What do I do if my HVAC system breaks down over the holidays?

There is no convenient time for your HVAC system to break down. However, the holidays are a particularly difficult time to go without your heating and cooling system. Many homeowners spend the holidays in their home with friends and family and a breakdown could be disastrous, especially if you are hosting guests.

But have no fear! Our customers have gotten through holiday HVAC breakdowns and so will you! Below are just a few tips for what you should do when your HVAC system breaks down over the holiday season.

Troubleshooting Your HVAC System

It can be easy to panic when you notice the first sign of trouble with your HVAC system – especially if you’re planning on entertaining guests. But there’s no need to panic. Before you call us in to fix the issue, you can do some simple troubleshooting tasks on your own to try to determine the cause of the problem. It may be a simple fix that you can handle yourself!

Try these simple troubleshooting tasks before you call in the professionals:

  • Verify that your HVAC system has power and that the circuit breaker isn’t tripped.
  • Check to make sure that the thermostat has power and fresh batteries.
  • Switch the thermostat to “heat” and adjust the temperature by 3 to 5 degrees. Then, wait 30 seconds to see if the heat is coming out of the register. (Do the same for air conditioning but with the “cool” mode.)
  • Make sure that the fan on the thermostat is switched to on and that the air registers are open.

These are just a few simple tasks that you can do yourself to see if the HVAC repair issue is something simple. If you still cannot get your HVAC system to work then it’s time to call in the professionals. We DO NOT recommend trying to diagnose or fix your heating and cooling equipment beyond these simple troubleshooting measures unless you are a certified and trained HVAC technician yourself.

Call Emergency Los Angeles HVAC Company – Brody Pennell

If you aren’t able to determine the cause of the malfunction or it’s not an easy fix, then you’ll need to call a professional HVAC technician to access the issue. Finding an available tech on the holidays can be tough. That’s why we make our team available to our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and that includes on the holidays.

We want our customers and everyone in the Los Angeles community to have the peace of mind in knowing that if something goes wrong with their HVAC system, our experienced technicians will be there to fix it. Whether it’s Christmas morning or the night of New Year’s Eve, someone will be available to help diagnose and fix your HVAC issue. We aim to have your system back up and running in no time so that you can enjoy your holidays with those who matter most.

Call today to schedule emergency HVAC repair services: (310) 896-4911.

Any time your furnace stops working, you may worry that an expensive repair or even a furnace replacement is required. Some homeowners will wait to call a heating and cooling service because they do not want to pay a large repair bill. But there are times that a small issue may be causing the problem, and the corresponding fix can be affordable and quick.

If you’re wondering whether you should call for furnace repair or just wait to see if the problem persists, consider the signs and symptoms you’ve observed and how severe they are. Here are some of the top signs your furnace may need a professional repair:

1. Slow Heating Of The Home

Even if your furnace is working in top condition, it can take time from when you first switch it on to feel the room warming up. If you stand in front of one of the vents and find that little to no heated air is coming through, there may be an issue with the ductwork instead of the furnace. Ducts can become clogged over time, and block the air from coming through.  Older homes may have ductwork that has worn down or was not installed properly that allows air to escape the system.

There are also furnace based issues that can make the home heat slowly. Issues with the furnace wiring can cause the unit to stop working, even after you’ve switched it on several times. If you notice that the unit is constantly restarting throughout the day, or that it stops working after just a few minutes, this can be a sign of a problem that an HVAC professional will need to handle. Replacing the wiring is a quick fix that a qualified HVAC technician can often resolve in just one visit.

2. Bad Smells

A furnace that is working optimally shouldn’t produce any smell along with the air. If you smell burning, gas or another kind of fuel, or smoke, chances are there is an issue with the furnace.  There can be many causes for the smell, from a serious gas leak to dust caught in the unit. The only way to get to the bottom of the issue is to have a professional check the pilot light, burners and gas line to see if there is an issue with one of these key components.

3.  No Heat At All

If your HVAC unit is producing cool air, even when you set the thermostat to a high temperature, there is definitely an issue. It can be compressor, which heats the air, or the blower motor, which pumps the warm air into the ductwork. If you haven’t had seasonal HVAC maintenance done, chances are you may have missed one or more of the signs of this issue along the way.

If you suspect your furnace needs repair, call Brody Pennell Heating and Air Conditioning at (310) 896-4911. Our team can help you get your furnace back to working condition as fast as possible.

