

What Are The Levels of NATE Certification?

There are many types of certificates awarded by NATE:

  1. Ready-to-Work Certificate – this is the first step of the certification and is for entry-level technicians just beginning their career in the industry.
  2. HVAC Support Technician Certificate – once a technician has worked in the field for 6-12 months, they will have gained enough knowledge and experience to earn the HVAC Support Technician certification.
  3. Specialty Certificates – technicians can earn certificates in specialty topics. These certificates can then be used to qualify for NATE certification or HVAC Efficiency Analyst certification.
  4. NATE Certification – this is the gold standard of the certifications that NATE offers. Technicians must pass a rigorous series of exams and demonstrate a deep level of knowledge on speciality topics.
  5. HVAC Efficiency Analyst – this is a senior certification and is intended for the most experienced of technicians. To qualify for this level, a technician must already hold two NATE specialty topic certificates.

Homeowners should ensure professionals they hire have earned NATE certification. Individual certificates are not the same as NATE certification. You can verify a technician’s certifications on NATE’s website.

Earning NATE Certification

Technicians earn NATE certificates by passing  several knowledge–based tests. To reach NATE certification, technicians must pass a core exam. The core exam is 50 questions and covers topics like construction safety, HVAC science, tools, and measurement taking.  In addition, candidates must take a specialty test with 100 multiple–choice questions focused on one or more of the following specialties:

Installation Specialties: 

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Air to Air Heat Pump
  • Gas Heating (Air)

Service Specialities:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Distribution
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Heat Pump (Air to Air)
  • Gas Heating (Air)
  • Hydronics Gas
  • Hydronics Oil
  • Light Commercial Refrigeration
  • Oil Heating (Air)
  • Efficiency Analyst

What Does NATE Certified Mean to Homeowners?

Homeowners who hire NATE certified technicians can enjoy greater peace of mind and home comfort. Other benefits to the homeowner include:

  • A job done right the first time
  • Lower power bills due to proper installation and service
  • Fast, reliable and efficient service
  • Fewer warranty returns and callbacks
  • The HVAC system will run at peak efficiency
  • Expert advice from an experienced and knowledgeable technician

NATE certification tests take the form of real working scenarios of HVACR systems, and they positively impact contractors, manufacturers, distributors, trainers, utilities, consumers, and the technicians themselves. An NATE certificate is an impressive addition to a technician’s resume, since up to 90% of homeowners prefer working with certified technicians.

If you want to get the most out of your cooling and heating system, call an NATE certified technician and schedule a maintenance inspection. Brody Pennell proudly employs NATE-certified technicians and supports their continuing education requirements. For HVAC service you can trust, call your friends at Brody Pennell! 

While air conditioning systems come in various designs, all of them share similar working components to cool your home while eliminating heat and moisture. Choosing the perfect one for your needs, however, will depend on several factors, including cost, application, and installation.

Choosing Air Conditioning Systems: Know the Types

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life! You may not be aware there are many kinds of air conditioning systems to choose from.  To narrow down your choices, it pays to weigh the features and benefits of different air conditioning systems. Here are your common options:

Central Air Conditioning Systems

A central A/C is the most common type of air conditioner in Los Angeles, so you are probably familiar with what it looks like and how it works. Physically, it’s the largest type of air conditioner. 

A central AC consists of a large outdoor unit and a small indoor coil connected to each other by refrigerant tubing. Central air conditioners use the same ductwork and blower fan as your heating system. That can make a central system very effective in cooling your entire home. 

The most important part of selecting a central AC system is choosing the correct size. Undersized units won’t provide enough cooling while oversized ones won’t dehumidify well. Both can take a toll on your energy bills.

Decentralized with Ductless Mini-Splits 

A ductless mini split is a great choice for a lot of homeowners. If your home does not currently have a forced-air HVAC system installed, ductless can be a perfect solution. Mini-splits are also great for add-ons or hot spots.

Mini-splits work because they are decentralized. Mini-splits have a ton of benefits and don’t take up much space. Plus, ductless systems often qualify for rebates since they are so energy-efficient.

