Archive for the ‘News & Updates’ Category

How to Properly Take Care of Your Ductwork – Part 1 of 2

The Preventative Measures That Keep Your Air Ducts In Peak Condition

Isn’t it every Floridian’s dream to breathe clean air within their mold-free home? If so, then Gator Air and Energy can help you turn your dream into a reality by revealing some simple ways in which you can do just that! By taking care of your ductwork, you can ensure that your air conditioning is operating to its full potential year round, so take advantage of our practical advice by incorporating these preventative practices into your regular home care routine.

Preventative Measures for Clean Air Ducts

Check Your Air Filter

Air filters are supposed to be replaced about four times a year, if not more. Dirty filters allow dirty air to flow through your house, so your air ducts will be filthy. While this occurrence usually doesn’t cause mold, it is still safer to maintain this habit as well as possible because dirty air can have unhealthy effects on you and those around you. Dirty air can trigger allergies, but clean air can help you, your family, and your coworkers avoid allergy issues and other respiratory problems.

Keep Your Condenser Coil Clean

What is the condenser coil? Technically, it converts gas to liquid, includes a refrigerant, and when air is blown over the top of it, it converts it to a cooler temperature. Essentially, the condenser coil is what makes your air conditioning cold. Unfortunately, if the coil or the fan is dirty, the air blowing over it can get restricted. From there, the air blows too cold and creates a lot of condensation. With all that water comes mold and of course, water damage. Both of these are dangerous for your house. Stagnant water not only erodes its surroundings, but it can also be breeding grounds for various insects, according to the World Health Organization.

Monitor Your Energy Bill

If you notice that you are consistently spending a lot more money for the same amount of air conditioning usage each month, then there might be a problem with your air ducts. Even if you can’t see mold, or the air conditioning doesn’t seem to be spotty, a problem such as a leak or a closed air duct valve could still exist. Therefore, it is definitely a good idea to have your air ducts inspected, just in case.

More Advice to Come

Those are the three best preventative practices to prevent you from having to deal with poor ductwork. These practices can save you money on your energy bill and keep the air in your home clean and cold.

However, if you already see mold around your vents or are experiencing erratic air conditioning, then stay tuned for part two of “How to Properly Take Care of Your Ductwork”, in which you can read about the importance of duct dnspections and duct cleanings. In the meantime, however, please contact us with questions or look up our services here.

Is Your Restaurant at Risk? The Importance of Keeping Restaurant Air Ducts Clean

Maintain safety for the customers, employees, and food of your restaurant by cleaning out the air conditioning ducts

If you own a restaurant, you should have your air conditioning ducts cleaned several times per year to make sure that your air is clean and safe for both your employees and your customers. According to TheRestaurantGuide.com, having dirty air ducts in a restaurant can be everything from a food contaminator to a fire hazard. Therefore, Gator Air and Energy has taken the time to answer many questions about why restaurant owners will want to upkeep their air ducts.

What Are the Specific Dangers of Dirty Ducts?

Here are some of the more common dangers of not cleaning one’s restaurant ductwork often enough:

  1.   Fire

  • Fires can be caused by a buildup of grease in the ductwork or ventilation hoods
  • Poorly cleaned hoods cause 21% of all fires
  1.   Bacteria such as e. coli and salmonella

  • These bacteria appear if the meat is not fully cooked
  • Bacteria can lead to irregular heating
  1.   Overheating Kitchen

  • An overheated kitchen leads to faster food spoilage, mold, and other bacteria

 

Dirty air ducts in a restaurant can be everything from a food contaminator to a fire hazard.

How Often Should You Clean the Ducts?

The best way to ensure safety in your kitchen is to set up a regular cleaning schedule. Train your employees to clean only what they can reach, and make sure that cleaning moves through a weekly schedule at least. Setting up a schedule of regular duct cleanings with professionals is also necessary. No matter who you choose to work with for your duct cleanings, just remember that a restaurant will need a thorough duct cleaning anywhere from once a year to four times a year depending on its output. HoodCleaningConsultant.com has more specific standards for how often per year your company should have the ducts cleaned.

How Can You Clean the Ducts?