As one of the most important appliances in your home, your furnace plays a vital role in helping you stay comfortable. Replacing your furnace unexpectedly can cost thousands of dollars that you may not have available to spend at a moment’s notice. One of the biggest reasons to stay on top of your furnace’s condition is so you can be prepared for the eventual replacement of the unit and work it into your budget. Here are some of the ways to ensure that your furnace doesn’t break down at an inopportune time.

Have Regular Seasonal Checks Done

If your furnace works every time you turn the heat on, it may never have occurred to you to have scheduled a furnace maintenance visit. But waiting until the furnace breaks down to have an expert look is more expensive and inconvenient than keeping up with routine seasonal maintenance visits. If the furnace breaks down on the coldest day of the year, in the middle of the night, or when you have holiday guests over, you can end up scrambling to call someone for help.

Scheduling a regular fall HVAC tune-up can prevent this from happening, and also provide you with valuable information about the condition of your HVAC unit. During the visit, our HVAC technicians will not only clean and lubricate your system, but they will alert you to any repair needs or let you know if a certain part is worn or on its way out, helping you anticipate your future HVAC needs.

Keep An Eye Out For Symptoms

Even if you don’t have experience with HVAC units, there are obvious signs that a furnace is on its way to breaking down, including:

  • Loud sounds when the unit is running, like banging or whining sounds.
  • Burning or rotten smells when you run the HVAC system.
  • Lack of effective heating or cooling or the system taking a long time to get your home comfortable.

These can be early warning signs of a serious HVAC problem, so it’s vital to call for furnace repair as soon as you hear or see these symptoms. One of our experienced HVAC technicians can assess the severity of the problem and inform you about whether repair is possible or if you’ll need to replace the furnace in the near future.

Rely On An Expert For Help 

Trying to troubleshoot the HVAC unit yourself can be a recipe for disaster. If you aren’t familiar with how to maintain an HVAC unit, you can end up creating issues with the components and causing the unit to shut down while trying to perform furnace maintenance.

With years of training, a qualified technician can easily spot elements that need replacing and major components that are likely to wear out soon. Replacing these elements before a problem occurs is one of the best ways to prevent larger issues from occurring with your furnace.

Quality Los Angeles Furnace Repair

If you need help keeping your furnace in top shape, call Brody Pennell Heating and Air Conditioning at (310) 896-4911. We provide regular furnace maintenance and seasonal HVAC tune-ups to help keep your home comfortable.

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.

It’s easy to get advice on how to make your heating and air conditioning units more efficient. However, many of the tips you hear, especially regarding its maintenance and repair, may just be misconceptions. To maximize the potential of your HVAC system, it pays to learn the truth about how to take care of it properly.

Los Angeles can be a fun and exciting place to live. There is no shortage of things to do in Southern California, and, for the most part, the weather stays nice during most of the year. However, when it starts to heat up in the summer and you find yourself with a broken AC in Los Angeles, there’s a good chance that you’re no longer enjoying the sunny weather or festivities.

Like other cities in Southern California, Los Angeles has a climate that provides unique challenges for homeowners when it comes to their HVAC systems. Below, we will discuss just a few of the biggest HVAC issues that homeowners face and how you can prevent them.

3 Top HVAC Issues in Los Angeles

When it comes to Los Angeles AC issues, the team at Brody Pennell has seen it all. Here are a few of the most common HVAC system problems that we see from our customers regularly:

1. There’s not enough air flow.

If you are having trouble keeping your home comfortable, it could be due to airflow issues. Check your vents to see if the air coming from the registers is weak. If you find that the flow of air is not effective, this could be due to a clogged air filter. To avoid this problem, make sure that you check your air filter at least once a month, and change or clean the filter when it becomes clogged or dirty.

If you are diligent with your air filter changes and still notice weak air flow, the problem could be in your ducts. Ductwork that is leaking or ducts that are clogged or constricted can cause weak air flow in your home. If you think this may be the case, call an HVAC technician to inspect your ductwork.

2. The air conditioning unit will not turn on.

This is another common problem we see in Southern California homes. If your AC does not respond when you turn it on, this could be a sign of a couple of different issues. Your thermostat may not be working properly or there may be a failure of the electronic controls for the fan or compressor.

To avoid thermostat issues, check your thermostat regularly to ensure it is working properly and replace batteries as needed. If that doesn’t do the trick, then you may need to call in an expert to check out the electronic components of your system.

