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How to Unclog Your AC’s Drain Lines


Owning an AC can make your home feel welcoming, especially in the hot summer months. To keep the AC in tip-top condition, you need to conduct frequent maintenance like changing the air filter and ensuring the drain lines are free of any gunk, dirt or debris. Your AC is a significant investment that also has many factors regarding your family and home life, so you don’t want its drain lines to clog. If that happens, you probably will want to fix the issue right away. Read on for what you need to know about unclogging your AC’s drain lines.

What Is an AC Drain Line?

Your AC works by absorbing humidity and heat within your home. The humidity condenses on the condenser coils and thaws water into a drip pan. The excess is taken out through a drain line, thus keeping your home relatively dry inside. The drain line is located outside your home, where the AC unit resides. This small dripping line ensures that your AC can remove all condensation from the coils. The line is made of metal or PVC pipe and acts as a funnel for condensation and humidity. It’s a crucial aspect of your AC since it helps prevent the system from potential damage to insulation and ductwork.

To prevent clogs in the drain line, you should clean it regularly during the hot months. Clogged lines can cause poor air quality due to mildew and mold growth. They can also lead to a rise in humidity.

Causes of a Clogged Drain Line

Your drain line can end up with blockage due to algae. The drain line is always humid because of the warm air that blows over the coils of your AC. Add in the condensation that travels through the pipe and you have perfect conditions for algae to grow. If you leave your AC running for a long time, it’s more likely for the drain line to be clogged.

Signs of a Clogged Drain Line

One clear sign of a clogged drain line is when your AC stops working. The drain line ensures that excess condensation is extracted from your AC. Therefore, when it’s operating properly, you can find small water droplets at the end of the line outside your house. However, when there is a problem in the drain line, there can be a blockage or a backlog of water. Additional signs of a clogged drain line include:

  • Water damage around your AC. This can be on the floor or near the fan.
  • The condensate pan fills up frequently or stays full for long periods of time.
  • Water flooding around the AC’s air handler.
  • A moldy smell in your home. This can result from a blockage anywhere in the system, but it can definitely indicate a problem with your drain line.
  • Your AC is not running or cooling. If your AC has a water safety switch, it may automatically turn off when it detects a clog to prevent further damage.

Unclogging a Drain Line

It’s relatively easy to clean and fix regular, smaller clogs. It’s advisable to avoid using bleach to unblock the drain since chemicals can cause more damage to other components of the AC. Below are the steps to follow when cleaning a clogged drain line.

1. Turn Off the AC

Turn off the power at the breaker, and make sure your thermostat is inactive.

2. Find the Drain Line

The drain line is a metal or PVC pipe that’s usually located on the outside of your home. You can find it near the condenser unit, and you should have a bucket nearby in case the drain line is full.

3. Identify Where to Access the Drain Line

Most units will have a T-shaped vent with a cap. This covers the top of the drain, and inspecting it helps determine the location of the blockage.

4. Assess the Blockage

Check the drain line to see whether there are any visible clogs. If you can see the blockage, you can remove it manually. To do this, wear some protective gloves. However, if the clog is further down the line, move on to the next step. Remember not to push the clog further down.

5. Flush the Blockage

Vinegar is the best solution for removing clogs in your drain line. It has excellent cleaning capabilities because of its acidity. If you find its smell too strong, you can use warm water and soap to dilute it. After this, you can begin cleaning by pouring a quarter cup of vinegar into the drain line. After it’s full, you can stop and wait.

6. Wait for 30 Minutes

You should leave the vinegar solution in the line for 30 minutes and later flush the line with water. Ensure that the water flows consistently to guarantee that the blockage is cleared. If the water doesn’t flow normally, you should contact an HVAC specialist.

After completing the process, you can repeat it monthly to ensure that the drain line doesn’t have a large clog. Besides, the frequent cleaning helps prevent your AC from running into any issues. It’s not advisable to undertake serious maintenance repairs by yourself; however, if you have a clogged drain line, it shouldn’t be much trouble to fix.

Is It Normal for a Drain Line to Have Water In It?

Yes, it is. The drain line can drip water at the exit outside your home. This indicates that your drain line is working perfectly and that it’s removing moisture and condensation generated by the coils. During hot seasons, the drain line can funnel more water daily. However, if you notice leaks inside your home or anywhere along the drain line, it can indicate a severe clog.

How to Prevent Clogs in the Drain Line

Using high-quality air filters can help filter debris and dust in the AC unit. This can help avoid clog buildup in the drain line. You should also change the filters regularly – at least every three months. If you have smokers and pets in the house, you should replace them frequently.

Opting for routine maintenance can also extend the lifespan of your AC. Having the equipment checked routinely can ensure that it operates at its peak performance. This can save you time and money on costly repairs down the line.

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, our team of specialists is proud to serve all your AC needs in Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas. As a family-owned business, we have the highest quality of services and extensive experience in the HVAC industry. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we make the best efforts to ensure that you are well taken care of with each service we offer. Contact us today to resolve your heating and air conditioning issues.

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Quality Air Conditioning with Lower Utility Bills


A window unit and an HVAC system will provide a change in room temperature with different costs and air quality. A window unit is cheaper than an HVAC system. If you live in a home that has newer windows with energy-efficient glass, keeping your home cool will be easier with a window unit and less expensive to operate. An HVAC system and a window unit can provide the same cooling quality, but the costs will differ, and the air quality inside your home may vary.
A window unit provides air for only one room at a time since there are no ducts for better circulation in your home. With higher utility bills from running the AC constantly, these units typically cost more monthly than an HVAC system. However, for a long-term investment strategy to save costs on your utility bills, an HVAC system is most suitable. It is more energy-efficient than a window air conditioning unit. As energy prices continue to increase, you may want to consider a window unit for temporary relief with lower utility bills. If you have allergies or asthma, the fine particles of dust from a window unit can make you ill or worsen your allergies or asthma.
An HVAC system can help improve indoor air quality with extra insulation and fewer dust particles circulating throughout your home. An HVAC system assures higher air quality than the conventional window unit. If you live in a house that lacks ducts, it may cost more to install one than a window unit.
Therefore to answer your question on whether window units are cheaper than HVAC systems, yes, they are, but you need to compromise the quality of the cooling system you get. Window units can be expensive in the long run and uncomfortable, especially if your home has more than five rooms. Installing individual window units will dig an enormous hole in your pocket. Window units may be cheaper to operate, but you will get less bang for your buck. You are better off with an HVAC system and ducts.

What Can Your Home Electrical System Handle?

