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How do you fix a leaking air duct?

Technician Cleaning Air Ducts After Completing Home Air Duct Sealing

Understanding the Air Ducts in Your Home

Does your home seem impossible to keep warm or cool? Are there strange smells lingering even after your HVAC system has turned off? When this is happening in your home, it may be an indication of an air duct leak. This means that hot or cool air is escaping from your ductwork and not ending up in the rooms it needs to be. It also means that your HVAC system is having to work overtime trying to compensate for the loss of air. If you are concerned about a leak, contact R & M Heating and Cooling to schedule an appointment for home air duct sealing in Huntsville, AL. We’re available now at (256) 763-7535.

Person Checking Vent During Home Air Duct Sealing Process

Signs of an Air Duct Leak

“How do I find a leak in my air duct?” It’s the question we hear most often from customers dealing with HVAC issues. There are several things that you may have already noticed that could indicate an air duct leak.

  • Dust Everywhere: While it isn’t an indication of a leak, high amounts of dust can lead to serious issues with your ductwork. Dust, pet hair, and more can clog vents and ducts preventing consistent air flow. Scheduling regular air duct cleaning and sealing can prevent that.
  • Low Air Quality: If there is a tear or compromised connection, outside air can be pulled into your home. If there are chemicals or waste nearby, it can increase the health risk of your home. Plus, it probably won’t smell that great. Pay attention to foul odors that may start appearing in your home.
  • Discomfort: Are there several rooms that just seem impossible to heat or cool? This is a sure indicator of a duct leak. Hot or cold air is escaping from the general path which means it’s not making it to the rooms you need it to be in.
  • High Energy Bills: Another clear indication of a ductwork leak is higher energy bills. When air is escaping, it can linger in the walls. This can cause your home to either stay really warm or really cold, which will result in your HVAC system having to work double time to regulate the temperatures in your space.

Once you have identified a leak, the next step to take is air duct sealing. Before that can happen though, you need to figure out where the leak is occurring. Scheduling an inspection with an HVAC company, like R & M Heating and Cooling, to check your ducts is the best place to start. Just like when you need roof repair, you schedule an inspection to determine the amount of damage before making any repairs.

Air Duct Repair and Sealing

When it comes time to repair and seal the ductwork, there are several options. If you, the homeowner, finds the tear you can use duct mastic tape to create a temporary fix. This will prevent air from leaking out, but it won’t be a permanent hold. A permanent fix would be to replace the ductwork or to use a sealant. In either case, it’s best to let a professional HVAC technician handle that.

Experienced technicians will be able to efficiently complete air duct sealing from the inside, which is where the sealant patch needs to be. That will ensure the most accurate coverage of any tear or hole. That being said, if the tear is bigger than ¼ inch, sealant won’t be enough to correct the issue. Your technician can test this by fixing the tear, then running the air to see if your ducts will hold up. If it does, then you’ll be good to go. If not, your technician will need to do a bit more to completely fix the problem. Should you chose to work with anyone from R & M Heating and Cooling, we make sure to use the correct sealant or combination of tape and sealant to expertly correct any damage to your ductwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do you use to seal ductwork?
    • You would use anything that is used to seal ductwork like a sealant or duct tape. It’s important that the air duct sealer you use is meant for that kind of use, otherwise it won’t work as effectively.
  • How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?
    • Having proper ventilation in your attic and home will help reduce the humidity, which can cause condensation buildup. Also make sure the ducts are installed a few feet apart so air can effectively flow between them.
  • What kind of tape do you use for ductwork?
    • You don’t want to use the general duct tape you can find in most stores on your air ducts. To provide a temporary seal, you’ll want to use what is known as duct mastic tape.
  • How long does duct sealant take to dry?
    • If the sealant you are using is water based, it will take about 2 to 4 hours to dry completely.
Shot of Collection of Air Ducts

Connect With R & M Heating and Cooling When You Call (256) 763-7535!

When you are worried about an air duct leak in your home, rely on R & M Heating and Cooling. We’re available at (256) 763-7535 to discuss home air duct sealing in Huntsville, AL and in the surrounding areas.

Why Do Air Conditioners Stop Working?

