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Top 4 AC upgrades we recommend to our customers!

Are you tired of the bare minimum air conditioning and heating systems installed in most housing developments in Gainesville, Florida? Upgrade your AC system with these top four recommended AC upgrades that can significantly improve your indoor air quality, reduce energy costs, and extend the lifespan of your equipment.

Ultraviolet light and or an air purifier/ionizer with UV light 

Upgrade your AC system with a UV light that shines on your indoor coil or blower wheel to prevent fungal growth and create a sunny beach environment instead of a dark, wet forest. This upgrade improves air quality, energy efficiency, and overall hygiene. An air purifier with UV and ionization charges dust particles, making them heavier and larger, and more likely to be trapped in the filter.

Customers have reported noticing “dirtier” filters more frequently and the added benefit of removing odors. Typical installation costs range from $375 to $600 for a UV light and $950 to $1200 for an air purifier. Don’t forget to keep all necessary paperwork with part numbers as these upgrades require replacement cells or lights every couple of years.

Whole house 4-inch pleated air filter and cabinet or a 4-inch electronic air filter with washable 1-inch pre-filter and cabinet 

Most tract housing in Gainesville, Florida comes with a 1-inch fiberglass filter in a grille, on the wall, or on the ceiling, or a 1-inch filter in the bottom or side of the indoor air handler. However, these fiberglass filters allow larger dust and pollen particles to pass through, causing dirt accumulation in your AC system over time. 

Upgrade to a whole house 4-inch pleated air filter installed in the return duct to trap smaller particles and maintain consistent airflow, keeping your AC system clean from dirt and dust accumulation. The gold standard for air filters is the electronic air filter, which can remove up to 98% of particles in the air and comes with a washable pre-filter that can be hosed off monthly, and electrostatic cells that can be vacuumed or washed out in the dishwasher annually.

 Although electronic air filters have a higher upfront cost, they don’t require frequent filter changes, saving you up to $120 to $150 per year. Typical installation costs range from $450 to $600 for a 4-inch pleated filter and $1200 to $1500 for an electronic air filter.

Wi-Fi thermostats such as  Nest, Eco-Bee, or Honeywell 

Upgrade to a Wi-Fi thermostat, such as Nest, Eco-Bee, or Honeywell, and enjoy the convenience of a thermostat that “learns your schedule” by sensing occupancy through a motion detector. You won’t have to worry about your AC running when you’re not at home during weekdays and weekends, reducing run time, extending the lifespan of your equipment, and lowering energy costs. 

Wi-Fi thermostats also offer additional features such as remote sensors, energy reports, and schedule customization via computer, unlike the basic $85 thermostat that usually comes with your home. Honeywell and Eco-Bee thermostats also have great features worth exploring. Google these stats and see the benefits of upgrading your thermostat.

Surge suppressors and premium capacitors 

Protect your AC equipment from damage caused by thunderstorms, hurricanes, or power fluctuations with surge suppressors and premium capacitors. Factory-installed capacitors are typically lighter duty and come with a 1-year warranty, while premium capacitors have a 5-year warranty, providing added durability and protection. Surge suppressors can cost between $175 to $275 each, depending on quality and ease of installation. Although no guarantees can be made for future performance,

While we at Gator Air and Energy never make guarantees of future performance, we do recommend having annual maintenance.  We check four main systems: the drain line which should be flushed and treated with chemicals, the refrigerant pressures, the air temperature differential in cooling, and the reading of the capacitors in microfarads to verify they are in range. 

If you would like to get a free estimate on these upgrades, we can schedule a maintenance visit and provide you with a quote. We can also do some estimates over the phone if the homeowner is willing and able to send pictures.

We hope you have a cool summer, we look forward to hearing from you!


Receive a 30% Tax Rebate on High-Efficiency HVAC Equipment!

Are you a Gainesville homeowner looking to reduce the cost of your energy bill this summer? A new tax credit on high-efficiency HVAC equipment may be just what you are looking for!

What is the 30% HVAC tax rebate?

As a business with a passion for energy-efficient solutions, Gator Air & Energy is excited to educate Gainesville on the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit. This tax credit is available for homeowners who invest in high-efficiency HVAC equipment like AC units, furnaces, or heat pumps. Let’s dive into the details of this tax credit and how you Gainesville homeowners can take advantage of it!

Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit

The Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit provides a tax credit to homeowners equal to 30% of installation costs for the highest efficiency tier products. This is eligible for a maximum of $600 for qualified air conditioners and furnaces, and a maximum of $2,000 for qualified heat pumps. This tax credit began on January 1, 2023, and will be available until December 31, 2032. Meaning, if you install a high-efficiency HVAC system during this time frame, you could be eligible for a significant tax credit.