To decide what air conditioning your home needs, we recommend considering your electrical input and output. Your home should be able to run and manage your desired HVAC system without unnecessary breakdowns or inefficiency. Your electrical input is rated in amps, measuring how much electricity your household will draw. A properly sized air conditioning unit for your home should not strain the electrical input of your home. We can do the math for you and assure you that your air conditioning system is safe to run in your home.
Picking an incompatible pair will result in additional bills for repairs and unnecessary maintenance. Your home needs a stable electrical inlet and outlet to prevent power surges that may fry your air conditioning system. The determinants to consider are the age and condition of your power source. If your home is solar-powered, you have the upper hand in installing the best air conditioning systems without fear of energy waste. Your HVAC system must power itself with minimal electricity or use electricity as infrequently as possible.

Ductless Air Conditioning Systems Are Worth It

Ductless air conditioning systems are best for large homes due to the larger surface area to control the room temperatures. The ductless air conditioning systems are very efficient in terms of power consumption, but their price tag is a little higher than the conventional air conditioners. Also known as the mini-split unit, the system incorporates a technological thermostat system that allows individual room adjustments. The thermostats are located internally while the cooling fans are installed externally, providing a quieter environment while switched on.
The ductless air conditioning system has a digital timer display to record and present the energy consumption rate. Additionally, the system has a programmable heat setting allowing for suitable heating and cooling effects on individual rooms. Installation of the ductless air conditioning system is simple and easy. A conventional air conditioner may consume more energy in cooling a small space than a ductless air conditioner consumes in a larger room.
The main benefits of the ductless air conditioning system are its low maintenance costs, silent operation, and cost-efficiency. We offer professional installation for an energy-efficient ductless air conditioning system to help lower your utility bills in the long run.

Window Units Are Cheap but Not Effective

Window units are suitable for the temporary cooling of single rooms. They are based solely on remote heat exchange, and thus they cannot be used as a heat pump. Only the advanced window units can use the warmth inside your house to reverse a cooling effect. They rely on the low temperature of the air coming in and out of your home.
The built-in fan blows at low speed, which causes low noise but keeps the room cool for short periods. Installing a window unit will be a great inconvenience to your home during the summer due to the extremely high temperatures outside and slow cooling indoors. Therefore, we recommend you only install a window unit under the following circumstances:

  • Your home is a rental apartment
  • Hot climates outside are temporary
  • Your home lacks existing ductwork
  • Your home has an outdated cooling system

The advantages of this system include:

  • Quick installation
  • Affordable prices
  • Less energy consumption
  • Short term investment

The cons of installing this system include:

  • No air filtration property
  • Uneven temperature regulations
  • Temporary cooling effects
  • Limited to one room

HVAC Systems Are Expensive but Efficient

HVAC systems are a permanent solution to your air conditioning problem. They are durable and come with a long life span with minimal maintenance. Their major drawback is the expensive installation costs. Your home size determines the installation costs due to work needed. HVAC systems consist of air ducts and air ductwork, thermostats, blower motors, cooling fans, warm-air registers, and vents to distribute the cool air throughout your home.
The system is controlled by a thermostat that monitors and adjusts the temperature in your home. An HVAC system with an Energy Efficiency Ratio upgrade is considered efficient and cost-effective. We recommend installing an HVAC system for a long-term solution to heating and cooling your rooms separately. The additional software that predicts your home needs regulates energy consumption by shutting off when even suitable temperatures have been achieved. It is an energy-efficient masterpiece in your home.

Engage Professional Minds to Help You Install the Best Air Conditioning System for Your Home

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, you are assured of a fully serviced home with optimized energy efficiency. Your comfort and home sustainability to save energy is our number one priority. The services we provide are essential to the well-being of your family and good health. Our services offer a smooth, cost-effective installation with the least hassle.
Here are the services that we offer with a quality assurance guarantee:

  • Heating services such as furnace repair and replacements
  • Reliable air conditioning home services
  • Duct cleaning to remove contaminants
  • Duct maintenance for better temperature regulations
  • UV lighting for energy efficiency
  • Ventilation testing to seal air leaks
  • Humidity control for your home comfort
  • General maintenance for indoor and outdoor services

Contact Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling to receive further information on how you can improve your air conditioning system while considering cost, efficiency, and home equity.

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How to Determine the Energy Efficiency of the HVAC System of Your New Home


Your HVAC system accounts for approximately 40% of your home’s cooling needs. Efficient heating or cooling equipment can reduce the energy consumption in your home. When moving to a new house, it’s wise to assess the efficiency of the existing unit. Here are tips on how to determine the performance of your HVAC system.

Inspect the Equipment for Deterioration

When moving to a new home, you ought to assess your heating and cooling system. You can start by inspecting the HVAC unit for signs of deterioration around the equipment. Pools of water and corrosion on the casing imply the system is aging and inefficient.

Corrosion can damage the condenser coils by gradually creating a patchwork of cracks on the tubes. Statistics suggest rusting is responsible for up to 40% of equipment failures.

When the copper coils succumb to corrosion, the system will leak the refrigerant and reduce the efficiency of your system. Every HVAC system has a specific refrigerant charge corresponding to its heating and cooling load. Inadequate amounts of the fluid could force your furnace to overheat or the coils to freeze over in winter.

You can arrange for HVAC system maintenance so that technicians can clean the coils and restore their efficiency. Grime can also create an insulation layer that impacts heating and cooling. If the copper tubes are defective, a professional will recommend a replacement.

Determine the Energy Efficiency of the HVAC System

After examining the equipment’s condition, locate the energy rating label. HVAC systems have a yellow and black sticker with SEER and AFUE ratings. An Energy Star label indicates the system’s performance is higher than standard equipment of the same size.

The SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) indicates the air conditioner’s efficiency. SEER calculates the cooling output against the fuel consumption for the entire season. SEER ratings start from 13 and can go up to 25.

SEER values will be on the manufacturer’s energy guide with the rating, which often includes additional characters. For example, the rating could be written as AC15. It means the air conditioner has a 16 SEER rating.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a rating that measures the heating component’s efficiency. Older boilers and furnaces have an AFUE rating of 78 and 80%. The latest heating and cooling equipment can have an AFUE of up to 98%.

Keep in mind the efficiency of the HVAC system can deteriorate due to aging or insufficient maintenance. Even a new system can deteriorate in performance and raise the operational costs for the system. Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling technicians can inspect your equipment in Jacksonville to determine its performance.

Examine the Ductwork

When assessing the performance of the new home’s heating and cooling system, be sure to examine the ductwork. The ductwork distributes conditioned air to different rooms through the supply vent and expels it through the return vent.

According to Energy Star, improper installation of air ducts is among the leading reasons new systems become inefficient. Leaks and holes on the ductwork allow conditioned air to escape, increasing your equipment’s energy consumption.

Besides improper installation, the ductwork can develop holes and gaps between connections. Lack of ductwork insulation may lead to energy losses that force your HVAC system to work harder. Your equipment can overheat and damage components.

