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Heat pumps are becoming increasingly recognized for their potential to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs in residential and commercial buildings.

Here in California, a state known for its progressive environmental policies and commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, heat pump rebates are part of a broader strategy to encourage the adoption of cleaner, more efficient heating and cooling systems.

If you’re considering an upgrade to a heat pump system, understanding when you can get a rebate and the specifics of these incentives can make a significant difference in your decision-making process.

At Cencal Mechanical, we’re making waves across the Central Valley with home comfort services that shine! When it comes to reliably heating and cooling your home, we believe everyone deserves comfort. We expect to WOW you every step of the way, whether you need an AC repair or you’re installing a new heat pump. We are obsessed with everything HVAC and take pride in helping our neighbors heat and cool their home more efficiently and effectively.

The Importance of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a key technology in the transition to a more sustainable home comfort system.

Unlike traditional heating systems that generate heat by burning fossil fuels, heat pumps transfer heat from the outside air or ground into a building during winter and can reverse the process in the summer, acting as an air conditioner. This makes them incredibly efficient, as they simply move heat rather than generate it.

Heat pumps come in a variety of different types. These include air-source, ground-source, mini-split (ductless), and dual fuel heat pumps. To learn more about which model is right for you, give the experienced team at Cencal Mechanical a call!

California Heat Pump Incentives in 2024

In California, various rebate programs have been established to promote the installation of heat pumps. The rebates can significantly lower the upfront cost of purchasing and installing a heat pump system, making it a more attractive option for homeowners!

The TECH Clean California program is a statewide initiative to help speed up the adoption of cleaner water heating technology, and install 6 million heat pumps across California homes by 2030. The goal of the program is to make installing heat pumps easier and more accessible. Click here for more information, and find the incentives available in your area.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 increased incentives for homeowners looking to make eco-friendly upgrades to their home. Now California homeowners will be able to claim a 30% tax credit on a number of different energy efficiency upgrades, including up to $2,000 towards a new heat pump install! Click here to learn more.

The exact rebates that you qualify for depend on where in California you’re located, and other factors regarding your home.

When Can You Get a Rebate?

The availability of rebates for heat pump installations in California vary throughout the year and depend on the funding levels of the program offering the rebate. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re ready to take advantage of these incentives:

  • Stay Informed: Follow the California Energy Commission, your local utility provider, and any relevant environmental groups to get the latest information on rebate programs.
  • Understand the Requirements: Each rebate program has its own set of eligibility requirements, such as the type of heat pump, the efficiency rating, and whether your property is residential or commercial. Make sure you understand these requirements before making a purchase.
  • Act Quickly: Some rebate programs have limited funding and can run out quickly. Once you’ve decided to install a heat pump, apply for the rebate as soon as possible to secure your spot in the program.

The HVAC experts at Cencal will walk you through any rebate programs you may be eligible for, including some of our own, and help you with the application process. And of course we’re there for the actual installation too! Give us a call today, because these incentives won’t last forever!

Making the Switch

Cencal makes it easy to switch to a heat pump.

We’re the leader for heat pump installations in Modesto and the Central Valley. We specialize in high-efficiency heat pump installations, and we’ll help you choose the perfect size unit for your home. And you can have the peace of mind that all our installations come with our 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Heat pump installations start as low as $150/month, so call us today!

Constant, Reliable Comfort All Year Round

The best way to ensure your heat pump works efficiently year round is by signing up for Cencal’s exclusive Home Comfort Memberships.

For a low monthly fee, you’ll get routine heat pump maintenance, priority service, special discounts and maintain your unit’s warranty.

When you become a Cencal Mechanical Gold Member you can spend your time making memories with the ones you love, instead of worrying about home comfort. Contact us today to learn more!

For Californians looking to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills, heat pump technologies offer an excellent solution. With the state’s various rebate programs, the initial cost barrier to installing a heat pump can be significantly mitigated.

By staying informed about the available programs, understanding their requirements, and acting quickly to secure rebates, you can make a heat pump installation much more affordable and contribute to California’s environmental sustainability goals, while improving your home’s comfort!

