Our Reputation speaks for Itself
A-1 Guaranteed is a family-owned and operated business that serves HVAC and Solar Services Serving All Of Solano, Napa and Contra Costa Counties, Fairfield, Vacaville, and the Bay Area with Heating and Air Conditioning, Solar, Tankless Water Heaters, Windows, Insulation and/ or Duct Replacement needs. As one of the premier service businesses in the area, we have helped thousands of satisfied, loyal customers improve the energy efficiency of their homes and offices.
We are available Monday through Friday and by appointment on Saturday. Our fast and efficient attention to your needs will prove our dedication to our customers is the foundation of our business. Our professional staff is knowledgeable and looks after your best interests when it comes to your environmental comfort needs. We are an Energy Upgrade CA participating contractor. We are honored that our customers consider us #1 in providing trustworthy service and dependable comfort.
- Voted best heating/cooling company for 14 years
- Voted Best of The Bay for 5 years of KRON 4 TV
- Commercial and Residential Installation
- Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2 Years
- Energy Upgrade Participating Contractor
- Factory Trained Installers and Techs
- Drug-free Environment Enforced and Maintained
- Better Business Bureau Honor Roll 20 Years
- Diamond Certified Company
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certified
- Bay Area Certified Green Business
- All employees fully background checked for your safety
We’ve all experienced it upon walking into a building: that “old” smell – otherwise known as a strong, musty odor. There are several things that can cause this unmistakable smell, but the main culprits really are mold and mildew. Mustiness is a stubborn odor to get rid of, mainly because mold and mildew thrive so easily when conditions are ripe to do so.
So, how can you get rid of it?
The musty smell of mold and mildew can put up quite the fight and generally speaking, probably has had years to set in and settle into everything in a house. It gets into the carpet, drapes, furniture, and other fabrics in a home. It can even settle into your Contra Costa HVAC system’s filter. Mold and mildew release gasses, creating the mustiness that permeates everything.
Although it can be frustrating to pin down the source of the odor (which is due to moist, dark places providing harbor to molds and mildew), it’s vital that the source be found and removed. Once the mildew and mold are removed, however, that musty smell will linger, so you need to move to get rid of it. Here’s how:
Proper Cleaning: No Way Around It
Simply trying to dry out the area that the mold/mildew were living probably won’t be enough to eliminate the odor completely. Everything will need to be scrubbed with a good cleaning agent. This doesn’t mean you have to resort to strong chemicals or hazardous products to get the job done, though.
If you don’t want to fill the house with chlorine bleach and irritating fumes, try a mixture of:
- Four parts water
- Two parts hydrogen peroxide
- One part boric acid
- Two parts white vinegar
Scrub furniture, walls, and floors with it – but don’t saturate areas. Over-saturation will only exacerbate the problem, since mold and mildew need moisture to thrive. Wash all fabrics you can get your hands on, from towels to laundry to curtains to carpets. Throughout the entire process, be sure to provide adequate ventilation for rooms with open windows, the HVAC system, and fans.
Napa Heating and Cooling
One of the best ways to keep indoor moisture under control is with the house’s HVAC system. You’ll want to keep the air in the home moving as much as possible, even if you only run the house fan on the system.
For this reason, it’s important that you always keep the heating and air conditioning system in proper working order. When a home’s climate control system isn’t working efficiently or properly, it can affect much more than just a home’s temperature – it will affect its humidity levels, too (not to mention your energy bills)!
Let the Sun Help You Work
Mildew and mold love dark, moist spaces, so now that you know how to combat high moisture levels, you’ll want to fight back against the darkness. The best and cheapest way to do so is to open the curtains (and windows, if it’s pleasant outdoors) and let the sunshine in!
Get Help with the Indoor Climate
If you discover that your Contra Costa HVAC system isn’t working properly, or if it’s been more than a year since you’ve had preventive maintenance done on it, be sure to contact our heating and cooling experts at A-1 Guaranteed right away.
