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What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

What to Do in a Plumbing Emergency

Plumbing problems often occur suddenly. Some are minor, but others can cause a lot of damage to your Sarasota, Florida, home. When a plumbing disaster strikes, you need to act quickly to avoid a catastrophe. Here’s what to do in a plumbing emergency.

A Leak or Burst Pipe: Shut Off the Valves

If you have a plumbing leak, shut off the water supply and assess the problem. If it is a small leak, you can fix it by applying an epoxy paste and wrapping it with self-fusing tape. If it’s a burst pipe, an outside leak, or you cannot locate the source of the leak, you’ll need a plumber. If water has accumulated in the ceiling causing a bulge, make a hole in the ceiling to drain the water before it causes the ceiling to collapse.

If you’re moving into a new home in Sarasota, one of the first things you should do is locate the water valves. When a pipe bursts, water can quickly flood your home. You don’t want to be scrambling to find the water valves. The toilet, clothes washer, and kitchen sink valves are easy to find. Locating the main water valve may require more searching. In most homes, it’s located near the house’s perimeter very close to the outside water meter.

Sewage Problem: Call the Water Company

If you notice a foul sewage smell in your home or septic waste pooling in your yard, you could be facing a major problem. It could indicate a problem with the septic tank, sump pump, or an obstruction in the city’s sewer line. Don’t try to fix a sewage-related problem yourself. You may expose yourself to harmful bacteria. Call the water utility company or septic company who will send a trained professional to investigate and fix the problem.

Overflowing Toilet: Call the Plumber

When the water in the toilet bowl continues to rise after you’ve flushed, panic sets in. If you don’t act quickly, you’ll soon be ankle-deep in water. First, shut off the valve located behind the toilet. If you have young children, put on a rubber glove and stick your hand down the bowl. It may be a simple problem like a stuck toy. If you come up empty, grab a plunger to try and unblock the drain. If neither of these works, it’s time to call a plumber.

Plumbing blockages often creep up slowly. If you notice that your bathtub and sink drain slowly or the water in your toilet bowl takes longer than usual to return to its normal level, a blockage could be forming somewhere in the plumbing system. It’s best to have the problem checked by a professional.

Excessively Hot Water: Switch Off the Water Heater

If you turn on your tap and scalding hot water comes out, your water heater is overheating. Water this hot increases the pressure inside the tank which causes damage to the water heater. It also presents a safety hazard to your family as scalding water can cause serious burns, especially to children. To avoid injuries, turn off the water heater until the problem is solved. Here’s what could be causing the water heater to overheat:

  • The temperature dial. Someone may have inadvertently turned the dial up a few notches. Turn the dial back down and the temperature will return to normal.
  • A malfunctioning reset button on the thermostat. The thermostat will need to be replaced.
  • A failed temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve. The TPR valve releases excess pressure from the water tank, thereby preventing the water from overheating. Get the plumber in to repair or replace the TPR valve.
  • Mineral buildup. Minerals naturally found in water often collect around the heating element. A heating element encrusted in minerals has to work harder, will overheat and eventually burn out. Drain the tank and clean the heating element.

When a plumbing disaster strikes, it’s inconvenient, stressful, and requires immediate attention. For help in a plumbing emergency, don’t waste any time in contacting Aqua Plumbing and Air at 941-306-3715. We’re available 24 hours a day and we will come to the rescue any time of the day or night, over weekends, and on holidays.

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8 HVAC Adjustments You Can Make to Improve Asthma Symptoms

8 HVAC Adjustments You Can Make to Improve Asthma Symptoms

Millions of Americans suffer from asthma. This disease is a chronic health condition that leads to thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Going to the doctor and receiving proper treatment is vital to reducing asthma symptoms, but HVAC system adjustments in your Siesta Key, Florida, home can minimize your symptoms, as well. Changing the HVAC system air filter and reducing humidity levels in the home are just two of a number of adjustments that can alleviate asthma-related symptoms.

Change the HVAC System Air Filter

When asthma sufferers reside in your home, you want to change the HVAC system air filter once every 30 days. Homeowners can perform that task; however, if you’re not comfortable changing the air filter, you can contact a professional HVAC specialist from Aqua Plumbing & Air to change it for you. The filter should be changed once a month or as needed throughout the year. One common misconception is that an air filter should be replaced only during the summer when the air conditioner unit is running.

Choose the Right Type of Filtration Method for Your Home

Not only do you need to change the air filter once a month, but you also need to choose the right filtration method. Many modern HVAC systems are compatible with a variety of filtration options. Standard filtration, though, usually isn’t sufficient in reducing asthma symptoms. A standard air filter pulls dust and airborne contaminants out of the air, but it can’t fully remove the majority of pollutants which can be detrimental to people suffering from asthma.

