Archive for the ‘Energy-Savings Tips’ Category

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!

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.

Energy Savings: Tips for Your Home

Reducing your household energy use can entail anything from small changes in your day-to-day behavior to making wise investments in your home for a more sustainable future. Conserving energy will save your household money on utility bills and protect the environment from the harsh effects of excess energy usage, making these changes smart choices for any homeowner. Read on to learn ways to generate energy savings for your home. 

How to Produce More Energy Savings For Your Home

Kick Your Energy-Draining Habits to the Curb

Going green without putting your budgets in the red may sound like a challenge, but you can start making energy-saving choices today that will not only cost you anything but will actually save you money. 

Changing your daily behavior is one of the simplest ways to control your energy consumption. From turning lights off when you leave a room to turning up your thermostat while you’re away from home, small changes in your daily routine can make big improvements in your energy usage. For example, the energy required to keep the lights on in the average household makes up 12% of utility bills. So, the next time you go to walk out the door, make the simple, conscious choice to turn off the light behind you. 

There are various other steps you can take to make smarter choices throughout your home to leave any old energy-wasting habits in the past, including:

  • Regularly cleaning or replacing air filters
  • Using blinds, shades, and drapes in the warmer months to block out excess heat
  • Using cold water to wash your clothes
  • Opting to air-dry your clothes rather than relying on a dryer
  • Turning off your bathroom and kitchen ventilation fans whenever they’re no longer necessary
  • Allowing your dishes to air dry after a dishwasher cycle rather than using the heated dryer
  • Using ceiling fans to help keep your home comfortable. Doing so can allow you to raise your thermostat up to 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort

Enjoy a Greener View with Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows tend to be a significant source of energy waste for most homes, with losses stacking up to about 10-25% of your total heating bill. Installing double-pane windows in place of any remaining single-pane windows is a great way to reduce the loss of heated and conditioned air throughout your home. 

Regardless of whether you’re looking to keep your home warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer, low-emittance, or Low-E, windows can help. These gas-filled windows help block infrared light from passing through the glass to minimize sunlight’s effects and reduce excess heat from building up indoors. So, the next time a baseball comes flying through one of your windows, make it a home run by taking the opportunity for an energy-efficient upgrade. 

Weatherize Your Home

Weatherizing your home refers to successfully sealing off any places where air can leak out around the house. The most significant sources of air leaks that could contribute to your high energy consumption include your vents, windows, and doors. To seal these areas, ensure that there are no cracks between the walls and the vents, window frames, and doorframes. Caulking and weather strips are inexpensive ways to adequately seal off areas in your home that will return your investment year after year.

Your duct system can also be a significant source of unwanted air leaks. According to Energy Star, many homes have improperly installed or sealed ductwork, which can lead to up to 30 percent of heated or cooled air to be lost through cracks, leaks, and poorly connected ducts. If your ducts aren’t properly sealed, your household can experience higher utility costs and be at risk of poor indoor air quality. Schedule a duct sealing service to protect your home and start saving energy.

Insulate Your Home, Insulate Your Wallet

Insulation plays an important role in retaining heat in the colder seasons and cool air in the warmer ones. By properly insulating your home, you can decrease the flow of heat into and out of your home by providing adequate resistance. Consider adding insulation to your attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl space to help reduce any wasted energy expenditures. 

Get Smart About Your Energy Usage with a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats significantly reduce the use of heating and cooling systems without sacrificing your family’s comfort by adjusting to your household’s patterns and precisely regulating the temperatures throughout your home. With simple controls, savings on your utility bills, and a lighter environmental impact, smart thermostats are among the wisest changes you can make to invest your home.

When setting the thermostat, trying to balance reasonable utility costs with minimal family squabbles can be tricky. However, smart thermostats allow you to keep your indoor temperatures cool without raising your bills. Plus, by starting to use these energy-saving tips that can help keep your home cool without relying on your air conditioner, you can increase your thermostat without anyone noticing. Keep in mind that for every degree you raise your thermostat’s set temperature, you can save up to almost 3% on your utility bill.

