Archive for the ‘Gainesville AC Repair Tips’ Category

What Homeowners Should Know About Home Humidity

Most Floridians are far too familiar with the term humidity. Humidity is what causes your mirror to build moisture when showering. Humidity can be the cause of mold building up in certain areas of your home. Humidity is also what causes us to feel like we are walking around in a sauna. However, did you know that humidity inside your home is what causes it to feel warmer, but has nothing to do with temperature? High levels of humidity in your home can have an effect on your body and comfort levels, your home, and your energy costs.

More About Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is in the air. Usually, relative humidity is represented as a percentage. The most common and ideal comfort range for humidity levels is between 30-50%. For an example—100% humidity would mean that the air holds all of the water vapor it possibly can, while 0% would mean the absence of moisture in the air.

To learn more about how to keep your home comfortable, visit Gator Air and Energy.

How Humidity Affects You

Humidity can cause us to feel a lot warmer than we really are—which causes us to sweat. However, with higher humidity levels, our body has a harder time evaporating the sweat. The result of this is why many times you may wake up sweating in the middle of a hot summer night. More seriously, this can lead to things like:

  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Fainting
  • Heat stroke

There are other side effects of humidity in the winter. Every breath you exhale puts a little bit of moisture back into the air. However, taking showers, cooking, and plants all add humidity to the air. If it is cold outside, humidity can build up on the windows and other surfaces that can be a recipe for winter moisture problems.

Though we don’t have to deal with it much, you can have low humidity as well. Many Floridians experience low humidity more in the winter and as a results we can see some negative side effects that include:

  • Dry skin
  • Irritated sinuses and throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Drying of respiratory tract

How Humidity Affects Your Home

Your health comes first, but humidity can also have negative effects on your home as well. High levels of humidity can cause a vast array of issues on your home including:

  • Musty odor
  • Moist, clammy air
  • Allergies
  • Mold growth
  • Warped wood floors
  • Condensation build-up
  • Condensation staining
  • Peeling wallpaper/blistering paint

Good quality and efficient air conditioners can help control the humidity in your home. Your air conditioner passes warm, humid air through a cold evaporator coil. While this process is happening, water vapor builds up on the coil, and water collects in a drainage pan. Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air while it cools your home. This is why we cannot stress enough the importance of having a newer, or well-maintained HVAC system for your home.

Call Gator Air and Energy for more information about HVAC installation or maintenance

How Humidity Affects Your Pockets

Humidity not only can have negative side effects on your body and your home, it can affect your energy costs as well. So what does humidity have to do with energy savings?

Homeowners spend a large portion of their energy costs cooling and heating their home. Being comfortable is one of the most important things to a high quality of life. The humidity of the air inside of your home determines how much heat the air holds inside of your home.

On a hot summer day, if the humidity inside the home increases, the air will hold more heat and the air conditioner will have to run longer to offset humidity and temperature. It is the opposite effect, but same results on cold winter days. If the humidity inside your home gets too low, the air will hold less heat inside your home. Your heating system will work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home. The result of your heating and air conditioner working harder and longer? Higher energy costs.

Dehumidifier

If your air conditioner or heating system isn’t enough to maintain comfortable humidity levels, there are also dehumidifiers. This simple appliance will pull moisture from their air before it goes into your home. They can be paired with your air conditioner so that you can adjust temperature and humidity levels at once.

For All of Your HVAC Needs, Call Gator Air and Energy!

Humidity is an environmental factor that Floridians deal with on a daily basis. Gator Air and Energy is here to make sure that you can live your life in comfort year-round. Make sure to give us a call so we can monitor your systems to make sure they can hold up to our hot summers and cold winters. Making sure that your HVAC system is in working order or isn’t too outdated is essential to combating the Florida humidity.

Call Gator Air and Energy for your free quote today!

