Why You Should Have Your Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Your air ducts have a big job to do. They help regulate the air in your home and keep you and your family comfortable year-round. A big part of ensuring your air ducts do their job and that your family stats healthy is to always keep them clean. Whatever is in your air ducts, you usually end up breathing in. Dust and debris in your air ducts can cause health problems.

Some homeowners may try to clean their ducts on their own, but hiring a professional is the best way to ensure high-quality cleaning. R.A. Dobson provides air duct cleaning in Northern Virginia. Our technicians will ensure that your air ducts are as clean and functional as possible.


How Often Should You Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

Even if you know having a professional air duct cleaning is a good idea, you may not be sure how often you need them to be cleaned. Usually, you should clean your ducts every 3 to 5 years. This can vary depending on your air duct brand and the age of your house. Consult your local HVAC contractor if you are unsure of when your air ducts next to be cleaned. Having routine cleanings by a professional will ensure that your air ducts stay functional.


Reasons to Have a Professional Air Duct Cleaning

  • Prevent Health Complications: Dirty air ducts can cause a variety of health complications or even prolonged conditions. You and your family breathe in the polluted air put out by dirty air ducts. This air can cause allergies and even respiratory problems. Some of these symptoms may not show up early on, or may only last for a short time, but prolonged exposure can cause bigger health problems in the future.
  • Ensure a Proper Clean: There are plenty of do-it-yourself tutorials online for cleaning your own air ducts. However, hiring a professional HVAC company for air duct cleaning is the best way to ensure that your air ducts are properly cleaned. If too much dust or debris is left in your ducts, it compromises your home’s interior air quality. If you try to attempt a cleaning yourself, you may miss some dust or miss a crucial step that will cause problems.
  • Lower Chance of Mold Growth: Having your air ducts cleaned—and cleaned properly—will help keep mold at bay. Mold is one of the worst problems homeowners may face, no matter where it may grow in their homes. Mold eats away at the surfaces it grows on and can cause the need for expensive repairs. It also can cause several health and respiratory complications. Routine cleanings will keep your air ducts free of mold.


Contact R.A. Dobson for Air Duct Cleaning

R.A. Dobson, an HVAC company in Northern Virginia, offers duct cleaning services. We believe that you should breathe easier and have the highest quality air in your home. Our experts have been assisting homeowners since 1975 and we stand behind our work with a 1 year guarantee.

Call us at (703) 481-3700 to receive $100 off your air cleaner installation today!

Is Your Builder Grade HVAC Unit Expiring Soon?

Do you have a Loudoun County builder-grade heating or cooling unit? If your home has not had a unit other than the one installed by your builder and if your home is 10 – 12 years old, you are likely due for a replacement. Your home’s energy efficiency and your family’s comfort rely on having a functional heating and/or cooling unit. Winter is here in full swing, so you and your family should be armed for the season with a fully functional HVAC unit to ensure you stay comfortable.

Many of our local customers in Loudoun County have builder grade units that are expiring soon. If you are one of these customers, contact R.A. Dobson for expert HVAC unit replacement! The brands that we carry exceed builder-grade units in quality and energy-efficiency. Here are a few reasons you should upgrade your builder grade HVAC system with name brands like Carrier from R.A. Dobson:


Better Functionality

R.A. Dobson carries only the best-functioning HVAC units that will deliver you the high-quality that you deserve. Our units help regulate your home’s interior temperature and always keep your family comfortable, no matter the weather. Our HVAC units are designed to last, so you can be sure you will not need to spend a lot of time or maintenance on your unit. Whenever you do need repairs or maintenance, our HVAC experts can complete repairs quickly and at an affordable cost.


Quiet Running

When you think of an air conditioner or heat pump, do you think of a loud, humming machine? Do you picture a clanging noise in your vents as your unit kicks on? Your HVAC unit should make as little sound as possible to add to your comfort. R.A. Dobson’s AC units and heat pumps run quietly so you and your family do not have to dread hearing an annoying sound whenever you want to turn on your cooling or heat. Our Carrier units are built to work efficiently while still remaining quiet.