Upgrade Your HVAC Unit

If your central air conditioning unit is on its last leg or has been working to keep your family comfortable for over a decade, it’s most likely time for an upgrade. Older HVAC units use more energy than is required to keep your home comfortable while also struggling to keep your home as cool as you’d like. A new air conditioner and heating system will save you money in the long run while avoiding costly repairs and inconvenient breakdowns, and you will cut back your energy usage with updated technology and optimized performance. 

Count On Gator Air & Energy for More Energy Savings

Gator Air & Energy is committed to providing energy-efficient HVAC services to the families we serve in Gainesville, FL and the surrounding area. We know that with each sustainable choice comes a generational impact of improved environmental conditions. That’s why we combine the most effective and affordable heating and cooling solutions with energy savings to give your family comfort and peace of mind.

Reach out to our team for energy-efficient HVAC services and home solutions today for a better tomorrow.


How to Avoid Overworking Your Air Conditioner

HVAC systems in Florida probably work harder than most other air conditioning systems in the country, especially during the sunnier months of the year. People are working from home more than ever before which means your AC unit will be working overtime to keep you comfortable. Gator Air & Energy is here for any issue you may have, but hopefully you can alleviate potential issues with these tips to avoid overworking your air conditioner.


Using ceiling or box fans in your home can make the air feel up to four degrees cooler than it actually is. Using a fan to support your air conditioner can significantly reduce the work your air conditioner has to do, especially in rooms where several people have gathered.

Filters, Filters, Filters

We talk about the importance of a clean air filter a lot, but it’s because clean air filters are really important. Dirty filters obstruct airflow through your air handler and cause the whole system to work harder to move the air through your home. Timely filter replacement will drastically reduce the amount of maintenance needed for your air conditioner and will help improve your indoor air quality.

Nighttime Thermostat Settings

Once the sun goes down and the temperature outside drops (or at least gets less hot), our air conditioners do get a little bit of a break. Increasing the cooling temperature by even a few degrees and sleeping with a light blanket or just a sheet can put less strain on your HVAC system and lengthen the time between necessary maintenances.

Keep Your Blinds Closed

In a perfect world for air conditioners, homes wouldn’t even have windows or let in any sunlight. Natural sunlight is a wonderful thing to have in your home, but with light comes heat and with heat comes more work for your AC system. At a minimum, consider keeping your curtains closed during the hottest parts of the day and in rooms that receive direct sunlight through their windows. 

Give Your AC a Break

Finding time to let your air conditioner rest can be challenging when your family is spending the majority of your time sequestered in your home, but even short breaks can make a difference. If you are going for a long walk, playing in the yard, or venturing out to your favorite restaurant for take-out, raising your thermostat by 6-10 degrees can give your AC a much-needed break.

During a time of crisis, none of us want to add any avoidable stress to our lives. The team at Gator Air & Energy are here to support you in any way we can, with quality advice and even better service. If your air conditioner does need service or repair, call our office at 352-389-4396 or schedule an appointment online. 

Energy-Efficient Heating: 5 Myths

When it comes time to adjust your thermostat, there are quite a few factors that can influence your desired setting. Personal comfort, your spouse or housemates’ preferences, your pets and plants’ needs, your plans for the day, and weather shifts may all be major influences, but after reviewing your most recent utility bill, energy cost and efficiency might be an increasingly significant factor. Be sure to avoid these common energy-efficient heating misconceptions.

Drastic Changes Means Quicker Changes

One of the most frequent fallacies is that drastically altering your thermostat settings will result in a quicker return to comfort. You arrive home from work and find your house to be a frigid 50 degrees. You quickly set your thermostat to 80 degrees and plan to readjust the settings once your home reaches a habitable temperature.

Not only does your heater warm your home at the same rate, regardless of how dramatic the thermostat settings, but you will most likely forget to readjust the settings until your home becomes unbearably balmy. Instead, make conservative adjustments until you find the lowest, most comfortable temperature at which to set your heat (typically around 68 degrees.)