To verify and receive this tax credit, you can ask your HVAC contractor to provide the Manufacturer’s Certification Statement for the purchased equipment. This statement confirms that the equipment meets the requirements for the tax credit. 

What is the benefit of high-efficiency HVAC equipment?

Using high-efficiency HVAC equipment is a great way to decrease your energy usage and lower your energy bills with GRU bills increasing. The main energy expense for the majority of Florida homeowners is heating and cooling. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that roughly 48% of the energy used in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling. You can lower your energy usage by upgrading your old HVAC equipment to new energy-efficient systems.

High-efficiency HVAC systems use new and improved technology to save energy and improve performance. For example, variable-speed motors are used in high-efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps to change the system’s output depending on the home’s cooling or heating needs. With processes like this, your system will use less energy and operate more effectively.

Investing in an improved HVAC system not only benefits your wallet but also benefits the environment. When you reduce your energy consumption, you also reduce your carbon footprint. To help with this, Gator Air and Energy provides energy audits, to ensure that your home is working towards energy efficiency, not against it.

Take advantage of this credit today!

If your current AC unit is nearing the end of its lifespan, 2023 it’s a great time to invest in a new and improved energy-efficient AC unit! Not to mention that Spring is also the perfect time of year to make this switch to ensure that you are prepared for Gainesville’s long and hot summer.

Contact Gator Air & Energy, to schedule your new AC unit installation, or for more information on this tax credit!

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner: Which is Better For Beating the Florida Heat?

When living in Florida, having an efficient home cooling system like an air conditioner or heat pump is not just a desire, it’s a necessity! Because of the heat and humidity, most Florida residents today rely on one of these systems to maintain not only reasonable comfort levels but to lower humidity levels as well.

But which HVAC system is better for beating the Florida heat? A heat pump or air conditioner?

To answer that question, we first need to explain how the two systems operate. Then we’ll look at 2 factors important to homeowners who might be considering the purchase of a new HVAC system: Cost and Efficiency.

What is a Heat Pump and How is it Different Than an Air Conditioner?

Many homeowners believe that air conditioners work by introducing cold air into the home. But in fact, air conditioners make your home cooler by using a compressed refrigerant to collect heat from inside your home as air passes over the coil in the air handler and pumping it outside. A heat pump, in cooling mode, does the same job. It is a mechanical-compression cycle refrigeration system that can be reversed to either heat or cool a controlled space. 

A heat pump is always working, in summer and in winter, transporting warm air from one place to another, to heat or cool, according to the season. In cold weather, a heat pump will extract the heat outside and move it indoors. When it’s warm outside, the heat pump will reverse direction and operate in the same fashion as an air conditioner to cool the home. 

Cost Considerations: Heat Pump Vs Air Conditioner

The largest consumer of energy in a typical Florida home is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which can account for more than 40% of home energy use and, therefore, for more than 40% of your utility bill. Energy use by your HVAC system is affected by many factors such as insulation levels, system efficiency, shading on the home, quality and sealing of the windows and doors, design and integrity of the duct system, and, of course, how the system is used. (1)

In cooling mode, there really isn’t much difference in cost or efficiency whether you use a heat pump or an air conditioner.  But remember, while a heat pump can both cool and heat your home, an air conditioner cannot. It can only provide cooling. This means that you’ll have to pair your air conditioner with a furnace or natural gas unit to provide heat in the colder months.

Another consideration in terms of cost is longevity and unit replacement cost. Since a heat pump both cools and heats a home, it works year-round. For this reason, AC units, which don’t need to run continuously in the winter months, experience less wear and tear and may not need to be replaced as often. 

This expense could be offset, however, by the yearly cost-savings of owning a heat pump, which is more energy-efficient than a furnace in the cooler months. 

Let’s explore heat pump energy efficiency a little more.

Which is More Efficient: Heat Pump or Air Conditioner? 

At Gator Air and Energy, we want our customers to get the best, most energy-efficient products. That’s why we install Trane® cooling units. Trane® offers a variety of air conditioners, heat pumps, and more that range in efficiency (SEER), sound levels, price, and more. 

What is SEER?

SEER measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. A SEER rating is a maximum efficiency rating, similar to the miles per gallon for your car. Your car might get 28 miles per gallon on the highway, but if you’re stuck in city traffic it could be lower. If your air conditioner is 21 SEER, that’s its maximum efficiency. (2)

As we stated earlier, in cooling mode, there really isn’t much difference in cost or efficiency whether you use a heat pump or an air conditioner.

When it comes to heating your home in the winter however, a heat pump will typically be more energy-efficient than a furnace which is paired with an air conditioner. 


A heat pump transfers or recycles heat rather than generating it as a furnace does. 

