Picking the best air conditioner installation contractor can be a challenge. There are thousands of AC contractors in California. Not all are qualified to meet your needs. Only with the proper expertise and equipment can an installer ensure a system will work safely, reliably, and efficiently. However, you can take a few steps to find the right air conditioner installation company.
Working with a professional AC contractor is important for many reasons. It ensures your safety and well-being as air conditioner installation is a delicate process. A dependable cooling system is also an investment; when correctly installed, it will keep your household comfortable for many years.
That being said, here’s how you can find a qualified air conditioning installer:
Gather basic information you can provide a contractor when you call them, such as:
Knowing the company that installed and serviced the unit can help. At the very least, it will provide the new contractor with some useful details. Or, you can try contacting the original installer if it’s still in business.
If a family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor has previously recommended a home services company, and you weren’t disappointed, ask if they’d recommend an AC installer. You can also try contacting local trade organizations. They can provide you with names of members that meet their standards. Once you have a list of company names recommended by a trusted source, you can begin your research.
If all else fails, online reviews are abundant. You can find them by using search terms such as “best air conditioner installation contractors near me” or “AC installation in Los Angeles”.
When reading reviews, look for write-ups on the type of installation you need. A negative review here and there doesn’t necessarily disqualify a contractor. The reviewer’s home and installation requirements may have differed completely from yours. For example, they may have dealt with incompatible equipment or an outdated duct system that had to be replaced. Or, they may have unreasonably expected the contractor to replace a part that was no longer available.
Therefore, if you want to update to a more energy-efficient unit or a zoned AC system, look for customers who have hired the company for such services.
A contractor must acquire a license from the state of California. To become licensed, a technician must complete an HVAC educational program and on-the-job training and have at least four years of journeyman-level experience. Other credentials a contractor should have include North American Technician Excellence and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification.
You won’t necessarily receive the best quality service. Always check what you’re getting for the quoted price. If the company provides subpar service, cuts corners, or uses lower-quality equipment/materials, you’ll pay more later for repairs or an early replacement. Exceptional service may cost more upfront but will save you in the long term. However, asking about special offers and rebates is a good idea.
To evaluate an air conditioner installation contractor’s quality of service, look at how they handle their process. For example, you should look for the following in a reputable AC installer:
Before hiring an AC installer, ask how long they’ve been operating, whether they’re licensed and insured, and what training and qualifications their technicians have. Also, ask about warranty details and if they work with an AC brand you prefer. Inquire whether you’ll be billed for the estimate as well. A free estimate saves you money if the contractor cannot install a unit that meets your needs or you’re not satisfied with their quote or quality of service.
NexGen is a leading AC installation company in Southern California. We help customers decide on a new system and safely and correctly install the latest, high-efficiency ACs. You can benefit from lower energy bills, reduced maintenance costs, and increased comfort and indoor air quality. For help determining the best system for your home and to request a free quote for air conditioner installation, call NexGen at (833) 729-9735 today.
Homeowners concerned about indoor air quality are often unsure when to schedule an air duct cleaning service. Experts generally suggest it every three to five years. It’s not needed annually or more frequently like an AC tune-up, assuming you change the filters regularly and stay current with HVAC maintenance.
Many pollutants can be collected in your ductwork. Some, like smoke particles, volatile organic compounds, mold, chemicals, pesticides, etc., can be harmful. Contamination may also reduce HVAC performance and efficiency. Therefore, following our advice for scheduling air duct cleaning services can be beneficial.
Since there’s no solid guideline on when to clean air ducts, it can be difficult to know when to call a contractor. But requesting the help of a ductwork professional is a good idea if:
There are also more obvious signs that air duct cleaning would be beneficial. Schedule service with a local HVAC company if:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits cleaning air ducts doesn’t guarantee better indoor air quality. Pollutants can enter your home from many sources. Cleaning, cooking, and other activities can contribute to indoor air contamination. The EPA also notes the conditions in every home are different. So, whether your house is dusty, you suffer from allergies or unexplained symptoms, or odors are present, it may be helpful to inspect your air ducts. If they’re contaminated, air duct cleaning can resolve indoor air quality problems—if it’s done properly.