Energy-Efficient Heating: Closing the Vents in Unused Rooms Helps

Another mistake we often see homeowners making, is closing the vents in guest rooms, offices, and dens that they are not typically using throughout the day. While it may make sense, not heating those rooms doesn’t make your heater’s job easier.

In fact, this strategy may actually lead to more work for your heater as it struggles to heat the rooms with the vents open while cold air is blowing in from the rooms without access to the heated air. A better option would be to insulate unused rooms by putting blankets or bubble wrap over the windows and leaving all your vents open. 

Leaving the Thermostat at the Same Setting All Day is Better

There is some debate about whether it is more efficient to maintain one temperature constantly or to adjust your thermostat multiple times throughout the day based on home usage and outside temperature changes. Simply put, the second option is the best choice according to

Adjusting your thermostat by 8 degrees when you are not at home may save as much as 10% per year on your energy usage. This method is best utilized when paired with a programmable thermostat. 

Space Heaters Use Less Energy

If you live alone in a large space, this one may be true for you, but it takes a little more math to figure out. A well-maintained, energy efficient heating unit may use less energy than multiple cheap space heaters throughout your home. This is especially true if your heater runs on natural gas, as it is typically much less expensive than electricity. 

Smart Thermostats and Energy-Efficient Heating

This one is a little bait-and-switch, but it is still true. Simply replacing your thermostat with a WiFi-enabled or “Smart” thermostat is not enough to start saving you money. To truly maximize your investment, you have to USE your new air handling automation. Setting up your air conditioning schedule can be a daunting process, but will end up saving time and money when done properly.  

If you are looking for more fiscally responsible advice, check out this article Tips to Save Money Heating Your Florida Home.

Energy-Efficient Heating with Gator Air & Energy in Gainesville, FL

When it comes to all your energy-efficient heating needs, we have you covered at Gator Air and Energy! We proudly serve Gainesville, FL area residents. Get in touch with us today to learn more or to schedule our services. 

5 Reasons to Clean Your Dryer Vent

With the holidays approaching, you’re probably busy getting your home ready to entertain friends and family. In addition to cooking, cleaning, and shopping, there’s one more important task to add to your holiday to-do list: Dryer Vent Cleaning.

While there are a lot of great reasons to complete this often-overlooked maintenance item, we’re going to list the top 5 for you, starting with the most important:

1) Safety

While many of us look forward to the cooler fall and winter temperatures here in Gainesville, it’s important to remember that this time of year is also peak season for home fires caused by dirty dryer vents.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • Failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause (34%) of home clothes dryer fires.
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January. 

Why is there an increased risk of dryer fires in the fall and winter? The answer is lint.

Lint is composed of tiny bits of fabric fibers that are shed from the edges of our garments. Fabrics made of natural fibers like cotton and wool generate more lint than fabrics made of rayon or other synthetic materials. As outside temperatures drop, more of us turn to thicker clothing and bedding to keep us warm. The thicker the fabric, the more lint it produces when it is washed. 

When we put our clothes into the wash, the friction of the wash lifts more lint from the cloth where it is deposited on top of the wet garment. When we put that item in the dryer, the water is removed and more lint is created from the friction of the tumbling. Then hot air blows onto the garment, blowing the lint off the garment and trapping it in the lint screen. 

Not all of the lint is trapped, however. In some estimates, the lint trap only captures about 25% of the lint produced in a drying cycle. The majority of the lint produced in a load of laundry ends up in your dryer’s vent as well as underneath and around your dryer. The heat from your dryer is more than sufficient to ignite this material. In fact, dryer lint is so flammable, it is often recommended as a fire-starter by camping enthusiasts!

Once a fire has started in your dryer, it can quickly spread to the rest of your home as this video demonstrates. 

Even if the fire is contained, however, it could short out your electrical system causing expensive electrical repairs and smoke damage. And you’d need a new dryer!