As mentioned before, you need to hire a professional to clean your ducts once a year at the very least, depending on what you cook. However, you can do some of the work yourself. Remember to clean only what is within safe reach of your employees, and do not try clean out everything without the help of a professional. For instance, don’t try to clean the inside of the ducts, but work on the ventilation hood, and replace filters, etc. It’s recommended that you clean out your kitchen as much as you possibly can.

Keep Up With The Competition

As you may well know, today’s restaurant business is extremely competitive, and cleanliness is more important now than ever. Maintaining the cleanliness of your ducts is not only a necessary health practice to follow, but it is also essential to staying in competition with other restaurants and just staying in business in general.

If you are a local Gainesville restaurant and you would like to contact professionals to clean your ducts, please contact us. For more information on duct cleaning, click here.

Improve Your Air Quality: How to Eliminate Dander and Pet Odor in Your Veterinary Clinic

How the simple and often forgotten task of installing UV Lighting in your HVAC system can improve the indoor air quality of your veterinary office

Indoor air quality is incredibly important for any business, but especially so for veterinary clinics. Furthermore, ultraviolet lighting is an extremely effective way to rid your indoor air of potentially dangerous bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses. Consequently, a potentially unknown or often overlooked quality of UV lighting is that it can remove dander and unpleasant odors for indoor air. Therefore, if you work in a veterinary office or a building plagued with pet dander, hair, and odor, keep reading to learn more about what installing UV lighting into your HVAC system can do to purify your air.

Ultraviolet lighting is an extremely effective way to rid your indoor air of potentially dangerous bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses

What is Ultraviolet Light?

Ultraviolet light is radiation that is invisible to the human eye. It is a natural emission from the sun that causes suntans and sunburns. More importantly, ultraviolet light helps clean up some of the bacteria in the atmosphere.

Why Does Ultraviolet Light Matter?

Updated building techniques now keep new buildings more insulated, and this added insulation lowers the indoor air quality because it prevents the natural antibiotics from the sun from reaching the indoor air and helping to remove any bacteria. This situation combined with ultraviolet light’s ability to purify air means that ultraviolet extensions on your A/C units can definitely assist in maintaining the cleanliness of your clinic.

Why Do Veterinary Clinics Need Ultraviolet Light?

While every business would benefit from pristine indoor air, improved indoor air quality is particularly critical for any healthcare facility, especially one that caters to animals. As mentioned before, UV lights can purge your air of dander, odors, and bacteria. In a building bustling with animals of all shapes and sizes, having a ultraviolet light purifier installed in your HVAC system can not only improve your air quality, but also can work as a natural odor neutralizer.

What are the Benefits of Ultraviolet Light?

Ultraviolet lighting is very beneficial, as a single UV light is:

  • Able to cleanse the air of dander
  • Able to cleanse the air of bacteria, mold, and viruses
  • Able to deodorize the air
  • Generally not expensive to add to your current HVAC system
  • Environmentally efficient
  • Energy efficient

How Can You Secure an Ultraviolet Light?

Thankfully, adding an ultraviolet light to your HVAC system is pretty simple to do. Just call your local HVAC contractor and see if they have the capability to install one. If you need any more reason to install ultraviolet lights, know that they are a green choice due to their minimal energy consumption, and this quality also means that they will not add much to your annual expenses. Even more good news for those looking for UV lights in the Gainesville area is that not only can Gator Air and Energy install UV lights in your system, but we can also replace them on our annual checkups. Contact us today or visit our page to learn more about UV light installation.

What Are Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems?

A quick review of the pros and cons of mini-split A/C units to help you decide whether you should be using them for your home

Here in Gainesville, Florida, we understand the necessity for air conditioning. With a large portion of our population using A/C almost year round, the usefulness of a properly working HVAC system is clear. However, if you have not yet installed a traditional air conditioning system in your house or would like to know about other air conditioning options for your space, consider a new cooling system: mini-split air conditioning.

What Is Mini-Split Air Conditioning?

Mini-split air conditioning systems are a great way to get rid of bulky ducts and evaporator units and replace them with slim copper pipes filled with refrigerant. The pipes originate from the outdoor condenser unit and enter the house through a three-inch wide hole in the wall. On the other end of the pipes are air vent units that convert the refrigerant into crisp, cool air for every room in which they are located.

Why Install Mini-Split Air Conditioning?