Here in California, we rely heavily on our water heaters for comfort, convenience and overall health. And regular maintenance is key to a long-lasting, efficient unit. So to help you keep your water heater running in top shape, we’ve created the essential California Water Heater Maintenance Guide full of helpful tips and tricks to help keep your water supply clean and warm. Let’s get started!

Understanding Your Water Heater

Before diving into maintenance, it’s important to be familiar with the type of water heater you have installed. The most common types in California are:

  • Storage Tank Water Heaters – These are the more traditional models, with a tank that stores and heats water. They are also cost-effective to install.
  • Tankless Water Heaters – Also known as on-demand heaters, these heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. They are more compact and efficient than their tanked counterparts, and allow for an endless supply of hot water, when and where you need it. They also have a longer lifespan than most traditional water heaters at 20 years, so you don’t have to worry about replacements for a long time!

Basic Water Heater Maintenance

Maintaining your water heater doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. The key is to make sure you’re scheduling or conducting your own water heater maintenance at least once a year to keep your water warm and clean.

Here a couple things you can do on your own as a homeowner:

  • Regular Inspections – check for leaks, corrosion, or damage to the tank and pipes. If you have a tankless water heater, inspect the filters and clean as needed.
  • Temperature Settings – ensure your tank is set to somewhere around 120°F. This prevents scalding, saves energy and helps keep all components working as they should.

Advanced Maintenance

For more advanced tune-ups, it’s best to call in the pros! Enter the knowledgeable team at Cencal Mechanical! Our specialized technicians have experience maintaining, installing and repairing a wide range of water heaters all over California.

When you schedule your water heater maintenance service we will:

  • Conduct a pressure relief valve check – this handy little guy is a valve that relieves excess pressure in the tank of your water heater to keep it from bursting and flooding your home. When we check the valve we lift the valve’s handle and let it snapback. If it’s working properly, your technician will hear a gurgling sound as water is released into the drain tube. If not, a new valve is needed.
  • Flush the tank – draining or flushing the tank is one of the most effective ways of clearing out any excess sediment that has accumulated in the tank that could hinder efficiency, damage the walls of the tank, and effect the quality of your water.
  • Anode Rod Inspection – we’ll make sure the steel wire is free of calcium, and replace it if necessary so your tank remains rust-free!

Regular professional service from Cencal Mechanical, Heating & Air can extend the lifespan of your water heater, so schedule your tune-up today!

Common Water Heater Issues

Annual maintenance helps you identify common water heater issues quickly so they don’t turn into more expensive repairs. Potential issues include:

  • Strange banging or gurgling noises coming from the tank.
  • Leaks or standing water around your water heater.
  • Pilot light won’t stay lit.
  • Inconsistent water pressure and temperature.
  • Your water is discolored or has a strange odor.

If you’re experiencing one or more of the above issues, give our friendly technicians a call today to schedule your water heater repair service.

Benefits of Regular Maintenance

Regular water heater maintenance doesn’t just keep you warm and cozy! Some other benefits include:

  • Lower utility bills – a well maintained unit is more efficient and won’t have to struggle to meet the needs of your home, meaning the overall energy consumption is lower. Lower consumption means lower bills!
  • Less frequent repairs – regular maintenance often catches small issues before they become bigger problems.
  • Longer lifespan – Regular inspections and maintenance can extend the lifespan of your water heater by ensuring it’s functioning efficiently and all components are running as they should. Regular maintenance could be the difference between your water heater lasting 5 years, or 20 years.

California Water Quality and How it Can Effect Your Water Heater

Hard water is common in many areas around California and can lead to sediment build-up in your water heater. So it could also be helpful to install a whole-house water softener, to protect your heater and plumbing system.

Constant, Reliable Comfort All Year Round

The best way to ensure warm, clean water year round is by signing up for Cencal’s exclusive Home Comfort Memberships.

For a low monthly fee, you’ll get routine water heater maintenance, priority service, special discounts and maintain your unit’s warranty.

When you become a Cencal Mechanical Gold Member you can spend your time making memories with the ones you love, instead of worrying about home comfort. Contact us today to learn more!

Remember, regular, proactive water heater maintenance is vital for clean and warm water supply in your California home. By following this essential maintenance guide, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your water heater for years to come.