How do you know if it’s time for you to call a licensed professional to clean your dryer vent so you can reduce this risk?

  • It’s been more than a year since your last dryer vent cleaning. (If you use your dryer daily, you should aim to have it cleaned 2-3 times per year.)
  • Your clothes are taking longer to dry.
  • The air temperature in your laundry area is hotter than usual.
  • Your utility bill is rising. (If your laundry room is hotter, this will make your air conditioner work harder.)
  • Your clothes have a musty or burnt odor.
  • You see buildup accumulating in the dryer vent.

Safety is obviously the biggest reason for having your dryer duct cleaned but dryer vent cleaning also provides the following benefits:

2) Increased Efficiency 

If your dryer vent is clogged with lint, your dryer will have to run longer and work longer to dry your clothes. If a load of clothes now takes 2 or 3 cycles to dry, it’s not only using more energy to do the job but it’s also putting a lot of additional heat into your laundry area which is making your air conditioner have to work harder too. Rising utility bills are one sign that it’s time to have your dryer duct cleaned.

3) Longer Life Span of Clothes Dryer

Once a dryer stops working properly because of a buildup of lint in the dryer vent, many owners mistakenly think the dryer needs to be replaced. In reality, a thorough cleaning may be all that’s needed to bring your dryer back to life. If left unchecked, lint buildup can make your dryer work harder and run more cycles than it would normally need in order to dry a load of clothes. That causes unnecessary wear and tear on your dryer’s components and makes it wear out faster. 

4) Elimination of Irritating Allergens and Mold

The role of your dryer is to eliminate all traces of moisture from your clothing. When your dryer vent is clogged, the lingering damp lint trapped inside the vent creates the perfect home for irritating allergens and mold to grow. To make matters worse, the excess humidity lingering in the laundry room as the wet clothes sit can make walls damp and moldy.

5) Reduced Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you have a gas dryer, your dryer vent is responsible for removing dangerous exhaust dryer fumes like carbon monoxide. When the dryer vent is clogged, these colorless, odorless fumes can leach into your home and make your family very sick. 

Cleaning My Dryer Vent Makes a Lot of Sense, But Can’t I Just Do it Myself? 

According to Angie’s List, homeowners who attempt to clean their own dryer vents using a kit or attachment often think that they’ve eliminated any fire risk. Unfortunately, most of these tools do not remove all of the lint in the duct. Even worse, they can compact the link, creating a dangerous blockage. If you have old dryer duct tubing, the bristle brushes on many of these tools can also be damaging. 
At Gator Air & Energy, our service technicians are trained to gently and thoroughly inspect and clean your dryer vents to improve your dryer’s efficiency and ensure your family’s safety and peace of mind. Give us a call today to schedule that overdue inspection and cleaning!

Top 5 Questions about Duct Cleaning

This time of year is the perfect time to address your duct cleaning. It’s something that many people put off, but it can have serious implications on your family’s health. Here, we break down the top five questions we hear from our customers when we stop in for a duct cleaning.

1) What Does a Duct Cleaning Entail?

A duct cleaning involves searching for leaks and then cleaning the ducts. Most professionals have specific tools they use to discover leaks in your system or any other problems associated with your A/C unit or ductwork. Alongside a duct cleaning, we often find other problems with ductwork, and many homeowners would not even know about them until they received a professional inspection.

For a list of what we provide in order to solve these problems and for more information on our services that address ducts, visit our duct cleaning page. We even offer dryer vent cleaning, which is a great way to get rid of a potential fire hazard.

2) When Should I Get My Ducts Cleaned?

The most common answer to this question is: as soon as you notice a problem. That is, if you see mold anywhere near vents, if you notice that some rooms are getting A/C but not others, or if you are feeling less air power and still paying a higher energy bill, then there is probably a good chance that you need to have your ducts inspected.