Space Cooling with a Window Unit

As the name suggests, this type of unit is installed within a window or through a hole in an exterior wall. It is a unitary system, which means that all the components for air conditioning are within a single compact box. It’s available in various sizes to serve any space, from a single room up to an entire floor. 

Window units can be very affordable but there are a few downsides. One is that they are very noisy, so while the temperature feels nice the sound can be very distracting. The other negative is that these units can be quite the eyesore from the outside. For that reason, many Homeowners Associations (HOAs) and local municipalities have rules against these types of units. 

Portable Air Conditioners

If you have a small room that needs temporary cooling, you might consider a portable A/C. This is a mobile, self-contained unit placed on the floor that you can easily move from room to room. You can use this as a supplement for your central AC to prevent premature wear and lower energy costs.

But despite the word “portable” in the name, this type of air conditioner has a couple of space requirements. It must connect to an exterior window for warm air to exhaust. And, you need an outlet nearby to plug it in. So, most homeowners with a portable AC keep it in a fairly permanent location. Here, you may be better off installing a single ductless mini-split to take care of the comfort problem. 

Turn to Brody Pennell for Flawless Air Conditioning Installation

With over 75 years in the industry, Brody Pennell has what it takes to carry out your air conditioning installation to perfection. We’ll help you find the right A/C for your home so you can keep your comfort at optimum levels.  Get in touch with us or call us at (310) 896-4911.

Summertime brings longer hours of daylight, more sunshine….and higher electric bills. Air conditioning keeps homes cool and comfortable but uses a significant amount of a home’s total energy consumption. Utility bills can add up! And if all your neighbors are running their AC at the same time, it can lead to rolling blackouts. That’s why we recommend every homeowner in Los Angeles makes a plan for how to save energy throughout the hottest months. With an energy savings plan, you can use your home’s appliances and systems efficiently while achieving energy savings during the summer’s warmest days.

Energy-Saving Tip #1 – Manage the Heat from Your Windows

Your windows are a huge source of added heat inside your home. And once your house is hot, your air conditioner has to use energy to cool it back down. So, be mindful of your window usage. Closing blinds, shades and drapes in rooms when they are receiving direct sunlight will help reduce heat transfer. This simple step can ensure rooms remain cool; plus, your A/C won’t need to work so hard. 

Energy-Saving Tip #2 – Go With the (Air) Flow

Open all your interior doors so that cooler air freely flows throughout the house. Use ceiling fans so you can comfortably raise the temperature on your A/C’s thermostat by several degrees. Check your HVAC filters each month and replace them as often as needed, or at least every 3 months.

Energy-Saving Tip #3 – Seal It Up

Check the house for air leaks. Your cool air may escape through fireplaces, holes in foundation walls and attics, and around doors and windows. Close fireplace dampers, caulk around windows and places where there are air leaks in attics and foundation walls, and install or replace weather stripping around doors. Inject foam insulation into walls without insulation and add R-30 rated insulation to your attic. Make your home as snug and air tight as you can. And don’t forget to have your ductwork checked for tightness during a routing AC maintenance visit. You don’t want that cold air from your air conditioner leaking into your attic!

Energy-Saving Tip #4 – Limit Extra Heat

Run heat producing appliances during the coolest parts of the day. Cook more on an outdoor grill or in your microwave, as it uses half the energy your stove or range does. Place your refrigerator’s temperature setting between 30°F and 42°F. If it has a power saving switch, use it. If your dishwasher has an economy setting, wash on that setting. Only run full loads.

Energy-Saving Tip #5 – Run a High-Performing Air Conditioner

In the summer months, your air conditioner uses an enormous amount of energy. Do everything you can to ensure your AC is running at peak energy efficiency. Schedule HVAC maintenance in the spring, or sign up for a maintenance agreement so you never forget. When your air conditioner starts to hit double-digits in age, replace it with an energy-efficient system like the Carrier Greenspeed Intelligence system. Not only will you get outstanding energy efficiency, but these systems typically qualify for cash-saving special rebates

For more energy-saving tips and ideas, check out some of our other articles: 

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.