 

 

Remedies For a Dusty Home

Do you catch yourself frequently cleaning your dusty home? Have you ever wondered where the dust comes from and how to prevent it from building up? Over the years, research has proven that the air inside of our homes can sometimes be a lot worse than the air outside. However, with some careful planning and a little elbow grease, we have some tips to help guide you to a cleaner and healthier home. (more…)

Common Problems with Older Air Conditioners

Since the development of the first air conditioning unit, modern systems have evolved into high quality, efficient pieces of equipment. However, like all other sizable home appliances, they age and can experience an array of problems. This outline provides information on some common problems that can occur with an older air conditioner. (more…)

Why Your Home is Heated Unevenly (With Solutions)

Many homeowners find that a certain room or floor consistently has a different temperature than the rest of the home. If your home is heated unevenly, there may be a few factors at play. Here, we’ll outline the most common issues, along with solutions to get your whole home consistently comfortable. (more…)

Five Tips to Avoid Costly Commercial HVAC Repairs

Commercial HVAC isn’t something you think about day-to-day. It’s designed to run in the background, take as little active maintenance from you as possible, and let you and your team work comfortably.

Until it doesn’t work. Then, it’s all that’s on your mind.

Nobody ever wants to get to that point. It’s an uncomfortable and frustrating interruption. Luckily, just a little forethought can prevent all that.

Preventative Maintenance

You’ve got two options when it comes to commercial HVAC maintenance: a reactionary approach, where you fix it when it breaks. The issue with that approach is that it involves your system breaking.

The other option is proactive and very low effort. Not only does it avoid the interruption of an HVAC system not running well, but it avoids the costs associated with repairs, and keeps your system running well. It involves your system running at peak efficiency.

Scheduling routine maintenance keeps you, your team, and your system happy.

Change Your Filters

You know that chore on your list every few months at home? The one that takes little time to actually accomplish, but keeps your AC running smoothly?

Yes, your commercial HVAC unit runs the same way. Find out what your manufacturer recommends, and take the simple step of changing out your filter when it’s time.

Clean Condenser Coils

If you have a rooftop unit, a lot of gunk can build up. Using a pressure washer (on a light setting) will help get a lot of the excess off, which can save you up to 30% over 20 years. It will help extend the life of your unit, and your unit will run much more efficiently (saving your money on energy costs).

Repair in the Winter

If you know you’ll need an upgrade or repairs that aren’t immediately pressing, wait until the winter. Or, get them out of the way in the winter before the summer months come around. More commercial HVAC technicians will be available in off-peak months, and it’s much better than dealing with emergency maintenance in the heat of summer.

Ask Your Commercial HVAC Professionals If It’s Time To Replace

Cleaning, regular maintenance, and filter changes will go a long way towards keeping your commercial HVAC running, but units still need repairs from time to time.

If you’re noticing that the repairs are getting more frequent, or more expensive, ask your technician if it’s time to replace. It may be more cost-effective in the long run to avoid costly repairs as they build up.

 

Your HVAC unit is important to your office, even though you rarely think about it when it’s doing its job. Contact Gator Air and Energy for more information or to schedule your next maintenance appointment.

Heating and Cooling Your Home: Does Insulation Matter?

Just about everyone knows one of the best ways to keep your home warm in the winter is to pack in the insulation. The idea seems to be that more insulation means more warmth. While that’s certainly true while you’re running your heater, the fallacy is that people think of home insulation in the same way as they do insulation in, say, a winter coat. (more…)

How to Ensure Maximum AC Efficiency

As the dog days of summer are upon us, lets take a look at your AC efficiency. Are you receiving maximum cooling when you need it most? Are you overexerting your unit? Are there any preventative measures that can be taken to avoid maintenance issues?

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Low Cost, Maximum Cooling

During the summer months, it can be especially tempting to lower your thermostat to 65 degrees and set your fans to the highest settings in order to combat the heat. Meanwhile, proper AC efficiency requires a little bit of restraint. Setting your thermostat at a lower temperature than the room itself won’t actually cool the room any faster. In addition to placing undo stress on your AC unit, it could also dramatically increase your electricity bill.

