Air Conditioning Repair
Air Conditioning Repair in Southern California
Heating and air conditioning professionals in Orange County, California work on HVAC maintenance and repairs.

The Ultimate Guide to Your HVAC Maintenance

Figuring out your heating and air issues can be a daunting task. As the seasons start to change, you have a lot of questions.

Why is your AC blowing hot air? When do you need to change your HVAC filter? Do you need to replace or repair your HVAC unit to get ready for summer? Can you DIY your HVAC repairs?

Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be a confusing process. Today, you’ll learn everything you need to know about your HVAC maintenance.

How to Use this Article

This article was written to answer all your questions about HVAC maintenance. Whether you want to understand why your AC is blowing hot air or if an HVAC maintenance plan is worth it, you can use this article to find the answer you need. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend you read the whole thing through and bookmark it to come back to as needed. If you have a specific issue, go ahead and click through to the section that will best answer your questions.

Content Overview

Pro tip: Heating and air conditioning manufacturers recommend that you have your heating and air systems checked out by a professional every year. Don’t wait until your system breaks down. Need a professional to look at your heating and air conditioning unit in Orange County? We can help. We offer comprehensive AC and heating services, including installation and repair throughout major Orange County cities. Contact us for a quote today!

What is the Difference Between HVAC and Air-Conditioning?

You might have heard people, including industry professionals, use the terms HVAC and AC interchangeably. These terms are typically used to reference any air conditioning or heating device.

However, there is a difference. AC, short for air conditioning, is a system designed to cool the air in your home. HVAC, short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning on the other hand, is responsible for heating, cooling, and ventilating your house. An HVAC system can include the furnace, AC, and any ducts or vents. While all HVAC units include air conditioning, not all air conditioning units are HVAC units.

For instance, window units and mini split systems are air conditioning units that are not HVAC units. These separate air conditioners are alternative ways to cool individual rooms or spaces. They do not always include heat or ventilation.

On the other hand, if you have a central air conditioning system (the most common way to cool and heat your home), then you do have HVAC system. Central air conditioning systems are connected through complicated duct work in order to cool, heat, and ventilate the entire house. When properly maintained, these systems can last more than 15 years.

Man cleans heating and air conditioning unit and changes the HVAC filter in a home in Orange County, California.

How Much are Heating and Air Conditioning Units?

Heating and air conditioning units can cost anywhere from $1,000 - 7,000.

The price will vary greatly depending on your needs, including:

  • The size of the unit
  • The brand of the unit
  • The cost of installation

Plus, you have to take your duct work into consideration. If you have a large home with extensive duct work, then you can expect to pay more.

Pro tip: Since HVAC units are an investment, we offer free estimates so you know what to expect.

Why and When do You Need to Change Your HVAC Filter?

It’s important to replace your HVAC filter regularly to ensure that your unit is working properly. Typically, industry professionals recommend that you change your filter every few months. If you have pets or live in a high-pollen area, you might even want to change it out every month or two. You might need to change your air filter more if you use your system more, you have a larger house, or you live in an area with poor air quality.

What happens if you don’t replace your air filter?

  • The fan has to work harder to push out air. When dirt builds up, your HVAC system needs more energy to work. This could lead to wear and tear and higher energy bills.
  • Lack of consistent air. If you have a dirty filter, the temperature in your house isn’t being easily regulated. This could impact the temperature sensors, which influences when your system turns on or off.
  • Risk of overheating or freezing up. Since the heated or cooled air can’t travel out of the furnace easily, the system can overheat or freeze up.
  • Moisture can gather. The dirt on your air filter provides the perfect environment for moisture to gather, encouraging mold or bacteria to grow. This can introduce pollutants into your air as well as block circulating air.

Here’s the deal:

If you don’t do any HVAC maintenance, your energy bill could increase, your air quality could deteriorate, and you could suffer other maintenance issues in the future.

Are HVAC Maintenance Plans Worth It?

In short, yes.

It’s important not to wait until your system breaks down before you get your HVAC system seen by a professional. Even if you can DIY HVAC repairs, there could still be underlying issues that you wouldn’t notice.

When you’re looking at HVAC maintenance contracts, be sure to ask what’s covered. Does it include:

  • Labor cost
  • Unplanned repairs
  • Costs of selected parts

Typically, there is more than one reason that your system isn’t working correctly. That’s why we recommend having a maintenance plan with a professional heating and air company like Capistrano Air.

Pro tip: We offer custom maintenance programs to ensure your system is running properly. Our 13-point maintenance tune up will keep your system running at peak efficiency and performance. Depending on the needs of your equipment (the size and age of the unit), we can schedule quarterly or bi-yearly programs. Contact us to get set up now!

Worker looks at central air HVAC system to make sure it’s working properly.

Why is my AC Blowing Hot Air?

Is your AC blowing hot air? If so, it could be for several reasons, including:

  • Thermostat isn’t set correctly. First things first, be sure to check that your thermostat isn’t set to “heat.” Also check to see if it’s set to “on” – if so, then your HVAC unit could be set to blow air even when the AC isn’t cooling.
  • Your air filter needs to be changed. If your air filter hasn’t been replaced in a long time or you haven’t had HVAC maintenance done this year, then air flow could be a problem.
  • Outside unit isn’t working. Many HVAC systems are made up of indoor and outdoor components. If your AC is only blowing hot air, then the outdoor unit may not be getting electricity.
  • Low on refrigerant/freon. HVAC systems run on a refrigerant that cools your home. A Freon leak would leave the air warm.

What’s the bottom line?

Some of these issues require calling in a professional to look at your system to ensure it’s running properly.

We don’t recommend doing DIY HVAC repairs because there are a lot of issues that you might not be able to recognize, plus you could accidentally cause more damage in the future.

4 Signs Your Heating and Air Conditioning Unit Needs to be Repaired

Look:

Making sure you have reliable heating and air is very important in Southern California, especially when the heat waves start rolling around in the summer.

You might need to repair your HVAC unit if you’ve encountered one of the issues below:

  1. Low heat levels or AC blowing hot air – If the air from the heater isn’t as hot or the AC is blowing hot air, you could have a clogged burner or a breach in the ducts.
  2. Air flow issues – Is the air blowing weakly from your HVAC unit? If so, you could have a problem with your fan or there could be a blockage in the ducts.
  3. Frequent cycling – Does your HVAC unit cycle on and off constantly? If so, you probably need to clean your air filter and check for proper circulation.
  4. It hasn’t been looked at in years – If you haven’t had HVAC maintenance done in years, it’s time to hire a professional to make sure it’s working properly.

How We Can Help

Do you need a new HVAC unit?

We can help. We’ve been providing Heating and Air Conditioning services throughout Orange County for over 20 years.

Let us get started with your HVAC installation or repairs.

We can help with HVAC installation, maintenance, and repairs.

Give us a call at (949) 481-9605.

Capistrano Air is dedicated to providing our customers with quality service. Please call us today and let us know how we can help.

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