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Archive for the ‘Gainesville AC Repair Tips’ Category

5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade To a Smart Thermostat

At Gator Air & Energy, we do all that we can to help our customers in Gainesville save money and energy. A thermostat is an essential piece of your air conditioning system, and yet it is often overlooked. If you haven’t changed your thermostat in a few years, you may be losing money and energy by using an outdated thermostat. Thermostats made even 5 years ago aren’t as efficient at keeping your system running as the modern thermostats of today.

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5 Signs Your HVAC Unit is Wasting Money

At Gator Air & Energy, our focus is to save the residents of Gainesville and North Central Florida energy and money. With over 70 years of combined experience in the industry, and after performing a wide range of HVAC unit repair services, we have some advice on how to tell if your HVAC system isn’t running at its best.

If you’re experiencing any of the signs listed below, we can help. Our team of experienced and friendly technicians is equipped with the tools and knowledge to help you save money and energy with our wide range of HVAC services.

1) Ductwork is Rattling

home heated unevenlyThe first sign that you could be losing money through your HVAC system is that you can hear your ductwork rattling when the air kicks on. If you hear a rattling sound, that might indicate that there are leaks in your ducts, and where there are leaks there is money lost. Our professional duct sealing service solves this problem, repairing and sealing your ducts so there is no air escaping where you don’t need it.

2) Temperature Fluctuation

If you notice a measurable difference in temperature between rooms in your home, that is a sign that your HVAC system isn’t working efficiently. This problem stems from one main cause: there is insufficient airflow in your home. One cause may be that your ductwork is too small, making your system work harder to move air throughout your home. Other factors include how far away the room is from the unit, leaky ducts, poor insulation, and factors in the room itself (such as windows).

3) Humidity

Humidity is a big problem for homeowners in Gainesville, and if you notice that the humidity is still high even with the HVAC system running, you are probably losing money. There are many reasons for this, but essentially your unit isn’t the right size or capacity for the needs of your home. It’s important to have an HVAC professional install an air conditioning unit that is custom ordered for your home to avoid this problem.

4) High Energy Bills

If the total on your latest energy bill gave you heart palpitations, then you are likely losing money through your HVAC system. Often, we see this problem stem from old air conditioners. According to Energy.gov, even if your air conditioner is only 10 years old, you could save 20% – 40% of your heating and cooling costs by replacing it with a newer model. At Gator Air & Energy, we specialize in installing energy-efficient HVAC units for your home, that are perfectly zoned for your space and comfort.

5) No Insulation

Insulation matters, and if your home isn’t properly fitted with insulation in the essential spaces of your home, you’re definitely losing money. Without proper insulation, the air that your HVAC unit works so hard to heat or cool escapes quickly. Lack of insulation causes your system to push harder to heat and cool your home, which is not only inefficient but causes earlier breakdowns in your system.

Call Gator Air & Energy to Improve Your HVAC System

The HVAC system in your home is more than just your unit, it is composed of all the elements in your home where air flows. At Gator Air & Energy, we take our time to perform a whole home assessment before recommending an HVAC unit for your home. We make sure you have the right unit for your space, and that it works as efficiently as possible to save you the most money.

Our HVAC maintenance also helps to save money, as we inspect the aspects of the system that aren’t running efficiently, and perform tune-ups on coils and pans.

Call us today to schedule your HVAC installation or service!

Pre-Winter Checklist: What to Check With Your Heater

We may live in the Sunshine State, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to prepare for the winter season. Of all the cities in Florida, Gainesville is particularly likely to get very cold, due to its northern and inland location. With winter quickly approaching, it’s important to make sure your home is ready. Therefore, we’ve compiled a checklist of items to inspect with your heater and your house to ensure you will be comfortable throughout the winter months.

Gator Air & Energy’s Pre-Winter Heater Checklist

✓ Make Sure Your Heater Works

Since most Floridians don’t need to use their heater for a majority of the year, it’s important to make sure that your heater still turns on and churns out some heat. In order to not be too uncomfortable while testing your heater, turn on the heat after you get back home from work when it’s not so hot outside. Keep it running for 15 minutes or more to make sure that it’s still running effectively and blowing out heat. If it isn’t turning on, smells weird, or isn’t very hot, it could be due to one of the underlying problems explained below.

✓ Check Your Duct Sealing

Leaky ducts can lead to wasted heat, and wasted heat leads to wasted money. Because the holes in your air ducts are leaking into your attic instead of holding in heat and distributing it throughout your house, you’ll be paying to heat up your attic! A tell-tale sign of leaky ductwork is finding that you really have to turn up the heat just to get your house warm. You’ll also probably have a high electric bill, due to the cost of wasted heat energy. Thankfully, Gator Air & Energy offers Duct Sealing Services, where our inspectors patch and seal off holey ducts! Getting those checked and sealed before the winter will ensure a cozy house, despite the chilly weather.

