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Importance of Regular Furnace Servicing

Since those winter nights in Jacksonville can get a bit chilly, you want to make sure your furnace is ready to work. Your furnace is an investment, and you want to keep it in good condition. Regular servicing ensures that a professional can quickly identify any issues and fix them before they become bigger problems or leave you cold in the middle of the night. Learning more about this service, when to get it and what it entails will help you to better understand why it is so important.

Why You Should Service Your Furnace

You know that regular furnace maintenance will extend its lifespan, but there are other reasons to make sure you service your furnace regularly. When your furnace is working properly, you can ensure that your home is comfortable throughout the colder months. You can trust the temperature that you set is the one your home will reach.

A maintained furnace can help with your home’s air quality. When you keep your furnace clean and change your filters according to an expert’s recommendations, there are fewer air impurities in your home. This is beneficial for everyone in your home but especially those with respiratory illnesses and allergies.

You will also get some peace of mind when you service your furnace. This is because you can be confident that the technician will catch any issues and repair or replace the parts before your furnace can break down and leave your family in the cold.

What Are Common Furnace Problems?

Knowing the common furnace issues makes it easier to identify a problem as soon as it starts. Some common problems can affect all homeowners, reducing their furnace efficiency or compromising its function.

For example, your furnace might not kick on as it should. This might be due to something simple, like a switch in the “off” position or a tripped breaker. Dirty filters can also prevent your furnace from starting as usual. If you address these issues and your furnace still doesn’t start, it’s time to call a professional. You may have a more serious issue with the motor, thermostat, or another critical part of your furnace.

You may notice that your furnace is blowing cold air instead of hot air. The first thing to check is if the furnace has power and if the fan is working. Issues, such as a blockage affecting the fresh-air intake or a failing ignitor can also cause this problem. All of these issues are something that a professional should tackle.

If the blower is running constantly, this could mean that the thermostat is in the on position instead of the auto position. If this is not the case, you should have a professional look for a broken thermostat or a problem with the system’s control board.

Weird smells and noises can also indicate a problem with your furnace. If you notice an abnormal odor, you might need to change the filter. Other issues that can cause this include mold on the drip pan or a problem with your ductwork. Strange noises could occur as a result of furnace cabinet leaks, worn motor bearings, or a dirty filter.

Is your furnace cycling frequently or short-cycling? This is a common problem that could be linked to the filter or thermostat. Other more serious problems, like the flame sensor, can also cause this, which is why talking to a professional is so vital.

How Often You Should Service Your Furnace

The general recommendation is that you should have a professional furnace servicing during the fall season. You want to ensure that your system is ready for the cold temperatures before they become the norm for the next several months. Ideally, you will do this every year so that should a component start to wear or break, an experienced technician will see it and can tackle the repair or replacement.

Not only will this help to prolong the life of your system, but it will also help you to save energy since your furnace will be running efficiently. On average, about 75% of calls to HVAC professionals during the winter for no heat are due to the furnace not having regular maintenance.

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is also lower in homes that have regular furnace servicing. Keeping your furnace maintenance appointments every year helps to ensure that the parts that can emit this gas when they are bad are caught before something bad happens. If an experienced technician tells you that there is a carbon monoxide danger, make sure that you do not use your furnace until a professional can complete the repair.

Signs You Should Service Your Furnace

Your furnace will usually tell you when there is a problem. The key is to know what to be aware of so that you know when it is time to call in a professional.

Several signs that indicate your furnace needs some attention include:

  • Low airflow
  • Uneven heating
  • Airflow changes
  • Unusual noises
  • Abnormal smells
  • Increased energy bills
  • Unusually long runtime
  • Short cycling

Important Furnace Maintenance Tasks

Having a professional come in for annual furnace service is critical to keep your furnace operating properly. The professional will perform several tasks after inspecting to make sure that your furnace is ready for winter.

They will replace your filter and let you know how often you should complete this task. The environment in your home and the manufacturer recommendations associated with your furnace will determine how often this task is necessary.

A professional will take a look at your thermostat and make sure that it is operating properly They will also turn heating mode on to ensure that your furnace is putting out the right temperature.

Technicians will look at the different parts, such as the combustion chamber, pilot light, and heat exchanger. They will make sure that these are clean and that there are no structural issues that could cause them to fail.

The next step is cleaning the blower motor and the gas valve. They will adjust this valve if it is necessary. Looking at the wires is another important step because they can see if there are burns on them.

One of the final steps is looking at the ductwork and flue. They will let you know if these require cleaning before you start to use your furnace for the winter.

Lastly, a professional will make sure that there are no gas leaks in your system. This is critical because leaks could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or even an explosion.

Professional Furnace Servicing in Jacksonville

Make sure to get furnace servicing completed on a regular schedule to keep everything functioning safely and efficiently. Our team in Jacksonville has experience that allows us to handle a wide variety of your heating needs. Whether you just need some routine maintenance or a major repair, we are here to help you. As the weather gets warmer, we can also help to ensure that your cooling system is ready for those hot Jacksonville days.

Contact Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today for your next furnace servicing appointment.

RYNO SolutionsImportance of Regular Furnace Servicing
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7 Reasons Why Your AC Is Running But Not Blowing Cold Air

7 Reasons Why Your AC Is Running But Not Blowing Cold Air

There are many reasons why your AC can be running but not cooling. A faulty air conditioner can result in high energy bills and an uncomfortable indoor environment. If your system is not cooling, it does not always mean it will cost you much money on repairs or replacements. Calling a professional to fix the problem can be beneficial since they get to the root of the problem. Here are some common causes of an air conditioner blowing warm or temperate air.

1. Incorrect Thermostat Settings

The main function of the thermostat in your home is to monitor the ambient air temperature and send signals to your HVAC unit. These signals tell your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner to heat or cool the home until it is within an acceptable temperature range set by you. Once it attains the set temperature, the thermostat monitors the air and turns the system on again as needed.

The thermostat is the first thing you should check if your unit is running but not cooling. Ensure it is functioning and set to cool. Its settings might have been interfered with by someone in your household. You can check this yourself in a few ways. First, get a different room thermometer and compare it to the temperature shown on the display. Keep in mind that the heat sensor for the thermostat may not be located at the thermostat display. Be sure that you are comparing the location at the heat sensor as there may be slight differences in each room of the house.

The second thing you can do to check the thermostat is to change the temperature when the AC is not running. If the unit turns on within a few minutes, it is likely that the thermostat is functioning correctly. If not, share your concerns with your professional HVAC company.

2. Clogged or Blocked Air Filters

Your air conditioner has an air filter located in or around the indoor air handler unit. This filter catches dirt, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles. It keeps the components of your AC unit cleaner and operating more efficiently. It also keeps the air inside your home cleaner and breathable. An overly clogged or dirty air filter can impede airflow and prevent the air conditioner from functioning efficiently. Cooled air will be circulated inside your home at a lower volume, creating an uncomfortable environment. It can make your system strain, leading to high energy bills. Over time, a clogged filter can cause wear on your system.