However, if you don’t have these problems but want to be proactive, the best time to check your ducts is in the spring. Remember, your attic will not be astronomically hot yet in the spring, so reaching your ducts without drowning in the heat will be much easier. Also, as we all know, spring leads into the beginning of summer, and especially here in Florida, summer is when the A/C gets used more than ever, so you will definitely want to make sure your A/C is working at peak capacity.

3) What Good Does Cleaning My Air Ducts Do?

The biggest advantage to cleaning air ducts is cleaner air. Making sure your vents are clean means that the air blowing through them is also clean, and clean air will keep you healthy and less in danger of various respiratory problems. A nice byproduct of clean air ducts is that when they are in good working order, then your A/C does not have to work as hard to keep your house cool.

When your air conditioning is not working so hard, it is burning less energy, and this status is advantageous to both your energy bill and the environment. Additionally, taking the time to clean the air ducts allows the opportunity to check for possible water damage and thereby prevent it or keep it from worsening.

4) How Can I Get My Ducts Cleaned?

Consulting professionals is the easiest and best way to get your air ducts cleaned. By placing the responsibility on professionals, you are ensured the best quality work and the peace of mind that your A/C is performing optimally. Of course, as an added bonus, working with professionals also spares you the hassle of crawling into the attic yourself to inspect every inch of the air ducts before taking them apart and cleaning them out. However, if you still would rather clean them yourself, you might want to see what Bob Vila has to say about this idea first.

5) Which Professionals Should I Work With?

Hopefully, this review of air ducts has deepened your understanding of your air conditioning system unit and encouraged you to make replacing the filters and cleaning the condenser coils (as mentioned in part one) a regular activity in your home. Finally, if you are from the Gainesville area, don’t forget to contact Gator Air and Energy for more information and to set up an appointment for air duct cleaning.

Top 5 Questions About Heat Pumps

As the weather cools down and homeowners are turning on their heaters for the first time in months, they begin to have questions about their systems. To help minimize the stress of researching all things heat-pump related, we are answering 5 commonly asked questions.

If you are using your heat-pump for the first time in a while, but aren’t sure about the safety and functionality, give us a call! Our team of heating and ventilation experts will inspect your system for any possible problems. We also ensure that your system is running efficiently so you can save money and energy during the winter months.

Contact Us Today!

1) Are heat pumps more efficient than furnaces?

primary heat pump outdoors in Gainesville, FL

Yes, especially in Florida! 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.

2) What does “EM heat” on my thermostat mean?

If you do not know what the “EM heat” button on your thermostat means, you are not alone. EM heat stands for emergency heat and should be used sparingly. Pressing the EM heat button will turn on a red indicator light, turn off the primary outdoor heat pump, and exclusively use the secondary indoor heating source.

Homeowners in colder regions typically have to use the EM heat function because snow can pile around the outdoor heat pump and prevent warm air from generating. You should only use this setting when a heat pump is malfunctioning, is damaged, or fails to provide any heat. Because the primary heat pump is turned off, EM heat is significantly less efficient and will increase your heating bill.

3) Why does my heat pump smell like it’s burning?

If it smells like something is burning when you turn on your heat pump for the first time in the winter, do not panic. There are several reasons that can explain the smell. Luckily, most of the reasons are easy to fix!

Dust on the Electric Heater Coil

Homeowners typically do not use their heater during the summer months, resulting in months of dust. When a heat pump is turned on for the first time after prolonged inactivity, the electric heat coil will burn off the dust. The burning smell should dissipate within the next few hours, but if it persists, call a local HVAC professional to inspect your system.

Clogged filter

When was the last time you changed your air filter? Clogged air filters can force your heat pump motor to work harder than usual, resulting in a burning smell. Replace your air filter and see whether the problem resolves itself. If it doesn’t, there may be two more reasons why your heat pump is emitting a burnt smell.

Closed AC vents

When you turn on your heat pump for the first time, make sure that the AC vents are open. Proper airflow allows the hot air to disseminate throughout the home, instead of being trapped within the vents. Closed AC vents can lead to serious problems for your HVAC system, so make sure to open your vents before you turn on your heat pump.