✓ Make Sure Your Ducts Are Clean

Similar to holey ducts, dirty ducts also cause heating problems. As time goes on, ductwork can easily become dusty or dirty, especially if it’s left unchecked. When you start using the heater in the winter, the hot air combined with dust can become a fire hazard. The only way to ensure your ducts are clean is to have them regularly checked. However, the danger of dirty ducts can all be prevented with a duct cleaning, which can be performed by a Gator Air & Energy professional.

✓ Have Your Furnace Burner Checked

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. This should be looked at by a professional, and a complete heater inspection from an HVAC professional can easily assess and clean out any issues there might be.

✓ Check For Carbon Monoxide

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 to the point where it traps some of the fumes in the house. Amongst those fumes is carbon monoxide. Even if you don’t have a chimney, the furnace burner, electrical wiring, mechanical controls, and more can be potential causes of carbon monoxide.

This colorless, odorless gas is impossible to detect with human senses, so a carbon monoxide test is very important leading into the winter months. Basically, the inspector can ensure that your house is clean of carbon monoxide using specific instruments, and they can help prevent future issues by finding areas where the gas might get trapped in heating the house.

✓ Replace and Maintain Your Air Filter

Dirty air filters can cause dander, germs, and dirt to get transferred throughout the house when they’re not replaced. Replacing your air filter is a quick and easy task, as most air filters have a specific size that can then be bought at a home improvement retailer for a reasonable price. Just removing your vents and replacing them with a clean, new filter will allow for better airflow, cleaner air, and a fresher environment.

✓ Prevent Allergy Season With UV

Airborne germs can collect in your ductwork and then get distributed throughout the house, worsening allergies, causing lung problems, and more. In the winter, when allergies are typically stronger, immune systems can use all the help they can get! Therefore, installing UV lights in your A/C system can help kill any germs hiding in ductwork or coils. These lights can be easily installed by professionals during an inspection.

Contact Gator Air & Energy For a Heater Inspection

Our professional team knows exactly what to do to prepare your home or office for cold weather. With services like duct cleaning, sealing, UV installation, carbon monoxide tests, and more, we can ensure that you are ready to heat your house all winter. Contact us today for a consultation!

How to Protect Your Outdoor Condenser

In Gainesville, FL, there is a host of outdoor elements that your condenser is exposed to on a daily basis. Animals, debris, extreme heat, and flooding can all cause damage to your outdoor unit, but there are ways to protect your investment from Mother Nature. At Gator Air & Energy, we want to help you keep your air conditioner running as long as possible, so we have some advice on how to prevent damage to your outdoor condenser.

At Gator Air & Energy, we want to help you keep your air conditioner running as long as possible.

Protecting Your Condenser from Animals

dead snake inside a condenser Gator Air & Energy Gainesville FL

The animals in Gainesville are adorable, but can also wreak havoc on your outdoor condenser. The tiny lizards (known as anoles), snakes, raccoons, squirrels, birds, and even pets can cause physical damage to your unit.

Particularly, animals can cause damage to your condenser fan motor and capacitor. Snakes, for example, like to curl up inside the condenser when it is off. But when it turns back on, it’s bad news for the snake and bad news for your air conditioner!

Use a Pest Repellent

One way to prevent animals from harming your outdoor condenser is to spray pest repellent around the unit. Commercial pest repellents are found at most hardware or outdoor stores, as well as online. They use a scent that most pests will find unattractive. Spray the pest repellant evenly around the unit and it should help keep the pests away.

Clean the Area Around the Condenser Regularly

If animals urinate around the unit, it can attract other animals to the area. Spray down the area around your condenser unit with water regularly to ensure that no other animals come around.

Protecting Your Condenser from Leaves & Debris

Leaves, pollen, branches, and other debris can get caught in your outdoor condenser. This debris not only harms the fan of the unit but if enough debris is sucked through the system, it can drastically reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency. As part of AC maintenance service, we clean your unit and ensure that your unit is free of debris.

Use a Condenser Cover

Once you have cleaned the outdoor condenser, you can use a condenser cover to protect the unit. These covers are made of a thin sheet of fabric that allows the unit to take air in, but also prevents debris from getting in the unit.

Use a Year-Round Exterior Filter

Another option is to use a year-round exterior condenser filter. This option is typically made of a thin mesh of metal and protects the unit from larger debris. You can find these filters at any major home improvement store as well as online.

Protecting Your Condenser from Extreme Heat

Extreme heat takes a toll on your air conditioner on all fronts, but the outdoor condenser unit is especially vulnerable. There are a few things you can try to keep your unit from over-heating, but it’s important to note that these methods are only necessary if the temperatures rise above 120℉. Air conditioners are able to withstand high temperatures in normal operation, even for the high temperatures in Gainesville.

Use a Mister

In extreme heat, you can use a water mister to cool the unit down from the outside. However, this is only a strategy for extreme heat and shouldn’t be used on a regular basis. Prolonged exposure to misty water can rust components of the unit.

