One of the main features of any home is the plumbing system, which is responsible for providing access to water and connecting to the septic tank to remove waste. Over time, these parts can begin to wear down and deteriorate due to excess use and age. It’s important to understand some of the most common plumbing issues that can occur on your residential property and how to spot them
1. A Faulty Water Heater
Over time, sediment can accumulate in water heater tanks, which can prevent warm water being provided throughout the house. You may notice that your shower becomes cold quickly or the pilot light goes out. You’ll need to hire a professional to inspect the issue and diagnose the problem to ensure a proper fix.
In some cases, the pilot light may just need to be relit to get it working again. If sediment is present, the tank will need to be flushed out with the help of an expert.
2. Clogged Plumbing Drains
Everyone has to deal with clogged drains at one point or another. Issues can be caused by everything from too much paper flushed down the toilet to coffee grounds washed down the kitchen sink. If you notice the drain is clogged, you’ll need to call a qualified plumber to avoid damaging the parts.
If you have children at home, keep a close eye on items they may try to flush down the toilet like toys or paper. So-called flushable wipes should always be tossed in the trash since the material can’t break down in the water.
3. Slow-Clearing Shower Drains
The shower drain can also get clogged, especially during the summer when you wash off dirt and sand after a day at a Florida beach. Over time, the drain can begin to get clogged with gunk, which can cause water to back up into the tub or shower. Consider installing a drain cover to prevent dirt and hair from washing down and clean it every few days.
4. Clogged Disposals
The garbage disposal can get clogged in the kitchen when certain items are washed down. Summer is a common time of year when disposals get clogged after you barbecue or cut up plenty of fresh fruit. Many people make the mistake of putting cooking grease in the disposal, where it can solidify and prevent the drain from working correctly.
It’s important to be aware of what types of foods you’re trying to use the disposal for. Consider throwing more waste in the garbage to err on the side of caution.
Another cautious move that’s wise is contracting for preventive maintenance. You can hire a professional to perform a thorough inspection and identify any potential repairs that may be needed.
5. Leaky Plumbing
Leaky pipes can lead to extensive water damage in the home and can cause mildew to form on the ceilings and in the walls. Leaks commonly occur on the pipe joints and can lead to dampness, which also invites different types of bugs and critters.
It’s important to understand your plumbing system and the problems that can occur during the warmer months of the year. If an issue emerges, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Call us at Aqua to schedule an inspection.
We’ll inspect your plumbing system and advise you on what to do to protect the interior of your home. We want you to welcome summer with peace of mind.
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No matter how much you take care of your HVAC system, one day it will have to be replaced. Just like any appliance in your home, proper care and maintenance can lead to your HVAC system working for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, all machines wear out eventually. But how can you know when it’s time to have a new system installed? If you’re having these thoughts, it may be time to contact us for an assessment to determine if you need a new AC system in Sarasota, FL.
1. The Unit Is No Longer Providing Consistent Cool Air
If your HVAC unit is blowing hot air in the summer and cold air in the winter, it may be time to invest in a new system. While this can occasionally be fixed with a replacement part or some maintenance work, when it becomes a repeated issue, you should consider having a new system installed. While there is a chance that your issue is a refrigerant leak, it can also be something as severe as a blown compressor.
If your system isn’t consistent, that’s also a sign of trouble. That means that some days it’s able to keep your house at the temperature you’ve chosen, but other times your indoor temperature is all over the map. In this case, it’s generally time to contact a professional for an assessment and estimate on having a new system installation.
Our trained HVAC techs are able to evaluate what’s causing your temperature inconsistencies.
2. Increased Energy Bills
While you may be concerned about the price of a new HVAC system, you may realize it’s time to consider one when you take a look at your monthly utility bills. There’s a chance that you haven’t even noticed your system running differently than it used to. However, if your monthly utility bills are increasing while the use of your HVAC is the same, there may be an underlying issue.
An HVAC system that is working inefficiently will run more often and for longer periods of time. This will cause a dramatic rise in your utility bill. While this problem is occasionally found to be caused by clogged ductwork, dirty air filters or other routine maintenance issues, it can also be caused by a system that just can’t keep up any longer.
You can generally contact your electric company and ask for an energy audit. This audit will see a trained professional come out and evaluate what has caused an increase in your bill. If the system is found to be HVAC related, it may be time for a new system.
3. New and Unusual Sounds
You’re probably very familiar with the noises that your house usually makes. Every home has certain creaks and pops that families grow accustomed to over time. However, when an HVAC unit starts making unusual noises, it may be a sign of a much larger issue. Sounds that signal the end of an HVAC system’s useful life often sounds like a grinding noise which typically signifies something major that has gone awry with the system. If your house has picked up a new noise and you only hear it when the HVAC system is running, you should contact one of our professionals to have the system checked out.
4. Diminished Air Flow
This sort of a problem can often be broken down into different “zones” within your home. If certain rooms aren’t getting the airflow that they need, you can generally chalk that up to ductwork that has become clogged or has simply come loose from its conjoining parts. However, if your entire house has diminished airflow, it’s possible that your system is just no longer able to keep up.
