How do I cool my second floor?

Keeping your second floor can be a real challenge in the dead of summer.

Since hot air rises, the upstairs can get up to 10 degrees hotter than the downstairs. During these times, it can be a challenge to keep the upstairs cool.

Another factor is the roof. In the summer, the roof gets the full brunt of the sun and it absorbs a lot of heat. This heats up the air in the attic which in turn heats up the upstairs.

Here are a few ways that you can manage to keep the second floor in your house comfortable.

Redirect cool air from the AC to upstairs

You can redirect more air from the AC upstairs by partially closing the vents downstairs. This will enable the cooler air to be blown upstairs. Be careful that you don’t close all the registers. This could affect the performance of the system. Talk to your HVAC specialist about balancing the system.

Install different zones in your house

With different zones in your house, you can control the temperature of each zone independent of the others. For example, you can set the thermostat to 68 downstairs and 72 upstairs.

Use window coverings to block the sun

If any of the windows get direct sun, especially in the afternoon, you should install drapes or shades. This can significantly reduce the temperature in a room.

Reduce your use of appliances upstairs

This is difficult if your kitchen is upstairs. Burners add a lot of heat to the surrounding area. On hot days, you could plan to eat out or make salads that don’t require the use of burners.

Install fans in the attic

Attic air can get to 130 degrees on a hot day! This would replace the hot air in the attic with cool air. (Rewrite this.)

Install ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are an easy and inexpensive way to keep the air moving and cooling a room.

Insulate your attic

When the midday sun hits the roof on a hot day, the attic heats up and this transfers the heat to the room right under it. By adding insulation in your attic you minimize the heat that is transferred to the living space.

You can install a vapor barrier on the bottom of the roof rafters. This slow the radiant heat from the roof into the attic which will keep your attic cool. Consequently your house will stay cooler.

Turn off any gadgets that generate heat.

Computers and other such electronic gadgets produce a lot of heat. Using these upstairs can also add to the temperature. Keep the electronic items turned off during the day or minimize their use upstairs.

Turn off lights. You’d be surprised how much heat they can create!

When the summer gets here, remember to drink cool drinks and keep hydrated!

Why does my air conditioner need maintenance?

Bay area peninsula can get really hot in the summer and fall. As the world gets warmer, the temperatures are getting higher earlier in the year.

The last thing you want is to have your AC not work on a hot day.

Regular maintenance work is key to keeping your investment (air conditioner) working at its peak. Here are a few reasons why doing maintenance on your AC is important.

Regular check-ups prevent breakdowns

Check-ups ensure that your AC is working well. During a check up, your technician would look inside the AC at the various coils, filters, etc. These parts could be broken, clogged, dirty or have simply stopped working. The technician would replace broken parts, clean dirty ones, and would ensure that AC now works like a well-oiled machine.

Yearly check-ups will prevent your AC from breaking down in the middle of summer when scheduling a technician can be hard.

Don’t take a chance with the AC breakdown

Air conditioner technicians are busy in the summer. The number of calls spikes during the summer for repairs and replacements of ACs. If your AC breaks down in the middle of summer, you may not be able to get a technician immediately. And a hot day without an AC can be miserable.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Get your AC serviced before summer so you have a well-functioning AC all summer long.

Lower your energy bill with check-ups

Any machine will work to its optimum when it has been serviced. Same is true of ACs.

Regular maintenance of your AC will keep all its parts working well. When the AC has been serviced, it uses less energy to run and you will see the result in lowered energy bills.

Increase the life of your AC

Just like an annual doctor visit can uncover potential problems before they become life-threatening, an AC check-up can identify small issues which can be fixed before they take down the whole AC.

Getting regular servicing on your AC helps increase its lifespan. Air conditioners are a big investment. Take care of the investment with regular check-ups. Here are a few articles that might help you with your air conditioner:

Things to leave to your HVAC professional
Why is my AC making noises
Why does AC installation cost so much?
Keep your AC running smoothly
Why is my air conditioner leaking condensation? Is it malfunctioning?

Get your AC serviced before the summer hits. Call us today at (650) 575-3915 to schedule an appointment.

Keep your AC running smoothly

Redwood City California, furnace repair, heating system repair, furnace installation, furnace repair, heating system maintenance, furnace maintenance, heating contractor

With the hot weather and stay-in-place orders in San Mateo County, many households are installing A/C systems.

On hot days when your new AC runs constantly, there’s a chance its effectiveness could lower. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your newly installed air conditioner works smoothly throughout the summer.

Replace your AC filter frequently

The job of an AC filter is to filter the debris and dust from the house and blow clean air into the house. When the AC filter gets dirty, it gets harder for the AC to blow air through it. This makes the air conditioner work harder and use more energy.

When the A/C filter stays dirty for a long time, the effectiveness of the AC is reduced and it will no longer cool the house as effectively. Change your filter once a month especially if you use the AC a lot.

