Time to Clean Out Your Refrigerators

Americans, did you know that November is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Month? Cleaning out a refrigerator is a great way to create space before packing in extra foods and beverages for the holidays. More importantly, regular cleanings are critical tasks to ensure food safety and operational efficiency at your homes and businesses.  

Commercial Refrigeration: Cleanings and Maintenance

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air helps businesses, stores, restaurants, and kitchen facilities with cleanings and maintenance for your commercial refrigeration systems. We strive to support the efficiency and longevity of refrigerators, coolers, freezers, ice machines, soft serve machines, slush machines, and other commercial refrigeration systems.

Importantly, we invite businesses around Ocala, The Villages, and North Central Florida to ask us about preventative maintenance plans to ensure deep cleanings are completed at the correct intervals. This could include refrigerant level checks, fan and compressor inspections, gasket checks, hinge securing, drain clearings, and repairs.

Here is a to-do list and general advice for cleaning refrigeration systems:

  1. To be proactive and thorough, create a cleaning policy for your in-house team to perform daily checks of refrigeration systems. The checklist may include temperature, overall cleanliness (such as bin or ice-scoop cleanings), food cycling, and operational efficiency.
  2. To be consistent in cleanings, determine weekly and monthly schedules for different types of cleanings depending on usage and according to the operational manuals.
  3. To prepare for a deep clean, shut down power or unplug the system and empty the shelves. When clearing out the refrigerator, be sure to throw away any expired food or products with mold. Notably, a deep clean is best done when inventory is low, which is why it is suggested to be done before big holidays or before the arrival of new inventory.
  4. To complete an interior disinfection, you will want to clean every inch and prevent food contamination. This could include sanitizing shelves, bins, and all parts. You may wipe down certain areas with warm soapy water, but some parts may need a stringent scrubbing or disinfectants to remove odors, eliminate bacteria, and prevent build-up.
  5. To boost efficiency, cleaning protocols also include the exterior. This may include vacuuming coils as well as underneath, behind, on top of, and around the refrigeration system. Be sure to enlist the help of United’s professionals for comprehensive cleaning and clearing of drain lines, fans, water hoses, and other vital components.

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air offers full maintenance plans for brands and models like True, Beverage Air, Blue Air, Master-Bilt, and Traulsen. We are also a service and warranty contractor for commercial ice machines, such as Scotsman, Manitowoc, Hoshizaki, and more.

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air’s team has provided speedy services for over 30 years. Call 352-629-1187 for new installations, system maintenance, cleanings, and repairs.

6 Solutions for Filtering Out Spring Allergens

Allergens float around North Central Florida homes and businesses on a year-round basis. Spring, however, seems to be the worst time of year for allergy sufferers.  Blooming flowers, thriving trees, and plants coming back to life, ultimately, produce countless spring allergens.  Fortunately, there are some indoor solutions for filtering allergens.

Allergen Prevention, HVAC Protection, and Air Purification
United Refrigeration, Heating and Air offers residential and commercial customers these expert tips for allergen prevention, HVAC protection, and air purification. 

  1. Start Outside to Prevent a Pollen Invasion:  The first step to reducing indoor allergens is to prevent them from entering your homes and businesses. Trimming trees and plants that produce pollen will help reduce allergens around your property.  Also, lawn care, disposing of fallen leaves, and clearing walkways will reduce the debris and particles creeping indoors.

  2. Ramp Up Spring-Cleaning Efforts: Due to high pollen counts and increased foliage, spring is an important time of year for dusting, vacuuming, and mopping.  Foot-traffic brings in a great deal of debris, which increases allergens. Homeowners may initiate a no-shoe policy, while businessowners may want to increase vacuum cleaning and entrance mat washing.

  3. Close Windows and Create a Tight Seal:  Be sure to keep windows closed, which will prevent airborne particles and pollen from entering your homes and businesses.  Poor quality indoor air can worsen health conditions like allergies or asthma. A tight seal for clean, circulating air will allow your HVAC systems to help filter allergens out of the air. Likewise, be sure to not leave doors open for extended periods of time.

  4. Change Your AC Filter Every Month: Limit pollutants like dust, debris, dander, and other allergens by changing your HVAC filters every month, or more frequently depending on usage and your system. A clean air filter with a high MERV ranking will go a long way in helping you reduce airborne allergens in your homes and businesses.  

