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?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet

5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet

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

1. Less Lost Energy

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

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

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

2. Fewer and Less Expensive Repairs

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

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

3. Longer Service Life

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

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

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

4. Less Risk of Emergency Repair Fees

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

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

5. Protects Your Factory Warranty

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

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

Understanding AC Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

RDHCEditor5 Ways Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves Your Wallet
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What Are Some Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Conditioner?

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

Choosing the Right Type of Air Conditioning Unit For Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

Finding the Right-Sized Air Conditioner

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

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

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

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

Consider Your Budget

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

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

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

Consider the Technology You Will Want the Unit to Have

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

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

EER Ratings, SEER Ratings, and Inverter Technology

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

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

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

Maximizing Home Comfort With Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling

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

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

RDHCEditorWhat Are Some Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Conditioner?
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Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important and Financially Beneficial

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important and Financially Beneficial

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

What Does HVAC Maintenance Entail?

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

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

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

Improved Energy Efficiency

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

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

More Consistent Comfort

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

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

Fewer Expensive Repair Jobs

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

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

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

Longer System Life Expectancy

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

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

When Should You Schedule HVAC Maintenance?

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

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

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The Importance of a Thermostatic Expansion Valve

A thermostatic expansion valve is a useful piece of equipment that regulates pressure and temperature in a hydronic heating system. It makes the system safer and more efficient by reducing the backflow into the boiler and preventing damage to sensitive components.

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we offer TEV services such as installations, repairs, maintenance, and replacements. When your TEV needs attention, you can count on us to provide top-notch inspections and diagnostics. Whether you’re looking for a new TEV for your system or you simply need a few repairs, we’re the ones to call.

What Do Thermostatic Expansion Valves Do?

TEVs are commonly used to control hot water and steam. In simple terms, TEVs are valves with multiple functions. They act as a check valve, shut-off valve, pressure controller, and thermostat in one device.

Check valves prevent backflow, while shut-off valves allow you to turn the hot water on or off. Pressure controllers reduce pressure to prevent damage to equipment. They also reduce pressure in the event of high pressure to prevent blowback.

Thermostats use a heating element and probe to measure the temperature and turn the valve on or off accordingly. The thermostatic expansion valve is most commonly used with hydronic heating systems such as hot water heaters or boilers.

When using gas as a heat source, this device can be replaced with a manual or automatic gas control valve. In other words, it’s not mandatory but recommended for the optimal performance of your system.

How Does a Thermostatic Expansion Valve Work

A TEV is used to control pressure and temperature in a hydronic heating system by regulating the flow of water or steam to a boiler. It has two main components: a nozzle and a thermostat. The nozzle is installed in the system’s water supply line, and the thermostat is installed in the water return line.

The water enters the nozzle, and the pressure of the system pushes the water through the nozzle and into the return line. The hot water is then delivered to the circulation pump, and the return line is sent back to the boiler. As the water travels to the boiler, it is heated by the boiler’s water.

The nozzle acts as a restriction in the line that allows the water to enter the return line under a predetermined amount of pressure. The thermostat in the return line acts as a pressure controller and temperature sensor. The boiler’s temperature is also monitored.

Why Are Thermostatic Expansion Valves Important?

They are important for a number of reasons. They help prevent low and high water pressures, which can cause damage to equipment. TEVs prevent blowback, which happens when the water pressure exceeds 100 pounds per square inch in residential systems.

They also help prevent scalding by regulating the temperature of the water. The pressure in a hydronic heating system is controlled by the amount of flow to the boiler. The more flow there is, the higher the pressure.

If you have low water pressure, it’s usually due to the boiler not receiving enough flow. In this case, the water stays in the system too long. If the pressure exceeds 100 psi, then there is possibly an issue with the system.

Tev Maintenance

A trained professional can help you maintain the functionality of your TEV. An HVAC technician can clean the nozzle once a year by removing it from the line and running water through it. This will allow a slow and steady flow of water through the nozzle, which will prevent erosion.

You should also have a technician replace the nozzle every five years or when there are signs of wear and tear. Your technician should make sure to replace the existing nozzle with exactly the same model.