A visual examination can spot inefficient ductwork. Tangled and loose connections indicate the tubes need sealing or a replacement. Strange noises such as hissing and banging could be a symptom of a leak.

Also, check if the vents are open to avoid damaging your HVAC system. It is a misconception that closing the vents can reduce energy consumption. But the ductwork is designed to match the building’s heating and cooling needs. Closing off the vents will only force your AC and furnace to overwork.

Some issues are not easy to identify through a visual inspection. That’s why HVAC technicians recommend consulting a professional for an assessment. Professionals can evaluate the sizing and insulation and can advise you on the best options for your Jacksonville home.

Pay Attention to Indoor Air Quality Issues

Your new home’s indoor air quality is another factor that may indicate the heating and cooling system’s performance. Be sure to check surfaces for dust accumulation. Dust is a sign of poor circulation, probably caused by clogged filters or leaky ductwork.

Dust can start a vicious cycle that rapidly deteriorates your unit. Dusty condenser and evaporator coils can force your HVAC system to overwork. Your HVAC equipment will eventually break down and may require a replacement.

Unusual odors could be an indication of mold and mildew growth. Improper ductwork insulation or air leaks can introduce moisture into the system. The humidity could trigger corrosion or cause premature failure of your HVAC equipment.

Inconsistent Temperatures Across the House

An inefficient HVAC system will overwork to circulate conditioned air throughout the house. You may detect temperature differences across different rooms. The imbalance in temperature could be due to ductwork leaks or substandard equipment installation.

Your equipment may fail to heat or cool the house if its capacity is too big or too small. If its size exceeds the needs of your home, the AC will shut on and off to avoid overheating. The continuous on and off operation can speed up the deterioration of critical components.

If your equipment is too small, it will keep running continuously to meet your home’s energy demands. The system can overheat components, causing premature failure. The longer heating and cooling cycles will cause temperature imbalances across the house.

Therefore, it is best to schedule an inspection when you suspect temperature imbalances across the room. Our technicians can assess the ductwork and the quality of the installation. Talk to Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling for top-notch heating repair solutions in Jacksonville.

How to Determine if You Need a Replacement

An aging HVAC system approaching the end of its life can be expensive to run. Not only will it raise your energy bills, but you’ll also have to schedule repairs frequently. The equipment will deteriorate faster, requiring costly parts replacement in the long run.

The lifespan of an HVAC system is between 10 and 15 years. Consider replacing a system that is more than a decade old, especially if it is inefficient. Acquiring a new system may make sense in the long term compared to spending money on multiple repairs.

However, you don’t have to replace a system more than a decade old. It depends on the quality of installation and the frequency of maintenance. You can request a history of the HVAC maintenance records to evaluate its performance.

A professional inspection is the best way to determine if you need a replacement. A certified technician can offer insights on improving the system’s efficiency. You can also get more information on new technologies and features and the ideal HVAC equipment for your needs.

Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling is a trusted HVAC company providing quality services in Jacksonville. We are committed to offering transparent and consistent services to keep our clients comfortable throughout the year. You can contact our team for furnace and AC services, indoor air quality, maintenance, and replacement solutions. We have a flexible schedule, and you can consult our staff 24/7, 365 days a year. Call us today for a 100% guarantee.

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Comparing Air Purifiers With Dehumidifiers


An air purifier is an ideal solution for eliminating offensive odors and dust from a wide range of air pollutants, including cooking and pet smells, smoke, and tannins from your backyard as well as dust and pollens that cause respiratory conditions. Air purifiers also protect you from harmful chemicals, viruses, and bacteria lurking in unclean indoor air.

On the other hand, dehumidifiers take moisture out of the air. Though a dehumidifier is not a substitute for air conditioning, it is ideal for reducing humidity and protecting walls, bookshelves, and artworks from damage. Some people may choose to go for either the air purifier or the dehumidifier, and others may need both, depending on the season and their personal needs.

Functions of Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers

An air purifier is a device that provides an inexpensive method of eliminating odors and pollutants found in common household environments when it is placed at a door or near an existing window. It features an activated carbon pre-filter to trap larger particles and to extend the filter’s life while enhancing odor-control capabilities. The air cleaner includes an allergen mode for removing the most common airborne allergens that can irritate the sensitive tissues of the nose and eyes, such as pollen and specific pet dander components.

A comprehensive air purifier system is comprised of three active components. The pre-filter traps big particles in the air and stops them from getting to the other more sensitive filters. The active carbon filter works to remove odors from your air. The final component is the high-efficiency filter. These filters are made from millions of fibers that are woven together tightly. This design allows air to pass through, but it captures even the smallest particles in your home, including mold spores, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, and germs.

A dehumidifier controls humidity in the home, lowering levels when they are too high. This device sucks excess water vapor moisture out of the air and then gathers it in a container within its system. Dehumidifiers don’t purify your home’s air like an air cleaner, but they do offer some benefits, including effectively lowering humidity levels. Dehumidifiers are best for those living in humid or hot areas or for those who want to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

For the best results, put your unit in a spot with the most accessible area to suck up the air closest to where you spend most of your time. Unlike an air purifier, a dehumidifier does not have a filter or a fan to circulate air. While it will work best in any room with small amounts of moisture, you can also keep yours in closets and basements where mold commonly grows to help prevent problems.

Features of Dehumidifiers and Air Purifiers

When considering a dehumidifier for your home, some features are almost must-haves. A humidistat, or hygrometer, is essential for effective operation and proper humidity control. This feature automatically controls the amount of moisture the device pumps out of the air based on a preset humidity level you enter. Choosing one with a humidistat is crucial because a dehumidifier will work harder and burn out quickly without it.

Size or capacity is probably more critical in dehumidifiers than with other appliances like room air conditioners and fans since you’re going to be using this device several times every day. You could also consider buying multiple devices if you have enough space in your basement, laundry room, storage area, or wherever you notice extra humidity.

Finally, drainage options are also important; if you don’t have time to drain the bucket every day or two manually (more often during the most humid times), make sure you pick a dehumidifier with a built-in condensate pump.

When looking to acquire an air purifier, several features set it apart from the dehumidifier. The change filter indicator gives you a visual sign when your filters need changing. It will help you avoid any unexpected shutdowns or a machine that stops functioning as it should. Intelligent control is vital; most people rely on connected devices that are controlled via smartphone or tablet.

The eco-mode feature automatically turns off your purifier or keeps it in standby mode if it detects no indoor pollution for 30 minutes. When combined with the eco-timer function, this helps save energy and reduce electricity bills. Noise-reduction technology in the air purifier is an important feature, especially now that a lot of people work from home. It allows people to focus on their tasks and rest undisturbed while enjoying good air quality. Low noise levels in work environments and homesteads with easily bothered children are particularly important.

