florida allergies

3 Florida Allergens Making You Sneeze This Spring

Spring is prime time for allergies in Sarasota, Florida. If you’re suffering from persistent watery eyes, congestion, and sneezing, you may be feeling the effects of local allergens in the air. Watch for these common triggers and do what you can to minimize them in your environment.

Pollen

Pollen peaks in Florida around March, with some pollination beginning as early as December. While most people associate pollen with flowers, they’re not the only plants you should worry about. Trees release a lot of irritating pollen in Florida as well. Some of the most troublesome culprits are birch, elm, Bluejack oak, and maple trees. If you have one of these near your home, make sure the house is well-sealed to keep pollen out. Add weather stripping around windows and caulk any cracks or other openings to improve indoor air quality.

Mold

Mold is a serious allergen in Florida. The humid climate is perfect for this type of growth. Molds release their spores in spring, causing allergies to flare up. Make sure your home is mold-free by watching for moisture in common areas like the bathroom and kitchen. Install exhaust fans if they’re not already in place to pull moisture out of these areas, and always keep these fans running while you cook, shower, or do other activities that create steam.

Dust

Are you doing a lot of spring cleaning? Is the windy weather whipping up dust in your house? Perhaps you’ve been using your ceiling fans more, but they’re caked in this covering. Dust is an irritating allergen. Maintaining a clean HVAC filter is good, but a whole-house air cleaner is even better for pulling dust as well as other allergens from the air in your home.

Do you need help improving the indoor air quality in your home to minimize allergy symptoms? Contact Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715. We’ll help you keep your air clean and healthy so you can get as much relief as possible from your allergy symptoms.

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bathroom cleaning

Quick Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Bathroom

While you should give your bathroom a good scrub-down on a regular basis, you probably don’t have time for a deep clean more than a few times a year. Spring is the perfect season for thoroughly cleaning up your bathroom, before the gorgeous Sarasota, Florida, summer draws you out of the house. Use these tips to get a fresh, sparkling bathroom that’s perfect for the season ahead.

Clear the Clutter

Bathrooms tend to accumulate a lot of clutter over time, from gifted soaps and lotions to half-empty toothpaste tubes. Empty your cabinets and toss anything that you no longer need. Check the expiration dates on all medications. Launder all bath mats, rugs, draperies, and other linens. Those that are unused may still need a wash if they’ve been sitting in a decorative basket or the back of a cabinet for too long.

Inspect Your Pipes

While your cabinets are clear, you can check the pipes for any signs of leaking. Discolored shelf paper, wall damage, or other signs of moisture should be investigated right away. Never allow moisture to linger. Leak detection services will help you track down the problem if you’re not sure where the faulty pipe is.

Clean and Caulk

Remove any rugs in the bathroom, shake them out outside, and toss them in the wash. Sweep and thoroughly scrub your bathroom floor. Inspect and repair caulk around the tub. Clean grout carefully both on the floor and in the shower. If your grout hasn’t been sealed recently, do so now. You should seal your grout at least once a year.

Deep Clean the Toilet

Remove the toilet seat to get into the crevices you can’t reach with your regular toilet cleaning. Thoroughly clean all toilet surfaces, including the screw caps around the base and crevices around the back.

If you uncover any areas in need of plumbing repairs as you clean, contact Aqua Plumbing and Air to deal with them promptly. You can reach us at 914-306-3715.

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Get Better Ventilation

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality in the Spring

If your Lakewood Ranch, Florida, home’s indoor air quality is poor, you and your family could have to deal with headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, fatigue, trouble concentrating, asthma attacks, allergies, and other health problems. Pollutants like dust, pollen, or mold spores also shorten your HVAC system’s life and lower its efficiency. You can improve your indoor air quality in spring by using ventilation, adding an air cleaner, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Proper Ventilation

You can bring clean outdoor air into your home with good ventilation. Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms have exhaust fans to remove excess moisture, unpleasant odors, and pollutants. An energy recovery ventilation system can also save energy by cooling warm air as it comes into your home in spring and summer. These ventilators work like heat pumps, transferring heat to the outgoing cool air. They also dilute concentrations of contaminants in your home and increase your comfort. You can have a whole-home model installed easily by one of our professional technicians.

