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We Encourage Eco-Friendly Options. Here’s How We Can Help.

We Encourage Eco-Friendly Options. Here’s How We Can Help.

Energy efficiency is a hot topic for Sarasota homeowners. In the Sunshine State, the average family uses 40% more electricity than the national average. According to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey, appliances, electronics and lights account for 50% of household utility use in Florida. Almost 30% of electricity is used for air conditioning, which is four times the national average, and 14% goes toward water heating. By addressing each of these areas with eco-friendly options, our home energy efficiency technicians can lower your total energy use by 10% or more.

Efficient HVAC Solutions

Air conditioning accounts for a considerable part of your total utility use. At Aqua Plumbing & Air, we offer comprehensive maintenance plans, preseason tune-ups and energy-efficient upgrades that help your HVAC system perform its best. Our specialists will ensure that your ductwork and mechanical equipment are in good working order. If you aren’t happy with your comfort levels or energy bills, it may be time for a replacement. Energy Star-qualified HVAC equipment can lower your cooling costs by 15 to 40% depending on the model.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

Thanks to modern technology, improving your home’s energy efficiency could be as simple as switching light bulbs. Homeowners today can choose from a wide selection of long-lasting, color-balanced LED products that generate 70% less heat and use 90% less energy. The Internet of Things has created a new generation of smart switches and controls that let you turn on the lights or adjust the dimmer using your smartphone or a simple voice command. Additionally, efficient outdoor lighting systems can amp up your home’s curb appeal and security.

Energy-Saving Water Heaters

Efficient technology has even transformed that uninspiring gray tank in your garage or utility room. New water heaters use up to 50% less energy, which could save you $3,500 over the unit’s life according to Energy Star. Gas hot water storage tanks are more efficient than ever, and they offer excellent recovery times. However, homeowners can also select space-saving tankless systems that generate unlimited hot water and heat pump models that extract energy from the air. If your hot water tank is more than 10 years old, our plumbers can help you select a cost-effective replacement.

Efficient Pool Equipment

Pools are a beautiful backyard feature, but they can be expensive. Pool pumps and heaters can be energy hogs, and conventional systems require pounds of chemicals and gallons of additives. Fortunately, things are changing. Variable-speed pool pumps and air-source heaters can reduce pool-related energy use by 65% and save you up to $445 per year. In many cases, these upgrades can pay for themselves in one season. Our water treatment services department has many options to soften, sanitize and purify our local water conditions.

Whether you’re interested in efficient lighting, water heating or air conditioning, eco-friendly upgrades are good for the environment and great for your wallet. If you’re ready to lower your utility bills and improve your home’s energy efficiency, our experienced technicians can help. Give us a call at 941-306-3715, or learn more about our eco-friendly home services online.

4 Signs You Need a New HVAC System

4 Signs You Need a New HVAC System

Nobody wants to live in a subtropical climate as warm as Bradenton, Florida, without excellent air conditioning that they can rely on. Even those who love to spend time outside in the Florida sun enjoy cold air conditioning that can provide relief when they are ready to come back inside. Unfortunately, your HVAC system won’t last forever, and eventually, you’ll need to replace it. Here are some signs that you need a new HVAC system.

You Need Constant Repairs

One of the most noticeable signs that you need a new HVAC system is that it needs constant repairs. HVAC systems are designed to last about a decade with minimal repairs. So, needing multiple repairs each year could mean that your system has worn out.

This is even more likely if core system parts like the coils have been damaged more than once and need to be replaced. These parts should last the entire lifespan of the AC system unless something unusual happens.

However, this does not apply to disposable parts. Parts like startup capacitors, filters, and drain hoses are based more on their maintenance and quality. Having these parts replaced is common and doesn’t indicate that there is something wrong with your HVAC system.

Loud Noises From Your HVAC System

The loudest noise that you should hear from your HVAC system is the sound of air coming out of the vents. If you hear anything else, especially loud banging, grinding, or hissing noises, there is something wrong with your system. Banging means that something is moving around inside the system, which means a part came loose. Likewise, none of the parts in the system should make grinding noises since they are designed to work together smoothly. This likely means that small parts are wearing out in the motor, and a professional needs to address this sooner than later.

Hissing is a problem as well since it means that air is entering or leaving the system at a high speed when it should not. This could likely be a coolant leak somewhere. However, a professional technician will need to check this soon since a coolant leak can damage your system if it is left unresolved.

Outdated HVAC System

There will come a time when it is more cost-effective to replace your HVAC system than it is to keep repairing it. Plus, systems that are more than 10 years old are significantly less energy-efficient than the current models. If a system repair will cost more than 40% of a new installation, or your energy bill is noticeably higher than it was a few years ago, it may be time to replace your HVAC system.