The Pros of Mini-Splits:

Size

Due to their size, mini-splits are great for small houses or houses with little space in the attic or basement. Because they utilize small copper pipes instead of ductwork, they can fit through essentially any space to supply hard-to-reach rooms with conditioned air. Even if you are not going to use mini-splits to cool your entire house, they are still perfect to use for just one room or section of the house that you may not be able to otherwise reach with a normal A/C unit.

Energy Savings

Ductwork is notorious for leaking because it’s typically only square fiberglass-lined sheet metal, which is not ideal for holding in air. On the contrary, the tubular copper pipe is not only the right shape for holding in refrigerant, but it is also a better container for sealing in the refrigerant. Consequently, mini-split systems are stellar for saving money and energy!

Control

With a mini-split system, you need to have units that blow the cold air because this system does not blowing air through ductwork: it streams refrigerant through pipes. Therefore, the nature of the system necessitates a unit in each room to which the pipes are running. Having a unit in each room enables customized air conditioning control in each room as well. Typically, mini-split units are smaller than the average window A/C unit, and they are also much more convenient because their compact presence in each room allows you to adjust each room’s temperature. The temperature in each room can be different, or the whole house can be set to the same temperature. Finally, the manageable duct units can be displayed on the wall of the room, or they can be concealed in the ceiling behind a vent in the attic so that they do not take up any space in the room.

The Cons of Mini-Splits:

Price

Unfortunately, mini-split systems are typically 20-30% more expensive than an average HVAC system. However, prospective buyers must remember that mini-split systems save energy that would otherwise be lost through regular ductwork, so while homeowners are making a larger investment, they are also saving more money over time. You are also working with a more convenient system: it can reach any room in your house, and you can control the temperature of each room.

Size of the System

Make sure that you get the right size system for your house. If your system is too small, it will not be able to work for the whole house, and it will burn too much energy. However, if your system is too big, then you will overpay for the unit and waste money.

Who Should You Talk to About Mini-Splits?

As buying a correctly sized system is very important, you should contact your local HVAC supplier to confirm whether or not they work with mini-split systems. If you are interested in installing mini-splits in your house, click here for more information on mini-splits and here to contact a professional who would be more than happy to provide you with an extremely energy efficient mini-split air conditioning system.

Does HVAC Play a Part in Education? The Answers to What Affects the Learning Process

Are there outside forces that affect focus and learning for kids in school? Here are a few points on what role HVAC plays in schools and their students’ learning capabilities

If you are a teacher, you are probably well aware of what students in today’s classes have to endure. Middle school drama, difficult tests, and extracurricular activities can certainly play a role in the distraction of students, as they have for decades. However, is there something else that could be inhibiting the learning process for students? Studies show that a lot more than what we may expect can affect the ability of students to focus on their schoolwork.

Temperature is Crucial to Focus

The role that a room’s temperature plays is critical to the average student’s focus. Studies from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) show that a room at too high or too low of temperature can alter test scores for students. This organization conducted a study that had students of the same age and comprehension level take exams in rooms with varying temperatures. Students in the two rooms that averaged a low and a high temperature respectively had lower scores than those in the room that maintained a more moderate temperature.

Why?

When we are in the cold, our body is focusing on staying warm. Therefore, by using a lot of energy to stay warm, our body is distracted from concentrating, and this distraction keeps students from being able to pinpoint their focus on what they are learning.

To a point, hotter temperatures are generally better for classrooms. General optimism is proven to increase when the temperature get warmer, and our bodies do not have to work as hard to stay comfortable. However, hot temperatures cause sweat, drowsiness, and of course, discomfort. All of these impact concentration and most likely played a role in the CEFPI’s study when the students were taking exams.

The best option is to find a happy medium, generally somewhere between 70-73°.

Sunlight is Crucial to Consciousness

One interesting tidbit to add to the temperature situation is that natural light also helps people focus and stay positive much longer and more efficiently than artificial lights. Unfortunately, some classrooms today are shrouded by thick walls and very little natural light. While sunlight can induce daydreaming, it can also encourage students to stay awake longer and pay more attention to the work in front of them. If possible, open up a window or two in your classroom so that both you and your students can focus better, and hopefully, their grades will improve as a result.

Gator Air and Energy is Necessary for A/C

Those are two very good ways to help students focus harder, but the rest is up to you. However, if you need help with your school’s HVAC system, please feel free to contact us at Gator Air and Energy, or find out more about the many services we offer!

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