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Spring Cleaning: Don’t Forget Your Air Conditioning Unit!

Before summer hits and you start using your air conditioner unit every day, take time to clean it thoroughly! In fact, we recommend that cleaning your air conditioner is part of your annual spring cleaning routine! Don’t worry; this isn’t just another item on your to-do list. Maintaining a clean HVAC unit mean your air conditioner will function better and last longer!

Why Clean your Air Conditioner?

Think about it. An air conditioner takes air from your room, sucks it in, cools it down, and then blows it back into the room. Air conditioner filters catch particles from the air that’s sucked in so they don’t blow back into your room. That means your air isn’t just cooler than before, it’s also cleaner.

What happens to the particles that are sucked in but never come out? They stay inside your air conditioning filter until you change it. Not changing or cleaning your air conditioning filter not only impacts the longevity of the appliance, it also means higher utility bills and negative impacts on your health.  

Have you ever heard that a filter with a high MERV rating is good? You might be surprised to learn that less expensive filters are actually preferable to the more expensive, high-MERV filters. That’s because the less expensive filters aren’t as restrictive to the air flow and tend to outlast the filters that catch all those microscopic particles. Our customers are thrilled to learn that they can get cheaper filters, even if they struggle with allergies!

Tips to Clean Your HVAC Filters

Not all filters need to be cleaned. Central HVAC systems take disposable filters, which need to be replaced at least once every three months. Once you replace a filter, throw the old one away. It’s an easy process, but it can lead to a lot of wasted money that you, literally, throw into the garbage.

Reusable filters can be used again and again, but they need to be cleaned. A filter inside a Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling unit is designed to be regularly cleaned. It’s an easy process that extends the life of your filter for up to 10 years.

If you have a window air conditioning unit with a reusable filter, you must clean it at least once a month during the warm months of the year (April through October). Remove the filter and look for any damage. If the filter is torn, throw it away and replace it with a new one. If the filter is in good shape, soak it in a diluted solution of bleach and water to kill mold spores that are surely hiding inside. Scrub the filter gently to remove the grime, and then allow the filter to air dry completely. Use a handheld vacuum to remove any remaining dust particulates before you put it back inside your window unit.  

Cleaning Your Outside Air Conditioning Unit

To clean your outside air conditioning unit:

  • Switch your indoor thermostat to the “Off” position.
  • Locate the metal box near your outdoor unit. That’s the electrical disconnect. Confirm there is no power to the outdoor unit, and turn off the air conditioner.
  • Remove large pieces of debris from the outdoor unit; wearing gloves for this is highly recommended.
  • Use the soft-brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean the condenser fins. Work carefully so you don’t accidentally bend any of the fins.
  • Use your water hose to pray loose debris off of the outside unit.
  • Spray the outside air conditioning unit with coil cleaner. Wait 10-15 minutes. Rinse the coil cleaner off with your garden hose.

Your dusty baseboards or your cluttered garage might get more attention during this spring cleaning season, but make time to clean your air conditioner too. If you don’t want to add that to your maintenance list, perhaps you should consider a ductless cooling system. Check out our website to see how these systems work, and how they can save you money.

A House Divided: When Couples Can’t Agree on the Thermostat Setting

Doug Jenkins remembers how excited he and his wife, Michelle, started living together. Eating meals together, greeting each other before and after work, and even cleaning the house together was fun and exciting. He recalls those memories fondly.

He also remembers exactly how long it took before they had a “spirited” conversation about the thermostat.

“It was right away,” Doug laughed.

Doug, originally from Alabama, like the house to feel 75 degrees. Michelle, who stays at home most of the day, prefers the house cooler.

“She wins!” Doug exclaims. “The house is set at 70.”

Marriage vows include a lot of important talk about “for richer or poorer” or “in sickness and in health,” but few couples have the “thermostat talk” before they start living together. It’s so much of an issue that it was featured in The New York Times.

Is there any way to solve this age-old problem? Here are a few recommendations.