3. You can’t seem to get your home cooler.

Do you have a hard time getting your home to a comfortable temperature, no matter how low you set your thermostat? This is another common problem we see with our clients – their air conditioners do not cool their home properly. This could be due to a number of issues, and it’s best to have a qualified HVAC technician inspect the system to diagnose and repair your equipment.

However, there is one common issue that can cause your AC to have a hard time cooling your home that is preventable – a dirty air filter. A clogged air filter can slow your system down and make it have to work harder to keep your home cool. That’s why it’s important to keep up with your air filter changes to avoid causing any issues with your system.

Need help getting your Los Angeles air conditioner back up in working? Contact the experts at Brody Pennell. Our team of qualified HVAC technicians have been serving families and individuals in Southern California since 1945, so we know what it takes to keep you comfortable when the temperatures outside start to heat up. Call today to schedule a service appointment: (310) 836-0606.


Tempted to Hack Your HVAC Repair?

You’re handy around the house. You’ve stained some kitchen cabinets, repaired a few leaky faucets, and maybe even built a deck. You’re that homeowner. Now that your HVAC system is in need of a repair, you’re probably thinking “hey, why not?” Maybe, you’ve even considered replacing the system entirely – no technician needed. You’ve seen a few YouTube videos, plus you knew someone who did it and it went alright.

Slow down. DIY HVAC repair is dangerous and the consequences could include your family’s safety, your own safety, the condition of your system and your home, and the financial burden of a job done wrong.

DIY? Don’t!

HVAC service technicians are highly trained and licensed – there are years of schooling, tests, and ongoing trainings required to be an HVAC tech and maintain licensure. You would never walk into an operating room and feel qualified to perform surgery. This is hardly different! Your heating and cooling systems have dangerous components, require the use of electricity, and have dire consequences if installed improperly. Plus, only certified technicians should handle some of the equipment and materials required to perform repairs.

What could go wrong?


HVAC system installation and repairs can require interaction with high voltage electricity. By handling this poorly, you could blow a fuse in your home or worse, electrocute yourself.

Chemical Contamination

Refrigerant is a chemical used to keep your air conditioning system functioning. This chemical compound is cold enough to burn your skin and can be deadly if inhaled or handled poorly. Not only does refrigerant misuse put you at risk when performing repairs, but it also endangers everyone inside your home, as it could cause a gas leak.

One more thing, the EPA requires 608 certification for anyone who handles refrigerant. If you don’t have the certification, you are putting your life in danger.

Being Ill-Equipped

Equipping yourself with the right tools is essential. This will require more than what you’ve got stored in your toolbox or out in the shop. In fact, there are special gauges and tools that are required specifically for the HVAC industry including those that measure refrigerant gas leaks and other MAJOR issues. Failure to procure and properly use this equipment will result in major risks to your health and safety, as well as to the integrity of your system.

Fixing Your Mistakes Will Only Cost More!

With incorrect handling, your faulty system repair may not only need to be redone by a professional – which could cost more than it would have to rectify any problems your repair has caused. Also, the mistakes you make could compromise other components of the system which will then need to be repaired or replaced as well. Surely, you can see the HVAC bills piling up. It’s better to handle the problem with a professional from the very start.


The desire to be involved in all aspects of home ownership and maintenance is a noble one. In fact, there are things you should be involved in, as a dedicated homeowner, to help your HVAC technician care for your system in between visits.

Swap your batteries: Your thermostat and your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors operate on batteries – swap these out regularly to ensure that your system and air quality are being monitored properly.

Swap your filters. Nearly all heating & air conditioning systems have filters to help manage debris and keep your air clean. If you’re not sure where your system’s filters are located, how to switch them, or which ones you need to buy, consult your Owner’s Manual.

For more information on HVAC system maintenance – both routine and repair – contact Brody Pennell Heating & Air today!

“You get what you pay for.”

It’s a saying we’ve all heard many times. We might have even used it ourselves on occasion. But it’s a piece of wisdom we often choose to ignore, no matter how well we understand the idea behind it.
Taking the cheap and easy way is one of the bigger mistakes people make when confronted with malfunctioning HVAC systems. We fear the cost of repairs so much we become desperate to find a bargain, and we end up hiring fly-by-night operators who will rip us off and leave us holding the bag.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

When hiring service people it’s smart to shop for quotes. But there is no law that says you have to select the lowest one, and needless to say there are many circumstances when it’s a very, very bad idea to do so.

Unfortunately lots of people have chosen HVAC companies offering cut-rate prices on repairs. In far too many cases they’ve been rewarded with cut-rate quality of service, leading them to quickly regret their decision to take the cheapest offer.

