The Future of Comfort: Exploring Ductless Mini-Split Systems

In the realm of heating and cooling, innovation has led to more efficient and versatile solutions. Ductless mini-split systems are a prime example of this evolution, providing homeowners with a flexible and energy-efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of ductless mini-split systems, exploring their technology, benefits, and why they are gaining popularity in the modern era of home comfort.

What Are Ductless Mini-Split Systems?

Ductless mini-split systems, often referred to as mini-splits, are heating and cooling systems that offer precise temperature control without the need for ductwork. These systems consist of two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and one or more indoor air-handling units. Refrigerant lines connect these components, allowing for the transfer of heat to and from the indoors. Unlike traditional central HVAC systems that rely on ducts to distribute conditioned air, mini-splits deliver air directly into the living spaces they serve.

Technology Behind Mini-Splits

The key technology that makes ductless mini-split systems efficient and versatile is inverter technology. Inverter-driven compressors constantly adjust their speed to maintain the desired temperature, unlike conventional systems that cycle on and off. This results in more precise temperature control, reduced energy consumption, and quieter operation.

Additionally, mini-splits offer zoning capabilities, allowing homeowners to control the temperature in individual rooms or zones independently. Each indoor unit has its thermostat, enabling personalized comfort while minimizing energy waste. This flexibility makes mini-splits an ideal solution for homes with varying heating and cooling needs in different areas.

Benefits of Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Energy Efficiency: Ductless mini-splits are renowned for their energy efficiency. Inverter technology and the absence of ductwork reduce energy waste, resulting in lower utility bills and a reduced environmental footprint.

Precise Temperature Control: Mini-splits offer precise temperature control in individual rooms or zones, eliminating the need to heat or cool unoccupied spaces.

Easy Installation: The absence of ductwork makes installation relatively simple and less invasive compared to traditional HVAC systems. This can save both time and money during installation.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: Ductless mini-splits typically feature advanced filtration systems that can remove allergens and pollutants, providing healthier indoor air.

Versatility: Mini-splits are suitable for various applications, including home additions, retrofitting existing homes, and providing climate control for areas with specific heating or cooling requirements.

Quiet Operation: The indoor units of mini-splits are quieter than traditional HVAC systems, making for a more peaceful living environment.

Longevity: With proper maintenance, mini-split systems can have a longer lifespan compared to traditional HVAC systems.

Why Ductless Mini-Splits Are Gaining Popularity

As homeowners become more energy-conscious and seek cost-effective solutions for their comfort needs, ductless mini-split systems are gaining popularity for several reasons:

Energy Savings: Ductless mini-splits can significantly reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills over time.

Home Renovations: Mini-splits are a popular choice for home renovations or additions, as they can be easily integrated into existing spaces without the need for extensive ductwork.

Zoning Flexibility: The ability to control temperatures in different zones appeals to homeowners who want personalized comfort and cost savings.

While ductless mini-split systems offer numerous advantages, they are not without their disadvantages.
Here are some of the disadvantages associated with these systems:
Initial Cost: Ductless mini-split systems tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional HVAC systems, especially if you need multiple indoor units to cover various areas of your home. However, the energy savings over time can offset this initial investment.

Aesthetics: While the indoor units of mini-splits are relatively compact and inconspicuous, they are still visible in the rooms they serve. Some homeowners may find their appearance less appealing compared to traditional ducted systems, which are hidden from view.

Complex Installation: While installation is generally easier than retrofitting ductwork in an existing home, it still requires professional expertise. The placement of indoor units, refrigerant lines, and electrical wiring can be complex, and improper installation can lead to performance issues.

Regular Maintenance: Ductless mini-split systems require regular maintenance, including cleaning or replacing air filters, cleaning the indoor and outdoor units, and checking refrigerant levels. Neglecting maintenance can lead to reduced efficiency and system breakdowns.

Limited Heating Capacity in Extremely Cold Climates: In regions with extremely cold winters, some ductless mini-split systems may struggle to provide sufficient heating capacity. Supplemental heating may be necessary during the coldest months.

Compatibility Issues: Some older homes may require electrical upgrades to support the additional load of mini-split systems, which can add to the installation cost.

Limited Air Distribution: While mini-splits offer zoned heating and cooling, they may not provide the same level of even temperature distribution as ducted systems. Airflow can be concentrated near the indoor unit, leading to temperature variations in larger rooms.