When you work hard to rid a home of that musty smell and the offending mold and mildew that causes it, you want to make sure your HVAC system is going to be able to efficiently do its part to help control the airflow and moisture levels in the home. Otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started before too long, noticing that smell and finding mildew and mold popping up again in all the usual places.
If you need help with the indoor climate control of your home, you need Solano HVAC repair, or you need maintenance for your heating and cooling in Napa, contact the pros at A-1 Guaranteed now and let us know how we can help you!
Some pet owners struggle to balance Napa HVAC energy efficiency and keeping their pets comfortable. It can be a challenge for those of us with scaly, furry, or feathery family members at home. Fortunately, there are excellent and effective ways to create an indoor climate that is perfect for all who dwell inside – without killing your drive to be energy efficient along the way. These simple tips can help you achieve comfort as well as efficiency with your furnace this season for the sake of your pets (and you):
- Keep Your Pets Groomed
It’s important for furry pets to stay bathed and groomed to stay healthy and comfortable. There’s another plus to be gained with grooming too: it limits the amount of fur, dander, and hair in your indoor environment, helping your Solano heating and air conditioning system work at its best. Be sure to change your furnace filter regularly to improve your indoor air quality in addition to your system’s performance.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat
Although you may not be very comfortable with your thermostat set at 72 degrees during the winter, your furry family member will be. Keep this in mind when you leave the house; you don’t have to be afraid of setting your thermostat a little lower in the winter while you’re away. Your animals have that coat of fur for a reason, and it does a great job at keeping them warm at temperatures below what humans are normally comfortable in. With a programmable (or a smart) thermostat, you can set the temp and forget it, and save energy in the process.
- Consider Energy-Efficient Entrances
You might not think too often about the doggie door you have installed, but maybe it’s time you should. Even though these little entryways for pets can be useful, they are often costly when it comes to energy efficiency. Warm air from the inside seeps out easily, taking your money right with it. Your furnace then has to work harder and more often to replace that lost heated air. Shop for a model that has excellent air sealing properties. If you don’t want to or can’t replace the one you have, make sure to keep your current door caulked well around the seams.
- Leaky Windows Are(n’t) for the Birds
Many types of pet birds originate from tropical locations that are consistently very warm – this means your pet bird won’t appreciate being kept in a location that is near a leaky window or a drafty doorway. Instead of turning up your Contra Costa HVAC system to compensate for this, move your pet bird away from those drafty areas. Consider installing clear plastic insulation over windows and check exterior doors to see if foam insulation can help seal away drafts from the cold outdoors. This will ease the burden on your heating and cooling system, saving you money and extending your system’s life.
- Automatic Schedules for Reptiles
If you’re the proud owner of a snake, lizard, or other reptile, you should already know that these types of pets have unique lighting and heating needs. Purchase a timer from your local pet or hardware store to automatically turn on and off heat lamps and lights for your reptile’s home. Your reptilian pets will appreciate the prompt schedule, and you’ll appreciate the energy cost management that automation provides. There’s no need to turn up your heat just to provide your scaly pal with a comfortable environment. Doing so would cost you much more than purchasing a heat lamp timer would!
Be sure to keep your heating and air system regularly maintained by our HVAC experts in Solano, Napa, and Contra Costa. Keeping your system in good shape will reduce its operational costs and extend its longevity, allowing you to keep everyone in your home – especially your pets – comfortable for many years. Contact us today to schedule a maintenance visit for your HVAC in Contra Costa and the surrounding areas.
Confused about Which Systems are Compatible with Which Smart Thermostats? We’ve Got You Covered.
Convenience knows no bounds when it comes to connecting everything from entertainment to security to your home via Wi-Fi and smart apps. The future is now with our ability to control our TVs, lights, doorbells, windows, appliances, and Internet modems from our devices, even if we’re miles away from home.
Climate control and comfort are no exception.
There are ways to connect your home’s HVAC system thermostat to your phone, tablet, or other smart device, so you can turn up the heat just in time to warm up the house before arriving or switch on the air conditioning when outdoor temps rise above what was expected. Before we talk about four popular ways people control their thermostats with their devices, we need to touch on the subject of the smart thermostat.