Adding an Air Cleaner

Air cleaners or air purifiers can filter dust, dirt, smoke, mold spores, pollen, and other pollutants from indoor air. They’re helpful for people with asthma, allergies, or weak immune systems because they can even remove some bacteria and viruses from the air. Choose an air cleaner with a high MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, for the best results. A germicidal UV lamp inside your evaporator coil or your ductwork can also give you extra protection.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Have your HVAC system inspected by a professional at least once per year and change the filters for your air conditioner and your air purifier once per month. Dirty filters can waste energy and spread pollutants through your home. Fortunately, many programmable thermostats can remind you when it’s time to change your filters.

Aqua Plumbing & Air is a Factory Authorized Carrier Dealer with decades of experience. We can help you improve your indoor air quality by installing, maintaining, and repairing a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us anytime at 941-306-3715 for great service.

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Carrier Infinity air conditioner

Save Energy in the Spring With These 3 Simple Changes

Spring is here, and the beautiful Siesta Key, Florida, weather makes this a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. However, warmer weather also means you’ll need to use your air conditioner more, which increases your utility bills. To save energy and money, make some simple changes like protecting your outdoor unit, taking care of spring cleaning, and adding window treatments.

Protecting Your Outdoor Unit

Plant trees or install an awning near your outdoor HVAC unit to give shade and help it work at peak efficiency. You should also keep debris like leaves, grass clippings, or twigs away from your unit and make sure your air conditioner has at least two feet of space on all sides for good airflow. You can avoid an expensive, inconvenient breakdown by cleaning your outdoor unit regularly and having it inspected by an experienced professional at least once a year.

Spring Cleaning

With its comfortable weather, spring is a perfect time to get rid of the dirt, dust, and clutter left in your home from winter. A thorough cleaning can improve your indoor air quality, increase your HVAC system’s life, and improve its efficiency. It can even reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.

Clean out your closets and cabinets and give old items to friends or charity. Then, dust and vacuum every room while you look for mold or other contaminants. Use a dehumidifier to save even more, keep your home comfortable, and prevent mold growth.

Adding Window Treatments

Adding window coverings like curtains or shades can keep the sun out of your home during the day and trap cool air inside at night for better comfort. For even more insulation, add caulk or weather stripping in any gaps around windows or doors.

Aqua Plumbing & Air is a Factory Authorized Carrier Dealer with more than 30 years of experience. We can help you with all your plumbing, HVAC, and electrical needs. Call us anytime at 941-306-3715.

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professional home office

How to Keep Your Home Office Professional

Working from your Sarasota, Florida, home gives you an invigorating sense of freedom, but it’s not without its challenges. When you work for yourself, you also have to take the initiative to act as the boss and keep things up to par. You should stay on top of all the critical elements of office management so you can work from home as efficiently as you would in an office.

Organize Your Space

It’s easy to be lax about cleanliness and organization in your home office since you don’t have a boss peeking over your shoulder to assess your workspace. However, avoid the temptation to let things go. An organized work area will improve your efficiency and help you stay in a professional mindset throughout the day.

You’ll want to keep neat files, avoid cluttering your computer’s desktop with junk, and keep all the necessary supplies on hand for success, from colorful highlighters to an oversized whiteboard. Cater to the way you work and make sure you have all the tools you would enjoy in a traditional office.

Stay on Top of Maintenance

In an office building, someone else is in charge of maintenance, but at home it’s up to you. Make sure you’re still enjoying a well-maintained space. Change the filter in your HVAC system every one to three months and schedule annual maintenance for optimum indoor air quality. You’ll also want to clean your office regularly and keep dishes, old food, and other messes under control.

Invest in Good Furniture

Good office furniture can make a dramatic difference in your productivity throughout the day. Invest in a supportive desk chair so you’re not tempted to go lounge on the couch. Make sure your desk is large enough to accommodate everything you need. Additionally, keep your workspace illuminated with smart task lighting so you’re not lurking in a dimly lit corner during the day.

Do you need help staying on top of your home maintenance for outstanding indoor air quality? Contact Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715 and schedule your next tuneup with us today.