The HVAC System in an Unfinished Attic Space

Air Conditioning Repair and Maintenance

Sitting on the couch, with fresh, cool air blowing on your face. It doesn’t get much better than that. This comfortable and relaxing environment however, takes a sharp turn into the alarming when your air conditioning system stops functioning properly. Maybe it completely stops, or worse, starts blowing warm air constantly. Needless to say, you’ll be calling the local AC repair expert soon!

What causes these breakdowns? Today, we’ll take a look at the various part failures that cause these household headaches. Afterwards, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively with your repair company when you schedule air conditioning repair and maintenance. Let’s jump in!

Air Conditioning Repair Questions

If you’re the type that invests in high-end Conklin roofing systems, tankless water heaters, and dependable air conditioning, your first thought in the event of malfunction is likely “Why?”. Why did your trusted air conditioner break down in the middle of a very hot day? Let’s start by answering this and other important questions that homeowners regularly ask in the middle of an AC crisis. You’ll find that many families end up facing the same problems.

Warm Air

Why is the AC Not Blowing Cold Air?

There are many causes for the AC only blowing warm air. Many people automatically assume the refrigerant levels are too low; it is a fairly common issue. Did you know that refrigerant never runs out on its own? It’s true. Manufacturers designed AC coolant for permanent use; low refrigerant is actually a symptom of underlying part damage. If your air conditioner repair professional simply refills your coolant (an expensive project) without fixing the relevant leak(s), they haven’t finished the job properly.

Your compressor may also be malfunctioning. What happens when your AC compressor stops working? Coolant flows in a cyclical pattern inside your AC unit, changing back and forth between cold liquid and hot gas. When the compressor malfunctions, it can’t force refrigerant (in gas form) back into the condenser effectively. Thus, limited amounts of liquid refrigerant make it back to the evaporator coil to cool your air.

Power Failure

Why Will My AC Not Turn On?

Complete refusal to activate is typically the result of an electrical problem or system part failure. Blown fuses and tripped circuits have caused many homeowners to call their repair expert prematurely. Thermostat problems are also fairly common. The unit believes the temperature is much lower than it actually is and refuses to activate.

There are a whole slew of reasons potential part failures that can cause a shutdown, including:

  • Compressor failure
  • Faulty/dirty evaporator and condenser coils
  • Burnt out blower motor
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • and others.

Frequent Cycling

Why Does AC Turn On and Off?

Frequent cycling is probably the worst of the three problems, not because repairs are complicated, but because switching on and off again wastes a tremendous amount of energy. Homeowners that face this problem often struggle with spikes in their electric bills. Again, a variety of issues may provoke this short cycling process.

Reasons Why Air Conditioner Stops Working

  • Low / Leaking Refrigerant
  • Frozen Evaporator Coil
  • Excess Cooling Capacity
  • Malfunctioning Thermostat

Besides diminishing cooling capacity, low refrigerant also causes a loss of pressure in the compressor (which shuts down as a result). After a little while, pressure builds up and reactivates the compressor, hence the short cycling. Another fairly common cause of frequent cycling is thermostat malfunction. Faulty sensors cause the unit misread the ambient temperature, so the thermometer turns on the AC to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

Air Conditioner Repair vs Replace

Let’s address the question that’s on everyone’s mind: How much does it cost to fix the air conditioner? Air conditioning repair prices are going to depend on the underlying issue. Lesser part replacements (such as a blower motor, or AC coils) will only cost you in the mid to upper hundreds. However, replacing parts that handle coolant will likely lock you into a refrigerant recharge, which runs up to $150.

Compressor replacement may cost anywhere from $600 to two grand. At the upper limit however, it might be worthwhile to simply replace the entire unit (especially if your current one is approaching the end of its lifetime).

A Woman Looks Up in Frustration from Lack of AC

Find Your Air Conditioning Repairs!

Nobody likes to get stuck without air conditioning, but it sustained hot temperatures can be outright dangerous! Our team at R & M Heating and Cooling knows what that feels like, which is why we strive to provide prompt and lasting relief for those with downed AC units. Our Huntsville, AL air conditioning service would love to help you get out of this frustrating situation.

