AC Repair Appointment from the Mechanic’s Perspective

Air Conditioning Repair San DiegoWhat happens when your AC system suddenly breaks down and you have to call a mechanic to handle your air conditioning repair in San Diego? Our clients are often curious, some even distrustful as to what is actually going on behind the scenes. This is why we asked one of our leading mechanics to describe in detail what a typical AC repair appointment looks like from a mechanic’s perspective.

Dismiss the Obvious

The first thing we do when we come to your home is check the thermostat. It might seem trivial, but you would be surprised how often an AC crisis boils down to an improperly-set thermostat. We will check that it is set to a low temperature and then lower it further to see if the AC will kick in. A malfunctioning or incorrectly installed wiring can prove to be the source of the problem more often than you think. If this is not the case, we take a look at the circuit breaker box. We flip the switches on and off to see if that helps.

Discovering the Problem

If these few initial steps fail, we go further into the trial and error process. We will examine the equipment and eliminate one possible reason after another. We often find homeowners tend to become impatient during this particular step, as discovering the root of the problem can last anywhere between five minutes and a few hours. First we’ll check the air filter to verify that it is unobstructed and that it doesn’t need replacing. Then, we eliminate short-cycling and move on to the refrigerant levels, the air condenser and try to determine whether the AC is suitable to cover the size of your home. Finally, we examine the wiring, electronic and safety controls.

Solving the Problem

Once we’ve found what’s causing the trouble, we will explain to the homeowners what the problem is and offer the best solution. We will explain which parts are broken and what it means for your AC system.

We will offer the best possible solution to your problem. Sometimes it involves changing the part that’s causing the trouble, sometimes we might have to upgrade some parts of the AC or the AC itself. If your AC is past its expiration date, we might suggest getting a brand new one. Many homeowners dismiss this as trying to sell them expensive equipment and hire shady companies to patch up their AC. This patching can go on for years for years, and homeowners end up paying more for repairs than an actual brand new AC. If we determine that your AC is beyond repair, we will let you know the benefits of getting a new one, but the decision is ultimately up to you.

After we’ve solved the issue, we tell homeowners what caused the malfunction and offer advice on how to properly maintain the AC unit so that it lasts longer. Proper maintenance is crucial as it can double the life expectancy of your AC system and does not void the warranty in most cases. We will offer our clients an affordable biannual maintenance plan to take care of their AC units so they won’t have to worry about that themselves. Again, whether you want to schedule an annual maintenance is entirely up to you.

Finally, after we’ve explained what went wrong, if replacing a part of several parts is the best course of action, we will order replacements and set up a new appointment as soon as these replacements become available. If we have the spare part at our disposal, we will replace them right away.

The Best Air Conditioning Repair San Diego

Now that you know the story behind a typical AC repair appointment, we hope you have more perspective on what you are signing up for when you request our services. Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing is a respectable, family-owned business serving San Diego and the surrounding areas for over 10 years. Our technicians are factory-trained and seasoned experts with years of practical experience. You can rely on them to quickly find and fix the issue, and expect a friendly service from the moment they come into your home.

Meet the Carini Family and Crew at the Kensington Memorial Day Parade

Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing will be handing out flag fans at the Kensington Memorial Day Parade in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA – The Carini Heating, Air and Plumbing family and our installation and service crews will be marching down Marlborough Ave. in the Kensington Memorial Day Parade, Monday, June 26 at 10:30 AM. We’ll be walking in front of our brand new truck in all its wrapped glory, and will be handing out American flag fans to parade watchers along the parade route.

“Since our company’s inception, we have worked in many Kensington homes as part of our focus on heating and air conditioning and air conditioning repair in San Diego vintage homes,” said company founder and CEO Gabriel Carini. “Members of our family, Lorraine Iverson, our CFO and VP of Human Resources, and Doug Cooper, our VP of Marketing and Customer Service, are both long time residents of Kensington and active in neighborhood social and community groups.” Read more

Beware of Duct Cleaning Scams

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — While there are many air conditioning services that will help you save energy and money, there is one that is a waste of money for the majority of people with residential HVAC systems.