It’s important to know that if the nozzle is not closing properly, it might also be a sign that your thermostat needs replacement.

Thermostat Replacement

If the nozzle is working just fine, but you still need to replace the thermostat, a technician can get to the root of the problem by shutting off the system. Then, he or she will remove the old thermostat and check the gauge on the side if there is one.

Next, the technician will install the new thermostat and place it in the return line where the old one was. The new thermostat should be the same model and have the same settings as the old one.

If you notice that the new thermostat isn’t working as efficiently as the old one, it could be due to the type of piping being used. The new type of piping might restrict the flow too much.

Maintaining Your System

When a TEV needs replacement, it’s important to handle this job right away. If a worn-out TEV remains in place for too long, it could compromise the boiler and thermostat, necessitating extensive repairs. A repair technician from Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling can perform yearly inspections to ensure that your TEV is in proper working order.

Under normal conditions, you shouldn’t need to interact with your system’s TEV. It will continue working without your interaction for many years, although regular inspections and maintenance will extend its lifespan considerably. TEV maintenance is straightforward and affordable. At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we aim to make TEV repairs as fast and efficient as possible.

Our Services

We offer reliable TEV installation and maintenance services to folks throughout Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding areas. A properly working TEV is essential for hydronic heating systems in Jacksonville homes, and we’ll go the extra mile to ensure that your TEV is free of damage. Our professionals are friendly and organized, so you can expect us to finish our work quickly and without any hassle.

The Takeaway

A TEV is a convenient and efficient device that helps prevent low water pressure and scalding. It prevents blowback into the system, which can result in extensive damage and costly repairs. The TEV is commonly used with hydronic heating systems and is easy to maintain.

If you have a TEV installed in your system, make sure to have a professional clean the nozzle and check the thermostat on a regular basis. When it’s time to replace the nozzle or thermostat, make sure you get exactly the same model.

At Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling, we can handle any HVAC repairs, maintenance, or installations you send our way. Our services include air conditioner and heater replacements, air duct cleaning, and home air quality assurance testing. Whether you’re looking for a new heat pump or professional air conditioner repairs, we’ve got you covered.

We have been serving Jacksonville, Florida, and the surrounding areas since 2003. You can count on us for consistent, honest, and transparent services. Our technicians will always arrive on time, your bill will never have hidden costs, and we guarantee superior customer service. We know this region well, and we understand how to keep our customers’ homes comfortable throughout the long, hot summers and brief, cold winters.

If you’d like expert service for your TEV, call us today for more information and to schedule an appointment.

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11 Benefits That Come With an HVAC Maintenance Plan

HVAC maintenance plays a huge role in ensuring your system has a long life span and runs efficiently. Several tasks are done while maintaining your equipment to protect your home and ensure it keeps your family comfortable all year long.

Homeowners often forget to have their HVAC system serviced, thus necessitating a maintenance plan. Routine maintenance involves your technician inspecting, testing, and servicing critical components in your system to reduce wear and ensure efficiency. It is easy to forget about scheduling heating and cooling tune-ups as we rarely think about our system until it starts malfunctioning. Neglecting your HVAC system can have grave consequences which affect your home as well as your equipment. A maintenance plan ensures you stay on top of your system’s needs by having scheduled tune-ups. Our experts at Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling discuss why investing in a maintenance plan has its share of benefits.

1. Improved Energy Efficiency

An HVAC system that is rarely maintained must work harder to cool or heat your home properly. With your system working harder, not only does this cause wear that reduces the lifespan of your equipment, but it also increases energy bills due since the system has to use more energy to get the job done. A maintenance plan is important as it ensures your system is frequently serviced, improving its efficiency and thus ensuring your energy bills remain as low as possible. Homeowners may put off servicing their units due to the cost; however, having your unit regularly maintained saves you money in the long run since your unit will run efficiently, and there is a reduced chance of unexpected repairs.

2. Pro-Longed Lifespan

Heating and cooling systems are an investment for the comfort of your home. Like every investment, the main goal is to get the most from it. A well-maintained system should last for an average of 15 to 20 years. As your HVAC system ages, it is prone to wear and tear. Therefore, constantly replacing your unit might become a tedious and expensive ordeal, which can be avoided by servicing your equipment.