Ductless mini-split systems represent a modern and efficient approach to home heating and cooling. With their energy-saving technology, precise temperature control, and versatility, they are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners seeking comfort without the drawbacks of traditional HVAC systems. Whether you’re looking to retrofit your existing home, improve energy efficiency, or enhance comfort in specific areas, ductless mini-splits are a promising solution for the future of home comfort.
Your choice should be based on your specific needs, budget, and the climate in which you live. Consulting with a qualified HVAC professional can help you make an informed decision and ensure that the system is installed and maintained correctly.

Call us at (650) 575-3915 so we can help you figure out if a mini-split is the best solution for your home.

Energy saving tips for winter

When the temperature goes down, the cost of operating your heating system goes up. Here are some ways you can lower the cost of keeping your home cozy.

Keep your furnace well-maintained

Regular maintenance to keep your furnace in good condition is important for both your furnace’s performance AND its energy efficiency. An additional benefit of good furnace maintenance is that it prolongs your heating system’s life.

The filter in your furnace is there to keep the air in your home clean. You should change the furnace filter at least every 6 months. This not only keeps the air in your home cleaner, but lowers your energy bill. This is because a dirty filter impedes air movement, causing the furnace to have to work harder and use more energy.

Don’t wait until the beginning of the cold season to call your furnace technician. Remember that everyone else will be wanting to get maintenance for their heating system at that same time!

Install a programmable thermostat

The easiest way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature is by installing a programmable thermostat with your furnace. You can program the thermostat to change temperatures throughout the course of 24 hours. Why run the furnace at night when everyone is under their covers, or during the workday when the house is empty? Instead, the furnace can be programmed to heat the house only when needed. Most thermostats also let you program different patterns for weekends versus weekdays.

Many people like to use a learning thermostat like Nest. Based on the way you adjust the thermostat during the day, it learns what temperatures you like at what times of day and programs itself to turn on your furnace accordingly.


Most of the heat loss in your house happens around windows and doors. There could be small gaps through which warm air can escape the house. These gaps can be closed with proper weatherstripping. Another way to address heat loss through your windows and doors is by installing insulating curtains and blinds.

If you have a fireplace, it can be another source of heat loss in your home. Warm air can rise through the chimney and draw in cold air from outside to replace it. Using weatherstripping around windows and doors helps to prevent this. In addition, you can install glass doors on the front of your fireplace to help keep your heated interior air from going up the chimney.

Add insulation to your walls and attic

Heat can be lost through walls and the attic. Since they make up most of the house’s structure, heat loss through them can be significant.

Installing insulation in your walls and attics can make a big difference. As an additional bonus, it will help keep your home cooler in the summer as well, reducing the energy consumption of your air conditioner.

Prevent heat loss from the water heater

Water in the water heater can lose its heat through its walls. And since water heaters are usually installed in an unheated garage, heat loss can be significant, especially during winter. This causes your water heater to use more energy to keep the water at the desired temperature. To help mitigate this, wrap the water heater in insulation.

You may also want to consider lowering the programmed temperature on your water heater. The average temperature setting for water heaters is 145 degrees. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees could save you money, and you may find that 120 degrees is warm enough to meet your needs.

Check ducts for leaks

According the US Department of Energy, 20-40% of the air loss in most houses leaks through the ductwork.

If your utility bills are higher than average, then get your ductwork examined by a professional HVAC technician to see if you have leaky ductwork.

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, is a trusted local company that will quickly diagnose and resolve your furnace issues, and recommend repair or replacement. 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.

Keep critters out of your attic

It is unnerving to hear sounds from the attic. If you hear gnawing, scurrying, scratching sounds generally in the early morning or late in the evening, chances are that there are critters in your attic or wall.

Animals (rats, bats, mice, etc.) can do a lot of damage by chewing up the plumbing and wirings. They can make a small issue (like a displaced shingle) into a much bigger issue like a leaking roof. Insulation can be moved around or torn up. These varmints also carry diseases, ticks, and fleas. The droppings in the attic and elsewhere aren’t healthy for human beings to breathe.

The best way to prevent damage from these animals is by making sure that they don’t enter the house in the first place.

Animals can enter the house through the smallest of holes near the vents or chimney pipes. If there are weak spots in the siding or on the roof, animals can claw their way into the house through these areas in search of heat and food.

Surest sign of a critter is the telltale sign of animal poop in the attic, cupboards, garage, or under the kitchen sink.

Here are some tips to make sure that your house remains free of critters.

Close or cover with a wire mesh all holes on the exterior of the house

Do a thorough inspection of the exterior of the house and pay close attention to where the roof meets the siding and near the vents. Close or cover all holes that can give animals an entry to your attic or your house.