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kitchen sink

4 Contaminants to Watch for in Your Water

Most people assume that the water flowing from their taps is naturally safe, but there are many contaminants that can linger unseen, causing harm to your home or health. Watch out for these hazards in your Sarasota, Florida, water and take action quickly if you notice something is amiss.

Iron and Manganese

Does your water leave an orange or brown ring around the tub and sink drains? This is a sign of high levels of iron and manganese, which come from the groundwater. Installing a filter for any water that you’ll drink is the best solution.

Legionella

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal condition known as Legionnaires’ disease. This bacteria is most commonly found in poorly maintained water heaters. It thrives in temperatures between 90 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, though it can survive at anything between 68 and 122 degrees. If iron and scale are also present, this will speed development. Schedule regular maintenance for water heaters and keep them above 122 degrees to prevent Legionella growth.

Calcium and Magnesium

If your water is grayish in color, leaves scale in your teapots, and doesn’t produce good suds with soap, it’s probably “hard water.” This means it has high levels of magnesium and calcium. You can solve this problem with an ion exchange water softener, which will replace the magnesium and calcium with potassium or sodium.

Hydrogen Sulfide

The most obvious indicator of hydrogen sulfide in your water is a distinct rotten egg smell. You may also notice greasy black stains left behind. This is caused by certain bacteria in the groundwater. An oxidizing filter is typically the best solution, though an activated carbon filter may do the trick if your problem is very mild.

If you suspect something’s wrong with the water in your home, contact Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715. We can help you diagnose and treat the problem so you and your family can enjoy safe, clean water.

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dirty filter

Why You Should Avoid Washable Air Filters

Your HVAC system’s air filter traps dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants. This keeps the indoor air quality in your home high and prevents breakdowns by keeping pollutants away from your system. Dirty air filters can restrict your airflow and waste energy. You should change a disposable air filter or clean a washable or electrostatic filter at least every three months. Most people use disposable instead of washable air filters because washable filters are more expensive, they’re less effective, and they get moldy easily.

Costs

Washable filters are not only more expensive than disposable ones, but they have to be replaced eventually, as with disposable ones. You’ll also need to clean a washable filter by taking it apart and rinsing off the components. This takes longer than just changing a disposable one, so you should avoid using washable filters if you have lots of things to do. In addition, you’ll need a spare washable filter if you want to use your HVAC system while you’re cleaning your main one.  

MERV Ratings

Washable air filters have lower MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, ratings than disposable filters, so they’re not as effective. This means they can’t trap small particles such as bacteria, viruses, or pet dander. Disposable air filters can catch more contaminants and keep you and your family healthier and more comfortable, especially if you have asthma or allergies.

Mold

If you don’t clean a washable air filter regularly, it will become clogged, and mold could start growing on it quite easily. Mold also grows on washable filters when people clean and replace them without giving them enough time to dry. A moldy air filter will spread mold spores through your entire home.

Aqua Plumbing & Air is a Factory Authorized Carrier Dealer with more than 40 years of heating and cooling experience. We can help you choose the best air filter for your home and install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us at 941-306-3715 for expert service.

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Why You Shouldn’t Clean Your Own Ductwork

Your HVAC system pushes the air in your Sarasota, Florida, home through your ductwork several times per day, so cleaning your ducts can improve your indoor air quality and help you save energy by increasing airflow. You can change your system’s air filter once per month to keep many contaminants out, but all ducts eventually need cleaning from an experienced professional. You shouldn’t clean your own ductwork because you could damage your HVAC system, lower your indoor air quality, or leave pollutants behind.

Potential Ductwork Damage

Professional duct cleaners know how to clean your ducts without damaging them or their insulation. Even a small gap could let air escape, wasting energy and increasing your utility bills. Also, repairs usually cost a lot more than a professional duct cleaning, and damage is hard for homeowners to detect without help.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

A professional can clean your HVAC system’s diffusers, cooling coils, grilles, heat exchangers, fan motors, and drip pans as well as your ductwork. Getting rid of dirt, dust, pest droppings, cobwebs, and other contaminants improves your home’s indoor air quality and reduces asthma and allergy symptoms. If you clean your ductwork yourself, you could spread mold and other pollutants through your home even faster than dirty ducts would. Professionals use high-powered vacuums to trap all pollutants and special cameras to see inside and make sure it’s clean.

