Air Duct Essentials: Everything You Need to Know About Your Home's Ductwork

Understanding When Air Ducts Need Service

Air ducts are an essential component of any home’s central air conditioning and heating system. While the HVAC unit itself is responsible for heating or cooling indoor air, it cannot complete its purpose without the air ducts, which deliver the temperature-regulated air all throughout the house in order to maximize comfort. However, there will be times when the ductwork needs professional attention, such as air duct repair, replacement, or cleaning. This post will discuss some vital information for homeowners to know to help them know when their air ducts need service

When Is It Time to Replace the Ductwork?

replacementAir ducts are sturdy equipment built to last for at least the better part of 2 decades. With a life span of up to 25 years, most ductwork can withstand the ups and downs of life and the many changes in seasons without requiring a complete overhaul. However, most air ducts can start to experience issues at around 15 years old. 

At the very least, homeowners can expect to not need air duct replacement until year 15. Right around this time, the wear and tear of daily use can start to show and become more apparent as older ductwork may increasingly need more frequent air duct repair, which indicates duct replacement may be necessary. A professional can assess the condition of the air ducts to determine whether repair or replacement is beneficial. 

Signs of Damaged Air Ducts in Need of Repair

While air ducts have a long life expectancy, ductwork can become damaged and require repair. One of the most common signs of damaged air ducts in need of duct repair is high energy bills resulting from inefficient operation. The ductwork in need of repair can also cause uneven temperatures in different rooms or areas in the house, poor airflow, dirty air vents, strange noises from the ductwork, and more frequent allergic reactions. 

All of these signs, especially if more than one is evident, could point to damaged ductwork, in which case, homeowners should contact a professional to inspect the air ducts for the issue and perform the appropriate air duct repairs to fix it. Once the problem is fixed, the sign that had alerted homeowners to the issue should go away. 

How to Tell if the Ductwork Is Dirty

ductLike all things at home, ductwork does get dirty and can benefit from air duct cleaning when needed. But with the air ducts tucked away and out of sight, how can homeowners know they are already dirty and need duct cleaning? There are also signs that can alert homeowners to this issue. 

Some signs of dirty ducts are if the air vents or ducts are dirty and covered in dust or mold, and musty smells and foul odors from the ducts and vents. Additionally, worsening allergy symptoms can indicate duct cleaning may be needed. If air filters clog with dust and debris earlier than usual or when recommended to be replaced, this can also signal that the air ducts are dirty and need cleaning.   

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally owned and operated plumbing, AC, and heating business serving Taunton and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, on-time service, and the latest technology. Call them today for air duct services in Taunton, MA

Distribution Links +

Protect Homes From Flooding With a Sump Pump

What Is a Sump Pump and Why Is It Important?

A sump pump is designed to protect the home from water damage and flooding. By transferring water from low elevations to the outdoors, this device removes excess water before significant damage can occur. This post will discuss sump pumps, the different kinds of sump pumps, and their benefits.  

How Does a Sump Pump Remove Water?

pumpA sump pump is typically installed inside crawl spaces, underground basements, or another low point of the home. Part of the installation includes a sump pump basin or pit where water will collect. Sump pumps are installed in these pits and are designed to direct water away from the home. Sump pits are usually two feet deep and 18 inches wide to hold enough water from inclement weather. 

Once water has found its way into the sump pump pit, the pump directs the moisture away from the home. A one-way valve keeps the water from flowing back into the pit once it is funneled into a remote location or drain. This prevents the basement or crawl space from flooding and costly water damage. A sump pump is essential for areas that experience snowfall and heavy rain and are prone to flooding. 

Which Sump Pump Is Best?

There are several types of sump pumps. While they work differently, all sump pumps have the same primary goal: defending the home against water. Submersible sump pumps include both the pump and the motor in one system. The device is submerged inside a sump pump basin and is often quieter than other types of pumps. Although they are less likely to clog, water submersion may reduce their life expectancy. For areas with significant rainfall, submersible sump pumps are ideal for their effectiveness. 

Pedestal sump pumps have a long life span and are easily accessible for maintenance since the motor rests over the basin. This sump pump directs excess water through the hose and into the drainage area to keep water out of the home. Although it may be noisier than the submersible units, it is reliable and easy to repair.