If you choose bargain-basement HVAC repair services here’s what you could be letting yourself in for:

Bait-and-switch schemes

You’re given a quote for one type of service, but after examining your HVAC system the technician suddenly announces something else is wrong and it’ll cost you a few hundred dollars more in parts and labor to get it fixed.

Incorrect installations that are impossible to detect

HVAC systems are complex, technically sophisticated and at least partially enclosed. If a service technician installs a part incorrectly you’ll never know it until that part fails and the problem you thought was fixed comes back again with a vengeance.

Totally unnecessary repairs or replacement of parts that were working just fine

You won’t realize you’ve been had until you start doing business with a more reputable HVAC company, whose technicians can analyze the past work you’ve had done and let you know if it was bogus or legitimate.

Repeated visits when they can’t get it fixed the first time

When you hire technicians who aren’t really qualified the chances of them figuring out what’s wrong the first time—and actually repairing it successfully—are relatively slim. That means they’ll have to come back again and again (if you let them). So all those wonderful cost-savings you were anticipating will never materialize, since none of these extra service calls will be on-the-house.

Know Who You Are Hiring

Before you do business with any HVAC company investigate them carefully. Pour over their website, talk to their representatives over the phone or in-person and insist on seeing the credentials of their service technicians. Read any reviews you can find online, and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they’ve ever been the target of complaints.

If you find any red flags move on to another company and don’t look back, regardless of how much money they claim they can save you.

Please follow us for more insights on first-class HVAC maintenance and repair.

Why does my heater keep shutting off?

A common question homeowners might ask is, “Why does my heater keep shutting off?” To answer that question it is important to first understand the normal functioning of a heating system. The average on/off cycle for a heating system is three to six times an hour. If a unit is going through its cycles more often, professionals diagnose it by using the term “short cycling”. If not addressed, short cycling can cause damage to the heating system.

Homeowners can often remedy the problem without calling in a professional. First, check the thermostat and make sure it is set at the right temperature. Thermostats should never be placed in direct sunlight or near other heat sources or heater registers. Never use a space heater near the controls or the thermostat might sense that the home has reached the set temperature and cause short cycling.

Every homeowner should check the air filters on the heating system at least once each month and change or clean them when necessary. A clogged filter is one of the most common causes when it comes to 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 possible causes for short cycling are:

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

Sometimes, the only cure for short cycling is a new heating system. A professional can say for sure and will recommend a high-efficiency unit.

How are heaters rated?

When buying a new heating system it is vital to check its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This number compares the amount of heating to the number of energy dollars spent. Ratings range from 13 to 21. the higher the number, the greater savings on energy bills.

Call us today to learn more about efficient heating, air conditioning and Water Heater options. We can set up an appointment with a professional to help figure out what is wrong.

Having a problem with your HVAC system and dealing with unbearable hot or cool temperatures in your home can be a nightmare. When it comes to your heating or cooling system not functioning properly, most HVAC contractors will tell you that one of these five problems could be the culprit, or part of the problem. There can be hundreds of different potential problems with your system, however, these are the five most common reasons for problems with an HVAC system.

1. Thermostat Malfunctions
If you observe your HVAC system constantly cycling on and off, or that the temperature doesn’t seem to change much, no matter how high or low you set it, it could be a thermostat problem. Most HVAC contractors freely admit that this problem comprises a lot of their business. The good news is that it is generally an easy and cheap fix when compared to other problems.

2. Air Flow Problems
Air flow problems can be caused by several different issues stemming from fan motors, belts and bearings. No matter the cause, if you have an air flow problem it can cause furnace overheating or poor heating control.

3. Clogged or Dirty Filters
Having filters that are dirty or clogged can also lead to an air flow obstruction. Filters are necessary and beneficial to decrease the amount of dust, debris, and allergens in the air in your home. Most furnace filters should be changed at least every three months. Some older models may require gentle washing, instead of replacing.

4. Furnace or Heating System Pilot or Ignition Control Problems
These types of problems can cut out heat altogether, or they can cause intermittent heating throughout the home.

5. Lack of Maintenance
Just like any other important piece of equipment or electronics that you own, your HVAC system and furnace requires maintenance. Not performing routine maintenance can lead to costly and unexpected breakdowns, as well as increased energy consumption and bills.

For routine maintenance or furnace problems, call your local HVAC contractor. A professional trained contractor can diagnose the problem quickly and get your home back to a comfortable temperature, no matter the season.