RDHCEditor

How Can I Cool a Home That Doesn’t Have Ducts?


Summers in Jacksonville can be brutal. For most people, this is the time to crank up the air conditioning and enjoy time indoors. However, if your home doesn’t currently have an air conditioner, keeping your home cool isn’t as simple as just turning back the thermostat. Fortunately, if you need to stay cool this summer, there are several great options available, even if your home doesn’t have any existing ductwork from a previous system. Here are the systems that the pros at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling recommend to help beat the heat on the hottest days of the summer

Adding Ducts

If you don’t have ductwork in your Jacksonville home, there is always the option of adding ductwork. However, most people don’t choose this option because adding ducts to a home that’s already been built can be disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. To get the ducts where they need to be, you may have to make significant changes to the structure of your home. Plus, you’ll need to find a central location for the main system components. If you choose this option, you may need to opt for flexible ducts, which tend not to be as durable or energy efficient as their rigid counterparts. While it’s possible to add ducts to an existing home, the good news is that there are other options that are much less expensive and disruptive.

Window Units

Another potential option for cooling your home is window-unit air conditioners. The big problem with this approach is that you have to take up window space, thus blocking natural light from coming into your home. Plus, it is usually difficult to properly insulate the area around the air conditioning units. Another big drawback of these units is that you have to remove and re-install them every year so that they don’t allow cold air in during the winter. On top of that, window units tend to be fairly inefficient and noisy, not to mention that they’re unattractive. One final drawback of depending only on window units is that you can’t cool any rooms that don’t have windows, such as a basement or attic.

Portable Air Conditioners

For temporary cooling, a portable air conditioner can do an adequate job. These units only require a small duct to go through a window, making them less obtrusive than window units. Plus, since they’re portable, you can technically move them from room to room to cool your home as you move around. However, many homeowners find portable air conditioners to be inefficient, making them unsuitable for anything more than a small room. Plus, portable units take up valuable floor space that you might need for storing other items.

The Best Option: Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Of all the ductless options available to homeowners, ductless mini-split systems are the option that Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling recommends most often. That’s because these systems are efficient, quick to install, look great, and provide both cooling and heating capabilities. You can install mini-split systems in any room in your home, including basements, because the only part of the system that goes from inside to outside is the refrigerant line. The durability and versatility of mini-split systems also make them great options for garages and workshops.

Great Efficiency

As with any targeted cooling system, mini-split systems are efficient largely because you can choose which rooms in your home to cool. This means that you aren’t paying to cool your entire home at once, a much less efficient and more expensive way of maintaining comfort. Since mini-split systems are only designed to cool a single room, they can be much smaller than their whole-home counterparts. In other words, they require much less energy to operate. An added benefit of mini-split systems is that they are air-source heat pumps. This technology pumps heat from the outside air into your home, which is far more efficient than conventional heating methods. Therefore, if you are using your mini-split system to heat your home in the winter, you can enjoy year-round efficiency.

Great Ease of Use

Another feature that we at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling love about ductless mini-split systems is that they are incredibly easy to use. All you need to control the temperature in your home is a simple remote control. You can select fan speeds, heating and cooling levels, and then you can set the desired temperature without walking across the room to a thermostat. This makes mini-split systems ideal for individuals who aren’t tech-savvy and may struggle with using a typical thermostat. Plus, their small size and simple construction make it easy to clean these systems in order to maintain their efficiency. A simple dusting of the outside of the indoor unit is the majority of the maintenance that you’ll need to do.

Fast Installation

Unlike the mess and chaos of installing ductwork in your home, mini-split systems are fast and easy to install. Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling can typically install a mini-split system in just a few hours, meaning you can enjoy the comfort you deserve more quickly. Plus, with just one or two holes to drill in walls, there will be very little mess made and no extra dust released into your home’s indoor air. Once installed, a mini-split system’s indoor unit is unobtrusive and can blend in with any decor since the unit is mounted high on a wall and out of the way.