Greater Energy Efficiency

Many homeowners dread turning on the heat in winter or AC in summer because they know their energy bills will spike. During winter especially, many homeowners simply layer up and leave the heat off to avoid a scary utility bill. With R.A. Dobson, this does not have to be the case! We offer energy-efficient models that will help promote a greener planet and keep your energy bills low. We match and even exceed the current government energy efficiency standard.


HVAC Installation & Replacement in Northern VA

When it comes time to update your builder-grade heating or cooling unit, trust R.A. Dobson for the best experience! We offer HVAC installation, repair, and replacement in Northern Virginia and the surrounding DC metro region. We have served the area since 1975 and are dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality units and superior customer service. Allow us to keep your family warm this winter with one of our heat pumps.

Are you ready to replace your builder-grade HVAC unit? Call R.A. Dobson today at (703) 481-3700 or contact us online.

Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Replacement

Winter is on its way, and many Northern Virginia homeowners will be turning on the heat in their homes. A heating system relies on proper maintenance, repair, and replacement (when necessary) for the whole system to run efficiently, save you money, and keep you warm.

A heat pump is a vital part of your HVAC system, and moves hot air into your home during the winter and removes unwanted hot air in the summer. Here are some common signs that it’s time for a new heat pump installation or heat pump repair:


1. Increase in Energy Expenses

Nobody likes a price spike. One of the tell-tale signs your heat pump is getting old or losing its efficiency is shown in your monthly energy bill. If your usage has not changed that much, yet the amount you are paying has increased, it may be time to consider heat pump repair service in Northern VA. Since usage may vary month to month, compare your bill this winter season to last year’s winter months.


2. Repetitive Repairs

Heat pumps generally need maintenance or fixing every few years, but if you find you’re calling for heat pump repair more than once a year, it’s a sign that the parts are wearing out. Planning your heat pump replacement now before you’re left without heat in the middle of a winter storm will ensure you and your family stay warm and comfortable.


3. Strange Sounds

Unusual noises are powerful indicators of things going wrong. Just like in a car, hearing a screeching, whining, or clanking noise while your unit is running is a big red flag, and you should get your system checked right away. Putting it off is not only noisy, but can lead to further damage and increase your total energy bill. Replacing your old noisy unit with a new model is the best way to ensure your unit’s functionality and energy efficiency.


4. New Technology

When was your heat pump installed? If you cannot remember, or if your heat pump is several years old, it may be time for an upgrade. HVAC technology and equipment has improved greatly improved over the years . A new heat pump can increase efficiency and provide long term energy savings. R.A. Dobson’s Infinity and Performance ™ heat pump installations are designed to help regulate household temperature in both the summer and winter. Many of these updated systems are designed to be reliable and affordable.

Call R.A. Dobson for Heat Pump Installation, Repair, and Replacement!

Serving Northern VA for over 40 years, we offer a 1-year warranty and top of the line energy efficient heating and air conditioning technology. Our selection of High SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rated heat pumps are quiet and will optimize your current HVAC system and provide long-term savings.

Keep your peace of mind as winter rolls through Northern VA with a working heat pump. If you’re in need of a reliable, experienced, family-run business for your heat pump repair or installation in Northern VA, call R.A. Dobson today at (703) 982-0111.


Why You Should Have a Generator for Winter

Generator Repair and Installation in Northern VA will keep your house safe and family warm as winter approaches.

Preparing for Northern Virginia’s upcoming winter storms often includes checking insulation, mulching the garden, and stocking up on emergency supplies for the first snow storm. There is one thing that is often overlooked: Generator Installation.

A home generator is one of those emergency supplies that can make all the difference during a blizzard. Young and senior family members depend on your home’s heating to avoid catching the flu or pneumonia. Or, maybe you or someone you know were one of the 40,000 people who lost electricity during the March 2013 snowstorm and experienced the torture of waiting a week before power was fully restored. Generator installation and repair in Northern VA by R.A. Dobson will offer convenience, warmth, and protection of your house pipes and plumping when electricity lines fail.