  5. Invest in An Air Purification System: For the ultimate air purification solution, homes and businesses are choosing to install air purifying technologies.  For example, Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) is a highly effective, no-maintenance, air purifying solution to reduce airborne particles, allergens, viruses, bacteria, and mold.  Additionally, United’s experts specialize in installing REME HALO® Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifiers, which also reduces odors, pollutants, particulates, microbials, and gases in indoor air.

  6. Breathe Easier with Preventive HVAC Maintenance: An efficient HVAC system can help maintain proper temperatures and humidity levels, all while filtering allergens from the air. Scheduling your next HVAC check-up with United’s professionals will ensure your systems are running efficiently and will help reduce the pollen and allergens in your indoor air.

United’s experts are available to provide more information about HVAC system efficiency and air purification solutions at your Florida home or business. Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air today at 352-629-1187 today.

Go Green for Energy Savings this March

Energy Savings With Your HVAC

Nearly half of energy costs often go to heating and cooling, but homeowners and business owners across North Central Florida could find their pot of gold this March by going green for energy savings. The team at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air is recommending cost-effective solutions for improving HVAC efficiency for our residential and commercial customers around Ocala, The Villages, and surrounding areas.

6 Savvy Tips for Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

Florida’s mild spring temperatures provide excellent conditions for updating to high-efficiency HVAC systems, reducing energy consumption, and lowering electricity costs. Here are tips:

1.) Go Green by Keeping it Clean: Filthy filters, dirty ductwork, or corroded parts can cause systems to run harder than necessary, thus, wasting precious energy. Maintain clean systems and filters for unobstructed airflow. Remember, your HVAC systems are responsible for filtering millions of particles like dust, dander, pet hair, and other allergens in the air you breath.   

2.) Improve Insulation to Reduce Waste: Poor insulation is one of the main culprits of cool air escaping your home. For example, cracks and gaps in window seals could mean dollars flying out the window. Even worse, your systems will overrun to compensate the loss. Reduce energy waste by upgrading your windows, weather-proofing doors, updating roofs, and insulating walls and attics to prevent air loss and to protect the longevity of your HVAC systems. 

3) Complete Eco-Friendly Updates: Complete projects to naturally protect your air-conditioned spaces from Florida’s blazing sunbeams.  For example, choose light-colored or reflective roofing materials when updating your roof. Also, consider adding awnings or overhangs over windows to prevent direct sunlight from overheating your home. More simply, add some greenery to save some green, such as a tall bush or palm outside a first-floor window to provide natural shade. 

5) Schedule Professional Maintenance:  Regular cleanings and evaluations to identify problems before they start will help prevent your system from overrunning and breaking down. Preventative maintenance mitigates risks and prevents energy waste. From capacitors to coils, United’s technicians strive to extend the life of each HVAC system. You can also trust United’s experts to advise when the cost for repairing an aging system is no longer in your best interest.

6) Upgrade to a New HVAC System: Updating to an energy-efficient HVAC system is often the key to money-saving success. In addition to being a RUUD Pro Partner, United’s team installs and services top-quality systems with strong warranties, including American Standard, Goodman, Trane, Carrier, Lennox, York, and others. A new HVAC installation could help improve cooling efficiency, reduce your energy bills, and potentially provide a Tax Credit worth hundreds of dollars.

Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air today at 352-629-1187 to speak with one of our experienced professionals about your options for maintaining, repairing, replacing, or upgrading your HVAC system.

Seasonal Upkeep for Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Commercial refrigeration systems endure plenty of wear and tear throughout the year.  The holiday season, however, can put an even greater strain on your walk-in coolers, freezers, and other vital equipment.

From storing seasonal turkeys to stocking holiday brews, businesses rely on refrigeration systems to safely store foods and beverages. To protect valuable inventory and systems, businesses across Ocala, The Villages, and North Central Florida trust United Refrigeration, Heating and Air for preventative maintenance, full-service repairs, and new installations. 

Preventative Maintenance and Rapid Repairs
United’s technicians offer prompt service to keep restaurants, kitchen facilities, stores, and other businesses up and running.  Our team understands the importance of limiting downtime, which is why preventative maintenance is highly recommended to mitigate risks.

During the busy holidays, for example, businesses may find their walk-in cooler doors getting extra wear and tear.  Maintenance check-ups for door hardware and gaskets, as well as cleaning of condenser coils and other components, could help you avoid problems before they start. In addition to coolers and freezers, United provides cleaning, maintenance, and repairs for ice machines, soft serve machines, slush machines, and other refrigeration systems. 

