Commonly-Used HVAC Terms & Their Meanings

When you hire a residential or commercial HVAC repair technician to conduct a regular inspection and tune-up service of your system, they may use words that are a little too technical for a layperson. If there’s any component, issue or term that you don’t understand in their report, don’t hesitate to ask your technician about it. They’ll be more than happy to explain what it means to you.

4 FAQs About HVAC TAB (Testing, Adjusting and Balancing)

Testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) is an essential yet underrated commercial HVAC maintenance task. Many building owners and property managers don’t appreciate it’s importance, not because it’s overstated but rather becaise it isn’t explained well enough.

4 Common Problems Caused by Dirty Air Filters

Air filters prevent dust, dirt, and debris from getting into your HVAC system’s air ducts, and will eventually get clogged over time. Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning takes a look at the common problems that are caused by clogged air filters. Read more

5 Factors That Affect the Life-Span of Your Heating System

Understanding the factors that can affect the life span of your HVAC system can help you get the most out of it. As a cooling and heating system installation expert, Schmitt recommends that homeowners research and study their HVAC systems to make smart decisions regarding the care and maintenance of their equipment. To help you with this,  we will discuss the things that can affect your HVAC system’s service life. Read more

Prevent HVAC Problems by Protecting Your AC Unit This Winter

As an experienced HVAC repair company, we recommend keeping an eye on your air conditioning system even if winter means you won’t be using it for months until next summer. This is because neglecting your AC unit can lead to decreased performance and heightens the risk of issues cropping up. Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your air conditioning system in good shape, even in the winter. Read on to find out how you can protect your AC in the winter. Read more

The Most Common Spring Maintenance Issues

Spring is here! Along with beautiful weather and fun seasonal activities, spring is also a great time to tackle some common maintenance issues around your home. Whether you plan to work on home maintenance projects yourself or choose to call in a professional, it’s important to stay on top of your maintenance needs to avoid any issues later on that might lead to costly repair needs. Below, we will cover some of the most common spring maintenance issues that you can check for in your home today.

4 Common Spring Maintenance Issues

Here are some of the most common maintenance issues that homeowners experience during the spring:

1. Damage to the Exterior Walls

Changing temperatures and weather conditions can be harsh on the exterior of your home. It’s best to inspect the outside of your home in spring after winter is over. Look for troublesome spots in the brick, stucco, or wood siding of your home. If you notice water stains, this could be a sign that your gutters are not properly managing runoff from your roof. If you have wood siding, you will also want to check for damaged areas or openings that pests may burrow into.

2. Leaking Windows

If your windows are older, there may be gaps and cracks around the windows. These are often most noticeable when the temperatures start to change. These leaks can allow cool air to escape your home, thus increasing your energy usage. Check for the caulking and weather stripping around your windows for any damage or deterioration.

3. Air Conditioning Preparation

The two seasons that see the most action from your HVAC system is winter and summer. That’s why it is important to get a seasonal tune-up in spring just before summer arrives. Make sure that your system is clean, the parts are well-lubricated, and the equipment is free of any repair needs. To do this, you can schedule a tune-up with your local HVAC company where a certified technician will clean and inspect your system to ensure that it is running properly and efficiently.

4. Leaky Pipes

Spring is the best time to check your home for leaky pipes and faucets as well as clogged drains. To start, check under your bathroom and kitchen sinks. Look for pipes and hoses that are not properly sealed. You will also want to check your dishwasher for any leaking. If you notice wetness around the machine after you run it, this could be a sign that you have an issue. You’ll want to do the same for your washing machine and water heater. Make sure there are no signs of corrosion or leaks. Having trouble with your HVAC system? Need to get an AC tune-up before summer arrives? The experienced HVAC team at Schmitt Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving individuals and families in the bay area for over 100 years. No matter what your HVAC needs may be, we are here to help. Call us today to schedule a service appointment: (415) 522-0966.

Understanding the Basics of Your HVAC System

Knowing the basics of how HVAC systems work can give homeowners a greater appreciation for their system, inform them as to maintenance tasks they should be performing, help them diagnose problems, and communicate with technicians.

Types of HVAC Systems

There are several types of heating and air conditioning systems in modern homes. In climates that only experience one temperature extreme, a single-stage system may provide either heat or cold to a home. These systems are inexpensive but inefficient and are not commonly used.

Conventional systems will combine a furnace and an air conditioning unit to provide both heating and cooling capabilities. Most of these setups will have single-speed fans, which are only capable of running at full speed or being turned off. Newer systems may have variable-speed fans that run at various speeds to provide greater energy efficiency.

Zoning heating and air conditioning systems allow homeowners to control the temperature of multiple “zones” within their home individually. These systems allow greater comfort within a home and increased energy efficiency, but are more expensive than traditional systems.

Heat pumps are becoming a popular choice for replacing conventional systems. Heat pumps only move heat from one area to another, allowing them to function while using far less energy than other systems. Different types of heat pumps use different sources for heat and work more efficiently down to cooler temperatures.