Under ideal conditions, a heat pump can transfer 300 percent more energy than it consumes. In contrast, a high-efficiency gas furnace is about 90 percent efficient. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, so you can save substantially on fuel consumption. A heat pump is over 100% efficient in temperate climates with milder winters. (3)

Heat pumps are highly efficient and effective in temperatures as low as 25 degrees. If homeowners use a furnace in the 40-60 degree range, it will provide significantly more heat and power than is needed, which will result in higher energy consumption.

Of course, in order to optimize the efficiency of your heat pump, it’s important to keep it well-maintained. Let’s look at how routine maintenance positively affects efficiency.

How to Optimize Heat Pump Efficiency

As we explained in a previous post, you shouldn’t wait until something’s broken to service your heat pump. Routine maintenance will increase your system’s longevity and prevent expensive repairs. At least once a year, you should:

  • Inspect ducts, filters, and indoor coils for dirt
  • Diagnose and seal duct leakage
  • Inspect heat pump belts for wear
  • Make sure your thermostats are working
  • Verify proper airflow

The more you care for your heat pump, the more likely your heater will work when you need it!

Final Considerations Before Choosing a Heat Pump or Air Conditioner

After you’ve researched the different types of systems, your next call should be to a skilled air conditioning contractor. Why? The operating efficiency of a system relies on proper installation to achieve its performance rating. At Gator Air and Energy, our licensed technicians will advise you on the proper sizing of the system for the specific cooling load of your home. We’ll also ensure the selection and proper installation of thermostats or controls; proper installation and commissioning of the system; and, if required, a duct system designed to deliver the correct amount of conditioned air to each space within the building; and sealing and insulating all ductwork.(4) 

Whether you choose a heat pump or air conditioner for your next HCAV system installation or upgrade, you can relax knowing that Gator Air and Energy provides the highest quality cooling systems to help you beat the Florida heat! 



5 Biggest Furnace Hazards: How to Protect Your Family


Furnaces are the most commonly used residential heating system in the United States. Running most often on gas, but sometimes on oil, propane, or electricity, furnaces deliver their heat through a duct system. Since we don’t use our heaters too often in Florida, it’s easy to neglect routine maintenance. But there’s nothing worse than turning on your heater on a cold winter morning and finding your heater not working! According to Angie’s List, some HVAC experts say up to 75% of no-heat calls in the winter are related to a lack of maintenance. 

Neglecting your furnace can also create serious health hazards. Let’s take a look at these common furnace hazards and explain how to protect yourself and your family from these dangers.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a life-threatening emergency that occurs from inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) fumes. CO is a colorless, odorless gas made when fuels such as wood, gasoline, natural gas, or kerosene burn. Breathing in carbon monoxide prevents the body from using oxygen properly, which can harm the brain, heart, and other organs. An estimated 500 people die each year, and 15,000 people are taken to emergency rooms, because of exposure to carbon monoxide. Most of these are avoidable and occur in the winter when our homes are closed and heaters are in use. 

Regular maintenance of your home’s heating and ventilation system will help prevent a carbon monoxide leak. You should also protect yourself with alarms installed on every floor and near every bedroom in your home as well as one by your furnace (at a distance of 10 or more feet away). According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a qualified heating contractor should inspect your home heating system annually. The technician will check your furnace, its electrical and mechanical components, thermostat controls, and automatic safety switches. Checking ventilation systems for any blockages or cracks that could allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home prevents HVAC safety hazards.

Carbon monoxide is especially important to be aware of if your house has a chimney and you use your fireplace. If unchecked for an extended period of time, a chimney can gather grime and soot. This can trap some of the fumes in the house, including carbon monoxide. Even if you don’t have a chimney, the furnace burner, electrical wiring, mechanical controls, and more can also be potential causes of this dangerous gas. A Gator Air & Energy technician can ensure that your house is clean of carbon monoxide and help prevent future issues by finding areas where the gas might get trapped in heating the house.


Your furnace heats your home by taking in air, warming it, and dispersing it through your home via ductwork and in-room vents. During the spring and summer months, your unit accumulates dust as well as allergens and indoor air quality contaminants including pollen, mold, and pet dander, which are then circulated through your home when you turn on the heater. The immediate effects of encounters with these pollutants can include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Long-term effects from the presence of these pollutants sometimes involve:

  • Humidifier fever
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Dr. Adrian Casillas, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of clinical immunology and allergy at the University of California, at Los Angeles, School of Medicine suggests that one way to cure this problem is to have your heating ducts cleaned prior to firing up your furnace for the first time. In addition to cleaning your ducts, Gator Air & Energy will conduct a thorough inspection to check your ducts for holes and leaks, hidden restrictions, and insufficient insulation that could cost you extra money each month on your energy bill.


