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Air Plus Heating & Cooling

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Did you know that most San Diego homes have little to no attic insulation? It is one of the most cost effective home improvements you can make to save money on your heating and air conditioning bill. This month only, we are slashing our prices to get you on board, and up to code. Our regular price for R-19 (6"), is $1.35 per square foot. Through the end of January, you pay only .99/sq./ft. That's over $500 savings for a 1500 sq/ft. attic!
Watch this Video to Learn More!
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What’s the Scoop on Insulation?
Forget the rolls, grab the blower!
One of the recurring themes we discuss at Air Plus and in these pages is the theme of updating existing homes. Let’s face it, here in San Diego and southern California, there are always going to be more “used” homes than new homes, but buying and updating an older home doesn’t mean you have to settle for less efficiency in you HVAC.
One of the first things that many owners look to do is adding insulation in the attic. Many of us can remember Owens-Corning’s Pink Panther advertisements for rolls of fiberglass batting, but there are actually many newer options that are more efficient.
At Air Plus, we’re big fans of blown-in insulation. In fact, it is our “go-to” plan for improving the insulating qualities of our clients. Why?
First of all, the amount of labor and time required with a blown system is far less than with traditional rolls, but there are far bigger benefits to be had with blown-in insulation. There are two primary types of blown insulation – one of fiberglass and the other of cellulose. Ironically, both are made of renewable resources – the fiberglass from sand and recycled glass and the cellulose from assorted natural and recycled fibers. Personally, we recommend fiberglass since it settles far less and retains a higher R-value over time than cellulose.
That being said, here are some other reasons to consider adding blown-in insulation to your home:
• Energy efficiency – simply put, blown-in insulation is much more efficient, since it can fill all the “nooks and crannies” in an attic, getting in and sealing spots that batting can never hope to fill. As a result, the material is far more moisture resistant, which helps negate mold and mildew growth, even when a minor leak appears due to a freak storm.
• Noise – As a result of the way that blown insulation fills voids, it acts as a sound insulator as much as a thermal insulator. In the end, this helps to keep the outside quiet for you, whether it is a heavy rainfall or the neighbor cutting the grass too early on a weekend morning.
• Fire resistance – It may seem counter-intuitive, but blown-in insulation, due to the fact that it packs into small spaces so easily and allows little air into the spaces it occupies, is slow to burn. This provides an extra level of fire resistance since not enough oxygen is available to burn easily. For older homes built under more lax fire codes, blown in insulation can be another layer of cheap insurance for your home.
• Installation – This is where blown insulation really shines! As the name suggests, the material is simply blown in from the holding tank by our team and that means there is far less time spent moving, cutting to size, and packing into small spaces. The blower system we use at Air Plus can move up to 450 pounds of material an hour, so even the biggest jobs can be done in a matter of hours – not days.
In the end, we know that some folks love to “do it themselves”, but the multiple benefits of blown insulation mean that the somewhat higher costs can be recouped due to the energy savings you have over the first few years. Before you charge off to the home improvement store and load up your truck with rolls of fiberglass, give us a call at Air Plus at 858-505-8711 or 619-276-8165 to see not only how you can improve your homes energy efficiency but save your own time, too!

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Review Contest - Win a FREE Maintenance OR Amazon Gift Card!
Would you like a chance to win a FREE heating and A/C maintenance (a $185 value) OR an Amazon Gift card for $100? It's easy.......simply email a picture of you or another family member standing by your heater, A/C or thermostat that we serviced or installed, and a brief testimonial on our behalf, like this one for example:

"The install team Andrew, Derrick, Ralph, Dorian and Jim did a very professional job on both the exterior of the home making sure the line set covers looked as clean and as flush with the angles of the home as possible and also the interior of the home, being cognizant of all the dust and footprints that make its way into peoples home on a typical job and taking appropriate measures to keep everything clean.
Overall, it was a true 5 star experience from start to finish. I will definitely be referring Air Plus, (as I have noticed a couple of neighbors poking their head around my unit) whenever I can. Thank you again Air Plus! I look forward to maintaining my relationship with you for all my HVAC needs/questions moving forward!" Jamie M., Serra Mesa

Email your entry to - we will draw a random name of one lucky winner on 1/22/18 and announce in the following newsletter.
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Are You Ready For Winter?