Split the Difference

In Doug and Michelle’s situation, a compromise could be an ideal solution for couples who can’t agree on the thermostat setting. If he likes the house to be 75 degrees and she likes the house at 70 degrees, perhaps they could split the difference and try setting the thermostat at 72 or 73 degrees.

Each person could agree to try this temperature setting for a month to see how it goes. If, after a month, someone is uncomfortable, you can split the difference again. Do this again until you find a solution you both agree on.

Pro: Compromise is a great way to settle arguments.

Con: Neither one gets what they want and both parties are slightly uncomfortable.

Invest in a Selection of Hoodies and Sweaters

Many couples default to setting the thermostat to the lower preference because, “You can always put clothes on if you’re cold, but I can’t take my skin off when I’m hot.” Which means another solution for solving the thermostat debate is setting the temperature lower, and the person who is cold wears layers all year long.

Pro: It’s possible for both parties to feel comfortable, even if one requires layers.

Con: Additional laundry, and it seems the hoodies, sweaters, and blankets are always strewn about the house.

Look Into a Zoned HVAC System

Skeptics will tell you that a HVAC system that allows everyone to be comfortable is right up there with the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. But the Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling System has revolutionary Zoned Comfort Solutions to make sure you’re always comfortable.

  • Zoned Monitoring: Air handlers in each room measure return air and adjust automatically, rather than adjusting to conditions measured by a thermostat in a different room.
  • 3D i-See Sensor: On select units, the 3D i-see Sensor scans the room, detecting occupants’ heat signatures, and adjusts temperature and airflow to maintain temperature and eliminate cold or hot spots.
  • Inverter Technology: Rather than turning on and off at certain temperature thresholds, Inverter technology continuously ramps up or down to maintain the desired temperature.

Zoned Comfort Solutions is comfortable, but it’s also Energy Efficient. You’ll have room-by-room temperature control, which means you can turn off rooms that are unoccupied and set different temperatures for different rooms in the house. When you factor in our Whisper Quiet technology and the Improved Air Quality you’ll have in your home… perhaps we have found the elusive solution to every couple’s thermostat woes.

For unmatched energy efficiency plus the ultimate level of control of your home’s heating and cooling, you want to consider a Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Cooling System. Request a consultation to learn more.

What is a Ductless Heating & Cooling System?

When researching a ductless heating and cooling system, it could be known by a couple of different names… ductless mini-splits or ductless heat pumps. Designed primarily for homes with electric heat, these systems are quiet, durable, and safe.

There are three main components to a ductless system. The outdoor unit, the indoor wall-mounted unit, and the remote control. They’re easy for a professional to install. And you’ll enjoy comfortable temperatures in your home all year long.

How a Ductless Heating and Cooling System Works

A ductless unit uses variable speed compressors with inverter technology to make sure it constantly meets the heating and cooling requirements of your space. The unit doesn’t turn on and off like conventional units. That constant on and off causes wide temperature variances (hello hot and cold spots) and poor energy efficiency.

Here are the Parts of a Ductless System

A ductless heating and cooling system is made up of these parts:

  • The indoor unit with a quiet fan and an evaporator.
  • The refrigerant line made of insulated copper tubing, a conduit, and a condensation drain.
  • The outdoor unit with a fan to cool the condenser coil, an expansion valve, a variable speed compressor, and the condensing coil.
  • The remote control you use to program the unit to your desired settings. This is also how you make adjustments to always have the most comfortable temperatures.

Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems are Efficient

When you install a ductless heating and cooling system in your home, you’ll use 25% to 50% less energy than traditional units. Here’s shy these units are so efficient.

Control each zone independently.

There’s no overheating or over-cooling a space when you have a ductless heating and cooling system. Turn off rooms that are unoccupied. That means you won’t pay to heat or cool them when they’re not in use.

They always run.

Ductless systems use inverter-driven variable speed compressors that run continuously at higher or lower speeds to maintain constant indoor temperatures. The system ramps up or down as needed, which is much more efficient than the on/off cycle common in traditional units.

Ductless units tout excellent ratings.

Our units have extremely good seasonal energy efficiency ratios, or SEER, between 16 and 22, and heating seasonal performance factors, or HSPF, that range from 9 to 12 or greater.