Neglecting your equipment means it has to work harder, thus straining your air conditioner and reducing its lifespan. Having scheduled tune-ups improve its reliability and performance and ensures you are not forced to retire your conditioner earlier than you intended.

3. Prevent Unexpected Breakdowns

Imagine your air conditioner malfunctioning deep into summer when you need it most. Breakdowns affect the comfort of your home and may require expensive repairs. A maintenance plan can help to prevent unexpected breakdowns. With a maintenance plan, your unit is inspected frequently by a professional. An inspection enables the technician to find pre-existing problems and fix them before the problem causes a malfunction or becomes too expensive to repair. Having enrolled in a maintenance plan also ensures the cost of repairs is lowered.

4. Reduced Maintenance Costs

The main reason why most homeowners fear maintaining their air conditioners is the cost. With your finances already stretched thin, you may find it hard paying for a maintenance check for your AC. However, with a maintenance plan, you receive huge discounts on components of your system. You also get significant savings on repairs which are guaranteed to improve your equipment. Regular maintenance catches small issues that are relatively cheap to fix. Lack of maintenance means you won’t catch these issues until they snowball into major repairs that are much more expensive.

5. Prioritized services

Despite having discounted prices for maintenance and repairs, a maintenance plan member also gets prioritized services. Your needs will always come before those who don’t have a plan. Investing in a maintenance program has advantages, as this prioritization can come in handy when you require immediate assistance for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

6. Know Your System Is Ready

Servicing your system can save you a lot of money and trouble. When your system is inspected, small issues can be caught and repaired before they become hazardous to your equipment and home. These regular tune-ups ensure your air conditioner is always ready and doesn’t break down or malfunction when needed. Investing in a maintenance plan is the best way to ensure your heating and cooling system is always ready, thus giving you peace of mind in your home.

7. No Need For Reminders

A major concern with HVAC maintenance is that you forget about scheduling the maintenance. People having busy days will likely forget about your system, especially if it functions as it should. Care of your equipment is crucial, especially if you want to save on bills and get a long life of service from the HVAC system. Luckily, maintenance plans come in handy because your HVAC service plan will keep track of your service history and contact you to make sure you schedule a tune-up when necessary. This is very beneficial as it lets you have peace of mind and the ability to focus on your other responsibilities without worrying about your conditioner. We can say that forgetting to schedule a tune-up is a thing of the past when you invest in an HVAC maintenance plan.

8. Improved Indoor Air Quality

The air quality inside your home is important, especially if your family suffers from respiratory conditions like asthma. If your system has been running without maintenance, the air quality inside your home will be affected due to the various contaminants the air may carry. During servicing, your technicians should inspect and clean the fan coils, motors, and other parts to remove dust and other allergens that may have collected. Your air filters should also be checked, cleaned, or replaced if dirt has accumulated.

9. Familiarizing With Your HVAC System

Another advantage of having a maintenance plan is that the same experts work on your system each time you require a service. This allows the technicians to familiarize themselves with your unit. Having one company doing your maintenance ensures your system is given dedicated care.

10. Maintaining Your Warranty Coverage

Sometimes regularly servicing your HVAC system is a requirement to avoid nullifying your warranty, especially if your HVAC system is new or still under warranty. If your manufacturer learns you were not maintaining your unit when the problems started, they can void your warranty, costing you more money. Registering in a maintenance plan can be crucial in upholding your warranty if you require it in the future.

11. Reduced Noise

When your system is properly maintained by a professional, they will clean and lubricate all moving parts. This helps the system to work with a lot less strain which results in less noise. Additionally, if your system seems to be louder than normal, a routine inspection can find and repair the issue, returning your system to quiet operation.

Are you in Jacksonville, FL, and looking for a maintenance agreement? At Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling, we offer the most reliable services in our area. Our highly skilled professionals provide consistent and transparent services to ensure our customers are completely satisfied. We offer heating and air conditioning installations, repairs, replacements, tune-ups, maintenance agreements, duct cleaning, indoor air quality, UV lighting, humidity control, and ventilation testing. For trusted HVAC solutions, contact us today.

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