A leading HVAC company in the region, NexGen performs air duct cleaning that can remove harmful particles, debris, and other pollutants. Our fully licensed, insured technicians use HEPA vacuums and deodorizing methods to clean and sanitize ductwork. In addition, we can clear blockages, seal leaks, and repair ductwork. For affordable air duct cleaning services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas, call (833) 729-9735 today.
There are some types of ductless mini-split maintenance you can do yourself. While we recommend professional service twice a year to check electrical connections and for refrigerant leaks, drain hose blockages, faulty run capacitors, etc., we also encourage you to clean the system often. Here are some beneficial DIY maintenance tips to keep your ductless mini-split in top shape.
Each indoor air handler has a filter. Depending on the model, the filter must be replaced or can be cleaned with a dry cloth before being re-inserted. Check the owner’s manual for the recommended interval and other instructions related to the model, but if your home is dusty or you have pets, check the filter more often. Otherwise, dust and dirt can build up in the system, causing it to work less efficiently and possibly leading to damage and a shortened lifespan.
If dust and dirt collect on the exterior of an air handler, particles can get inside and interfere with internal components. Dust the unit weekly to avoid any problems. This only requires a damp cloth and a gentle cleaning solution. Also, make sure the exterior of each vent is free from dust and dirt that can cause a clog.
The condenser coils in the outdoor unit remove heat from the refrigerant. But if they’re dirty, heat transfer can be impeded and the system won’t work properly. Follow the care instructions in the owner’s manual to clean the coils. Generally, condenser coils can be sprayed clean with a garden hose, while the remaining debris can be removed with an AC coil cleaning brush. Also, check the blower assembly and fan wheel for dirt, and clean them as necessary. Just remember to turn the unit off before you get started.
Dust and debris can block the drainage pipes between the indoor and outdoor units. The system will then struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature. To avoid trouble, clean the pipes by vacuuming the dirt out or clearing it with a brush. Call a professional if the clog is deep or you’re unable to clear the line.
Make sure no furnishings, objects, or clutter are blocking the ductless mini-split unit. If there’s not enough space around it, airflow can be restricted and dust can accumulate in the system. Ideally, large furniture, bookcases, and artwork should be kept at least four feet away from the unit.
Snow, ice, and debris from trees can prevent the outdoor unit from running normally. Check it often during the colder months. Gently remove any snow and ice you find. Otherwise, it can cause serious damage that is expensive to repair. To prevent issues, mount the condenser unit above grade and place a protective plywood cover on top to avoid contact between the equipment and debris or moisture.
Your mini-split system provides heating and cooling, so it should be inspected and cleaned by a professional twice a year. At NexGen, our licensed HVAC technicians will ensure your system gets the care it needs. Routine service and repair discounts are included in our maintenance plan. Continue reading to learn more about maintaining your ductless mini-split system; to schedule service, call (805) 301-6788 today.
NexGen provides air conditioning services for all types of homes in Southern California. We know installing an AC requires considering a building’s size and construction materials. For example, brick is highly effective at holding heat. Therefore, it can be challenging to determine how to keep a brick house cool in the summer.[/caption]
Brick houses get so hot because bricks are great at absorbing heat from the sun. This thermal energy is stored and released into the air and other building materials, providing a persistent source of heat that keeps your home uncomfortably warm. The thermal mass of brick, or its ability to store and release heat over time, is a downside compared to advantages such as its strength and durability.
A brick home isn’t destined to always be hot. There are effective ways to control its temperature and allow your AC system to run more efficiently. These include:
Whether installed during construction or a retrofit, insulation slows the transfer of heat between exterior and interior walls. Therefore, the amount of heat released to the interior is limited. Insulation will also prevent bricks from heating up. Your walls will then stay cooler and radiate less heat, thereby contributing to cooler indoor temperatures.
Direct exposure to sunlight will counter any efforts you make to cool your brick home. To reduce the heating effect of sunlight, you can:
The smallest gaps can let in hot air and allow cool air to escape. Check for drafts around or near doors and windows. Small cracks can be sealed with caulking. An expandable foam spray can be used to seal larger gaps. Weatherstripping is also an effective seal. Call a professional if there are many large cracks or if you suspect structural damage.
