Do I need to clean my ducts?

If the ductwork has no leaks, you never need to clean your ducts!

Our top priority is your health and safety. That’s why we’re taking extra care in reducing risk to you and your family through these safety procedures.

Spring cleaning often includes a deep clean of your home. Sweep out the gutters. Check for leaks and water damage. How about cleaning your air conditioning and furnace ducts? Surely getting your ducts spic and span will promote healthier indoor air, right? Not so fast.

The US Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting your air ducts cleaned only in special situations:

  • If there is mold growth inside ducts
  • If the insulation in your air ducts get wet or moldy
  • If ducts are infested with rodents or insects
  • If ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris

What should you do instead? First, diagnose the problem properly.

At RC Mechanical, we focus on fixing the root problem with your A/C or furnace, not just the symptoms. We address the underlying causes of A/C and furnace issues. Otherwise the problem will recur and cost you more money. You may end up installing a new A/C or furnace unnecessarily. And addressing the underlying problems starts with a thorough inspection.

Schedule an HVAC Assessment

Getting a thorough assessment of your furnace and air conditioner will determine if you need your ducts cleaned or replaced. If there is excess debris in your ducts, chances are this is caused by a leak in your HVAC ductwork. We will conduct a thorough inspection of your furnace and air conditioner to identify the root problem before recommending the best solution for your situation.

If the ductwork has no leaks, you never need to clean your ducts! Cleaning them will unnecessarily blow dust particles into your home.

The EPA also recommends preventing water and dirt from entering the A/C or furnace system as the first priority. It is more important to look for leaks than for dust in your ductwork system. A leaking ductwork forces your air conditioner or heating system to overwork which can lead to higher energy bills.

A well-maintained A/C or furnace ductwork system traps indoor allergens in the air filters. This reduces allergens by trapping particles and preventing them from circulating through your home.

If Your Ducts Do Need Cleaning or Replacing

If an HVAC inspection uncovers mold, rodents, or excessive amounts of dust in your ductwork, this could require cleaning or replacing your ducts.

When hiring an HVAC contractor, ask that they provide you with before-and-after photos of the ducts so that you have assurance that the ductwork does have a problem(s) and that the problems have been fixed.

Ensure that the HVAC contractor cleans ALL components of the heating system or air conditioner, not just the ducts. Failure to clean one component can contaminate your entire air conditioner or heating system. This would erase any benefit your HVAC system received from the duct cleaning.

RC Mechanical Is Your Trusted HVAC Contractor

For over 20 years, RC Mechanical has been a trusted HVAC contractor for homeowners on the Peninsula and throughout the Bay Area who rely on us to deliver high-quality service. We’re taking these extra precautions to protect the health and safety of our customers and employees.

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, is a trusted local company that will quickly diagnose and resolve your indoor comfort and air quality issues. Whether you need help selecting a new air conditioner, installing a furnace, or conducting a home energy audit, you can count on RC Mechanical for superior and cost-effective HVAC service. RC Mechanical is a local veteran-owned business and has provided expert furnace and air conditioning repair and installation to the Bay Area with integrity for over 20 years. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs. Call us today at (650) 575-3915 and we will respond within 24 hours.

Improve Indoor Air Quality To Reduce Coronavirus Risk

Now that we’re spending more time indoors due to shelter-in-place, it is important that the air you and your family breathe is healthy and clean.

While there are several ways to limit your exposure to the coronavirus (hand washing, etc.), let’s focus here on how your home heating and cooling systems can play a role in a cleaner and healthier environment.

Upgrade Your Air Filters

According to the Center for Disease Control, the virus is mainly spread by large droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing. Your HVAC system’s air filters are the “face masks” of your home. They catch airborne particles but do not kill them. To reduce the risk of airborne exposure, consider upgrading your the air filters in your air conditioner and furnace. Higher density filters will trap airborne particles before they reach the air you breathe. Ask your HVAC contractor for the best air filter for your needs.

Change Your Filter More Often

A better air filter collects more particles. Especially when more of us are staying indoors, our filters will need to be replaced more often. If someone in your family is ill, consider changing your filters more frequently to minimize recirculating airborne particles.