Reasons to Install a Generator in Northern Virginia this Winter

While a generator is useful year-round to keep the food from spoiling in an unexpected storm outage, in the winter it becomes essential to keeping you and your family from freezing inside the shelter of your own home. Unlike in the summer months, it’s much riskier to drive to a new location in search of heat and electricity with snow and other bad winter weather. Staying at home is the safest option, and generator installation in Northern VA is ideal for keeping your family and pets healthy and warm.

A power outage not only makes it hard to see, but can cause problems in your plumbing system. While some sewage systems work solely on gravity, others depend on a chamber with an electrical pump that will push waste out to the main sewer system. If the pump isn’t working for an extended period of time, the chamber can overflow up into your basement. Another flooding concern comes from water pipes that can easily freeze and burst when temperatures drop below freezing. Water damage from the sewage backup and burst pipes can add up to costly repairs.

A generator is even important when the weather warms up and snow beings to melt. The excess water from melted snow and ice can saturate your yard or leak through to your basement. Sump pumps rely on electricity to take excess water out of your home and keep your basement dry. Protecting your basement by installing a generator will save you money and time in the long run.

Lastly, a generator can offer you and your family convenience and comfort. There’s a lot to love about taking a hot shower or coming in to a hot cup of cocoa after shoveling and cleaning off piles of snow from your cars. Not to mention hot food, working toilets, and entertainment on those long, cold days waiting for the electricity to work again.

A generator installed for the variable Northern VA winters will still be there for you year-round. The sooner you select a generator and install it, the sooner you can have peace of mind and preparation for the worst winter storm.


Choose R.A. Dobson for your Generator Installation in Northern VA

R.A. Dobson is honored to keep families warm, safe, and happy during the coldest months with generator installation in Northern VA. As an authorized and experienced service and security dealer in top brands such as Generac and Honeywell, we can offer you a custom generator installation fit for your budget and needs. All Generator installations come with guaranteed 1-year warranty and quality customer service.

Don’t get caught in the dark this winter. Call us today at (703) 481-3700 for a free estimate!

5 Reasons You Should Use Your Humidifier This Winter

Even though summer weather seemed to hang around a little longer this year, the Northern Virginia air is starting to cool off, and we’re starting to bundle up with jackets. Winter will be here before we know it, and although many people like the season for the beautiful snow and numerous holidays, others dread it for one reason: dry air.

Dry air can cause several complications to your health and comfort during winter, but a humidifier can reduce or prevent them! Humidifiers operate by pulling air from the surrounding room then saturates in with moisture. The humidifier then emits the now-moist air to fill the air of the room with moisture.

If you suffer when winter rolls around due to dry air, a humidifier may be the solution for you! Here are a few benefits to running a humidifier in winter:

  • Soft, Smooth Skin: Dry air means dry skin. During winter, you may experience painful, cracked skin around our knuckles and sore cracked lips. You can rub lotion on dry hands and keep chap stick in your pocket for dry lips, but these are temporary solutions. Running a humidifier at home will help get rid of the culprit of your dry skin: dry air.
  • Reduced Sinus Congestion: Winter’s dry air can be a nightmare for our sinuses. You might wake up with a dry mouth and throat and fear that you’re catching a cold. In fact, dry sinuses make you much more likely to catch viruses. Use a humidifier while you sleep to wake up with clear sinuses.
  • Lower Heating Bill: The moist air your humidifier puts out will feel warmer than the surrounding dry air, meaning you may not have to crank up the heat as high. This will give you a lower heating bill and spare your wallet.
  • Healthier Plants: Your house plants don’t wait for you to tip over a watering can and give them water—they pull water from the air themselves. And if the air in your home is very dry, it can harm the health of your plants, especially tropical plants who need increased humidity to thrive. A humidifier can fill the air with moisture, which your plants will draw in. This, of course, is no replacement for watering your plants regularly, but running a humidifier at home can give you a hand with keeping your leafy friends healthy.
  • Quicker Healing: A humidifier can help you recover from a cold or the flue faster! The extra moisture from your humidifier will help open and cleanse your sinus passages and help you get over your illness faster.