If you’re constructing a brick home, choose clay which has a lower thermal mass than concrete. Clay absorbs heat more easily. But it also releases it faster rather than radiating heat throughout the night.
Fans don’t cool the air, but they can help lower your body temperature. You can also place them wherever you need a cool space. Ceiling and portable fans are particularly effective for small rooms, whether your home is made of brick or not. You can use several of them for cost-effective cooling.
Installing an air conditioner isn’t the cheapest option. But it is effective at providing cool air in a brick home. If you set the AC to a comfortable temperature early in the day, it will keep the bricks cool to start. Bricks retain cold quite well, especially if your home is well-insulated.
Our fully licensed and insured technicians install, repair, and maintain air conditioners throughout Southern California. We’ll evaluate your home to determine the best type of AC system for you. The systems we install and service include central units, ductless mini-splits, packaged units, and heat pumps. Our team can also install attic insulation and energy-efficient window coverings to help keep your home cool. To learn more, call (833) 729-9735.
NexGen is known for high-quality air conditioning services in Southern California. Our licensed and insured technicians can install any type of system, including a ductless mini-split AC. Mini-split systems are often recommended for smaller homes, older properties, and those where it’s more difficult to install ductwork. Highly versatile and flexible, they can also accommodate a larger home. If you’re wondering, “How does a split AC work for a larger house?”, we’ll look at what you need to consider when setting one up.
Split ACs, whether single- or multi-zone, have one outdoor compressor/condenser unit. Depending on the system’s type and configuration, the outdoor unit can be connected by refrigerant tubing, a power cable, a condensate drain, and suction tubing to one or more indoor air handlers. Each air handler can be controlled individually, so you can set the temperature as you like for one room or area.
You can connect up to eight air handler units to a single condenser unit. But whether this is necessary depends on your home. The system can be expanded with additional units if you decide to build a home addition or convert a basement or attic to a living space.
Whether you need a mini-split for every room depends on your needs. For example, you might like a cooler bedroom while other occupants like it warmer in their bedrooms. Or, you might want the living room warmer and the home office cooler.
As you can see, installing a mini-split AC system requires a lot of planning. But you don’t necessarily need an air handler in every room. This can be expensive in a large home. A single “zone” can include multiple rooms or even an entire floor. It just needs proper airflow to provide sufficient cooling or heating.
Installing a system that’s the right size is key to how a split AC works in a larger home. A mini-split system’s size is determined by its capacity in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A BTU is a measure of how much energy it uses to remove heat. Here are some examples of room sizes and the capacity required for them:
The indoor units and condenser are connected by a conduit, which requires a 3-inch hole in an exterior wall. If you spread a mini-split AC system over multiple rooms and floors, the distance between the farthest head units and the outdoor unit affects how far the refrigerant must travel. The longer this distance, the less efficient the system can be due to friction, the energy required to pump the coolant, and heat transfer between the lines and ambient air (insulating the lines can minimize heat loss).
Depending on the make and model, refrigerant lines can extend 66 to 98 feet from the outdoor unit. This works for most houses. But if you require head units installed at longer distances, or exceed the number of units a condenser can handle, another outdoor unit can be added.
“How does a split AC work in a larger house?” is a question we can easily answer. The experienced technicians at NexGen will explain the process and evaluate the needs of your home. Configuring different zones allows you to set the temperature perfectly for each room. To learn more about ductless heating and cooling systems, schedule a consultation, and learn about options and financing, call 833-729-9735 today.
At NexGen, we strongly advise against DIY installation, no matter what type of AC system you’ve purchased. Most air conditioning systems have numerous components. All these must be properly installed for the unit to work safely, reliably, and efficiently. Nonetheless, many clients ask us about the AC installation process, including the types of tools we use.
There are many items in a professional AC installer’s toolkit. Here’s a look at a few tools our technicians use:
As you can see, an AC installer carries an arsenal of tools. It would be quite expensive to buy all these for a one-off install. Plus, you risk operational issues due to installation mistakes or causing damage that’s costly to fix. At NexGen, our crews are fully trained, licensed, and equipped to install any type of air conditioner. To schedule AC installation in Southern California, receive a friendly estimate, or learn about financing, call (805) 301-6788 today.