You should inspect your filter every one to three months, depending on how dirty it becomes. Change the filters as needed by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you own pets or have someone in your home that suffers from allergies, you may want to change your filters more frequently. If the problem does not change, you may have a bigger issue requiring a professional diagnosis.

3. Frozen Evaporator Coils

One of the most common reasons your AC may run but not cool is that the evaporator coils are frozen. In such a situation, air fails to flow properly through the coils, preventing the AC from doing its job. The main job of the evaporator coil is to cool the refrigerant to absorb the heat from the indoor air. As the fan blows air over the coil, the refrigerant becomes cold and vaporous. The refrigerant then absorbs heat from indoor air and flows to the outside unit, where it goes through compression to become a hot gas. Cooler air is then circulated back into your home. Frozen evaporator coils impede normal air cooling, meaning your unit will blow warm air.

A frozen evaporator coil can result from insufficient airflow. Insufficient airflow can result from clogged air filters, low fan speed, or a refrigerant leak. Frost over the evaporator coils makes the AC unit work twice as hard, which can increase your electricity bill. Some signs to look out for to identify frozen evaporator coils are inadequate cooling, higher utility bills, and excessive condensate drainage near your indoor unit. In some cases, you may be able to see frost on the fins of your outdoor unit.

4. Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant is a chemical that facilitates the cooling process. The refrigerant in an air conditioner is in a closed-loop system. Therefore, it does not require a refill. However, the levels can be depleted if there is a leakage in the refrigerant lines. Low refrigerant levels can reduce the cooling inside your home and increase indoor humidity. Low refrigerant can also affect the compressor over time. Refrigerant is a hazardous chemical that requires special training and knowledge to handle. Work with a professional if you suspect this issue.

5. Undersized AC or Poor Installation

An undersized air conditioner cannot adequately cool your indoor space, so the system will need to run for long periods to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in higher energy bills. The system may also turn on and off frequently without completing a cooling cycle. This is known as short cycling. The system has to work extra hard to ensure the temperature is stabilized. The AC may also have limited capability to remove humidity from the air. Undersized unit is among the most common mistakes homeowners make when purchasing a new AC. You must seek guidance from a qualified technician to ensure you have the appropriate AC size for your indoor space. Poor AC installation can also lead to cooling problems.

6. Old Air Conditioning Unit

Older AC models are less efficient than new models due to a combination of age and technological improvements. An air conditioner with good maintenance should last 10 to 15 years. As a result, if your unit is reaching the end of its lifespan, it may not be cooling as well, or as efficiently, as it could.

7. Fan Problems

Your air conditioner uses a fan to push cool air into the home. If there is no air at all coming out of the vents, this is a good sign that the fan is stuck or the motor is burned out. Even if you hear the compressor running, the fan may not be.

There are several ways that you can check to see if this is your issue. First, confirm that there is no air at all coming out of the system. You can hold a tissue in front of the vent to see if there is any airflow. Next, inspect the air conditioner to see if the fan is visible. This will first confirm whether it is spinning, but it is also an opportunity to see if outdoor debris is blocking the fan’s ability to spin. If you wish to examine the fan more closely, be sure to turn off all power to the air conditioner before touching the fan. You can look for asymmetry in the fan, too. Fans may stop spinning when they are out of balance or the blades are bent.

Fan issues may be simple if the blades or an electrical connection are the cause. If your fan motor is burnt out, it will likely be a more complicated repair. As always, it’s best to call a professional to confirm these issues and perform service.

Call the Experts

There is no reason to panic if your AC is running but not blowing cold air. You can expect quality AC service when you rely on us at Reliable Ducts. We offer residential HVAC services, including installations and maintenance services, to the residents of Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. If you also need indoor air quality and air duct cleaning services, we are here to help. Call us today at Reliable Ducts and schedule an appointment.

RDACadmin7 Reasons Why Your AC Is Running But Not Blowing Cold Air
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Why You Should Invest in a Dehumidifier for Your Home

Humidity levels in North Florida present their own set of unique challenges for homeowners. Excess humidity can lead to a myriad of problems, like an uncomfortable living environment and unnecessary wear and tear on your HVAC system. At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, our expert technicians have seen how difficult humidity can make air quality control. That’s why we recommend top-of-the-line dehumidifier solutions to combat these humidity-related issues. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits many local homeowners experience when they add a dehumidifier to their homes.

1. Reduced Energy Consumption

When you turn on your air conditioner, your home becomes cooler and less humid. This makes the space a lot more comfortable. Unfortunately, many homeowners believe that this is a good answer to the humidity issue in their living environment. While it certainly feels more comfortable in the short term, the truth is that using the air conditioner to lower humidity is not a sustainable solution. Running your air conditioner for the purpose of dehumidification puts undue strain on your HVAC system. This leads to increased energy consumption, higher utility bills, and more frequent repairs.

Additionally, your air conditioner wasn’t designed to keep up with rising humidity levels. On days with high humidity outside, or when someone in your house is cooking or taking a shower, the humidity inside will increase. Meanwhile, your air conditioner will keep straining to attempt to resolve the issue.

A dehumidifier lowers humidity levels and the burden on your air conditioning unit to perform jobs outside the scope of its intended use. This saves energy and creates a more cost-effective and sustainable solution.

2. Keep Your HVAC System Working Well

Not only will a dehumidifier save on the amount of energy your air conditioner uses, but it can also prolong the life of your HVAC system and help it work well. High humidity levels force your HVAC system to work harder, resulting in increased wear and tear. By reducing the workload on your home’s existing air systems, your dehumidifier works to save you money on AC repairs and replacements.

3. Promote Healthier Air in Your Home

High humidity levels create an ideal environment for mold, mildew, and bacteria. These irritants can create allergies and respiratory problems for you and your family.

By maintaining optimal humidity levels, a dehumidifier minimizes the presence of these irritants, improving indoor air quality and safeguarding your family’s health.

4. Make Your Home a More Comfortable Space

Daily activities can quickly become uncomfortable when your home is excessively humid. For example, activities like cooking and showering add to the overall humidity and become activities to avoid. It’s difficult to imagine working out in your home environment when the air feels sticky. When the humidity feels uncomfortable enough, people would rather spend money going out to places where the air feels dryer than stay in and enjoy their own homes.

A dehumidifier can eliminate stickiness and discomfort, allowing you to enjoy a pleasant living environment. These devices are designed to keep up, no matter what activities you do in your space. For many people, this means feeling free to cook dinner, even on summer evenings in the Florida heat.

5. Eliminate Nasty Odors

Mold, mildew, and bacteria love damp environments. Unfortunately, this leads to unpleasant odors. If you’ve ever walked into a musty basement, you’re familiar with the unpleasant smell humidity can cause. Unfortunately, these smells can sometimes go unnoticed until they become overpowering, making it even harder to tell where they’re coming from.

