Most of the time, it’s not difficult to recognize when your AC might need repair. However, some air conditioning issues are a little more subtle than others. This leaves you to wonder whether you need to call in an HVAC technician for service or if the issue is all in your head. That’s why we’ve put together a quick list of some of the top signs that your AC may need repair:

  1. Your AC isn’t blowing cool air.

Sometimes an air conditioning system won’t blow cool air even when it’s on full blast. If you find that the air coming from your air vents isn’t cold or isn’t as cold as it used to be, this may be a sign that your air conditioner is in need of repair.

A lack of cool air can point to a number of issues. For instance, your air conditioner’s compressor may have failed. The only way to know for sure why your air conditioning system is no longer blowing cool air is to call in a trained HVAC technician. He or she will diagnose your system and let you know which repairs are necessary.

  1. Your air conditioner is making strange sounds.

Another common sign that your AC may need repair is when it starts to make troubling noises. If you hear a grinding, grating noise or a squealing coming from your air conditioning system, this could be signaling that something is wrong with the unit. A grinding noise can point to issues with your AC motor. While squealing noise may point to a belt that has slipped out of place or a metal component in your unit that needs to be lubricated.

If you are hearing noises coming from your unit, it’s best to get your AC checked out as soon as possible as these sounds may indicate that your system is on the verge of a breakdown. When your AC is at the point that it might breakdown, the sooner you can get a diagnosis and repair, the less likely it will be that you have to replace the entire system. Holding off in repairs can also result in more costly fixes.

  1. Your AC unit emits foul smells.

Another common sign that your air conditioner needs repair is when foul or pungent smells start coming from your air conditioning vents. Usually, this means that your AC’s wire insulation has burned out. However, if you notice a musty smell this may indicate that there is mold or other issues in your ductwork that need to be taken care of immediately.

Again, the only way to know for sure what is causing these odors is to call in an HVAC professional. If you are not experienced with HVAC and try to diagnose and repair the issue yourself, you may cause even more damage to your system without actually finding and repairing the root cause of the problem you initially set out to fix!

Expert Los Angeles AC Repair

Are you experiencing one of the issues above? Now that summer is here, you won’t be able to keep your home comfortable for very long without a working air conditioner. Whether you are experiencing some issues or your AC just isn’t working as efficiently as it once was, it’s time to call in the experts at Brody Pennell for Los Angeles AC repair.

Our skilled HVAC technicians can have your air conditioner back up and running in no time. With our 24/7 emergency service, you never have to wait long to restore comfort in your Los Angeles home. Call today to schedule your repair service: (310) 896-4911.

Smell can be a key indicator of major HVAC system malfunctions. Irregular smells are great ways for home and business owners to self-diagnose certain issues. If you aren’t confident in your ability to properly identify an odd scent coming from your vent or unit, you’ll want to call an HVAC expert right away to ensure that you or your system are not at risk. If you can identify one of these odors, adhere to the advice given to prevent any health or system concerns.

Rotten Garbage

There can be many reasons why a foul smell is coming from your ductwork. As the longest standing Carrier dealer in LA, we have seen it all. From old food left from a builder in new construction homes, to dead animals, we have found any number of things in ductwork that can fester and create an unpleasant smell. While it’s not inherently dangerous, you’ll still want to give an HVAC tech a call to have whatever is causing the odor out of your ducts right away.


Your air conditioner acts as a natural dehumidifier, so it is fairly common for it to collect more water than it can hold over time. To prevent this unpleasant mildew smell, regularly replace your filter and have your system maintained. This will ensure that any signs of mold or mildew are cleared away and that your system is clean and dry.

Cigarette Smoke

If a current or former resident was a smoker indoors, the smoke would have been sucked up into the evaporator coil. Once this potent smell has been absorbed by the coil, it can blast the smell back into the home. All that is required is a thorough cleaning of the evaporator coil to prevent this problem further.

Stinky Feet

Similar to mildew collection, stagnant water caught within your HVAC system can create a foot odor smell. Simple maintenance can eliminate excess water and clean your system to rid your ducts of this unpleasant smell.


Raw sewage is not only an unpleasant smell, but it can also be an indication of a serious threat. If you are smelling sewage from your vents, there is a good chance that one of your sewage pipes has burst near your ductwork. This will leak toxic and combustible methane gas into your home. Do not expose yourself or others to the gas if at all possible and call both a plumber and HVAC contractor to ensure both systems are in working order.

Rotten Eggs

Inherently natural gas is odorless, this can make it a silent killer because it is very dangerous to our health to inhale. Gas companies have added a harmless chemical, mercaptan, to natural gas to help homeowners identify lethal leaks. If you notice a sulfur, rotten egg, smell, exit your home or building and call your gas company immediately.