Don’t leave the chimney open. Put a chimney cap on top of the exterior of the chimney. This allows the smoke to escape while keeping the critters out.

Fix/reseal your shingles

Storms, strong winds, and people walking on the roof can loosen the shingles. These weak spots can then be used by the animals to gain entry into your attic.

Inspect your roof regularly. If you find a shingle that is unsealed, loose, or missing, fix it right away.

Keep limbs of trees at least 6’ from your roof

The easiest access for animals to roof is by using the limbs of the surrounding trees. The critters can easily get on to the roof by jumping off of these low hanging branches over the roof. Squirrels especially can jump 6 feet or so to get on to your roof.

The best way to remove this access is to trim the branches that hang over the roof. These will deny the animals an easy access to the roof and eventually to the attic.

Remove trash from around your house

Animals like racoons, skunks, and rats are always on the lookout for food. And trash bins have them! These animals can ‘smell’ out food in any trash. Keep your trash bins shut tight and away from the house.

Clear out all fruits that fall from your fruit trees. These attract critters to hang around near your house and gives them an opportunity to exploit any weak structural area or hole on the exterior of the house.

Keep your gutters clean

When your gutters are filled with yard debris, it is an invitation to animals, like birds, to create their nests there. And these bird nests can attract other animals. If you have any structural weakness, it is an easy next step to exploit that to enter your attic.

If you suspect an animal in your attic, we would recommend that you call your local pest control company

Why does AC installation cost so much?

When you think of installing a new AC, you think of it as an appliance. With a dishwasher, you purchase the model you want, get someone to install it, and — voilà — we are up and running. The cost of this is generally the labor cost of a handyman plus the cost of the appliance.

An AC is a part of the whole HVAC system of your house. So it is unhelpful at best, and disingenuous at worst, to publish a price range for installing an AC.

There are many factors that go into the cost of the installation of an AC. Here are some important ones.

The size of the AC

Unlike a dishwasher where you can determine the size of the dishwasher, you need a professional to evaluate the size of the unit for your house.

It is very important to get the size of the unit correct. If you get a bigger one, then the unit will turn on and off frequently resulting in wear and tear of the equipment. You will also spend your money in energy for this inefficiency. The biggest issue is that you are going to have comfort issues – noisy equipment, hot and cold spots in the house, etc.

If the unit is not sized correctly, your equipment will not be able to keep up with the demands of making your home comfortable.

Energy efficiency

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) ratings measure the energy efficiency of an AC. Purchasing a higher energy efficient unit will be more expensive. In the long run though, it will cost you a lot less in energy bills. EER tells you miles/gallon about how efficient your equipment is. This has been tested in the factory’s controlled settings where they send this information to dept of energy to tell them how efficient this equipment is.

Duct work

Ducts are the tubes that carry the cold (or warm) air to the various rooms in your home. If you need to replace these, it will cost you a lot more. The cost of duct work varies depending on many factors, including the following:

  • Size of the home
  • Diameter of the duct needed
  • Material used
  • Design of the duct work
  • Space where the duct work will be installed

Number of vents & returns

These are the outlets for your duct where it either releases air into the house (vents) or pulls air into the duct (returns). You need vents in all the rooms and different areas where you need to feel comfortable. With each additional area/room to heat/cool, your installation cost goes up.

Zones and controls

Different areas in your home may need different types of heating/cooling. For eg., an upstairs room will be noticeably warmer than the room below because warm air rises. These 2 areas are considered to be in 2 different zones. So you will need separate temperature control upstairs and downstairs.

The more such localized controls you need, the higher your installation cost will be.


You will have to get a permit to install a whole HVAC system. In such a case, your contractor should be able to get a permit. Remember that the cost of the permit will be added to the cost of the installation. Once you get a permit, all these tests, including HERS, air leakage, static pressure, will be done.

Remember to compare apples to apples. Read your contract to find out what you are getting. Ask questions about how they came up with the design of the system.


Call Sal at (650) 575-3915 to give you an estimate on your AC and other HVAC projects.

The following 2 articles may be helpful for you in picking the right contractor for your job:

How to choose an HVAC contractor

Questions to ask your HVAC contractor

How to choose an HVAC contractor

HVAC Contractor

When a heater or an air conditioner stops working or seems to have a problem, people tend to think that they need to replace it. Actually HVAC is a system as opposed to a single unit. If any part of the HVAC system isn’t working properly, you will not reap the benefits of the system. So you need to hire someone who can evaluate the whole system and make a recommendation.