Smart Thermostats: The Basics
If you’re interested in controlling your Solano HVAC with your device, you’ll need to have a thermostat installed that is a “smart thermostat”. Not just any thermostat will do. Smart Wi-Fi thermostats, or wireless thermostats, connect to the Internet in your home instead of being wired directly to your HVAC system. This is what actually enables the communication between it and your device.
There is a wide variety of models available with a slew of different features that you may or may not need or want, including voice control, the ability to control a humidifier, and remote access. You first want to decide which features you want and need, then you can choose between the best smart thermostats on the market.
Which Thermostats are Compatible with Which Apps and Integrations?
That being said, when you choose a thermostat for your Napa Valley HVAC system, you’ll want to make sure that it will be compatible with the wireless service or app that you will control it with on your device. Many thermostats will work with a variety of apps and wireless programs, but not all.
Some of the best and most popular Wi-Fi thermostats are from Nest, Honeywell Lyric, and Ecobee.
Let’s look at four popular choices for ways to sync your HVAC to your mobile device:
The Best Apps and Smart Thermostats for HVAC Control
- Google Home
Google Home sits on a table and is a voice-activated “command center”. The Google Assistant will activate when it processes that someone has said, “Okay, Google”, and proceeds with the person’s request. What many people like about Google Connected Home is that the device can control appliances, security systems, lights, and other devices in addition to a smart thermostat. It can also stream audio, complete hands-free calling, and more. Many smart thermostats are compatible with Google Home, including Nest, Ecobee4, Emerson Sensi, Honeywell Lyric, and others.
Nest refers to both the app and the thermostat; they work hand-in-hand, allowing remote capability over your thermostat for complete control whether you’re home or away. Nest is a popular choice for those looking for proven energy savings, remote accessibility, and a reduction in energy waste to keep utility bills low. What’s great about Nest is that it offers other smart home devices that can all be controlled with the free Nest app, including locks, camera-enabled doorbells, smoke alarms, and home monitoring systems. An important note about Nest: If you’re planning to invest in Apple’s up-and-coming HomeKit ecosystem, you’ll want to skip Nest products, as they are not compatible. However, you can still use the Nest app on Apple products just fine. Nest is compatible with many other integrations, including Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Belkin WeMo, and more.
Pairing Amazon’s Alexa with one of the best Wi-Fi thermostats on the market, Ecobee, will guarantee you’ll never go back to programmable thermostats again. Ecobee is consistently a top-ranked thermostat, and its 5th-generation model is no exception. Powered by Alexa, it has a vivid display, a quad-core processor, an updated microphone for voice control, Bluetooth, and the option of connecting speakers for audio streaming. If that isn’t enough, Ecobee works to really focus heat in rooms you actually use; traditional thermostats often sit in hallways no one uses much. With Ecobee, you can place remote sensors in various rooms to communicate with your HVAC system. Other compatible home integrations with the Ecobee thermostat along with Alexa include Samsung SmartThings, Control4, Apple HomeKit, and Wink.
Nexia is a pioneer when it comes to smart home products, being one of the first to make them available to consumers back in 2008. Homeowners have relied on Nexia for control in their homes and accessibility from any location. Popular from Nexia is its all-in-one solution for homes with options like garage door control, lighting, appliances, irrigation systems, windows and doors, and yes – HVAC systems and thermostats. Nexia can connect with Google Home and Google Mini devices, bringing in voice control capability. Some smart thermostats that are compatible with Nexia include Trane ComfortLink, Trane XL824/XL850 Connected Control, American Standard Acculink, and American Standard Gold 824/850.
Although once upon a time, programmable thermostats were the “latest and greatest” for automatic indoor climate control, those days are quickly coming to an end as smart thermostats (wireless or Wi-Fi thermostats) are rapidly gaining popularity. The promise of saved energy, ultimate convenience, remote accessibility, and lower HVAC bills pave the way for wireless technology to hook up to the most important home systems we have. For more information on smart thermostats, climate controlling apps, and compatibility with your HVAC system, contact our experts in HVAC in the Bay Area today!