Refrigerant is what enables your AC to absorb heat and cool your home. A coolant leak can cause the system to malfunction and break down. An air conditioner can also leak water. No matter what is leaking from it, the unit needs to be repaired before it’s seriously damaged. Sometimes a leak is barely noticeable. But an air conditioner is good at signaling problems. We’ll look at the common signs of leakage so you know when to schedule an HVAC leak repair service.
A refrigerant leak can originate from the evaporator coil in the air handler, a capillary tube in the condenser unit, or flare fittings where tubing attaches to an AC component. Since your AC requires refrigerant to function properly, the signs of a leak include:
A refrigerant leak is extremely dangerous, aside from the other inconveniences it causes. The fumes are a health hazard. Seek medical help if you suspect a leak and experience dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, loss of focus/coordination, or severe throat, nose, or sinus pain; these are signs of refrigerant poisoning.
Air conditioners are designed to extract moisture, but a water leak is not a minor issue. It can cause major damage. Professional leak repair services can address the causes of an AC water leak, such as:
At NexGen, our fully licensed and insured technicians can quickly troubleshoot, diagnose, and repair your AC system if it has a refrigerant or water leak. We are available 24/7 for emergencies. Whether your air conditioner isn’t cooling, won’t drain properly, or has a damaged coil, our team will fix it right the first time and avoid any further hazards or damage. Contact us online or call (833) 729-9735 to schedule AC repair.
Your air conditioner is on most or all of the time in summer, so the air filter will clog up more quickly. As dust and dirt get trapped, the system will become more inefficient. A clogged filter can cause it to overheat and shut down. If the unit freezes due to low airflow, it can produce less warm air or turn off.
When the evaporator coil freezes, there’s usually an issue that’s causing poor airflow. Air must blow over the coil to supply heat for it to absorb. Otherwise, condensation on its surface will freeze. Low refrigerant will also reduce the heat absorption rate.
A blockage in an air duct or a closed register can also impede airflow. The issue can be due to a fan problem as well. If a fan run slowly or not at all, it will reduce airflow and trigger other issues. A faulty thermostat or a malfunctioning air handler could also cause a lack of airflow.
Designed to expel warm air, the outdoor unit’s condenser coils are prone to clogging up with dust, debris, and grime, especially when air pollution is high. If a coil is clogged, it restricts heat transfer. Your AC will work harder, increasing wear and tear, which can cause it to break down or fail prematurely.
As the coils start to clog, the system will consume more energy, so your utility bills may go up. A spike in your monthly bill is a reason to call a professional. Prompt fixes can avoid more costly air conditioner repairs.
Your AC system’s moving parts work harder in the summer. These include the evaporator coil fan, condenser coil fan, fan motors, fan belts, expansion valve, and dampeners. A broken fan blade can reduce system performance. If your AC isn’t working properly, it may also be due to faulty wiring or a problem with a thermostat sensor. Capacitors, typically found on the unit’s circuit board, can fail due to wear and tear, or they can decline in strength, affecting system performance.
Aside from an overheated capacitor, air conditioners can develop wiring, contactor, relay, transformer, switches, and other problems that disrupt their electrical flow. Since an AC runs on electricity, such an issue will prevent it from working properly, if at all. Air conditioners are susceptible to electrical problems in summer due to frequent usage and exposure to harsh conditions such as hot temperatures, air pollution, rain, hail, and falling debris.
Regular maintenance allows technicians to catch problems early and fix them. Breakdowns and major repairs can be avoided. If your AC hasn’t had spring maintenance, it’s at a greater risk of needing repairs in summer (that’s when it’s under the most strain). Such is also the case if the system is outdated. If your AC is over 15 years old, it may be near the end of its useful life, a time when it is most likely to need another repair. The summer heat can put the unit over its tipping point so it stops working.
At NexGen, our licensed professionals repair all common AC problems. We’re Google Certified for Home Services and have highly experienced repair technicians who arrive with replacement parts to get your AC working as quickly as possible. We also offer warranties of up to 12 years and have financing plans available to make budgeting easy. To request air conditioner repair in your Southern California home, call (833) 729-9735 today.