If it smells like something is burning inside your home, don’t assume one of your neighbors are barbecuing. Rather, shut your system off immediately and check to see if the smell gets worse near the unit. If so, it could be a sign that your AC fan or compressor is malfunctioning. Have your system serviced before flipping it back on.

Exhaust Fumes

This smell is of course going to be more associated with gas powered equipment, such as a vehicle. That’s what makes it easier to identify for homeowners when this smell arises. If you start to smell exhaust fumes through your vents or around your unit, it could be an indication that your engine is leaking fluids. If this is the case, call an HVAC tech immediately.


If you’ve ever been to an old war reenactment or are a old gun enthusiast, you’ll know that gunpowder has a distinct smell. For those unfamiliar with gunpowder, it is a sulfuric, metallic smell that is not dissimilar to firework smoke. If this scent is coming from your vents, it could mean major problems for your system. It is a sign that your circuit board or fan motor has shorted out. To avoid further system damage or risks, call an HVAC technician immediately for servicing.

If you have any other questions that you want answered, or to address any of these mild or serious HVAC system issues, give Brody Pennell a call @ (310) 896-4911.

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.

While air conditioning is not something always related to the learning environment, it actually plays a crucial, albeit indirect role. You might still recall how classrooms used to feel stuffy during the warm months and how you felt sleepy as your teacher droned on. In some cases, you’ve experienced discomfort throughout the day. Turns out, HVAC contractors say that part of these instances are not only caused by poor indoor air quality but unstable temperatures as well.

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As a responsible homeowner, it’s important to pay attention to all aspects of your living space, especially your air conditioning system. Just like your roof and gutters, it requires timely repair and maintenance to improve its efficiency, prolong its service life, and reduce the risks of breakdowns.

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Is your HVAC system on the fritz? Sometimes your system just needs a simple repair, and other times, it makes more sense to replace your home’s HVAC system entirely. So how do you know when it’s actually time to upgrade your system?

Below are just a few signs that it’s time to replace your HVAC system:

You’re experiencing frequent breakdowns.

Have you gotten on a first name basis with your HVAC repairman because your HVAC system seems to be constantly in need of repair? Repair costs can quickly add up, so don’t continue to pay to repair a unit that is going to keep causing you stress and unexpected expenses. If your system is breaking down often, it might be in your best interest to replace the system completely. If your system is constantly malfunctioning, it’s probably not all that energy efficient, which means a new system will help further save you money on energy costs.

Your air conditioner is not energy efficient.

Have you ever looked at the SEER rating of your home’s air conditioning unit? If it has a low SEER rating (anything under 13), then it is more likely than not costing you far more money just to operate than is necessary. Even if your system’s SEER rating is at 13-15, it may be smart to consider an upgrade. Today, federal regulations require that an A/C has a rating of at least 13, but anything over that number means that energy efficiency just increases as the SEER rating increases.

Your HVAC system is over ten years old.

A well maintained HVAC system should last between 10 to 13 years, so if your system is over 10 years old, it probably makes sense to replace it. With the numerous developments in HVAC technology over the past ten years, HVAC systems have only become increasingly more efficient. For that reason, there are a lot of benefits to installing a new HVAC system over hanging onto an older one. Even if your system is still running, you could achieve better energy efficiency, and therefore energy savings, by upgrading to a new model.

Home comfort is compromised.

Is it difficult for your HVAC system to keep your home warm during the winter and comfortably cool during the summer? If so, you could have an aging or incorrectly sized HVAC system on your hands. Whether it’s a sizing issue or simply old age, an ineffective HVAC system cannot appropriately provide you with adequate home comfort. If your system is running continuously, but your home is not comfortable, then it may be smart to consider an HVAC replacement.

You’re paying high repair costs.

If you’ve recently experienced a malfunction in your HVAC system that will require a very expensive fee to fix, then it may be smarter to just invest in a new HVAC system. Before making this call, weigh the cost of the repair against the cost of a new unit and consider the age of your system (how many more years until you’ll just have to replace it anyways). If the repair cost is super high, it may make far more sense financially to just replace it.

Need HVAC Replacement in West Hollywood?

If you live in the West Hollywood area and are considering an HVAC replacement, get in touch with the experts at Brody Pennell. Whether you have concerns about replacing your home’s HVAC system, or if you have questions about the replacement process and would like to speak to one of our expert technicians, we can help. Call us today at 310-836-0606.

Can You Add a Boiler to a Home with an Air Conditioner?