Cooling for Multiple Rooms

A great feature of a mini-split system is that you can use multiple units to provide cooling for multiple rooms. In many cases, you can tie more than one indoor unit into a single outdoor unit, saving space, wiring, and energy. This allows you to have a similar cooling capacity as you would have if you had a central air conditioner. However, in this scenario, you won’t need to add any ducts to your home, and you’ll likely save a lot on your energy bills thanks to the unique properties of mini splits that were previously discussed. The ability to control each room’s temperature individually is a great benefit that ensures you never have individuals in your family who are too hot or too cold. This is a standard of comfort that can be difficult to achieve with a conventional air conditioner without significant upgrades.

Keeping Your Home Cool All Summer Long

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, our main priority is to help keep you and your family comfortable in your Jacksonville home. That’s why we offer repair, replacement, and maintenance services for ductless mini-split air conditioners, central air conditioners and furnaces, and much more. We can also install air purification equipment, upgrade your thermostat, replace or repair your ductwork, and perform many other comfort-related services. We have been serving the area for well over 15 years, providing integrity and customer satisfaction to neighbors throughout the city. Our consistent commitment to quality service is one reason why we consistently receive five-star customer reviews. To learn more about ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems, contact the pros of Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today.

RDHCEditorHow Can I Cool a Home That Doesn’t Have Ducts?
Read More

How to Avoid AC Unit Humidity Problems


During the hot summer months, the last thing homeowners want is an air conditioner that adds humidity to their houses, especially in Jacksonville. An AC unit that functions properly should not only cool your home but actually decrease humidity levels in the process. Sometimes the humidity problems that arise while the air conditioner is running have nothing to do with the unit at all. Here are some things to think about when tackling the issue.

Dust and Dirt Are Accumulating

Now and then, air filters tend to accumulate dirt and dust. This can cause both indoor and outdoor AC units to malfunction. When the air conditioner’s coils gather dirt and dust, the unit is not able to efficiently draw heat from inside the home, leaving the air humid.

If you suspect that this may be the problem, consider doing some maintenance on your air filtration system. When your AC unit is free from dust and debris, the refrigerant cycle should begin functioning normally again.

The Evaporator Coil Is Frozen

If your AC unit’s evaporator coil is frozen, you will notice a layer of ice forming over it. A frozen evaporator coil is typically caused by either a lack of airflow or a lack of refrigerant flowing through the coil. Since both of these problems require significant maintenance, it is best to call an HVAC professional.

Your AC Unit Is Not the Right Size for Your Home

An air conditioner will be able to cool your house most effectively if it is the right size. If you have a large AC unit that is only cooling a relatively small amount of space, the system will run for short cycles. If your AC does not run for long enough, it will not be able to cool your house evenly or sufficiently pull the moisture from the air. On the other hand, if your AC unit is small but you have a large amount of space to cool, it will work as hard as it can and still fall short of making your residence cool and dry.

As a general rule of thumb, you should multiply the total square footage of your home by 20 to figure out how many BTUs (British thermal units) your AC unit will need to provide. For example, if you live in a 1,500-square-foot house, you will want a cooling system capable of providing about 30,000 BTUs.

The Thermostat Is Not Set Correctly

If your AC unit’s thermostat is set to “AUTO”, the system should cool and dehumidify the air whenever the fan begins to run. If it is set to “ON,” however, the unit’s fan will run continuously, interfering with the cooling and dehumidifying process. Be sure the thermostat is set to “AUTO” and not to “ON.”

There Are Too Many People in the House

When there is a large number of people crowded into a single space, your AC unit will simply not be able to cool and dehumidify your house as effectively. If it is a hot day, consider spending time with guests outdoors until the AC has enough time to sufficiently cool down your home.

Carpeting and Windows

While carpets provide any room with a nice aesthetic, they tend to retain moisture. Although your AC unit should be able to remove moisture from the air, it has a much more difficult time doing so from carpets and other fabrics. If moist carpets are bothersome, consider removing them and replacing them with something more water-resistant like tile flooring.

Additionally, condensation tends to build up quickly on windows. Lining your windows with storm coating or plastic film can aid in reducing and even eliminating moisture buildup while your cooling system is operating.

Your Unit Is Using Too Much Refrigerant

Just as a lack of refrigerant can cause problems within your AC unit, so can too much refrigerant. Too much refrigerant can overcharge the unit, resulting in a lower cooling capacity and eventually causing the compressor to burn out.

