A SEER rating is a maximum rating of efficiency for your HVAC unit. This means that though the SEER rating displays a certain number, it’s not always working at that number - the SEER rating number only displays the maximum level of efficiency it can operate at.

SEER ratings are super simple if you just think about them the way you think about MPG in a car. Your car displays a certain MPG, but if you're revving the engine and speeding down the interstate, you're probably not going to get the listed MPG. Apply this concept to your AC unit, and you can see how constantly changing your home's temperature can result in a decrease in efficiency and suboptimal SEER rating.

Are High SEER Ratings Worth it?

If you've heard the common sales pitch "this SEER rating will pay for itself in 10 years", or something like that, then we hope you haven't fallen for this. Remember, SEER rating is a measurement of maximum efficiency. It's the limit of your HVAC unit. This means that if you are putting some heavy usage on your AC unit, then you're definitely not getting that high SEER rating number that is labeled on your unit.

In all honesty, we'd prefer to be the HVAC contractor that achieves success by customer trust and long-term repeat customers, not sales pitches on expensive high SEER equipment - that's why we're telling you all of this. In fact, we'd prefer it this way, otherwise our customer service line would be flooded with irate customers. We don't want that, you don't want that - let's move on.

Upgrading Your Condenser to a higher SEER Rating Does NOT Make Your Entire System that SEER Rating

Many of our customers wonder how they can save money while at the same time upgrading their SEER value. The biggest misconception out there is that you'll improve your SEER rating by purchasing a higher SEER condenser. Well, you can't! You can't just upgrade one HVAC component at a time and expect a higher SEER rating. Not to mention that many components are not compatible with each other causing a whole other batch of headaches to deal with. Stick to this rule of thumb - if you really want that higher SEER rating, have an entirely new HVAC system installed, please.

We hope this sheds some light on SEER ratings and that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about your new HVAC installation, repair, or maintenance. Thank you again for reading and please call or contact one of our Nexgen technicians for any questions you may have about SEER value or any HVAC related concerns.

Plan Early.

After going through a long summer pumping cool air through your home, your central air conditioning unit is finally enjoying a much-needed rest during winter. There are some essential steps that you should take to protect your AC unit during winter so that it will be ready to serve you better when the temperatures start to rise again.

Typically, the air conditioning system has been built to survive in tough weather, and some homeowners say that their AC units still work fine even when they fail to implement any protective measures during winter. However, the outdoor unit may be damaged by debris, repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles, and moisture buildup if you fail to perform any protective action during winter.

Most homeowners have been wondering whether it’s good to cover the air conditioning unit during winter. In fact, this has been a heated debate in the heating and cooling industry for long. Nonetheless, there are several advantages to covering your unit.

Covering Your AC Unit Helps to Protect It from Hailstorms

It may not be necessary to cover your AC unit if you live in areas that don’t experience hailstorms, but if you live in the north, it might be worthwhile if you consider covering it in winter. For instance, it’s not strange to encounter hail in the Midwest.

Although it’s difficult to know when a massive storm is coming, covering your AC units acts as a proactive measure that safeguards it against potential destruction. Dripping water from gutters and trees can also get into the system. The water turns into ice when temperatures drop which can damage the fins.

Helps to Keep the AC Coils Cleaner

Covering your AC units helps in keeping your air conditioner coils a little cleaner since external dirt is kept at bay. This will help it to run a little more efficiently when it’s time to use it again in the summer. An air conditioner cover also makes the AC unit look better in the long run.

Prevents Dried Leaves and Flying Debris from Getting Caught in the Fins

One of the most sensitive parts of your AC unit is the fins of your outdoor air conditioner’s condenser coils. Flying leaves and debris can cause severe problems to your unit. The coils won’t be able to release cold air to cool your home when the temperatures begin to rise in summer.

Apart from covering your unit, you should also consider cleaning the coils before the hot season begins. Sometimes, falling ice can also hit the unit with a lot of force causing severe damage to the delicate coil fins.

Protects Your Unit against Blizzards

If you know that you’re living in an area prone to snowstorms, then covering your air conditioner unit can help a big deal. If snow accumulates inside your unit, then melting and refreezing it will automatically damage the coils. Make sure that you cover your AC unit just before a blizzard and uncover it after. You should also spare some time and clear the snow around the outside unit.

Are you looking for a heating and air conditioning expert in Southern California? Contact Nexgen Air today for quality heating and cooling services.

High temperatures aren’t just a risk to your health, but your home’s HVAC system. The summer brings with it the sweltering heat and humidity, and sometimes those temperatures can escalate to dangerous degrees. Most homeowners rely heavily on their air conditioner to combat the heat, but over time those intense temperatures can wear down your ac unit. Luckily there are few tricks you pull from your sleeve to protect yourself and your air conditioner.

How You Can Maintain Your Air Conditioner in High Temperatures

There’s only so much you can do to fight the heat, but that doesn’t mean you or your air conditioner have to take it lying down. A cool and comfortable home means staying on top of what your air conditioner needs, as well as monitoring habits, and avoiding activities that emit a lot of heat. The summers in California can be intense, but that doesn’t mean you have to fret. Here’s what you can do to stay safe and avoid the miserable heat.