Speak with one of our Aqua Plumbing & Air HVAC specialists to ensure your heating and air conditioning unit is compatible with the type of filter you’re thinking about using. You should also ask about installing secondary filtration, which combines a standard pre-filter and an electronic filter with a special low-micron filter. This three-stage filtration system kills common airborne contaminants known to aggravate asthma symptoms.

You can also ask our HVAC professionals about installing individual room filters. Ideally, these filters are placed in rooms where asthma sufferers sleep and spend much of their time. When you’re having individual room filters installed, keep in mind that they only filter the air in the rooms in which they are installed.

Upgrade to UV Light Treatment

UV light treatment is an air-quality treatment that is growing in popularity. This treatment method was originally created to combat tuberculosis. At first, the UV lights needed to prevent the spread of this illness were extremely expensive, which was a reason they were commonly seen only in hospitals and large commercial buildings. Thanks to advancements in technology, these lights have dropped substantially in price, and even the average homeowner can afford to install them.

One of our Aqua Plumbing & Air HVAC specialists can install UV lights in your home’s ductwork, which allows the lights to operate via the heart of your HVAC system. This arrangement helps remove airborne pollutants that can aggravate asthma symptoms. It is important to note, however, that UV lights are not effective in treating all asthma triggers, such as cigarette smoke and dust. As such, UV lights should always be used in conjunction with other asthma symptom-reducing solutions.

Lower Humidity Levels

Dust mites are a common trigger for asthma attacks. Cool, humid homes are a haven for these asthma-triggering pests. During the summer, when the air conditioner is running, humidity levels in the home tend to increase, creating a paradise for dust mites.

Cooler air removes moisture from the air, but without a dehumidification solution that is focused on reducing humidity levels, dust mites will continue to flourish. Centralized dehumidification is a way to combat this problem. Our Aqua Plumbing & Air team can perform alterations and upgrades, such as installing a smart thermostat, to an HVAC unit to help ensure you are able to maintain humidity levels that deter dust mites from using your home as a breeding haven.

Ventilate the Home

Proper ventilation is essential to keeping asthma symptoms at bay. Opening windows and screen doors is a great option for increasing airflow throughout the home, but you can’t always open them during hot weather. However, you can use the exhaust fan in the kitchen, for example, to remove stale air from your cooking space.

Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to keep humidity levels low when you’re taking a shower. Although you may be tempted to take a hot and relaxing shower, the more steam you create during the shower, the harder it will be to keep humidity levels low. If you have a window in the bathroom, you may want to open it and use the exhaust fan while taking a hot shower.

Turn on fans in all rooms if you have recently performed any renovations. Many modern manufacturing materials have strong odors that can easily trigger an asthma attack. The more you keep air flowing throughout the home, the better. Our Aqua Plumbing & Air specialists can thoroughly inspect your home and make adjustments to improve ventilation.

Avoid Using Air Fresheners to Cover Up Odors

Air fresheners are a great addition to any home and are highly recommended to complement your house with a welcoming aroma. Make sure to use ones that don’t irritate your asthma.

Avoid using air fresheners to cover up odors. Musty odors are a huge cause for concern because they tend to be the result of an underlying problem, such as wet carpet or moisture in drywall. You should prioritize addressing musty odors since the cause of the odors can turn into major issues for asthma sufferers.

Have an Indoor Air Quality Assessment Performed

Our HVAC professionals specialize in performing air quality assessments. They can easily identify areas in the home with poor indoor air quality, and they can also perform alterations and upgrades to your home’s HVAC system to improve indoor air quality. Some HVAC professionals can also install air purification systems that connect directly to your HVAC system, which provides a whole-house approach to cleaning indoor air.

Air purifiers can be placed in rooms on an individual basis or they can be connected to your HVAC system. As these units pull air in, they purify it before releasing it back into the home. As you can imagine, the filters in these purifiers become dirty fairly quickly, especially in homes with high amounts of airborne pollutants. You will need to change these filters regularly to ensure the purifiers are maintaining top functionality.

Many types of allergens can make their way into your home, especially if you have indoor pets. Using the right filtration system and air purifying treatments can greatly reduce asthma symptoms. One of our Aqua Plumbing & Air experts can outline the various indoor air treatment options that are available and can help you determine if you need to implement a single-room or whole-house air purifying approach.