It’s a common misunderstanding: most people aren’t sure whether or not their houses can run both an A/C and a Boiler system at the same time. Since they both have totally different functions, they will consume power in unique ways, so the main concern is not whether they will actually function, but how much extra cost this will add to their utility bills. Yet, if you do it correctly, adding an Air Conditioner System to a home with a Boiler can be an excellent investment.

3 Options for Ideal A/C and Boiler Functioning

  1. Mini Split Set-Up

In an A/C system with a mini split set-up, the condenser exists on the outside while the cooler remains on the inside of the home. Not only is this an affordable option, but you also don’t have to worry at all about maintaining ductwork.

  1. Ductwork System

Your next option is one that utilizes ductwork in the home, mainly through the attic or in the basement. The ducts in these systems transport the cold air that is generated in the space that houses the ductwork to the other areas in your home you would like to keep cool through registers and/or other vents. You can also heat a home with a ductwork system, which allows you to distribute hot and cold air through one unit, rather than two separate units.

  1. High Velocity Attic Air System

If you feel that ductwork is too invasive or space consuming and would like something smaller and more manageable, then consider a high velocity attic air system. Instead of ducts, it utilizes smaller and more manageable tubes. These small tubes are more efficient in transporting cool air to each room and are completely silent during operation. In addition, compared to the ductwork systems, the high velocity attic air systems look more aesthetically appealing in construction. These systems are a bit pricier than the above options, but you will come away with more efficiency (and money savings on your utility bills!) in the long run.

Smart Synchronizing

So, as you see, it is possible to have an air conditioning system and boiler in one house without compromising the function of the other. A good tip is to install them relatively far away from each other and make sure that they don’t share any components, such as ductwork.

If you found this article helpful, then be sure to follow our blog so that you can keep up with more homes related tips, including A/C related advice and information. We’ve been serving the Beverly Hills and surrounding areas for over 65 years and know a great deal about HVAC systems. We’re here to help you learn how to have better cooling and heating within your home, and are available to answer your questions directly, or provide an in home evaluation. Call us today with any questions! (310) 836-0606.

Did you know that the average home in Los Angeles spends approximately $2000 a year on energy bills, which is mostly comprised of the home’s cooling bills. In fact, cooling can account for almost 60% of the total utility usage in your home.  

Fortunately, there are a few predictable ways that you may be losing energy while cooling your home. Below we explain further what you can do to stop losing energy while cooling your home.

Improperly Sized A/C or Other Cooling Systems

If you have a cooling system that is either too large or too small for your home, then it may be having trouble keeping up with properly cooling the square footage of your home, requiring your system to expend more energy than needed. If you have the incorrect sized cooling system, consider replacing it with a better fit. This way you will lose far less energy and your system will have a longer and more effective lifespan.

Improperly Insulated Attics

Your attic is probably the most important place in your home to worry about proper insulation. Since the attic is essentially a giant empty space in your home, it has a tendency to draw cooled air up and out if there are holes, gaps, or weak insulation. By having your attic properly insulated, you can rest assured that your conditioned air will stay exactly where it should be.

Holes and Gaps in Exterior Walls

Even though they are small and even sometimes undetectable to the eye, any holes, gaps, or leaks in exterior walls can cause a major influx in energy costs. This is because any gaps or holes draw out cool air from the indoors and allow warmer outdoor air to sneak inside. Be sure to check your walls thoroughly for any areas where outdoor air may be able to come in, and seal these areas up immediately.

Drafty Windows, Doors and Floorboards

Another area where you should be mindful of any leaks, drafts, gaps or holes, is around doors, windows and floorboards. Easily check for drafts or leaks around these areas by slowly running a lit incense stick or candle closely around the perimeter of your home. If you notice the smoke or flame quickly divert towards the opposite direction, that means there is a draft. Do an inventory around these areas and check for any old or worn weatherproofing or caulking and replace with new as needed.

Neglecting Regular HVAC  Maintenance

Having your cooling system checked out by a professionally trained HVAC technician is crucial to keeping your system in proper working order. A system that hasn’t had regular maintenance doesn’t only operate inefficiently, it also is at risk for broken parts or premature breakdown.

If you’re in need for a maintenance check on your cooling system, call us today at 310-836-0606. We’ve been serving the L.A. area for over 70 years, so we know a thing or two about keeping comfortable in the Greater Los Angeles area.

For more information on how to keep your home cool and comfortable and energy efficient, check out these informative videos from Carrier. These cover everything you need to know, from what SEER means to how to improve the quality of your home’s indoor air.



One of the most important systems in your newly constructed home is the HVAC system. It will keep your home’s temperature regulated and, when commissioned and installed appropriately, save energy and keep your home environmentally friendly. If you need to commission an HVAC system but aren’t sure where to begin, let Brody Pennell help.

