Air Conditioning • Heating
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PROFESSIONALLY SERVING SAN DIEGO COUNTY and RIVERSIDE COUNTY

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WHY DOES MY HEATER SMELL LIKE SOMETHING IS BURNING?

Your air conditioner worked hard to keep your home comfortable all summer long. During that time, you may have noticed some strange smell coming from the vents  Thanks to ATS, you were able to identify which of these were harmless and which were toxic.

Now that the weather is turning colder, you’re starting your heater again for the first time in months. When you do, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by a new set of furnace smells.

One of the most common smells is that of something burning. There are different types of burning smells, some of which are harmless, while others could endanger your safety. Learn how to tell the difference so you know when to call a heating technician.

Burning Dust

This odor is very common when turning on the furnace for the first time in the fall. After months of disuse, dust has settled on the heat exchanger, burners, and other heating components. When the burners ignite, the dust burns off, and the odor exits your air vents.

The smell of burning dust should dissipate within a few hours and is no cause for concern. If the odor persists, try changing the air filter.

Electrical Burning Odor

Other burning smells that occur when you turn the heat on are more concerning. An electrical burning odor could indicate an overheated blower motor. Under normal operating conditions, the furnace should shut itself off if it begins to overheat. If there’s something wrong with this safety feature, your furnace may continue to operate even as the motor works overtime and becomes dangerously hot. A clogged air filter is one possible reason for this heater smell, so try replacing it with a clean filter.

Mechanical problems or frayed electrical wiring could also cause an electrical burning odor when turning on the furnace for winter. To prevent endangering your family, turn off the heater and call an HVAC technician for help.

Burning Plastic Odor

The smell of smoldering plastic could mean a foreign object has made its way into the furnace. A child’s toy, whole-house humidifier nozzle, or other plastic object is heating to a very high temperature and giving off fumes, which may or may not be safe to breathe.

Shut off your furnace if you detect a burning plastic heater smell. If you can’t locate the source of the problem in the ductwork or near the furnace, call a furnace technician for help.

Smoky or Oily Smell

You are most likely to encounter this heater smell if you have an oil furnace. It’s not a good sign if you can smell the oil your furnace uses to heat your home.

First, turn off the heater and change the oil filter. If the smell persists, call an HVAC professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

Gunpowder Smell

Similar to a burning odor, a distinctive gunpowder-like aroma could result from a fried circuit board or fan motor. It’s not a good idea to continue running your furnace if it emits this smell. Instead, call a professional to perform an emergency inspection before turning the heater back on.

To summarize, a burning dust smell that lasts no longer than a few hours and doesn’t return later in the season is nothing to worry about. All other types of burning heater smells are potentially dangerous and demand inspection from a qualified heating technician.

If you’re concerned about why it smells when you turn the heat on, contact Air Temperature Specialists today. If your situation sounds hazardous, we’ll send a technician to your door ASAP to perform an emergency service repair.

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There Have Been Major Advancements in New Thermostats

Most Americans are quick to invest in the latest smartphone technology, yet drag their feet in other arenas, such as smart thermostats, much to their detriment. More than simply an app-driven way to control temperatures, new thermostat technology offers an array of advantages…

The Wave of the Future

Smart thermostats may soon become the only option when an old thermostat bites the dust and it’s time for an upgrade. Like their predecessors, programmable thermostats, a smart programmable thermostat with WiFi can allow you to create a schedule to adjust temperatures, saving you the expense of heating and cooling an empty home. Unlike their predecessors, however, easily installed thermostat apps offer the convenience to do this remotely from a smartphone or tablet, anytime, anywhere. And that’s not all. In addition to saving you 10-20% on heating and cooling bills annually, enough to quickly recoup a thermostat investment, these high tech thermostats can help your family reduce its environmental impact, boosting efficiency via energy usage data and relevant operational tips.

What New Technology is Popping Up in 2017’s Top Thermostat Models?

As technology rockets forward, advancements and added features showcase how today’s smart thermostats outshine their predecessors….