Run fewer appliances

When the temperature rises outside, your AC has to work harder to keep your home comfortable.

Burners, ovens, dishwashers and dryers produce heat and increase the temperature inside the house. Try to avoid using these appliances on really hot days when you will likely run the AC for a long time.

Hot days might be a great time to spare your air conditioner by taking your cooking outside and barbecue!

Keep other heat-producing equipment such as computers and lamps away from the A/C thermostat. This may influence the A/C thermostat reading and cause the A/C to work harder than necessary.

Use fans to cool your home

A/C is not the only way to cool your home. Install floor and ceiling fans to circulate air. This cools the air and reduces the need to run your A/C. Run A/C less reduces your energy costs and extends the life of your new A/C.

Keep your vents clean

Vents are places where over time dust can collect and obstruct airflow. Every summer check your air conditioning vents to make sure that the air blows through these vents unobstructed.

Furniture and window treatments can also obstruct airflow from your air conditioner. Make sure that 6″ of space next to the vent is clear.

Update your air conditioner

Every appliance starts to degrade in its efficacy at some point or stops working altogether. Having an air conditioner working smoothly is important to keep your home comfortable. And when you feel it is time or when your HVAC contractor recommends it, replace your old air conditioner for a new energy-efficient one.

RC Mechanical Can Help

RC Mechanical, Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor, has installed and replaced many air conditioniong systems for Redwood City homeowners. Whether you need help selecting the right 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.

Prepare your home for the fire season

Every year the fire season seems to start earlier and earlier. Fall is the fire season when hot weather, dry plant materials and gusty winds come together to create an atmosphere that is ripe for fire. During such burnings, the air fills with smoke and the sky takes on an apocalyptic hue. The smoke is filled with particulate matter that can get lodged deep in the lungs exacerbating asthma.

Your home is your refuge. We need to make sure that this smoke never gets into the house. Summer is the best time to prepare for the fire season. Take the following steps to keep smoky air out of your house:

Seal openings with caulk

Sealing openings is the simplest way to keep smoke out of your house. You can use weather stripping, sealant caulk or door sweeps. Weather stripping is a thick tape that seals the gaps around openings of the doors and windows. Sealant caulk fills the gaps created at the time of installation of the doors and windows. These fill the small gaps around the installed area.

Door sweeps seal out the drafts from outside the house. These are installed under the doors.

Get an air purifier

The job of an air purifier is to cleanse the air that is inside your home getting rid of germs, dander, smoke, dust, etc.

Air purifiers use electrostatic filters to attract germs so they can neutralize them. It is important to buy an air filter that doesn’t produce ozone as a by-product. They use filters to trap dander, smoke and dust.

Use HEPA filter

HEPA is an acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Air. This type of filter removes allergens, like dander, dust, mold, etc. using multi-layered netting that is made of very fine fiberglass threads. These can capture 99.97% of all air matter that are 0.3 microns and up. These filters require regular replacement. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Use an IQ Air filter

IQ Filter is a brand of filter that is one of the best air filters and hence deserves special attention. These filters can remove particles that are as fine as 0.003 microns with 99.5% efficiency. These air filters give the cleanest air possible. We installed it in one of our client’s homes. This client mentioned to us that one of their guests exclaimed that they could “taste the clean air” in the house after being in the house for a few minutes.

Upgrade your HVAC system

If your HVAC is an old system and it requires maintenance or repair often, then it is time to replace your complete HVAC system. Having an efficient system will not only improve your indoor air quality, you may also be sealing leaks in the duct system that push dirty air into the house.

Want to improve your indoor air quality during fire season? Give us a call at (650) 575-3915. At RC Mechanical, we specialize in improving your indoor air quality.. We’ll walk you through your various options.

Tips for coping with a heat wave

You’ve probably heard that July 2019 was the warmest month ever recorded on the planet. What if you don’t have air conditioning in your home?

There are some tried-and-true techniques that you may already know about — taking a cold shower, going to an air-conditioned movie theatre, and installing ceiling fans. But there are some additional strategies you may never have thought of.

Turn off incandescent lights

Incandescent bulbs put out quite a bit of heat — in fact, more of the energy used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat than is converted to light! This is smart even if you do have air conditioning, as it will reduce the work your air conditioner has to do.

Eat easy-to-digest foods

High-protein meals make your body work harder to digest them, thus increasing the heat created by your metabolism. Have a nice cool salad or soup such as gazpacho.

Freeze your sheets

It’s always harder to fall asleep when you’re too warm. An hour or two before bedtime, put your sheets in the freezer. They’ll get nice and chilly and make you feel much cooler when you climb into bed.

Stay hydrated

When the temperature gets hot, your body loses water. It is important to replenish it with plenty of fluids. Our bodies are about 60% water. We can live without food for 3-4 weeks, but we can go without water only for 3 days or so. Drinking cold liquids also helps cool the body.