Regulating your home’s humidity levels reduces bacterial growth. This then reduces the chance of musty odors invading your home space. A dehumidifier ensures that you have a fresher and more pleasant-smelling home to enjoy.

6. Safeguard Against Home Damage

Jacksonville’s consistently high humidity levels can cause damage to your home’s structure over time. Some of the common issues homeowners face include peeling paint, warped wood, rot, and weakened foundations. A dehumidifier eliminates excess moisture, protecting the integrity of your home and saving you from expensive repairs.

7. Keep Your Belongings Safe

Furniture, electronics, and other prized belongings are also at risk of damage from mold growth, warping, and rot. The items stored in a closet, basement, or attic are particularly at risk. These spaces where homeowners tend to store their most precious items are also the spaces that don’t get a lot of airflow and so they are at the highest risk of damage due to high humidity levels.

Installing a dehumidifier ensures optimal humidity levels throughout a home, which then safeguards valuable possessions.

8. Avoid the Troubles of Condensation

Many homeowners view condensation as a nuisance, but it’s much worse than that. Excess humidity promotes condensation, which can cling to walls and surfaces. Over time, this seemingly small issue can lead to water damage and the growth of mold and mildew.

This is a particularly common issue in bathrooms. Many homeowners first notice the problems caused by condensation as their showers turn slick, develop a pink film, or dark mold grows between the tiles. Even though they try to clean their bathroom as often as possible, they can’t keep up with the mold and mildew. This is a chronic issue caused by excess humidity and condensation.

A dehumidifier can reduce humidity levels, preventing the common problems caused by excessive condensation.

9. Enjoy Peace of Mind

Every homeowner wants to know that their home is a safe place for their family to enjoy. No one wants to go through their day with added worries nagging in the back of their mind.

Adding a dehumidifier provides homeowners with the peace of mind they deserve. It eliminates concerns about excess humidity and its detrimental effects on a home and the health of everyone who lives there. Every time they enter their space and feel the dry, refreshing air, they know they can relax. At the end of the day, this is truly the best benefit a dehumidifier or any air quality control measure can bring.

Consult the Experts

Improving your indoor air quality and comfort is a worthy investment. Adding a dehumidifier to your home is an essential step toward creating a healthier and more comfortable space for you and your family. When it comes to taking this kind of proactive step toward improving your indoor air quality and comfort, it is essential to consult professionals. Our highly skilled technicians have earned Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling a long-standing reputation as a trusted industry leader in Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding area. We are a family-run business that prides itself on providing our community with customer-focused services.

Our highly skilled team can assess your home’s specific needs, considering factors such as climate, existing moisture issues, and the size of your property. With our expertise, we will recommend the ideal dehumidifier for your personal requirements. In addition, our team works on repairing, installing, and performing regular maintenance for air conditioning and heating systems as well. In fact, we perform many air quality services including duct cleaning, ventilation testing, and installing UV air purifiers.

Take the first step toward a healthier and more comfortable home. Contact Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today for more information on our air quality and dehumidifier solutions.

RDHCEditorWhy You Should Invest in a Dehumidifier for Your Home
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5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet

5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet

Your air conditioner is a substantial appliance that can consume your money if you’re not careful. From constantly fluctuating energy costs to repairs and eventually to a replacement, these air conditioner needs can come with a hefty price tag. That’s why you want to take advantage of every opportunity you can to reign in your costs while running your unit. Discover how getting annual AC maintenance will help reduce those costs over the life of your system and what happens during maintenance that controls them.

1. Less Lost Energy

Your energy costs are going to fluctuate from day to day, month to month, and year to year based on the weather and the current cost of electricity. While you can’t control every aspect of the cost of power, you can try to normalize the amount of power your air conditioner consumes throughout its life.

When you purchased and installed your air conditioner, it was rated for a specific efficiency, known as SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This rating assumes a certain operating environment, including no airflow restrictions and that every part of your AC is operating optimally.

However, as your system runs, it naturally begins losing some of that efficiency for a variety of reasons. The goal of air conditioner maintenance is to keep your system running at its peak efficiency. Neglecting maintenance only causes that efficiency to slowly degrade over the life of your system, driving up your energy consumption and your utility costs.

2. Fewer and Less Expensive Repairs

Aside from energy costs, your system’s efficiency is also directly tied to system breakdowns and the severity of those problems. By keeping your air conditioner maintained properly each year, you reduce the wear on the system, which lowers the number of repairs you’ll need.

It also helps reduce the severity of those repairs by catching them early. Your technician performs a whole list of tests during maintenance. This testing is designed to identify problems early, before they cause substantial strain on the entire system, which is usually before you’d notice a difference in how your unit operates. When a component does wear out, you end up replacing a minor component rather than replacing something more expensive, like the compressor.

3. Longer Service Life

Nationally, the average air conditioner will last roughly 10 to 15 years. In Florida, we have excess salt in the air, especially in coastal regions like Jacksonville. This excess salt accelerates wear on the outside condensing unit, usually shortening the life to around 8-12 years.

That expected service life is dependent on the unit receiving proper maintenance. As we’ve previously discussed, your system will lose efficiency over time, which causes individual components to wear more quickly. The condensing coil may develop a leak due to the wear from the salt. All of this adds up and leads to the need for more frequent replacements.

Even if your system hasn’t reached its intended age, there are two ways to determine when it’s time. The first is if any one repair or set of repairs is more than 50% of the cost of a new system. The second is looking at all of the repairs over the last two years and multiplying those costs by the age of the unit. If that equals or exceeds the cost of a new system, it’s time for a replacement. You can see how having more repairs due to neglected maintenance will accelerate both of these equations.

4. Less Risk of Emergency Repair Fees

Air conditioners tend to have the most problems during the hottest weather when we depend on them the most. This happens because the hotter and more humid the weather is outside, the more the compressor has to work to vent the heat the refrigerant absorbed from inside your home.

When you have a breakdown when it’s oppressively hot and humid, getting your system back up and running is a matter of not only comfort but also safety. When these repairs happen during off-business hours, you end up paying extra for the emergency service, which can significantly increase the cost of your repairs.

5. Protects Your Factory Warranty

You want to make sure that if your system breaks down during its warranty period that the manufacturer is going to cover the costs. However, most people don’t take the time to read the details of the warranty, which often include a term that stipulates you’ll have your system maintained.

Manufacturers include this term because they understand how important routine maintenance is to keep the system operating efficiently. As the efficiency wanes, the wear increases, and parts fail prematurely. By getting routine maintenance, you protect that warranty and ensure you don’t end up paying for repairs due to manufacturing defects.