As we strive for more sustainable living and reduced carbon footprints, heat pumps have emerged as a game-changer in home heating and cooling technology.

In today’s blog we’ll dive into all things heat pumps, the different models available, the benefits and finally what incentives are available to you to help you make the switch!

Cencal Mechanical is making waves across the Central Valley with home comfort services that shine! When it comes to reliably heating and cooling your home, we believe everyone deserves comfort. We expect to WOW you every step of the way, whether you need an AC repair or you’re installing a new heat pump. We are obsessed with everything HVAC and take pride in helping our neighbors heat and cool their home more efficiently and effectively.

Understanding Heat Pumps

Before we explore the benefits and incentives, let’s understand what heat pumps are and why they’re becoming so popular.

A heat pump is an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Unlike traditional heating methods like a furnace or a boiler, heat pumps use electricity to keep your home warm. Instead of heating air, heat pumps take heat from outside and transfer it into your living space.

Heat pumps are made up of 2 units, an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor fan coil unit that moves the air around your home. Coolant is circulated between the 2 units as the heat is transferred into your home.

It’s also important to note that heat pumps come in a variety of different types including air-source, ground-source, mini-split (ductless), electric heat pumps, and dual fuel heat pumps.

Why Choose a Heat Pump?

Here are only a few reasons why we think you should make the switch to a heat pump as your preferred home comfort system.

  • Energy Efficiency – Heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating like furnaces and baseboard heaters.
  • Cost-Effective – Lower energy use means reduced utility bills.
  • Environmental Impact – They contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Versatility – Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling.

California Heat Pump Incentives in 2024

California, known for its leadership in environmental initiatives, offers attractive incentives for homeowners looking to install heat pumps. In 2024, these incentives are more appealing than ever, providing financial assistance and making it easier for you to make the switch. Here are a couple options for you to consider:

The TECH Clean California program is a statewide initiative to help speed up the adoption of cleaner water heating technology, and install 6 million heat pumps across California homes by 2030. The goal of the program is to make installing heat pumps easier and more accessible. Click here for more information, and find the incentives available in your area.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 increased incentives for homeowners looking to make eco-friendly upgrades to their home. Now California homeowners will be able to claim a 30% tax credit on a number of different energy efficiency upgrades, including up to $2,000 towards a new heat pump install! Click here to learn more.

The exact rebates that you qualify for depend on where in California you’re located, and other factors regarding your home. But the HVAC experts at Cencal will make sure you’re aware, and walk you through any rebate programs you may be eligible for. Including some of our own!

Give us a call today, because these incentives won’t last forever!

Financing Options

You shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you can afford a heat pump. Here are a couple great financing options so you can get the equipment you need, at a price you can afford.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs allow homeowners to finance heat pump installations through property tax assessments.

At Cencal, we’re proud to offer financing options for HVAC installations and major repairs, including heat pumps! Our team will work with you to find the best financing solutions for you so you can get the equipment you need at a price you can afford.

Utility Savings

Alongside rebates and financing options, the long-term savings you’ll see on your utility bills from the installation of a heat pump are an amazing incentive alone to make the switch! On average, California homeowners save about 20-40% annually!

Making the Switch

Cencal makes it easy to switch to a heat pump.

We’re the leader for heat pump installations in Modesto and the Central Valley. We specialize in high-efficiency heat pump installations, and we’ll help you choose the perfect size unit for your home. And you can have the peace of mind that all our installations come with our 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Heat pump installations start as low as $150/month, so call us today!

Constant, Reliable Comfort All Year Round

The best way to ensure your heat pump works efficiently year round is by signing up for Cencal’s exclusive Home Comfort Memberships.

For a low monthly fee, you’ll get routine heat pump maintenance, priority service, special discounts and maintain your unit’s warranty.

When you become a Cencal Mechanical Gold Member you can spend your time making memories with the ones you love, instead of worrying about home comfort. Contact us today to learn more!

With the growing emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency, heat pumps are an excellent investment for California homeowners. The incentives available in 2024 make this option more accessible and affordable. By opting for a heat pump, you’re not just upgrading your home’s heating and cooling system; you’re also contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.