A new system could save you a lot on your energy bill since newer systems are more efficient. You will also experience improved comfort with a new more effective HVAC system.

Longer Running Times

You might notice that your system kicks on more often and is staying on longer to get your home to your desired temperature. This could happen because of bad coils or maybe a failing blower motor. A professional can check these parts to see if that’s the only issue.

But if the coils and motor are fine, then it’s likely a more serious issue that’s overworking your system. When your AC has to keep running for a longer time, that means it’s having trouble producing and circulating enough cooled air around your house to keep it at the set temperature. A significantly less energy-efficient unit is one that needs replacing.

To determine if a simple repair is needed or it’s time to upgrade to a new system a professional will have to make an assessment and recommendation to you. Call Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715 for an HVAC appointment. We would be happy to take a look at your HVAC system to help you determine next steps.

5 Top High Efficient Plumbing Upgrades

5 Top High Efficient Plumbing Upgrades

Increased home efficiency has become a hot topic in the past few years, as ecological responsibility takes the forefront of home design considerations. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your Bradenton, Florida, home’s plumbing to something more efficient, you should know that there are a lot of options out there. We’ve put together this guide of the five best plumbing upgrades that can increase your efficiency but still work beautifully.

Low-Flow Shower Heads

Low-flow shower heads are a great way to save water while still enjoying a leisurely shower. Designed for maximum output with low water usage, low-flow shower heads have come a long way. Most provide excellent pressure and comfort but without a lot of waste. Typically, you don’t need to install anything in your shower outside of attaching the head to your pre-existing spout. You can install them yourself with little time and effort. There are a variety of styles, from handheld to rainfall, all low-flow. These are a great way to save water without sacrifice.

High-Efficiency Toilets

If you’re looking to redo your bathroom, we strongly recommend adding a high-efficiency toilet. These toilets are one of the best ways to save water in your home. They work by using a lower amount of water to remove waste while still doing an effective job. Some even offer choices in the amount of flow to fit the user’s needs. While these toilets can sometimes be a little more expensive than traditional, there are plenty of models that are on-par price wise, and more than make up their installation cost with the amount of water you’ll save. Just be sure to get them installed by a licensed plumber who can ensure it’s working correctly.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is a great, energy-efficient alternative to the traditional tank heaters. Instead of storing a large amount of water which is heated to meet your home’s needs, a tankless heater heats water as it’s needed without storing it. This allows for instant access to hot water as well as reduced water waste. Plus, many take up less room than the traditional models which can help free up storage space in your home. They’re just as easy to maintain as tank heaters, with minimal maintenance required. Tankless heaters are great choices for small families or couples, while large families may find themselves running out of hot water sooner than with a tank option. Have a conversation with your plumber to figure out if a tankless water heater will meet the needs of you and your family.

High-Efficiency Clothes Washer

One of the more commonplace items on this list, high-efficiency clothes washers are found in homes across the country. They are extremely effective at cleaning clothes, some even more so than traditional clothes washers. They often cost around the same as a mid-range washer and can save you quite a bit on both your energy and your water bills. These systems are typically front-loading; the design making it easier to conserve water while providing great clothes-cleaning functionality. If you have a family that has a lot of laundry, this is a great way to keep on top of their needs without sacrificing performance. Cycles don’t take any longer to complete and many are outfitted with the latest in clothes washer technology.

Variable-Spray Faucet

The kitchen sink is an important tool in any home, and having a faucet that can vary with the needs of your family is very handy and efficient. Variable-spray faucets allow users to pick how much flow comes out, as well as choose between options like stream and spray. This allows you to use less water when washing dishes, or more when you’re trying to fill a pot. The flexibility can help keep your kitchen running smoothly while also helping you save water when you’re able to.

Are you ready to upgrade your home with new high-efficiency plumbing? Aqua Plumbing & Air can help. Give our experts a call to learn more about available high-efficiency technology or set up an installation appointment. Reach out at 941-306-3715 to find out how Aqua Plumbing & Air can help you today!

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3 Barriers to Summer Comfort

3 Barriers to Summer Comfort

Summer is almost here, bringing with it warmer, wetter weather and all the excitement of the season. While you enjoy the fun that summer offers, sometimes you need to escape the heat into the cool haven of your Sarasota home. Build a more comfortable, efficient, and healthier home by kicking down these three barriers to summer comfort.

Lack of HVAC Maintenance

Since your HVAC system is the heart of comfort in your home, it can also become a significant barrier to your comfort without proper care. Over time, the strain your unit experiences as it tries to maintain comfort in your home will take its toll, wearing down components and causing damage. Without maintenance to remedy these issues, your HVAC system will struggle to maintain comfort and will simultaneously increase your utility costs.