Energy Efficiency and Cost of Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers

It would help if you always considered energy efficiency when purchasing an air purifier. While the process of removing harmful contaminants from the air is a good thing, you also do not want to spend too much energy and money on it. Dehumidifiers and air purifiers are much cheaper than a new heating or cooling system; however, the cost of operating either device is similar. A dehumidifier will cost about 13 cents per hour to run whereas an air purifier will cost 11 cents per hour to run. Compare this to the average microwave, which costs 18 cents per hour to operate.

Air purifier technology has advanced considerably in the last few years, and companies have begun to put out some moderately priced devices. Of course, many devices cost upward of a thousand dollars. Go for the air cleaner that fits your space completely because this reduces the strain put on the machine. Some tips also help improve the air cleaner’s efficiency, like reducing large flows of air into the space when the air cleaner is running by avoiding unnecessary door openings and by keeping windows closed when the machine is running. These steps reduce the number of contaminants entering the space by keeping external pollutants out. Routine maintenance is also vital to ensure that the purifier operates efficiently.

A cost-effective air cleaner does not have to operate all the time at maximum capacity; a low flow of air is just as effective as a high airflow on most models. The smaller airflow, in turn, consumes a lower amount of energy. Both types of equipment are good options in terms of energy efficiency. However, the device features might sometimes be the deciding factor on the energy efficiency of the equipment. Therefore, it is essential to have a wide range of options from which you can select, making it easier to find the most energy-efficient device.

All of this information is a good starting point to selecting a good solution for air quality. At Reliable Ducts, we can further assist you in choosing the right air cleaner for your home in Jacksonville or a surrounding area. Our services include heating and cooling, air duct cleaning, humidity control systems, and more. Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our services.

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Your Ultimate Furnace Buying Guide


A new furnace is a big investment for most homeowners. You want to ensure that you choose the right option that fits your family’s needs.

Start by Deciding Your Fuel Type

Furnaces are specifically designed to run on one of four different fuels: electric, heating oil, propane, and natural gas. Both the area that you live in and your operating budget are going to play a large role in the particular type of furnace that you purchase.

The most widely used furnaces across the country are those powered by natural gas and heating oil. Natural gas tends to be the cheapest to run. However, you’ll need to live in an area that has a supply that you can tap onto. Otherwise, heating oil is your next best option. Heating oil tends to burn much hotter, which means a hotter home in less time and less fuel burned to produce the same amount of heat. Unlike natural gas, you’ll need an on-site storage tank for your heating oil.

Propane and electricity are great for areas where natural gas and traditional heating oil aren’t easily accessible. Propane is more expensive to burn than heating oil and natural gas. However, it burns more efficiently than natural gas, so you won’t need as much of it to produce the same amount of heat as natural gas. Just as with heating oil, you’ll need to have an on-site storage tank for your propane. The final option is the electric-powered furnaces. These are going to be the absolute cheapest furnace to purchase. However, since the furnace is powered by electricity, it will be the most expensive to run.

Determine the BTU Capacity That You Need

Once you decide what type of fuel you’ll be burning in your furnace, it’s time to consider what heating capacity it will need to have to comfortably heat your home. Don’t fall victim to the idea that bigger is better. When you opt for a furnace that has way more heating capacity than your home needs, it will cost you more money to run and consistently kick on and off, leaving an uncomfortable environment.

Instead, you want to invest in a furnace that has a heating capacity as near to your desired BTU needs as possible. To figure out your demands, you’ll need to know the square footage of your home. For example, let’s say that your home is 2,000 square feet. Next, you’ll need about 35 BTUs of power for every square foot of space in your Jacksonville, FL, home. After doing the math, it becomes clear that you’re going to need a furnace that has a heating capacity of around 70,000 BTUs.

Choose a Furnace Type

There are three furnace classifications that you have to choose from. These are the single-stage, multi-stage, and modulating. While this may sound a bit confusing a first, these categorizations are simply based on the way that each furnace runs.

The single-stage furnace is by far the most common. It has one flame inside of it that is either fully on or fully off. When this type of system turns on, it will rev up before you feel warm air coming out of your vents. This furnace will run until it’s within a couple of degrees of your temperature setting and then shut off. This furnace is great for meeting your basic heating needs and is the cheapest of the three options.

A step up is the multi-stage, also referred to as “a two-stage furnace.” This type of furnace has been available for about the last 15 years and offers more precise temperature control. Instead of just one flame like the single-stage system, this furnace has two flames inside of it. The smaller flame is intended for mild temperatures while the larger flame is intended for colder temperatures. Multi-stage furnaces are more capable of maintaining constant heat, which means more continuous comfort for your home.

Modulating furnaces are relatively new and boast a micro-managing flame that can automatically adjust up or down depending on your specific heating needs. This type of furnace will run to keep your home within 0.2 degrees of your desired temperature setting. With a modulating furnace, you’ll get even heating that provides maximum comfort for your family and guests. However, you’re going to pay more for a modulating furnace than you are a single or multi-stage furnace.

Consider Energy-efficiency Options

When you invest in a new furnace, you want to take advantage of the energy-efficient options available. The most energy-efficient furnaces on the market are going to come at a higher up-front cost. However, their ongoing operating costs are going to be much cheaper than their less energy-efficient counterparts.

Determining the level of fuel efficiency for any furnace can easily be done by looking at its AFUE value. This stands for “annualized fuel utilization efficiency” and simply reveals how much heat is produced for every dollar that you spend on fuel. So, the higher the AFUE rating on a furnace, the less you’ll spend on fuel to heat your home.

The most energy-efficient options on the market today will have AFUE values in the 90s. The minimum AFUE rating for any furnace is 78. If you’re looking for fuel-efficient options at an affordable price, you’ll want to aim for an AFUE rating of between 80% and 85%. If you’re okay spending more upfront on getting an energy-efficient option, then aim for a furnace with an AFUE rating between 90% and 97%.

A Note on Necessary Supporting Structures

A furnace doesn’t work to heat a house on its own. It needs a support structure in order to transfer the heat it makes throughout your home. If you’re simply replacing an existing furnace, then you already have this support structure of ducting, vents, and so forth. However, if you’re purchasing a furnace for a newly constructed home, then you’ll need to factor in the costs of your supporting structures.

The most vital support structure is your ducting. This is the ventilation system that works to force heat throughout the various rooms in your home. Your ducting is going to be connected to a series of vents. There should be at least two in each room of your home, which are the supply and return vents. These are responsible for circulating air throughout your home.

Lastly, we have the chimney. While you may think of a chimney as only something that you need when you have a fireplace, that’s simply not the case. Chimneys are simply meant to dispel exhaust gases from your furnace as its fuel burns. Unless you opt for purchasing a high-efficiency furnace, you’re going to need a chimney in your home. Realize that it will need to be cleaned once a year as part of your system maintenance.

