10 Stormproof Tips to Protect HVAC Systems

AC Maintenance

With Florida’s storm season ramping up during National Preparedness Month, the experts at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air have some stormproof tips to protect your HVAC systems.

For this year’s National Preparedness Month, Ready.gov is urging Americans to: “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”  Well, during hot temperatures and stormy weather in North Central Florida, we can attest that air conditioning is essential for staying cool and protected inside the safety of our homes and businesses. 

Important ways to protect your Florida homes, businesses, and HVAC systems:

  1. Know the location of your electrical boxes and shutoff valves. In Florida, homeowners and business owners need to know how to take vital safety steps, such as shutting off electric, gas, or water during an emergency.
  2. Take action to protect systems from power surges. It is a no-brainer to unplug your TV or computer during a lightning storm, but major appliances and HVAC systems are also at risk. Consider shutting down power to certain systems during severe weather warnings.
  3. Monitor exterior areas for water pooling, flooding, or drainage issues.  Floridians must take measures to protect their property from water damage. If needed, United’s technicians can elevate AC units or design platforms to raise and protect HVAC systems at risk.
  4. Regularly check indoors for leaking pipes, seepage, or corrosion.  Water issues can damage indoor air systems and other parts of your homes and businesses. Make every effort to remove water and call in the professionals if you spot a leak or water damage.
  5. Protect outdoor AC units from high-force winds. Ocala, the Villages, and surrounding areas can experience brutal winds during hurricane season. United can help ensure your AC units are covered, protected, and secured with bolts, hooks, and straps where needed. 
  6. Remove projectile objects and clean-up outdoor debris. It is obvious to store furniture and potted plants in a sheltered location to protect windows. Debris and small projectile objects, however, are also able to damage your outdoor AC unit or block air flow.
  7. After a storm or outage, schedule a maintenance check.  United’s professionals can help you determine if there was any damage done during a storm. Wind, lightening, and rain can leave behind obvious signs of damage as well as hard-to-detect issues.
  8. Make repairs quickly when necessary. If you see a leak or notice a malfunction, be sure to act quick before other parts are damaged. In addition to repairing any mechanical issues, United’s technicians can offer solutions to protect systems and prevent future damage. 
  9. Plan ahead for system repairs or upgrades. With preparedness in mind, it is important to budget for potential costs associated with disasters, emergencies, or system breakdowns.
  10. Benefit from a preventative maintenance program. Control costs and protect the longevity of your system by starting a maintenance program for cleanings, inspections, and services to prevent a costly disaster before it strikes. 

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air’s team provides emergency service as well as preventative maintenance to keep Florida homes and businesses running efficiently. Call 352-629-1187 to schedule your system maintenance, repair services, or new installations.

Insulation Tips to Improve Indoor Air and HVAC Operations

With restrictions across North Central Florida and around the world, many people are spending more time indoors. That is making many of us think about the flow of our indoor air. The fact is that proper insulation and an efficient HVAC system are basic essentials for circulating clean and comfortable indoor air throughout your home or business.

Age, efficiency ratings, and performance will determine the efficiency of your HVAC equipment, but there are also heating and cooling solutions outside the scope of HVAC operations. 

5 Florida Insulation Projects and Cooling Solutions

As a full-service residential AC repair and commercial HVAC service company, United Refrigeration, Heating and Air offers HVAC inspections, preventative maintenance, repairs, and installations.  Oftentimes, our experts will also suggest additional measures that homeowners and business owners may take to improve airflow or to support the efforts of your air conditioning and heating systems.  Here are five expert tips:

  1. Don’t Ignore Ductwork: In addition to the outdoor unit and indoor components of an HVAC system, be sure to schedule a professional inspection to ensure the quality and condition of your ductwork. An expert can let you know if it is time for cleaning or time for updating the ductwork at your home or business.
  2. Increase Indoor Insulation: Poor insulation is one of the top causes of not only the loss of heated or cooled air, but it is also to blame for running HVAC systems ragged. With proper insulation in your walls and attic spaces, you can promote better temperature control, improve efficiency, and protect the longevity of your systems.
  3. Install a New Roof: A new roof can help improve insulation, thus, help prevent indoor air from escaping.  That means your utility bills won’t go through the roof due to overextended AC operations.  Be sure to ask your roofer about light-colored or reflective roofing materials that can provide an extra layer of protection from Florida’s hot sun. 
  4. Upgrade Windows and Doors:  Air can escape through cracks and gaps in windows and doors. Consider investing in new, airtight, professionally installed windows and doors. Hurricane impact styles are popular around Ocala and The Villages, as are special window glass options with a glaze to protect from unwanted heat and sunshine. 
  5. Add Awnings or Overhangs:  You might not realize how much the hot sun heats up your indoor spaces as it penetrates through the windows. If you are cranking up the AC because certain areas feel hot, consider installing fixed overhangs or awnings outside the windows in that area to block the rays.  If major installations are not in your budget, consider adding tall shrubbery or plants outside the window to help block the light.

United’s experts are happy to provide referrals to experts that can help with your projects around Ocala, The Villages, and surrounding areas. Also, be sure to regularly replace your AC filters and schedule preventative maintenance services to mitigate risks of any damage, leaks, corrosion, or operational issues with your HVAC systems.  United’s team remains fully equipped to provide emergency services, preventative maintenance, and new HVAC installations. 

United Refrigeration, Heating and Air’s customers trust us to provide the stability you require for all of your home and business needs.  Call 352-629-1187 to set your next appointment.

A New Year for Heating and Air Systems

Florida’s mild winters often allow your HVAC systems to take a well-deserved break, but you never want your heating or air conditioning to breakdown when you need it. The New Year is an excellent time for a heating and air system check-up. A professional inspection will allow you to set a plan and an affordable budget for system maintenance or a system upgrade in 2020. 

Changes to AC Systems and Refrigerant Regulations
Air conditioner costs this year will vary depending on the brand, model, efficiency rating, and unit size.  Notably, this New Year brings a nationwide ban on the importation and production of R-22, a type of refrigerant used in hundreds of thousands of air conditioning units made prior to 2011.  Experts state that R-22 causes harm to the environment and triggers greenhouse gas emissions.

Considering that a well-maintained system can last 10 to 15 years or more, we can estimate that many folks across Ocala, the Villages, and North Central Florida still have highly functioning units with R-22 refrigerant.  Due to the ban, it will be important for homeowners and business owners to weigh their options when repairing or replacing refrigerant in those older units. 

Comparing HVAC Costs for Repairing or Replacing
At United Refrigeration, Heating and Air, our experts are prepared to discuss your options on whether it is more cost-effective for you to make necessary repairs to older units OR to replace your HVAC systems with new, more efficient models.

In addition to environmental concerns of older models, a poorly functioning system could be overrunning and wasting energy, which increases electricity costs.  Older systems also tend to require more maintenance and repairs, and those costs could put a dent in your annual budget.

Enjoying the Benefits of a New AC Upgrade
In addition to efficiency and financial benefits, an AC replacement could do wonders in improving the airflow quality in your home or business.  Say goodbye to stale, humid, or inconsistent hot or cold temperatures, and say hello to fresh, comfortable airflow.  

As always, you will still need to stick to a strict regimen of changing the air filters and adhere to a preventative maintenance plan after installation of a new unit, but otherwise you can breathe easier with a new system and a new warranty covering costs for unexpected repairs or parts.  

The team at United Refrigeration, Heating and Air invite you to schedule a professional inspection to evaluate the current condition of your HVAC systems. Residential and commercial customers throughout Ocala and The Villages have trusted us for over 30 years to provide inspections along with preventative maintenance to identify problems before they start.   

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.