Spring blooms mean pollen is in the air. Pollen from trees, grass, and flowers stays suspended until it settles or you breathe it in. The tiny grains can trigger allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. Pollen also settles on surfaces, so it can mix with dust and build up in your HVAC system. Therefore, numerous issues can occur when the pollen count is high.
Pollen can affect your AC when it builds up on the evaporator coil. This makes it harder for the unit to absorb heat and transfer it out of your home. If pollen settles on the condenser coil, the system will struggle to release heat, causing your air conditioner to overheat, shut down, or be seriously damaged. But here are ways to protect your AC from pollen:
One of the best defenses against pollen is a physical barrier. While it may be tempting to open windows in mild weather, closing them can keep pollen and other particulates out. Therefore, you can improve indoor air quality and get relief from allergies. The same pollen that triggers your symptoms also won’t reach your air conditioning system.
Debris, including plants, branches, and leaves, can cause pollen to blow into the outdoor condenser unit. To protect it, trim vegetation a few feet away on each side. You can also prevent plants from growing nearby by installing paver bricks or gravel around the unit.
Rinsing off the outdoor unit with a garden hose can wash away pollen and particles. If pollen settles on the unit, it can drift or blow inside. Washing the unit at medium pressure can eliminate grains, powder, and residue so they don’t cause problems.
Indoor air circulates up to six times per hour. This gives pollen plenty of opportunities to blow into your home and clog up your AC filter. Check the filter every week when the pollen count is high. Clean or replace it when the filter has a lot of buildup. The longer you wait, the more pollen, dust, and debris will collect inside.
If the filter clogs quickly, or you have allergies and indoor air quality issues, upgrade your HVAC filter. Some filters use an electric charge to attract particles. But a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will remove very fine particles, including pollen grains.
The air filter should trap most pollen in the air. However, pollen grains can still circulate and eventually settle in your ductwork. They can reenter the air supply when the AC turns on. In addition, pollen and other debris can form a coating that increases air friction, forcing your AC to work harder. Just a thin layer can interfere with airflow and prevent the unit from cooling your home efficiently.
Dry air makes it easier for pollen to remain suspended and circulate. A humidifier can increase the moisture content, which helps because moisture weighs pollen down. It also helps relieve dryness in your nose and throat which can exacerbate allergy symptoms when the pollen count is high. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, optimal indoor humidity levels range from 25% to 40%.
If your allergy symptoms are due to contamination in your AC, you may experience sneezing, wheezing, and congestion; dry, itchy skin; and possibly nosebleeds. You may feel irritation and congestion while at home that goes away when you leave. If there’s a mold or mildew smell, or dust or pollen is visibly floating in the air when windows are closed, your AC is almost certainly affected.
NexGen provides high-quality HVAC and indoor air quality services, including air duct cleaning, to protect your AC and home regardless of the pollen count. Pollen can contribute to ductwork contamination and blockages. Excessive amounts of particulates in your home can be due to poor sealing. At NexGen, we can help with all these issues and protect your air conditioning system. Call (833) 729-9735 to request service.
Without a large central AC system, parts of your home may be too hot in summer. Nonetheless, adequate cooling for every room is still possible. A standing AC unit is a convenient option. We will explain the pros and cons of a portable air conditioner, which works similarly to a central air conditioner.
A standing air conditioner can be useful whether you don’t have central AC or it does not serve a particular room. The unit operates on a smaller scale. It draws air from outside through a window, cycles it through a compressor, blows cool air inside, and exhausts hot air outside. All the unit’s working components are contained in a single housing, including coiled tubes that circulate refrigerant. A pipe or air duct allows for an exchange between outdoor and indoor air.
The benefits of using a portable AC include:
Despite their many benefits, stand-alone AC units have disadvantages worth considering. These can include:
NexGen provides a wide range of high-quality HVAC equipment. We’ll help you determine the best system for your Southern California home or business. Traditional, electric, rooftop, and ductless systems are available and we specialize in the latest air purification equipment and thermostats. Our licensed contractors can help install, repair, and maintain your heating and cooling system. For assistance from licensed, insured technicians, book your visit online or call (833) 729-9735.