Control Your Home’s Humidity

Keep your home’s humidity between 40-60% because viruses are least viable in this range. Several factors can improve your home’s humidity: installing insulation, installing a humidifier, and plugging leaking windows and doors. A skilled HVAC technician will conduct a thorough inspection and can recommend the best options to control humidity in your home so it remains within the recommended range.

Schedule an HVAC Assessment

A skilled HVAC technician will inspect your furnace and A/C systems for leaks and damage, checking your ductwork for proper alignment and ensuring it is fully sealed. Leaking ductwork forces your air conditioner and furnace to overwork, leading to higher energy bills. A well-maintained HVAC ductwork system traps indoor allergens in the air filters. They play a critical role in trapping allergens by trapping particles and preventing them from circulating through your home.

RC Mechanical Can Help

HVAC contractors are essential service providers. RC Mechanical can help you manage these indoor air quality risks and make recommendations to increase air quality.

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, is a trusted local company that will quickly diagnose and resolve your air conditiong, heating, and indoor air quality issues. Whether you need help selecting and installing the right air conditioner, replacing a furnace, or conducting a home energy audit, you can count on RC Mechanical for superior and cost-effective HVAC service. RC Mechanical is a local veteran-owned business and has provided expert furnace and air conditioning repair and installation to the Bay Area with integrity for over 20 years. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs. Call us today at (650) 575-3915 and we will respond within 24 hours.

Breathe Cleaner Fresher Air This Spring

allergy free air Covid-19

Spring brings longer days and warmer weather. But spring can also bring miserable sniffling and sneezing for the 50 million Americans who suffer seasonal allergies. Eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites. What to do? Improve the air quality in your home to reduce allergy triggers.

What are the main sources of indoor allergens? Some of the biggest factors that affect home air quality are:

  • Pets
  • Wall-to-wall carpet
  • Damp areas
  • Soft furniture
  • Bedding

To make sure you and your family breathe easier this Spring, check out these four ways to improve indoor air quality:

Replace your air filters

The air filters in your AC and heating system are your first level of defense against bad air quality. The increased level of pollen in spring can overwork your air filters so be sure to clean or replace them more often. If your filters need to be replaced, check our tips on how to choose the right filter for your home.

Schedule an HVAC tune-up

Spring cleaning should also include an inspection of your furnace and air conditioner. A skilled HVAC technician will inspect your equipment for leaks and damage. A well-maintained HVAC ductwork system traps indoor allergens in the furnace and A/C air filters. They reduce allergens in your indoor air by trapping particles and preventing them from circulating through your home. RC Mechanical’s HVAC technicians will also check to ensure you have a properly sized heating and air conditioning system for your home and will make recommendations to increase air quality and save you money. We take pride in going above and beyond to make sure you don’t spend money on what you don’t need.

Add an air purifier

What’s the difference between an air filter and an air purifier? An air filter simply catches the particles. Air purifiers actively clean the air through ionization. Air purifiers are better at removing pollutants such as bacteria, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, spores, and viruses than the standard air filter. One happy client raved that she was able to “taste the clean air”! Ask us about installing a whole-house air purifier. Our expert technicians are the best in the business and will recommend the best air purifier that is compatible with your air filter and A/C or furnace so all work together to give you fresher, cleaner air.

Clear and clean the registers

When was the last time you cleaned your furnace or air conditioner’s registers and grates? If these have dust accumulation, dust circulates into the room and can worsen allergies and asthma. Don’t forget to check that nothing is blocking the registers, such as furniture, drapes, or toys. Keeping the register areas clear enables your home’s air to be better distributed in the room. To clean your registers, simply wash them in your sink with warm water and mild soap. Leave them outside to air dry or pat dry with a lint-free cloth.

Ready for a cleaner fresher Spring?

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, is a trusted local company that will quickly diagnose and resolve your heating, cooling, and indoor air quality issues. Whether you need help selecting a new air conditioner, installing a furnace, or conducting a home energy audit, you can count on RC Mechanical for superior and cost-effective service.

RC Mechanical is a local veteran-owned business and has provided expert furnace and air conditioning repair and installation to the Bay Area with integrity for over 20 years. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs.