A Smart Future

As smart home technology continues to achieve new heights, look to additional voice-operable thermostat functionality to enter the market, without the need for AI-assistance through Alexa, Siri and others. As technology evolves to encompass more centralized, secure networks, some may even leave the Bluetooth/WiFi arena to better address security concerns. Systems feedback advancements could also safeguard your system, albeit from an operational standpoint, alerting you to potentially costly maintenance and repair issues before they occur. Future GPS technology advancement and integration, with thermostat and other smart home applications offering the capacity to prepare for you as near, is also expected, helping you achieve new levels of comfort and energy savings with ease.

SEVEN WAYS TO CUT COSTS WHILE STAYING WARM

When the weather outside is frightful, your trusty HVAC system makes the winter months bearable. But that comfort comes at a cost, and you could get a case of utility bill sticker shock after an especially cold month. 

Keeping your home heating costs to a minimum doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of the most effective energy saving strategies are just simple household chores and good habits. We’ve compiled some of our favorites below -- give them a try and look out for a difference in your next utility bill!

Lower the Thermostat

This one’s a no-brainer, but it belongs at the top of the list because it’s the simplest way to directly lower your home heating costs. According to the Dept. of Energy, you can save around 10% per year by lowering your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours per day. If you do this while you sleep or are away at work, you’ll score savings without compromising comfort. Every degree counts.

Get Smart

Hand-in-hand with lowering your thermostat is getting technology that makes it easier to do that. We recommend upgrading to a programmable thermostat, or even better, a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are part of the Internet of Things, and can be controlled from anywhere with a user-friendly smartphone app. Customize a heating schedule around your routine to start saving energy without being tied to your thermostat.

Get Your Annual Checkup

Your furnace should be tuned up every year, ideally before heating season starts. If you’re overdue for this essential maintenance, schedule your tune up without delay. A thorough furnace tune up includes several checks and adjustments that can make your furnace run more efficiently, and often makes it possible to catch and repair small problems before they can turn into expensive ordeals.

Pre-Spring Cleaning

You can heat your home most effectively when there’s an unobstructed flow of air coming from your returns and vents. So to make sure nothing gets in your way, clean these vents routinely to remove dust and other debris. You should also make sure that none of your vents are blocked by furniture or other objects.

Dress for Success

Whether you put your sweater collection to good use or prefer to lounge around the house in your warmest PJs, staying comfortable in a cooler home is a simple matter of dressing for the occasion. When you get the urge to dial the thermostat up a degree, throw on another layer instead.

Your Biggest Fan

Ceiling fans aren’t just for summertime. Flip the directional switch so that your fan blades turn clockwise, and run the fans on low speed in occupied rooms. This will create an updraft that will gently circulate the warmest air, which lingers near the ceiling. Just don’t forget to turn the fans off when the last person leaves the room!

Free Heat

The sun gives away heat for free, even in the winter. So when it’s shining on your home, open the curtains and blinds on sun-facing windows to let those warming rays right into the room. Remember to close them again after sundown, though, to preserve that extra layer of insulation.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our customers. If you used our services this year and you want to spread some holiday cheer we love reviews. Please click on the google link to review our company. Thanks so much!

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HOW TO BUILD THE PERFECT FIREPLACE FIRE

The leaves are beginning to turn and the days are getting shorter -- before you know it, it’ll be time to build that first fire of the season. If you’re a homeowner with a fireplace in your home, this may be one of the autumn rituals you look forward to most.  
 Gather Your Supplies

You should have everything at arm’s reach before building your fire:

Seasoned hardwood logs in a variety of sizes

  • Small branches and twigs for kindling
  • Uncoated newspaper
  • Fireplace grate
  • Fireplace screen
  • Fireplace tool set including a poker, tongs, shovel and brush
  • Long fireplace matches
Open the Damper 
Stack Your Logs
There are a few popular methods of building a fireplace fire, but the simplest is the “upside down” method. To build this stack, start by lining up your largest logs across the fireplace grate. Add one or more layers of smaller logs, making sure each layer is perpendicular to the layer below and composed of progressively smaller logs. For the top layer, pile on kindling, followed by a few crumpled wads of newspaper. 
Light Your Fire
With your stack built, use a long match to light the newspaper and kindling on top, then put the fireplace screen in place. The beauty of the “upside down” design is that the kindling and smaller logs catch first, allowing embers and ash to fall onto the larger logs below. The pyramid-style construction also acts as a chimney in itself, allowing for good oxygen flow and generating lots of heat. It also requires very little poking and adjusting, so you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying the warmth.  

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