Acquire Routine Maintenance

The single most important step you can take to alleviate asthma triggers and symptoms in the home are to have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system. Maintenance allows an HVAC professional to inspect the system for issues such as dirty ductwork and dirty air filters. By cleaning ductwork, changing air filters, and performing other adjustments, the HVAC system can keep the air in the home much cleaner, which is essential to reduce triggers that commonly bring on an asthma attack.

Regular maintenance also allows your HVAC technician to assess the system and determine when it’s time for a new system to be installed. If your current system can’t properly ventilate and circulate air throughout the home, it’s time to replace it with a new one.

Many modern HVAC systems are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and are specifically designed to target and remove airborne contaminants and pollutants that can aggravate asthma sufferers. You can speak with one of our qualified Aqua Plumbing & Air HVAC professionals to determine which HVAC system is best suited for your home.

Aqua Plumbing & Air specializes in indoor air quality and HVAC maintenance programs. Contact us by visiting our website or give us a call today at 941-306-3715.

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7 Signs the AC Compressor Is Failing

7 Signs the AC Compressor Is Failing

Running the AC throughout most of the year in Venice, FL, means it endures high levels of wear and tear, and it’s not uncommon for AC compressors to fail. Ticking noises and diminished airflow are two signs of a failing AC compressor.

Ticking Noise

An HVAC unit tends to some noise when it’s kicking on and off. A ticking sound, however, could be a cause for concern. Right before an AC compressor starts to fail, it will struggle to turn on and off and it will usually make ticking noises. This is a sure-fire sign that the electrical relay is starting to go bad. A professional AC specialist can inspect and repair electrical components on your AC unit.

Moisture Leaks

Puddles of moisture around your AC unit are an indication of a refrigerant leak. When refrigerant leaks out of the compressor, it not only increases your energy bills, but it poses harmful health concerns. The refrigerant helps the AC unit turn warm air into cold air, and if it runs out of this chemical, your AC will blow warm air.

Diminished Airflow

One of the hardest ways to tell if an AC compressor is going bad is by looking for diminished airflow. When the compressor first starts to fail, airflow will be diminished only minimally. As it continues to get worse, though, you’ll start to notice less and less cold air coming from the air vents. Any time you notice even a small decrease in airflow, contact an HVAC specialist to see if the compressor is going bad.

Rattling Noise

Rattling noises coming from an AC unit often indicate parts inside the compressor motor have come loose. Working on the inside of an AC unit can be quite dangerous, especially when you try to diagnose anything with the electrical components. Contacting a professional HVAC specialist is highly recommended any time you hear rattling noises.

Warmer Air

Some AC units experience diminished airflow when the compressor starts to fail. Others, however, continue distributing air, but the air is warm instead of cold. If you don’t notice a decrease in airflow but the air is warm instead of cold, this could mean several different things.

First, it could mean the unit is low on refrigerant, which is a very simple fix. An HVAC professional can easily add refrigerant. Second, it could mean the unit is low on refrigerant because it is leaking out. An HVAC specialist can inspect the unit for leaks. It could also mean the compressor is going bad and needs to be replaced.

Blocked Suction Lines

The refrigerant lines in your AC unit can become blocked. When this happens, the unit will blow warm air. A professional HVAC specialist can try to remedy this issue by unblocking the refrigerant lines, but if he’s not successful, the lines will need to be replaced. If they aren’t, it will eventually lead to the unit overheating; this can result in compressor failure, or even worse, having to replace the entire unit.

Damaged Wiring

If you ever notice damaged wiring of any sort in your home, it is recommended to contact a professional electrician or HVAC specialist immediately. Damaged wiring presents a huge safety concern because it can easily lead to an electrical fire. When an AC unit is exposed to electrical problems, it can lead to the compressor receiving too much or too little voltage. This quickly damages the compressor and results in having to replace it.

There are numerous signs that can point to a failing AC compressor. The sooner you have these signs inspected, the better chance you have in repairing the issue instead of having to replace this essential AC component. Aqua Plumbing & Air Electrical & Water Treatment specializes in quality air conditioning repair services. Contact us today by visiting our website or give us a call at 941-306-3715.

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4 Reasons to Get Your Ducts Cleaned

4 Reasons to Get Your Ducts Cleaned

The air inside your University Park, Florida, home travels through your HVAC system’s ductwork several times every day. Contaminants that collect in your ducts will spread to the rest of your home over time, reducing your indoor air quality. To prevent this, you should have your ductwork cleaned by the professionals at Aqua Plumbing & Air at least every five years.