A thermal expansion valve might be just what you need in this case. A thermal expansion valve, or TXV, will adjust the amount of refrigerant being used so that the unit is always receiving exactly what it requires. This allows the evaporator coil to remove heat and humidity, regardless of the current temperature or circumstance.

Excess Moisture From Beneath Your House

In climates characterized by significant rainfall, the soil beneath the foundation of homes can hold quite a bit of moisture. This is one of the main reasons that basements tend to be the most humid part of a house — particularly those that are not insulated well and do not have windows.

One of the biggest things that you can do is ensure that your gutters and downspouts are working correctly. If rainwater is not being properly directed away from the house’s foundation, moisture is bound to penetrate the home.

Cooking and Other Activities Naturally Add Moisture

Water vapor from cooking will bring up humidity levels significantly. If your oven has a ventilation fan, make sure that it is running whenever you are boiling water or using the stove. If you do not have a ventilation fan above your stove, purchasing one can make a profound difference.

Other activities like showering can also contribute to excess moisture. Taking cooler showers and making sure that your bathroom’s ventilation fans are working are great ways to combat this nuisance.

Your AC Unit Is Too Old

Even top-quality AC units cannot work well forever. This is particularly true for air conditioners that have not been consistently maintained. While some problems within the system can be fixed fairly easily, others cannot be. If you are trying to decide whether to have your unit repaired or replaced altogether, there are a couple of things to think about.

If your AC unit has been cooling your home for 10 to 15 years, it is probably best to get it replaced. Making proper repairs at this point would likely be more expensive and inconvenient than simply purchasing a new unit.

If you think an AC system of a different size or brand might be a better fit for your house, then buying a new one is probably the optimal thing to do. An air conditioner that is too big, too small, or otherwise lacking in compatibility with your house’s structure will see little to no improvements upon being repaired.

Invest in a Dehumidifier

If you live in a humid climate, sometimes even a perfectly functional AC unit will not be able to keep your home as dry as you would like. A dehumidifier that can support your air conditioner is a worthwhile purchase.

With drier air, your AC unit will cool your house much more quickly and will not need to work as hard. Even having a single humidifier in a room that tends to retain a large amount of humidity can make all the difference.

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we are ready to tackle HVAC problems in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding areas. With additional services such as heating, UV lighting, ventilation testing, air quality, and more, our team of experts is committed to providing you with the highest level of comfort year-round. Give us a call today, and let our professionals get to work on your home!

RDHCEditorHow to Avoid AC Unit Humidity Problems
Read More

Different HVAC Systems and Their Lifespan


An HVAC system is a major purchase for any homeowner. It’s important to know how long your system will last before buying it. We’ll look at the average lifespan of different types of HVAC systems and what you can do to prolong the life of your new system.

Central Air Conditioner

Very few things in life are as essential as a central air conditioner. Most units have a lifespan of about 15 years. Several factors can affect how long your unit will last, such as the quality of the unit, installation, maintenance, and how often it is used. You can help extend the lifespan of your air conditioner by having it serviced regularly and using it wisely.

At [company_name], we typically recommend that our customers have their systems serviced every two years. This helps to ensure that your system is running efficiently and effectively, and it also helps to prolong its lifespan.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps typically last between 10 and 15 years. Proper installation and maintenance are key to extending the lifespan of your heat pump. Checking and replacing the air filter every month is crucial to helping the pump operate to its full potential, as well as keeping the area around your heat pump clear of debris and scheduling yearly tune-ups with a qualified HVAC technician.

Gas Furnace

The average lifespan of a gas furnace is 15 to 20 years. Regular maintenance will help keep it running properly and allow the furnace to continue heating your home to its full potential.

Rely on Professionals

The lifespan of an HVAC system depends on many factors, including the type of unit, the quality of the installation, and the level of maintenance. [company_name] is a heating & air conditioning company providing quality services. We offer a wide range of services including installation, repair, maintenance, and customer financing. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule a consultation!

RDHCEditorDifferent HVAC Systems and Their Lifespan
Read More

Proudly Serving North Florida