Need to schedule immediate service for your home? No problem! Our team maintains a 24/7 crisis expert so you can find relief anytime, day or night. Call (256) 763-7535 for emergency air conditioning repair in Huntsville, AL.

Why Is My Gas Furnace Not Working?

Gas Burner Ignition, Gas Furnace Repair and Replacement

Flame From the Burner Ignition.

It is the worst feeling in the world to come home after a cold outing to find that your gas furnace isn’t heating your home as it should. It can be frustrating trying to figure out the exact cause of the problem, and the thought of paying for repairs can cause stress. In order to understand how to properly handle a gas furnace malfunction, it is important to know how your furnace works, the causes of the problem, and how you can either prevent or fix them.

How a Gas Furnace Functions

Your gas furnace goes through an intricate process to heat the air inside of your home. It starts when you turn it on, sending an indication to the burner to ignite the gas. The flames from the ignition heat up the heat exchanger which then transfers that heat to the air passing through. The furnace blower than pushes the air through the ducts and out of the vents into your home, heating it up and providing a comfortable environment for you and your family.

 Causes of a Gas Furnace Malfunction

If the following process doesn’t happen in that exact order or a part of it isn’t working properly, than the effect of having warm air ceases. Common problems that interfere with the warming process are as follows;

Improper Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your gas furnace ensures that it is running properly. If you skip a few maintenance appointments, your gas furnace can begin to suffer from problems such as a clog in the air duct, the burner igniter having a short, blower fan breaking, or a leak in your air duct. All of these things can easily be avoided with a proper maintenance check, allowing your gas furnace to live longer than originally projected.

Natural Aging

Your gas furnace is built to last you around 15 to 20 years. Normal wear and tear on the unit overtime can lead to it dying completely. If you are noticing recurring problems with your furnace and it is over 20 years old, it may be time to consider investing in a replacement. A replacement furnace may be initially more expensive but the money you save on constant repairs will quickly add up.

Problems With Ignition

Your gas furnace cannot start without a proper ignition. Older gas furnaces rely on a pilot light to ignite the spark. The pilot light has the same problem as any light bulb, and can crack or die, leaving you to find a replacement before you can get your unit up and running again.

Newer models of gas furnaces have an electric ignition, which relies on a signal from the thermostat to turn on. If the communication channel between your thermostat is compromised or there is a problem with the electric switch, then this will cause your unit to not come on at all. An electric switch and a thermostat can both be replaced.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Your Thermostat Is the Communication Channel Between You and Your Unit.

As mentioned previously, your thermostat is the communication center between your gas furnace and yourself. It is important to make sure that your thermostat has working batteries, doesn’t have its sensors blocked by dirt or even a wall, and is in an area where it can get proper airflow without the disturbance of a door or window.

Blower Malfunctioning

Your blower and the blower motor need to be working simultaneously for your furnace to be able to share the warm air that it has created. If the blower motor malfunctions than the blower itself fails, and vice versa. No matter how hard the blower motor is working, if the blower is clogged with debris than the entire process is just wasted energy.

Turning Off and On

if your gas furnace is stuck on the terrible cycle of turning off and on, then this is a good sign that either your filter is clogged or there is a problem with your thermostat. A clogged filter can either be cleaned or replaced. A thermostat should be checked for working batteries, correct calibration, and that it is in a optimal area for reading the airs temperature.

How do I Know if I Have a Problem With My Furnace?

Besides the obvious that you are not getting warm air, another indication that your furnace needs some assistance is the sound. Most of the time, you will only be able to hear the calming sigh of your furnace, but a broken one will make a rattling or hissing sound. These sounds mean that there is either a mechanical error or there is a gas leak. If it is a gas leak, it is extremely important that you contact your local HVAC specialist, such as R & M Heating and Cooling, in order to get the problem resolved as fast as possible. A gas leak can be extremely dangerous to your family, leading to problems such as illness or even death if you have been exposed for too long. You can recognize a gas leak by the hissing sound accompanied by the smell of rotting eggs.

Will a New Furnace Save Me Money?

Not initially, a new furnace can be a bit expensive. The benefits of getting a new furnace are what really make it worthwhile. You can get an energy efficient model, helping you cut down on your energy costs which, overtime, add up to big savings. Another plus is that you will no longer be paying for constant repairs to save an older system. This will also help you save money. So over time, you can make back your investment, which will allow you to save money.