When to Repair or Replace Refrigeration Systems
No one wants to experience a breakdown during the holidays, which is why a scheduled replacement could be key to surviving the season. The first step is scheduling a professional inspection to evaluate the current condition and determine if a repair or replacement is more cost effective for your business. Consider these reasons for replacing refrigeration systems:

  1. Lower Electricity Costs: Old and inefficient refrigeration systems could be overrunning and wasting energy, which increases your electric bills. If your unit is 15+ years old or no longer effective, it may be time to upgrade.
  2. Avoid Repair Costs:  If the frequency of system repairs goes beyond the standard of preventative maintenance, a replacement could be more affordable in the long run.  United’s experts can offer honest advice when you are weighing your costs and options.
  3. Prevent Losses: Tis the season to talk with a technician if you are hearing loud sounds, smelling odors, or noticing fluctuating temperatures.  A conveniently scheduled installation will save you from an untimely breakdown and will prevent inventory losses.

United’s on-call technicians are prepared to help you make the right decisions in maintaining, repairing, or installing new systems.  Ask us about how a new system warranty on your installation could help you save time and money.

For over 30 years, our Florida customers have relied on us for their refrigeration, heating, and air conditioning needs.  Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air at 352-629-1187 to set your next installation, system maintenance, or emergency repair service.

Spooky Facts and Solutions for Air Quality

October is synonymous with Halloween frights, but what might be scarier are the potential particles and pollutants lurking in your indoor air.  In recognition of National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month, the team at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air wants to help purify the air in your homes and businesses around Ocala, the Villages, and North Central Florida. 

3 Scary Truths About Indoor Air Pollution

1.) ALLERGENS, VIRUSES, AND BACTERIA: Indoor air pollution can have drastic effects on a person’s health. As scientifically brought to light with numerous COVID-19 studies, many types of viruses and airborne bacteria can linger in indoor air, in addition to allergens, particles, dust, debris, hair, and dander. A dirty filter subjects you to these dangers and contributes to HVAC system deterioration. A clean air filter with a high MERV ranking is your first line of defense.

2.) POLLUTANTS, SMOKE, AND CHEMICALS: If you smoke in your home, you could be spreading hundreds of different chemicals linked to asthma, cancer, and an array of respiratory issues.  Likewise, many household cleaners, paints, solvents, and pesticides can release deadly chemicals or gases into the air, which is why proper ventilation is critical when using certain products indoors. In addition to ventilation, always follow directions on product labels.

3.) MOLD AND MILDEW: In North Central Florida, our high humidity levels can promote the growth of mold and mildew in our homes and businesses.  Keeping humidity levels in your home below 50 percent, quickly repairing leaks, performing regular HVAC system maintenance checks, professional duct cleaning, and removing standing water are all essential for mitigating risks of mold or mildew affecting your health and damaging your property.

Breathe Easy with Fresh-Air Systems and Air Purifiers

In addition to helping you choose high-quality air filters, the Ocala-based experts at United can help you choose high-quality systems to purify the air in your Florida home or business.For example, United is a certified contractor for Global Plasma Solutions (GPS), a needlepoint ionization technology for superior air purification. Once installed, there is no maintenance and no replacement parts required for GPS. In addition to odor control, GPS provides filtration for airborne particles, controls allergens, and helps kill viruses, bacteria, and mold.

During 2020, United has also seen a surge in requests for REME HALO® Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifiers, which reduces odors, pollutants, particulates, microbials, and gases in indoor air.  The in-duct system purifies every cubic inch of air that your AC system reaches.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing demand for cleaner air quality, United’s fresh-air system installations are providing air-purifying solutions and helping homeowners and business owners breathe easier.

United’s experts are available to provide more information about HVAC system efficiency and air purification solutions at your Florida home or business. Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air today at 352-629-1187 for an appointment. 

4 Preparedness Tips to Protect Your Systems

National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to highlight the importance of preparing our homes, schools, businesses, and communities for natural and man-made disasters or emergencies. According to Ready.gov, the National Preparedness Month theme for 2020 is: “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”  

With hurricane season in full swing, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a more critical time for homeowners and businessowners to understand ways to prevent risks and protect assets. As your preventative maintenance experts, the team at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air is offering preparedness tips for protecting your refrigeration equipment and HVAC systems.