Call R.A. Dobson for Humidifier Installation in Northern VA

R.A. Dobson has provided humidifier installation in Northern Virginia since 1975. Our heating, air conditioning, and plumbing technicians can help you choose from our wide selection of humidifier models and brands so you can combat the dry winter air. Our humidifier installation will have you feeling much healthier and more comfortable all winter long.

Don’t suffer through another dry winter. Call us at (703) 481-3700 for humidifier installation in Northern Virginia today!

What Are the Parts of a Gas Water Heater?

One of the many things in life we take for granted is our water heater. We usually only think about it when it leaks, stops working, or requires professional water heater repair. As soon as our shower water runs cold, we know we have to go inspect the water heater and see what went wrong. Unless you’re a trained water heater repair expert, you might know very little about how a water heater operates and how to fix it when something is wrong.

There are two main types of water heaters: electric and gas. Gas storage water heaters are the most common type of water heater in the United States. Gas water heaters have a lot of important components that all work together to bring you hot water. Understanding how your gas water heater works will not only give you a greater appreciation for it, but will also help you know how to better take care of what keeps you warm, especially during the cold Northern VA winters. Below is our quick guide to the most important parts of your gas water heater.

  • Cold Water Supply Line: This tube in your water heater tank brings cold water into the tank to be heated. There is a control valve that you can use to shut off the cold water in the event that your water heater stops working or has sprung a leak.
  • Gas Valve: This incredibly crucial part of your water heater supplies the gas that heats up the cold water. Like the cold water line, this can be shut off in case of emergency or for maintenance.
  • Gas Burner: A gas burner is the part of the water heater that heats up the water with a gas flame beneath the tank of water. This burner turns off once the water reaches a certain temperature to avoid overheating.
  • Ventilation Pipe/Flue: This pipe or tube removes combustion gasses from the gas burner and exhausts them outside of the tank.
  • Temperature/Pressure Release Valve: A water heater’s pressure valve is installed to get rid of extra pressure that builds up inside the tank. If your water heater starts to build up too much pressure, use the valve to release hot water.
  • Hot Water Outlet: Finally, the hot water outlet tube carries the heated-up water from the tank to other areas of your home like your shower and your laundry room.

Water Heater Trouble? Call R.A. Dobson!

Since 1975, R.A. Dobson, Inc. has provided water heater repair and water heater installation in Sterling, VA and the surrounding Northern Virginia region. We have a wide selection of electric and gas water heaters will keep you comfortable with hot water all winter long, with top-of-the-line brands like A.O.Smith, Bradford White, State and more.  Our installation and repair experts understand how crucial it is to have a properly functioning water heater. This is why we offer affordable pricing, quick and accurate installation, and superior customer service.

Contact us today at 703-982-0111 if you need water repair installation in Northern Virginia.

thermostat installation

How You Should Set Your Thermostat for Fall and Winter

Although fall and winter are exciting seasons for their holidays and warm clothing, some homeowners might be less thrilled about this time of year because of the incoming hefty monthly heating bills. Especially if you have old, drafty windows, cranking up the heat this fall and winter will not do your wallet any favors. You want your family to stay comfortable at home, but you also want to save money.

You can do both by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat at different times of the day. Here’s how you can save money by adjusting either a standard or programmable thermostat:


How to Set Your Standard Thermostat

Right before you and your family leave for work or school in the morning, set your thermostat 3 degrees cooler. Keep it at this lower setting all day until you return home. Lowering the temperature by this degree for at least 8 hours a day can save you around 10% of your annual energy bill. A good rule of thumb for setting your thermostat is to set it at 68 degrees when you’re not home, and even a few degrees cooler than that when you’re asleep.