Air conditioner maintenance keeps your cooling equipment running the way it should throughout California’s long, hot summer months. Some of it can be done on your own, while other maintenance tasks are complex enough to require professional help. But how do you know the difference, when should you perform or schedule maintenance on your AC, and what kind of costs should you expect?

Don’t worry—the Cencal Mechanical Heating & Air team has spent years working on air conditioners throughout the Central Valley, so we know all about the best way to maintain California cooling systems and we’re here to help. Read ahead to learn everything you’ll need to start planning and performing the tasks that keep your AC running right when the weather really heats up.
Dirty and clean AC filters on white background

DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance: Tasks You Can Do On Your Own

The following AC maintenance tasks are easy enough that most homeowners should be able to tackle them without too much trouble. If you feel challenged by any of these, though, don’t worry—you can always call us for help and have a professional HVAC tech make sure they get done right.

Monthly Tasks

  • Cleaning or replacing your air filter: A clean filter allows for better airflow and efficiency, reducing energy costs. Visually check the filter to ensure it’s clean and not clogged. Then replace disposable filters or clean reusable filters with water and mild detergent if necessary.
  • Cleaning your outdoor unit: Visually inspect the unit for damage or wear, and remove any debris, leaves, and dirt from the outdoor unit’s surface. Keep plants and bushes at least 2 feet away from the unit to ensure proper airflow.

Annual Tasks

  • Checking your evaporator coils: Before starting your system for the first time this season, access the evaporator coils by opening the utility panel in the indoor unit. Then use a soft brush to remove dust and dirt. For heavily soiled coils, call us for professional help—you don’t want to damage the coils and pay big bucks to replace them.
  • Inspecting your ductwork and temporarily patching small leaks: Visually check along your ducts for leaks, holes, or disconnections. If you find small ones, you can use duct mastic or foil-backed tape to patch them—but this is only a temporary fix. You’ll need to call us for help so that we can permanently solve the problem and restore the long-term integrity of your ducts.
  • Testing your thermostat’s accuracy: Place a reliable thermometer near the thermostat and compare the readings to make sure your thermostat is working accurately. If there’s a significant difference, recalibrate the thermostat or consider replacing it with a smart thermostat that will automatically adjust itself to accommodate your comfort preferences and use energy efficiently.

Technician checking refrigerant charge in air conditioner during service call

Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance: When to Call for Help

There’s a limit to the amount of AC maintenance you can do on your own. Air conditioners are complicated machines with numerous delicate components that can be damaged by inexperienced hands, so it’s best to call our professionals for help with the following tasks:

Annual Maintenance

  • Comprehensive inspections and tune-ups: We’ll visit your home and run a complete multi-point inspection on your air conditioner—including its compressor, evaporator and condenser coils, refrigerant lines, blower motor, and more. This includes checking the amount of refrigerant in your system and topping it up if it’s low. We’ll also let you know if we find any urgent or impending mechanical problems that could turn into costly emergencies, and provide you with cost-effective options for fixing them before they reach that point. You should get your AC tuned up this way at least once a year for best results and optimal peace of mind.

Specialized Tasks

  • Component replacement or repair: If your AC has already suffered a broken compressor or other major component, do not attempt to replace it on your own. Not only is this a difficult job to do without special tools and knowledge, but it can also void your AC’s warranty. Trust our team to provide an efficient fix instead.
  • Installing upgrades for air quality or energy efficiency: Adding an air purifier to your AC can make the air in your home feel considerably fresher, while a humidifier can help prevent dry skin and certain respiratory problems. To make sure these upgrades are installed properly, you’ll want an experienced HVAC technician to put them in.