Whether gas or electricity powers your furnace, it has the potential to be a fire hazard for your furnace. As we explained in a previous article, the furnace burner is the spot in your central heating unit where air and fuel are burned to produce heat. Because there’s an actual flame here, it’s very important that the burner is clean of any dirt, grime, grease, or anything else that could inadvertently catch on fire. Gator Air & Energy technicians have the proper tools and equipment to carefully and thoroughly clean your gas or electric furnace and are also trained to identify and remedy potentially dangerous electrical issues such as frayed wires or corroded electrical contacts before they cause a dangerous house fire. 


Your furnace needs room and unobstructed airflow to operate properly. You should always keep at least a 3 ft clearance around all sides of your unit. This will not only make it easier for your Gator Air & Energy technician to service your unit but it will help ensure that combustible items are not in the immediate vicinity. Never store volatile chemicals such as gasoline, paint thinners, or paint near your furnace. The high heat and sparks produced could ignite dangerous fumes. It’s also important to avoid clutter around your furnace. Hang laundry several feet away from your unit and keep cleaners and detergents capped securely and at a distance. 


Dirt and neglect are the top causes of heating and cooling system inefficiency and failure. Routine maintenance is the best way to ensure your furnace continues to operate at peak efficiency. Trane recommends scheduling an appointment to have a licensed HVAC technician inspect your furnace annually before the heating season begins because most furnace problems can be caught early with preventative maintenance. With regular maintenance, feel confident that when it comes to turning your furnace on, it will work safely. 

Annual maintenance can also save the cost of an emergency call for a costly repair.

When performing routine maintenance on your furnace, a Gator Air & Energy technician will:

  • Check the combustion chamber for cracks
  • Test for carbon monoxide (CO) and remedy if found
  • Adjust blower control and supply-air temperature
  • Clean and oil the blower
  • Remove dirt, soot, or hazardous corrosion from the furnace or boiler
  • Check fuel input and flame characteristics, and adjust if necessary
  • Seal connections between the furnace and main ducts.

We hope this information has deepened your understanding of how important it is to have your furnace inspected by a professional. If it’s been more than 12 months since your last furnace inspection, contact Gator Air and Energy to set up an appointment so we can make sure your furnace will be ready for the next cold snap and you and your family will enjoy a warm and safe winter season!

Switching to heating from cooling, heating tips as Gainesville temperatures Fall!

Everyone that lives in Gainesville and the surrounding areas is probably grateful for the cooler weather we have been experiencing! As you open your windows and turn off the AC. It’s important to prepare for when it gets a little too chilly and it comes time to switch to heating from cooling.

Switching From Cooling to Heating Best Practices

It may seem simple and self-explanatory, and for the most part, it is! But, there are some best practices to ensure that your heating and cooling system are properly prepared for winter.

Furnace Inspection

Before you turn on the heat, a simple furnace inspection can go a long way to guarantee your system is ready for winter. This isn’t completely necessary to do before turning on your heater, so don’t freeze if you can’t get an inspection in time for the cold weather. However, if you are thinking ahead, an inspection is a great way to make sure your system is clean and your filters are changed!

Turning Up The Heat

It is best to switch your system to “heat” after the system completes an entire cycle. Therefore, if your AC is currently running, make sure that it switches itself off. When in between cycles, switch the thermostat from “cool” to “off.” 

Leave the system in “off” mode for at least 5 minutes. If you don’t wait, this could cause issues with your system’s pressure, if the pressure is too high when you switch to “heat,” the compressor can lock up and cause a blown fuse or tripped breaker.

If your heat doesn’t come on right away, you may have to check the furnace itself to make sure it is turned on. Most furnaces have a switch on the side of the furnace, so make sure this is in the on position.


Prepping Your AC for the Cold

As Floridians, we don’t have to deal with the same level of temperatures as our friends up North. Even so, there are still steps you should take to prepare your AC for the winter.

  • Turn the power to your AC off: There should be a small box on the outside of your house near the condenser. This is where you will find the power switch for your AC unit. Turning this off is a great way to save energy, as it keeps your unit from turning on during unseasonably warm days, and reduces the risk when completing other maintenance tasks.
  • Clean Your AC Unit: When your AC Unit is turned off, this is a great time to do some cleaning to the exterior of your system. Removing unwanted leaves, dust, dirt, pollen, and everything else that manages to dirty your unit is a great way to keep your unit from getting clogged in the seasons it is running.
  • Cover The AC Unit: Despite not having to deal with snow and very little ice, covering your unit in the winter is a great way to keep your system from cracking or rusting while it isn’t running.


