How to Stop a Hurricane or Severe Storm from Ruining Your Air Conditioner

5 Oct

hurricane with palm trees

As hurricane Matthew pummels the Caribbean and heads towards the Southeast Coast of the United States, many business and homeowners are putting up hurricane shutters and boarding up to protect their properties.

When preparing for a storm protecting your a/c unit is usually not on the list. It can be very costly if your air conditioning
unit is damaged during a hurricane. High winds, debris flying around and if your a/c unit isn’t secured, it can loosen and become a dangerous flying object.

Luckily, it looks like this time SWFL has avoided a direct hit. Follow these tips to prepare your air conditioning unit before and after a hurricane or severe storm:

Before the storm:

  • In Florida, most of us have a split system with an outside unit on the ground. This outside unit should be installed on a concrete slab and tied down with hurricane straps.
  • Take a look around outside of your home or business and remove anything that could be picked up by heavy winds and become a dangerous flying object.
  • Clean up debris around your yard and a/c unit plus trim and dispose of any branches that are hanging near your a/c unit.
  • Often, debris flies around during a hurricane or severe storm so cover your a/c unit with a heavy tarp to protect it from flying debris.
    Make sure your air conditioner is turned off before covering it.
  • There are quite a few electrical components on your a/c unit so install a surge protector that can protect your air conditioner as well as your entire home.

After the storm:

  • Inspect the area surrounding your a/c unit before removing a tarp or turning the unit on. Look for downed power lines, water or debris that are close by. If you notice a downed power line do not go near it and call FPL immediately. Everyone knows downed power lines can be deadly.

Hurricane season 2016 does not end until November 30th and hopefully we will not have to deal with a hurricane anytime in the future but it is a good idea to keep these tips in mind if you ever have to prepare for a hurricane or severe storm.

RDS Air Conditioning would be happy to install a surge protector on your a/c unit to protect it from power surges that frequently occur in our area even when there is no hurricane or severe storm. Also, regular maintenance will help prolong the life of your a/c unit as well as keep it running as efficiently as possible.

Don’t Settle for Less Use RDS!!

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You Will Get a Charge Out of This One…Lightning and You

9 Jul
lightning

Lightning can cause damage in more ways than you may think.  You and your home are at risk.

We are in the midst of Southwest Florida’s 5 month rainy season which lasts from June to October.

It seems like almost daily we experience an afternoon thunderstorm and those bolts of lightning sometimes rival the fourth of July fireworks.

According to Wikipedia, lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge during an electrical storm between electrically charged regions of a cloud, between that cloud and another cloud, or between a cloud and the ground.

The charged regions in the atmosphere temporarily equalize themselves through this discharge referred to as a strike if it hits an object on the ground, and a flash, if it occurs within a cloud. Lightning causes light in the form of plasma, and sound in the form of thunder.

Lightning may be seen and not heard when it occurs at a distance too great for the sound to carry as far as the light from the strike or flash.

Here are some tips for staying safe during a lightning/thunder storm:

  • Never take a shower or bath or wash dishes during a thunder storm as plumbing is a conductor for electricity and if you are in contact with water and lightning strikes your home or nearby, the electricity could pass through the plumbing to you and that could be very dangerous.
  • If you are stuck outside when a thunderstorm hits, find shelter in a safe place like your car or in a building. Never stand under a tree and stay away from fences and power lines.
  • Stay off of your computer and corded phone until after the storm passes. If you want to use your computer, make sure it is unplugged and running on battery power.
  • If you have a dog outside in a dog house, bring the dog inside as a dog house is not safe during a thunder storm.
  • Do not raise an umbrella, golf club or fishing pole over your head as they act as natural lightning rods.

Florida displays some of the most lethal weather and new research has now pinpointed the exact location that sees the most strikes in the country, and it’s in Southwest Florida.

One thing you can do to help avoid costly damage to your home from lightning is to have a surge protector installed on your air conditioning unit as it will protect your a/c unit against power surges. Lightning is a common cause of a power surge but power surges can also come from inside your home.

Anytime the flow of electricity is interrupted then starts again or when electricity is sent back to the system there is a power surge. Anything that runs on electric in your home can be affected.

RDS Air Conditioning will install a surge protector on your a/c unit to protect it from damaging power surges. Also, if your current a/c unit is in need of repair, maintenance or if you need a new a/c unit installed in your home or business, RDS Air Conditioning is standing by to help.

RDS Air Conditioning is a Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713. Don’t Settle For Less Use RDS!

Lightning safety source: NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Buying a Previously Owned Home? Is it Cool Enough?

18 May
welcome to Florida sign

If you are moving to Florida and buying a home consider this…

We all know Southwest Florida is like living in paradise. We have beautiful beaches, blue skies and wonderful winter weather.