Check to see if your ductwork is dirty by removing one of your air registers. If you can reach into the duct and wipe away dirt or dust, it’s probably time to contact an expert. You won’t be able to reach all the surfaces to clean your ductwork by yourself, and you could accidentally damage your ducts if you try. Professional duct cleaning can provide pest control, allergy prevention, energy savings, and increased comfort for you and your family.

Pest Control

Your ductwork could be a warm, safe shelter for many types of pests, including mice, dust mites, and cockroaches. The humid Florida air even gives them all the moisture they need. Mice and rats can damage your home by chewing through wood and wire, and they often cause strange scratching or skittering noises as they move through your ducts. Pest droppings can cause bad smells and spread disease, and fur or exoskeletons can increase asthma attacks. A pest control company can help you get rid of any pests, but you’ll need duct cleaning to remove all the contaminants they left behind.

Since insects can fit through very small gaps in your ductwork, you should have your ducts checked for leaks, along with the outer walls of your home. That way, you won’t have to worry about more pests invading your ductwork looking for a comfy place to nest.

Allergy Prevention

Many people are allergic to pest droppings, pollen, pet dander, dust, biological growth, and other common indoor air contaminants. Symptoms can include rashes, eye irritation, sinus problems, headaches, sore throats, and fatigue. You might feel better when you leave your home for a few hours, and then experience symptoms again when you come back. Even healthy people often experience sneezing and coughing when they have to breathe dusty, dirty, or smelly air.

Changing your HVAC system’s air filter often, cleaning regularly, and using an air purifier can help you avoid allergy symptoms. However, you won’t be able to eliminate all of the allergens in your home without duct cleaning from an expert.

Energy Savings

Pests and contaminants in your ductwork can reduce your HVAC system’s airflow, forcing it to work harder and use more energy to get conditioned air to the parts of your home where it’s needed. If you have dirty ductwork, you could notice high utility bills, uncomfortable temperature differences between rooms, warm areas, or drafts. Fortunately, duct cleaning is affordable, and it will help you save energy over time.

After you get your ducts cleaned, dust all of your air registers and make sure they’re not blocked by furniture or carpeting. You should also add insulation to your ductwork if needed and make sure that your HVAC system’s outdoor unit is free from debris like grass clippings, leaves, or untrimmed vegetation. That way, you can save even more energy.

Increased Comfort

Duct cleaning can help you improve your indoor air quality and get rid of bad smells and contaminants from smoke, paint, and cleaners. It can help you get rid of scents that could make guests uncomfortable or keep you from selling your property in the future. You can even wait longer between dusting and vacuuming without dirt and dust accumulation. Removing biological growth in your ductwork will keep it from spreading and causing damage and smells in your home.

Aqua Plumbing & Air is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with over 75 service vehicles and more than 40 years of cooling and heating experience. We can help you with duct cleaning and a variety of other HVAC upgrades, maintenance, and repairs. We also offer outstanding plumbing, water treatment, and electrical services. Call us any time at 941-306-3715 for high-quality work and friendly, honest customer service from our expert technicians.

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When and When Not to DIY Your Plumbing

When and When Not to DIY Your Plumbing

If you’re the type of homeowner in Sarasota, Florida, that has a DIY attitude, there are several plumbing problems that you can handle on your own. Plumbing problems are very common, and while some definitely need the attention of a professional, others you should easily be able to handle yourself. The problem, however, is knowing which problem is which, making it a good idea to examine this issue with a little more detail. Find out when you should and should not DIY a plumbing problem so that you can keep your plumbing in working order.

Projects You Can Handle on Your Own

Many problems that you encounter with your plumbing system may be minor, meaning there is no need to cover the costs of hiring a plumber. Learning about a few of these problems and how they can be addressed will help you avoid expensive service costs.

Often, installing a new faucet is straightforward. With a little know-how, replacing your old faucet with a new, similar faucet shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Basically, all you need to do to install your new faucet is to shut off the hot and cold water valves, remove your old faucet, and install your new faucet. It really is that simple. If there are any complications, it’s always best to call a plumber.

Replacing your washing machine hose is another plumbing project that you may be able to handle on your own. If your washing machine hose wears out, it can cause water to leak into your house, making replacing this hose a very important plumbing project. Only a few steps are required to replace a washing machine hose. First, unplug your washing machine and shut down the water supply. Second, remove the old hose. Third, attach the new hose. Finally, plug your washing machine back in and turn on the water supply.

Minor tasks such as these can easily be completed without the need for a plumber. Other plumbing issues, however, definitely require a professional touch, and we’ll examine a few of these problems in the next section.

When to Hire a Plumber

Your plumbing system will give you several warning signs that it is experiencing a major issue, and if you notice any of these signs, you need to call an experienced plumber sooner rather than later.