Any home renovation project demands significant planning and effort – while it’s no secret that there are plenty of things to take into account prior to launching a project of such a grand scale, what many people may not know is that the HVAC system of a home can be damaged during and after remodeling. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your system and avoid unnecessary Bay Area HVAC repair costs down the road.
Following are three critical things about HVAC systems all property owners need to consider before remodeling a home:
- Dust, Dirt, and Debris Can be Disastrous for Your HVAC
These particulates can easily infiltrate not only the ductwork of your heating, cooling, and ventilation system, but also its moving parts. They can clog your vents, registers, and air filters, as well. It’s recommended that the HVAC system be turned off while you work. In addition, you’ll want to cover all registers and vents to avoid the duct network becoming tainted with dust, dirt, and debris. After a renovation, always change your furnace filter.
Leaving your system on and registers open will leave dust and dirt to accumulate within the ducts; your home could develop unhealthy air quality, and your AC and furnace will have to work harder than normal to maintain the thermostat-set temperature. When this happens, you run a high risk of premature malfunction, not to mention a need for HVAC repair technicians to come out to survey the damage at a repair/replacement cost.
Many people inquire about having their air ducts cleaned; however, we at A-1 Guaranteed have found that it’s unnecessary and oftentimes can do more harm than good. Cleaning equipment can damage your system, incurring a larger expense for repairs for homeowners. The EPA does not recommend that ducts be cleaned routinely.
In fact, the EPA also states that no studies have found that dirty ducts lead to increased dust levels in the home; it also advises that duct cleaning is not proven to prevent health issues. (See our blog, “Why We Don’t Recommend Duct Cleaning” for more information on this.) Homeowners can clean the grates of registers with a vacuum, but don’t clean any further into the ducts than that to prevent damage to ductwork. Instead of duct cleaning, we recommend you call our experts to have your ducts inspected for tears or separations.
- Current Vents May Not Serve the Remodeled Home Appropriately
Any time the configuration of any structure is altered, the location, placement, and direction of vents often need to be adjusted in order to serve additional floor space. It’s important, however, that you don’t change configurations of ducts and vents yourself; it’s a job for the professionals at A-1 Guaranteed. Our HVAC experts in Solano will know exactly how to adjust everything to provide you with maximum comfort without sacrificing energy efficiency.
It’s best to consult our techs before beginning any renovation; we can look at the plans for your home as well as plans for the remodel, then schedule a service call to complete the task of reconfiguring ducts and vents. It’s important to call on our professionals for the task, because misplaced vents create a myriad of issues, one of which is uneven temperatures in the home.
- Dust and Debris Compromises Your HVAC System’s Moving Parts
If there’s one thing that’s more expensive and troublesome than damaged ductwork, it’s a damaged furnace or air conditioner. Exposure to dust and debris puts your system at risk of losing efficiency, malfunctioning, and altogether breaking down. In any renovation project, dust and dirt infiltrate the air and settle in every little tiny space in the home – and most of it you won’t even notice until it settles in on shelves, tables, and everything else. If it’s all over your floors, shelves, furniture, and counters, you can bet it’s not only on your furnace case, but also inside of it.
Dust that gets into your furnace blower or fan coil can create a precarious situation that will at the very least require a professional cleaning. At worst, it can cripple your unit’s ability to produce warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. It will work overtime trying to achieve and maintain thermostat temperatures, costing you substantial extra money. This will also decrease the lifespan of your HVAC system, causing it to break down and require service prematurely. Contact an A-1 Guaranteed professional to take a look and perform a cleaning after your renovation is complete.
If you’re planning on remodeling your home, whether it’s just a room or an entire space, precautions must be taken to protect the most expensive and most valuable running system in your home. Considerations for your HVAC in Contra Costa are well worth the effort, and precautions taken can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in repairs and replacement work.
Contact our Napa HVAC technicians at A-1 Guaranteed to book an appointment before and after your remodeling project to ensure you don’t miss a beat in keeping your system and your home safe and clean.