2 Signs that your AC Unit may be low on Freon

service and shut off valve on new AC condenser unit

Refrigerant is not consumed in the air conditioning process. If you suspect a leak, you should see if your technician can find it and repair it.

Refrigerant stays constant in your unit. It is not consumed during the air conditioning process. It only needs to be replaced when there is a leak in the system. Getting the ‘freon’ or refrigerant recharged in your system should not be a part of regular maintenance if your system is working properly. Two signs that your unit may be low on freon:

  1. You are not getting the 20 degrees difference between the supply and return air. See our tip on checking to see  if your system is functioning properly for more information on this.
  2. You see oil around the unit.


If you suspect that your unit requires a repair, don’t take a chance, give us a call at (562) 944-2118.

Important Reason NOT to Close AC Ducts for more Efficiency

AC vent

Closing too many AC vents can damage your compressor

Closing registers or supply vents is recommended by some as a way to save on energy costs. Unfortunately, this idea can actually backfire on homeowners if they close down too many vents.

AC systems are designed with a certain amount of air flow in mind. When a user closes vents, it reduces the amount of air flowing through the system. If too little air flows through the ducts and over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant fails to heat up and evaporate into its gas state properly. The amount of airflow is critical to boil the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. It has to absorb enough heat out of the house in order to change into a gas.

If the refrigerant stays in liquid form and gets into the compressor, it can cause serious damage to the compressor. Replacing a compressor is usually an expensive repair.

Poor airflow can also result from a dirty filter. See our tip on changing your filter here.

If your AC needs repair or service, please call us at 562-944-2118 to set up an appointment.

6 Steps to Clean your AC Condenser

Clean your condenser annually. For most condensers this is simply a matter of hosing off the condenser unit. The units are a network of metal tubing and fins designed to dissipate the heat that your AC has removed from your house. You can usually find your condenser outside in the backyard. These units are designed to be out in the weather, but dirt collects in them. This cuts down on AC efficiency.

AC compressor

Clean your condenser annually to ensure better AC performance

To clean your condenser, follow the steps below:

  1. You will need a garden hose, a spray nozzle and a water source.
  2. Turn off electricity to the unit. The disconnect is sight of the unit.
  3. Do not disassemble the unit for cleaning.
  4. Spray the unit vigorously across all the fins but be careful not to spray directly on the motor.
  5. Look for large chunks of spider webs or leaves getting stuck and not coming out. Sometimes spraying water from another angle will break those up so they will wash away.
  6. The unit will dry itself.

This type of cleaning can be done by a trained professional, or you can have your installer or service technician show you how you can do this yourself. Always keep the area around the condenser free of debris so it will have proper airflow.

If your AC needs repair or service, please call us at 562-944-2118 to set up an appointment.

4 Steps to check if your AC unit is functioning properly


A difference of 20 degrees (F) between your supply and return vents shows proper function

Here are some simple steps to see if your air conditioning is working properly. You will need a thermometer.

  1. The AC unit should be operating for at least 5 minutes prior to testing.
  2. Measure the temperature at the return air vent. This is the place inside your house where the air returns to your AC unit. It is the large vent that sucks IN air, and is usually under the furnace or in a hallway.
  3. Next measure the temperature of the supply vent closest to your AC unit. This is the vent that is blowing air OUT.
  4. A temperature difference between the return air and the supply air of approximately 20 degrees indicates proper functioning for most AC units.

If you find that your system is not operating in this range, schedule a time for us to have a look at your system. (562) 944-2118.

Tip # 2 Check the Power

Circuit Breakers, Graves Heating and Air, Rosa Media Productions

Circuit Breakers

I know you will be rolling your eyes on this one. But you would be surprised at how many times we get called for a breakdown when the only problem is a tripped breaker. This simply means that the circuit no longer has power and needs to be reset by turning off the breaker and turning it back on. It is usually a double breaker marked AC.

Now, of course, if you have repeated experiences with the breaker tripping, you should probably have the system looked at by a professional.

If you suspect that your unit requires a repair, don’t take a chance, give us a call at (562) 944-2118.

Tip #1 : 3 Benefits of Changing Your AC Filter Regularly

Heating and Air Conditioning Filter, Graves Heating and Air, Rosa Media Productions

Heating and Air Conditioning Filter

Change your filter every 2 to 3 months. A clean filter allows for easy airflow through your system. Many bigger problems can be avoided if your filter is kept clean.

Keep in mind that the filter should cover the entire opening and should be held in place by a clip or other fastener.

We’re always happy to show a homeowner how to change their own filter during a service call.

We could write chapters about why airflow is important to your unit, but if you keep your filter clean you may never need to know the scientific principles of your AC unit.

If your AC needs repair or service, please call us at 562-944-2118 to set up an appointment.