Category Archives: HVAC

Bay Area Heat Pump Dealer Bryant Element

How Does a Heat Pump Cool the Air?

Every homeowner wants their home to feel comfortable in both the summer heat and the cold weather during the Bay Area rainy season. A great solution to achieve this year-round comfort for older Bay Area homes with central heating systems is to supplement that system with one or more heat pumps.

Is a Heat Pump Good for Bay Area Homes?

A heat pump is an energy-efficient heating and cooling solution just about everywhere. However, it is most popular in the parts of the country where the temperatures rarely go below freezing. In fact, it is most effective as a standalone heating and cooling system when the temperatures don’t range below 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit. In Oakland, the East Bayand throughout the Bay Area, heat pumps work very well because the year-round temperatures rarely dip below freezing.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

A heat pump is a device that cools a home in the summer and warms it in the winter by “pumping” or transferring heat from the inside to the outside in summer, and reverses that process in winter. It does this instead of generating heat like traditional forced-air gas furnaces, and heat pumps produce cold air differently than classic air conditioning units do.

A heat pump system is typically composed of:

  • An outdoor unit containing a compressor, a coil and a fan. The coil operates as a condenser for cooling and an evaporator for heating. The fan blows the air over the coil to facilitate the heat exchange.
  • An indoor unit, commonly called a mini-split unit, contains a coil and a fan, operating in the same way as the outdoor unit.
  • The refrigerant in the units absorbs or rejects heat as it circulates through the system.
  • The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and moves it through the system.
  • A reversing valve allows the system to switch between cooling and heating.
  • An expansion valve regulates the flow of the refrigerant, allowing for pressure and temperature changes.

Thus, heat pumps cool a home as effectively as they heat a home.

Heat Pump Installation Considerations

Heat pumps as air conditioners and heating systems can easily be installed in homes. They can work with air duct systems to condition the whole house. Or, to cool or heat specific rooms that are not well served by the central system, ductless mini-split units can be installed in each room to efficiently provide heating and cooling. And as with any AC unit, it is important to inspect the heat pump system annually to maintain it.

Improve Your Home’s Heating and Cooling

Contact the professionals at Element Home Solutions, serving the Bay Area from Santa Rosa to San Jose with comprehensive services including the installation of heating and cooling systems, air duct repair and installation, attic and crawlspace insulation services, and repairing HVAC systems.

Element Home Solutions Air Duct Repair Service

Top Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Unit Might Not Be Working Properly

Air conditioning and ventilation systems are getting a workout this summer, with temperature spikes and wildfire smoke. Our traditional Bay Area habit of opening windows at night to cool the house off isn’t available when trying to keep smoke from coming in! And, if you have a problem with airflow or if some areas of your home are significantly warmer than others, you may need to assess how your AC and airflow system is performing.

What are the Top Reasons your AC Unit Doesn’t Cool the House?

Here are four key areas you need to inspect to troubleshoot a balky AC unit:

Investigate Air Duct Airflow and Noises

Check every air vent to see if there is sufficient flow when the air conditioner is on. One key indication of air conditioning problems is when air flows weakly through specific vents. This may mean the air ducts have started to leak and need repair. Also, when the air is blowing do you hear rattles or other noises? We recommend that you investigate these strange sounds as they indicate a need to repair air ducts.

Is Your AC Blowing Warm Air?

Along with the strength of your airflow at each vent, is the air cool? If your air conditioner blows warm air instead of cool air, we need to talk! At this stage, the damage has advanced to the point that you should arrange for a Bay area air conditioning repair service immediately.

Common Causes of Airflow Problems

One of the most common reasons that air conditioners don’t work as they should is also one of the easiest to fix: Change the air filter of your HVAC system at least once every three months! These are inexpensive items that have a big impact on your AC unit’s performance, and on your energy bill! A good way to remember is to mark your calendar for January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1, the start of each new season.

Physical Blockage of Vents or Air Ducts

People sometimes don’t consider that placing furniture in front of a vent will prevent an HVAC unit from doing its job. A vent may also become so clogged full of debris that it can’t release air properly. Accumulated debris from years of neglect prevents air from flowing through duct work. Also, if the duct work is insufficient for the home’s current HVAC system, it won’t take long for it to become clogged unless you arrange for regular maintenance.

Contact Element Home Solutions for Regular HVAC Maintenance

These four areas of concern are just some of the common problems and reasons for an HVAC system to under perform. We invite you to schedule an inspection and maintenance appointment us at Element Home Solutions. We specialize in HVAC maintenance and Air Duct Repair. Request your seasonal preventive maintenance today..

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Improve Your Home Indoor Air Quality

Breathing is so natural to life that we often take it for granted until Northern California wildfires fill it with smoke and ash. In many areas of California including the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland, and the East Bay, improving indoor air quality is now getting a lot of attention as the wildfire smoke invaded our homes. This is in addition to the continuing problems of vehicular pollution and smog, mold, and heating and ventilation problems common to older homes. And, fresh air inside our homes has already been getting more attention than ever due to the restrictions of COVID-19. With so many people working inside their homes they are more than ever concerned about how healthy air is around them. 