Heating Tips for This Winter

We all have felt the increased cost of Gainesville Regional Utilities, better known as GRU, this summer. Gator Air and Energy has already given you our tips and tricks to keeping your AC bill low, so here are some tips to get the most out of your Furnace this winter. Most of which, not surprisingly, is the exact opposite advice to keep your AC bill down.

Keep Your Heater Set to 68°

Similar to keeping your AC at a modestly higher temperature, keeping your heater at a lower temperature will save you money. For every degree below 70°, you can expect to cut your energy bill by 5%. This means you can save 10% on your energy bill, simply by keeping your heat set to 68°. It is called sweater weather for a reason after all!

Flip Your Fan Switch

If you followed our guide to keep your AC bill low, then your fan is probably rotating counterclockwise. Now that the temperature has fallen, and we are switching to heating from cooling, it is time to switch the fan to rotate clockwise. This pushes warm air down and reduces the stress on your furnace.

Direct Heat to the Rooms That Need it Most

The bigger your living space, the more energy it takes to keep your home warm. A great way to reduce energy consumption is to close the vents and doors to rooms that aren’t being used. This keeps the rooms you spend time in nice and cozy, without overworking your furnace..

Don’t Turn Your Heat Off When You are Not at Home

It may seem like turning off your heater when no one is home would be a great way to save energy. If the temperature outside isn’t too cold, this may be the case. But, if the temperature inside your home drops too low. It can take more resources to heat your home back to being comfortable as opposed to turning it completely off.

Not to mention, you also run the risk of your pipes bursting if the temperature of your home drops below freezing.

Improving Your Homes Insulation

Poor insulation in your home could cost you an additional 15% of your energy bill. There are a few DIY methods to improve insulation to reduce your heating bill this winter. The biggest offenders of poor insulation are typically the cracks in your doors and windows. These can be filled with weather stripping or caulk and make a massive difference in your home’s insulation.

Maintain Your Heating System

Just like AC units, heating systems get worn down over extended periods of time. One of the best ways to ensure your furnace is working properly is to schedule an inspection of your system. 

There is also a time when older systems are so inefficient that they cost more money than a new system would save you. Especially in the Gainesville area, there are a lot of older homes that have been using the same system for over 15 years. If this is the case, it may be time to consider the value of a new furnace or heat pump for your home.

Are you ready to switch your system from cooling to heating?

Now that you have these tips and tricks for heating your home this winter, you should be better prepared to save money and reduce wear on your heating system. There are a few best practices that only experts in the HVAC industry can perform, and for these services, Gator Air & Energy is your go-to Gainesville HVAC company this winter!

Get in touch with our experts today, to ensure that your family stays warm this winter, without breaking the bank!

Replacing Your Central AC Unit – What You Need to Know 

AC units can last a very long time. With proper maintenance and care, homeowners can go 10-15 years without replacing their units. Eventually, the time will come when purchasing a new unit will give you more value than repairing an old one.

Gator Air & Energy wants to prepare Gainesville and Ocala for anything that comes your way when it’s time for a replacement Central Air Conditioning Unit.

Signs That You May Need a New AC Unit

Air conditioners are essential to making it through North Florida’s hot and humid summers. There are some telltale signs that your AC unit is in need of a replacement. 

  • Frequent Breakdowns

  • Blowing Hot Air

  • Poor Airflow

  • AC Unit won’t turn off or on

In most instances, a repair can solve these issues, At Gator Air and Energy repairing is always the first option. We do what we can to save our customers time and money, and if it is cost-effective, we will always recommend repairs over replacements.

When Should You Repair and When Should You Replace Your Central AC Unit?

There are instances where replacing a unit will be the more cost-effective and efficient option for home and business owners. There are 3 major factors that help determine whether you should replace or repair your air conditioner.

  • The Age of Your Unit

With the average life expectancy of an air conditioner at between 10-15 years, it doesn’t make much sense to continue maintaining and repairing a unit that is going to continue causing you problems.

  • The Cost of Your Energy Bills

Regardless of how well-maintained your current unit is, old units will be less energy efficient and have higher energy bills than new ones. 

A new unit could end up being a long-term investment and over time eventually save you money.

  • The Cost of the Repair

In most cases, it is more cost-effective to repair a central unit than to replace one. This is especially true when dealing with a relatively new system. But as time goes on, the money you put into old AC units becomes less and less valuable. 

“The Rule of 5000” is a good practice to reference when making this decision. That is, if the cost of the repair X and the age of the unit exceeds 5000, it may be time to consider replacing the unit.

How Can I Prevent Broken AC Units?

You can take plenty of preventative measures to make your AC units last longer. Gator Air & Energy goes deep on keeping your AC running smoothly in this blog article.

New Central AC Unit

Total Cost of a New AC Unit In Gainesville

The cost of new air conditioning can vary greatly depending on square footage, energy needs, and many other factors. The only way to know 100% what a new central AC unit is going to cost is to have an expert evaluate your energy needs.