6 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their System

Homeowners should understand the basics of their own system. Some important details include:

  1. Location of ducts. Air ducts carry conditioned air throughout a home. These ducts are essential to the heating and air conditioning system. Leaking or blocked ducts can keep air from reaching part of the house.
  2. Type of refrigerant. Federal law required the phasing out of refrigerant R-22 last year. Any that remains for repairing systems will be far more expensive than coolant R-410A.
  3. Location of the indoor parts of the system. Furnaces are usually located indoors, as is part of the air conditioning system. Homeowners need to know the location of these and keep an eye on their drain pans to be aware of any damaging leaks.
  4. Location of outdoor sections. The outdoor section of air conditioners need to be kept clean and clear of debris, so homeowners should know where this is and how to clean it.
  5. Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). SEER ratings measure the energy efficiency of air conditioners. Higher ratings denote more efficient units.
  6. Air filter information. Air filters are the part of HVAC systems that need the most frequent maintenance. Homeowners can usually perform this maintenance if they know where the filter is located and the type of filter needed. Some filters can be cleaned, but many are simply replaced.

Homeowners who know what type of HVAC system their home uses and the basics listed above will find themselves better able to keep their systems running efficiently, and will be able to communicate more clearly with technicians.

Have any additional questions about your HVAC system? We love educating our customers about how their systems work. Contact us today.

The Importance of Home Comfort for Everyone in Your Family


Home is much more than just a shelter, it is also a place where we can feel secure and comfortable. We spend so much time in our homes that home comfort becomes more than just a luxury, but a necessity. Your indoor environment is an important part of creating a comfortable home environment for everyone in your family. Maintaining optimal temperatures and indoor air quality allows you to provide a home environment that is not only comfortable but also healthy.

Why Home Comfort is Essential

There are 3 basic factors that contribute to home comfort – temperature control, humidity, and air quality. Temperature regulation is not only important for comfort. It can also impact health. Living in conditions that are too cold or too warm can cause health issues for those with weakened immune systems, such as newborns, infants, and elderly individuals.

Humidity can also impact both comfort and health. When your home environment is too dry, it may make it difficult to breathe and cause health issues such as dry skin. When humidity levels are too high, this increases moisture levels, which can also cause breathing difficulties. Large amounts of moisture can invite mold and mildew into the home, which causes a variety of health issues including serious respiratory problems.

Indoor air quality is also an important factor that impacts home comfort. Pollutants, allergens, and other contaminants from the outdoors enter your home as people leave and return. These pollutants can impact respiratory health, triggering asthma symptoms and asthma attacks. In extreme circumstances, this may even cause allergies or asthma in those who have not experienced it before.

Tips for Maintaining Home Comfort

There is no magic recipe for ideal home comfort. Comfort levels depend on personal preferences. However, there are some general elements that need to be monitored to keep your home environment safe and healthy. Here are some tips for helping maintain a comfortable home environment for you and your family:

  • Make sure that your home temperatures are kept at a comfortable and healthy level. Using a programmable or smart thermostat can help you maintain temperatures throughout the year.
  • Monitor humidity levels within your home. Research shows that the best humidity levels for health and safety are between 40-60%. If you find that humidity levels fall below or rise above this humidity level, consider implementing HVAC add-ons like dehumidifiers or humidifiers.
  • Take measures to reduce pollutants and improve indoor air quality. One of the best ways to do this is by changing or replacing your air filters regularly so that they can continue to keep allergens and pollutants from dispersing in your home. It is also vital to keep your home clean, especially carpets, curtains, and furniture which can trap pollutants.

Maintaining a comfortable home environment is vital to keeping your family healthy and happy. If you need advice on how to maintain home comfort or improve indoor air quality, contact us today.

Is Your HVAC System Protected From Power Surges?

Your HVAC system keeps the climate in your home comfortably cool in the summer and warm in the winter. In order to keep it in good working order and also to prevent damage to other utility systems in your home, you must provide protection from damage from electrical power surges.

Protect Your Home Utilities

External power surges that come into your home’s hard-wired equipment such as furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and boilers are caused by forces from outside your house. External power surges happen when a utility company works on the power lines in your area, when a power line is taken down due to an accident or when lightning strikes a transformer. These actions can send a stronger surge of electricity through the line directly into your home.

Electronic equipment you have plugged into your electrical outlets is suffers from these external power surges. Electronics are subject to internal power surges as well. These occur when your powerful appliances (such as the air conditioner) cycle on and draw a lot of power then cut off and release it back into the house flow, creating a surge. Over time this damages the equipment by gradually eroding components.

Home Power Surge Protection

To adequately protect your home, utilities and electronics, you need two forms of surge protection. The first is whole-house surge protection. This is installed at the point of entry of the power supply for your home. You may have one for the entire house or one for each major system. The second is the point-of-use surge protection. This is installed by either plugging electronic devices into power surge strips or by having power surge protectors built into your wall outlets. Although there is no way to make your home completely free of power surges, these protections will greatly diminish any harm a power surge might cause.

HVAC Maintenance

You probably have power strip surge protectors but might not know if you have protection at the point of entry for your home’s utilities. To be safe, call your Home HVAC Service Technicians and make an appointment soon to have them make sure your home is protected against power surges.