What are the Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality?

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Bay Area Mini-Split Heat Pump Dealer Installer

Five Questions About Mini-Split Air Conditioners

If you’re shopping for an air conditioner for your Bay Area home, you will be surprised at the number of air conditioning alternatives available to you. One of the more popular options is the mini-split air conditioner, also called a ductless air conditioner. This is a great option for retrofitting an older Bay Area home that doesn’t have air conditioning. That said, we should clear up a few myths associated with mini-split air conditioners, giving you the information you need to make the best possible decision for your home.

#1: Mini-Split Air Conditioners are for New Construction

Mini-split air conditioners are perfect for existing homes that don’t have air conditioning. They require very little space to work effectively, and they don’t rely on existing central furnace ductwork. In other words, they can be installed pretty much anywhere, even in an older home.

#2: Mini-Split Air Conditioners Cool Homes Unevenly

While window air conditioning units are known for only working in a limited space, a mini-split air conditioner will cool a living space very evenly. You will still need to take factors such as the size of your rooms into consideration, but properly set up, you won’t have to worry about uneven cooling from a new mini-split/heat pump installation.

#3: Mini-Split Air Conditioners Make for Poor Air Quality

Mini-split air conditioners capture dust, dirt, and other debris from the air in their filters, so the idea that they recirculate these particulates throughout the homes is false. You do need to maintain your mini-split unit and replace the filter regularly, so that it actually filters out dust and other pollutants to improve your home’s air quality.

#4: Mini-Split Air Conditioners Take More Energy

Properly set up and used, a mini-split system could actually save energy over a full central HVAC installation, but that isn’t the primary benefit. What really matters is how you can add cooling units to specific areas of your home without having to install expensive new central air ductwork. As long as you only use your home cooling system when needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, your energy bills will remain manageable.

#5: Mini-Split Air Conditioners are Expensive to Install

Mini-split air conditioners may be easier to install in a home as they don’t require new ductwork, but the total cost depends on your goals. Again, this comes down to choosing the proper air conditioning solution for your home. If you’re trying to cool a space that is bigger than 2,000 square feet, one mini-split unit might not be enough. You might have to install multiple units, which will be more expensive. Consider the size of your home and your cooling needs before you start shopping for air conditioners.

Work with Element Home Solutions to Craft the Right Heating and Cooling System for your Whole Home

If you have questions about mini-split air conditioners or other air conditioning alternatives, Element Home Solutions will be glad to help you. Element Home Solutions serves homeowners in East Bay, San Jose, Oakland, and the Bay Area, so contact us today if you are in need of better air conditioning for your home.

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Repair or Replace Your Home Heating and Air Conditioning System?

When you’re faced with the choice between replacing or repairing part or all of your heating and cooling system, rely on Element Home Solutions as a Bay Area dealer of Bryant® and other top heating, ventilation and cooling systems. We will find you a solution that’s affordable, keeps your family comfortable and makes sense long-term.

We start with an inspection to identify current maintenance needs and costs, and interview you for your individual heating, cooling and air quality priorities. Whether you choose to make repairs or replace your system, expect to receive whole-home comfort.

Here are some of the issues you need to keep in mind when deciding whether to repair your current HVAC equipment or upgrade to a new system: Continue reading

Element Home Solutions HVAC Upgrades

Heat Waves More Common – Old Bay Area Homes Need Air Conditioning!

As heat waves in the Bay Area become more common, older homes built without A/C units become less comfortable in the summer months. Retrofitting older homes with new heat pump and mini-split units has become a very popular project for Element Home Solutions as a result!

Older Homes Benefit from Air Conditioning Innovations

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A/C Unit Summer Tune Up Element Home Solutions

Element Home Solutions is OPEN and Working!

With our local Bay Area economy gradually opening for business again as our COVID-19 infection curve remains flat, the heating and air conditioning installation and maintenance teams are back at work full time.

Element Home Solutions prioritizes the health and safety of our heating and air conditioning customers and employees!

We feel it is very important that we still do our part to practice social distancing, while continuing operations. To be both proactive and responsive to this changeable situation, we have implemented strict guidelines for office and worksite cleanliness, regular hand washing, mask wearing, and disinfection of tools and surfaces.

We are ready to help you with your home heating and cooling needs!

Element Home Solutions offers more than just heating and air conditioning systems. We perform attic cleaning and attic insulation work, crawlspace cleaning and vapor barrier installation, and ductwork cleaning and installation. In short, we ensure that your entire house is working to provide you the comfort and temperature that you wish in every room.

Contact us for an estimate! We can meet with you on your property while practicing the social distancing guidelines recommended by Cal OSHA. Give us a call today! 888-980-4822.
Or send us a request through our site.

Element Home Solutions is open for business for A/C unit and system maintenance and repair

We expect a fairly hot summer in 2020, and you need to ensure that your AC unit is up to the task of keeping you and your family cool indoors. Sometimes a tune up is all you need, so give us a call to find out.

