Company News

Identifying Common Culprits: What Damages Your HVAC System?

Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system is a crucial component of your home’s comfort and air quality. However, several factors can damage the system over time, leading to inefficiency, breakdowns, and costly repairs. Understanding these common culprits is essential for maintaining your HVAC system’s performance and longevity. Let’s explore the key factors that can damage your HVAC system: 


  1. Lack of Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your HVAC system running smoothly. Neglecting routine tasks such as filter changes, coil cleaning, and lubrication can lead to the accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris, hindering airflow and reducing efficiency. Additionally, worn-out or malfunctioning components may go unnoticed without regular inspections, increasing the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs.


  1. Dirty Filters: Air filters play a crucial role in trapping dust, pollen, and other airborne particles to maintain indoor air quality and protect HVAC components. However, dirty filters can restrict airflow, causing the system to work harder and consume more energy. Moreover, clogged filters can lead to frozen coils, compressor damage, and reduced system lifespan. Regular filter replacement is necessary to prevent these issues and ensure optimal HVAC performance.


  1. Overworking the System: Overworking your HVAC system by setting excessively high or low temperatures can put unnecessary strain on its components, leading to increased wear and tear. Additionally, constantly adjusting the thermostat or running the system at full capacity for extended periods can contribute to higher energy bills and reduced efficiency. Maintaining moderate temperature settings and using programmable thermostats can help prevent overworking the system and prolong its lifespan.


  1. Poor Ventilation: Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining indoor air quality and preventing moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth and damage to HVAC components. Blocked or closed vents, inadequate airflow, or improperly sized ductwork can restrict airflow and disrupt the balance of the system, resulting in uneven heating or cooling and increased energy consumption. Ensuring adequate ventilation and airflow throughout your home is crucial for preserving your HVAC system’s efficiency and performance.


  1. Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, humidity levels, and exposure to outdoor elements can impact your HVAC system’s performance and lifespan. Severe weather conditions, including lightning strikes, hailstorms, and flooding, can cause physical damage to outdoor units, electrical components, and refrigerant lines. Additionally, high humidity levels can promote mold growth and corrosion, while low humidity levels can lead to dryness and damage to sensitive components. Proper maintenance, insulation, and weatherproofing can help protect your HVAC system from environmental hazards and prolong its lifespan.


In conclusion, several factors can damage your HVAC system and compromise its performance and efficiency. Regular maintenance, including filter replacement, cleaning, and inspections, is crucial for identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate. Additionally, practicing energy-efficient habits, maintaining proper ventilation, and protecting your system from environmental factors can help preserve its longevity and ensure optimal comfort and air quality in your home. By understanding these common culprits and taking proactive measures to safeguard your HVAC system, you can enjoy reliable performance and peace of mind for years to come. 

Dalton ThorpeIdentifying Common Culprits: What Damages Your HVAC System?
Read More

Clearing the Air: Debunking Fake News About HVAC

In the age of information, misinformation often spreads like wildfire. That’s why fact checking is a must. When it comes to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, there is a mass of myths and fake news circulating that can misguide homeowners and lead to potential issues. In this article, we aim to debunk some common misconceptions and set the record straight about HVAC systems. 


  1. Closing vents in unused rooms saves energy. 


One common misconception is that closing vents in rooms not in use will save energy. However, modern HVAC systems are designed to operate efficiently with a balanced airflow. Closing vents can disrupt this balance, leading to increased pressure and strain on the system, potentially reducing its efficiency and causing unnecessary wear and tear. 


Debunking: Keep vents open to maintain proper airflow and system efficiency. Consider investing in a zoning system for more targeted control over individual room temperatures. 


  1. Turning the thermostat to the lowest or highest setting heats or cools the room faster. 


Many believe that setting the thermostat to an extreme temperature will make the heating or cooling process faster. In reality, HVAC systems work at a consistent rate, and adjusting the thermostat to an extreme setting does not speed up the process. 