A battery backup sump pump is used for extra protection. This device will work during heavy storms even if the power goes out. The sump pump float switch is vital because as the water rises, the switch can be triggered regardless of home electricity. Water-powered backup sump pumps rely on increased water pressure. These devices do not require batteries and are considered low maintenance. Water bills may increase since extra water is necessary to run this backup. 

A combination sump pump combines both a primary and backup battery pump. Instead of using a sump pump that relies solely on battery power, a combination pump allows the battery to turn on only after the home electricity has shut off. Depending on the unit, some of these pumps have performance apps with diagnostic statistics available. 

The Benefits of Flood Defense Systems 

benefitsInstalling a sump pump system in the home is the first line of defense when it comes to flooding. Regardless of the type of sump pump, these devices can save homeowners significantly on home repair costs. Sump pumps help prevent flooding, water damage, structural integrity and foundation problems, mold growth, high humidity, and poor indoor air quality.

By installing a sump pump, indoor air quality in the home can be improved by helping to keep humidity levels low, the risk of mold and mildew growth is reduced, and it prevents flooding, water damage, and the associated costs. With all the advantages they provide, installing a sump pump is a no-brainer and an excellent form of protection for the home.

About RCL Mechanical 

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding communities. They provide flat-rate prices, financing, and the latest technology. Call them today for sump pump services in Taunton, MA.

Distribution Links +

Three Signs That It's Time for Air Conditioner Replacement

Warning Signs It May Be Time for a New AC 

With summer's arrival, the biggest season for the air conditioner is about to begin, and in many homes, the air conditioner may fail to keep up. When that happens, it may be time to install a new air conditioner. Here are three signs that AC replacement may be necessary to stay comfortable through the summer. 

Unusual Noises and Bad Smells 

smellStrange noises and bad smells from an AC unit can signal that it's time to replace or repair the system. Some noises that may be heard include loud rattling, banging, screeching, humming, or grinding. These sounds could indicate many issues, such as misaligned parts, mechanical problems, or a broken fan motor. 

Foul smells coming from the AC unit can also indicate potential problems. Musty smells can indicate mold and burning odors can indicate electrical problems. If someone notices any of these symptoms, it’s important to call an AC professional to diagnose the issue and determine whether repair or replacement is needed.

High Energy Bills 

billIf homeowners notice energy bills going up and it's not due to a change in AC usage, it could be time for AC replacement. Air conditioning systems can become less energy-efficient over time, resulting in higher energy bills. Inefficiency due to old age can indicate replacement is needed, but the lost efficiency could also be from a malfunctioning component of the air conditioner that may require repair or replacement. 

AC replacement can reset the clock and even improve it when it comes to energy efficiency. In addition to getting back lost cooling power and efficiency, homeowners can also choose to install more energy-efficient cooling systems that can save additional money over time. 

Inadequate Airflow 

Another problem indicating replacement may be needed is a loss of airflow from the air conditioner. Many issues can cause airflow issues, including leaking ductwork, clogged filters, broken blowers, etc. It’s essential to have the cause determined by a professional HVAC contractor.  

If hot or cold spots and airflow around the home are a problem, repairs may be sufficient enough to restore cooling power, or replacement may be needed. Consult with professionals once issues are noticed to determine whether now is the right time to replace the air conditioner. A new air conditioner will save money on bills and restore comfort by providing sufficient airflow. 

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, the latest technology, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for AC installation and replacement in Taunton, MA.

Do You Have an Underground Water Leak? Here's How to Find Them

What to Know About Spotting Hidden Water Leaks

Hidden water leaks are no fun, but they can happen to anybody, so homeowners need to know how to determine if there is a leak at home - even one hidden out of view or underground. Once homeowners suspect a leak, they can reach out to a plumber to confirm, locate it, and repair it, in turn fixing the adverse effects of the leak, such as high water bills and water waste. This blog will share three ways homeowners can be alerted to a leak in their homes. 

Signs of a Water Leak

leakWhen determining if there is a water leak within a home’s plumbing system, it is always helpful to be in tune with what is happening in and around the house. Being observant allows homeowners to see where minor problems could be pointing at bigger issues requiring immediate attention. Here are some signs that may suggest there’s a possible hidden water leak:

  • An increase in the water bill: High water bills without a corresponding increase in water consumption could indicate that water is flowing out of the system somewhere, possibly through cracks or holes and not out of taps and fixtures.
  • Water pressure decreases: If water doesn’t seem to flow with the same volume as it used to, this may point to a decrease in water pressure which could result from water escaping out of a leak in the water line and not making it out the tap.
  • Water pooling in the yard: Puddles of water forming in the yard for no evident reason could be a sign that it is coming from an underground leak.
  • Sound of water running: When homeowners hear running water when no water is being used from the home’s fixtures and appliances, it may point to a leak. 