Call us today at (650) 575-3915 and we will respond within 24 hours.

Allergies & Asthma

Allergy & asthma

While there may be many ways to treat asthma or allergies, one of the smartest actions you can take as a consumer is to alleviate the various conditions that can trigger the symptoms. Did you know that your HVAC system is part of this ecosystem? By increasing the effectiveness of your HVAC system, you can optimize its efficiency to help reduce allergens that trigger asthma and allergies.

Replace your air filters

One of the promises of an effective HVAC system is to provide clean indoor air. This is done by trapping airborne allergens in your HVAC system’s air filters. Even trapped, these allergens can still lead to allergic reactions or asthma attacks. To address these trapped allergens as well as mildew and mold, it is suggested that you schedule a yearly maintenance for you HVAC system.

Your annual maintenance should start with your air filter since it plays a central role in trapping allergens. Air filter efficiency is measured by the particles it can trap and thus prevent from circulating through your house. The more effective your air filter is, the more particles it reduces in your homes air flow. But that comes at a cost – not just financially. The more effective your filter is, the more stress it places on your HVAC system. It is suggested that you work with your HVAC technician to select the right filter for your system.

Install air purifier

Air purifiers can also help in trapping allergens. They work with your air filter to aid in purifying the air stream to your home by trapping allergens not caught by the air filter alone. You may want to consider a whole-home air purifier that is compatible with your air filter and HVAC system.

Use humidifiers

Using filter and purification technology goes a long way in helping to provide clean air throughout your home. But it is not the only way to address asthma and allergy symptoms. Humidity can also affect asthma and allergy sufferers. Once again, your HVAC system can address this trigger by providing a whole-home dehumidifiers. Dehumidifying technology can address the humidity levels to help create a safe and healthy environment.

Clean the air with UV lamps

UV lamps when used with your HVAC system can sterilize and clean the air before it reaches your living space. They do this by zapping mold, bacteria, and other allergens. UV lamps also prevent fungus from growing in damp areas, such as the AC coil. This technology may be expensive but for households experiencing poor indoor air quality, it may be a viable solution.

Our main goal at RC Mechanical is to help keep your home comfortable throughout the year and free of allergens for you. Call us at (650) 575-3915 and let us help you with your home comfort issues.

What you can’t see can hurt you

As part of cooling the house, an air conditioner creates condensation. This condensation turns to water which is collected in the primary drain pan. This pan is inside the unit and is not visible from the outside.

The water in this pan is drained through pipes into the house’s plumbing system.

If there is a clog in the primary drain pipe, water starts collecting in the primary drain pan. When this pan overflows, there is a secondary drain pan that sits outside the unit to collect this overflow.

This auxilliary drainage pipe routes this water outside the house.

Here are some signs that your primary drain is clogged.

– Secondary pan is not dry

You should never have any water in the secondary pan. It should be dry. If it isn’t dry, you can rest assured that the primary pipe is clogged. If the AC is in the attic, the water in the secondary pan can damage the surrounding structure.

– Smell from the attic

The water in the secondary pan can also become a watering hole for small critters. Apart from being unhygienic, this can also lead to stench in the house.

Stagnant water in the secondary pan can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes leading to unhealthy living.

– Drain pipe to the outside drips water

When you see the pipe to the outside dripping water, you should call your HVAC technician to fix your AC.

If you see any of these signs and you live in the San Francisco’s peninsula area, give us a call at (650) 575-3915.

6 ways to prepare your home for summer

Before you know it, the summer heat will be upon us. With a little bit of preparation, your home will be ready to keep you comfortable through the dog days of summer.

Turn your AC on early

Turning on your AC will allow you to find out if it is in working condition. If you hear the equipment cranking up, then it is working. Then go to each register in the house to make sure that cold air starts getting blown in within 5 minutes. If not, then there is a problem. Call your AC technician to schedule an appointment.

Change the filter

Filters clean the air of some impurities before that air is forced into the home. A cleaner filter means that the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioner) will be able to move the air through the filter effortlessly. This leads to not only cleaner air, but also more energy efficiency leading to lower utility bills. A dirty filter, on the other hand, will make the HVAC work harder to push air through the filter leading to a higher utility bill and a stressed HVAC system.