Should You Replace Your Existing System?

If you have any one of the following types of heat, a ductless heating and cooling system is an ideal replacement.

  • Baseboard Heat
  • Wall & Ceiling Vents
  • Wood Stove
  • Electric Furnace
  • Other Electric Space Heaters

Adding a single-zone system to the main area of your house, and then incorporating electric baseboards in the rest of your bedrooms and bathrooms is one great option.

A ductless unit is also great for…

New Additions

If you added a room onto your house, or if you converted an attic into a living space, you’ll be surprised at the flexibility you have with a ductless heating and cooling system. When compared to extending your current home’s ductwork or pipes to the new living space, a ductless unit is much more affordable.

New Construction

The many benefits of a ductless heating & cooling system are ideal for new construction, although you might need to adapt the design of your new home for maximum efficiency. Installing one to two systems in various zones of your house will make installation simple and will minimize the length of the refrigerant line required.

How do I Maintain This Kind of System?

Keep your indoor filters clean as well as your outdoor coils, and your system doesn’t require much more maintenance than that. There are times when a professional periodic professional servicing of your system is recommended.

How Long Will it Last?

When maintained properly, your ductless heating and cooling system should last more than 20 years.

Our website has a lot of great information about ductless heating and cooling systems, including additional benefits of owning one. Download a Product Guide to learn more or Schedule a Free Consultation today.

How a Ductless HVAC System Provides a Year-Round Heating & Cooling Solution

A ductless HVAC system is comprised of a small outdoor unit and one or more indoor units. These units require nothing more than mounting capabilities and access to electricity. Traditional heat pumps and central air conditioning systems force cooled and heated air through ducts. Compare that to ductless heating and cooling systems that deliver air directly into different zones.

Sometimes referred to as split systems, mini split systems, multi-split systems, or split-ductless systems, ductless heating and cooling systems offer a cost-effective way to replace inefficient window air conditioning units, space heaters, and electric baseboard heaters. You can install these units in home additions, new construction, condominiums, and apartments. They’re also ideal to improve temperature control in specific rooms. Ductless systems can even be fit for buildings that currently use forced-air systems.

A ductless HVAC system is a year-round heating and cooling solution for both homes and businesses. Here’s why!

How Ductless Systems Help in the Spring

A ductless HVAC system is great for the Spring when pollen counts soar and everyone tends to have a runny nose.

Indoor air quality can actually be lower than the quality of outdoor air. With traditional HVAC systems, air ducts must be professionally cleaned on a regular basis, and even after cleaning, dust and allergens are left behind. A ductless HVAC system, on the other hand, offers multi-stage filtration that can drastically reduce dust, bacteria, pollen, allergens and other particulates in the air.

This isn’t only helpful for allergens; it’s also a huge benefit during wildfire season when the air can be filled with smoke. Having exceptional indoor air quality is essential all year long.

Using a Ductless HVAC System in the Heat of Summer

Remember the sound of music from the ice cream truck as it started to drive down your street? Spending summer inside a home or business that uses a ductless HVAC system is just as sweet.

Ductless systems offer Zoned Comfort Solutions, which means you can set different temperatures for each area of the house. No matter how hot it is outside, it’s comfortable inside. That sunroom addition with all the gorgeous windows is just as comfortable as your bedroom with the shades pulled.

And because ductless systems are so energy efficient, you won’t have sticker shock when your utility bill arrives.

Ductless Systems are Reliable When Fall Temperatures Aren’t

Will it be 80 degrees today? Or 40? The weatherman doesn’t know. But even without a reliable forecast, your ductless HVAC system will keep you comfortable. Whether you live in a historic home, or you have a newer home built on a cement slab, you’re guaranteed to be comfortable when you use your ductless system during the fall.

As summer starts to release its grip on the Gold Country, you’ll stay comfortable in a unit that’s Whisper Quiet. You never have to hear the disruptive clanging of a central air system turning on and off again. With our systems, that noise is a thing of the past.