Electrical issue

Electrical issues are uncommon but can also be a source of the burnt smell. You can tell whether you are dealing with an electrical problem if you can detect a hint of sulfur or rotten eggs. This can occur when a heat pump short circuits, has worn electrical connections, has loose screws, or even defective breakers. If this occurs, immediately turn off your heat pump and call an HVAC technician.

4) Why is my heat pump blowing cold air?

Before you call an HVAC technician to inspect your system, ask whether your heat pump is truly blowing cold air or whether you are simply perceiving it. New heat pump owners usually ask this question because they are used to heat furnaces, which blast 130-140 degree air into the home. On the other hand, heat pumps only put out 92-degree air that is cooler than your body temperature, which rests at 97-99 degrees. Because of the discrepancy, it may feel like your heat pump is blowing cold air, when in fact, it is heating the home.

While perception is a common issue, in some cases your heat pump may actually be blowing in cold air. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • A malfunctioning heat pump that is running in AC mode
  • Poor efficiency due to infrequent cleaning and servicing
  • Snow is pressing against the outdoor heat pump
  • This is when you would use the EM heat button
  • Bad compressors
  • Bad valves

If this is the case, call an HVAC professional to fix your heat pump and help you stay warm all winter.

5) When should I service my heat pump?

Don’t wait until something’s broken to service your heat pump. Schedule routine maintenance on your heat pump to increase its 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!

Schedule Heat Pump Maintenance Today!

If you can’t remember when you last serviced your heat pump, it’s probably time to call an HVAC professional. Gator Air & Energy can guarantee that your unit is safe, clean, and efficient for the winter months. Call us at (352) 275-4827 or reach out for a quote for heat pump services in Alachua, Melrose, High Springs, Newberry, and Lake City!

The Importance of Duct Sealing

According to the Department of Energy, one of the best ways to increase energy efficiency is to examine your ductwork. Did you know that duct systems typically lose up to 40% of its heating or cooling energy? Unlike plumbing leaks, duct leaks are very common and often go unnoticed because homeowners cannot see the issue.

The Benefits of Duct Sealing

air duct blaster test

The longer duct leaks go untreated, the worse the consequences are on your health, comfort, and wallet. There are four main benefits of duct sealing, all of which contribute to the enjoyment of your home.

Improved Air Quality

Regularly replacing air filters are one of the most common ways to improve indoor air quality. However, air filters are unable to prevent duct leaks from promoting mold growth and spreading unwanted contaminants like dust, pests, and more. This can aggravate allergies and can even cause respiratory issues. This is particularly important for children, who spend “as much as 90% of their time indoors” and are more vulnerable to developing asthma. By sealing your ducts, you can further improve your indoor air quality and eliminate respiratory risk factors.

More Comfort

Houses offer relief from unbearable weather, especially during hot summers and cold winters. Leaky ducts can disrupt your sanctuary by pulling outside air into the duct system and affecting the indoor temperature. One of the biggest issues in Florida is that the inefficient ducts pull in humid air and overwhelm the dehumidification capacity. As a result, your home may feel more humid and your clothes, belongings, and furniture are susceptible to mildew, mold, and moisture rot as a result. Duct sealing prevents humidity from entering your home, making it more comfortable for you and your family.

Increased Safety

Gas appliances such as water heaters and clothes dryers produce combustion gases, like carbon monoxide. These harmful gases travel through the ventilation system and are released outside, where the threat is neutralized. Duct leaks can create a backdraft that pulls these gases back into the home, making the air more dangerous to breathe. Duct sealing can minimize this risk by ensuring the gas leaves the home instead of lingering inside.

Lowered Utility Bills

Air conditioning accounts for 50-70% of your electricity bill, which makes it important to own an energy efficient system. Leaky ducts can significantly impact utility bills because they require more energy to cool or heat the home. Homeowners can save up to 20-40% by sealing their ducts, resulting in a more efficient system.

What is a Duct Blaster® Test?