Understanding AC Maintenance

Now that you’ve seen the ways annual AC maintenance reduces costs, let’s explore how it does that. Like any mechanical system, your air conditioner will wear over time. Some of that wear happens because of airflow restrictions in the system. Other wear happens because of increased electrical resistance due to loose electrical connections. There’s also the wear from excessive vibration caused by loose mounting hardware. Finally, there’s wear when any part of the system doesn’t operate within optimal parameters.

The first thing your maintenance technician does is inspect and clean your system. The visual inspection is looking for signs of corrosion and wear, which indicate there may be internal problems that need attention. Then they’ll move on to cleaning the system. They’ll inspect your air filter to see if it’s time for a replacement. Then, they clean the parts where airborne contaminants settle while it runs, which eventually causes airflow restrictions. In particular, this includes the evaporator coil inside, the circulating fan wheel, and the condensing coil outside.

Next, they look for any connections that have come loose. As your system runs and vibrates, it will loosen electrical connections and mounting hardware. A loose electrical connection causes increased resistance, which increases heat and then wears on connected components. Loose mounting hardware allows components like the compressor, blower motor, and condensing fan motor to move while running, potentially causing damage. Your technician will check and tighten these connections and hardware throughout your system to reduce wear.

Finally, they’ll run a series of tests. Some individual components get special testing, like your condensing capacitor, to check the resistance moving through the component. The technician will check the level of refrigerant in your system to make sure that it’s not low and causing excess strain on your compressor. Then, they’ll test the entire system to ensure that it cycles on appropriately, that all parts of the system are engaging at the right time, and that it produces the proper temperature drop in the air coming from your vents.

People around Jacksonville know and trust the experts at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling to keep their homes comfortable throughout the year. Our technicians proudly provide heating and AC maintenance, repair, and installation together with indoor air quality solutions and duct cleaning. Call to schedule your air conditioning maintenance appointment with one of our friendly technicians today.

RDHCEditor5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet
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Preparing Your HVAC System for the Summer Months in Florida

The summer months in Jacksonville and its surrounding areas can get pretty hot and humid. It’s essential to have a functioning HVAC system when it’s time to switch from heat to air conditioning. In order to ensure the reliability of your system and its related equipment, there are some steps you should take to prepare for the summer. These HVAC tips can get you ready for a cool and enjoyable summer, regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. 


Checking and Replacing Your Filter


It seems too easy to be important, but replacing your HVAC filter is crucial for a number of reasons. For starters, a clean filter will help promote healthy indoor air quality in your home. A clogged filter can cause problems with airflow throughout your HVAC system, which could compromise the comfort of your indoor air. Not to mention, restricted airflow could also result in damage to your equipment. 


It’s a good idea to check your filter monthly to see if it needs to be changed. Most filters require replacement every 30 to 90 days. However, make sure it’s also part of your summer HVAC maintenance checklist. 


Assessing Ductwork and Vents


Ductwork is an area of the home that you can’t evaluate very well without the help of a professional. HVAC technicians can use specialized equipment to see into the depths of your ductwork. They can provide you with a report on how dirty or clean your ducts are. If they are coated in a lot of dust, dirt, or other particulates, professional cleaning may be in order before summer arrives. This will prevent the interior components of your furnace and air conditioning system from becoming clogged and dirty, which can decrease efficiency. The decreased life expectancy of your equipment can also be an issue if you don’t keep these components clean and clear. 


Dirty and clogged vents can be a common issue that should be addressed before summer arrives. Check the vents in your home to confirm that they don’t look dirty and are not covered by any items in the room. You should also keep vents open to promote proper airflow throughout your home. 


Schedule Annual HVAC Maintenance


It’s ideal that you have routine maintenance performed on your HVAC system once per year. Spring into early summer is the perfect time to make that appointment. A professional tune-up of your HVAC system will include a number of steps. A technician will inspect the interior electrical components of your furnace and air conditioning unit. If any minor damage is spotted, repairs can be made right away before major problems develop. This appointment will also include checking refrigerant levels in your air conditioning unit, checking your filter, cleaning drains, and checking the internal motor. 


Once you have had an annual maintenance appointment completed, you can make this a yearly event. Most HVAC companies will contact you again next year when it comes time to schedule another appointment. Routine maintenance is worth the time and money, so you know that you can rely on a cool and comfortable home even in the middle of a heat wave. Failing to keep up with your annual maintenance could even void your warranty.


Outdoor Preparation


While a lot of your HVAC equipment is present on the interior of your home, there is outdoor work that should be addressed as well. Homes that have a central air conditioning system will have a condenser outside. Before you use this equipment to cool your home during the summer months, make sure that the area is clear. There may be debris, brush, or branches that have positioned themselves around your air conditioner. They should be carefully removed to promote proper airflow. A technician can also open up this air conditioning unit to check its interior components. This includes refrigerant levels and electrical connections. 


Make the Most of Your HVAC System


If you run an air conditioner during the hot summer months, there are some things you can do in the spring to maximize the performance of your cooling system. HVAC companies tend to see a lot of air conditioner repairs in the summer months. Generally, this is because of overuse. The more you use your equipment, the more likely it is to break down. You will make a few changes to the interior of your home to help circulate cool air and keep it contained all summer. 


If you have ceiling fans installed in your home, they can be run in tandem with your air conditioner to distribute cold air throughout each room. Just make sure that you’ve changed the direction of your ceiling fans so that they are turning in a clockwise motion. This helps to direct airflow downward, so you have optimal cool air where you’re located in the room. 


You may also want to consider using blackout shades in rooms of your home that get a lot of direct sunlight. By keeping the sun out of these rooms, they won’t heat up nearly as much. Your air conditioner won’t need to run as frequently to bring your indoor temperature down to what you have your thermostat set at. 


Consider an HVAC System Upgrade


Your average HVAC system has a lifespan of 10 to 25 years. That time frame is on the lower end if you’ve skipped routine maintenance over the years. An older model has likely undergone some seasonal maintenance and periodic repairs. While your HVAC system may still be functioning, its efficiency may decrease if it’s very old. Newer models have upgraded features that provide you with efficiency and ideal comfort. Having a new unit installed may cost you some money upfront, but you end up saving a lot of money in the long run. 


You can consult with an HVAC technician to see what type of unit is recommended for your home. The one that you currently have may not be appropriately sized based on the square footage of your home. You may also lack the correct ductwork, which can prevent your home from getting cooled down in the summer. Necessary adjustments can be made, to prepare your home for summer. Just make sure that you get your HVAC installation scheduled early. Things really start to pick up in the summer, and you might have to wait a number of weeks for your appointment. 


If you need HVAC support in your Florida home, reach out to Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling for assistance. We serve the Jacksonville community and surrounding areas, providing routine HVAC maintenance, emergency repairs, indoor air quality assessments, air duct cleaning, and much more. Whether you need your thermostat serviced or something more involved needs to be repaired, like your air conditioning refrigerant lines, we’re here to help. Give us a call today to set up an appointment. We’ll help you stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

RYNO SolutionsPreparing Your HVAC System for the Summer Months in Florida
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What Are Some Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Conditioner?

