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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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Preparing Your Home to Sell

Preparing Your Home to Sell

Making the decision to put your Sarasota, Florida, home on the market can be bittersweet. You’re sad to say goodbye to a house you’ve loved, but you’re excited to move into a home that’s a better fit for your growing family, or as an empty-nester.

No matter how ready you are to move on, however, you won’t get the best return on your investment without taking care of a few essential tasks. From adding insulation to replacing an old HVAC system, find out how to prepare your Florida home to sell.

Add More Insulation

Adequate insulation is essential for every home in Sarasota’s humid subtropical climate, as this material is designed to keep hot air outside and cool air inside. Insufficient insulation can increase cooling costs and drive up utility bills, which may be a red flag to potential homebuyers.

To preserve energy efficiency, your home should have sufficient insulation from the foundation to the roof. Not sure if your home has enough insulation or need a hand finding problem areas? A home performance evaluation or energy assessment can identify areas where you need more insulation and help you devise a plan for improvement. You can do this energy assessment yourself over the course of a weekend or hire a professional to make sure you don’t miss any warning signs before putting your home on the market.

Deal With Drafts

Drafty doors and windows are more than mere nuisances. As conditioned air seeps out of the windows and warm air leaks in under the doorstop, your home’s energy efficiency can decrease, leading to utility bills that are higher than they should be.

Fortunately, home performance evaluations can also identify the air leaks that compromise energy efficiency and decrease comfort levels in your home. Once you’ve zeroed in on the most problematic cracks and leaks, add caulking and weather-stripping to your pre-sale to-do list.

Replace the Air Filter

Air filters may not look important, but they’re essential to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently. These disposable components prevent dust, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne debris from entering your heating and cooling system, where it could accumulate and cause performance issues or breakdowns.

If you can’t remember the last time you replaced the filter, add it to your to-do list and mark your calendar. Then make a point of replacing the filter every 30 days until the closing date. Changing the filter regularly will improve your HVAC system’s efficiency and help clear the air, both of which potential buyers will appreciate.

Clean Up the Outdoor Unit

Even if your family has already moved out of the home you’re planning to sell, maintaining the yard is critical. Not only do you want to keep up an inviting appearance that attracts buyers, you also want to prevent your home from taking on an abandoned look.

As you’re working on the yard, be sure to tidy up around the outdoor HVAC unit. Remove any fallen leaves, branches, or other items that have accumulated on the top of the unit. Cut grass and trim back nearby shrubs to leave a clear path for air to flow into and out of the system. Keep in mind that obstructions can impact HVAC efficiency and compromise system performance, but keeping the outdoor unit clean takes only a few minutes a couple of times a month.

Schedule HVAC System Maintenance

Rather than holding off on routine maintenance and leaving future tuneups to the next owner of your home, take the time to schedule HVAC maintenance. After all, many potential buyers will want to see a clean bill of health for your HVAC system.

If more than six months have passed since your last HVAC tuneup, now is the ideal time to schedule preventive maintenance. A routine inspection by the Aqua Plumbing & Air team gives you a chance to get your heating and cooling system ready for the season ahead, ensure that the system is running efficiently, and identify any persistent issues.

Repair and Clean Ductwork

If our team identifies ductwork issues during our maintenance visit, we may recommend that you address them before putting your home on the market. After all, leaky ducts can increase household energy consumption significantly, as the average duct system wastes up to 30 percent of conditioned air due to cracks and bad connections. Duct sealing can help address cracks and energy loss while lowering energy usage.

Over time, a surprising amount of dust and debris can accumulate in your home’s ductwork, too. In many cases, duct cleaning offers a smart solution for removing dust, biological growth, and pests before these issues appear on potential homebuyers’ radar.

Address Humidity Issues

Humidity issues aren’t unusual in Sarasota, but you also shouldn’t ignore persistent problems. Start by adjusting the humidity control on your thermostat, setting relative humidity to 50 percent or lower.

If indoor moisture levels are still too high, causing your home to feel sticky or contributing to structural issues, think about a higher-level solution. Adding a whole-home dehumidifier to your HVAC system can help keep moisture levels under control, making your home feel more comfortable to potential homebuyers. Investing in a whole-home dehumidifier can also improve your HVAC system’s performance and efficiency, giving interested buyers even more to get excited about.

Clear the Air and Improve Ventilation

Humidity isn’t the only indoor air quality issue that many Sarasota homeowners have to face. If your home tends to be a magnet for dust, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne contaminants, your HVAC filter may not be doing enough to keep the air clean. When this problem happens, our team often recommends installing a whole-house air filter that connects directly to your HVAC system. This high-tech component can remove almost all indoor pollutants, and many can capture and kill viruses and bacteria, resulting in ultra-clean air.