Remember that turning up the heat is not the only way to keep warm during the chilly fall and freezing winter. While at home and awake, you should keep your home’s interior temperature as cool as possible without it being unbearable. You might have to bundle up a little with this lower temperature, but the energy savings are well worth the extra layers. Make use of that throw blanket, or buy yourself cozy slippers and sweaters for the holidays.


Programmable Thermostats Mean Both Comfort and Savings

A programmable thermostat gives you much more flexibility to change the temperature than a standard thermostat. With a programmable thermostat in your home, you can automatically adjust your thermostat to a certain temperature at a certain time. You can set a particular temperature while you’re away during the day or asleep at night, and program your thermostat to change the temperature back just before the time you usually return home or wake up. This way, you won’t have to suffer through a cold house until the heat kicks in again—it will have already started running at the time you designate.

Like a standard thermostat, it’s recommended that you set your programmable thermostat to be about 3 degrees cooler for the 8 hours you’re at work or school during the day. Many programmable thermostats can be controlled remotely through an app on your smart phone, which allows you to check, lower, or raise your home’s temperature if necessary when you’re not home.


Contact R.A. Dobson for Programmable Thermostat Installation and Repair

R.A. Dobson is proud to provide thermostat installation and repair in Northern Virginia. R.A. Dobson has provided heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services for over 40 years, and our highly trained employees provide unparalleled customer serve and quality work. We can help you choose the programmable thermostat model that’s right for you and will help keep your energy costs down.

Don’t pay a ridiculous heating bill this fall and winter season. Call us today at (703) 481-3700 or use our contact form for thermostat installation and repair in Northern Virginia.

It’s Not Too Late to Replace Your AC in Northern Virginia!

September is coming to a close, which means that fall is just getting started. Many of us in Northern Virginia are pulling our fall and winter clothes out of storage, helping our kids with homework, and dreading the upcoming weekends of leaf-raking that fall will require. However, we’ve still been experiencing some summer weather in the area, with quite a few humid, sunny days. Those of us who long for the chilly days of fall will hopefully get some relief soon, but for now, the weather outside is still toasty. And if your AC is malfunctioning or broken, you’re in for a long and sweaty wait.

There’s no reason to suffer until the weather gets cooler! You should have your AC inspected and/or replaced as soon as possible to remain comfortable during the last month before fall and on the occasional hot autumn day.

Unsure if your AC needs to be replaced? Unless your AC is simply not blowing any air whatsoever and your house feels like a sauna, you might not always be sure that something’s wrong with your AC. Here are a few signs (aside from uncomfortable indoor temperatures) that you need to repair or replace your AC before fall really gets started:

  • You’ve had your AC for awhile: An older AC unit is bound to have more operating problems than a newer model. It’s often cheaper in the long run to purchase a replacement instead of trying to repair an old AC unit. If your unit has been around for about 15 years or later, it’s probably a good time to retire it and get a new one.
  • You have an unusual energy bill: If your latest energy bill seemed a little off, either significantly higher or lower than usual, it could be a sign that your AC isn’t working properly. A high bill could indicate that your AC isn’t staying in your home and is escaping outside, using more AC power than necessary. A low bill (most likely in addition to a hotter house) indicates your AC isn’t working at full power.
  • Your unit makes a lot of noise: AC units are designed to operate quietly, so when your AC starts talking to you, you should pay attention. Noises to listen for are loud screeching, clicking, thumping, or rattling. These sounds usually indicate some piece of the unit’s internal equipment isn’t working properly, which compromises not only your comfort but your unit’s energy efficiency.

Trust R.A. Dobson to Repair or Replace Your AC!

R.A. Dobson has been serving Northern Virginia with expert air conditioning repair and replacement services since 1975. Our technicians are well-trained and certified and can accurately diagnose your unit’s issues. We understand how uncomfortable a house without AC can be, even during fall. This is why we will work to complete repairs or install your replacement with quality and precision as soon as possible. We stand by our expert services with our 1-year service warranty.

Don’t suffer through the remaining hot weather with a broken AC. Contact RA Dobson today!