The scorching temperatures of Jacksonville’s summers make having an air conditioner a must for most homeowners. If you are looking to replace or upgrade your existing air conditioner, you must do your due diligence before making the final decision. Because of the expense involved in purchasing a new unit and the importance an air conditioner plays in your family’s comfort, you should consider things like the best-sized AC unit for your home and find the most energy-efficient model.

Choosing the Right Type of Air Conditioning Unit For Your Home

There are several types of air conditioning units available. Finding the one that fits your needs is vital to feeling comfortable in your home.

Window air conditioners are popular types of air conditioners. They work best in smaller spaces that have suitable windows for them. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and fairly easy to maintain. However, they do offer some limitations when it comes to cooling power and durability.

Portable air conditioners are freestanding systems that sit on your floor and can be moved around because they are on wheels. They are used as a cooling system and as a way to exhaust hot air outside of the room. Portable ACs need to be near a window. They work suitably for cooling one room. However, they are not designed to cool larger rooms or multiple rooms.

One of the more popular forms of energy-efficient air conditioning is the ductless mini split. Instead of using ductwork, the cool air is transported through a 3-inch conduit. A mini split has an outdoor and indoor unit. They are easier to install than many central air-conditioning units, offer multi-zone heating and cooling, and can be cost-effective.

Central air conditioners are also extremely popular in North America. They circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. They are powerful, can be used to cool the entire home, and do a good job of dehumidifying the air to improve the home’s comfort.

Finding the Right-Sized Air Conditioner

If your air conditioning unit is too large for your room, it can quickly cool the room, but it will do a poor job of removing excess moisture from the air. If the unit is too small, it will need to run continually to try to do its job effectively.

Find an AC unit that is the right size for your room, makes the room comfortable, and can save you money and prevent unnecessary repairs or expensive electricity bills.

When calculating the size air conditioner you will need, technicians will start by multiplying the length times the width of the room that needs to be cooled. Then, as a general rule of thumb, that number is multiplied by 25 BTUs (British Thermal Units). This provides the ideal cooling, whether hot or rainy, sunny or cloudy. For example, if the room you want to cool is 12′ x 15′ long, it is 180 ft.². 180 ft.² multiplied by 25, meaning you would need an air conditioner with a 4,500 BTU cooling capacity.

Other factors need to be considered when choosing the right-sized AC unit. These include the number of windows you have in the home, the level of insulation, the age of the house, the types of windows and doors you have installed, and how much heat from the sun the home receives. For this reason, it is best to leave sizing an air conditioner up to our professionals at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling.

Consider Your Budget

You must set a budget when evaluating the best air conditioning unit for you. The budget should not only include the initial cost of purchasing a unit but also should allow for the cost of operation, installation, and future maintenance.

When creating your budget, consider the pros and cons of the different features air conditioners offer. For example, an air conditioner with more features might cost more upfront, but you may save money by reducing electricity use. Additionally, more features may mean improved comfort.

A portable or window air conditioner is usually less expensive than installing central air-conditioning. However, the cooling power they offer is a lot lower. Installing a ductless mini-split unit may be more expensive than installing a window unit, but mini-splits are cost-effective long-term and many offer the option to heat and cool a room.

Consider the Technology You Will Want the Unit to Have

It can be frustrating to adjust the air conditioner’s temperature manually. And, if you don’t adjust things accurately, you could drastically increase your electric bills. Smart technology may be able to resolve some of these issues.

For example, a smart air conditioner that offers automation can be programmed to turn on or turn off based on when you are home. Advanced air conditioner technology goes beyond regulating temperature and humidity. If you forget to shut off your unit when you leave your home, geo-fencing technology can handle that for you. Some air conditioning units give you the option to receive alerts on your telephone or smart devices when you need to change an air filter or do maintenance. They can also provide reports about the air conditioner’s energy usage.

EER Ratings, SEER Ratings, and Inverter Technology

SEER and EER ratings show you at a glance the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio of Cooling. It shows how much energy you need to power the unit and cool a set space. SEER, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures the same thing. The only difference is that it focuses on the energy you will need to use throughout the heating season. According to federal law, newer air conditioners should have a SEER rating of 14 or higher.

Considering the EER and SEER ratings is essential because the higher the rating, the less power the unit consumes. The unit can provide better cooling and do it in an eco-friendly way. Units with a higher SEER or EER rating may be more expensive upfront, but they often offer long-term energy savings.

Air conditioners with inverter technology turn off and on the compressor less frequently. It just changes the speed of the compressor to match the cooling needs. Air conditioners with inverter technology are a little bit more expensive than those that do not have said technology. However, they do have the potential to save money on electrical use in the long run.

Maximizing Home Comfort With Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we proudly serve Jacksonville, Florida, residents and surrounding communities. We offer high-quality, customer-focused HVAC services. We are a family-owned and operated company with deep ties to the community. For this reason, we are committed to honesty and are proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our services.

Our services include HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. We offer duct cleaning and repairs. Indoor air quality, UV lighting, ventilation testing, and humidity control are just a few of the additional services we offer. Contact Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today, and see what it’s like to work with a company that provides transparent, all-inclusive services.

RDHCEditorWhat Are Some Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Conditioner?
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Understanding the Importance of Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Air quality probably isn’t something most people ever give any real thought to. If you were to take a poll, chances are that the majority of people would say that the air quality is usually much worse outside than it is in their home or workplace. Unfortunately, the reality is the opposite since indoor air is typically more polluted and has a higher concentration of contaminants compared with the air outside.

Studies performed by the EPA back this up and show that the concentration of some airborne pollutants and contaminants is usually around three to five times higher indoors than outside. There are typically more allergens like pollen and mold spores outside, but the concentration of these can also be quite high in most homes.

For these reasons, indoor air quality (IAQ) is something every homeowner should be concerned with, and today we’re going to look at why indoor air quality is such a big deal and what options you have for improving the quality of air in your home.

The Indoor Air Pollution Problem

The average home has a wide variety of sources of indoor air pollution, and many of them are from things you probably wouldn’t think about. For instance, you may not know that some airborne pollutants are released every time you use your stove for cooking.

Whenever oil or fat is heated, it releases some chemical pollutants. Many non-stick pans also give off pollutants, especially if the non-stick coating is damaged or has started to wear. If your home has a gas stove, it also produces some carbon monoxide and other pollutants every time you cook. All of these issues are why most experts recommend that you never cook anything on your stove without your exhaust hood running since it will help to draw some of the pollutants outside.

Many chemical cleaning agents also give off various pollutants. If your home has an attached garage, then some of the exhaust fumes from your vehicle can also seep inside and pollute your home’s air. Many lawn and garden products like fertilizer or any other chemicals you store in your garage can also give off harmful fumes.