This problem may also be attributed to a faulty or misplaced thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t in the right spot in your home or has simply gone bad, it can cause the thermostat to think your home is getting the needed airflow even when it isn’t. However, if one of our HVAC service techs checks out your system and determines that the thermostat is functioning properly, but your entire home is still not getting the needed airflow, you may need a new system installation.
Having cool air to battle the summer heat in Sarasota, FL, is an important part of making your home more comfortable. If you find yourself unable to cool down while inside, contact us to find out why.
5. Moisture Buildup
Moisture buildup isn’t a problem that you usually see on the inside of your home. However, you may see it on the main unit that is found outside your house. If you go to the main unit and see an unusual amount of condensation, it’s possible that your HVAC unit is nearing the end of its useful life. Ideally, your HVAC unit only gets wet if it’s exposed to rainy elements.
While moisture on your unit may be caused by a refrigerant leak, it could also be a sign of something significantly more important. Either way, you should contact a professional, as handling HVAC refrigerant without proper training is very dangerous. If you notice excess moisture that is building up on your HVAC system, contact one of our team members today to find out why.
6. Short Cycling
This term may not mean much to you, but it could definitely be a sign of a system that is no longer able to perform the way you need it to. It’s not unusual for your system to turn on and off multiple times throughout the day to maintain your desired temperature, but you should be able to almost anticipate how long and how often your unit is going to run. If you find your HVAC system turning on and off more frequently throughout the day, you may have an issue.
Short cycling causes your system to go through multiple startups and shutdowns throughout the day, which will put an unexpected amount of stress on the system. If you find that your system is coming on and turning off more often, contact one of our HVAC service techs and see if it’s a small mechanical issue or a case of needing something significant done.
7. Frequent Maintenance Calls
If you’re seeing your HVAC service tech too often, it may be time to consider having a new unit installed. As an analogy: if you were spending more on vehicle repairs than your car is worth, you’d probably consider buying a new vehicle. The same principle applies to your HVAC system.
While your system undoubtedly came with a warranty when you first had it installed, those warranties do run out. This eventually means your repair bills will become more and more expensive. In addition to paying for service calls, you may find yourself paying a higher amount in parts and labor than your system is worth. If that’s the case, consider purchasing a new unit.
While many people don’t want to accept the fact that their HVAC system may need to be replaced, it’s inevitable. According to the US Department of Energy, the typical lifespan of an HVAC system is between 10 and 15 years. If your system is older than that and is not working well or is costing you 50% more in repairs than a new system would cost, contact us at Aqua Plumbing and Air. We can assess your current system, perform a load calculation and make recommendations on a new energy efficient system. A new system will provide improved comfort plus save you on your monthly energy bills.
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If you’re faced with the decision to repair your existing HVAC system or to move ahead with a new system installation, the answers to the following questions will help you make the decision.
Has your system received regular maintenance once or twice a year?
The importance of regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system cannot be stressed enough. Just as your car needs routine maintenance, so does your HVAC system. If your car ran like your HVAC system, it would run all day and all night, with frequent stops and starts. In time, its performance would suffer, and critical components would fail. HVAC manufacturers’ warranties require maintenance for a very good reason – they know that maintenance will keep the system running its best.
Are repairs 30-50% of the cost of a new system? Or does your system need frequent repairs?
If the repair cost is substantial – approaching 30-50% of the price of a new system, the wise decision is most likely to install a new system. Sometimes it’s better to invest the cost of a substantial repair or frequent repairs into a new system as the overall benefits outweigh keeping an outdated system running.
Is your HVAC system over ten years old?
Even with regular maintenance, your HVAC system will gradually lose efficiency, and its performance will suffer over time. Perhaps you’ve added a room or converted a garage into additional living space. The increased square footage is especially taxing to an aging system that was sized for a smaller space. The technological improvements in a new system will save you up to 50% on your monthly cooling bill. Plus, its effectiveness in cooling and dehumidifying have improved, keeping you and your family more comfortable.
So What Has Improved in New HVAC Systems?
A lot has changed in the past decade in home heating and air conditioning systems. Today’s systems have variable speed fans, multi-stage compressors, programmable thermostats, control of humidity, and improved indoor air quality. They can even tell you when your filter needs to be replaced.
Again, you’ll notice the most significant difference in energy efficiency. If your system is ten years old or older, you’ll see an immediate drop in your cooling costs on your utility bill – up to 50% – if you install one of today’s energy-efficient models.
Purchasing A New System May Be Easier Than You Think
Throughout the year, you can get rebates from local utility companies, federal tax rebates, manufacturer rebates, special financing, and payment plans, or discounts through your HVAC contractor.
We’re Here to Help
If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of replacing, repairing, or maintaining your heating and cooling system further, give us a call or schedule a free consultation. We’re happy to discuss your particular situation and help you make the best decision for you and your budget.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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