How Floridians Plan and Prepare for System Protection
The time to prepare is now for folks across Ocala, The Villages, and North Central Florida. Here are general tips for homeowners wanting to protect an AC unit, storeowners needing to optimize HVAC systems, or businessowners needing to maintain commercial refrigeration systems, freezers, ice machines, and other equipment. 

  1. Financially plan by budgeting for potential costs associated with disasters, emergencies, or system breakdowns. Manage your budget with an ongoing preventative maintenance program, including cleanings, filter changes, drain clearing, inspections, and other services. From checking refrigerant levels to adjusting thermostats, maintenance is essential for preventing a costly disaster before it strikes a home or business. 
  2. Prevention is also key to avoiding the dangers of a power outage. Lightning strikes, power surges, and power outages are concerns for Floridians. Sometimes the safest method is to shut down or unplug any vital systems during a storm. Know where electrical boxes and shutoff valves are located. Be prepared to take safety steps, such as shutting off electric, gas, or water during an emergency. After a storm or outage, schedule a maintenance check to ensure there was no damage done to your systems.
  3. Water is a major hazard that could cause corrosion or wreak havoc on refrigeration, heating, and air systems.  Always quickly repair leaks and remove any water near your systems. Promptly contact United’s technicians if your systems are impacted by water, leaking pipes, or flooding.  In addition to maintenance checks or repairs, United’s technicians may recommend moving or elevating systems in high-risk areas.
  4. For additional safety, always ensure heavy equipment and large systems are covered, protected, or secured as needed with bolts, hooks, and straps. A maintenance check could help you determine if your equipment and systems are in a secure position and could also protect you from avoidable disasters.

As a full-service AC repair, HVAC service, and commercial refrigeration company, United’s team stands ready to provide emergency service as well as preventative maintenance now during hurricane season and throughout the year for your home or business.  

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air’s team has helped keep homes and businesses running efficiently for over 30 years. Call 352-629-1187 to schedule your system maintenance or repair services.

Efficiency Tips for Commercial Refrigeration

Day in and day out, efficient refrigeration is critical for restaurants and food suppliers around Ocala, The Villages, and Central Florida. While the winter season seems slow for some businesses, the food industry sees a major rush in mid-February, as studies show that Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for restaurants.

Nobody wants to endure a refrigeration system failure when busily trying to serve customers, which is why United Refrigeration’s team remains on stand-by to serve your emergency repair needs for an array of makes and models of refrigerators, coolers, freezers, and ice machines. 

Energy Use with Refrigerator Systems
In addition to refrigeration services and preventative maintenance, United’s team likes to educate our customers with information about how they can prolong the life of their systems, while also saving money and controlling energy use.

Ice machines, soft serve machines, slush machines, commercial walk-ins, reach-in coolers, reach-in freezers, and deli cases use a lot of energy.  These machines operate around the clock to keep perishables cold. Here are some suggestions for efficiency:

  • Inspect and Seal: Keep an eye on the condition of auto-closers, doors, and gaskets.  A gap can allow Florida’s humid air to enter your refrigeration system, which could spoil your food supply.  Also, air leaks waste energy and make your system work harder than necessary to maintain appropriate temperatures.  Businesses can also promote energy efficiency by ensuring there is plenty of space around the entire refrigeration system to allow airflow around the heat-exchange coils.
  • Clean and Maintain: Regularly scheduled maintenance coupled with stringent cleanings will help cut back on costly repairs. Be sure to keep the entire refrigeration system clean and the coils dust-free to improve heat transfer. Remember, your ice machines and refrigeration equipment may not function efficiently if cleanings aren’t properly performed.  Follow manufacturer guidelines or contact United Refrigeration’s experts for cleaning assistance and maintenance programs.
  • Repair or Replace: Energy efficiency relies on properly working components, including exhaust fans, make-up air fans, gaskets, hardware, and other parts.  Special features such as motion sensors for case-lighting systems and night curtains for open cases are also helpful for saving energy.  We would be happy to provide customized guidance on energy-efficient parts and services to help save your business save money.

For over 30 years, we’ve been keeping commercial refrigeration systems operating efficiently for customers throughout Sumter and Marion Counties.  United Refrigeration, Heating and Air is prepared to assess situations, diagnose issues, and determine the most cost-effective way to keep your systems up and running this winter and throughout the year.

Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air today at 352-629-1187 to speak with one of our experienced professionals about installations, system efficiency, or repair services.

5 Tips for Heating Up the New Year

As we ring in the New Year, we are also bringing in cooler temperatures.  This means HVAC systems across North Central Florida have shifted from cooling to heating to keep you comfortable.