Your home itself and your furnishings are often some of the biggest sources of indoor air pollution because many of the things in a home continuously give off potentially harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Long-term exposure to certain VOCs has been repeatedly linked with an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer and other health issues. This is another major reason why indoor air quality is something you should always take seriously.

Most Common Sources of VOCs

VOCs are released through a process known as off-gassing. Many solids and liquid chemical compounds continually release harmful gases and particles in the air as they deteriorate or when they react with other compounds in the air. Many of these VOCs are carcinogenic, and even the less harmful ones can still react with other compounds in the air to produce toxic chemicals.

Formaldehyde is one of the most common VOCs and is found in virtually every home and building. In the short term, exposure to formaldehyde can irritate your eyes, throat, sinuses, and skin, and it can also lead to coughing and other allergic reactions.

Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in most paints, varnishes, and waxes, and it is also found in the resin and glue used to make laminate flooring and wooden furniture. If you’ve ever bought a new mattress or any other piece of furniture and noticed a lingering chemical smell, this is mostly due to the formaldehyde that is used in the manufacturing process.

Most electronics also give off lots of VOCs due to the flame-retardant coating used on their wiring. Laser printers and copiers are a major source of pollution and have been shown to release more than 30 different VOCs.

Many different cosmetic products also give off various VOCs, and this is especially true for nail polish and nail polish remover. Dry-cleaned clothing also continually releases VOCs for months after the clothes have been cleaned. Laundry products like detergent, fabric softener, and especially dryer sheets have been shown to potentially release more than 130 different VOCs.

Solutions for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

The fact that VOCs and other airborne pollutants and allergens can be such a huge problem means it is always a good idea to take some steps to improve the air quality in your home, and you can find a wide range of indoor air quality units that can help you do just that.

A whole-home air purification system is one of the best options for improving indoor air quality. Many of these systems use a HEPA filter that will eliminate more than 99% of all VOCs and other airborne pollutants. These systems are also extremely effective at trapping bacteria, viruses, and allergens to help keep you from getting sick or worsening your allergy symptoms. Many of these systems also use a carbon filter to eliminate odors and keep your home smelling fresh.

UV light air purifiers are another great option. These systems emit a strong ultraviolet light that will instantly kill 99% of all microorganisms as they travel through your home’s ductwork. However, they are mostly only effective against living things like bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, which means they won’t have an effect on most VOCs. As such, we would typically always recommend pairing this type of system with some other source of air purification or filtration. Luckily, there are some whole-home air purifiers that use both UV lights and HEPA filtration, so you get the best of both worlds.

High indoor humidity is an especially common problem in places like Jacksonville due to the hot, humid weather. If your home constantly stays too humid, it can quickly lead to issues like water damage and mold, and mildew. Mold spores are one of the most common allergens and can potentially lead to or worsen respiratory problems and other health issues. An air purification system will filter out most mold spores from your home’s air, but the only way to prevent the problem is to tackle your high humidity issues.

This is where a whole-home dehumidifier can be a huge help because it will continuously remove moisture from your home’s air whenever your air conditioning is running. Air conditioners also function as a dehumidifier and remove humidity whenever they run, but they typically aren’t enough to control humidity on their own in more humid climates. Studies have shown that a whole-home dehumidifier can actually help to lower air conditioning costs as it takes some of the strain off your AC, so it doesn’t need to work so hard or run for as long.

Jacksonville’s Indoor Air Quality Specialists

If you’re concerned about poor indoor air quality in your home, the team at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling is ready to help. We install a wide range of IAQ systems, including air purifiers and whole-home dehumidifiers, and we can also service and repair your IAQ systems to ensure they continue functioning effectively. If you need any heating or cooling maintenance, repair or installation services, we’re here to help with that as well. For more information on our indoor air quality services, give Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling a call today.

RDHCEditorUnderstanding the Importance of Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
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Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important and Financially Beneficial

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important and Financially Beneficial

As a homeowner, taking good care of your household appliances is one of your most important responsibilities. And, of all the systems in your Jacksonville, FL, area home, your HVAC system is certainly one of the most integral to the comfort and functionality of the household. To keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, there are several good habits you should develop, such as replacing the air filters and cleaning the outdoor unit. But what’s most important is that you schedule professional maintenance every year. Here, we’ll examine why HVAC maintenance is so important and how it can save you money in the long run.

What Does HVAC Maintenance Entail?

When you schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment with our team at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, our team will take several measures to improve the health and performance of your HVAC system. We can either tune up your heating unit, air conditioning unit or both at once, depending on your preferences. If you have a furnace and an AC unit, you should make a point to have both appliances serviced every year.

During a heating or cooling tune-up, one of our expert technicians will conduct a thorough inspection of the appliance. They’ll check the condition of the many important parts of the system to determine if anything needs to be repaired or replaced. They’ll also be on the lookout for any red flags that could indicate a current or upcoming mechanical problem. Other parts of the maintenance visit will include cleaning the appliance, replacing the air filter and running tests to verify that the system is functioning properly.

So, what kind of benefits will you see from scheduling HVAC maintenance every year?

Improved Energy Efficiency

One of the most notable benefits of HVAC maintenance is improved energy efficiency. When the technician handling your tune-up cleans out the various contaminants from your heating or cooling system, it allows the unit to circulate air more smoothly. And since the appliance doesn’t need to work as hard to do its job, it won’t use as much electricity. That directly lowers your monthly energy bills, and, over the course of an entire summer or winter, the difference in costs can be significant.

During the tune-up, our team will also correct any issues that may be hampering the efficiency of your HVAC system. After the service is complete, you should notice an immediate reduction in your electricity costs. And, in most cases, that improvement should continue throughout the year.

More Consistent Comfort

Another major advantage of HVAC maintenance is that it greatly improves your comfort throughout the year. A heating tune-up will keep you cozy all winter long, and an AC tune-up will keep you cool during the sweltering Jacksonville summers. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, removing the dust, dirt and other contaminants from in and around the HVAC system will make it easier to circulate conditioned air. So, the system will have no problem consistently distributing air to every area of your household. Additionally, the airflow will be strong, meaning it won’t take long for your living space to reach a comfortable climate after turning on the heat or AC.

If your HVAC system is experiencing any mechanical problems, those ailments could be negatively impacting your comfort. But during the tune-up, our team will find solutions to these issues and restore the system to peak performance. Plus, switching out your dirty furnace or AC filter for a clean one will allow your heating or cooling unit to improve its airflow. All of these factors will contribute to your household being a more comfortable place after receiving the HVAC maintenance.

Fewer Expensive Repair Jobs

When your heating or cooling system encounters a mechanical problem, it can be quite disruptive. Not only does it often result in an expensive repair bill, but it can also force you and your family to go without heat or air conditioning for days or even weeks. Plus, the situation can cause major stress. This is yet another reason why HVAC maintenance is a service that should never be neglected.