Ducts That Stay Dirty

You can clean the ductwork near your air registers by yourself, but many homes have ducts in crawlspaces or are too far behind walls to clean thoroughly without special equipment. Professionals use special rotary brushes that can clean all parts of your ductwork and help you get rid of mold and pests for good.

Aqua Plumbing & Air has more than 40 years of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical experience. We can clean your ductwork and install, maintain, and repair a variety of equipment. Call us at 941-306-3715 for excellent service.

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buying new hvac system

3 Reasons to Replace Your Air Conditioner in the Winter

If you’re a longtime Longboat Key, Florida, resident, you know that summer is prime time for air conditioning. Since you don’t need your air conditioner during the winter, it’s the ideal season to upgrade. Take a look at three ways you’ll benefit from replacing your cooling system in the winter.

Benefit From Sales and Discounts

Making just about any purchase during the off-season can result in significant savings, and air conditioners are no exception. You’ll generally have to pay full price when you buy a new cooling system at the height of summer, but you’re much more likely to find sales and discounts in the winter.

At Aqua Plumbing and Air, we make room for new systems before the cooling season starts in the spring. That means we can typically offer better wintertime deals on air conditioners.

Choose a Convenient Installation Schedule

If you’ve ever tried to make an appointment for air conditioner repairs at the peak of summer, you know how challenging it can be to get a same-day appointment. In the winter, however, our HVAC team’s schedule tends to be much more flexible. If you need to schedule installation on a certain winter day, we’ll gladly work with you.

Keep in mind that if your air conditioner required numerous repairs last season, that’s a good sign that your cooling system is on its last legs. Consider replacing it now so you won’t have to worry about staying cool next summer.

Take Your Time to Select a New System

If you haven’t replaced your air conditioner in more than 10 years, your system probably uses outdated technology. Upgrade it now, and you can take the time to talk with our HVAC experts at length to find the right system for your home. We’ll show you energy-efficient advances like variable-speed blowers, zoning systems, and smart thermostats that will keep your family comfortable while keeping your energy consumption low.

Isn’t it time you replaced your outdated cooling system with an energy-efficient air conditioner? Give Aqua Plumbing and Air a call to find the best system for your Longboat Key home: 941-306-3715.

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testing water for contaminants

Why You Need a Water Filtration System

Clean water is essential to your family’s wellbeing, no matter where  you live, even in Siesta Key, Florida, you can’t always count on your faucets to produce crystal clear water. Fortunately, a water filtration system enables you to take your family’s health into your own hands. From eliminating harsh chemicals to extending the lifespan of household appliances, learn about three benefits of a water filtration system.

Remove Contaminants From Your Water Supply

The water in Siesta Key looks and tastes clean, but it’s not totally free from contaminants. In fact, municipal drinking water has more than 300 pollutants and contaminants. While not all are at dangerous levels, they don’t enhance the quality of your drinking water.

At Aqua Plumbing and Air, we know you want to make sure that your family has the safest and cleanest drinking water possible. That’s why we offer a water filtration system that uses a reverse osmosis method to remove harsh chemicals like chlorine and other impurities.

Extend the Life of Household Appliances

You know that contaminants can harm your family’s health. But what about water-consuming household appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers, and water heaters? Most municipal water has minerals that build up and harden inside these appliances, shortening the lifespan and increasing your costs.

Before installing a water filtration system, our team conducts tests to assess the mineral level of your water supply. Then we recommend a proper method of water treatment to soften and purify your water and lengthen the life of your appliances.

Add an Extra Layer of Protection for Your Family

Rather than relying solely on municipal water, many families have a backup option if they need a clean, safe supply of water. Purchasing water bottles gets costly, though, and storing them presents logistical challenges.

Rather than buying water, make the most of what you have. Our filtration system provides high-quality water while adding an extra layer of protection for your family.

How much better would your drinking water quality be with a water filtration system? Call Aqua Plumbing and Air today to learn more about our filtration services: 941-306-3715.

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