Trusted Furnace Services

Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling provides trusted furnace services to the whole Jacksonville, FL, area. We also offer top-quality cooling, heating, and air quality services. Call us today to speak with a helpful staff member who can answer all of your questions and schedule your next service appointment.

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Why Is My Furnace Rusty?


Is your furnace showing signs of rust? This can be a perplexing issue for many homeowners because, unlike an air conditioner or water heater, heating systems don’t contain water. Despite being less common, furnace rust is still a very real problem and can indicate a number of underlying issues. The best way to diagnose why your furnace is rusting is to have the unit inspected by a licensed HVAC technician. At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, our technicians have many years of experience repairing and replacing rusty furnaces in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. We’ll send out a specialist right away to inspect your system and determine the cause of the rust.

In the meantime, this article will give you some insight into the most common causes of furnace rust and how to avoid a rusty furnace.

How Common Is Furnace Rust?

A rusty furnace is not as common as a rusty air conditioner, but that doesn’t mean your furnace is safe from rust. A number of factors, from infrequent maintenance to old age, will cause your furnace to rust. Furnace rust is most common on the exterior of the furnace and along the heat exchanger. The danger of rust is that it weakens the underlying metal, which can eventually lead to broken furnace components. While most types of furnace damage only lead to an unpleasantly cold house, some damage can increase the risk of house fires and carbon monoxide leaks.

Furnaces most commonly develop rust when metal components are repeatedly exposed to combustion gases. As the furnace goes through a heating cycle, gas inside of it is heated up before being allowed to cool down. It’s the cool-down stage of this process that generates water vapor. If the vapor isn’t properly vented from the furnace, it will corrode the interior of the furnace, leading to mechanical problems in the future.

Why Do Furnaces Rust?

Excessive humidity: Whenever metal meets humidity, there’s sure to be rust. Atmospheric moisture can weasel its way into your heating system through air ducts. This is especially common after a rainstorm or during humid weather. Once even a small amount of moisture enters the system, it can trigger a chemical reaction with metal that creates rust. If your ducts have breaks or separations in them, they’ll draw in additional moisture, which can do a lot of damage to your furnace.

Combustion vapor: In a gas-powered furnace, the heat exchanger houses combustion gas which cools down into a liquid vapor. Normally, this vapor is vented out of the furnace via an exhaust pipe. But if the pipe is clogged or blocked, the vapor will instead be trapped inside the furnace, causing the metal surface to rust.

Leaky air conditioner: The most common residential HVAC set-up is an air conditioner installed directly above the furnace. This allows both units to share the same blower. Air conditioners generate a lot of moisture during operation, and if the system is properly maintained, that moisture will be safely drained via a drain pan. However, if the drain is clogged or obstructed, the pan will overflow and leak down onto the heater. This issue is especially costly because it requires both the AC and furnace to be repaired.

Different Types of Furnace Rust

Your furnace can develop rust on a range of different surfaces and components. The location of the rust can indicate what’s causing it and how serious of a problem it is. These are the most common types of furnace rust we see:

Surface rust: The exterior shell of the furnace will begin to rust if it’s exposed to a nearby source of moisture. While this isn’t necessarily a major issue, you should confirm that the rust hasn’t spread to the inside of the unit. A certified HVAC technician will do a careful examination of the unit’s interior to look for signs of corrosion and moisture damage.

Heat exchanger: Your furnace’s heat exchanger is an internal component responsible for transferring thermal energy. Even small spots of rust can weaken the metal to the extent that cracks can form. When heat exchangers crack, they can release toxic fumes into the home, including exhaust and carbon monoxide. Since the heat exchanger is hidden inside the furnace, many homeowners don’t realize the component is rusty until it breaks. Luckily, this is exactly the type of damage we look out for during an annual furnace tune-up.

Blocked Flue or Condensate Line: Your furnace contains a flue and drain lines that are used to transport combustion byproducts out of the heating system, including a small amount of moisture. If these components get blocked, the fluid is trapped in the furnace and will begin to corrode nearby components.

Old age: Older furnaces are more likely to have rust than newer units because they’ve been extensively exposed to combustion. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s time to consider a replacement. A new unit will be rust-free and feature greater energy efficiency, which will save you money in the long run. You also don’t have to worry about the many maintenance issues related to furnace rust, including cracked heat exchangers, fires, and carbon monoxide leaks.

Furnaces Are Waterless, So Why Do They Rust?

Furnaces are unique among home appliances in that they use very little water. But that leads us to the question, “why do furnaces rust?” You may be surprised to learn that furnaces do produce a small amount of water vapor. As combustion gas is drawn into the unit’s heat exchanger, the gas cools down and generates vapor. High-efficiency furnaces also contain a second heat exchanger that condenses the vapor to create additional heat.

In well-maintained furnaces, moisture is safely released to avoid becoming trapped. However, if the furnace is clogged, damaged, or poorly maintained, that moisture can get stuck in the system and lead to corrosion. For this reason, it’s important to have an annual furnace tune-up. During a maintenance appointment, a technician will inspect the heat exchanger and ensure the exhaust flue and condensate lines are not clogged.

Furnace Repair or Replacement?

Rust doesn’t go away on its own; the only solutions are to have your furnace repaired or replaced. The best service option depends on the extent of the rust and what components are affected. If your furnace is still relatively young and well-maintained, we’ll probably be able to replace the rusted component. However, if your furnace is older, extensively rusted, or core components are rusted, then replacement is probably the best option.

Your Furnace Service Team in Jacksonville

When your furnace is rusty and in disrepair, you can count on Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling to restore it to working condition. We pride ourselves on being customer-focused and offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. As a family-owned and -operated company, you can expect that we’ll treat your home with the same level of care and respect as we do our own. We also offer 24/7 emergency service, so you can count on us to be there when you need us most. Whether you need reliable furnace repairs or a dependable furnace replacement, Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling is the right team for the job.

Call Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today to schedule furnace service! We offer comprehensive cooling and heating services.

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6 Great Benefits of Regular HVAC Maintenance


With winter right around the corner, it’s an especially important time of year to have your HVAC systems running in the best possible condition. There are multiple ways to care for your appliances and ensure that they give you great results, but providing regular maintenance is perhaps the most important of them all.

By bringing in trained professionals to perform scheduled tune-ups on your heating and air conditioning systems, you’re making an investment in your household that will pay dividends in both the short and long term. We recommend providing each of your HVAC appliances with maintenance at least once a year. By doing so, everyone in your household will be able to enjoy all of the following benefits.