There are many handymen who call themselves an HVAC contractor without the necessary credentials. All you need is a van/truck with a big signage on it and people will believe that you are an HVAC contractor. Hiring such a person in the short run could seem like a money-saving idea, but in the long run it could end up costing you more and create unnecessary and avoidable headaches.

Learn how to spot a good HVAC contractor who can help you keep your home comfortable for a long time to come.

Don’t consider someone who will quote you over the phone

When someone gives you a quote over the phone after listening to the issues you are having with your heating or air conditioner, it should be a warning sign for you. This person is probably not a licensed contractor.

An HVAC contractor will insist on coming to your house to check the ducts, registers, insulation, etc. They would do a thorough evaluation of the state of your HVAC system to give you an estimate. It is called a SYSTEM for a reason: it is not just a furnace or an air conditioner. If the supporting structures for these units don’t function well, you can have the best appliance and yet not be comfortable in your home.

When a contractor comes to your house to give you an estimate, be wary of someone who gives you an estimate by just looking at the appliances. Get 3rd party verification from Dept. of Energy (proper sizing of heating and AC) The genuine contractor will want to check the crawl space, attic, ducts, and survey the house before giving you an estimate. If they don’t do this, their estimate and their work could cost you more in the long run.

Select a contractor who is licensed by the Contractors State License Board

In the state of California, anyone who works on HVAC system is required by law to be licensed. The license allows you to manipulate gas lines and electrical & plumbing as it relates to HVAC. A person without sufficient knowledge could endanger much more than just the HVAC system. You may check for someone’s licence at

Being licensed means that you have met a set of minimum requirements for the job, and now are authorized by the state to conduct business in that state.

Most importantly, if a contractor does a shoddy job, you can complain to the State License Board. If you hire a handyman to manipulate your HVAC system and if it ends up costing you more than necessary, you have only yourself to blame.

Get written estimate & warranties

As the saying goes, “The biggest fallacy about communication is that it has taken place.” A verbal quote is liable to be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Your contractor should send you a written estimate of what the job entails and an estimate of what it would cost to do the work. Everything that will be done should be written down, including anything that will need to be bought.

This is important for 2 reasons. First, you can see if there’s something missing in your understanding of the work. Second, the estimate becomes a legal, binding contract that you can fall back on, if you need to take the contractor to court.

If they warranty parts or work, then you should get it in writing. Find out how long it will take them to come back and fix the issue.

Check the HVAC contractor online

Not only should you check the contractor’s license on the California State License Board, you should also research the contractor online.

Check out the contractor’s website. A website is a place where the contractor gets to present his skills and expertise. You will also learn about the person, how they work, and any testimonials from other clients. The website should certainly have his license on his website.

On websites like Yelp and Google, you should be able to see the kind of work this contractor has done for other people. You will also get a feel for the nature of the contractor – on time, tidy, honest, pays attention to detail, doesn’t talk much, etc.

Increasingly NextDoor is becoming a place where neighbors trust other neighbors’ experiences. These are great referrals because they have presumably used the contractor’s services. Unlike Yelp where you can get spurious reviews, NextDoor reviews are genuine and trustworthy.

Don’t pick a person because they quoted the lowest price

Is it tempting to pick the contract with the lowest bid? Yes!! Should you pick the contractor based on price? No!!!

Even though your urge may be to save a few dollars and pick the contractor with the lowest bid, you will be served much better going with a contractor who has the experience, track record of fantastic installations, and happy clients. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples; the higher price may be getting you better quality of work along with a better service.

Picking a contractor based on price alone could cost you a lot more in the long run.

Get a comfortable home and save yourself money by going with a licensed and trustworthy HVAC company.

Call Sal at 650-575-3915 for quality heating and cooling service. If something happens with a new installation, we will come out right away to fix it.

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.

Keeping Warm at Night

The San Francisco Bay Area enjoys mild winters. However, in the first weeks of this month, temperatures plummeted to the 30s for cities along the Bay like Redwood City, San Carlos, and Burlingame.

Are you and your kids not sleeping well because everyone is cold? Here’s what to do to make sure your house is comfortable:

Check for leaky ducts

When rooms don’t stay warm, there may be leaks in your furnace ducts. This causes your furnace to work harder and take longer to get to the desired temperature.
If some rooms stay warm but other rooms feel cold, then you may have a furnace air flow problem. We can correct this by adjusting the furnace air that blows into each room. We do this through automatic zoning so you are warm and cozy wherever you are in your home.