Give us a call today! 888-980-4822

Or send us a note through our website contact form.

We value your business and relationship. We hope your family stays safe and healthy, and we look forward to working with you!

bay area hvac home inspection

HVAC Mistakes That Can Cost You A Lot Of Money

The Top 3 Bay Area HVAC Mistakes That Are Costing You A Lot Of Money

As we are all sheltering in place, home-based tasks that may have been neglected are getting new attention. One of these is the fact that your home heating and air conditioning system isn’t delivering an even and consistent temperature around the house. This is especially true for rooms that may not have gotten a lot of use prior to being pressed into service as a home office!

You might also be seeing increased energy bills as a result of working from home and sheltering in place. You may also have realized that your allergies are aggravated by being in the house all day. In this article we share three steps to take to properly manage the flow of heat or cool air around your home more efficiently. Continue reading

Bay Area air conditioner repair and maintenance company

Seven Spring Air Conditioning Maintenance Steps

With the extra time at home we are spending as we wait out the Coronavirus pandemic, people are filling their time with previously deferred home chores. Home and property owners are tackling a long list of projects that would also qualify as Spring Cleaning. This could be tidying up the yard, planting a garden, making indoor and outdoor repairs or getting your Bay Area air conditioning system ready for the summer. While many of these tasks are DIY, running an A/C maintenance check should be done by A/C maintenance experts.

As we do every year with the approach of warmer weather, we offer our seven spring air conditioning tips:

  1. Remove winter covers if you use those (which we recommend), inspect them for damage and store them neatly away in a dry place.
  2. Have Bay Area air conditioning services and home insulation experts check the attic insulation. Do you have at least nine to ten inches if insulation throughout the attic area to prevent the loss of your cooled air?
  3. Call a Bay Area air conditioning repair service to perform a seasonal inspection and service to make sure there are no problems before you switch the system on.
  4. Change the system filter. Buy extra filters to have handy for replacing the old ones every few months.
  5. Have your ductwork inspected for breaks or blockages, and to get dust and allergens removed.
  6. Using mild soap and warm water, you can wash the exterior of the unit, removing any dirt or debris from the fin area (being very careful that you do not bend the fins while doing this cleaning), and the outer housing of the unit. Given the chance to damage the unit, have your A/C technician handle this.
  7. Open any under-the-house vents if your property has them. Be sure that you have a vapor barrier in place on the soil or earth in your crawl space (which doesn’t apply to homes with slab foundations.)

As you did in the Fall, you can also check the doors and windows to confirm that they are still properly sealed. If they are not sealing properly or having issues opening or closing fully, they could make your air conditioning system work overtime as cool air escapes through the gaps and cracks.

Do You Need Bay Area Air Conditioning Services?

Now is the time to get HVAC experts in to help service the system in your home or property. To get professional help with both attic insulation and HVAC services in the Bay Area, contact Element Home Solutions. They can provide a free quote and ensure your air conditioning system works at peak efficiency this spring, summer and for years to come.

Home Heating Air Conditioning Fight Allergies

How Your Heater and Air Conditioner Can Aggravate Allergies

Many people with allergies look forward to rainy weather, when airborne irritants get damped and tamped down. Common outdoor allergens such as tree and grass pollen are significantly reduced by Bay Area winter rains, and you spend more time indoors anyway. Unfortunately, indoors may not prove a refuge from your allergies if your heating and ventilation system needs maintenance.

Does your HVAC System Filter Out Allergens?

It turns out that heater maintenance for allergy sufferers is crucial for those who live in Oakland, San Jose, or anywhere in the East Bay. The good news is that maintaining your heater as an allergy fighter isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Scheduling a Heater and A/C Inspection

One of the best ways to maintain your heater as an allergy fighter is to schedule an inspection, preferably in the late fall or early winter before it really starts to get cold. The HVAC contractor who performs your inspection might find issues with your heater that can be fixed before they get out of hand. At the very least, they can clean out your furnace, which can go a long way towards controlling indoor allergies.

Cleaning Your Air Ducts

Of course, cleaning out your furnace won’t do a lot of good if you have dirty air ducts. You might need to contact a professional to clean your ducts if they’re particularly bad, but in the meantime you can clean off your vents and the area right behind them yourself.

Replacing Furnace Filters

You should at the very least check your furnace filters once a month if you don’t plan to replace them. This is a very easy task that can keep dust and mold out of the air in your home, but it is also one that many homeowners tend to neglect.

Installing a Humidifier

Running a furnace in the winter tends to dry the air in your home. This can irritate your throat, eyes, and your skin and make any allergies you have feel much worse. You can have a whole-home humidifier installed and connected to your HVAC system, but you might be able to get away with using a smaller humidifier in your main living area if you have an apartment or a smaller house.

Contact Heating and Air Conditioning Professionals to Set Up Your Home to Fight Allergies

As with anything else in your home, maintaining your heating system is something that is best left to professionals. If you suspect that you have an issue with your heating system of if your allergies are out of control, contact Element Home Solutions today. We will be happy to inspect your furnace and respond to any problems that it might have.