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MERV Ratings: What Do They Mean?

MERV Ratings: What Do They Mean?

A Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, rating for your HVAC system’s air filter lets you know how well it can remove pollutants from your Siesta Key, Florida, home. ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, designed these ratings to make buying the best air filters for your needs easier. Filters with higher scores can trap additional pollutants and improve your home’s indoor air quality. MERVs can range from 1 to 20, and air filters with different ratings have varying uses, from catching dust to getting rid of viruses and bacteria.

MERV 1 to 4

Air filters with these ratings can trap dust mites, pollen, carpet fibers, and other large particles in your house’s air. They’re the least expensive, and they can protect your HVAC system from breakdowns or reduced airflow caused by excess dust. However, you’ll need to change them more often than other air filters, and they won’t protect you and your family members from many contaminants.Since these filters don’t restrict as many contaminants, more particles enter the air handler, necessitating more frequent system cleanings.

MERV 5 to 8

These air filters work well in most homes. They can help you reduce biological growth, pet dander, and pest droppings in your indoor air, along with bigger particles.

MERV 9 to 12

Choose a filter with one of these ratings if you have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems. They can catch some types of bacteria and dust particles, and they’re the best filters that can fit in most residential HVAC systems. However, the smaller openings in these filters can restrict your system’s airflow and force it to work harder. That means you could have higher utility bills with a higher-rated air filter.

MERV 13 to 20

These filters can trap viruses and all types of bacteria. Hospitals and electronics manufacturers often use them to keep their indoor air as sterile and clean as possible.

Aqua Plumbing & Air has decades of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality solutions experience, and we guarantee 100% satisfaction for our customers. For more information about choosing the best air filter for your HVAC system and excellent service, call our team at 941-306-3715.

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Choosing a Water Heater

Choosing a Water Heater

If your water heater doesn’t work well, you could have trouble doing your dishes or taking a comfortable shower. You could also have to deal with water damage or high power bills. Choosing the best water heater for your needs can help you prevent these problems and increase the value of your house. There are a variety of water heaters to consider, such as a storage, tankless, or hybrid water heater for your University Park, Florida, home.

Storage Water Heater

Storage water heaters hold water in insulated storage tanks and keep it heated even while you’re at work or on vacation. You’ll have to use energy to keep what’s in the tank warm, and you could run out of hot water often if it isn’t large enough for your home. Natural gas or propane models are normally less expensive than electric devices.

Tankless Unit

A tankless or on-demand water heater is often more costly than a storage unit, but it only works when you need hot water, making it energy efficient. It heats water by sending it through a series of coils. Since there’s no storage tank, you won’t need as much space for a tankless model. You’ll also never need to perform maintenance tasks like draining the tank to prevent mineral buildup. A tankless unit is a bigger investment, but it will eventually pay for itself through energy savings.

Hybrid Water Heaters

A hybrid water heater has a storage tank with a small heat pump on top of it. It’s more efficient than many other options in warm weather, and it’s called a hybrid because it also has an electric heater for colder times of the year. However, some homes may not have ceilings high enough to fit these devices. There should also be an area without air conditioning nearby so that the heat pump can transfer enough heat from the outdoor air.

At Aqua Plumbing & Air, we’re committed to helping our customers. We guarantee 100% satisfaction, and we can help you choose the best water heater for your home. For quality service from our experienced experts, call us anytime at 941-306-3715.

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Has Your Water Bill Skyrocketed? We are Leak Detection Experts

Has Your Water Bill Skyrocketed? We are Leak Detection Experts

When leaks occur in your Bradenton, Florida, home, it can lead to a host of problems, including skyrocketing water bills and water damage. Unfortunately, it could be difficult, if not impossible, to detect leaks on your own which means if you suspect you have a problem, you should call in the experts right away. Below we will discuss possible leak detection signs to watch out for as well as what can occur if you fail to address a leak immediately.

Signs of a Possible Water Leak

The best way to detect a water leak is to be vigilant for the signs. If you notice any of the signs listed below, then you should immediately contact a plumber for assistance.

  • Your water bills are higher than normal: Leaks may start off small, so you may only see a slight increase at first, but as they get larger, your water use will become exponentially higher.
  • There are water spots on walls or ceilings: If you notice any discoloration or bubbling on your walls or ceiling, it is a sign that water has been leaking through.
  • Damps spots on your floor or carpets: Leaks can happen anywhere, and when they happen under your floors the water will seep up, making the floor wet.
  • Musty smells: A musty smell in your home indicates an abnormal water presence. Water in your home can lower your indoor air quality and should be addressed immediately.

What Happens When a Water Leak Goes Unaddressed?

The longer a leak goes untreated, the more likely it is to cause major damage in your home, and the more expensive it will be to fix. An unrepaired or major leak can lead to:

  • Dangerous biological growth in your home
  • A weakening of the foundation of your home or the structure of your walls
  • Respiratory and other health-related issues

Leak Detection

If you suspect that you may have a leak in your home, contact the professionals at 941-306-3715. We will send a Plumbing Technician to your home or business to perform a leak protocol. This is the first important step to determine the source of the leak. Is it between the water meter and the building? Is it leaking slowly from a fixture? Is it leaking from irrigation or some remote water line to an outbuilding or dock? In some cases, a water filter can malfunction, and water can be running to the drain.

The leak protocol will determine if the leak is in the ground or under the concrete slab. We will then send our leak locate team to pinpoint the source of the leak. Call us today if you suspect any type of water leak in your home.