HVAC Commission

What Is HVAC Commissioning?

Simply put, HVAC commissioning is the thorough testing of your HVAC system’s performance. Although you are paying a contractor to build and install an HVAC system, there is no guarantee it will work perfectly after installation. To ensure it does, it’s best to have the system tested before, during, and after the building process. Commissioning saves homeowners money on maintenance costs, as well as the time it would take to repair or even replace an HVAC system. Commissioning also alerts you to potential problems before they happen, such as a system that’s prone to overheating.

Do I Need An HVAC Commission?

Many homeowners are unsure whether HVAC commissioning is necessary and are leery of spending money on one. However, you should commission any mechanical system in your new home, including the HVAC system.

Commissioning will make it easier to upgrade your HVAC system when needed. For example, if you live in a naturally hot area, you may need to upgrade chillers sooner than you estimated. Boilers, pumps, and heat exchangers may undergo wear and tear during harsh weather, leading to expensive repairs. An HVAC commission will ensure that your system has all the proper equipment when it is installed and that it all works at optimum levels.

Who Will Perform My Commission?

Usually the contractor who installed your system will be the same person who commissions it. If the contractor is unwilling or unable to do this, you must find a reputable commissioning agent immediately. During a commission, the contractor or other agent will simulate different operating conditions to test how well the system works and alert you to possible problems. Commissioning ensures these problems are fixed during installation, not left until the last minute or ignored until the project is complete and the contractor has already left.

During an HVAC commission, your contractor will mount and secure your HVAC box and ensure all controls are accessible. He or she will check each part of the system, such as fan belts, motors, coils, and piping to be sure they are installed properly and do not have wear and tear that might prevent them from working.

The contractor will check to see all system parts such as unit supply fans, dampers, and valves respond on command, and that start and stop times are programmed into the HVAC system properly. If any problems occur, the contractor will isolate the issue and devote time to it until it is resolved.

Learn More About HVAC Commissioning [H2]

If you wish to learn more about HVAC commissioning or want to schedule one, please call Brody Pennell or visit us online. Our associates are well versed in commissioning and will walk you through each step of the process.


The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is phasing out R-22 coolants for use with residential and commercial air conditioning systems. R-22, has been the coolant of choice since it replaced R-40 as a more ozone-friendly refrigerant. Over the next few years, A/C companies will slowly stop using R-22 for the same reason in exchange for newer, more environmentally friendly coolants.

This phase-out is making R-22 more difficult to find today and more expensive for contractors to use. Unfortunately for home and business owners, this provides an opportunity for scammers to sell cheaper R-22 alternatives”(e.g., counterfeit R-22) to contractors. These coolant alternatives are actually unsafe chemical cocktails that can prove life threatening under the wrong circumstances.

Counterfeit R-22 Floods The HVAC Market

HVAC contractors looking to save money at their customers’ expense might buy illegally imported R-22 knockoffs from China or elsewhere. While there are plenty of genuine, viable alternatives to R-22, counterfeit products can be flammable, explosive, and even deadly. Counterfeit R-22 can be made up of fatal chemical blends such as R-40, R-134a, and other refrigerants containing methyl chloride or chloromethane. When exposed to air, heat, and/or moisture, these volatile chemicals can cause violent reactions.

There have been several cases of marine refrigerated containers exploding and causing major material damage as well as operator deaths. These explosions were the result of counterfeit R-22 substitutes containing dangerous combinations of coolants. While reports of fires and explosions are rare, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported cases in the United States and abroad of people suffering injury after using unapproved air conditioner coolants.

Preventing An R-22 Refrigerant Scam

Pumping your A/C system with counterfeit coolants can expose your home, family, or business to several dangers. Not only does counterfeit R-22 put you at risk of severe HVAC system damage, including charred or melted components, but you also risk a fire, explosion, and injury. Keep your system safe and up to code by being coolant-savvy with your technician.

Check the labels on the refrigerants your heating and air conditioning company uses before allowing workers to replace your coolant. Verify that the label is a trustworthy brand, such as DuPont or any other legitimate company, and clearly states R-22” not “R-22a,” “HC-12a,” or another non-EPA approved coolant name. Ask to see your technician’s certification, and choose a different company if they don’t let you.

Certified Technicians Are The Only Option

When you need a trustworthy, responsible heating and air conditioning company in the Greater Los Angeles area for coolant replacement, trust Brody Pennell. Our HVAC technicians are expertly trained to provide top-notch service, helping local homes and businesses with their A/C needs for over 50 years. We also use name-brand R-22 coolant for repairs and won’t hesitate to show you our EPA certification. Contact us online or call today to set up an appointment.