Check Your Ducts

If air is escaping anywhere in your air conditioning system, then it will affect how efficiently your condenser runs. Our duct sealing service ensures that your system is working as intended, which will help your outdoor condenser function, even in extreme heat.

Protecting Your Condenser from Flooding

A typical rainfall, even the downpours we experience here in Gainesville, won’t damage your outdoor condenser. Condensers are built to withstand even the heaviest downpours, and the components in the unit are well protected with plastic and are water-repellent.

However, flooding is a different story. If your unit gets submerged in water, it can not only cause damage to the unit but can also pose a serious safety concern.

Immediately Turn Off Electrical Power

If you notice that your outdoor condenser is flooded, immediately turn off any electrical power going to the unit. The circuit breaker in your home should have a switch labeled for the condenser. Leave your condenser off until you have a qualified HVAC professional inspect the unit.

Get Rid of Standing Water

If you can, get rid of any standing water around your unit. You can use a shovel to create a makeshift drain to carry water safely away from your unit. Also, remove any debris that you see that may have settled around your condenser as a result of the flooding.

Contact Gator Air & Energy for AC Repair and Maintenance

If you have experienced any of the problems listed above, we can help you repair your outdoor condenser and get it back to running efficiently as quickly as possible. Also, we recommend regular AC maintenance service is performed on your unit every 6 months. During our service, we inspect, clean, and tune-up the outdoor condenser to make sure it works properly.

Call us today and let our experts help you keep your condenser running at its best!

Things to Consider Before You Buy a New Air Conditioner

Purchasing a new air conditioner can be an exhausting period for practically any homeowner. Although you may not be an expert on HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning), this article is designed to show you the correct steps to take when considering a new air conditioner for your home. Here at Gator Air & Energy, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with truthful, smart, and accurate help when choosing a new AC unit.

Do You Really Need a New AC Unit?

Replacing your current unit can be expensive, and even sometimes unnecessary situation for many people. Often, we find that a unit still has plenty life left. As far as AC units go, the average life expectancy is between 10-15 years. If your unit is between 10-15 years old and begins to act up this might be a good time to explore diving into purchasing a new unit.

Just like a car, motorcycle, and even that boat you love to take out on the weekends, your AC unit can more than likely be repaired despite its age. However, at some point, you can run into the problem of constant repairs, which will eventually begin to waste your money on nonstop expenses.

Calculate the Age

A great tip to think about when deciding if it’s time for a new unit is if the cost of repair, multiplied by the age of your unit, is more than the cost of a new unit.

(Cost of Repair) X (Age of Old AC Unit in Years) > (Cost of Your New AC)

For Example:

Cost of repair: $450.00
Age of Unit: 15 years
Price of new unit: $5,450.00 (with installation)

($450.00) X (15) = $6,750.00

$6,750.00 > $5,450.00 = Time for a new AC unit.

Keep in mind that every situation is different and things could differ from one another.

To talk to an expert, and find out if it’s time for a new AC unit, give us a call to speak with one of our highly qualified professionals.

Consider the Size of Your Home

Another great tip to think about before you buy a new unit is the size of your home. Did you know that having an AC unit too big for your home can cause your cooling system problems? The size of your house plays a vital role and having the wrong sized unit can lead to many problems for your AC unit including increased initial cost, higher monthly utility bills, unwanted service and maintenance charges, and may even take time off the life of your unit.

Calculate The Load of Your Home

A great key to finding out which unit you need is knowing the load of your home. Calculating the load of a home involves a professional and thorough inspection of one’s household. The findings will determine exactly how much cooling a home will truly need each and every hour as well as break down every room’s cooling needs.

Load Calculations take in multiple variables including:

  • Climate and location
  • Ceiling height
  • Type / Number of windows
  • How many people live in the home
  • Insulation in the home

As part of our energy-efficient AC services, we will perform a complete home evaluation before our service, which include home load calculation.

At Gator Air & Energy our professional employees we will make sure your house has the exact an appropriate AC unit in your home. Contact us today!

Consider the Air Conditioner Warranty

Having a good warranty is an essential key when choosing a new air conditioner. Having a good warranty shows that a company is willing to back its product which is a reassurance for you and your home.
Some key points to know about your warranty would be:

  • Warranty Terms
  • Warranty on Parts
  • Extended Warranty
  • Installation Warranty

At Gator Air & Energy we Specialize and are certified in Trane products. Trane is one of the leaders in HVAC companies and offers great warranty packages. To find out more about Trane warranty and all of our products give us a call.

Let Gator Air & Energy Help You Find the Right Air Conditioner

Are you ready for a new AC unit or tired of your AC not running how you want it to? If you’re in the North Central Florida area and think you might need a new unit, give us a call at Gator Air & Energy. Our professional technicians can help you find an awesome fit for exactly what your home needs to have it running perfectly.

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. It can also 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 home humidity 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, contact 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 result, 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 work 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…)

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