Change the filter in the spring to help your AC running smoothly throughout the summer and check the air filter every month. If it is dirty, replace it.

Keep area around AC clean

AC works by pulling in air from its surroundings, cooling the air, and then forcing the air into the house through the ducts and vents. If the AC is installed outside the house, there should be at least 2 feet of clearance around the equipment. Make sure that there are no plants growing within 2 feet of the AC and clear out any yard debris from around the equipment to ensure proper air flow.

Do a visual inspection of the equipment, and if any coils look like they are frayed, then it is in need of repair. You may need to call your HVAC technician for help.

Close your windows

Curtains, blinds, and drapes are not only for aesthetics, but also serve a purpose. They block the harsh sun that can otherwise damage wood floor and furniture over time. They also help keep the house cooler by blocking the sun. A cooler house means that the HVAC has to do less work to keep the home comfortable, leading to a lower utility bill.

Clear and clean the registers

Make sure nothing is blocking the registers, such as furniture, drapes, and other items. Keeping the register area clear would enable the air to be better distributed in the room.

Over time, register grills can accumulate dust and grime. When the air is forced into the house, these get blown everywhere, which can affect people suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments. Be sure to keep these grates clean with soap and water.

Schedule an HVAC tune-up

It is a good idea at the beginning of the season to get an HVAC technician to inspect your equipment to make sure there are no leaks or other damages. The technician should also be able to inspect your ductwork for proper alignment and to make sure that it is fully sealed.

Call us today at (650) 575-3915 to make an appointment. We’ll keep you cool and comfortable through the summer.

4 ways to improve your home air quality

Good air quality inside your home is important to your family’s well being and comfort. Bad air quality can adversely affect you and your family’s health. The effects can range from sneezing to chronic asthma or worse, especially if a family member has compromised health.

These are the four devices that have the biggest impact on your indoor air quality, and you should make sure that they are working at their optimal capacity.

Air filters

Air filters are your first level of defense against bad air quality. A high pollen season (spring) or outdoor air pollution (fire season) can put a lot of stress on these devices.

It may be necessary to change these often, as extended use can put a lot of wear and tear to these instruments. If you are looking to buy a new air filter, be sure to visit https://rcmechanicalinc.com/choosing-the-right-filter/ for advice on how to choose the right air filter for your needs.

Air purifier

If a regular filter isn’t enough for you, then you should look into an air purifier. Air purifiers differ from air filters in that they actively cleanse the air through ionization, whereas an air filter simply catches dust and other contaminants that go through it. This makes air purifiers better at removing pollutants such as bacteria, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, spores, and viruses than the standard air filter.

IQAir purifier is the industry gold-standard for air purifiers. The IQ hyper-HEPA filter produces hospital grade air. Both are gold-standards in the air purifier industry and produce hospital-grade air. When one was installed in a client’s home, they said that they could “taste the clean air”!

Humidifier

During California summers, the air can get very dry. Chronic dry skin, chapped lips, and getting static shocks often can be a sign of low humidity, meaning that the water vapor in the air is at lower than normal levels. Breathing dry air over a long period of time can lead to respiratory issues.

Your health is not the only thing that can suffer from not installing a humidifier. When a home is excessively dry, paintings, wallpaper, and furniture can all suffer permanent damage.

Installing a whole-home humidifier can prevent all of these issues. In combination with your HVAC, your home will maintain an optimal level of humidity throughout the seasons.

Carbon monoxide detector

One of the most dangerous pollutants is carbon monoxide (CO). It is a colorless, odorless, invisible, and tasteless gas, but if CO leaks into your home, you may suffer from symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to a loss of consciousness.

It is vital for every house to have a working CO detector. These devices are available in hardware stores and are easy to install. For them to maintain their effectiveness, remember to change the battery every year.

We at RC Mechanical, take pride in diagnosing and improving our clients’ indoor air quality. If you have any questions or concerns, or are looking for more information, contact us today at (650) 575-3915.