Did you know that 1000 people move to Florida each day? And according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates, Southwest Florida is one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation.

On the flip side, there are many people moving out of Florida each month so this adds up to a lot of people coming and going. All of these people need someplace to live and many will purchase a home.

If you are planning to purchase a previously owned home in Florida there are the usual questions:

  • When was the home built
  • How old is the roof
  • Inspections for plumbing, electrical and structure
  • Check for any leans on the home (make sure deed is free and clear)
  • Bug and rodent inspection
  • Ask about water system and quality
  • Flooding info
  • Zoning
  • Wetland info

It is also important to inquire about the a/c unit. A new a/c unit could be a big expense (if a new unit is needed) so make sure to have the a/c unit checked as well.

If a home is 10 years old and has the original a/c system ask about maintenance history and cooling efficiency but better still have it checked out.

An a/c system may seem fine but you can’t really tell unless you have a professional take a closer look. After the expense of purchasing a home, adding or upgrading furnishings it would be unsettling if the air conditioning unit failed and you had to add the expense of installing a new one.

If the a/c unit is old and in need of repair or replacing, that is something you can use to negotiate when making an offer to purchase a home.

Call RDS Air Conditioning if you would like us to check out an a/c unit before you purchase a home or for maintenance or repair. We install, maintain and service all residential and small commercial a/c units.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Common HVAC FAQ’s

8 Feb
questions

Contact RDS Air Conditioning if you have a question that is not answered here.

Q: Why is it recommended that I change my a/c filter on a regular basis?
Changing your filter regularly helps to improve indoor air quality plus keeps your air conditioning system running with proper air flow while reducing airborne allergens and dust.

Q: What can I do to help between regularly scheduled a/c maintenance visits?
Use extra care when trimming weeds near your a/c unit to avoid wire damage. Keep the area around your a/c unit clear of weeds, clutter, and debris as they can interfere with airflow to the unit. Do not let pets urinate on your a/c unit because pet urine causes damage.

Q: Why is my a/c system is freezing up?
It could be a dirty evaporator coil which over time may cause reduced air flow, inadequate cooling and freezing up of the unit. Low refrigerant due to a leak/s in the lines, valves, joints or loose fittings from vibration or friction. Defective blower motor running at the wrong speed or starting and stopping or relay that only intermittently starts can cause freezing of your a/c unit.

Q: What does HVAC stand for?
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

Q: Why should I replace my current air conditioning system?
If your current a/c system is old, in need of an expensive repair, causes increased energy bills, or isn’t cooling efficiently, it may be time to consider replacing your older unit. Newer a/c units are up to 60% more efficient.

Q: Do I need to be concerned with indoor air quality?
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), air pollutants can be up to 100X higher indoors than outdoors. That is why it is important to use the appropriate a/c filter to fit your needs and change it regularly. Also, you may want to consider an air purification system for your home or business.

Q: How long will my new a/c system last?
The average lifespan for a new a/c system in Florida is 10 to 15 years. Your a/c unit will last the longest with regular maintenance and suggested repairs.

Q: How can I find the system that is right for me?
RDS Air Conditioning will help you choose the most efficient unit that fits your specific needs ie. size and age of your home, number of rooms etc for the best possible price.

RDS Air Conditioning serves Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers, Florida with air conditioning maintenance, repair and new installations for your home or business and is a Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Are you stressed out? Are your home appliances contributing to your stress?

18 Jan
stress thermostat

Let RDS Air Conditioning help reduce your stress

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress can be defined as the brain’s response to any demand or change.
Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived and can be mild or major.

Also, not all stress is negative.

For example, winning the lottery is stressful and that can be a positive stress because then you can pay off bills and perhaps if you make good choices with your new wealth, have an easier life.

The National Institute of Mental Health says that there are at least 3 types of stress and they all have physical and mental health risks associated with them.

1. Routine stress – The day to day stressors including family and work.

2. Negative change stress – Stress from acquiring an illness or getting divorced.

3. Traumatic stress – Where one is in danger of being seriously injured or killed such as in war, a major accident, natural disaster or assault.

Stress has negative affects on the body and systems. Although stress affects people differently there are common ways humans experience
stress:

  • Digestive symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Feeling depressed
  • Feelings of anger

People who are under chronic stress have more colds and virus’ plus the flu vaccine is even less effective.  If you are stressed out or have chronic stress here are some tips to help:

  • Have a good support system – Be in touch with friends and family or other people in your life you can talk to who usually help you to feel better.
  • If you feel like things are too much seek out a qualified mental health professional.
  • Make time for relaxing and enjoyable activities.
  • Try to eliminate stressors in your life.
  • If you or someone close to you is in crisis, call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

A survey was done with over 1000 homeowners in the USA to find out the average stressors a homeowner experiences and what they worry about most in their home.