Woman relaxing in cool California home after using AC maintenance best practices

Extra Tips for Maximizing Your AC Efficiency

  • Using proper thermostat settings: Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature that isn’t too low, as each degree can save energy and reduce costs. Consider using a programmable smart thermostat to adjust temperatures automatically when you’re away or asleep—this can reduce energy waste and save you up to 10-20% on your heating and cooling costs.
  • Utilizing fans and natural ventilation: Use ceiling or portable fans to help circulate cool air and create a wind-chill effect, making your home feel cooler without lowering the thermostat. Open windows in the evening to let in cool air and close them during the day to keep heat out.
  • Insulating your home: Proper insulation helps keep your home cool in summer by reducing heat transfer between the indoors and outdoors. Insulate your attic, walls, and floors to maintain comfortable temperatures and lower your energy bills.
  • Installing energy-efficient windows and doors: Energy-efficient windows and doors minimize heat gain and loss, making it easier for your AC to maintain a comfortable temperature. Look for double-pane windows with low-E glass and well-sealed doors to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Stay Cool in Cali with Proper AC Maintenance

Knowing the difference between the AC maintenance tasks you can take care of and the ones you can’t gives you the power to keep your cooling system healthy between professional visits and make sure you’re scheduling service when you really need it. To have questions about your specific cooling equipment answered by professionals or book a service call, contact Cencal Mechanical Heating & Air—our team will be happy to help.

Every year, thousands of wildfires burn across California, destroying millions of acres and creating thick smoke that drifts across the state. Peak forest fire season can start as early as June and last well into October, making the air potentially dangerous to breathe for nearly half the year—even when you’re at work or in your home.

By taking steps to improve your home’s indoor air quality, you can reduce the health risks associated with wildfire smoke, which include heart attacks, strokes, and asthma. Below, our team at Cencal Mechanical Heating & Air has compiled a list of recommendations for making the air you breathe in your home or business clearer during the smokiest portions of the year.

Sealing Your Building

Make sure your home is properly sealed to prevent outside air from entering. This includes:

  • Closing all windows and doors
  • Sealing gaps in window or door frames with weather stripping
  • Placing wet towels at the bottoms of doors to prevent air from coming in underneath
  • Monitoring Local Air Quality

You won’t want to keep wet towels under your doors all the time, but knowing when the air quality in your area is most impacted by wildfire smoke gives you an idea of when to take extra precautions. You can learn about your local air quality levels by:

  • Checking local air quality reports on airnow.gov
  • Monitoring local weather reports on TV or the radio
  • Using an app like IQAir or Breezometer

Improving Your HVAC Filters

Your furnace filter is designed to catch contaminants, but standard filters usually aren’t built to capture small particles—making them insufficient to protect you from wildfire smoke. You can upgrade your filter by purchasing a filter with a MERV rating of at least 13.

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a measurement scale specifically created for air filters by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers. You can install MERV 13 filters in most HVAC systems without needing to upgrade your equipment.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Since your air filters play a critical role in maintaining your indoor air quality, you’ll need to make sure your HVAC system runs properly throughout forest fire season. Here are some tips:

  • Change your furnace filters regularly. Most filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher should be changed every 30 to 90 days, but it’s best to change them monthly during fire season to be safe.
  • Keep the area around your air conditioner’s outdoor unit free from dust and debris, which can quickly accumulate during wildfire season. Sweeping away dust and moving twigs, branches, or other objects at least two feet away helps prevent them from entering your ducts and ensures proper airflow.
  • Schedule professional HVAC maintenance to make sure your equipment remains efficient and prevent breakdowns. It’s best to schedule an AC tune-up in the spring before wildfire season starts, and get a furnace tune-up at the end of wildfire season to make sure no damage has been done to your heating equipment before winter starts.

Buying a UV Air Purifier

UV air purifiers won’t catch particulate matter, but they do disrupt the DNA of potentially harmful microorganisms that can live in the air you breathe. The UV-C light these devices emit is harmless to humans, but effectively kills bacteria, mold, and viruses as they pass through your home’s ductwork.

Using a high-quality air filter with a high MERV rating is the best way to trap particulate matter from wildfire smoke and prevent it from entering your home’s air—but adding a UV air purifier to your HVAC system gives you the highest possible air quality at home.

The Health Benefits of Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Taking the steps above to protect yourself from the harmful effects of wildfire smoke can:

  • Reduce your risk of asthma and other respiratory problems
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and lung cancer
  • Improve your sleep quality
  • Enhance your overall quality of life by providing peace of mind

For specific suggestions on how to improve the air quality at your home or business during California’s forest fire season, contact Cencal Mechanical Heating & Air. Our experienced professionals will take your home’s features into consideration and provide an effective solution for helping you breathe easier.

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