Sure, it’s still hot, but it won’t be for long!
At Air Plus, our team brings nearly half a century of experience to the table when it comes to repair and maintenance of the climate control systems in homes and businesses. When you couple that with the specialized circumstances of HVAC in San Diego, then Air Plus is really the choice to get ready for winter.
To tell the truth, though, there are plenty of things you can do to get ready for cooler temperatures before we ever show up. Go ahead, take notes, we won’t mind!
• Change the filters! Today, everyone is on the “super filter” bandwagon – they want to have the cleanest air possible in their homes, but many of these high-priced filters still need to be changed at regular intervals. Honestly, we’d rather see homeowners use a more economical filter and make sure to change them every 30 days. The result will be more dust and debris captured and out of the home and an air system that can “breathe” easier.
• Turn down the thermostat. This may seem strange, but studies (and our experiences) have shown that every degree a thermostat is lowered in the winter and raised in the summer can result in a 2% savings on the energy bill. When you factor in how most people only live in three rooms of their homes, dropping the thermostat setting down a few degrees and grabbing a sweater can result in savings month after month.
• Check your ducts. Over time, the actual ductwork in a home can become clogged or develop leaks, allowing the warm air you paid for to leach out into crawl spaces, attics, and walls and NOT to keep your feet warm. Especially in older homes where AC was retrofitted, ductwork can be patched in and sealed poorly, resulting in leaks that run up the bills and leave you chilly for no reason. Here is a situation that really does require a professional’s help, and at Air Plus, we can not only address duct leaks, but also thoroughly clean the entire system to remove dust and dander and restore airflow to every room of the house.
• Check for leaks. In many older homes, especially those that have been updated since construction, an inspection of door and window seals can be critical to ensuring efficient heating and cooling for your home. A little weatherstripping and caulk applied in the right places can work wonders for your power consumption and can also alert you to bigger issues before they cause trouble.
• Clean the gutters. You might laugh, especially if you are from “up North” where ice dams can be a concern due to blocked gutters, but down here in San Diego, the issue can be just as bad. Gutters that are plugged or aligned poorly can result in water running into crawlspaces and basements and causing havoc with mold, mildew, or even electrical issues if that water is not addressed before it gets to wiring. Spend some time cleaning and inspecting the gutters on your home and make sure they are shunting water away from the foundation.
• Leave room for Santa! Chimneys in southern California are more for decoration than anything else, but ensuring the safe operation of your chimney is something to check at least once a year. Bird’s nests, beehives, and debris can all cause a blockage and that could – potentially – be deadly if you try to build a fire in it. Any blockages to the damper can result in lost heat and a blocked chimney can cause the creation of carbon monoxide in your home. A visual inspection and, if need be, a professional cleaning of the chimney can help alleviate these dangers.
You guessed it – most of these minor tasks can be completed in less than an hour one morning and you’ll have a great start on being prepared for cooler temperatures. If you identify issues, Air Plus can help you to get those solved easily and you won’t miss a minute of heat when the temperatures drop!
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Replacing Ducts?

We’ve talked about upgrading HVAC and heating systems again and again in these pages, but many times, people assume ductwork is a fixed asset.
Truth be told, many times, ductwork is the reason for cooling and heating issues, a lack of efficiency within systems, and even high energy costs in older homes. Why is that?
Well, the first thing to remember is that there has been very little in the way of technological change in ductwork. Essentially, you have two choices – rigid or flexible – and in many of the cases we see here at Air Plus, the real issue isn’t the quality of the ducting but the quality of the duct installation. At the same time, the insulating ability of ductwork has gotten much better. Older homes where central air was retrofitted and then routed through the older forced air heater ducting are also likely culprits. The reason is simple – the cross-section for airflow from a furnace is generally smaller than the cross-section needed for HVAC.
The result is an air conditioner that doesn’t cool as well as it should or isn’t balanced throughout your home. At the same time, if your home was originally built with A/C and your ducts run through walls, the cost to replace ducts could be prohibitive.
Here’s the deal – many times, when our team of specialists are in a home and speaking with the homeowner, we encounter poor workmanship or duct degradation due to age. Sometimes that degradation is the result of blockages from dust, debris, or (most dangerously) mold, but other times it is simply a case of air leakage between joints and collapsed ducts due to accidents.
As much as we’d like to simply scrap every piece of ductwork in some homes, it is critical to understand the overall condition of the ducts – oftentimes, there was no sealing done at all in ducts installed prior to 1980. Why not? Energy was cheap and it simply wasn’t done. Sometimes it is better to start with a completely rebuilt duct system, but we’ve seen plenty of times that a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the entire system – as well as sealing – can have a tremendous impact.
On the other hand, today, energy is expensive and there is no reason to think that it will ever get cheaper. As a result, many times, once our specialists are inspecting homes, we find that rebuilding the duct system in a home can result in real savings for the homeowner and (don’t tell anybody!) can represent a tax benefit to the homeowner if the systems meet certain requirements.
Energy efficiency is one thing, but air quality is another. Mold, mildew, dust, dander, and air leakage are all aspects of leaking ducts, so a thorough cleaning or replacement of the ductwork results in a much cleaner and healthier home. The simple fact is that ducts run through places of your home that are prone to being dirtier, so any leak is going to allow those particles into the air that flows into the living areas of your home. Those stray sniffles that seem to affect family members? They very well could be caused by air leaks in your ductwork and dust and pollen infiltrating your home.
The last real benefit of changing and cleaning your ductwork is that it allows your HVAC system to be balanced throughout the home. In those “old” days, every duct was the same size and the room farthest from the air unit was usually markedly warmer than those closer. Now, with smarter systems and higher-quality ducting available, the amount of cooling loss, condensation, and temperature deviation from room to room can be controlled.
At Air Plus, we never are in a hurry to condemn ductwork, but we are also openminded about the many problems that older ductwork can have. No matter what direction you choose to go, it is critical that you understand how ductwork impacts your HVAC, your energy costs, and your family’s health. If you’re ready to find out for yourself – or think you may have some challenges due to your ducts – then don’t hesitate to reach out to us here or at 858-505-8711 619-276-8165 and let’s get your “ducts” in a row!