1. More Consistent Climate Control

Of course, your HVAC system has a huge impact on your ability to keep your home comfortable year-round. Regularly scheduled maintenance helps ensure that your furnace and AC will always be able to do their jobs effectively.

When a furnace or air conditioner doesn’t receive regular maintenance tune-ups, it gradually loses its efficiency over time while accumulating excessive wear and tear. This wear makes it more difficult for the appliances to effectively circulate the warm and cool air that they need to provide. In many cases, you will start having to crank the heat or air conditioning up much more than usual to reach a comfortable temperature or wait significantly longer for your home to achieve your desired climate each day.

With regular HVAC maintenance conducted by skilled professionals, you will be able to always retain complete control over the temperature of your household. This way, you and your home’s other residents will enjoy more consistent comfort, even when the weather conditions are extreme.

2. More Money Saved

Providing your heating and air systems with regular professional maintenance can be viewed as a worthwhile investment for your household. When your furnace and air conditioner are properly cared for and maintained regularly, they require less energy to do their jobs effectively. This is because when our skilled HVAC technicians get to work on a tune-up, they’re able to perform the necessary tweaks to make sure that each appliance is running at optimal efficiency. In many cases, you will immediately start to notice that your monthly energy bills have gone down.

In addition to saving money on your monthly bills, regular maintenance will also save you money by greatly lowering the chances of malfunctions and breakdowns. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, because a well-maintained furnace or air conditioner doesn’t have to work quite so hard to do its job, it will accumulate less wear and tear. This means that the appliance’s many components will be less likely to wear out or experience problems.

Secondly, during these routine HVAC tune-ups, your trained technicians will be able to inspect your appliances for any potential issues or breakdowns that may be on the horizon. By finding these issues ahead of time, you will have the opportunity to have them taken care of before they begin to present serious problems for your household.

3. Better Indoor Air Quality

Many people are unaware that their HVAC systems can actually have a significant impact on their indoor air quality. On average, the quality of air indoors tends to contain many more irritants and pollutants than outdoor air, and this can be particularly concerning for anyone who suffers from allergies or respiratory issues. You may not necessarily notice it, but your home contains particles of dust, dirt, and other debris.

If your HVAC systems aren’t maintained regularly, it’s a very real possibility that these irritants are being circulated throughout your home’s air, causing you and the other members of your household to breathe them in regularly. However, when your heating and cooling systems receive regular tune-ups, they are better able to filter out these irritants and prevent them from entering the flow of warm or cool air that is being circulated.

4. Longer Appliance Lifespan

On average, heating and cooling systems will be able to do their jobs effectively for around 10 to 15 years before they need to be replaced. However, this is typically only true of systems that receive regular maintenance. Systems that are not maintained regularly suffer undue wear and tear.

Over time, the excessive wear on your system will lead to more frequent breakdowns and costly repairs. Eventually, a poorly maintained unit will become too costly to fix, and this could occur much sooner than expected. If you want to get the most from your system, regular maintenance is a necessity.

5. A Safer Home

Did you know that when an HVAC system isn’t properly cared for, it can actually present certain dangers for your household? When any fuel-burning appliance is struggling or malfunctioning, it can create the risk of a carbon monoxide leak. If your heating or cooling systems are well-maintained, however, they produce only a minuscule amount of carbon monoxide that can be safely carried out of your home via your ventilation system.

Neglecting maintenance can result in your system producing too much carbon monoxide during operation. Poorly maintained systems are also prone to equipment failures that can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. To keep you and your family safe, a little maintenance will go a long way. Also, regardless of how well you keep up with your HVAC maintenance, you should be sure to always have a working carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.

6. Greater Peace of Mind

Of course, you want to feel safe and comfortable in your home. Investing in HVAC maintenance is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. After a maintenance visit, you will have peace of mind knowing that all components of your HVAC system are operating optimally. You can also rest assured that your unit will be ready to keep you warm or cool when you need it to. One of the easiest ways to keep up with your regular maintenance is by signing up for a maintenance service agreement with a trusted company like Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling.

Get Help From the HVAC Pros

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we are proud to offer high-quality, customer-focused HVAC services to Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas. We are a family-owned and -operated company, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our work. We put the word “reliable” in our name for a reason, and we strive to make sure that it always represents the service that we provide. In addition to our full slate of heating and cooling services, we also offer residents of the Jacksonville area duct cleaning and repairs and indoor air quality solutions.

Make sure that you only trust your important HVAC needs to professionals who you can count on. Call us up at Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling today, and get an appointment scheduled with one of our friendly experts.

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The Basics of the Thermostatic Expansion Valve


The thermostatic expansion valve (TEV or TXV) is a device that is essential in managing refrigerant flow. For this reason, the TXV is useful in refrigeration and air conditioning units and is found next to the evaporator.

Functional Parts of the TXV

The TXV comprises several functional components that work harmoniously to achieve the needed efficiency. The valve body houses all these components; an opening called an orifice controls the refrigerant flow. Additionally, the valve body houses the diaphragm, a flexible material made of metal, and it flexes to apply the needed pressure to the pin.

The needle is another crucial functional component that moves rhythmically up and down to change the opening size in the orifice, thus regulating the refrigerant flow. There is also the spring located within the valve body, and its primary purpose is to counter the pressure exerted by the pin and works in the opposite direction. Furthermore, the valve body has a sensing bulb responsible for detecting the temperature level at the exit point of the evaporator. The reactions of the sensing bulb dictate whether the valve opens or closes.

Pressures Acting Inside the TXV

Typically, three pressures act on the inside of the TEV. The first pressure is exerted at the top area of the TXV and is usually within the power element. As a result of this pressure, the diaphragm moves down, and similarly, the needle also moves down, causing the valve to open.

An increase in the temperature within the evaporator leads to the gas expansion in the feeler bulb, causing the gas pressure in the power element to increase. As a result, the needle moves down, causing the valve to open.

Another pressure operates on the lower side of the diaphragm, resulting from the pressure inside the evaporator. This pressure usually moves the diaphragm upward, closing the valve opening. The third pressure is the spring pressure, which tends to be constant and works to close the valve opening.

The two latter pressures typically work to counteract the pressure at the top area of the diaphragm. Overall, the first pressure aims to open the valve, while the second and third pressure combination tends to close the TXV. As a result, if the valve has to open at a point, the first pressure must be greater than the combined force of the second and third forces.

How the Thermostatic Expansion Valve Works

Typically, the valve works to hold the liquid refrigerant, which has high pressure from making its way into the condenser and regulating the refrigerant flow. The thermostatic expansion valve causes a significant decrease in refrigerant pressure, thus allowing boiling at low temperatures. The boiling is essential as it helps the refrigerant to acquire heat and direct it into the compressor.