During a professional maintenance appointment, our service technicians will identify areas of wear and tear and, if necessary, repair such damage. They can also refill your refrigerant, clean the interior of your unit, calibrate your thermostat, help you isolate habits that may be exacerbating HVAC damage, and much more. Most importantly, HVAC maintenance fixes problems caused by a lack of maintenance, resulting in better comfort for you and your family.

Air Leaks

Your air conditioner works hard to supply your home with the cool air that you need. But if that air doesn’t stay where it belongs, your unit will push itself to compensate, and to no avail. That effort will increase strain on your system, potentially leading to further wear. The leaks will allow warm summer air to infiltrate your cool home. Air can leak out in many areas of your home, maybe around doors and windows that aren’t adequately sealed, in unfinished areas like your attic, or in your duct system.

Isolating air leaks can be difficult. You can plug air leaks around windows or doors by resealing around them. If you see light coming through corners of walls in your attic, that’s also a sure sign of an air leak. Finding leaks in your air ducts is more difficult, though reduced comfort and higher utility costs could be a symptom of such leaks. Our team here at Aqua can help you find out if you have these air leaks.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

It’s hard to get comfortable when you’re constantly sneezing and running out of tissues due to dirt and dust particulates and other allergens floating around in your home’s air. Poor indoor air quality is always a threat to comfort, but you should watch out for specific IAQ threats in the summer. Following the bloom of spring, more pollen and other allergens float around, and those allergens can easily make their way into your home. Keep those allergens from affecting you by removing your shoes when you enter your home and by cleaning fabrics often.

Since your pets are likely to be spending more time outside in the summer, they could also be bringing in these hazardous particles. Pets can also spread dander through your home. To mitigate both of these threats to indoor air quality, clean your pet often and keep them out of certain areas of your home so you’re guaranteed a healthy, comfortable environment when your allergies flare up.

Your HVAC system also plays an important role in indoor air quality, but if you’re not performing maintenance on your unit, it can also become a barrier to high IAQ. If your HVAC filter is getting clogged, then you’ll likely have more dust and debris blown through your home, and your energy efficiency will drop. Change those air filters monthly and, if you’re especially susceptible to indoor air hazards, consider installing a whole-home air cleaner, which will catch more particles and more effectively purify your air.

Summer is for backyard barbecues, vacations, and relaxation. Don’t let these barriers keep you from enjoying all that a comfortable summer can offer. To improve your comfort with professional HVAC maintenance, call Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715.

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Considering a Ductless HVAC System?

Considering a Ductless HVAC System?

Mini-split ductless systems are becoming a super popular option for homeowners who need a unique solution to their home’s climate control. If you’ve been considering a ductless HVAC system for your Sarasota, Florida, home, we’ve created this guide to give you all the info you need to know about these systems, so you can make an informed decision about whether one is right for you.

How They Work

Ductless mini-split HVAC systems work differently than a traditional HVAC system. Significantly smaller, these units are designed to provide climate control solutions for unique or difficult rooms and home layouts. The system itself is actually fairly simple. There are two main components: an exterior portion that is outside of the home and an interior portion, which is located in the area to be heated or cooled. The exterior part houses the compressor, while the interior has the blower and the thermostat.

The system cools by removing heat from the air via a refrigerant and replacing the heated air with cooled air. When it gets cold, the system works in reverse, pumping in hot air and removing the cold air.

One of the greatest perks of ductless systems over window-mounted units is that the system is extremely quiet, with minimal fan noise. In addition, they only require a small hole to be drilled between the interior and exterior portions, a much smaller commitment to many of the other climate control alternatives on the market.

Energy Efficiency

Because they’re relatively small and have few components, ductless HVAC systems are also remarkably energy efficient. Ductwork has a major impact on your energy efficiency, especially if the ductwork is dirty or improperly sealed. With such a huge opportunity for energy waste, even the best systems can still end up affected.

On the other hand, ductless mini-split systems have a small, closed system that has little to no opportunities for energy waste. This can lead to a significant boost in energy efficiency and a reduction in utility bills.

Ideal Situations

Ductless mini-split systems can be used as whole-home solutions. However, some of the best uses for them are for single rooms or areas in a home that are difficult to cool. New construction or conversions where ductwork either can’t be extended or is too costly to renovate are a perfect setup for ductless mini-split systems, which can be used to get climate control into those rooms. Oftentimes, these systems are far cheaper than extending ductwork.