How Do I Get My Furnace Repaired or Replaced?

Thermostat Repair, Thermostat Malfunction, Gas Furnace Repair and Replacement

Call Us Today to Get Your Gas Furnace Maintenance, Repair, or Replacement.

If you are looking to get your gas furnace repaired or replaced, then you need to call your local HVAC team. If you live in the Huntsville, AL area, then your expert team of HVAC specialists is R & M Heating and Cooling. We have been the leading company in HVAC repairs, and that has to do with our high-quality service and quick responses for calls of help. We are always willing to partner up with new clients. If you need assistance with a gas furnace repair or replacement, give us a call at (256) 763-7535.

Can a Humidifier Improve Air Quality

Humidifier

A Humidifier Can Give You A Lot Of Health Benefits.

A humidifier in your home can be a great addition when used properly. When your home has just the right amount of humidity in it, you will see a lot of humidifier benefits. A home humidifier is something that is not wrong or right for every person and it is really up to your own personal preference if you would like to have one. There are a lot of excellent benefits that you can get from using a humidifier though so we’ll go through a few of them, below. There are so many things that you can’t control, like having to have a hail damage repair or plumbing issues, but one thing you can control is the air that you breath in inside your home.

Benefits of a Humidifier

Comfort – If you are constantly waking up with a sore throat or have dry skin that you want to go away, using a humidifier is an excellent option. When moisture is in the air, it is able to help alleviate some of the dryness inside of your throat and to your dry skin so that you will feel much better, especially during those harsh winter months. Also, if the air in your home is too dry, it will create static and that is why you touch something and feel that intense shock in your finger. Adding a humidifier to your home will help to reduce that as well.

Good For Your Home – Adding some moisture to your air will actually help keep wooden floors from cracking as easily. It will also keep the paint on your walls from chipping or peeling as well. Your home will thank you and as long as there is not too much moisture in the air, it can really improve the quality of the inside of your home and keep it at a good temperature too. Humidity helps make it feel warmer than it actually is so it can allow you to keep your heater down a little lower and even save some money.

Health – One thing we love about using a humidifier, is that it is good for children with lung issues like asthma. It will help prevent you from catching things like colds and even the flu. You can sleep easier knowing that the air you’re breathing in is not harsh and dry. The humidifier efficiency spans from keeping you safe from viruses to actually giving to a better quality of sleep as well.

FAQ

What is the best humidifier for a house?

One of the top selling humidifiers that you can buy is the Leviot cool mist humidifier. These are great for moving around your home from room to room and is less permanent than getting a whole house humidifier put in instead.

Should I use a humidifier?

That is up to every person individually, but if want the extra health benefits, a humidifier can be a great addition to your home. We recommend checking out all of the benefits beforehand so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

Which humidifier is easiest to clean?

The smaller humidifiers, around 0.5 gallons are usually the easiest ones to clean because you can take the tank off and wash it out by hand. It is important to clean it though because old can begin to grow and then you will be pushing that into your air which can be dangerous.

Which humidifier is best for winter?

Almost any humidifier that you buy will work just fine. They all do essentially the same thing, some will blow out more steam than others and some will last longer or have a bigger tank. Our recommendation is to buy a cheap one first, try it out, and then if you decide you like it, you can buy a bigger one. That way no large amount of money is lost, purchasing a big portable one if you don’t end up liking it.

Is warm or cool mist humidifier better?

Warm mist humidifiers tend to be better for most instances. The reason is because the warm air will evaporate into the air much quicker so your air will be more humid, faster.

Should you sleep with a humidifier?

Yes, sleeping with a humidifier on will help you to avoid that pesky sore throat in the morning and can even help with snoring! This is always a great option and you can get the benefits while you sleep which is always nice.

 

Humidifier

Call Us For Questions About a Humidifier In Your Home.

If you have more questions about humidifiers and the benefits that they can have on your home, you can always call R & M Heating and Cooling, at (256) 763-7535 and we would be happy to help you. We can also get over the benefits of whole house humidifiers as well. Our team is very knowledgeable on these types of products and will be great additions to your home as long as you use them correctly.