Debunking: Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature, and the HVAC system will work efficiently to achieve and maintain that level. 


  1. Regular maintenance is unnecessary. 


Some homeowners may fall into the trap of thinking that HVAC systems do not require regular maintenance. Failure to conduct regular maintenance may result in decreased efficiency, higher energy consumption, and the possibility of system malfunctions. 


Debunking: Regular maintenance, including cleaning filters, inspecting components, and addressing issues promptly, is essential to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your HVAC system. 


  1. Saving energy is achieved by shutting doors and closing vents in rooms that are not in use. 


The act of closing doors and vents in unused rooms is thought to focus heating or cooling efforts on the areas that are currently occupied. However, it can disrupt the system’s balance, leading to increased pressure and potential damage. 


Debunking: Maintain a consistent airflow throughout your home by keeping doors and vents open. This allows the HVAC system to operate efficiently and evenly distribute conditioned air. 


  1. Bigger HVAC systems are always better. 


Some homeowners think that installing a larger HVAC system will provide better performance. However, oversized systems can lead to short-cycling, inefficient operation, and increased energy consumption. 


Debunking: Proper sizing is crucial for HVAC systems. Consult with a professional to determine the correct size based on your home’s specifications and requirements. 


Navigating the world of HVAC can be challenging, especially when misinformation abounds. By debunking these common myths, we hope to empower homeowners to make informed decisions about their HVAC systems. For reliable information and advice, always consult with HVAC professionals who can guide you toward optimal efficiency and comfort in your home. 

Dalton ThorpeClearing the Air: Debunking Fake News About HVAC
Read More

The Vital Role of Air Conditioning In Modern Living

In this time of advancement and modern living, one technological marvel stands out for its transformative impact on our comfort and well-being, and that is air conditioning. As temperatures soar and seasons change, the soothing hum of air conditioning units has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. This article explores the history, science, and vital significance of air conditioning in sustaining ideal living conditions, delving into the complex world of this necessary appliance.  

  • The Evolution of Air Conditioning: 

 Air conditioning started way back from ancient civilizations, where various methods were employed to cool indoor spaces. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that modern air conditioning systems emerged. The first electrical air conditioner is credited to Willis Carrier in 1902, revolutionizing our perception of interior comfort for all time. 

  • How It Works: 

 Fundamentally, air conditioning is an advanced method of controlling humidity, temperature, and air quality. Most contemporary systems use a refrigeration cycle, employing a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator to cool and circulate air. The procedure involves removing heat from interior air to leave behind a comfortable and cold temperature. This intricate dance of mechanical components ensures a consistent and pleasant indoor environment.

  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: 

 With increasing awareness of environmental concerns, the air conditioning industry has made significant strides in developing energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions. High-efficiency units, smart thermostats, and sustainable refrigerants contribute to reducing energy consumption and minimizing the carbon footprint of air conditioning systems. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, the industry continues to innovate towards a greener and more sustainable future. 

  •  Indoor Air Quality: 

 Beyond temperature regulation, air conditioning plays a pivotal role in maintaining indoor air quality. Modern systems are equipped with filters that capture dust, allergens, and pollutants, ensuring that the air we breathe is clean and healthy. This feature is particularly crucial for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies, providing a refuge from outdoor pollutants. 

  • The Impact on Human Health and Productivity: 

 Air conditioning isn’t just about staying cool; it has a profound impact on our health and productivity. Maintaining a comfortable temperature in both residential and commercial spaces promotes better sleep, reduces stress, and enhances overall well-being. In workplaces, it has been linked to increased employee satisfaction and productivity. As such, the benefits of air conditioning extend far beyond mere climate control.  

 As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, the significance of air conditioning in our lives cannot be overstated. From historical breakthroughs to cutting-edge innovations, air conditioning has evolved into an essential component of our everyday comfort. As technology continues to advance, the future promises even more efficient and sustainable solutions, ensuring that we can continue to enjoy the refreshing embrace of conditioned air for generations to come. 