What Goes Into a New AC Unit Cost in Gainesville?

With such a wide range of what a new AC unit can cost, it is evident that a lot of factors go into the pricing of a new unit. Here is a brief rundown of what you are paying for when getting a new air conditioner.

Air Conditioning Unit Energy Efficiency

Gator Air & Energy installs Trane® air conditioners, these units vary in energy efficiency based on their SEER.

What is SEER? 

A SEER is the rating or ratio a central AC unit is given that is based on how energy efficient the unit is. SEER actually stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is determined by the output divided by the Watt-hours of the central AC unit.

Trane® (our go-to HVAC system) has a great blog post that goes into great detail about what a good SEER rating consists of. 

Central AC Unit Capacity

The size of your home or commercial space plays a large part in what your AC unit capacity needs are. While being too small can obviously cause issues, being too large can be just as detrimental. 

A central AC unit that is too big can cause the unit to turn off and on too often, which can cause issues with removing moisture from the home, which is super important in Gainesville’s swampy climate!

Ductwork Modification

Having ductwork that fits the requirements of your AC unit is extremely important to the longevity and performance of your system. 

Because different units have different requirements when getting an HVAC system replaced it is important for the installers to make any necessary modifications to your pre-existing ductwork.

Electrical Costs

Some older AC units do not have thermostats with the level of air control that you will want with a new HVAC system. This can occasionally require updating the control wiring to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Gator Air & Energy only recommends the best option for your HVAC needs!

What If I Can’t Afford a Replacement AC Unit?

An entire new air conditioning unit can be expensive, and not many people have the cash on hand to cover such an unexpected cost. Luckily, Gator Air & Energy has financing options available to make replacing your central AC a more approachable option. With credit approval, you can receive a loan with no down payment, convenient monthly payments, and easy account management. 

This allows our customers to make the financially smart decision, even if they don’t have the ability to pay for it up front!

Get An Estimate on How Much Your AC Replacement Will Cost in Gainesville.

With so many factors to consider when choosing which HVAC Unit meets your needs while still maintaining an affordable price, an expert needs to evaluate your space to give you the best and most accurate price estimate.

Gator Air & Energy has the experience and expertise required to give North Central Florida residents the best possible options when it comes to AC installation.

GRU Energy Costs Increasing? Try Our 10 Energy Saving Tips!

Are you feeling the pain of increasing energy costs this summer? You are not alone. Gainesville has been affected by the GRU rate hikes, brought on by increasing natural gas and energy costs. But are there steps you can take to mitigate these cost increases? Yes! Gator Air and Energy specializes in energy efficiency, and we want to give you some tips on how to keep your energy bills as low as possible with these energy-saving tips!

Save Energy by Decreasing the Stress on Your AC

Gainesville is hot – really hot. This means that your air conditioning has to work extra hard to keep you cool, which increases your energy costs. Any stress you can take off of your AC unit will help keep prices down. Here are some tips to do so!

Keep Your Blinds Shut!

As much as we all love keeping our homes and apartments filled with natural light, this can heat up your space fast! We recommend keeping your blinds closed, especially at the hottest times of the day. 

Is Your Fan Running? It Better Be!

Fans can decrease the temperature in your rooms by up to 4 degrees! This means you can keep your thermostat running at a higher temperature without being uncomfortable. One thing to keep in mind is that your fans should be rotating counterclockwise in the summer. This creates increased air circulation and produces a nice breeze effect

energy saving ceiling fan

Turn the Thermostat Up.

Duke Energy confirms that every degree your thermostat is set above 78, can decrease your bill by up to 10% (if your apartment complex allows it). If you are out of the house during work hours, consider raising your thermostat a couple of degrees, and turning it back down when you return.

Replace Your AC Filters.

A congested AC filter can take a toll on the efficiency of your unit. A dirty filter can decrease airflow and force your AC to work harder for the same results. This is also a great practice to increase your indoor air quality!

Ensure proper insulation.

If you are a homeowner, ensuring that your home is properly insulated can make a huge difference in your energy consumption. If you are a renter, consider speaking to your landlord about your insulation. This will help not only in the summer months but the winter months as well. Many homes and buildings in Gainesville are older, so they may not have the best insulation.

Consider a Smart Thermostat.

This is one of the more costly solutions to help lower your energy consumption, but there are many great Smart Thermostat options available that can help regulate your home’s temperature. 

Close Vents and Doors!

The bigger your space is, the more likely you are to be cooling rooms that are not in use, such as guest bedrooms. By closing the vents and doors in these spaces, you can keep the other rooms in your home cool at a lower price.