Rely on Your Ductless System When Old Man Winter Arrives

Northern California isn’t a climate most would consider “extremely cold,” but there are days here that are brutally cold. A ductless HVAC system has Hyper-Heating, which includes significant advancements in heat pump technology.

  • Hyper-Heating H2i® is designed to provide comfortable indoor temperatures in extreme cold-climate conditions (as low as -13° F) while saving energy and money.
  • INVERTER zoning systems deliver only the amount of hot air needed to achieve the desired temperature, meaning you use significantly less energy than traditional units.
  • Hot-Start technology ensures you feel warm air immediately.

When you use a ductless HVAC system in the winter, you will no longer need supplemental heat sources to maintain comfort.

No matter the time of year, a Ductless HVAC System from Performance Based Heating & Air is designed to keep you comfortable. Download a Product Guide today to learn more.

A Dying HVAC System May Cost You More Than Buying a New Ductless System

There are two types of people in this world… those who like to stay ahead of the game and those who wait until the last minute.

A Dying HVAC System May Cost You More Than Buying a New Ductless System

When it comes to your HVAC system, waiting until the last minute can actually cost you. A lot.

The Problems with a Dying HVAC System

Repair costs associated with a dying HVAC system can add up fast. All of the different parts of a unit work together. A single problem that remains unresolved can lead to another problem, and then another, and then another. Upgrading to a new ductless HVAC system that comes with a warranty means those unpredictable expenses are tabled.

A dying HVAC system also gives you high energy bills matched with subpar performance.

Older compressors require 40% more electrical consumption than new, energy efficient models. Also, leaky air ducts require the system to work harder. In both of these situations, the comfort in your home will suffer, your energy bills will go up and other parts of your air conditioner may begin to fail. By upgrading, you can purchase a more efficient system that will keep you comfortable, while keeping costs down.

While repairs may help for a little while in the situations listed here, they are typically not going to be a solution that lasts. In many cases, the best option is going to be to replace the unit altogether.

Starting Prices for Ductless Heating & Air Conditioning Units

Swapping out your current system for a brand new ductless heating and air conditioning unit requires an investment, but you’ll get your money back quickly.

The prices below are starting prices… this is the lower estimate of what it will cost to purchase one of our ductless heating and air conditioning units.

  • Single zone systems start at $2,700 and go up to about $5,000
  • 2 zone systems start at $5,000 and go up to about $8,500
  • 3 zone systems start at $7,000 and go to about $10,500
  • 4 zone systems start at $9,000 and go up to about $15,000
  • 5 zone systems start at $11,000 and go up to about $17,000
  • 6 zone systems start at $13,500 and can go up to about $20,000
  • 8 zone systems start at $16,000 and can go up to about $25,000

Important note: if your home would normally require two HVAC systems, then you’ll want to consider a 6 zone system or an 8 zone system for your ductless heating and air conditioning unit.

The Energy Savings Add Up

Zoned temperature controls add up to significant energy savings when you get your utility bill each month. Our customers usually save about 50% on their electrical bill in the summer, and 60% on their electrical bill in the winter for those who use a standard heat pump for heat. If you use propane in the winter, expect a 25% savings. Take a look at last year’s utility bills and do some quick math. How much can you save?

The Non-Financial Benefits Are Important, Too

Upgrading to a brand new ductless HVAC system has benefits that far outreach the financial savings (although those are significant). Our units are Whisper Quiet, and they allow you to have Improved Indoor Air Quality.

The warranty on these units is great, too. There’s a 12-year warranty on the compressor, 12-year warranty on parts, and a 2-year warranty on labor (with the option to upgrade that to a 12-year warranty). Ductless HVAC units also need fewer repairs. Mitsubishi boasts a 0.8% parts breakdown ratio over the 12 year warranty period of all products in the USA.

When you compare the costs of a ductless heating & air conditioning system from Performance Based Heating & Air to your broken HVAC system, you can see it’s time to make a change. Add in the energy savings, and there’s no question about what makes the most financial sense. Questions? Ready to get your quote? Contact us today!

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Schedule a free consultation!