Energy-recovery ventilators are also smart picks, especially if your home tends to have pockets of stale air. These HVAC add-ons refresh the air constantly and improve airflow, helping your home feel and smell cleaner to your family as well as to potential buyers.

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

If your HVAC system is in great shape, you can still make cost-effective upgrades that appeal to potential buyers. For example, if you still rely on a manual thermostat, consider upgrading to a smart model. This device won’t break the bank, but it can help you save energy and tend to attract eco-conscious buyers.

Opt for a Wi-Fi–enabled smart thermostat that can connect to your home’s network and allow you to log in and change settings from anywhere. You’ll appreciate the convenience that a smart thermostat offers, and you’ll love being able to turn the air conditioner up and down for open houses and last-minute realtor visits no matter where you are.

Replace an Aging Air Conditioner

When you’re getting ready to sell your house and move on to a new home, investing in a new HVAC system may be the last thing on your mind. After all, why take the time or spend the money to replace an aging air conditioner when the new owner can tackle such an important task?

While some homebuyers want a home improvement project, many are seeking a move-in ready home. In the latter case, having to make a major improvement after moving in can be a big turnoff.

Rather than risking turning away potential buyers, consider replacing your aging air conditioner, especially if it’s on its last leg or if it no longer keeps the home cool. Our team of cooling experts can recommend the latest energy-efficient models, such as the Carrier Infinity 21 central air conditioner. This Energy Star–certified model is one of the most efficient models on the market and offers advanced features such as two-stage compression for superior comfort. With so many perks and high-tech features, you may want to install one of these systems in your new home, too.

Whether you need to replace your old cooling system with a new air conditioner or you need advice on energy-efficient upgrades, we’re always here to help. Call the Aqua Plumbing & Air team today: 941-306-3715.

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Best Energy Savings Techniques for Families

Best Energy Savings Techniques for Families

Many Sarasota, Florida, residents cringe at the mention of the need to save energy when having to confront the thought of miserable days spent in hot, stuffy houses. Thankfully, current advances in technology allow us to conserve energy while improving the comfort of our own homes and creating a healthier living environment. For youngsters with health concerns, the quality of the air indoors and the absence of drafts are important factors to take into consideration. Modern energy-efficient appliances and upgrades give you more control over your environment and also often come with fun perks such as user-friendly technology.

Outline an Energy-Conservation Plan

To have your energy-saving efforts work for your family in the long-run, you need to first develop and incorporate a good plan consisting of daily actions combined with practical upgrades around the house. Identify energy-conservation habits that you can start implementing into your daily routines as a family and choose ones that work for your family’s lifestyle to make it more enjoyable. If certain practices – such as keeping the temperature in your house a little higher during hot summers – make you miserable, then focus on energy efficient upgrades that will result in less energy usage.

Upgrade Your Lighting

The easiest and fastest way to start saving energy is to upgrade your outdated home lighting with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Although CFL and LED lights do indeed cost more than standard light bulbs, they use 25 percent to 75 percent less energy. They also last up to 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, which means that you’ll be saving more in the long-term. To improve efficiency, convenience, and safety of your home, consider dimmer switches or motion detection lighting. Even though these upgrades may be small, you’ll see a drastic change.

Improve Your Window Treatments

Be sure to inspect your windows and consider their size and orientation to the sun. Typically, windows do not insulate very well and, in turn, can cause your house to lose heat when it’s cold outside or to accumulate heat when it’s warmer. Various window treatment options can help you save energy and can also help make your home’s interior more appealing with items such as layered draperies, awnings, and shutters. During hotter periods, it’s a good idea to close drapes or blinds on sun-facing windows and to open windows during cooler nights to enable air ventilation.

Fine-Tune Your Water Heater

Your water heater could take up to 25 percent of your household’s energy total without you even realizing it. To bring your energy bill down, try switching to low-flow shower heads and aerators, take shorter showers, or reduce the temperature of your water. If your water heater is over 10 years old, it’s good to consider replacing it. Those who cannot fathom how to conserve water with little people in the house can save their time and energy by using a dishwasher. Washing your clothes in cold water on the shortest cycle can also help you save energy.

Utilize Your Appliances and Electronics Properly

With the number of electronics in our lives, the energy usage for powering them is enormous. What makes things worse is the energy they consume in standby mode. The best efficiency upgrade that will help you save energy easily is to set up power-strips around your house. When no devices are charging, turn off the power-strips to conserve energy and prevent excess utility costs. Help your kids develop life-long energy saving habits by scheduling ‘electronic-free’ periods. This will both help you cut down on costs and also gives you more quality family-bonding time.

With the technology that we now have, saving energy really doesn’t need to be a hassle – in fact, it can be very easy and enjoyable. Getting your family members interacting with each other instead of a mobile phone screen can even strengthen your family and develop a healthier, happier household. To get your Sarasota or Manatee home evaluated for energy efficiency, contact specialists at Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715.

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