When our HVAC team tunes up your system, inspecting for equipment problems will be a top priority. If they find any minor issues that need to be addressed, they will nip them in the bud before they become more serious and costly situations. And if they find any warning signs that a malfunction or breakdown could be on the horizon, they’ll take preventative measures to save you money and hassle. Finally, since your heating and cooling appliances will be running more smoothly and efficiently after being serviced, they’ll be significantly less likely to encounter serious problems.

If you keep up with HVAC maintenance throughout your system’s entire lifespan, there’s a good chance it will be much healthier overall. As a result, you won’t need to spend nearly as much money on professional repairs.

Longer System Life Expectancy

If you want to maximize your HVAC system’s life expectancy, scheduling professional maintenance every year is imperative. Although every situation is different, staying on top of yearly tune-ups could increase the lifespan of your heating and cooling units by as long as five years. This is partially due to the improved efficiency of the HVAC system; when the system is running more efficiently, its equipment won’t take on as much wear and tear, so it won’t age as quickly. The lack of mechanical problems is a factor as well. Every time your heating or cooling appliance needs a significant repair, it’s potentially shortening its lifespan. So, if your HVAC system remains relatively healthy throughout its life, it will have a good chance of staying productive for quite a while.

If you get several extra years from your HVAC system, you can use that time to set aside money for its eventual replacement. And if you’re on a tight budget, a few extra years of saving can make a massive difference in your finances.

When Should You Schedule HVAC Maintenance?

As long as you schedule HVAC maintenance every year, there’s no wrong time to have it done. However, there are certain times of the year when heating and cooling tune-ups benefit your home the most. Put simply, you should schedule heating maintenance before the winter and air conditioning maintenance before the summer. That way, both appliances will be running at peak performance and efficiency when you need them the most. Even if you haven’t been consistent with HVAC maintenance in the past, it’s never too late to start being more proactive about it. The sooner you make the change, the sooner you can start saving money, being more comfortable and enjoying peace of mind.

When you need HVAC maintenance or any other type of heating or cooling service in the Jacksonville area, you can always count on our team at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling. Additionally, we offer expert indoor air quality and duct-cleaning services. We’re a family owned and operated company, and we have deep roots in our community. When you work with us, you’ll always receive honesty, transparency and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Give us a call today at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment!

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How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

What do you picture when someone starts talking about air pollution? Images of smoke-filled factory stacks, hazy clouds, and the effects of acid rain are just a few of the images that flood the average mind when we begin talking about compromised air quality and the toll that it takes on us and our planet.

Did you know that a more dangerous and dire situation is all around you right now, and you may not even realize it? Your indoor air may be even more saturated with toxic chemicals and debris than that you would find outside, even in thick city smog. Recent studies reveal that the level of airborne contaminants and pollutants is nearly five times higher indoors than outdoors, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. With this kind of toxic debris swirling around us in our own homes, there have to be consequences that come with being exposed to it on a daily basis.

Toxic Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

The effects of poor indoor air quality may be short-term or long-term, but none of them are conditions that you’d want to manage on an ongoing basis. Some of the more common symptoms reported include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Fatigue
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Eye Irritation and Dryness
  • Development of autoimmune conditions

Taking simple steps to manage indoor air quality proactively in partnership with your HVAC system will reduce the likelihood of incurring health issues and keep you breathing cleaner all year round. Follow these simple steps for indoor air success!

Eliminate Smoking Indoors

A major contributor to poor indoor quality is the practice of smoking indoors. Particularly in homes that are airtight, the presence of smoke contributes to a host of respiratory issues and allergies that affect the whole body. If you must smoke, do so outside in a well-ventilated area, and make sure that you are not bringing any fumes or smoke back inside with you as you open and shut doors and windows. This simple step alone will prevent many potential respiratory complications from taking root for you and your loved ones.

Clean and Maintain Wood and Gas Stoves

Gas and wood stoves can throw off harmful exhaust fumes that, when breathed over time, can cause a host of lung-related diseases. Illnesses such as chronic asthma and even COPD can be a direct result of breathing in too many toxic substances that the lungs simply cannot process or clean out. Improving ventilation by installing ventilation systems and regularly cleaning your stove and exhaust pipes will help reduce the circulation of harmful particulates that can lead to respiratory distress.

Improve Ventilation Around Your Home

Proper ventilation helps lower levels of indoor contaminants, improving your indoor air. Regularly open doors and windows to let fresh air inside (yes, even in the wintertime), and run ceiling and floor fans to increase circulation and move stagnant air through your home. You’ll naturally see an improvement in the quality of your indoor air if you keep things moving continuously.

Clean That House!

Everything from pet dander and dead skin cells to dust, mites, and bacteria contribute to the potpourri of invisible sludge that moves through your indoor air. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? By regularly cleaning and dusting surfaces in your home, you can effectively trap a number of these fine particles and keep them from entering your body via membranes in the nose and skin. Vacuum, dust, and mop frequently, and you’ll contribute to a cleaner, healthier home environment.

Consider Non-toxic Cleaning Products

While you’re busy cleaning, pay attention to the type of cleaning products you are using. Most commercial cleaning products are incredibly toxic to humans and pets, and you should limit contact with them at all costs. As you use these toxic substances, the residue left on surfaces can evaporate into the air, compromising your air quality as well. Stick to non-hazardous, all-natural cleaning products as you attempt to clean up your home.

Control and Elimintate Pests

Pests are not only an inconvenience, but they can be hazardous to your health. The presence of roaches, mice, and bedbugs can leave their own trails of filth that you’ll end up breathing in at some point; this pest residue can quickly enter your home’s ductwork and circulate toxic substances throughout. Keep a handle on your pest control situation, and eliminate one source of potential toxicity that can wreak havoc on your health.

Control Humidity Levels

Excess water vapor has an amazing ability to attract vapor clusters and debris like a magnet, making your home a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Over time, the development of mold and mildew in your HVAC system and home can cause respiratory issues, eye and throat irritation, and allergies. Keep humidity levels at around 40 percent for optimal comfort and reduce the opportunity for toxic growth in your home.

Skip the Fragrances

Yes, scented candles and air fresheners add appealing aromas to your home, but they could also be interfering with your indoor air quality. Candles produce combustible fumes that contain carcinogens, compounds that irritate the respiratory system. Chemical propellants found in air fresheners can hang in the air for hours after you spray them, causing you to breathe in their toxic fumes that saturate the lungs and cause potential damage to tender tissues. If you must have a pleasing aroma in your household, consider cutting up some citrus slices to put in a bowl or boil some cinnamon in water on the stove to create a naturally pleasing scent.

Add Some Greenery

The addition of some cleansing houseplants can do wonders for improving indoor air quality. Plants have an amazing ability to transmute potentially toxic substances into fresh, clean oxygen that is released into the air as part of their natural growth. Add some lush greenery to your living spaces and see if you can feel and smell the difference in your home.