Get a Free Energy Audit 

Gator Air and Energy offers free energy audits to GRU customers! We offer these services to both Residential and Commercial customers, as part of our efforts to save Gainesville money and energy!

Use LED light bulbs!

Not only can LEDs use 75% less energy, but they also emit less heat! This means you aren’t warming your rooms up by using old and energy-inefficient bulbs!

 Schedule an Air Duct Cleaning.

If your air ducts have leaks or debris clogging the airflow, this can greatly reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning. We at Gator Air and Energy have duct cleaning services that can save you money on your monthly energy bill!

HVAC  Gainesville FL Gator Air & Energy

How can Gainesville Air and Energy Help?

Apart from these simple, free DIY tips and tricks, AC maintenance can help you decrease your energy bills greatly! Gator Air and Energy takes energy efficiency seriously, it’s one of our core values! Not only does it help mitigate the increasing energy costs our customers are all facing, but it also mitigates your carbon footprint and helps the environment!

What Is Required to Perform Home AC Services in Florida?

Florida AC services are extremely important with our consistently high temperatures. Running your HVAC system more leads to increased issues and outages, causing a high demand for repairs. How can you decide what repair company to hire? Looking at a company’s licenses, certifications, and experience can provide the best indication of its reputation. Knowing that the repair company you hire has licensed and certified employees will ensure you can trust them to get the job done right.

Training and License Expectations 

In Florida, technicians must undergo educational training and obtain a license to perform HVAC work. While there are several options to become a professional HVAC contractor, they all have key requirements:

  • Degree, typically from a community college or trade school.
  • Hands-on experience. 
  • Passing two licensing exams.
  • Associated fees.

What Types of HVAC Licenses Are There?

License options have increased with the growing demand for repairs and new HVAC technologies. It’s important to know which type of license a technician has and the requirements they had to meet. In fact, you can verify if a company is reputable by looking at the DBPR (Department of Business and Professional Regulation) website. Here you can see if they are licensed and what type of license they have. You’ll find that technicians have 4 main licenses requiring different education levels, work experience, and fees. 

Here is a list of these four licenses, ordered from highest qualification to lowest.

Class A – State Certified 

This is the most comprehensive certification that allows a technician to work anywhere in the state of Florida. To earn this license, you must have plenty of experience and workers compensation. Having a class A state-certified license is an indication of a reputable contractor.

Class A – State Registered 

For a localized option, technicians can choose to get the class A state registered license. While this only allows for work in specific areas, the fees are lower, and it only requires you to meet local standards. 

Class B – State Certified 

Unlike class A, this license restricts the types of air conditioning systems you can work on. However, you’re still required to complete a four-year degree and at least 1 year of work experience. Benefits of a class B license include lower exam and renewal fees.

Class B – State Registered 

While a class B state registered license may have the least requirements, it also has the highest restrictions. HVAC technicians may only work in specific locations and only on certain types of air conditioning systems.

Pick the Professionals at Gator Air & Energy

Our team is made up of highly qualified contractors that have experience in helping the Gainesville community with their AC services. Finding a reputable company is the key to keeping your home and family comfortable through the Florida heat. At Gator Air & Energy, we maintain the highest standards for our technicians, just as our clients deserve. Contact us today to hire professionals you can count on.

Commercial Air Conditioners: 3 Maintenance Tips

Living in Gainesville, FL, air conditioning is an essential part of life. We use it at home, in the car, and where we work. If you own or manage an office or some other type of commercial facility, it’s important that you properly maintain your facility’s commercial air conditioners. The well-being of your tenants, employees, and assets depends on it.

Read on to learn the three most common AC maintenance tips for commercial AC units.

How Can I Properly Maintain My Facility’s Commercial Air Conditioners?

You may wonder if maintenance on commercial air conditioners differs from residential units. The answer is yes and no, but commercial units have many of the same maintenance needs. Here are the most important maintenance tips for taking care of your commercial AC unit.

1. Use a Smart or Programmable Thermostat

Thanks to technology, controlling the indoor temperature of a commercial property is much easier than it was a decade ago. We now have the luxury of smart or programmable thermostats.

commercial air conditioners - trane smart thermostat

Smart thermostats do everything programmable thermostats do but with the added benefit of remote control. Additionally, smart thermostats track and provide vital information such as the commercial HVAC system’s health, performance, and efficiency.

They can provide you with error messages or warnings and even inform you when to change your unit’s air filter. At a minimum, when it comes to your commercial HVAC system, you want to ensure you can schedule your run times. In other words, outside the normal office or hours of operation, you want the system to keep the temperature slightly warmer to save energy costs and reduce unnecessary wear and tear.

2. Clean the Indoor and Outdoor Units Regularly

Keeping your commercial air conditioners clean is vital. When it comes to the outdoor unit, keep it clear from tree limbs, weeds, and any other debris. Rooftop commercial HVAC units might be even more susceptible to overhanging tree limbs or leaf litter.