In some cases where the addition is a significant amount of space, it may be too much of a load for the current central HVAC system to handle. A ductless system is the perfect augmentative measure to keep that new space comfortable without overloading the central HVAC.

They are also a good choice for historic homes where either there isn’t a central system or the central system only reaches the few main rooms. Ductless mini-split systems can be used as a zoning system for family members who like their room temperature to be different than the rest of the home, or to cool or heat rooms selectively while leaving the rest at a stable, low-cost temperature.

Limitations

Like any system, there are some limitations to ductless HVAC systems. They are mostly intended for room-sized spaces, which means they often can’t work for adjoining rooms or oversized spaces. In addition, due to the fact that there isn’t ductwork in place, the room has to have external-facing walls, meaning it isn’t appropriate for interior-located rooms. Some homeowners don’t like the interior portion of the ductless system. Even though modern systems are significantly sleeker and quieter than older models, it still is a unit that’s placed in a conspicuous place.

Another limitation for many homeowners is the cost. Ductless mini-split systems can be pricey, even though they often pay for themselves in energy savings. In addition, the filters on the system need to be washed or replaced monthly. They can’t handle the same buildup as central HVAC filters, and any excess dust or debris can lead to poor performance.

Sound like your home is an ideal candidate for a ductless HVAC system? The experts at Aqua Plumbing & Air can help you pick and install a system in no time. Give us a call at 941-306-3715 to set up an appointment today!

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7 Signs That Your Current Plumbing Needs an Upgrade

7 Signs That Your Current Plumbing Needs an Upgrade

When you have plumbing issues in your Sarasota, Florida, home, it can lead to water damage and malfunctioning appliances. Older homes often have plumbing that’s no longer considered efficient for use with newer appliances. And over time, corrosion and clogging can lead you to consider upgrading your plumbing system. The best way to know when it’s time to upgrade your plumbing is to be vigilant and watch for these seven signs and symptoms of an aging system.

Leaking Faucets

Leaking faucets can lead to higher energy use and water damage if they’re left unaddressed. Leaking faucets won’t fix themselves, and while some issues can be resolved for a while, odds are, the fixtures will eventually degenerate further and need to be replaced.

Clogged Drains

When your sinks or tubs don’t empty at all, it could be the result of clogged drains. Clogged drains can be caused by paper products, hair, dirt, or other debris that has built up in your pipes. Clogging can also occur because of grease lining the walls of your pipes or because of corrosion as old pipes become worn.

Slow Drains

While slow drains can be a sign that your pipes are becoming clogged, they can also be caused due to a lack of proper venting, which lets pipes drain easily. Unfortunately, these vents are usually installed at about the same time as the drainage pipes were, so if your drainage pipes are old or worn, it could mean the vents are also worn.

Older Pipes

Older homes were often outfitted with galvanized pipes, and if you update or sell your home, you’ll need to bring these pipes up to code. The problem with galvanized pipes is that they can rust easily from the inside, which can lead to many problems, such as major leaks, discolored water, and uneven water pressure.

Older homes may also have lead pipes where the water main comes in. Lead pipes are much softer, which can cause lead to leach into your water supply. If you have either type of older piping, an upgrade is important to ensure the safety of you and your home.

Gurgling or Bubbling Sounds

Percolating or bubbling noises around the drain mean the system could be backed up or that there’s some flow constriction or improper venting. This sound may also be linked to water backing up in basement floor drains or excess water around other drains. When proper flow is inhibited, you should consider replacing your piping.

Bad Smells

Noises aren’t the only thing you should watch out for. You should also be mindful of bad smells. Bad smells coming from your drains indicate something isn’t right in the system. If the smell is that of biological growth, it means there’s water pooling somewhere in your pipes where it shouldn’t be. Bad smells around fixtures and appliances could indicate that seals are poor or have become worn.

Other smells can indicate danger, such as the smell of raw sewage. While this smell could be as simple as a drain trap that has dried out, it could also indicate a blocked, cracked, or broken sewer line. If you notice sewage backing up along with this smell, you should contact a professional immediately.

Constantly Running Toilet

When you hear the sound of your toilet constantly running and the tank refilling, you shouldn’t ignore it. A running toilet can waste many gallons of water a day and could be fixed by simply having a professional replace a few tank parts. If the parts in your tank aren’t the problem, you may need to look at replacing your toilet or checking the surrounding pipes.

Proper maintenance, repair, and even replacement of the plumbing systems in your home should always be taken seriously. If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, you may want to consider investing in a plumbing upgrade. Upgrading your plumbing can save you money, protect your water supply, and keep you safe.

If you’re considering a plumbing upgrade, contact Aqua Plumbing and Air at 941-306-3715 today to schedule a consultation.

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