Reduce alcohol and caffeine

While it may not do much in the way of giving you immediate relief from the heat, reducing your alcohol and caffeine consumption can be important for your health and well-being during a heat wave. Since alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics, consuming them can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous when temperatures are high. Drink lots of cold/iced water instead.

Why is my air conditioner leaking condensation? Is it malfunctioning?

Air conditioners generate moisture as part of their operation. Normally this condensation is directed out of your home via a pipe. If your air conditioner is leaking moisture into your home, this is a sign of a problem. There are several reasons an air conditioner might be leaking condensation.

Air conditioner is rusted through

The drain pan in the air conditioner might be rusted through or otherwise damaged. If this is the case, you will need to replace the drain pan.

Drain line is clogged

There could be clog in the condensation drain line. Water can back up into your home if the pipe is clogged with dirt, dust, or sludge. You can try using a wet/dry vacuum on the drain line, or call an HVAC professional to clear the line with specialized equipment.

The air filter is dirty

The air filter could be dirty. When the air filter is dirty, the evaporator coil doesn’t get the air flow it needs, which can cause it to freeze. Then when the evaporator coil melts, it might generate more moisture all at once than your air conditioner deal with. If this is the case, replace the air filter. In general, the air filter on your air conditioning should be replaced every few months.

You have a broken pipe

The condensation pump could be broken. The pump is what directs the water out of the air conditioner into the drain line. You will need to have the pump repaired or replaced.

For these issues and any other problems with your air conditioning, call us.

RC Mechanical is Redwood City’s best HVAC contractor. We use state-of the-art software to make sure you are getting the right air conditioning system for your home — and our a/c repair & installation experts will ensure your air conditioning system is installed correctly. Call us today at 650-575-3915.

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.

Why is my AC making noises!

Summer is around the corner. This means hot days are approaching and your AC will be needed to keep you comfortable in your home.

In addition to routine maintenance, check for any unusual or unexpected noises coming from your AC unit. These noises signal trouble with your unit and may require immediate attention. Here’s a guide to these noises and actions you can take:

Squealing From Blower Motor

Your AC unit’s motor may have a bad belt or bearing. You can replace the belt yourself if you choose since it is an inexpensive and easy task. This should be done as soon as possible since a bad belt can lead to a broken belt which will prevent the blower from turning. Also, if your motor unit has oil ports, you may want to change or fill the ports with motor oil to help soften motor noises. Always research appropriate oil before using as each motor will have its own specification.

Loud Rattling or Banging

These sounds typically originate from either loose fasteners on the metal cage or a component of the blower assembly or motor which has come loose. Loose fasteners require tightening screws or bolts that secure the cage. A more complicated problem will be if the problem is with a component on the blower assembly. If not addressed, this rattling will get louder and may result in the disconnection of the blower itself. As this is a more complicated issue, you may want to do more research before attempting to address the issue yourself. Or you may want to call a certified HVAC technician to fix the issue.

Clicking

Normally, your unit will click as it is being turned on and off but if the clicking is abnormally loud and coming from inside the cabinet, your capacitor may be on the way out and should be replaced. As a short term battery supply for the compressor and blower motor, the capacitor is a critical part of your AC unit and can wear down over time. An ineffective capacitor can put stress on the compressor which can in turn affect the overall health of your entire HVAC system. If you think your capacitor is making the clicking sound, turn off your AC unit immediately and contact a certified HVAC technician to replace the part.

Humming

If your AC unit does not turn on and your clicking sound has turned into a hum, this can be a very serious problem indicating the compressor is being used as a power source and can quickly lead to costly repairs. For this reason, we suggest that you turn off your AC unit to prevent further damage. These parts also have a tendency to fail during the warmest part of summer when your AC unit is working harder than normal. To avoid a breakdown, make sure to have a certified HVAC technician address this problem as soon as it is detected.

Loud Whistles or Screaming Noises

These types of noises are critical and can be very dangerous as they may indicate a refrigerant leak or internal pressure buildup. This needs immediate attention by a certified HVAC technician. If there is a 24-hour hotline for your specific technician, it is best to use that route as they may be able to diagnose the issue over the phone and provide next steps.

Metal on Metal

If this noise is coming from the fan, your blades may be the culprit. It is possible a foreign object like loose wiring or stones may be in contact with the blade. If not addressed, the blades may be damaged as well as the motor. This can even lead to a refrigerant leak. If you hear this type of sound, turn off your unit immediately and investigate what may be obstructing the blade(s). If the culprit can be removed manually, then cleaning and clearing the debris will fix the issue. A routine visual inspection of the fan and blades should be performed frequently while your unit is being used.

In summary, proactive and routine maintenance can help to prevent your AC unit from breaking down unexpectedly.

If your AC is making any of these strange sounds and you live between Burlingame and Sunnyvale, give Sal a call at (650) 575-3915.

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.