Can Outdoor Heat Effect AC Efficiency?

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Have you ever noticed how your air conditioning unit can take especially long to cool you off your home when the temperature is hot outside? That’s because before your AC unit can disperse cool air, it must first convert liquid refrigerant into a gas, a process that occurs at a high temperature. When it’s hot outside, the combined heat from the sun and the conversion of refrigerant can delay the process of cooling the air.

Dirty air filters and coils can also effect your AC efficiency, causing your unit to overheat. Preventing these issues could be as simple as checking your coils and filters once a month. Keeping an eye on your AC unit can go a long way in ensuring reliable AC efficiency and extending the lifespan of your unit. In addition to doing it yourself, we also recommend calling your AC vendor to schedule routine maintenance.

For even more AC efficiency tips and tricks, head over to the energy.gov and download their Home Cooling Energy Saver Infographic!

How Attics Affect Your Home Cooling

It’s easy to forget about your attic unless you’re making routine trips into it. For most Gainesville, FL homeowners, the attic is a place for storage and is rarely considered unless it’s being used.

Ignoring it could be part of the reason for your escalating utility bills. It’s always possible that the cool air produced by your A/C unit is slipping through your home and into the attic, and the reverse is also true with the hot air from the attic coming into your home. Attics affect your home cooling in a major way.

Here are some tips on how to limit the impact your attic is having on your home as we head into the hot summer months.

Insulation is Important

To keep the cool air from escaping through your walls and into the attic space, insulation is a big deal. If home cooling is a big deal to you, adding insulation during the home building process can ensure savings over the lifetime of the house.

If you built the home, hopefully you had conversations with the builder about how much insulation would be put into the house. If you bought the house when it was already built, it can be tough to know how well insulated the house is. However, if you’re noticing some rooms heat up faster than others in the summer time, that’s a strong sign that those rooms didn’t receive the insulation the others did.

While trying to figure out if the bottom of your attic has enough insulation, a good rule of thumb is to look at how high it comes up. If the insulation ends at the top of the joists, then you should consider adding more. If it comes over the joists, then you should be fine and it wouldn’t make sense financially to add any insulation. Improving the insulation can reduce the way attics affect your home cooling.

Attic Ventilation Plays a Role

Just as insulation is important to your attic, ventilation is also a big deal. There are big problems, like hurting the life of your shingles and supporting mold growth, that come with a lack of ventilation. For home cooling purposes, lacking ventilation can have a negative impact on your attic’s insulation.

During the hottest months of the year, the built up heat in your attic can get over 120 degrees. When that starts to seep into your living space, home cooling costs can increase.

If ventilation is set up properly with your home, it should give a constant flow that pushes air from outside of your home and through your attic space. This gives your attic a chance to breathe and lower the temperature.

Pick a Color

Gainesville, FL homes are in prime location to get beaten down by the sun. One simple way to limit the impact the sun has on your attic is to go with a lighter colored roof. This can help reflect some of the sun’s energy and keep it from heating up your attic space.

If that doesn’t work, you can use reflective coatings on the roof to reflect the sunlight and keep it from having a major impact on the temperature of your attic.

Studies have shown that wood roofing panels under black shingles are usually 10-15 degrees warmer than white shingles on similar days. These temperatures can play a big role on the temperature of your attic and ultimately make your home cooling more difficult.

If you’d like to have your A/C unit looked at by a trained professionals, call Gator Air & Energy at 352-275-4827 or send us a message on our website.

What You Need to Know About Your First Home’s HVAC System

First-time home buyers learn a lot during the home buying process, but it’s not all about your mortgage. The home has many parts that must be considered and looked at before moving in or immediately after.