With Florida’s generally milder climate during the winter months, the majority of homes and businesses around Ocala and The Villages utilize highly efficient central air and heat-pump systems operating on electricity. Heat pumps and A/C systems offer a year-round solution for Floridians, but there are some homes with gas-operated furnaces in our area.

As your full-service HVAC experts, we can assist with maintaining your existing equipment or upgrading your systems in 2019.  To start the New Year off right, here are simple tips to help you save money, ensure efficiency, and extend the life of your heating system:

Change the Filter

It may not feel like your system is running as hard in the winter, but it is just as important to change your air filter in January as it is to change it during Florida’s brutal summer months. Continual, clean airflow is essential for proper functioning.  A clogged filter or obstructed vent can hinder air circulation, interfere with comfortable room temperatures, and prolong run-time, which costs you more money.

Keep it Clean

Regularly monitor both your outdoor unit and air handler for any noticeable changes or issues. Check to make sure there are not any loose connections, which could create a dangerous electrical issue.  Also, remove any debris around your outdoor unit and make sure the condenser coils remain clean.

Promote Efficiency

Different manufacturers mention thermostat settings for heating efficiency, some of which recommend between 65 degrees and 70 degrees for heating purposes during the winter months. Many of us love the programmable thermostat options for adjusting hourly temperature needs, but some experts suggest keeping your system set at one temperature.  During your next check-up, be sure to ask United’s technician for advice in setting your system for optimal efficiency.

Take Precaution

If you are supplementing heat in a small area with a portable space heater this winter, be sure to only use a wall outlet that doesn’t have anything else plugged into it.  Also, never use an extension cord, which could cause overheating or electrical issues. If you are a Floridian with a gas furnace in your home, we also advise the installation of a carbon-monoxide detector to ensure safety.

Annual Check-Up

The New Year could be a perfect time to schedule preventative maintenance or a tune-up.  Remember that dirty or corroded parts and other abnormal functions can cause your system to work harder and use more electricity than necessary. Prevention could be the key to saving money and promoting safety.

Happy New Year! Call United Refrigeration, Heating and Air today at 352-629-1187 to speak with one of our experienced professionals about your options for maintaining, repairing, replacing, or upgrading your HVAC system.

Storm Preparedness for Your AC

September is National Preparedness Month, and the expert team at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air is equipped to ensure your AC system stays ready to handle the peak of hurricane season in Florida. You have probably come across countless checklists for safeguarding your families and businesses, but many of those lists fail to detail the importance of AC maintenance.  Here are tips focused on protecting AC systems during stormy weather.

Wind and Debris – Floridians know that the fall months can bring hurricane-force winds and dangerous weather, which could launch projectile objects and debris with the potential to damage your outdoor AC unit or block your system’s airflow.  United’s technicians are trained to ensure your units are properly covered, protected, and secured with bolts, hooks, and straps when necessary.  A maintenance check prior to a big storm could protect you from any future problems with your heating and air conditioning.

Water and Flooding – Water, of course, is a major hazard that could cause corrosion or wreak havoc for HVAC systems. The risk of flooding around or inside your home poses dangers to both exterior and interior systems. A small amount of water can cause significant damage, which is why it is critical to schedule an appointment if any part of your AC system has been impacted by water, leaking pipes, or flooding.  In addition to finding problems and correctly fixing any issues, United’s technicians can also offer assistance in elevating units and designing platforms to raise and protect systems in high-risk areas.

Outages and Surges – Lightning strikes and power surges are two of the top concerns for Floridians.  Hurricanes and tropical storms often cause widespread and long-lasting power outages.  Not having power or central air in Florida will certainly cause aggravation, but an outage and power surge could also cause major harm to your AC unit, such as compressor damage.  Sometimes the safest thing to do is to shut down the power to your entire AC system until the storm has passed and the electric company has properly restored power.

Scheduling a maintenance check after a major storm could also help verify if there was any damage done to your system. As a full-service residential AC repair and commercial HVAC service company, we are fully equipped to provide emergency service as well as preventative maintenance to protect you this hurricane season and throughout the year.

Our residential and commercial customers trust us to provide the stability you require for all of your heating and air conditioning needs.  United Refrigeration, Heating and Air’s team has helped keep systems running efficiently for over 30 years. Call 352-629-1187 to set your next appointment for system maintenance or repair services.