Be aware of pine needle build-up inside the unit from our many North Florida pine trees for both rooftop and ground-based units. The indoor unit must have a clean condensate line and regularly maintained ductwork. Dirty ductwork will reduce the efficiency of your unit and lead to unhealthy indoor air quality.

Lastly, make sure you regularly change your commercial HVAC system’s air filter. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter and the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s best to consult with a commercial HVAC professional to determine what’s best for your system.

3. Get the Unit Professionally Maintained

Regular maintenance by a qualified commercial HVAC professional is ideal for your commercial air conditioner. A professional HVAC contractor has all the tools necessary to run diagnostics tests and identify potential problems before they arise.

Additionally, trained technicians have the proper equipment and materials on-hand to clean the unit, change out filters, and inspect certain electrical components that would otherwise be dangerous for an untrained professional to handle.

Contact Gator Air and Energy for Your Commercial Air Conditioner Needs

At Gator Air & Energy, we can help you with all your commercial air conditioning needs, including emergency commercial AC repair, AC maintenance, or AC installation. Our repair services start with proper diagnostics followed by clear advice to help you determine the best solution.

Allowing us to provide routine maintenance every 6-12 months will help prevent unnecessary repairs. Please reach out to us today for all your commercial air conditioning repair service needs here in Gainesville, Florida, and the surrounding areas.

3 Common Myths About Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are an amazing invention. Can you imagine living in North Central Florida prior to air conditioning? However, there are many myths about them. Everyone has their own “nugget of wisdom.” Although they may seem logical, many of the popular beliefs about air conditioners aren’t necessarily backed by facts. Read on to learn three of the most commonly held myths regarding air conditioners.

What Are the Most Common Myths About Air Conditioners?

This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are the most common myths about air conditioners.

1. Closing Vents In Unused Rooms Saves Energy

It makes sense logically. If you have an office or guest room in your house that you rarely use, why strive to keep it cool? You could save money by cooling less square footage and redirecting the air to help keep the other parts of your home cooler, right?

Closing your AC vents actually decreases your air conditioner’s efficiency. Whether a few vents are closed or not, the same amount of air is pushed through your ductwork by your system. This excess air in the ductwork causes pressure to build up and makes your HVAC system work harder to distribute the air to the other parts of your home.

Another issue is excess moisture build-up in your unused rooms. Living in Gainesville, FL, we have very high humidity during the summer months. A hot, humid environment in a room can cause damage to furniture, electronics, clothing, flooring, and walls. These conditions can also lead to mold growth.

Therefore, closing vents in unused rooms isn’t the best strategy.

2. Bigger Is Better

When it comes to the size of your air conditioning unit, bigger is not always better. Air conditioners must be tailored to the square footage of your home. An oversized unit reduces efficiency and causes higher indoor humidity and short cycling.

air conditioners - a picture of the outside air conditioning unit.

Short cycling is when your air conditioning unit starts and stops rapidly. This happens because an oversized unit cools your house too quickly — causing drastic temperature swings. Short cycling causes issues with your unit over time through unnecessary wear and tear.

Another issue with rapid cooling is that your house will not be cooled evenly. This means you will have some areas of your home that are overly frigid and other areas that are blazing hot.

3. Set Your Thermostat High When You’re Not Home

Another common misconception is to turn your thermostat up when you’re not home during the day or when you go on a trip. Although it’s true you can set your thermostat slightly warmer to conserve energy, setting your thermostat high in the morning and then cranking it back down when you return in the evening makes your air conditioner work harder.

Think about it this way: it’s way easier for your unit to maintain a cooler, consistent temperature than to cool it back down again, causing it to use more energy and creating more wear and tear. Another issue is excess humidity build-up, especially when you go out of town for a few days. In Florida’s climate, humidity levels can build up in your home far too quickly and cause mold growth or damage to drywall within days.

It’s okay to turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees when you’re not home, but don’t overdo it. For example, if you like to keep your thermostat at 73℉ while you’re home, set it to 75℉ while you’re gone. Most new systems also have schedules you can program on their thermostats so you can have a slightly warmer home during work hours and have it cool again by the time you return.

Contact Gator Air and Energy for All Your Air Conditioning Needs

At Gator Air & Energy, we can help you with all your air conditioning needs, including emergency AC repair, AC maintenance, or AC installation. Our repair services start with proper diagnostics followed by clear advice to help you determine the best solution.

Allowing us to provide routine maintenance every 6-12 months will also help you prevent unnecessary repairs. Please reach out to us today for all your air conditioning repair service needs here in Gainesville, Florida, and the surrounding areas.