A Duct Blaster® test is the most common method for testing duct tightness. The tighter the duct, the less leaks there are. It is a relatively quick process and helps determine whether homeowners need to seal their ducts.

Duct Blaster Air® Test Process:

duct blaster test for leaky air ducts

  1. Cover all the grills and registers to isolate any leakage
  2. Turn air handler fan off
  3. Attach the Duct Blaster® near the furnace or return-air grill
  4. Turn on the Duct Blaster® to pressurize the duct system
  5. Monitor the pressure and airflow gauge to determine efficiency losses

While the Duct Blaster® test is highly effective for determining the precise leakage of your duct, it cannot identify where the leaks are coming from – but theatrical fog machines can! Smoke billows out of any leaks, illustrating exactly where duct sealing is needed.

Schedule a Duct Blaster® Test and Duct Sealing Service Today!

Protect your family, home, and wallet by scheduling a quick test to identify any duct leaks. If any are found, we can seal them to maximize your system’s energy efficiency. At Gator Air & Energy, we are committed to understanding the ductwork of every system we service to properly care for your home. Our HVAC experts are happy to help and just a call away.

Do I Need an HVAC Surge Protector?

An HVAC surge protector isn’t just a gimmick; it is a much-needed safeguard for your HVAC system. Household electronics like laptops, desktop computers, TVs, and even cordless phones can easily be fried by a large power surge, such as a lightning strike. It is likely that you already use at least one household surge protector to save your most important electronics. But what are you doing to protect one of your most expensive electronics: your HVAC unit?

What is an HVAC surge protector?

An HVAC surge protector is installed within your HVAC unit or near it to act as a buffer between the machine that keeps your home comfortable and any unpredictable power surges. Even small surges can cause irreversible damage.

Understanding Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are mainly used for electronics with printed circuit boards, as these can easily be damaged by sudden spikes in voltage. HVAC surge protectors were not common in the past decade because “old HVAC systems had minimal electronic parts and were majorly mechanical in nature.” However, the more modern systems today have a plethora of electronic components that need to be protected.

Understanding Power Surges

Just as there are many causes of power surges, there are also varying degrees of power surges. “Power surge” commonly refers to a sudden, drastic increase in voltage because of lightning strike or outage. But as you just read, even smaller power surges that are less noticeable can still cause damage. Every time the lights in your home flicker or you experience a “brown-out,” that is a minor power surge which causes wear and tear on your unit, damaging it over time.

Why is an HVAC surge protector important?

When most people think power surges, they think lightning and thunderstorms. However, there are many factors that can cause or contribute to a power surge. Power outages, faulty wirings, bad electrical components, downed power lines or lightning can all lead to an unfortunate end for your favorite appliance or electronic, including your HVAC unit.

It prolongs the life of your HVAC unit.

Whatever the cause, a large power surge can cause your unit to stop working immediately. Smaller surges that don’t knock your unit out of commission are still doing damage. These hidden damages might lead to premature failure of your entire system.

Newer models are especially susceptible to power surges, both major and minor because the parts of the unit that are affected (i.e. printed circuit boards) are extremely expensive to repair. So much so that it is more cost-effective to simply replace your unit as a whole.

Not sure if your HVAC unit already has a surge protector installed? Give us a call and we can help!

It saves you money.

Did you know that power disturbances cost homeowners a whopping $79 billion each year? No one looks forward to replacing their HVAC unit. Buying an HVAC surge protector might not be an expense you’ve budgeted for but it could end up saving you the cost of a whole new unit.

Right now, Gator Air & Energy is offering a storm special of $80 off HVAC surge protector installations for a limited time. There are still three more months of hurricane season to get through, and even heavy thunderstorms put your unit at risk! We recommend having your unit protected as soon as possible.

Get an HVAC Surge Protector Today

There has never been a more crucial time to protect your home and your AC unit. To make sure your family stays comfortable in the event of a power surge or lightning strike, give us a call about your HVAC surge protector options. Our experienced team is always happy to help!