Water Meter 

Another way to detect the presence of a leak is to use the home’s water meter, which may also have its own leak indicator. The leak indicator is a brightly colored arrow, usually red, green, or blue, that spins to indicate water leaking out of the system. To do this properly, it’s crucial to first shut off the home’s main water valve before checking the leak indicator on the meter. If all water to the house is cut off and the indicator still keeps spinning, it’s a sure sign of a water leak.

What if the water meter doesn’t have a leak indicator? If this is the case, it’s still possible to use the water meter to determine if a leak is present. With the main water valve turned off, a homeowner must record the meter reading and then come back after 30 to 60 minutes of not using any water to recheck the meter reading. Any changes in the reading without using any water means there’s likely a leak.

Professional Leak Detection

proAnother way for homeowners to find a leak in their plumbing is to call a plumber for professional leak detection services. Professional plumbers have a variety of special methods and equipment at their disposal to tackle even the most challenging of leak detection and repair situations. 

Plumbers may use acoustic leak detectors, thermal imaging, or video inspection to hone in on the leak’s exact location so they can fix it less invasively. Having a trustworthy, reliable plumber on call who can perform these services can save homeowners a lot of time, money, and stress when dealing with difficult water leaks.

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated HVAC and plumbing business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding communities. They provide flat-rate prices, financing, and the latest technology. Call them today for water leak detection services in Taunton, MA

Distribution Links +

Get Ready for Spring With Air Duct Cleaning!

Get the 411 on Air Duct Cleaning Services 

Suppose the outdoor condenser and indoor evaporator units are the heart of a home’s central air conditioning system. In that case, the air ducts are the arteries and veins that cycle the air through the house and help maintain its temperature. Like blood vessels, these ducts can become narrowed or clogged with grime. However, professional air duct cleaning can keep the HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, as it should. This blog post will discuss air duct cleaning and how to tell when it’s needed. 

The Benefits of Duct Cleaning

ductDirty ducts are not only a problem for the HVAC system’s energy efficiency, but they can also be a health hazard. People with respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, COPD, or emphysema are highly susceptible to pollution indoors. If ducts are not cleaned regularly, they can hold all sorts of triggers for these respiratory problems, including dust, pet hair, mold and mildew, and pollen. Cleaner air ducts mean the following benefits:

  • Better Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): The indoor air quality will be improved with clean ducts because allergens can hide in the ducts, affecting the entire home’s air quality.
  • Better Energy Efficiency: If the ducts are clean, airflow is improved, and the HVAC unit will not need to use as much energy to get the air where it needs to go.
  • Money Savings: Cleaning the ductwork leads to improved efficiency, which can reduce energy bills.

Indicators of Dirty Air Ducts

Since they are hidden by design, how does a homeowner know if they have dirty ducts? Some signs indicating that air ducts are dirty and need professional duct cleaning are:

  • Dusty or dirty vents
  • Mold growth on vents
  • Foul or musty smells
  • Strange noises
  • Dirty and clogged air filters
  • Worsened respiratory, asthma, or allergy symptoms

Keep Ducts Clean Between Professional Service 

filterEven if a homeowner gets their air ducts professionally cleaned, they can do some things to help keep them clean between professional cleanings. One crucial task a homeowner can do to keep their ductwork clean is to replace air filters regularly, typically at least every three months. Routine air filter replacements keep the system running efficiently and improve indoor air quality by trapping airborne particles and allergens. 

Air filters may need to be changed more often, however, if members of the household suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Keeping the house clean is another way to help keep the air ducts clean because less dust and debris will enter the air cycle. If the area is particularly humid, homeowners may want to look into a dehumidifier to help cut the moisture in the air and reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth in the ducts.

About RCL Mechanical

RCL Mechanical is a locally-owned and operated heating, AC, and plumbing business serving Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat rate pricing, 24/7 availability, and the latest technology. Call them today for air duct services in Taunton, MA

Distribution Links +