34% said that the biggest potential stress for them is the breakdown of a major home appliance and that it would need to be repaired. In 2014, 68% of these homeowners reported that they had to repair or replace a major appliance or home system.

52% tried to make the repair themselves which caused even more damage or they wasted money and an air conditioning problem accounted for 21% of these.

It is hard for people to quickly make big changes even to eliminate or cut down on stress so if you start with smaller changes and keep removing stressors from your life
or learn better coping strategies, your stress level will probably diminish.

Having a good a/c person you can rely on if anything goes awry with your a/c unit can at least help eliminate this stress. RDS Air Conditioning is standing by ready to help solve your a/c issue.

If your air conditioner needs maintenance or repair or if you need a new a/c unit, contact RDS Air Conditioning a Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713.

Serving Ft Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs and Naples Florida.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Is Your A/C System Putting Your Home at Risk for Fire and Water Damage?

15 Dec

water damage from a/c unit

Maintaining your air conditioning system is important because it constantly runs and coupled with the hot weather in Southwest Florida, there are many things that can go wrong.

Regular maintenance can often catch problems early or prevent them from happening.

One common problem that can occur from negleting having your a/c unit regularly serviced is water damage to your home.

Water damage can occur when the drain line to your a/c system becomes clogged.

The accumulation of dirt, debris, algae and even mold in the drain line causes it to become clogged.

How does dirt enter the drain line?

  • If your air conditioner is running without a filter or you wait longer than you should to change the filter
  •  A lot of construction being done in our area causes extra dirt and debris to float in the air
  • Dirt and debris that normally floats around in the air

What can happen if my drain line gets clogged?

  • Thousands of dollars in water damage to your home – The water backs up in your a/c unit’s drain pan because the water must have someplace to go.
  • Fire – A fire can start in your home due to leaking water backing up and reaching electrical parts in your a/c unit.
  • Harmful contamanents grow in your a/c drain line – Mold, mildew, virus’ and bacteria.

What are signs that my drain line is clogged?

  • Noticing stains on your ceiling
  • Your a/c unit stops working
  • Your home feels more humid than normal
  • You notice water actually leaking from your ceiling

Preventing your air conditioner’s drain line from clogging is easy. Change your a/c unit’s filter on time (every month or two). If you have pets or a lot of dust in your home, you may need to change it more often.

Scheduling regular maintenance from a professional a/c contractor will help keep the line clear and your a/c unit running at max potential.

A float switch can be installed to shut off your cooling system if it detects that water is backing up before it gets too far.

RDS Air Conditioning is a family owned and operated business in Estero Florida serving Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Fort Myers Florida. With over 25 years of experience. Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713.

Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!!!

Wanna Save Money on Your Electric Bill and Then Some?

31 Oct
hard start kit

Having a hard start kit installed on your a/c unit has may benefits including saving money.

Your air conditioning unit is made up of many different components that all work together to keep your home cool and comfortable.

One component of a central a/c system is the compressor. When your a/c unit starts, the compressor kicks in and uses an extra boost of energy to start your air conditioner.

Your a/c system starts multiple times throughout the day and night. Each and every time your a/c system starts up, the compressor draws a lot of power and this is when your a/c compressor does the most work.

You may want to consider having a hard start kit installed on your a/c unit. A hard start kit lets the compressor start fast while using less power.

The compressor will not have to work as hard each time your a/c starts so less power is used with each start up thus using less power and costing less energy to run.

If you have an older air conditioning system, the older compressor may be sluggish to start.  When your compressor gets weak it is harder to start and will use even more energy (increasing your electric bill).

A hard start kit is good to install on most any central a/c unit even new units.

If you notice:

  • Your lights dim when your air conditioner starts up
  • Your a/c unit not blowing cold air
  • The fan not kicking on

A hard start kit can:

  • Help your compressor start easier and last longer
  • Help your a/c unit cool your home more efficiently
  • Cause less heat / less damage to the compressor and other components of your a/c unit
  • Ultimately cost you less money on your electric bill
  • Help reduce the time for maintenance costs for your compressor or of needing a new compressor down the road

RDS Air Conditoning will install a hard start kit onto your air conditioning system during your next scheduled maintenance, install or repair.

The hard start kit we install is the best available and made in the U.S.A.

With over 25 years of experience, We will be more than happy to handle all your cooling and heating needs. Serving Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and S Ft Myers, Florida.

We are a Certified Florida Contractor – Lic.# CAC1816713. Don’t Settle for Less, Use RDS!

Schedule your appointment today!