Next, the liquid refrigerant, which is under high pressure, is forced through the orifice opening, which significantly causes a reduction in its pressure when it flows past. As the pressure reduces, it causes some of the refrigerant to vaporize while some remains in a liquid state. This process has a similar operation to how a spray bottle nozzle works. When the trigger is pulled, the high-pressurized water inside is ejected through the small opening into a low-pressure external environment. This makes the water comes out as part liquid and part vapor.

The combination of the gas and liquid is injected into the evaporator and gains heat from the pipe. As the refrigerant flows, it is exposed to extreme thermal energy and changes state into a complex gas in the evaporator coil. As a result, the temperature remains constant because of the latent heat.

The refrigerant continues gathering thermal energy, and after the phase change, its temperature begins to increase, resulting in the superheating of the refrigerant vapor. The sensing bulb is alert to these temperature variances to regulate the refrigerant in the main valve body.

Effect of a Rise in the Cooling Load

When there is a significant rise in the cooling load, it results in more refrigerant evaporating within the evaporator. At the exit point of the evaporator, both the superheat and the temperature start to rise.

Since it’s desirable to keep the superheat temperature within correct limits, it’s essential to reduce its high temperature, which is made possible by letting more refrigerant flow. As a result, the pin is pushed downwards and exerts a force on the spring, which adjusts to facilitate the refrigerant to flow past the orifice in the valve body.

The sensing bulb notes the temperature change, and as a result, the refrigerant, usually held in a constrained space within the bulb, evaporates. Because of the limited area where this refrigerant is held, pressure builds up, moving through the capillary tube into the top of the TEV. The diaphragm is pushed down, exerting a downward force on the pin, which in turn exerts pressure on the spring, and it moves to enable the refrigerant to flow in the evaporator.

Next, the valve readjusts to ensure the pressure directed on the diaphragm is more than the pressure produced by the spring. This readjustment allows the desired refrigerant level to make its way through; consequently, the superheat lowers.

Lowering of the Cooling Load

If the cooling load faces a significant decrease, it leads to a decline in the superheat temperature. The sensing bulb detects this change, reducing the flow rate of the refrigerant. The refrigerant that is held in the capillary tube begins to settle back into the bulb, and the valve opening is closed. Eventually, the TXV equalizes, and the desired amount of refrigerant flows through and equalizes with the superheat settings.

Suppose the valve doesn’t respond to the superheat, in that case, it can allow the liquid to pass through into the compressor. The result can be fatal for the compressor since fluids aren’t easily compressible and lead to severe internal compressor damages.

The TEV is crucial in keeping the evaporator active by allowing refrigerant to flow per the cooling load. The valve allows the evaporator to operate as per the requirements and eliminates any possible wastage of evaporator capacity. The valve enables the enclosure air conditioner to work at optimal capacity to deal with the heat loads. For instance, it can function at a greater capacity when the heat load rises.

The TXV, therefore, is a significant part that works with precision to regulate how the refrigerant flows as a response to systematic conditions. For this reason, the TXV has gained popularity in the manufacturing of HVAC systems. This is all you need to be aware of in regards to the primary function of the TEV.

Are you in need of cooling and heating services? Get in touch with us at Reliable Ducts. We specialize in residential AC repair and installation services in Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas. Additionally, we also provide air quality services.

Contact Reliable Ducts today for more information or to get a quote.

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Tips for Saving on Your Heating Bills in Winter


On average, your heating system is responsible for 40% of the energy you consume in your home. You can reduce your utility bills by addressing energy usage by your system. Here are the top tips for saving money on your heating system in the winter.

Address Insulation Problems and Air Leaks
Insulation can boost your home’s comfort and reduce your energy bill. Without insulation, the wall or ceiling will conduct heat to adjacent rooms.

You also require the correct grade of insulation for different parts of your home and your climate. For example, EPA recommends R-values between R30 and R60 for houses in Jacksonville. For the attic, the R-value is between R25 and R38.

The R-value is an indication of the material’s resistance to thermal energy. Without the correct insulation grade, you could be losing up to 50% of the heat from your system. An upgrade of the insulation can reduce your heating bills and extend the life of your equipment.

The type of insulation you need will depend on the availability of space in that room. Fiberglass may require multiple layers to attain the desired R-value. Spray foam, which has a higher insulation rating, is more suitable for smaller rooms with a shortage of space.

An energy audit can help spot areas of your home that have insulation deficiencies or leaks. Leaks around doors or windows can let the air out, leading to high utility bills. You can talk to Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling in Jacksonville for dependable heating solutions.

Take Advantage of Natural Lighting and Heating
You can manage your heating bills by taking advantage of the energy from the sun. During the day, you can open the windows to let sunlight heat the room. If the day is sunny, keep the blinds, shades, and curtains open.

At night, close the curtains or shades as soon as the sunsets. That way, you’ll be trapping the warm air and, in the process, reduce your heating bills.

You can use heavy curtains, especially if you have air leaks around the window. It can be a temporary solution before you can seal the gaps around windows and doors.

Using ceiling fans in reverse can facilitate the distribution of air around the house. As the fan moves in the counterclockwise direction, it pulls air upwards. You can push a switch at the base of the fan to force it to run in reverse. When you stand beneath it, the draft should be blowing down on you.

You may also want to reconsider the furniture arrangement. Bookshelves and couches could be limiting the airflow and, in turn, forcing your system to overwork. Leave some clearance around the vents to allow air to flow freely in and out of the room.

Lower Thermostat Settings or Use a Programmable Device
According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% of the heating costs by lowering your thermostat. The agency recommends turning down the temperatures by between 7 to 8 degrees for eight hours a day.

You can set different temperatures when you are home during the day and at night while you sleep. For example, the setting when you are awake can be 68 degrees and 60 degrees at night. The colder interiors are more suitable for sleeping, as too much warmth can interrupt your sleep.

You may also reduce temperatures during the cold season when you are away on vacation. Turning down the system can reduce the energy consumption of your home.

However, it is not always a good idea to switch off your systems completely. Heating is necessary to prevent your plumbing from freezing. Additionally, any pets you have will need temperatures close to your regular setting to keep them warm.

When you want to save energy while away, one of the best options is to use a programmable thermostat. You can easily set the system to heat your home half an hour before you return home. When you step through the door, the room will be cozy.

A programmable thermostat has other convenient features to boost your comfort. You can check on your system while on vacation. Some devices can send you a report of your monthly energy consumption. Our technicians at Reliable Heating & Ducts can work with you to find a device suitable for your system.

Consider Zoning for Unused Rooms in Your Home
One way to save energy is to close off any unused areas of your home. If those rooms are always unoccupied, heating them will only waste energy. Ensure the door is closed to trap the heat inside the room.