If you hear gurgling when using your plumbing, whether you’re running your dishwasher or taking a shower, it’s time to get in touch with a plumber. Gurgling usually means that your drain is clogged, meaning you’re at risk for a backup. Stop using your water immediately and have a plumber come to your house for an inspection.

Another warning sign that it’s time to talk to a plumber is hearing water running through your pipes when you’re not actually using any water. This noise almost always means that there’s a leak somewhere in your system, and if this situation isn’t corrected immediately, your home may be at risk for water damage. If you constantly hear water running in your pipes, call a plumber right away for assistance.

Some problems, while not necessarily emergencies, also require the attention of a plumber. Low water pressure, for instance, can be very aggravating, and while it may simply be a result of gunk build up, it can also be caused by a broken pipe. Also, with certain issues, the water will need to be shut off to specific areas of your home, which is something that should be left to a skilled plumber.

Slow draining is another problem that is best handled by a plumber, as it could mean there is a serious clog somewhere in your system.

Get Plumbing Help

If you’re experiencing a plumbing issue that you can’t handle on your own, you can schedule repairs by calling Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715. We provide a wide range of plumbing and air services to Florida homeowners just like you, and our team would be glad to help you address your plumbing issues quickly and effectively.

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4 Benefits of a Variable-Speed HVAC System

4 Benefits of a Variable-Speed HVAC System

A variable-speed HVAC system has an air handler with several settings instead of just one speed. It can change its rate to match your Lakewood Ranch, Florida, home’s heating and cooling needs, so it’s more efficient than a conventional system. Two-stage units are similar. They have two separate compressors instead of one with multiple speeds. Variable-speed HVAC systems can provide energy savings, humidity control, low noise levels, and comfort for you and your family.

Energy Savings

Variable-speed heaters and air conditioners are more expensive than single-speed systems, but the energy savings they provide make the investment worth it. Traditional systems turn on and off more often than variable-speed models because they only have one setting.

A variable-speed system can lower your utility bills in summer and winter by staying on at a mostly constant speed. This uses less energy than a conventional HVAC system uses to start and stop working frequently. It also reduces potential wear and tear, preventing inconvenient, expensive breakdowns and making variable-speed units last longer than most conventional systems. A variable-speed HVAC system can even increase the value of your home.

Humidity Control

Heaters and air conditioners both dehumidify the air in your home along with conditioning it. Since variable-speed systems stay working more often than traditional systems, they’re better at removing excess moisture. Humidity often returns when conventional systems stop running. It can attract bacteria and pests like cockroaches and silverfish. It can lead to bad smells and swollen or rotted wood furniture or floors.

Dehumidifying your home’s air with a variable-speed system will also make you and your family feel cooler. Sweat evaporates faster in dry air, increasing comfort levels.

Low Noise Levels

Many HVAC systems make a loud noise when they start or stop working, and the air handler is noisy and distracting. Since variable-speed systems don’t always work at full speed, they’re much quieter. They work more often, so you won’t be startled by as many sudden changes in the background of your home. They also won’t disturb light sleepers. Most people don’t even notice the sound of a variable-speed HVAC system. Most of the time, the fan is much slower than the fan in conventional system air handlers.

Comfort

A traditional HVAC system runs at high speed until the temperature in your home matches the setting on your thermostat. It turns on again after your house becomes a few degrees too warm or too cold. The fluctuating temperatures can make you and your family uncomfortable. They also encourage people to use their heaters and air conditioners more. A variable-speed system can keep your home’s temperature and humidity almost constant. Since it works more often at a lower speed, temperature fluctuations are less noticeable.

More air passes through a variable-speed system’s filter, removing more contaminants than a conventional system, increasing your indoor air quality. The extra airflow makes whole-home dehumidifiers and air purifiers connected to your ductwork more useful. It also increases the effectiveness of UV air cleaners.

You may need to change your system’s air filter more often, but your home will have less dust. You won’t need to clean as frequently, and your electronics will stay in better condition. You and your family will also have fewer health problems. Pollutants like pollen and dust won’t be able to cause asthma or allergy symptoms, rashes, headaches, or fatigue.

We have more than 75 vehicles and over 40 years of heating and cooling experience. We’ve installed more residential and commercial air conditioning systems than any other dealer in Florida, and our customers can choose an excellent maintenance plan. Plumbing, water treatment, and electrical services are available as well. We offer outstanding quality, affordable prices, and honest service.

Call Aqua Plumbing & Air anytime at 941-306-3715 for more information about variable-speed HVAC systems from our friendly, knowledgeable technicians.

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