Dalton ThorpeThe Vital Role of Air Conditioning In Modern Living
Read More

UV Lights in Indoor Spaces

In the pursuit of creating healthier indoor environments, the role of UV lights in enhancing air quality has gained significant attention. These lights, typically used in HVAC systems, play a crucial role in eliminating harmful microorganisms and improving overall indoor air quality (IAQ). In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of UV lights and explore how they contribute to a cleaner and safer living space.

Understanding UV Lights:

Ultraviolet (UV) lights are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than visible light. In the context of indoor air quality, UV lights are classified into two main types: UV-C and UV-A. UV-C light, with shorter wavelengths, is particularly effective in destroying or inactivating microorganisms.

How UV Lights Improve Indoor Air Quality:

  1. Microbial Elimination: UV-C lights are adept at targeting and disrupting the DNA of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mold. By doing so, UV lights hinder the reproduction of these harmful entities, effectively reducing their presence in the indoor air.
  2. Mold Prevention: Mold growth is a common concern in HVAC systems and damp indoor environments. UV lights help prevent mold formation by inhibiting the growth of mold spores, ensuring cleaner air circulation throughout the space.
  3. Reduced Allergens: UV lights can neutralize allergens such as dust mites and pet dander, providing relief to individuals prone to allergies. By minimizing the presence of these allergens, indoor air becomes healthier and more breathable.
  4. Odor Control: Unpleasant odors caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other sources can be mitigated with the help of UV lights. These lights break down the molecular structure of odor-causing substances, neutralizing the smells and improving the overall air quality.
  5. Enhanced HVAC Efficiency: By keeping the HVAC components clean, UV lights contribute to the system’s efficiency. Clean coils and ducts allow for better airflow, ensuring that the heating and cooling systems operate optimally.

Installation and Maintenance Tips:

  • Professional Installation: It’s advisable to have UV lights installed by HVAC professionals to ensure proper placement and effectiveness. They can assess the specific needs of your space and determine the most suitable UV light system.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodic inspection and cleaning of UV lights are essential for their continued effectiveness. Dust and debris can accumulate on the bulbs over time, diminishing their germicidal capabilities.

In the quest for healthier indoor spaces, UV lights emerge as silent guardians, actively working to purify the air we breathe. From microbial elimination to mold prevention and beyond, these lights contribute significantly to enhancing indoor air quality. Investing in UV lights for your HVAC system is not just an investment in cleaner air; it’s an investment in the well-being of everyone who calls that space home.

Remember, the journey to cleaner indoor air begins with the right illumination – the kind that UV lights provide, UV lights in indoor places.

Dalton ThorpeUV Lights in Indoor Spaces
Read More

What You Want to Look For When Purchasing a New Thermostat

Buying a new thermostat can be confusing because of the range of options available. Some thermostats are simply easier to use, while others have advanced features that can save you money. To help you find the best thermostat for your needs, we’ve designed this buyer’s guide to highlight what factors and features you should consider when choosing a new thermostat for your home.

Type of Thermostat

There are three main types of thermostats: manual, programmable, and smart thermostats. Manual thermostats aren’t ideal since they require you to physically adjust your home’s temperature to your preferences. Opting for a programmable thermostat is a better option since you can set different temperatures for different times of day and days of the week. When properly set, a programmable thermostat will help you save at least some money on your heating and air conditioning bills.

The only issue is that the settings on many programmable units are confusing. In fact, ENERGY STAR no longer certifies programmable thermostats since research shows that a large percentage of homeowners don’t use them properly.

Nowadays, smart thermostats are a top option. These units are connected to Wi-Fi and can be controlled by an app on your smartphone or tablet. Studies show that, on average, a smart thermostat will lower a home’s heating and air conditioning bills by around 8%, and the savings can be even higher depending on the type of smart thermostat you use and how you program it. Numerous ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostats are available, and their convenience is unmatched compared to manual or programmable thermostats.