“What some San Diego heating and air conditioning companies are doing is offering a cut-rate deal on ductwork cleaning, then convincing homeowners once inside the home that they need additional, pricey services for the sake of their health,” says Gabriel Carini.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. ( Not only is duct cleaning typically ineffective, there is also a good chance that portions of the system and ductwork will be damaged in the process. Meanwhile, these services can cost anywhere from $450 to $1,000, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region and the level of contamination.

“I’ve had personal experience with duct cleaning and have seen how much damage it can cause. Most companies use a disinfectant spray that has a nice smell to it that fools the customer into thinking the ducts are clean,” Carini says.

NBC’s Dateline did a hidden-camera investigation about duct cleaning companies back in 2011 and found that many of them were using these bait and switch marketing tactics. Some businesses were prosecuted for fraud and shut down but just moved to open businesses in another state. (

The threat is still a problem. The Better Business Bureau published a press release in January about companies in Texas that are scamming people after receiving complaints from consumers in the greater Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth areas. (

“Instead of trying to clean dirty ductwork, I would recommend putting the money into replacing or sealing it, so you know that the ducts are clean and intact,” says Carini. “If ductwork is truly dirty, identifying the source of the problem and correcting it is the only way to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Some problems with ductwork are easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for, but an air conditioning technician can determine exactly what the problem is and recommend the best long-term solution. These are the two most common causes of dirty ductwork:Flexible ductwork may have tears in the protective coating, kinks, flattened areas, exposed insulation or poor sealing at joints – all of which can allow dirt and pollutants to be sucked into the ductwork to be circulated through your home.

  • Flexible ductwork may have tears in the protective coating, kinks, flattened areas, exposed insulation or poor sealing at joints – all of which can allow dirt and pollutants to be sucked into the ductwork to be circulated through your home.
  • Sometimes the culprit of damaged ductwork is wildlife that has made its home inside your home. Roof rats, squirrels and raccoons can severely damage flexible ductwork and compromise your system.

“Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, replaced or sealed, committing to a routine preventive maintenance program is essential to minimize duct contamination and keep your system running properly,”

No matter what you decide, finding the right company to take care of your heating and air conditioning needs is extremely important like we’ve talked about on our blog before. ( Some heating and cooling services providers are more interested in making money than their customers’ best interest. They may use technicians with no education, training or certifications or rely on high-pressure sales tactics to get you to buy services you don’t need.

“While I wouldn’t advise people get their ductwork cleaned, if they’re convinced they need it I’d recommend getting a reputable business to give them an estimate and to check with the BBB and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association before hiring them,” says Carini.


Air Conditioning and Heating Duct Options That Fit Your Needs and Preferences

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Gabriel Carini, a San Diego air conditioning service expert, offers ducting for different applications, for clients who are repairing or replacing whole house heating and cooling systems.

The Carini Heating and Air Conditioning owner says the company offers a variety of ducting options, including alternatives that improve indoor air quality or for dampening sound in houses or commercial buildings.

Music studios, theater rooms or other locations where extreme quiet is desired are best suited for ductwork focused on sound dampening. Carini uses acoustical ductwork as one method of reducing the overall noise associated with an HVAC system. Read more

Preserving the Vintage Look Without Compromising On Efficiency

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Many older and historic neighborhoods have older homes with special heating, ventilation and air conditioning requirements, which complicates the process of finding a HVAC company when remodeling or updating a vintage home.

“Finding a contractor who specializes in that area is crucial to getting the result you want,” says Gabriel Carini San Diego heating and air conditioning expert. His company, Carini Air Conditioning and Heating, is experienced in repairing, retrofitting and remodeling the HVAC systems of homes in San Diego historic neighborhoods, such as Kensington, North Park, Mission Hills, South Park, Hillcrest and Bankers Hill. Read more