One of the most important steps should be to check out the HVAC system to get an idea of how old it is and how long it can go without being repaired or replaced. Here are some tips about the system when you move into your first home:

Have the HVAC System Inspected

You can do this by yourself with a quick check or hire a professional to do a thorough check. If you’re doing it by yourself, look at the unit to see if there is any rust and listen to see if it sounds normal when running.

The general rule of thumb is that an HVAC system needs to be replaced after 10 years, but that can vary depending on how well it was cared for throughout its life up to that point. If the unit is getting close to the 10-year mark, consider that if it needs to undergo any repairs. It could be cheaper in the long run for you to purchase a new system instead of continually paying for fixes.

If you can investigate the HVAC system before you move in, consider trying to use it as leverage to get the house for a cheaper price since the unit will likely have to be replaced in the future.

Ducts Play An Important Role

Seek out the ducts that are visible in the house — check the attic or basement for those — for any noticeable problems. Any rust, condensation on the outside, gaps or loose connections can be red flags with the ducts and should be fixed by the owner or an A/C professional.

If the duct issues go ignored, it will cost you monthly on the utility bill and could shorten the life of the system because it will put more work on the HVAC system. Duct work is an important part of making sure your first home is off to a good start.

Insulation Can Ease Stress

Insulation is one of the most important elements to your comfort indoors. If helps keep the cool air inside during the summer and the warm air inside during the winter. However, it’s tough to know much about the insulation when you move into your first home. Ask your realtor or the previous home owner to try gaining more information about how you should proceed.

The insulation is one of the most important areas of the house regarding your future comfort, but it’s also one of the most difficult to account for since you can’t see it. If you don’t have enough of it, you’ll notice almost immediately after moving into the house. It’s also important to remember that some rooms could have more insulation than others.

If you’re moving into your first home and want trained professionals to make sure your HVAC system is in good shape, call Gator Air & Energy at 352-275-4827 or send us a message on our website.

When to Kick Your A/C Unit to the Curb

A/C unit repair is a frustrating option for homeowners, but when is it time to stop calling for repairs and start calling for a new unit?

This is a question many homeowners battle with, especially as their A/C unit ages. There comes a time where you should stop dealing with the frustrating, continued repairs and purchase a new unit.

Here’s how to know when that time comes:

Think About The Age

When an A/C unit passes the 10-year mark, it’s time to start planning for a replacement. It doesn’t have to happen immediately at the 10-year mark, but this is the general rule of thumb for the average lifespan of a unit. That can increase or decrease based on how well the unit is maintained throughout its life.

If you need continued repairs around the 10-year mark of a unit’s lifespan, this is the time to heavily consider starting over with a brand new unit. It’s also a good time to evaluate how long you plan to stay in the home and make the decision based on that.

Frequency of A/C Unit Repairs

A one-time repair is nothing to worry about. These small repairs aren’t uncommon and shouldn’t have you questioning the long term health of your system.

The problem comes when the repairs begin to happen frequently. When that becomes a routine and the system gets up in age, that’s when you need to start considering if it would be more cost effective to get a new A/C unit.

History of Energy Bills

It’s always a good idea to keep your eye on the price of your monthly utility bill. Any sharp spikes could be a sign of issues, but even without a quick increase, the bill can still tell you a lot about the unit.

HVAC systems are typically responsible for about half of the money in your bill. The bill will naturally go up as the system runs more when the weather gets hot, but continued increases in the bill can be a sign that there is something wrong with the unit. If the cost continues to go up and you have an old A/C unit, it’s not a bad idea to start planning for a new one.

Home Temperature

When the A/C unit gets up in age, it’s even more important to keep an eye on the temperature inside your home. If you notice it feeling hotter than normal, this can also be a sign that the HVAC system needs to be replaced.

These hotter temperatures can signal that your unit is having problems cooling the house. When that happens, it’s usually time to start looking at a replacement.

If you’re debating whether or not your A/C unit should be replaced and want the help of trained professionals, call Gator Air & Energy at 352-275-4827 or send us a message on our website.

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