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What Is the Emergency Heat Setting on My Thermostat?

What Is the Emergency Heat Setting on My Thermostat?

A heat pump is a great way to help keep your Manatee, Florida, home warm during the cooler winter months. While a heat pump is easy to use and requires little maintenance, understanding the settings on the thermostats will help you operate your system properly and achieve the temperature you desire. One setting on a heat pump thermostat, you may not be sure of, is the emergency heat setting.

What Is the Emergency Heat Setting on Your Thermostat?

With a heat pump, emergency heat is also known as auxiliary heat and is a secondary stage that your thermostats can use. You may require some auxiliary heat when the temperature outside becomes colder, and the heat pump cannot remove the necessary heat from outside. The emergency setting will often be triggered if the temperature outside of the home were to fall below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Does the Emergency Heat on Your System Work?

When a heat pump is in heating mode, the refrigerant flow will reverse, and the pump will begin removing the heat from the air outside and pump it into the house. Your heat pump also has a secondary source of heating, which can be oil or gas but is often electrical. This stage of heat will come from coils inside of the air handler.

Many people will believe that they need to switch on this emergency setting when the temperature drops low, but if your system is working properly, then the setting will switch itself on automatically when the heat pump can’t get your home to the desired temperature on its own. The only time that you would need to switch your emergency heat setting on manually is if there was a problem with the functioning of your heat pump. This can occur due to the outdoor unit of the heat pump freezing up or shorting out.

If you find that your heat pump needs to have its emergency heating switched on manually, call us at 941-306-3715. One of our Aqua Plumbing & Air specialists will determine your HVAC problem and rectify it immediately.

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Electrical Upgrades for Increased Technology

Electrical Upgrades for Increased Technology

Technology is an important part of today’s lifestyle. It provides dazzling entertainment, impressive computing capabilities and unmatched touch-of-a-button convenience. However, all of these power-hungry devices may be burdening the electrical system in your Sarasota home. If you trip circuit breakers, run out of receptacles or rely on power strips, it’s time for electrical upgrades.

Is Your Electrical System Overloaded?

Overloaded circuits are inconvenient, but they’re also a top cause of electrical fires. Standard 15-amp circuits can handle a maximum load of 1,500 watts, and 20-amp circuits can provide up to 1,900 watts of power. Unfortunately, one breaker may link several outlets and fixtures, which makes it difficult to gauge your power use.

Electrical Upgrades for Existing Homes

In Sarasota, the average home was built roughly 40 years ago. During this time, electrical codes have changed, and the popularity of household electronics has surged. At Aqua Plumbing & Air, here’s what we look for when assessing clients’ electrical needs.

  • Refrigerators, microwaves and major appliances should have a dedicated circuit with the correct rating and wiring.
  • Outlets should be in good condition, be properly sized and have appropriate features for the location, such as GFCIs in damp areas.
  • Electrical panel updates let you add new circuits or replace ones that are undersized or defective.
  • USB outlets and expanded quad plex receptacles are ideal for charging devices or powering electronics in a media room or home office.
  • Smart light switches and fixtures can communicate with your phone or integrate with your automation network while reducing your energy use.
  • Exterior upgrades can power low-voltage landscape lights, smart security devices and weatherproof outlets.

Benefits of Updating Your Home’s Electrical System

Electrical upgrades can protect your appliances, address safety concerns and make your home more livable. If you plan on selling, it’s worth noting that electrical improvements are a priority for more than 40% of home buyers.

At Aqua Plumbing & Air, our electricians specialize in energy-efficient upgrades that benefit your family. You can learn more about our electrical services online or by calling 941-306-3715.

How a Smart Thermostat Can Make Your Life Easier

How a Smart Thermostat Can Make Your Life Easier

A smart thermostat simplify your life by putting a world of technology at your fingertips. Thanks to Wi-Fi networks and open-framework programming languages, home automation systems can do almost anything. These innovative devices can control your appliances, lights, security system and AC equipment. If you want to update your home in Bradenton or Siesta Key, Florida, check out some of the possibilities.

Smart Thermostat for Comfort and Efficiency

Connected thermostats can lower your cooling bills by 10%, but they provide a variety of other benefits. Wi-Fi thermostats communicate with your smartphone or voice-enabled device so that you can adjust the temperature from any location whether you’re lounging on the couch or traveling far from home. Here are some of the most popular features.

  • Geofencing automatically adjusts the thermostat based on your location.
  • Machine learning creates customized heating and cooling schedules without tedious programming.
  • Smart thermostats let you check and adjust the humidity. With a variable-speed system, you can even adjust the airflow.
  • Maintenance and filter change reminders help you get the most from your heating and cooling equipment.

Home Automation Capabilities

Communicating thermostats have a lot to offer besides enhanced comfort and lower costs. Network-ready models control up to 250 devices, sensors and cameras that are connected via the Internet of Things.

  • Home automation bridges communicate with smart fixtures and bulbs so that you can turn off the lights from any room in the house or anywhere in the world.
  • Automation networks let you control smart locks, interact with your doorbell camera or monitor video footage.
  • These devices are capable of controlling your irrigation system and pool equipment, and leak detection features are perfect for your primary residence or vacation home.

Home Automation Services in Sarasota

Connected thermostats control your home’s major systems while increasing your security and making your life easier. To see what a smart thermostat can do for you, call Aqua Plumbing & Air at 941-306-3715, or view our selection of Carrier controls online.

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