 

Common Heater Failures and What You Can Do

Many times, homeowners have no idea that there is a problem with their heating system until they are left in the cold. However, our heater provides indicators for almost every problem it can experience. Knowing what to look for in your heating system can save you time, hassle, and money on your heater repair.

Most heating problems are caused by simple malfunctions that can be rectified without a technician. If your heater won’t turn on, it could be a faulty thermostat.

Family Bundled up in a Cold House

When Your Heater Isn’t Heating, We Can Help!

A dirty ignitor may cause your safety relay to activate, not letting your system start. Low airflow in your system could be caused by dirty filters or kinked ductwork. If your system isn’t turning on, it may not be receiving power. Check that the breaker isn’t tripped.

While these remedies seem simple, more often than not, they are the culprits behind your heating problem. However, if your heating system is still malfunctioning after these fixes, you may need a professional’s help.

When Should I Call a Pro?

If your thermostat is functioning properly and your unit still cuts on and then back off quickly, there may be an issue inside the ignition chamber including blower failure, pilot light malfunction, or even a gas leak. Safety switches are in place throughout your system to prevent unsafe operation, especially where gas induction is concerned.

Many issues stem from aged gas lines. Copper pipes were once used for natural gas lines, but have been found to create problems with flaking and clogging. A trusted plumber can replace your copper pipes with PVC or polyethylene lines.

If your heater is running but not blowing, you could have a malfunctioning blower motor. A professional HVAC technician can replace your blower motor in most cases to prevent the need for a unit replacement.

If your system isn’t running at all, there is a good chance you need a new control panel. These panels activate and operate your heating system with a series of relays, sensors, and control mechanisms. Your HVAC team can replace the part for a system that runs like new.

Local Heating Experts

Whether your system is making a funny noise or it won’t come on at all, the experts at R & M Heating and Cooling can perform your heater repair in Huntsville, AL quickly and efficiently to get your home warm again fast. Call us today at (256) 763-7535 to schedule your heater repair appointment.

How To Get A More Efficient Air Conditioner

a gray air conditioner outside a house by plants

Since Air Conditioner Units Use So Much Energy, Installing a Ceiling Fan Helps Reduce Your Bills

Living in the South, even some winter days can be in the degrees of the 70’s! When temperatures get that high, all you want to do is escape to cool air in your home. But the lower your thermostat goes, the higher your energy bill increases as your Goodman air conditioner has to use more power and cooling liquids to produce cool air. The opposite can happen too, if you try to save money by cranking your thermostat up to dangerous temperatures. Too high of temperatures in your home will not only skyrocket your electricity bill, but damage your roofing and make you have to call for roof repair in TN and AL. There is a way to find balance, and that is by knowing about energy efficiency. There are multiple ways energy can be conserved, and the biggest way you can save it (and money on your electricity bill) is by making your air conditioning unit more efficient. If you are wanting a more energy efficient air conditioner for your Huntsville, AL home, call R & M Heating and Cooling at (256) 763-7535 today.

Ways To Save Energy

  • Installing window blinds and curtains helps to keep the inside of your home cool and protected from the sun’s damaging rays and heat during the hottest times of day.
  • Ceiling fans only use $1.50 of energy per day! Affordable and easy to install, these are great ways to get an extra breeze in your home.
  • Clean your air ducts and air filters regularly so there are no blockages and build up that prevents air from passing, and that makes your unit have to work harder and use more energy.
  • If you have a leak in your air ducts, tons of air is being wasted every day. Getting it repaired will drastically reduce your electricity bill.

Why Having Your Air Ducts Sealed is Important

“Out of sight, out of mind” is the motto of a lot of people. While fine, this can be detrimental when it comes to forgetting to maintain expensive and important parts of your home like your HVAC system. One of the most forgotten parts of the HVAC system are the air ducts, since they are tucked away in your insulation in your attic. However, when one breaks and air or water begins leaking out the ducts, water and energy bills skyrocket, getting the homeowner’s attention. If you notice air or water leaking from an air duct, here is a simple solution to temporarily fix it until an HVAC technician arrives to permanently repair it.