Change Your Air Filter

Your HVAC system has an air filter for a reason; its job is to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the air that circulates throughout your home and allow fresher air to circulate. Over time, an air filter will become dirty and saturated, and it will no longer perform the important work of helping to clean your indoor air. Clean and change your furnace air filter frequently to optimize HVAC system function and provide you with fresher, cleaner air.

Mind That HVAC System

Just as your air filter can become saturated with dirt and debris, your HVAC system can get bogged down with extra sludge that will eventually make its way through your ductwork and into each room of your home. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your central unit, as well as committing to regular maintenance and cleaning schedule of your ductwork, will keep your system optimized and provide you with better quality air with every service call.

We’re Ready When You Are!

Reliable Ducts is proudly serving valued customers across North Florida and beyond. We provide valuable services such as HVAC repair, replacement, air quality assessment, ductwork cleaning, ongoing maintenance plans, and all residential heating and cooling services. Let us provide you with an expert assessment of your indoor air quality and make suggestions to clean up your home, one step at a time. Contact Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling today to set up your appointment with one of our top-notch service professionals; we’re ready to serve you!

RDHCEditorHow to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
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7 Potential Reasons Your Furnace Won’t Ignite

Finding that your furnace suddenly won’t light can be incredibly frustrating. When this happens, most people immediately contact an HVAC company to have their furnace repaired. While this is often necessary, there are also some situations when the issue is something that you can easily overcome on your own. There are many different issues that can prevent furnaces from igniting and what can be done to fix them.

1. Clogged Air Filter

Many people are surprised to learn that something as seemingly minor as a dirty air filter can cause major issues for a furnace and potentially prevent it from turning on. An HVAC air filter is designed to trap dust, hair, and debris to prevent them from being drawn into the system and damaging or gunking up the furnace or blower fan. As your heating system runs, the filter eventually becomes dirtier and dirtier to the point where it can become completely clogged if you don’t replace it regularly.

If the filter is clogged, little to no cold air will be drawn into the furnace. This issue means that the furnace won’t be able to disperse all of the heat it creates, which can result in the unit overheating. All furnaces have something known as a limit switch that constantly measures the temperature of the furnace and blower fan. If either component gets too hot, the limit switch automatically activates and shuts down the heating system. When this happens, your furnace won’t turn on again until the limit switch registers that everything has sufficiently cooled.

This is the easiest problem to check and also to fix. If your filter looks black or you haven’t replaced it for a few months, try replacing it and then wait for an hour or so to see if your furnace will now turn on. This problem is also easy to avoid by making sure to replace your filter every 30 to 90 days.

2. Pilot Light or Electronic Igniter Issues

Most furnaces now use some type of electronic igniter. If you have a much older furnace, it may instead use a standing pilot light for ignition. Both pilot lights and electronic igniters commonly fail as a result of their age, and this will prevent the furnace from igniting. Unfortunately, diagnosing a broken or malfunctioning electronic igniter is not something you can do on your own. Instead, you will need to have a furnace technician test the igniter and replace it if it is bad.

If your furnace does have a standing pilot light, you will want to make sure that it is lit and producing a strong, steady flame. If the pilot isn’t lit, you can try relighting it to see if your furnace will not light. If you can’t get the pilot to light or it won’t stay lit, it could be that the thermocouple is dirty, damaged, or broken. Another possibility is that the pilot gas tube is clogged and preventing gas from flowing to the pilot. These issues are fairly easy to fix, but the problem could also mean that the pilot control is broken and needs to be replaced.

3. Gas Supply Issues

Your furnace obviously won’t ignite if there is no gas flowing into the unit. If you suspect this issue, the first thing to check is that the gas shut-off valve is fully open. If you have any other gas appliances like a water heater, fireplace, or range, you should also check these to see if your gas supply is shut off or interrupted for some reason.

4. Electrical Issues

Many people mistakenly believe that gas furnaces don’t need electricity to run. Electricity is obviously required to power the blower fan and enable the thermostat to signal the heating system to start, but the furnace itself also needs electricity to power its electronic igniter. This means that one of the first things you should do is check to make sure that the circuit breaker that controls your heating system isn’t tripped. Another possibility is that there is a loose electrical connection or damaged wiring that is preventing electricity from flowing to the furnace.

5. Dirty or Malfunctioning Flame Sensor

As you might imagine, the flame sensor in a furnace works to detect whether the gas flowing into the unit is lit. The flame sensor is another important safety feature that works to prevent a dangerous buildup of gas inside the furnace. It does this by controlling the furnace’s internal gas valve. When the furnace needs to light, the valve opens to allow gas to start flowing into the furnace. If the flame sensor doesn’t detect that the gas is lit within a few seconds, it will instantly close the valve to ensure gas can’t build up inside the unit and create a major safety hazard.

Flame sensors can sometimes malfunction or wear out as a result of their age, and this can cause the furnace to only ever stay lit for a few seconds before shutting down. The more common issue is that the flame sensor is coated in dirt and grime, which can prevent it from being able to detect when the furnace is lit. A dirty flame sensor can easily be fixed by having a furnace technician fully clean it. This problem can also easily be prevented by having your furnace professionally maintained every year as one part of this is cleaning the flame sensor and the rest of the furnace’s components.

6. Dirty Furnace Burners

This issue will more commonly cause your furnace to produce little heat, but it can also sometimes prevent the furnace from lighting. If the burners are completely clogged, it will prevent gas from flowing into the furnace. Dirty burners can also result in there not being the correct mixture of air and gas inside the unit. If there isn’t the right air-gas mix, the gas won’t fully combust, and this could potentially prevent the flame sensor from detecting that the furnace is lit. This is another issue that can easily be prevented and overcome by having your furnace maintained by a certified HVAC technician.

7. Thermostat Issues

There are many times when the reason that a furnace won’t ignite isn’t related to the unit itself and is instead caused by some issue with the thermostat. One possibility is that there is an issue with the wiring between the thermostat and the furnace. It may also simply be that the batteries in the thermostat are dying and no longer have a sufficient charge to signal the furnace to start. Thermostats can also fail or malfunction because of their age or some other issue, in which case the only option is to have it replaced.

There is also a chance that your thermostat isn’t properly calibrated or not accurately measuring the temperature inside the building. This is something you can easily check for by turning the thermostat up 5 or 10 degrees to see if this causes your heating system to turn on. If so, then you will need to have your thermostat tested and either recalibrated or replaced.

Expert Furnace and HVAC Services

If you’re having any issues with your furnace, you can count on the team at Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling to help. We specialize in furnace repairs and maintenance, and our technicians can quickly determine why your furnace isn’t lighting and how to fix the problem. If the issue can’t be repaired, we can also assist with furnace replacement. We also offer a full range of cooling services as well as duct cleaning and indoor air quality solutions. If you need any heating or cooling service in the Jacksonville area, give us a call today.

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