Your Health Should Never be at Stake

High temperatures put everyone at risk, causing discomfort and dehydration, too much more fatal symptoms such as heat stroke. As a homeowner, you shouldn’t have to suffer inside the comfort of your own home, but that does mean taking proper care of your air conditioner. A scheduled tune-up with an HVAC technician is the perfect way to prepare your home for the incoming heat. Don’t wait until it’s too late, set up an appointment today.

Call Nexgen Air Conditioning and Heating Inc today for more information on high temperatures!

HVAC is not something the average person understands, whether you own your own home or currently rent an apartment unit, monthly utility bills are often a big question. You never really know what it might cost when you open that envelope. Wouldn't it be nice to no longer worry about the number looking back at you? By cutting down energy consumption, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every single year.

You've probably heard many of the common energy saving recommendations, such as switching out old light bulbs for new energy saving options. However, by looking further into these 10 HVAC facts, you'll not only learn a bit more about your heating and cooling system, but also a few ways to trim down monthly energy consumption.

1. Where Does Most Energy Usage Come From?

Did you know the vast majority of your energy consumption comes from three different appliances in your home? That's right. 75% of your home's total energy usage stems from your water heater, air conditioner, and furnace. This means if you can improve the energy efficiency of these three appliances you'll save a substantial amount throughout the year. But what options do you have? First, how old is your water heater? An old water heater bleeds energy. If it is time for an upgrade, consider a tankless water heater.

2. Almost Half of Homeowners Don't Know What Their Monthly Electric Bill Is

Yes, 47% of homeowners don't know what they're spending on electricity. Would you do that for your mortgage, rent, car insurance or cell phone? Probably not. You need to know what you are paying and monitor changes in monthly bills. By doing this, you'll have a better understanding of what you're paying and how it changes throughout the year. This way, you can make necessary changes to improve energy efficiency.

3. Sleep Better With the Right Temperature

Struggling to sleep? Maybe it's your home's temperature. Optimal sleeping temperatures are between 65 and 72. Do different family members need varying room temperatures to sleep? Consider switching to a ductless multi-room system. This allows you to control each room's temperature directly and can save you money along the way (as you're no longer cooling or heating the guest bedroom or other areas of the house you rarely use).

4. 10 Degrees is 14%

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, if you turn down your thermostat 10 degrees while out of the house and at night, you'll save 14% on your energy bill. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily make this change. A smart thermostat gives you, even more, control, allowing you to change the home temperature from your smartphone.

5. Save With Cooler Water

Everyone loves a hot shower. But do you need it that hot? If you turn down the temp on your water heater by 10 degrees, you can save up to 5% annually on energy costs. If your water heater is on the older side, replacing it can help boost energy efficiency even further.

6. Monthly HVAC Savings

By transforming your house into an energy efficient home, you can save at least $75 a month. Over the span of 30 years, this equals a savings of $27,000.

7. Replace That Old Furnace

A furnace's life expectancy is 20 years. However, as it ages, it becomes less efficient. This is why you need to have it annually inspected in order to maintain performance and reduce energy costs. Every year, newer furnaces are sold with improved energy efficiency ratings.

8. The AFUE Rating

Did you know your heating system's AFUE rating can tell you the percentage of fuel consumed for heat and what you're losing? Stay on top of this to see if there is a change. It means you're losing fuel in the transfer. Insulation options can help cut fuel loss and improve your heating system.

9. Beware the Power Vampire

There are many appliances that still draw power, even when turned off. These appliances are referred to as "Power Vampires." Consider either unplugging unused appliances or connect everything into a power saving power strip. Throughout the United States, all the energy lost to power vampires annually is enough to power 7,387 homes a year.

10. The Love of Central Air

According to the US Census Bureau of the American Housing Survey, 65% of households have central AC. Only 22% use a room or window unit. The rest either don't have AC or use an alternative cooling method. AC units can kill your energy bill if you're not careful. In fact, the amount of energy the United States uses annually to run AC units is the same amount of energy, in total, used by the entire African continent.

Keeping the heat out of your home, especially when living in a dry, desert climate like California, can add a tremendous amount of stress to your air conditioner. It’s not the issue of whether you spare a few hours without air conditioning, but rather how does one keep up with the upkeep of an overworked air conditioner. Extreme heat means your air conditioner is running constantly to keep your house cooler, and the older the air conditioner, the faster it will wear down.

Warning Signs of a Damaged Air Conditioner

A good place to start is to make sure your air conditioner is working correctly. An air conditioning unit that’s constantly running in extreme heat generally means problems are more frequent to happen. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the culprit, however, and because of that, damaged air conditioners are left untreated until they break down. To avoid the costly repair, here are a few warning signs to look out for.

What You Can Do

For homeowners who live in extreme heat climates, it’s especially important to keep up with maintenance. Routinely cleaning and repairing your air conditioner not only extends the unit’s lifetime, it helps keep it running efficiently. Routine maintenance for your air conditioner isn’t the only method to keep your house cool, however, as habits and other appliances can impact the temperature inside your home as well. The good news is how much you can do to keep your house cool under extreme heat conditions.

Don’t Wait Until the Unit Breaks

Nothing is more devastating or costly to a homeowner than having to live inside their home without a functioning air conditioner. Routine maintenance and energy efficient habits are important to maintain your air conditioner, but it’s also crucial to have an HVAC contractor perform yearly maintenance. If there is ever something wrong with your air conditioner, a professional HVAC contractor can diagnose the problem. By providing you with the most effective solution, they can help keep your air conditioner running efficiently and longer.