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Tech Dorian shows customer how to replace Furnace filter
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Is It Time For a New Furnace? Find out now!
Page after page of material has been written about how a homeowner can determine if their furnace is beginning to fail, but the problem is, most of those pages are written by people that sell furnaces. Sure, at Air Plus, we sell them too, but we know of many, many older units that are still functioning flawlessly decades after they were first put in service.
What’s the key to furnace longevity? Well, in a combined total of over 50 years of experience, the truth is, two critical items are usually “in play” for long-lasting furnaces. The good news is that you can control one of them, the bad news is you can’t control the other one.
First? Maintenance is critical. Furnaces – even here – need annual checkups. In fact, here in San Diego, it is even more critical to check your heating system annually, since many folks may only use their furnace a few times each year. Think about it like a car – if you don’t drive it very often, you may not notice an odd vibration or noise until too late. The same is true for a heating system – a small leak or blockage could have deadly results, so having Air Plus inspect your furnace each year is critical.
The second? Well, honestly, it’s luck. Some systems just seem to have been assembled when stars and planets had all lined up. There’s no way to predict it and there’s no way to guarantee it, so aside from hope, there’s not much you can do. We’ve seen the “best” systems fail in a decade while so-called “cheap” furnaces soldier on for a quarter century.
Since you can’t fix luck but you can maintain your furnace, what other things should you considering when it comes to determining if it is time for a new furnace?
• Age – More than anything else, age is a good indication of the useful life of a furnace. In theory, if a furnace is more than 15 years old, it may be time to consider replacement for two reasons: efficiency and replacement parts. “Efficiency” is easy to understand – energy costs have risen considerably over the years and new units are much less expensive to run and, honestly, have far fewer problems. On the other hand, older units, in many cases, may not be supported by the manufacturer anymore and some parts simply may not be available. Certainly, most of the commonly replaced parts can be found, but in any system, there are hundreds of pieces needed to run safely and properly and they can be hard even for professionals like us to find.
• Your power bills keep going up – Fact is, old furnaces aren’t efficient. They were never designed to be and, as little as we usually have to run heating systems here in San Diego, you shouldn’t be paying a premium in the winter due to heat. If you’ve seen a rise in your power bills these last few years, it could be time to consider a new furnace.
• You find hot spots – A critical part of diagnosing a failing furnace is when each room of the house has a different temperature. Older systems did not place a lot of emphasis on equalization, only moving hot air. Today’s systems, due to their more efficient designs, can keep the entire house within a very narrow range of temperature, so if you notice a “cold” room, then it might be time to look at what your furnace isn’t doing and see how best to solve it.
• Can you hear me now? As in our car illustration earlier, a strange noise usually means something is afoot with your furnace. Poorly installed ductwork may account for some noise, but strange pops, hums, and rattles mean it’s time to get a professional listening and finding out the cause. It could always be something simple – and that could save you substantially if you catch it early on.
• Soot and dust around the vents – it’s important to realize that furnaces are hot. If you are seeing something that looks like soot around the registers, chances are, it is! Obviously, this isn’t a good sign – it’s time to figure out what the issue is and correct it before it becomes a bigger problem. This is also a safety issue – it could mean your furnace is creating too much carbon dioxide and continuing to ignore it could create even worse problems.
So, once you’ve had our team check out your furnace, how do you decide to replace it? One rule of thumb we always have suggested to our clients is if the costs of repair are greater than 50% of the cost to replace, the benefits of replacement outweigh repair. You’d have a more efficient system, lower energy costs, a factory warranty, and the potential to create a tax deduction or write-off. More importantly, you would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that all the maintenance has been done properly and you would have added substantially to the value of your home.
For safety’s sake, call us and schedule an inspection now, before the cool weather really gets rolling, and know – for sure – that your furnace is ready for the winter and many more years of trouble-free service.

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Check out the sleek new LG Art Cool Mirror ductless mini split.....sleek and highly efficient!
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See why Ethel M. of Talmadge loves her quiet and slim Trane XR16 air conditioning system!
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Excited to introduce Trane's slim A/C unit, the XR16...super quiet and up to 17 SEER!
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