However, it is not advisable to close off the vents. Air can accumulate and can increase the pressure in the ductwork. Eventually, the air may leak into the unconditioned areas of your home. Your heating system may cycle on and off, trying to keep up with the demands of your home.

Additionally, the design of vents and ductwork is tailored to fit the needs of the building. As a result, components of your furnace may overheat. Your equipment will cycle on and off and will deteriorate faster as a result.

Zoning is the most effective way to lower your utility bills if you have unoccupied rooms. It involves using multiple indoor air handlers connected to an outdoor unit. Heating depends on the needs of each room.

Zoning optimizes comfort in your home by addressing varying temperature needs. It also ensures that all rooms are heated to prevent pipes running behind the wall from freezing.

By zoning parts of the house, you can increase the longevity of the system. Since it only runs when it is necessary, it reduces the rate of deterioration of your equipment. It also strikes a balance between energy consumption and comfort. You can talk to Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling staff to explore your options in Jacksonville.

Keep Your Furnace Efficient with a Tune-up
The average life of a furnace is between 16 and 20 years. As it starts to age, your system may develop issues such as ignition problems or frequent cycling. A malfunctioning unit works hard to keep the interior warm in winter. As a result, the faulty components will draw more energy in the process.

If your furnace is faulty, a timely repair service will prevent further complications. Ideally, you ought to stick to your annual maintenance routine. Experienced technicians can find fault during the service and replace parts to restore the system’s efficiency.

The frequency of the maintenance service will depend on how often you use the system and the equipment. Once a year is sufficient for a forced-air system. Heat pumps should be services at least once every six months. Busy homes with pets and multiple occupants can schedule a tune-up twice a year for the best results.

If you need trusted heating repair and installation services in Jacksonville, don’t hesitate to call Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling. We offer a wide range of solutions from indoor air quality to duct cleaning and heat pumps. When you call on our team, you can expect personalized solutions designed to meet your specific needs. For your peace of mind, we offer a 100% guarantee for the service we provide. You can call Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling’s trusted team today for trusted services in Jacksonville.

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Don’t Make These Summer Cooling Mistakes


Most people are looking for ways to get the most out of every dollar and make good decisions about home cooling costs. When you’re looking for ways to cut down on your air conditioner costs, you might turn to friends, family, and neighbors to learn more tricks that could save you a few dollars here or there. But the sad fact is that there are a lot of myths floating around that could end up costing you more than what is necessary. We would like to take some time and help you sort through the misnomers to find better strategies for saving on cooling costs this summer.

Turning Your Air Conditioner Totally Off Only Saves in the Short Term
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about saving on cooling costs is how much it takes to cool a house down from a very high temperature. Lots of people completely turn their air conditioners off when they go to work and come home to an extremely hothouse. Then, they turn the air conditioner back on to cool the temperature down. This seems like a reasonable strategy for cutting costs because you don’t have to pay to keep your house cool when you’re away at work.

However, the amount of energy that your air conditioner has to expend to get it back down to a comfortable temperature is enough to offset any gains you made by turning the air conditioner off all day. To top it off, you have to spend even more on the price of electricity if you’re coming home at a peak time of day. The much better option is to turn your temperature up somewhat higher than what you would set it to if you were at home. This is a good way to save some money rather than paying for cool air that you won’t be around to enjoy. Also, it takes your AC unit longer to cool down your home after it has been off all-day

Closing Doors and Vents to Rooms You Don’t Use Isn’t Actually Helping
You should also be careful about the misnomer about closing the vents and doors to rooms that you’re not using to save on energy costs. This, again, sounds like a genius idea, but the reality is that your HVAC system was set up to work with the entire house. When you close doors and vents, what you end up doing is stopping free airflow throughout the house. This will force your air conditioner to work even harder than it would normally, which will cost more energy and money in the long run.

It Turns Out That Appliances and Electronics Add a Lot of Extra Heat
When you want to cut down on the heat in your home, you should avoid using too many appliances and electronics when it’s hot outside. It’s a myth that things like television sets, clothes dryers, and other household items don’t put out enough energy to matter. The reality is that even a curling iron that’s turned on can often heat up a small bathroom. When you multiply the number of televisions, computers, stereo systems, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and any other appliances that put out energy together, you have a lot of extra heat.

While you obviously can’t unplug your refrigerator and freezer, there are several other steps that you can take to cut down on the amount of heat that various things in your house are producing. For instance, the clothes dryer and dishwasher are two items that put out a lot of heat, but you can use them in the early morning hours when it’s not as hot outside, or you could turn them on before you leave for a few hours so that you don’t have to be around when it’s hot inside. When it comes to cooking with the oven or stovetop, skip it. Either use the barbecue outside or make a meal you can either heat up in the microwave. Or, better yet, make a cold-cut sandwich.

Don’t Fool Yourself Into Thinking That a Lower Thermostat Setting Will Cool Off the House Faster
This might be people’s wishful thinking when they’re frustrated because of the heat, but it’s actually somewhat common for people to turn their thermostats way down to a very cold temperature in an effort to get the house to cool off faster. The reality is that your air conditioner cools off the house at the same rate regardless of whether you set the thermostat to 50 degrees or to 72 degrees. When you turn the thermostat to 50 degrees, you just have to remember to manually turn the air conditioner off.

A better plan of attack is to not let your house get so hot that you have the urge to have it instantly cold. Otherwise, you could have your air conditioner set to turn on about half an hour before you get home so that you can come home to a house that’s already at a pleasant temperature.

Bigger Is Only Better With Some Things
Bigger might be better to some people when it comes to appliances, but it’s just not the case when it comes to air conditioners, which require that you buy the correct size for the square footage of your house. When you buy an air conditioner that’s too big for your space, the air cools too quickly. That might sound like a nice problem to have, but when the air cools down too quickly, the air conditioner shuts off, and it doesn’t have time to pull all of the moisture out of the air. This leaves the house feeling cool but clammy, and most people don’t like this effect. A better option is to buy the right size air conditioner for the size house that you own.

Don’t Think That Doors and Windows Are Your Biggest Problem
It might seem like the majority of the heat that leaks into the house would be around the windows and doors. You may have always been told how important it is to have enough sealings around the edges to keep the house cool and free of humidity. However, you’re going to be surprised to learn that the walls are actually a much larger source of heat transfer than anywhere else in the house. You have pipes and electrical outlets in the house, and if your home is made of wood, there’s a very good chance that you’re losing quite a bit of heat. Brick homes tend to fare better because brick can insulate better than wood. But if you want to cut down on the amount of heat transfer between the inside of your house and the outside, have a professional inspect your home to find all of the key places where you could insulate.

When it’s time to find some ways of getting the best out of your air conditioner, find tips and excellent customer service for your air conditioner and furnace at Reliable Ducts in Jacksonville, FL. We also offer air quality solutions, too.

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