Mobile Device Compatibility

The vast majority of smart thermostats have apps for both Android and iOS. However, some brands and models only have an app for one platform. As such, before you decide on a smart thermostat, ensure that the unit you choose is compatible with your phone or tablet.

Smart Home Hub Compatibility

Many smart thermostats can connect to a smart home hub like an Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Nest so that you can control them simply by giving a voice command. While the voice-control feature isn’t necessary, it is definitely convenient. The only thing you need to do is make sure whatever smart thermostat you use is compatible with whatever brand and model of smart home hub you have.

Smart home hubs are plugged directly into an internet router with an ethernet cable. All hubs use a different type of secured wireless protocol, usually Z-Wave or Zigbee, and send out a wireless signal that connects to all of the smart devices in the home. Some smart hubs can use either of these protocols, while others only use one. Similarly, not all smart thermostats are compatible with both wireless protocols. As such, you must do your research to find out which protocol your smart hub uses so you can make sure your smart thermostat can connect to it if you want to use the voice-control feature.

Learning Capabilities

Some smart thermostats are fairly basic, and the only real difference between them and standard programmable thermostats is that they can be controlled and programmed remotely using the app. There are also so-called “learning thermostats” that are far more advanced and can start to program themselves after a short time.

Learning thermostats rely on other smart home features like motion sensors and doorbell cameras to learn about your normal behavior and daily routines. They use this information to program your HVAC system based on these patterns. For instance, they’ll determine when you wake up, leave the house in the morning, get home from work, and go to bed so that they can adjust the temperature in the home for different times of the day. This capability makes learning thermostats much more convenient and also allows you to save significantly on your heating and air conditioning costs.

Geofencing Capability

Geofencing is another feature some smart thermostats offer that provides increased convenience and energy savings. This feature works with the GPS on your phone and enables you to create a virtual boundary in your neighborhood or city. Whenever your phone’s GPS indicates that you’ve crossed this boundary, it will trigger a specific action, such as signaling your air conditioning to turn on or turning down the heat.

For instance, you could set the boundary close to your workplace so that the thermostat automatically turns up your heat just after you leave work on a cold day. This means that if you leave early or work late, you won’t have to go into the app to adjust the temperature manually. It also means that the thermostat won’t automatically change the temperature every time you leave to run a nearby errand.

Every person in the household can set their own borders on the app on their phone so that the thermostat will respond to each person’s behavior and location accordingly. In this case, the thermostat won’t react unless everyone is outside the boundary and will react when anyone in your family crosses the boundary and gets within the specified distance of your home.

Weather Monitoring

Some more advanced smart thermostats have a weather monitoring feature. This feature allows the thermostat to automatically adjust the ambient temperature in the home based on the current outdoor temperature and weather predictions, which is great for improving your comfort and saving you even more on your energy bills. Let’s say that you normally have your AC set to 72 F. On a cooler day when your home won’t heat up as quickly and your AC doesn’t need to run as much, the thermostat might raise the temperature by a few degrees. Similarly, if a major summer storm is in the forecast and the temperature is expected to drop rapidly, the thermostat may shut your AC off completely.

Maintenance Alerts

Some advanced smart thermostats also have a maintenance alert and performance monitoring feature. This feature sends a notification to your phone to remind you when to replace the AC or furnace filter. Some units will also constantly monitor the performance and energy usage of your HVAC system and alert you if the system isn’t heating or cooling effectively or is suddenly using more energy. Learn more about our maintenance plans here!

No matter what new thermostat you choose, it should always be installed by a certified HVAC technician. At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we can help you choose the right thermostat for your home. Learn more about us here! We can also guide you through the process of programming the unit and show you how all of the features work. Our team is also ready to assist with your heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and installation needs. For more information on the benefits of installing a smart thermostat in your Jacksonville home, call Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today.

Dalton Thorpe
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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?
Read More