Call Our HVAC Technicians Today If You Need Air Duct Sealing Services

How To Fix Air Duct Leaks

  1. Turn the HVAC fan on and stick your hand in the air duct.
  2. Feel around in the air duct for drafts or any escaping air.
  3. Mark the large areas you feel that are losing air with a grease pencil.
  4. Light a match and hold it in the duct joints. If it falters, that is where a small leak is. Mark those small leaks with the grease pencil.
  5. When you find the hole, place air duct sealing tape over it.
  6. Examine the outside of the ducts.
  7. Mark and cover the same leaking spots with a grease pencil and sealing tape.
  8. Call an HVAC technician to permanently repair or replace your air ducts.

Having your air ducts properly sealed not only improves indoor air quality and flow, but puts less pressure on your roof as not as much hot air is seeping through the decking and roof that causes damages, meaning less home repair services calls. If you think you have a leaking air duct and need air duct sealing services in Huntsville, AL, call R & M Heating and Cooling at (256) 763-7535 today.

Duct Losses: 3 Simple Ways to Fight Them

Duct Losses

Ducts Losses are a Significant Source of Yearly Home Energy Waste.

When it comes to home ownership, the unseen problems are often the ones that cost you the most. Losses within your air duct system are a huge source of energy waste throughout the year, potentially costing you hundreds of dollars each year. In a statement by the U.S. Department of Energy, the department revealed that “Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.” To help you combat these expensive duct losses, try one of these three simple solutions!

Solution #1: Get Your Ducts Sealed

Minor fractures and gaps naturally develop in your system over time, creating a constant stream of air that’s lost in transition between rooms. Perhaps the most cost-effective solution for averting duct losses is to have your duct system repaired and sealed. If you’re ducts are relatively new and you’d rather keep them, simply have a professional come out and seal them for you.

Solution #2: Replace Your Ducts

Traditional forced air systems rely on large duct lines that are highly vulnerable to leaks. Replacing these lines with more resilient and efficient ones can greatly reduce air waste. One of the most common replacement choices is a mini-duct system, much smaller than typical duct lines and much quicker to circulate air throughout your home.

Solution #3: Skip Ducts Entirely

With technology progressing as quickly as it has in this day and age, a completely ductless option should come as no surprise. Ductless air conditioning systems allow you to bypass duct losses entirely. If you’re in the market for a new AC system, it’s worth investigating. You can even find ductless solutions with smart zone control (for customizing temperatures in each zone).

To learn more about how to improve your HVAC systems energy-efficiency, feel free to talk with one of our specialists at R & M Heating and Cooling. Call at (256) 763-7535.

Summer Energy Efficiency Tips

Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

Summer Months Can Lead To An Overworked Air Conditioner and High Utility Bills.

The official start of summer is nearly here. Summer is a great time of year, full of fun and trips. However, one big downside is the sudden spike in energy usage many homes experience due to the extreme heat of the season. There are ways for you to reduce your home energy consumption and how hard your air conditioner has to work, lowering the amount of utility bills. R & M Heating and Cooling has compiled some of the top ways you can have your home more energy efficient this summer season.

What You Can Do

  • Invest in a Programmable Thermostat – While there are many kinds of programmable thermostats, they all allow you to set the stable temperature for your home. This will allow your air conditioner to work more efficiently, only working when needed to reach your desired temperature.
  • Control Natural Light With Your Blinds – Natural light can really brighten up a home. However, it can also really heat up a home, making your system work even harder. During the day, use your blinds to control the amount of light and therefore heat affects your home.
  • Have Your Ceiling Fan On – You may think it is silly to have your fan on while you have your air conditioner working. Quite the contrary! Your fan will help your air conditioner move and disperse cold air, getting your home cooler quicker.
  • Refresh the Insulation Within Your Home – Insulation prevents the outdoor heat from affecting your home and keeps the cool air in. Check your insulation and possibly replace it to ensure you have a good seal from the outside environment!

The last thing you can do is to invest in a newer model air conditioner. Newer models may have an Energy Star rating, showing how much they can increase your home’s efficiency. Want to get started on your new energy efficient air conditioner installation in Huntsville, AL? Give R & M Heating and Cooling a call today at (256) 763-7535!