Change your furnace filter

Dust and dirt prevent free air flow through the heating system. This could make the furnace’s heat exchange overheat and turn itself off.

Check the time on your thermostat

Did you adjust the thermostat for daylight savings time? Set your furnace thermostat to “On” instead of “Auto.”

Do you have the right size furnace for your home?

Our experts can determine the right size of furnace is most appropriate for the size of your home and the Bay Area climate. An overpowered furnace drives up heating bills, while an underpowered furnace struggles to keep you warm on cold days. We can help you evaluate whether it is time to replace your existing furnace and install a new heating system.

Get an inspection for your heating system

Your HVAC system is like your car and needs regular checkups and maintenance. Maintenance can lengthen the life of your furnace.

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, is a trusted local company that will quickly diagnose and resolve your furnace issues, and recommend repair or replacement. 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.

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.

How to tell if you have leaky ductwork

Ducts are a vital part of your HVAC system. They distribute the air from your furnace or AC to different parts of your house.

However, when air is lost through gaps in the ductwork, your HVAC has to work harder to achieve the desired temperature in the house. Even if you have a super energy-efficient AC or heating unit, leaky ductwork will mean you won’t see the savings in your utility bills.

Here are a few signs to watch out for:

Rooms are hard to heat or cool

When there are leaks in your ducts, the heated or cooled air is lost through the gaps in the ducts. This causes the HVAC to work harder, and take longer, to get your room to the desired temperature.

It is unusually dusty in the house

When there is a hole in the ductwork, the air from the the surrounding area (attic, garage, or the outside) can get sucked into the ducts. Then this air gets pushed into the house. You don’t want this because air from garages and attics is generally much less clean than the air in the house.

If you notice that you are vacuuming more often and the house still stays dusty, then you may want to check for leaky ductwork.

Your utility bills are higher than they should be

When you have leaky ductwork, conditioned air that was meant for the house escapes, so your HVAC has to work harder to keep the home at a comfortable temperature. Overworking your HVAC wastes both energy and money.

You notice a weird smell

A leaky duct will draw air from the surrounding areas. If this air is from a place like an attic or garage, then the contaminated air gets pushed into your house. For example, if you have a leaky duct in your garage, you might notice the smell of auto exhaust. If you notice strange smells, have your ductwork checked.

Animal sounds from the ductwork

When there is a leak in the duct, small animals that could gather near the leak for some comfortable air. Over time, as the holes in the duct get bigger, animals can get into the ductwork. You might hear animals scampering in the ducts, or their droppings in the ductwork could create a weird smell in the house.

If you suspect a ductwork problem, we advise you to contact an HVAC professional. We at RC Mechanical can do a home analysis to find issues with your HVAC system. Call us today at (650) 575-3915 with any questions.

Make your home comfortable

Does it ever feel that certain parts of the house are very comfortable and others are not. They could either be too hot or too cold.

This could happen even if the furnace is working well. The main culprit is the duct design.

When the furnace is actively blowing warm air into the home, they tend to pool in certain areas. Warm air rises. So the upstairs would be much warmer than the downstairs.

Even though the same type of pooling of warm and cold air happens in the summer as well, the comfort level will be better downstairs in the summer. This is because we are looking to keep ourselves cool.

If this sort of pooling occurs, then run your fan. The main job of the fan is to push the air into the room. The duct work should be designed to deliver the correct amount of warm/cool air to a specific room.

If you have a 2-story house with only a furnace, and the upstairs is warmer than needed, then most likely you have a air flow balance issue. This is corrected by adjusting the amount of air that goes into each area.

If you have a 2-story house with one furnace with AC, if you have issues of comfort, that can be achieved by automatic zoning. This is by having 2 thermostats (noe upstairs and one downstairs) and redirecting air as needed. Call your HVAC guy to achieve this.

Imagine you are filling your bathtub with warm/hot water to take a bath. The water just under the spout will be much warmer than the side of the bathtub farthest away. Before getting into the bathtub, we mix up the water or wait until the water is evenly warm everywhere.

This is exactly what we are trying to do with the fan. The fan circulates the air from all parts of the house and keeps the whole house at an even temperature.

During the fire season, you can keep your inside air clean by running the fan. This filters the air of impurities. Remember to change the filter often when the air is declared unsafe for outside activities. Check your filter more often and replace if needed.

There is another advantage to using the fan. Since the air goes through the duct is blown into the home, the air has to pass through the filters. This makes the air cleaner. So if you suffer from allergies, then running the fan is a great way to filter out the allergens in the air by running the fan.